Thoughts on using generator to charge

dodger1964

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Looking for advice (will this work or not??).

I'm considering buying a Cybertruck.

Worried about charging on long trips. (we will be driving back and forth to Alaska from lower 48)

What are thoughts about bringing a portable generator and recharging truck using that when other options aren't available?

Thanks for any insights!
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ldjessee

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I think once we know what onboard charger the CyberTruck will have, it might change things, but I think a quality 10K generator would be a good balance between size and power production...
I would probably consider propane fueled generator, but as long as you carry enough and find enough along the way, should not be a problem...

After looking, there are a few RV campsites from Edmonton to Alaska (depending on the route you plan on taking)... but I was shocked at the number of superchargers and destination chargers in the area...
 

Crissa

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As long as the generator provides a clear overhead of power (1.5-2x more than the charger requires), a 240v circuit with enough amperage, and a pure sine wave (or a very good approximation) you should be fine ^-^

Advantage electric: It doesn't care what the fuel is for the generator. Wind, solar, hydro, propane, diesel, gasoline...

-Crissa
 

ajdelange

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No, please, not this one again!

The facts are:
1)There is no problem charging a Tesla with a generator. It is true that Tesla advises against charging with "privately owned" generators. In so doing they are advising against charging from a source that may well provide power that is appreciably cleaner than what comes from your utility. But you may want to keep this caveat in mind.
2)The chargers on Tesla vehicles (except for some older ones) are limited to 11.52 kW input. A generator that produces half that amount of power will take twice as long to charge as can be obtained from a wall charger capable of the full amount.
3)The vehicle looks for 120VAC between hot and the earth wire. Normally a portable generator will not provide that. Unless this difficulty is properly overcome (grounding rod) there is some danger to personnel.
4)There are generators and generators i.e. some very good ones and some real POS. It seems a good metric is THD. If THD is under 3% [Edit] 5-6% then the generator is pretty good. Note that purely mechanical generators can produce that so that the common advice that you must use a pure sinewave generator is bad advice but pure sine does convey other advantages (and cost).
 
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dodger1964

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No, please, not this one again!

The facts are:
1)There is no problem charging a Tesla with a generator. It is true that Tesla advises against ...

.

Thanks for all the replies...I am really only thinking of using a generator in very limited circumstances...just don't want to be stuck 200 miles from nowhere with absolutely no way to charge truck!
 

ldjessee

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Thanks for all the replies...I am really only thinking of using a generator in very limited circumstances...just don't want to be stuck 200 miles from nowhere with absolutely no way to charge truck!
Just bring a grounding stake and wire and you will be fine.
 

ajdelange

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Note that I edited No. 5 to relax the THD number to 5 - 6%. I don't see any reason why the charger would have any trouble with that level.

It's a bit more complicated than just bringing a grounding rod. You obviously need to bring a hammer to drive it and, unless you are Supeman you aren't going to be able to pull it out and so will need one for each location at which you plan to stop and charge. Also the grounding rod must be bonded to the frame and the frame then bonded to the neutral. Do all this and you have put together a properly earthed "separately derived system" which meets NEC requirements.

Then there is the question of transport of the generator and fuel. Never bring compressed flammable gas into the cab of a vehicle. My sister knew a guy who did that - once. Petrol can be safely transported in properly designed containers.
 

MUSK007

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Get the Tri-Motor and you have a better chance of not getting stuck with no juice.
 

Crissa

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It's a bit more complicated than just bringing a grounding rod. You obviously need to bring a hammer to drive it and, unless you are Supeman you aren't going to be able to pull it out ...
Use locking pliers to spin the rod, and that hammer to break it free from the ground.

But usually chargers don't notice the quality of the ground.

-Crissa
 

ReddykwRun

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Note that I edited No. 5 to relax the THD number to 5 - 6%. I don't see any reason why the charger would have any trouble with that level.

