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So we're having a heatwave....

Outside temperature is 110 deg F and my cabin temperature setting is at 74 deg F, in eco mode and Fan set to medium. After driving for about 5 miles in the city traffic, we came to a stop light. I noticed that the consumption on my instrument panel is flickering back and forth from 0.5 kW to 1 kW, and I can feel the A/C blowing. Since it is already cool, I said, I might as well increase the temperature for a higher setting to reduce power consumption. So I dialed it by 4 deg set to 78 deg F, and lo and behold, my power consumption shot up to 3 kW when I was expecting it to be steady to 0.5 kW.

I think the computer recalculated the need to turn on the A/C from idle to on every time you change the cabin air temperature settings until it stabilizes or equilibriated.
 

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So we're having a heatwave....

Outside temperature is 110 deg F and my cabin temperature setting is at 74 deg F, in eco mode and Fan set to medium. After driving for about 5 miles in the city traffic, we came to a stop light. I noticed that the consumption on my instrument panel is flickering back and forth from 0.5 kW to 1 kW, and I can feel the A/C blowing. Since it is already cool, I said, I might as well increase the temperature for a higher setting to reduce power consumption. So I dialed it by 4 deg set to 78 deg F, and lo and behold, my power consumption shot up to 3 kW when I was expecting it to be steady to 0.5 kW.

I think the computer recalculated the need to turn on the A/C from idle to on every time you change the cabin air temperature settings until it stabilizes or equilibriated.
If the cabin becomes too cold with temperature set to 73 F, medium fan and economy setting and you raise the temp to 77 F then the cabin electric heat may be triggered, that would account for the 3kw power usage at idle. Did you have the system set to recirculate? If you allow some outside air into the cabin the need for electric cabin heat would be reduced.
 

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110 deg's, must be nice. The higher the ambient temp gets, the more the TMS uses power to cool the battery. So if you start off with your ambient temp reading last nights temp, the ambient temp reading will not go up for a few miles so the system does not pick up heat from the radiator (even if the engine is not running, it does this on all cars). When the system starts to update and the ambient temp reading goes up, the TMS will require more a/c to cool the batteries. This happens to me when I park my car in our shop, inside shop temp at 90 degs, when I start off going home the temp reading is still 90 degs for a few miles. As the system updates to 119 degs, the a/c power meter starts to clime with the temp change. At this time, the internal battery temp has not changed but the system is proactive to protect the battery.
 

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If the cabin becomes too cold with temperature set to 73 F, medium fan and economy setting and you raise the temp to 77 F then the cabin electric heat may be triggered, that would account for the 3kw power usage at idle. Did you have the system set to recirculate? If you allow some outside air into the cabin the need for electric cabin heat would be reduced.
I'm voting for accidental heat, too. I've stopped even looking at the usage meters because it can drive you nuts. I just set the temp, press auto, and use comfort. I don't need to save those few hundred feet of range to get from point a to point B. And I don't want to subject my friends and coworker's to my BO.

Life was much simpler when cars didn't have this much telemetry. Might I suggest a giant roll of black electrical tape?
 

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I'm voting for accidental heat, too. I've stopped even looking at the usage meters because it can drive you nuts. I just set the temp, press auto, and use comfort. I don't need to save those few hundred feet of range to get from point a to point B. And I don't want to subject my friends and coworker's to my BO.

Life was much simpler when cars didn't have this much telemetry. Might I suggest a giant roll of black electrical tape?
That's how I drive in hot weather. Life is too short.
 

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So we're having a heatwave....

Outside temperature is 110 deg F and my cabin temperature setting is at 74 deg F, in eco mode and Fan set to medium. After driving for about 5 miles in the city traffic, we came to a stop light. I noticed that the consumption on my instrument panel is flickering back and forth from 0.5 kW to 1 kW, and I can feel the A/C blowing. Since it is already cool, I said, I might as well increase the temperature for a higher setting to reduce power consumption. So I dialed it by 4 deg set to 78 deg F, and lo and behold, my power consumption shot up to 3 kW when I was expecting it to be steady to 0.5 kW.

I think the computer recalculated the need to turn on the A/C from idle to on every time you change the cabin air temperature settings until it stabilizes or equilibriated.
What happens when you increase by one degree at a time? I know if I make a multi-degree change on my home HVAC it will turn the blower on to make the change occur as quickly as possible. I suspect the Volt's HVAC system does the same.
 

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I have noticed in my Gen 1 that it is possible to actually kick the heat on by doing that (as already mentioned by jcanoe). I am careful not to increase it by more than about 2 degrees at a time, or to switch to fan only mode for a short time to avoid triggering heat.
 

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I guess it could be trying to heat the cabin even if it is way above that temp outside.

I don't worry about it. Set to 74F-auto-comfort all the time. I will crank it down to 70F if I'm driving into the sunlight.
 

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So we're having a heatwave....

Outside temperature is 110 deg F and my cabin temperature setting is at 74 deg F, in eco mode and Fan set to medium. After driving for about 5 miles in the city traffic, we came to a stop light. I noticed that the consumption on my instrument panel is flickering back and forth from 0.5 kW to 1 kW, and I can feel the A/C blowing. Since it is already cool, I said, I might as well increase the temperature for a higher setting to reduce power consumption. So I dialed it by 4 deg set to 78 deg F, and lo and behold, my power consumption shot up to 3 kW when I was expecting it to be steady to 0.5 kW.

I think the computer recalculated the need to turn on the A/C from idle to on every time you change the cabin air temperature settings until it stabilizes or equilibriated.
Thank you for this aircon consumption tip!
 
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