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Boomer23
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The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:26 pm

I didn't see a thread on this, so I thought I'd start one to wish the best to all of our forum friends back East as this major storm comes ashore. You folks are in our thoughts and prayers here in the West and other unaffected regions, and we hope that you and your families get through this tough week healthy and whole.

Also to provide a discussion thread for LEAF-related happenings as this very significant storm affects that large area of the country.

Are any of you moving to higher ground? Are you taking any special precautions with your charging equipment at your home? Are any of you concerned and want to seek advice on driving an EV through somewhat flooded intersections as compared with driving an ICE car? Are you making sure to charge your LEAF to 100% before power failures occur?

More generally, will there be situations where EVs such as the LEAF are able to provide supportive transportation when gas pumping is down, as happened in the Japanese tsunami of 2011? And will some of you be impacted by limited driving range if power failures are prolonged?

Are there other topics or advice that you'd like to seek from the forum members related to the storm? I'm sure that the experts here will be glad to help where they can.
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surfingslovak
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Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:49 pm

Thank you for setting up the thread, Boomer. It's been a big topic on Facebook; some of my friends are affected as well. Saw the following post in the Volt group. It looks like they could be up to a month without electricity. :shock:

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:47 am

Thanks for the well-wishes, Boomer! It doesn't take a lot of wind for us to lose electricty around here and with such a large storm, I expect any outages that do occur will take some time to get repaired.
Boomer23 wrote:Are you making sure to charge your LEAF to 100% before power failures occur?
Yes. I charged to 80% yesterday morning and will go to 100% this morning before the winds get really high.

I refer to our LEAF as the LEAFboat during storms as it is really awesome for providing electricty. We used it during the derecho event on June 30 to provide power for our neighbors who did not have a generator. In this storm, it will be nice to be able to provide electricity to our refrigerator and freezer while the storm is still raging without having to drag the generator out in the rain and wind.

To date, I have only ever used a couple of modified sine wave inverters with the LEAF. This time, if the power is out long enough, I may connect up a 12V-input 2000VA sine-wave inverter I have to a 120/240VAC autotransformer to allow it to drive our power panel to allow the LEAF to pump water for us and provide other small loads.. I will post new photos if I end up doing this.
Boomer23 wrote:More generally, will there be situations where EVs such as the LEAF are able to provide supportive transportation when gas pumping is down, as happened in the Japanese tsunami of 2011?
While we could use the LEAF for transportation, I feel it is more valuable as a source of electricity. Our ICE vehicles are fueled and since they have no dual-use ability to also provide more than just a little electricity, I will likely use those for transportation.
Boomer23 wrote:And will some of you be impacted by limited driving range if power failures are prolonged?
Fortuately we do not have to evacuate and we have ICE vehicles in case we need to travel.

Just for reference, I checked our electricity co-op's outage map last night before bedtime. They showed 6 meters without power out of a total of 151,000. After the June 30 derecho, they had about 50,000 meters without power. It will be interesting to see how this event compares with that situation in which some people did not get their power back for five days.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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surfingslovak
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Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:08 am

RegGuheert wrote:I refer to our LEAF as the LEAFboat during storms as it is really awesome for providing electricty. We used it during the derecho event on June 30 to provide power for our neighbors who did not have a generator. In this storm, it will be nice to be able to provide electricity to our refrigerator and freezer while the storm is still raging without having to drag the generator out in the rain and wind.

To date, I have only ever used a couple of modified sine wave inverters with the LEAF. This time, if the power is out long enough, I may connect up a 12V-input 2000VA sine-wave inverter I have to a 120/240VAC autotransformer to allow it to drive our power panel to allow the LEAF to pump water for us and provide other small loads
Very interesting. I hope that the effects of the storm won't be quite as dire as some predicted, and look forward to see your rendition of the events.

It sounds like Nissan should consider their LEAF-to-home solution for the US market. The MiEV power Box, which can supply up to 1.5 kW from the CHAdeMO port could be of interest as well. We had a decent-size thread on that, and I've heard a similar request in the ActiveE Facebook group.

Not sure if you were up for a laugh, but Tom Moloughney shared the following weather forecast for Virginia. This takes the cake!

Last edited by surfingslovak on Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
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Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:56 am

surfingslovak wrote:Very interesting. I hope that the effects of the storm won't be quite as dire as some predicted, and look forward to see your rendition of the events.
Thanks! We are not in the highest impact areas and we are also very well prepared, so we expect to be O.K. Others may not fare as well as we do.
surfingslovak wrote:It sounds like Nissan should consider their LEAF-to-home solution for the US market. The MiEV power Box, which can supply up to 1.5 kW from the CHAdeMO port could be of interest as well. We had a decent-size thread on that, and I've heard a similar request in the ActiveE Facebook group.
Yeah, LEAF-to-home would be a cleaner solution but it seems a little expensive for the few times it might be needed. As others have commented, it seems like it is more valuable for the power companies to provide an effective distributed generator that can be tapped at will.