It's a bit more complicated than just bringing a grounding rod. You obviously need to bring a hammer to drive it and, unless you are Supeman you aren't going to be able to pull it out and so will need one for each location at which you plan to stop and charge. Also the grounding rod must be bonded to the frame and the frame then bonded to the neutral. Do all this and you have put together a properly earthed "separately derived system" which meets NEC requirements.

Then there is the question of transport of the generator and fuel. Never bring compressed flammable gas into the cab of a vehicle. My sister knew a guy who did that - once. Petrol can be safely transported in properly designed containers.
Thanks AJ for saving the day, I figured you would have it all scoped out.

On that note, so I have a 20kw standby generator permanently and properly installed on my home I should be in the green then? I have Multiple 8' ground rods, one at the meter panel which is located next to my transfer switch and standby generator, all of which are located on the edge of the property and another next to my house mounted breaker panel. I live down on the Gulf Coast, and sometimes the hurricanes play games with our utility grid down here.
 
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ajdelange

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On that note, so I have a 20kw standby generator permanently and properly installed on my home I should be in the green then?
Yes, absolutely. Of course Tesla says you shouldn't do that unless you are in public housing.

My generator is set up to shed the charging circuits for the car when it comes on because of the ineptitude of the electrician and utility which turns out to be a good thing as the electricity you generate with your home generator is lots more expensive than that which you buy from the utility. To fully charge the X from the utility would cost me about $6, To fully charge from the generator would cost over $100. So top off if you anticipate an outage and only charge from the generator if you have to (I can flip a switch and reverse the shedding). Also keep in mind that an 11.5 kW Tesla charger is over half the capacity of your generator and you generator may start complaining at 80% load. So crank the charging level back to 5 kW or so if you have to charge from the genny.
 

ldjessee

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Note that I edited No. 5 to relax the THD number to 5 - 6%. I don't see any reason why the charger would have any trouble with that level.

It's a bit more complicated than just bringing a grounding rod. You obviously need to bring a hammer to drive it and, unless you are Supeman you aren't going to be able to pull it out and so will need one for each location at which you plan to stop and charge. Also the grounding rod must be bonded to the frame and the frame then bonded to the neutral. Do all this and you have put together a properly earthed "separately derived system" which meets NEC requirements.

Then there is the question of transport of the generator and fuel. Never bring compressed flammable gas into the cab of a vehicle. My sister knew a guy who did that - once. Petrol can be safely transported in properly designed containers.
Yes, a hammer. To get it out, tap the sides near the ground with the hammer, then pull it out. Has worked with all kinds of stakes, from tent pegs to 4 foot long grounding rods (landing in the 'field' helicopters).
 

ajdelange

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OK. I was thinking of the 8' rods but I guess a 4 footer should be fine in this application. One might want to soak the ground around the shorter rod with water or better yet salt water.
 

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No, please, not this one again!

The facts are:
1)There is no problem charging a Tesla with a generator. It is true that Tesla advises against charging with "privately owned" generators. In so doing they are advising against charging from a source that may well provide power that is appreciably cleaner than what comes from your utility. But you may want to keep this caveat in mind.
2)The chargers on Tesla vehicles (except for some older ones) are limited to 11.52 kW input. A generator that produces half that amount of power will take twice as long to charge as can be obtained from a wall charger capable of the full amount.
3)The vehicle looks for 120VAC between hot and the earth wire. Normally a portable generator will not provide that. Unless this difficulty is properly overcome (grounding rod) there is some danger to personnel.
4)There are generators and generators i.e. some very good ones and some real POS. It seems a good metric is THD. If THD is under 3% [Edit] 5-6% then the generator is pretty good. Note that purely mechanical generators can produce that so that the common advice that you must use a pure sinewave generator is bad advice but pure sine does convey other advantages (and cost).
LOL... I was reading through the posts wondering when you'd lament the "why didn't you search before making a new thread" of this.
 

ReddykwRun

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OK. I was thinking of the 8' rods but I guess a 4 footer should be fine in this application. One might want to soak the ground around the shorter rod with water or better yet salt water.
Saltwater? Bottled or Natural :rolleyes:
Frank always taught me.
"Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow"
 
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