16 December 2009

No dice tonight

This was a test of charging tonight. I get home at zero range (although the gauge floats back up to 11% when I turn it off) and temperature just below freezing. This is usually the worst combination for getting the fast charger to work. I measure 250.8 volts, not as high as usual, but 1.6 volts higher than last night which was warmer. So I am not surprised when Mini E #458 won't even try to charge from the fast charger. Note that 250.8 is within the ANSI standard.

I turn on all the big loads in the house. Space heaters, toaster, the few incandescent lights that have not been switched to CFLs. Voltage drops to about 250 and when I plug in the car, it blinks a few times but then stops. Well at least it tried. It noticed the difference. Usually, if it won't even blink on the first try, there continues to be no response for 30 minutes with the big wall box "charger".

So I turn on everything in the house, even open the door of the fridge until I hear it start. Voltage down to 249.2, like it was yesterday (except I didn't have to turn on anything yesterday to get down to 249.2, maybe the neighbors had something big on yesterday). The car blinks 8 times, more than last try but then it stops. Still, this makes sense, it is colder tonight by maybe 15 degrees even though I got the voltage down to yesterday's value.

OK, put it on the 120 volt cord, I am out of time tonight. At least it only needed 10 minutes on 120 volts before it would switch to the higher voltage fast charger.

I have an 8000 watt heater I have not used in a while since the sauna turned into storage space. I'll have to clean it out so I can turn it on. An 8 kilowatt load should pull the power line down by several volts. Best part is, it is just one switch, not 50 things all over the house.


  1. Jim,
    Yes I beleive the space heater should do the trick. It has to take a nice load by itself. Let us know how it works out.

  2. Tom, thinking about what you mentioned, that your restaurant has 208 volts since it is 3 phase.

    I bet my dealer has 3 phase and hence the lower 208 volts, not 240 like residential "split phase". So the dealer has probably no hope of reproducing this issue.

    I will email you directly, I wonder if you have an email address for the Mini reps that came to your gathering.