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Pardon me for mildly hijacking your thread, but that's the primary LCD for an Opel Ampera, yes? Mind explaining what some of the icons are for? I'm curious what the white circular one just to the right of the green regeneration icon means- is it for the park assist? When you rotate that one to the center of the display, what does the display show?

And what's the green icon just below the battery range display (the one showing 36 km)? Is it the 'lane departure' system? What does the icon mean?

Thanks.

P.s. U.S. spec Volts don't have the regeneration meter, and I wish they did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's an American Chevy Volt, but a 2013 model. I just happen to like the metric system, so that's what I display.

To the right of the bottom of the battery image is the "Lane Departure Warning". It turns amber and beeps at you when you are leaving your lane (at speeds greater than 56km/h [35 mph]) unless you have your turn signal on.

When alerting, the "Forward Collision Alert" (FCA) system's icon is above the remaining distance value, next to the "positive" (top) end of the battery graphic. It doesn't come on until you are "approaching a vehicle directly ahead too quickly." At which time it also beeps. When the FCA alerts you, the brake system prepares for driver braking to occur more rapidly. The icon will stay red if you are also tailgating someone. One of the DIC screens is for the FCA.

It's somewhat eye-opening to see the DIC indicating how many seconds you have until possible impact! I've seen 2.0 secs, 1.5 secs, etc on some close calls! The frontal radar seems to be very accurate. The first week I had my Volt, I found myself playing around with, and having my eyes on, all the controls and menus, and the FCA saved me many times. I've become more "responsible" since then since I don't want to have to depend on that system. :(
 

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Nice picture. I was wondering if you were the one that likes to run their Volt in metric. Looks like it!

You have so many more icons on your screen than my 2011 Volt (the Ready icon, the lane departure icon and all the extras in the carousel of icons at the bottom of the screen). Makes me wonder how much more info they'll be able to put in there. I really like the power gauge showing how many kwh are going where.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice picture. I was wondering if you were the one that likes to run their Volt in metric. Looks like it!

You have so many more icons on your screen than my 2011 Volt (the Ready icon, the lane departure icon and all the extras in the carousel of icons at the bottom of the screen). Makes me wonder how much more info they'll be able to put in there. I really like the power gauge showing how many kwh are going where.
Thanks. Yes, that's me--I got my metric going on. :) I think the sky is the limit as to more features with every new model year.

Thanks for the screen capture. This chart has some numbers on it.
Thanks for the chart. I'm glad it uses the metric system! LOL! ;)
 

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Not that this is based in any hard, determined numbers, but if your gauge is representative, 34 kW is only at about 50%. That, though, does go in line with what others have determined about max regeneration rates, which are quite high.
 

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Ah my fav display. When on battery, the display needs no explenation, but when the ICE kicks in, I'm still trying to learn what is going on. in Power trip's pic, the green bar shows regen to the battery. What is the opinion of those with '13s (do International Volts/Amperas have this?) My guess:

When the ICE is running, some situations show ICE power out (yellow bar on right) with a green bar on the left, sometimes tailing down (regen?), sometimes yellow on both sides (power to the traction motor?) and sometimes yellow right/green left with the green not tailing down (battery charge?). The value (kw/h) appears to be the amount of saved or used energy passing to the battery and/or traction motor. What say you?
 

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Based on a recent long trip where I played with every mode/condition possible, here’s how the “hockey sticks” appear to work:

Left Yellow up – power from battery to wheels
Left Green up- power from engine-generator to battery.
Left Green down - power from wheels to battery (regen braking)

Right Yellow up - power from engine-generator to wheels.

In CD mode, you'll see either Left yellow up (power from battery to wheels) or Left Green down (power from wheels to battery -regen brake)

In CS mode, you'll see Right Yellow. With a long braking sequence, the Right Yellow will disappear and engine will temporarily shut off and you'll see Left green for regen. Once stopped, you'll temporarily see just Left Yellow, as the Volt will run on battery-only when "idling" at a stop and at very low speeds. It's interesting to see how the ancillary loads (lights, heater, AC) affect the idle kW load. I have also seen both Right Yellow and Left yellow as both engine and battery feed power to the wheels - under heavy climbing load or acceleration. you can also see the power flows on the center stack display on the Energy Info screen.

In Mountain mode under light load, you'll also see Right Yellow and Left Green when the engine-generator is both feeding power to the wheels and power to the battery to get it ready for the next climb.

Interestingly, I sometimes see a little Left Green in "Normal" or "Hold" CS mode with the engine under load, indicating the engine-generator is feeding a little power to the battery in addition to powering the wheels, usually when I've backed off on the accelerator some, but not all the way (still powering the wheels lightly). The power management software must let the engine ramp down slowly by temporarily diverting some generator power to the battery.

This new DIC feature for the 2013's has been very fun to follow - very informative on the subtleties of the power flow algorithms. I really like "Hold' too. I'm experimenting on how to optimize my mileage in the diverse terrain/speed situations we have here in rural Northern California.
 

