TheMagster wrote:Levenkay, thanks for the advice on using the charging timers! Do you know if there's a set amount of charge that comes through in an hour of charging at L-1 and L-2? I like the idea of Timer 1 being set to just replenish the amount drained by our normal run to town (~30-32 miles), and Timer 2 (or overriding the timers altogether) to provide a full charge in preparation for a longer roadtrip. Would I need Leaf Spy Pro to get an accurate enough measurement of that 30 mile trip's energy consumption, or would it be enough to just take note of the battery's depletion (i.e. if I left the house at 100% and returned at 60%, then I can program Timer 1 to charge 40%)?
Sadly, the timers are only programmable as specific times-of-day, and then only in ten-minute intervals. This kind of thing isn't something that has to be gotten exactly right the first time; start out with a decent estimate, and refine when and if necessary. The 2011 LEAF, which was my first, had a blanket "stop charging at 80%" policy that one could select, so as long as I had that car, I just used an "end only" timer, set to finish at around 06:00 every day. Since my commute was short, I would only plug in every few days. That was pretty simple, but because the EPA (or whichever agency determines official ratings like that) decided that the advertised range had to reflect the worst-case combination of user settings, and that meant "with the stop-at-80% feature selected", it tended to make the already skimpy maximum range even shorter. Nissan promptly responded by removing the feature, so they could go back to touting the "from 100%" range. Lawyers; whaddaya gonna do? Anyway, i got into the habit of resetting the "average miles per kWh" display each morning, and watching that stat gave me a rough feeling of what my commute's needs were. For my combination of hills, surfaces, and traffic, the indicated economy tended to be around 4.5 in the summer, and maybe 3.8 in the winter. Ballparking that to 4mi/kWh, a 20 mile trip uses 5kWh. The 2016 LEAF no longer had the "80% charge" policy, so I estimated that its 6.6kW charger delivered "6kW effective" into the battery, which is 1kWh every ten minutes. My 5kWh commute therefore called for 50 minutes of charging; I set the timer for "start at 04:50, end at 05:40, everyday", and left it that way, unless (like during the winter) the average charge drifted enough to call for readjustment. OP note: an L1 charge will only deliver about 1.3kW, so you'd need about 46 minutes of L1 per kWh that you want to charge.
TheMagster wrote:I understand the 50%-80% sweet spot of Li-ION charging, and of course I do want to get the longest life out of my car's battery that I can, so I'm trying to figure out a good way to achieve this with my sporadic driving habits. My plan at this point is simple: if I return home with more than 80% charge, don't plug it in. My thought was that by using NissanConnect remotely I could check the SoC periodically and stop the charge when the SoC is between 80% and 90% (yes, this is a bit obsessive, but since my car doesn't have the 80% battery mode I'm not sure what else I could do). This would be especially useful if I were using a public charger somewhere and I wasn't actually near the vehicle, maybe I'm walking around town or in a cafe a few blocks away. Leaf Spy Pro wouldn't help in this scenario, since it is limited to Bluetooth's range of 30 ft, correct? Then again, if I'm using a public charger, maybe I want to charge it up to 100% to get the most out of it?
Hopefully, you won't need to use public charging very often, so keep it simple and just let it go to 100% . That's what'll happen anyway if you punch the "override timer" button (which you'll have to do unless you want to bother with drilling through the klunky menus to turn the everyday timer OFF). By definition, you'll soon be burning off at least some of the charge anyway, even if the car makes it to 100% before you're finished getting your nails done (or whatever it is you're doing at the public charging site). But should you hang around killing time while a public L2 reaches 100%? Golly, I wouldn't think so. If the public charger has fees, you can be sure they're way higher than you'd pay at home, so from a cost standpoint, you'd want to minimize for-fee public charging. Even if there's no cost to you, there's the question of whether that last twenty cents' worth of juice is worth your time, and whether someone else might have a more pressing need.
TheMagster wrote:I'm also getting the sense that I should use the timers to have the car reach 100% charge shortly before driving it on longer trips. So say I want to leave at 10 AM tomorrow for a longer roadtrip in which I'll definitely have to use public charging stations, and the car is currently at 50% charge, should I set the timer so that it reaches 100% charge at 9:45 AM? If that's the case, then it seems like the NissanConnect/CarWings app would be quite useful, as I could fiddle with the timers from my phone instead of having to go out to the garage to use the car's screen.
You had gotten the impression, perhaps, that NissanConnect was useful
? Sorry; charge timers are not manipulable via that app. The workaround is to use an alarm clock app on your phone to wake you up at two or three in the morning (or whatever), so you can then use the NissanConnect app to initiate
charging. Or just reflect that you don't need to do this very often, start charging when you go to bed, and take whatever insignificant hit there may be to the battery's life.
TheMagster wrote:My other motivation for checking the SoC remotely through NissanConnect would be to see if someone has unplugged me. Of course I can lock the EVSE to the car, but if I'm charging at L-1 in public then I can't lock the plug to the 120V outlet. The area I live in has a huge void of public chargers...most of the towns in this area have no L-3, and maybe one L-2 if you are lucky. So charging at L-1 in public is actually something I'll have to do from time to time, just to top me up enough to get to the next charger or to get home. If you use Plugshare, scroll the map over to the northern Oregon coast and you'll see what I mean..
The L3 availability isn't TOO terrible; I've driven out from Portland to Astoria (which does have an L3) two or three times now on a weekend lark, just to get some Bowpicker's fish-n-chips!
TheMagster wrote:Seems totally insane to me that a car this sophisticated wouldn't maintain the 12V battery properly...and I still need to use a battery maintainer? I doubt there will be many times when I'm not driving the car at least once or twice a week, so I don't think I'll need to manually maintain the 12V battery, I certainly don't on my various ICE cars that get driven far less regularly than that. Still, good info to know, so thanks for that! I'll start unplugging the car when I notice that it isn't charging anymore.
I concocted several theories for myself to try and explain Nissan's 12V charging system, but must admit to a lack of clues. I once thought that the cutsie little solar panel in the middle of an SL's rear spoiler explained why my 2011's battery never had a problem (the person I sold it to says it's now at 90K miles and 9 capacity bars, still on original battery), but the consensus is that the solar panel's irrelevant. Still, it's just as well if Nissan assigned all its competent designers to the motor drive and braking systems, and left the 12V subsystem to the rest.