Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 by Simon Hackett
Using some nifty GPS equipped satellite data loggers, you can follow the progress of our vehicles on their journey from Darwin to Adelaide in the Global Green Challenge.
Click on this link to find us:
You can scroll the left hand window up and down to see the data points for all three transponders. Clicking on a spot on the left (or on the map) shows you the time at which that data point was logged.
The car trailer is being used to transport the car to the start of the event because the permits we have been able to arrange for the event only allows us to drive it in the event itself – not on the way to the event. The trailer is also available for any contingencies that may occur over this very long journey. The tow vehicle is a Volvo XC90 diesel – a highly efficient modern vehicle that tows a big trailer with ease.
The mobile charging system – lets call it the Internode mobile power station! – is an 8 ton diesel truck upon which we have mounted a large ‘event grade’ diesel generator. This generator is over-powered for the job – but we wanted to make sure there were no issues with being able to create enough power to suit the appetite of the Roadster.
The Roadster can charge up on 110 or 240 volts AC, at currents from 10 amps up to 70 amps. When fed with 240V @ 70A, the Roadsters’ 55kWh ‘fuel tank’ can be charged from completely empty to completely full in around 3.5 hours.
(For a sense of scale, in a more typical home situation, using a readily available 32A circuit running at a nominal 30A, the car can charge up to full from empty in around 8 hours. In other words, arrive home at night and your car is always full in the morning)
What we are doing with this approach is simulating the outcome of a future high capacity charging infrastructure on a major arterial road system – to demonstrate the effectiveness of a car of this sort being able to cover long distances using a ‘lunch time’ recharging stop to boost its range before recharging again overnight. I’ll discuss the approach to covering the distances concerned in more detail in another article.