Learning Curve - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 59
Learning Curve

OK, so I tried driving from work to home last evening and then home to work this morning on the same charge. I was prompted to do this by Donald who thought that I should certainly do 64 miles at this time of year without too much bother. It worked a treat. Must confess I was using the patented Donald heater setting of 'manual 19 degrees half of fan point one to the floor technique' without audio but with lights. [In passing 18 degrees is a smidge too cold as I tried that too]. Brilliant - got to work this morning with 15 miles to spare. This makes a huge difference because if I can keep it up it means that work is actually paying me to commute in (because I pay a pound a day in parking permit and their full charge must cost nearly 3 quid). I like that principle, especially as it was costing 15 a day in my ICE car, pre-Fluence. I have changed my route to minor roads and never draw more than 20kwh if I can help it. Will I ever need my home charge unit again I hear you cry? We'll see.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 03:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 187
RE: Learning Curve

May I also say how grateful I am to Donald for the advice on the heater settings. I'm sure it would have taken me weeks of trial and error to find that - if at all!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 04:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 167
RE: Learning Curve

Learning curve? I thought that by now I knew near enough everything the Fluence could throw at me. But recently there's been one unexpected glitch and an ongoing puzzle.

The glitch came when for the first time all year I found myself out on the dark. I switched on the dipped beams and discovered that practically all oncoming drivers were flashing me. Very embarrassing! Checked the manual when I got home to find there may be an adjuster on the dash - or there may not. Not bothering to go out to the car I checked on the internet to find the Megane family often have troublesome auto adjusting headlights driven by motors. Of no, I thought, the Fluence is bound to have that.

Nope. We get the twiddly knob calibrated from 0 - 3 (in the manual). 0 is for car plus driver - me. That happened to be what the car's knob was set at. I can only assume that the auto system couldn't cope with the quarter ton battery so they gave us the downmarket system. But this too can't cope so to get correctly aligned lights I had to set to 3 (fully laden!). We also hav position 4. Am I right in thinking this is for when an elephant is sitting on the trunk?

That's the easy bit out of the way. My motoring is very predictable so I assume that only weather conditions will affect my charging performance. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Just have a look at the following readings from recent charges:

miles gone estimated total time to charge m/kwh predicted range
61 84 7h 7m n/a 91
64 82 7h 26m n/a 84
55 69 7h 31m n/a 76
56 71 7h 39m 3.85 76
46 64 6h 38m 3.65 68
49 72 6h 8m 4,28 74
68 82 7h 45m 4.70 85

Maybe someone can make sense of these figures.
Estimated range is miles gone plus miles predicted to be left
Charge with 10A cable
All the above in cold weather 3 - 7 degrees.
pauledg is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 187
RE: Learning Curve

Interesting point about dipped beam - I think I may have the opposite problem!

On my first significant run in the dark, I noticed that dipped headlamps gave a crisply defined beam but one that appeared to fall a bit short of the distance you'd normally expect in terms of forward coverage. I went to adjust the wheel but it was already at one extreme and moving it the other way seemed to curtail the beam further. That left me resorting to main beam a bit more than I'd normally expect.

Only experimented very briefly, so will have to look at it again in more detail when I get a chance.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 803
RE: Learning Curve

Well, that's a mixed bag, then, seeing as I think highly of my lights - amongst the best I've ever had on a car, and well-aligned!

Paul, I tend to drive consistently and also get variations - the way the battery calculates its SOC is very complicated and I expect is a mix of Coulomb counting, cell voltage, charge/discharge profiles and temperature. I think it is pretty accurate in terms of 'relative changes per octal' (as I have described in my guide to range) but I'd hazard a guess that the "fully charged" and "depleted" levels are, actually, a little variable. That is to say, on one day 100% indicated SOC might be 80% of real battery charge, and the next may be 90%. No idea what the actual figures would be, but neither will the battery monitoring software have an exact idea. I seem to need a bigger charge one day than the next, yet seemingly for the same driving. I think unless you are routinely charging up fully and then using most of the battery up in a consistent usage profile that you will see these variations. It only makes sense over several charge cycles.

To be honest, although I was originally logging every charge along with with mileage covered and driving type/style over summer, I started getting bored with doing it and don't bother now. I can see if the SOC is depleting at around the 8 to 10 mile/octal rate, and if it is in that range I've lost interest in further detail beyond that.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 167
RE: Learning Curve

Thanks for the response Donald, I agree that there are variables at work and there's no point getting obsessed. I am baffled by the two charges that took an hour less than expected, and the last miles/kwh figure is absurdly high so clearly we cannot assume just because the car tells us something, that's what it is. The battery gauge on the other hand is pretty well accurate and the one to trust. Leaf drivers have to suffer range prediction figures that are so unpredictable they're positively dangerous!

I agree the lights are good, full beam is like a searchlight. My concern here is that if I load the car with family and luggage I'll be back to sky high lights and no further adjustment unless there's something on the light units themselves.

Had to play with the heater yesterday. With outside temperature dropping, each time I got back to the car after popping into a shop the windows had steamed up but the heater made short work of clearing the screen. That just left me with a dazzling ball of sun under the sun visor, so bright that on two occasions I lost visibility altogether. Must clean the inside of the windows, see if that helps. Oh, and lowering the window to check traffic at a junction the blasted thing stuck fully down. Four or five attempts to get it up, perhaps I must ensure I don't fully lower it, that might help.

Well, that's all the Christmas cards delivered and oldies visited, should be plain sailing all the way to the New Year???
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 381
RE: Learning Curve

Sounds like the dealers have set your lights wrong. They've set it up with the adjuster the wrong way so if you load the car it will shine up in the trees.
GrumpyCabbie is offline  

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