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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:31 am 
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fooljoe wrote:
I think it is nice that seeing the raw entune data allows RavCharge to display an actual %SOC rather than just the 16 bars the car gives or the pretty but useless picture of a battery that the entune app gives, but we definitely need lots of testing to figure out what exactly these numbers map to as far as usable kwh.
Yeah, the funny thing is that the Entune iPhone app has 20 segments while the dash has 16! I think the app programmers got the 0-100 input data and rounded to 5% and displayed that without even knowing what the dash display was.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:43 am 
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miimura wrote:
Yeah, the funny thing is that the Entune iPhone app has 20 segments while the dash has 16! I think the app programmers got the 0-100 input data and rounded to 5% and displayed that without even knowing what the dash display was.
And they didn't even round properly, apparently. I'm sitting here with 84% SOC and the entune app shows a battery at the 80% tick instead of 85%. They just chose to be extra conservative and take the floor instead of rounding to the nearest 5% I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:39 pm 
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Joe, yes, RavCharger does indeed work and works very well.

Last night, I did my third "test" of RavCharger. I had previously set Timer1 to initiate a schedule charge just after midnight, but with the car left unplugged. Entunes itself (in the car) was set for a delayed departure at 6:50am. I'm pleased to report, I have since not received any Entunes email notifications saying, "Failure to charge due to being unplugged".

This means the last modification to RavCharge I believe you made, i.e. "Plug Check", when enabled, will first do a check for plug-in status, and if not, SKIP the scheduled charge. I'm pleased to report that this new functionality is working fine. I received no emails of any kind whatsoever at any time all last night. However, I can tell from checking Entunes itself on my iPhone, that it was last updated at 12:22am last night. That must be when RavCharge attempted a final status check, while the car was still unplugged. Thus, no additional attempts to charge were sent after that, nor any emails.

As previously discussed, it probably still would be okay NOT to do "Plug Check" on final charge start attempt, 20 minutes after the initial attempts. This would then result in only ONE email notification of "Failure to charge due to unplugged", but none would result from earlier attempts with Plug Check still enabled.

There will be occasions when this Entunes email notification should be permitted by RavCharge, because there will times when a failure to charge due to the car being unplugged, was NOT intentional, just forgotten. In such cases, a reminder might be useful. However, the Entunes notification only needs to be sent once.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:30 pm 
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Dsinned wrote:
Joe, if you were to implement another "slider bar" to adjust the degradation factor as a variable, similar to what you did already for inputting the average miles driven per kWh, I think this would work quite well in RavCharger. 100% can be the default which would apply to all cars still fairly new, or with minimal mileage. To resolve any apparent inaccuracies in the range calculation, each user of RavCharger can change the battery capacity setting to whatever they see fit.

Using the results from RavCharger after doing a normal charge, I did a simple calculation on my own car. I applied a multiplier, representing the "degradation factor", to full normal (useable) battery capacity, assuming 33.44kWh when new. I mulitiplied by 0.96, representing -4% of lost useable battery capacity. This seems rather high, but it improved RavCharger's prediction of my estimated range to be in closer agreement with the GoM based on the running average miles/kWh readings in the car.

I would like to believe the total degradation of my battery will not exceed -20% in five years, or -40% in ten years, but I really have no idea.

My car is currently almost 11 months old, always parked outdoors, recharged ~50 times, with only ~4200 miles on the odo. I think my GoM calibration is overly conservative, by about 0.2mi/kWh. Either that, or my battery degradation is even more than expected at this point in time. Hopefully this does not necessarily mean I will lose nearly as much useable capacity over all the years I own the car. I think a total degradation loss of 20% in ten years (which in my case, may correspond to total miles driven of maybe 50,000).

Furthermore, I doubt that battery degradation has a linear relationship to either miles driven or the service life of the car. I'm sure the actual rate of degradation overall, is far more complicated to determine and each battery is uniquely different.

Another member here ("Kohler") is doing an experiment to help determine a typical RAV4 EV's Li-ion cell's degradation in terms of discharge/recharging cycles. I believe he is trying to simulate 100,000 miles of operation in the car. After he has completed testing, perhaps you could apply whatever results he obtains as a "fixed" amount of degradation per mileage on the car, and even simpler approach in RavCharge. So far, in Kohler's simulation testing, I think he has observed a rate of degradation to be actually quite low.

Again, a "slider bar" with min/max limits within reason (?? to 100%), is probably the best and all you can do.


