The share paradigm

The private car makes no sence since it stays unused for long periods of time, with it’s owner paying a lot for using a little. So, the idea is the share system, where you use on the go, you don’t own it, you pay per use. Maintenance (whatever maintenance is needed), small repairs, tires air pressure, these details will be taken care of by someone, not you the user. Oh, there’s already something similar called renting?!

From this number crunching perspective, private houses make no sence: most of the time you are at work, you don’t use your (!) house, you should only pay per use, the hours you sleep in. The same goes for any other piece of hardware you now own: your PC (Personal Computer), your smart phone, your whatever…

This reminds me a boss that demonstrated that no 24 bit per pixel (bpp) colour video boards would be needed: at that time the max resolution was 768×1024 pixels, and he rightfully said “you only need 768 k colours, there’s no need for 24 bpp!”. That’s the static number crunching reasoning at work. He would not grasp or understand that at some point the access to the 16 M 24 bpp colours had to be done, even if just for a transient brief moment, to edit those colours, and it was absolutely mandatory to have the on board 24 bpp to free choose what colours the final edit would be.

For the unused house during the day, you could devise a system where someone else would use your house while you are at work not using it. I can’t remember any business that could benefit from using parts of the house rented by the hour. Can you think of something?! No, thank you!

Call me old fashion, I want my car to seat still, wating for me, for me to edit whatever color I want any time of the day, evening or night in my car’s paint system!

24 bpp is mandatory, as is 24/7 access – but that’s me, YMMV

The present, the future, today

Yesterday I went to listen to a talk by Prof. Maria Helena Braga on high density new architecture batteries. Her work is remarkable – let me use some adjectives here: it’s mind blowingly good, Google her, you will be amazed -, and it’s highly promising in terms of (real world) fast charging super batteries: the time to market it’s not today, it will take time, but from yesterday talk one REALLY wishes that industry steps to bring the technology to real life applications could be shorter, faster! We need those batteries ASAP!

On the other side, I was amazed to listen to some Portuguese high authorities, speaking while introducing Braga’s talk, and later speaking again while introducing the Q&A period after Braga’s talk: a total of 6 Portuguese authorities spoke, I never saw so many people talking to present a guest’s talk… And listening to these authorities a strange thing happened to me: I was feeling I didn’t exist since what I do on a daily basis, from their words, was not possible! I heard “electric cars have no usable range”, “they take too much time to charge”, “the electric motors use rare earth materials”, “there’s no viable way to store electricity for off peak use” …

Power pack? Power wall? Model S? Model X? Model 3? And the other car manufacturers that, because of Tesla, started to present real solutions, not excuses, for new affordable electric cars? Where do these 6 people live? The Model 3 alone has now more than 600 thousand reservation holders waiting for their electric car. For an electric car with no range, that’s an awfl amount of people (600000!) mistakingly wanting an electric car!

I went to Braga’s talk driving a car that has +400 km of range on a charge, I can charge it with 400 V 300 A 120 kW and add +250 km to the range in less than 25 minutes, I drove +43000 km in a year and went to London, Brussels, Le Mans, and back, on electricity only, with as much hassle as driving any other car, actually with less expense, less frustration and much more enjoyment, no pollution, no noise. Three days ago a new record was set on a Tesla P100D: 901 km driven on a charge. The motors are purely three phase, no rare earth materials. I have friends (unfortunately not myself yet) that do have their houses with solar panels & batteries off the grid, it works, I’ve seen it, it’s not a dream and it’s economically viable.

Thank you so much to Prof Braga for that presentation. Thank you to the organizers that made possible this brilliant talk, a great step in the right direction.

But listening to the other words I was feeling from the future arriving to some past, not the present today.

Listening to Braga’s talk I felt our future is arriving today.

Prof Maria Helena Braga
Prof Maria Helena Braga, from here

Time will tell

Spain has been high on Supercharger installs! It is common to see 5 points in the works, even in places very near to where Superchargers already exist. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of those installs be placed further West? I clearly see an invisible barrier in the advancement of the Superchargers towards the West… Too bad we are in the far side of that … West.

West, the final frontier, where the land meets the sea…
And here we are, yet no Superchargers for us to see…

Congrats to the Spanish people, one more Supercharger location (with 10 charging stalls) already online and working, installed in a record time, and – surprise – so very near to another already existing Supercharging infrastructure!

cone: building site; red: installed; blue: permit asked; green: my personal markings for new Supercharger locations, based on digging the Web and Tesla published info over time; see how Granada, Manzanares and Tordesillas (near Valladolid) nailed previous green markings; and you have to love Girona and Barcelona, so few Supercharger stalls that one saddens for their bad luck.

The charging & loss numbers +/-

Input / Output to battery, % efficiency

16 A, 226 V, 3L, 10.85 kW – wallbox-ok
25.3 A, 382.25 V, 9.67 kW, -1.18 kW 89.1%

32 A, 229 V, 1L, 7.33 kW – Magnum Cap
16.8 A, 388.95 V, 6.57 kW, -0.76 kW 89.6%

80 A, 402 V, DC, 32.16 kW – Efacec
80.1 A, 400.79 V, 32.10 kW, -0.06 kW 99.8%

32 A, 232 V, 3L, 22.27 kW – Magnum Cap
54.2 A, 374.83 V, 20.32 kW, -1.95 kW 91.2%

Battery temp & SOC not taken into account.