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Based on a recent long trip where I played with every mode/condition possible, here’s how the “hockey sticks” appear to work:
I'm thinking from this description that your trip covering every possible mode/condition didn't include a prolonged period in steady state at less than 65 mph or so. If it had, you'd have seen some other interesting things happen - in that range, the car will be continuously feeding a little power to the battery while the engine is on, and then it'll periodically shut the engine off for a mile or two to burn that charge off (because the car is drawing less power than the engine produces at the 1400 rpm lowest operating speed at wide open throttle, and GM chose this as more efficient than throttling the engine.)

I'm envious of the display, but from DashDAQ, I know what the car is up to. Except in freeway cruise (well, technically there's a little then, but it's usually less than one kW one way or the other,) there's always some power flowing to or from the battery, even when the engine is on. :)
 

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Based on a recent long trip where I played with every mode/condition possible, here’s how the “hockey sticks” appear to work:

Left Yellow up – power from battery to wheels
Left Green up- power from engine-generator to battery.
Left Green down - power from wheels to battery (regen braking)

Right Yellow up - power from engine-generator to wheels.

In CD mode, you'll see either Left yellow up (power from battery to wheels) or Left Green down (power from wheels to battery -regen brake)

In CS mode, you'll see Right Yellow. With a long braking sequence, the Right Yellow will disappear and engine will temporarily shut off and you'll see Left green for regen. Once stopped, you'll temporarily see just Left Yellow, as the Volt will run on battery-only when "idling" at a stop and at very low speeds. It's interesting to see how the ancillary loads (lights, heater, AC) affect the idle kW load. I have also seen both Right Yellow and Left yellow as both engine and battery feed power to the wheels - under heavy climbing load or acceleration. you can also see the power flows on the center stack display on the Energy Info screen.

In Mountain mode under light load, you'll also see Right Yellow and Left Green when the engine-generator is both feeding power to the wheels and power to the battery to get it ready for the next climb.

Interestingly, I sometimes see a little Left Green in "Normal" or "Hold" CS mode with the engine under load, indicating the engine-generator is feeding a little power to the battery in addition to powering the wheels, usually when I've backed off on the accelerator some, but not all the way (still powering the wheels lightly). The power management software must let the engine ramp down slowly by temporarily diverting some generator power to the battery.

This new DIC feature for the 2013's has been very fun to follow - very informative on the subtleties of the power flow algorithms. I really like "Hold' too. I'm experimenting on how to optimize my mileage in the diverse terrain/speed situations we have here in rural Northern California.

I'm coming to the same conclusion. One last mystery for me though... When the engine is running and there is regen or "extra generator output", what does the numeric value represent? Total power from motor/generator, the extra energy going to the battery, or power to the traction motor?

Also, an observation... I've noticed something that may be common to all Volts when the gas motor is running I swear I can detect the direct coupling of the engine to the planetary gears at part to low throttle above 67 MPH... feels like a very slight surge when it happens. Like a conventional automatic transmission going into lock...
 

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I'm coming to the same conclusion. One last mystery for me though... When the engine is running and there is regen or "extra generator output", what does the numeric value represent? Total power from motor/generator, the extra energy going to the battery, or power to the traction motor?
The numerical value is the energy flow out of the battery (positive = discharging, negative = charging).

Without the ICE (or in CD mode) running, that is the power to drive the electric engines + the power needed for all the other electrical loads in the Volt. At idle, it will show a battery discharge of 0.5kW if no heavy loads is on. If you floor the pedal, it will show over 100kW battery discharge, nearly all of which flows to electric engine (MG2). The resolution of the numerical value is 0.5kW, so it can be a few hundreds of Watts off.

With the ICE running (CS mode) the electric power generated by MG1 is added to the mix. In any drive mode except mountain mode, the computer regulates the rpm and power output of the ICE to be such that the average power generated is the same as is consumed. Any instantaneous energy deficit (e.g. during acceleration) is pulled from the battery, while any energy surplus (during coasting or regen braking) is put back in the battery as a buffer to provide the extra pull needed during acceleration. On average it will keep the battery charge level constant, playing with a few hundred Wh buffer range to maximize efficiency.

What is displayed is this power flow in and out of the battery, not the power flow to the electric engine.

In mountain mode the Volt will deliberately generate more energy than needed in the next minute to charge the battery. The gas engine is only half as strong as MG2, so it will not be able to sustain long uphill drives requiring more that 75hp (56kW) continuos power. The added buffer for mountain mode comes at a price of a lower MPG, because the series hybrid conversion (gas -> mechanical -> electrical -> battery/chemical -> electrical -> mechanical) is more efficient with the battery out of the loop for the bulk of the energy flow. In steady state its generally better to send the energy generated by MG1 directly to the MG2 drive motor, rather than it 'detour' though the battery. On the other hand, the most efficient sweetspot of the gas engine is at about 2200 rpm, which could be more or less than the instantaneous energy demand. The computer optimizes this game of engine rpm and battery charge.

At steady highway driving Voltec will couple the gas engine to the wheels to take inefficiency of the 'detour' mechanical -> electrical -> mechanical out. In that case it will still siphon off some electrical power from MG1 to power the rest of the systems and to prevent MG2 from running backwards. At lower highway speeds the ICE rpm would be too low to run power-efficient, so the preceding happens only at speeds about some 60mph. At lower speeds Voltec will not couple the gas engine, but instead attempt to run the ICE at its energy-optimal rpm, and occasionally switch it off to burn off the buffered energy.
 
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