Yes, my tests have just passed the 45k mile mark. After 100k miles I'll share the report and graphs with everyone. For summary though, I see the capacity around ~93%, with the amount lost decreasing with miles (i.e. 3% loss first 10k miles, then 2% next 10k, then 1% next 10k, then <1% next 10k and so on. Differences due to depth of discharge and Extended vs Std charge seem to be very minor.
Just a reminder, my tests do not take calendar life into consideration or temperature excursions.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:06 am 
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Greetings everybody,

I've just implemented the long-awaited battery degradation slider, which you can find in a new 'Settings' area accessible by navigating to the 'Menu' button in the upper left. Choose however many kwh you think your battery holds after a full normal charge, and the approximate kwh and range estimating tools will be updated accordingly. Read a couple posts up for a method to determine what your value should be.

Also in the new settings area you'll find a field to enter a contact email address. By default this will be the same as your entune login email, but if you wish to change it to something else you can do that here. I'll use this address if I ever need to contact you regarding your account, and if/when I implement RavCharge notifications at some point in the future.

Also with this update I decided to make the "plug check" feature the default behavior for everybody. Looking through the logs, it's quite common for people to have timers trying to charge when they're unplugged, fully charged, or both. The plug check feature, which a few "early adopters" have been using with no problems for the past few days, will eliminate numerous unnecessary charge commands being sent to entune, and will also spare you a ton of entune spam. Because this feature performs a status update before sending the charge command, charges will typically start 1-2 minutes later than the time you specify. Read all about it a few posts up, and contact me if you have a compelling reason to want to go back to the old behavior.

Thanks for using RavCharge!

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Cool! Thank you! With both sliders available now, I think my range prediction can be "tweeked" to more closely match my GoM. I think the latter (as calibrated by Toyota/Tesla) reads too low vs. actual, but I'd rather it be overly conservative, so that I don't ever accidently run out of juice at low battery levels.

Please take the following with a grain of salt, as I could be quilty of nitpicking:

1. When I adjusted the new slider under Menu>Settings, is the new value for battery capacity saved automatically, or should I press "Refresh", "Update" or "Save email" (even thou my default email address is already correct)?

2. Can you add a "Home" selection to the picklist on the new "Menu"? I noticed you can go back to the Home screen anytime by simply pressing "Unplugged" at the bottom of any screen, so perhaps that button should be relabeled "Home", and a new field should be put on the home screen somewhere that contains the plug status. Also, on the iPhone, an "i" superimposed on a round button usually means it is to be pressed for "Information" (or a Help screen). This is not the case in RavCharge, but perhaps such a button should exist with online help information/instructions for new users to the app.

3. Now, RavCharge's range estimator is directly proportional to both slider settings for average miles/kWh AND batt cap, which is good. However, I think desireable to have both sliders on the same screen, so that the influence either one (or both) have on range, can be readily seen on the same display screen.

4. Is there a way to make the Goggle Map zoom out/in, or use the iPhone's touch screen two finger enlarge/contract gestures? Even when turning the phone sideways, the map does not change in overall size.

5. Could you move "Menu" and "Refresh" to the bottom of the home screen, so all available commands (5 now) stay fixed and do not scroll off the screen?

Joe, I hope these comments are helpful, and please keep up the good work! Thanks again!