Flash fiction

Back in 2008, CNN published a story on 6 words short stories, “flash fiction”, asking readers to submit their own short stories. I wrote one story with 4 words:
Your oil is mine.
Today I can finish the 6 word story:
Tesla solves “Your oil is mine”.

Why, in a few or some words

After the first test drive I wanted to take that Model S P85+ home. After the second test drive I wanted to take that Model S P85D Insane home. After the third test drive I wanted to take that Model S P90D Ludicrous home. After the forth test drive I wanted to take that Model S 85D home. After the fifth test drive I wanted to take that Model X 90D home. After the sixth test drive I wanted to take that Model X P90D Ludicrous home. After the seventh test drive I wanted to take that Model X P100D Ludicrous home. So I finally got an S 85D. Go figure… Except, after test drive n. 4, I received my 85D… The rest happened testing the X looking for a possible upgrade, that didn’t happen. No regrets whatsoever.

And in Spain

Yet another permit request for a new Supercharger location. Nearer, if not yet fast enough, nearer all the same.

But, being 449 km away from PCR Loule, it’s still a bit too far to get there directly…

Santa Fé airport, near Granada

Nearer, Tordesillas Supercharger

Almost done, 540 km away, 467 km from Santarem PCR (since Abrantes and Fundao PCRs are still off). And from Santarem PCR to Parador de Salamanca (Destination Charger) it’s 375 km, going up… Either you have a very good battery and light foot or you still have to stop somewhere to do a short fill…

Either way, Tordesillas is good news in our local desert of superchargers and some Unidentified For On local PCRs that were once working (and very well, thank you very much) and suddenly, soon after being on, were shutdown. For some kind of electoral gimiks?, one might ask… Politics…

Waiting… This slow passing of time seems slower for each negotiation one has to endure to secure a safe arrival to supercharging territory… Tordesillas is almost done, and with it the hope rises for newer faster nearer in time supercharging.

From here

4 pin to 5 pin conversion, revisited

A while back I posted on the 4 to 5 pin three phase converters I did, here. Today I’m publishing some helping details.

1. Wire diagram / schematics. All connections are direct; 4 pin plug to 5 pin plug: L1 to L1, L2 to L2, L3 to L3, Ground G to Ground G; the Neutral N has to be fetched from the Schuko; Schuko to neon (lamp): L to lamp, G to lamp; Schuko to 5 pin plug: N on the Schuko to N on the 5 pin plug – this only happens when the lamp is ON, see bullet 4.
2. Does this adaptor work always? It has worked OK, but ultimately it will depend a lot more on the original electrical installation, if it has good Ground connection, if the wires are the correct square section, more on this in the end.
3. What’s the charge speed? It all depends on the installation, really; I did an adaptor for 16 A three phase 11 kW (up to 55 km/h) and another one for 32 A three phase 22 kW (up to 110 km/h if the car has the dual charger option; newer cars can only go up to 16.5 kW with the upgraded charger, up to more or less 82 km/h).
4. What’s the Schuko for? The 4 pin plug only has the three phases (L1, L2, L3) and Ground; the Tesla UMC and other EV chargers also need the Neutral, and that’s the Neutral that we get from the Schuko plug; for this we need to be sure the Schuko is plugged in the correct sense – in some countries (Belgium) this is imposed by an extra large pin in the Schuko, but in other countries (Portugal included) that pin is not present; the “lamp” (a neon) is used to determine if the Schuko is in the good position; if it lights it’s OK, the L is in the L pin (not used, just for the “lamp”) and Neutral is used for the 5 pin plug; if the lamp does not light up the Schuko has to be “reversed”: unplug it and plug it again but twisting it 180° for the lamp to be connected to L.
On charging: if the Ground is considered not good enough, or there’s some minor problem in one phase or the Neutral, the Tesla UMC refuses to charge. In Spain, Tordesillas, a friend got stuck at the Parador while having access to a 5 pin red plug 22 kW standard installation, because the UMC refused to charge, it’s really very sensitive. That’s why I always use a backup charger, a 22 kW wallbox-ok efimarket charger: not only can I charge double the speed of the UMC (limited to 11 kW) but it enables charging also in places where the UMC suffers from being too sensitive.
On security issues: the car detects any issue. The wallbox-ok charger complies with every possible standard and it’s reliable and secure. There’s too much sensitivity in the Tesla UMC that, in some cases, not even Tesla themselves can understand or help you on the hotline help for electrical installations that obey to the standards, that have passed conformity evaluations and yet aren’t or seem not to be good enough for the UMC. But hey, in the end, it’s up to you, the owner, the user, to decide what to do and/or use: your milage may vary.
4 to 5 pin three phase converters (11 kW and 22 kW)