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 Post subject: Testing our cabin air filter on wildfire smoke
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:44 am
Posts: 160
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I picked up an inexpensive air quality sensor to test my home recently and then decided to test how well the Tesla Model 3 and the RAV4 EV could clear the smoky air we’ve been getting from the California wildfires. (The Model 3 doesn’t have the Model X’s fancy “biodefense mode” or huge HEPA filters.)

Here’s the video of the initial Model 3 test I did:

https://youtu.be/MLcGaOV4XCI

The Model 3’s cabin filter did alright at removing particulates when on recycle air, but I then wanted to see how that compared to our RAV4 EV’s.

The starting air quality wasn’t nearly as bad as my initial test in the video above (PM2.5 reading of 150 μg/m^3), but both were able to filter the cabin down to a reading of zero from a start of 50 μg/m^3 with recycle air turned on. At full fan speed, the RAV4 took about 10 minutes and the Model 3 was able to do it in about 3-4 minutes.

With recycle air turned off (fresh air intake on), the PM2.5 reading in both cars climbed up again. The Tesla was able to hold it around the low to mid 30's while the RAV4 went up to essentially the outside reading of 50 μg/m3 again.

One other thing of note is that the RAV4 had a higher concentration of TVOC (total volatile organic compounds), even though the vehicle is five years old. Presumably this is off-gassing of some of the materials in the cabin.

Oh, and I forgot to turn off A/C in the RAV4 for the test – hence the temperature drop.

Here's more detail in screenshots – RAV4 start and finish with recycle on:

Image Image

Model 3 start and finish with recycle on:

Image Image

On a subsequent four-hour drive to Tahoe in the Model 3, I encountered much worse air along the way (San Jose, Central Valley, Sacramento, etc). I’d guess the PM2.5 count was easily at least 150 μg/m^3 and probably much higher in places, but I avoided opening the windows to test it. I kept the air on recycle and saw that the particle count held down around 20 but sometimes climb to the 30’s. Not bad, given how bad it was outside.

[I didn’t add all those links to Tesla and the Model 3, that’s apparently the forum software doing that.]


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 Post subject: Re: Testing our cabin air filter on wildfire smoke
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:55 pm
Posts: 149
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Interesting data, Thanks!

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Regards,
Al Savage
2014 Rav4 EV, Shoreline Blue Pearl, #2609, first use 04Jun2014, 49k miles (Aug2017), OpenEVSE 40A. First DU replacement May2018 59k.
2018 Model 3 LR AWD, blue. 9.6kw solar
1999 E300 on B100 (sold Sep2018)
http://nissandiesel.dyndns.org


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