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 Post subject: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:54 pm
Posts: 50
I was curious about air-conditioner power consumption so I performed the following experiment: Car was initially at 96%, unplugged, in my garage, ambient air temp 90 degrees. I turned it "on" and started the air-conditioner, and then shut the garage door. 13 hours later the power was at 55% (via the little dongle.) Temperature was around 90 when started (1800) and around 60 when it completed (0700), so no way to know how often the air-conditioner actually cycled. Bottomline is that it used very roughly around 4%/hour to use the air-conditioner. So, if you figure it has 70 miles of range, then using the air would "cost" around 3 miles on a full charge. Not scientific at all, but gives me a sense of the a/c power consumption. So, for myself only in a desperate attempt to stretch the range would I not use the air.

I plan to do a similar experiment with the heater when it gets cooler. I am guessing that the heater draws around 2kw, so might use 10% of the range in an hour of freeway driving, but will have to experiment to get a better understanding. And, of course, the battery capacity seems to be about half when it gets down to 30 degrees F.

Comments?


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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:33 am
Posts: 26
Location: Bergen County, NJ
I've found that the a/c uses very little battery power as well. I never hesitate to turn it on, except when I'm nervous about having enough juice to make it back home. The main heater is another matter -- that thing draws a ton of energy, as does the defrost (which you'll find is 100% needed in really cold weather). The seat heaters draw far less energy.


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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:33 am
Posts: 26
Location: Bergen County, NJ
I actually think the headlights use more power than the a/c, at least if the power usage lights actually indicate how much excess power is being used. With the a/c on, I usually only see one blue power usage light turn on. When I turn off the a/c and turn on the headlights, I think I see two blue power usage lights turn on.


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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:54 pm
Posts: 50
Thanks for the feedback


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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:49 am
Posts: 191
Location: Orange County, New York
This summer in the northeast has not seen a lot of very high temperatures, and I've found that having the a/c on, set at 68 - 70 with one fan bar has been very comfortable. And in Eco mode there are times when no power use bars are on!

With the temperatures in the 70s I'm seeing GOM ranges of between 109 and 120 miles.

I am so not looking forward to winter. :(

Drew

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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:53 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Torrance, CA
I was told that the interactive remote only cycles the A/C 'on' for up to 30 minutes.

Did you have to activate the A/C 8 times during the 4 hour period?


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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:54 pm
Posts: 50
I believe by "interactive remote" you are referring to the feature to activate climate control while the vehicle is "off" and key removed, via the dongle or the cell phone app and plugged into a 240v circuit (in which case there is a 30 minute limit.) In my case I turned the key "on" as if I were driving, left the climate control on 68 degrees and shut the garage door and walked away. It was still whirring away when I opened the garage the next morning (the noise startled me, because I had forgotten that I had initiated my experiment.)


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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:28 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Oregon
Your experiment needs one more component - same conditions, but key on and no air conditioner. You can then find the difference between the two for actual AC draw. There are systems that draw power with the key on that are not related to the air conditioner.

Plus, if you had the car in Econ mode, the draw for AC (and heat, etc.) is capped.

Might be interesting to try with the fan only (say at two bars) and no AC.

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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:29 pm
Posts: 34
One factor you didn't consider is that you didn't have the sun beating down on your car. I would bet the effect of solar heat generated on 90 degree day would significantly contribute to your power consumption.


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 Post subject: Re: Air-conditioner power consumption experiment
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:54 pm
Posts: 50
Very true, though my garage is pretty hot in the summer, al by itself. (But I guess we don't have to worry about summer any more for a while . . .) My main take-away message (for myself) was that the a/c doesn't really draw that much power, compared to the motive power required just to propel the car.

I will try a similar experiment in Dec/Jan with the heater. I think the heater (just a guess) is around 3 kw.


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