Tag Archives: Power

How much electricity does the Go Times use on a mild day?

A couple of weeks ago I had noticed that when I had the Go Times set (even with the climate control set to off) there was a very slight reduction in battery usage for my morning commute (like 1%-2% or so). My thinking at the time was that the Go Time was doing something before unplugging that would be happening while driving if the Go Time wasn’t set. Apparently someone else was thinking similar thoughts in the forums. This morning I setup a test:

  • Car fully charged, parked in the garage
  • Garage ambient temperature 72F as measured by the opener (got me why my opener can read the temperature)
  • Set up a Go Time for 6:15 am with climate off
  • When I walked out to check on the car at 6:10am or so the Juicebox relays had already clicked on but it was showing no power draw from the car
  • At about 6:12am (or ~3 minutes to go) the car’s fan turned on and the Juicebox read 7A draw (1.7kW)
  • At the Go Time of 6:15am the car shut off
  • The ending Juicebox display was showing 0.0 kWh of power consumption

If we do a little math using the 3 minutes of 7A power draw (3 minutes is 0.05 hours, and the car was using 1680 Watts–7A * 240V) we can conclude that the car used roughly 84 Wh during that 3 minutes. 84 Wh is really not that much power–on a really good day it can take 200 Wh just to go a mile but it is non-zero. Over the course of a summer it could add up to a “tank” or two (only summer because as the temperatures get colder using the Go Times gets more important).

Update: I’ve left the Go Times setup for the week configured the same: Climate off. I noticed the cooling fan on high this morning so I glanced over at the Juicebox just before unplugging the car: 24A! for 4 minutes, 0.3kWh consumed (Doing the same math as above: 384 Wh). The only weather differences: Slightly warmer at 77F but the humidity is much higher (very foggy out). Interesting, I’ll have to continue watching it…


In the event of an emergency…use public charging

Well ok, not exactly an emergency but: This afternoon we had some heavy storms come through. Enough to knock out power to the house. Now normally this would be a minor inconvenience, but with an EV with limited range: If the power stays out, I can’t work from home and may not have enough charge for another round-trip to work on the battery.

Well thank AAA for installing those two chargers near our house not just weeks ago!
AAA To the rescue

At the time I made the post above I didn’t think I’d be using this charger much. Now I’m happy its there. I never thought of the case where we didn’t have power–we lose it maybe once per year for very short times.

(Other alternatives exist: Like bringing the RV home and using the genny, but I could only Level 1 charge off of the RV’s genny–its only 4kW. If the power is out long enough we may end up using the RV for powering the refer’s and/or the sump pump anyway..we’ll see.)

You may be asking: How did you make this post if your power is out? WiFi hotspot from my phone to my laptop–at least until these batteries deplete…

Update: Just as My Ford Mobile indicated that the car was charged…the power came back on. Funny how that works.

Electric everything…

Can’t believe I haven’t mentioned my other electrical efforts before…

About the time Ford announced that it was going to produce an electric Focus in 2009 and I decided that I would get one eventually I also figured that it would be a good idea to start electrifying other areas around the home. At the time LED lights were just being introduced so I gradually started replacing the household lights with LEDs as they burnt out or when the LEDs went on sale.

Shortly thereafter our gas lawnmower gave up its last breath. I thought perfect just in time to get a new, electric one. Not being satisfied with dragging a cord around the yard with me I searched for a battery powered mower. At the time I think there was only two on the market, and not the least expensive mowers on the market. Of the two the Ryobi 48V one seemed to be the better option (I think the other one was a 24V Toro).
Ryobi Electric Mower

I went ahead and purchased the mower. Initially it was a little rough going as a single charge was just enough to cut all of our lawn (a standard 1/2 acre lot). In addition the included charger is a little finicky and you have to pay attention to when it should stop charging as it may overcharge and fry the battery–found that out the hard way. After picking up a spare or two I’m now pretty happy with the mower. About 1/2 way through the lawn I switch the battery and start charging the used one. A while after I’m done that battery is charged and I switch the charger to the other which finishes in a couple of hours.

Just like the FFE the lawn mower is very quiet with respect to other mowers. The only noise it does make is from the blades as they spin about twice as fast as a normal mower (when running it sounds almost exactly like a large fan on high).

Soon after the mower I also picked up a battery powered trimmer followed by a battery powered leaf blower. Sadly the only piece of outdoor equipment I haven’t been able to replace with an electric version has been the snow thrower (the only one I know of is prohibitively expensive).

So at least during the summer months I’m able to use only electrons for the weekly yard work…

Now if you look at the home improvement stores there is a little bit more of a selection of battery powered mowers including this “EGO” one (that costs even more than my Ryobi cost several years ago).