Thanks for the tip on the MIEV Power Box. Something like that with a standard 240V 30A generator connector on it would be outstanding!
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

NYLEAF
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Leaf Number: 17311
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:43 am

My Leaf is fully charged just in case we decide to evacuate at the last minute. I have it parked at an office building down the street that has a parking lot at ground level, under the main floor of the building (the building is on stilts, basically). Main concern here is wind, they are calling for 80-90mph winds, so I don't want anything hitting my car. The other fear is the flooding and storm surge. I live on an peninsula, with water less than a mile from my house on 3 sides. They are calling for an 11 foot storm surge, but I live on the highest part of the peninsula, 26 feet above sea level, so I think I'll be okay. The local power company (LIPA) is telling us to plan for 7-10 days without power. My Leaf isn't going to like that very much.
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EatsShootsandLeafs
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Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:10 am

RegGuheert wrote:I refer to our LEAF as the LEAFboat during storms as it is really awesome for providing electricty.
Do you have a link or thread on this--is it simple? Obviously a leaf isn't powering anybody's house for long, but I looked today at an uninteruptible power supply and it's easily $100 for just a kWh. The leaf has 20X that. I really think it should have a built in 120V to power laptops and things.

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Ingineer
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Leaf Number: 6969
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Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:19 am

RegGuheert wrote:To date, I have only ever used a couple of modified sine wave inverters with the LEAF. This time, if the power is out long enough, I may connect up a 12V-input 2000VA sine-wave inverter I have to a 120/240VAC autotransformer to allow it to drive our power panel to allow the LEAF to pump water for us and provide other small loads.. I will post new photos if I end up doing this.
Unfortunately if you connect this way to the Leaf, there is a very high overhead cost, as you must leave the Leaf in "ready" mode. This means the most you will get out of the Leaf, even at small loads is only a few days. The DC-DC converter, and all the other overhead loads in the Leaf's systems will pull several hundred watts, let alone the idle draw of a sine-wave inverter. It's a shame there is no easy way to pull off the Leaf's pack without the car needing to be mostly powered up. (At least not without extensive modifications)

Also, be warned that pulling much more than 1.5 kW will begin to deplete the 12v battery rapidly, so this can only be done for short spurts.
Ingineer wrote:The Leaf's DC-DC converter can supply up to about 1.7kW or 135a. This unit takes ~400v power from the traction battery and makes approximately 13 volts. (varies according to charge requirements of the 12v aux battery) It should be able to power up to 1.5kW of external load with no problems, provided most of the accessories are left off.

One interesting thing is, unlike the 12v system on a ICE car, there is almost no voltage sag. The DC-DC converter is a high-frequency switch mode converter, so it can respond very fast to high current surges, whereas a normal ICE car alternator cannot, and it's also RPM dependant for maximum output.

WARNING: NEVER connect anything directly to the negative post of the Leaf's 12v aux battery! This is a current sensor and doing so will disrupt the charging system! (Connect all accessories to the body ground, or, if high-current, the black wire screwed to the top of the DC-DC JB. (Behind the inverter)

Note: I have not tested it at full load for an extended period of time, so there may be some thermal limiting that could cause output to drop after long runs of high-current use.

Here's my test:
Image

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RegGuheert
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Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:36 am

EatsShootsandLeafs wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:I refer to our LEAF as the LEAFboat during storms as it is really awesome for providing electricty.
Do you have a link or thread on this--is it simple?
It's only simple if you have the equipment and the know-how to do it safely. You can certainly damage your LEAF if you are not careful. That is one reason the Chademo solutions are so attractive: they go through a standard interface which can be accessed safely.

Sorry, I effectively hid my previous post on this topic by hijacking another thread: I miss my LEAF...
EatsShootsandLeafs wrote:Obviously a leaf isn't powering anybody's house for long, but I looked today at an uninteruptible power supply and it's easily $100 for just a kWh. The leaf has 20X that. I really think it should have a built in 120V to power laptops and things.
Me, too. I thought that about the Honda Civic Hybrid we bought over ten years ago, also. FWIW, the Nissan Quest our dealership loaned us a couple of weeks ago had a 120V plug in it. It was only capable of 150W, however.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: The Super Storm and our LEAFing friends back East

Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:47 am

Ingineer wrote:Unfortunately if you connect this way to the Leaf, there is a very high overhead cost, as you must leave the Leaf in "ready" mode. This means the most you will get out of the Leaf, even at small loads is only a few days. The DC-DC converter, and all the other overhead loads in the Leaf's systems will pull several hundred watts, let alone the idle draw of a sine-wave inverter. It's a shame there is no easy way to pull off the Leaf's pack without the car needing to be mostly powered up. (At least not without extensive modifications)
Yes, it's pretty inefficient, but so is my generator, even though it is an inverter-based unit. The LEAF has the benefit of being quieter, and able to run in the garage without creating a carbon monoxide danger. I'd prefer to charge the LEAF from the generator and then turn it off.
Ingineer wrote:Also, be warned that pulling much more than 1.5 kW will begin to deplete the 12v battery rapidly, so this can only be done for short spurts.
Thanks! Noted! I'm aware of this based on your excellent post that you quoted. Sorry, I did not mean to imply that I could pull more than that from the LEAF. It's just that it is the only sine-wave inverter I have kicking around here. It will have to get fairly bad for me to go through the trouble of connecting that thing up.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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