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Dsinned wrote:
1. When I adjusted the new slider under Menu>Settings, is the new value for battery capacity saved automatically, or should I press "Refresh", or do I have to select "Save email" even thou my (default) email address is already correct?
It's saved automatically.
Dsinned wrote:
2. Can you add a "Home" selection to the picklist on the new "Menu"? I noticed you can go back to the Home screen anytime by simply pressing "Unplugged" at the bottom of any screen, so perhaps that button should be relabeled "Home"?
You can exit the settings area and go directly to the area of your choice by pressing any of the 3 buttons at the bottom. I'll consider adding a link to the default area from the menu.
Dsinned wrote:
Also, on the iPhone, an "i" superimposed on a round button usually means it is for "Information" (or a Help screen).
That was the idea. The 'i' button maps to the area where you get information about how much charge/range you have, you can update that information, and you can see where your car is. But that said, I know the choice of icons isn't ideal - I went with a framework that only provided a few icons to choose from. At some point maybe my wife will make us some custom icons that are a bit more meaningful.
Dsinned wrote:
3. Should RavCharge's range estimator value be directly proportional to both slider settings for average miles/kWh AND batt cap? Adjustments to the batt cap do not appear to effect the range value.
Adjusting the capacity should automatically update both the approximate charge and the estimated range when you go to the information screen. Maybe you just didn't change your capacity value enough to make a perceptible difference - try sliding it all the way down to 20 and you should notice it. Or perhaps just wait a second or two after changing it to allow the app to save the value. On an iPhone you can tell that the app is still saving if there's a little spinny thing in between the "4G" and the time at the top of your screen. Just about every browser out there should give some indication that it's communicating/waiting for data from the server.
Dsinned wrote:
4. Is there a way to make the Goggle Map zoom out/in, or use the iPhone's touch screen two finger enlarge/contract gestures? Even when turning the phone sideways, the map does not change in overall size.
I plan to look into this. The Google Maps API offers all kinds of neat things, but I just stuck in a static image as that part of the app is way down on my list of priorities. Perhaps what I'll do in the near term is at least make the map clickable so you can press it to take you to the google maps webpage or your maps app and actually do things with the location information.
Dsinned wrote:
5. Could you move "Menu" and "Refresh" to the bottom of the home screen, so all available commands (5) stay fixed and do not scroll off the screen?
I'm not sure about moving them to the bottom, as cramming all 5 commands down there would probably be too busy. There's probably a way to make sure the header bar stays fixed at the top of your screen - that might be a better solution.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:29 pm 
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Dsinned wrote:
3. Now, RavCharge's range estimator is directly proportional to both slider settings for average miles/kWh AND batt cap, which is good. However, I think desireable to have both sliders on the same screen, so that the influence either one (or both) have on range, can be readily seen on the same display screen.

Joe, I realized the range estimator does indeed save automatically, so I rephrased this comment as shown above, which you were unaware of when you responded. I think this is still something you might want to consider in the next update to the app. TIA.

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https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/TRVh161550


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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Dsinned wrote:
3. Now, RavCharge's range estimator is directly proportional to both slider settings for average miles/kWh AND batt cap, which is good. However, I think desireable to have both sliders on the same screen, so that the influence either one (or both) have on range, can be readily seen on the same display screen.
I did and will continue to consider this, but my thinking is that the battery capacity slider is better suited for a "tucked away" area like the settings page. This is something that you should set once and only rarely change as your capacity gradually tapers off (or perhaps vary seasonally), while your expected efficiency will vary from drive to drive. Plus the information screen is already the most cluttered area of the app, so I'm not excited about the idea of adding more to it. But thanks for all the suggestions!

While we're making suggestions, what's everybody's opinion about what RavCharge should cost? As I mentioned from the outset, so far everyone's been on a free 14-day trial, after which there will be an annual fee for the service. I like the idea of an annual fee rather than a fixed amount because the costs to run the app are recurring, including servers/hosting, domain name registration, SSL certificate authorities, and of course keeping me motivated to continue with development and customer service. Plus it's the nature of the app that Toyota could elect to change their system and shut us down at any time, so I don't want to give the impression that you can just "buy the app" and expect it to work indefinitely. And I'm not excited about the idea of looking for "alternative" sources of revenue like advertising.

Consider also that there's very limited upside to this app - as we all know there will only ever be 2600 Rav4-EVs out there, and I'd probably be lucky to convert 1/20th of that number into paying users. Right now we're at about 50 users out of the ~1000 Ravs already out there, and it remains to be seen how many of you guys will choose to pay for the service after your trials are up. So if it's going to be worth my time to keep this running the fee's going to have to be a decent amount.

I'd like to think RavCharge provides an essential feature (namely the start timer, but lots of other cool features as well) that our $50k cars are otherwise lacking, and the chances of Toyota ever adding it themselves are slim to none. With the Rav4-EV out for almost a year, they haven't even bothered to fix the most glaring and simple bug of all, that the charge timer doesn't work on 31st days. That one cost me at least $5 in electricity and hours of my time on 8/31, as I was all set to head out for a Labor Day weekend trip and woke up with an empty battery.

Anyway, I've stated my case, so please let me know what your honest assessment of a fair price is, and I'll be working on a system to implement payments. In the meantime, I expect some of my earliest adopters whose 14 days are just about up will be getting a few days' "grace period", but no promises!

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:42 pm 
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I would send you $30-$50 by Paypal for a year of service. No e-commerce site necessary. You could just set up a special e-mail and Paypal account to receive the money and have people put their Entune e-mail in the payment note so you can connect it with the right account.

PS. I agree that the capacity slider should be on the settings page, not the main status page.

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