My first fill up + range experiment

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by teedee, Jan 29, 2018.

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Would you like to see my range estimates after driving 100 miles each day?

  1. Yes, I'm curious

    7 vote(s)
  2. No, don't bother

    0 vote(s)
  1. teedee

    teedee New Member

    It's been almost 3 weeks and I finally went to the pump today. I was hoping to go a month before filling up but we didn't get the level 2 charger set up until a week after purchase. As with many others who have reported inaccuracies with the range estimates, I got a nice big (false) number...641 HV range. I wonder if it uses the average mpg in the calculation - mine's at 161.5 mpg. The car took a little over 5 gallons of gas.

    I have some photos but will need to figure out how to upload them to this site (if that functionality is available.) Otherwise I'll need to find a place to host them.

    So the reason I started a new thread on this topic is because I'm thinking about documenting my range estimates as an experiment. I'm starting a new job tomorrow with a 50 mile commute, one way. Both starting and ending locations are near the freeway exits so it will be almost all highway miles. However, in Southern California traffic, it will take approximately 1.5-2 hrs each way. If this community is interested, I can post my daily range numbers here. Please vote to let me know.

    I'm hoping I can go a whole work week on a tank of gas but now I'm a little concerned about it because I don't think there are charging stations at my new office and the car's range estimates can't be trusted. I don't want to be caught out of gas on the 405. Is there a fuel notification light that will come on when the tank is low? If so, how many miles are left once the light appears?
    Kendalf likes this.
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  3. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    In the interest of ‘more information is better’, I vote yes. Thanks and welcome aboard. :)

    You can post pix using the photo icon within the text box, but you may need a certain number of posts to be able to do that. Many forums behave that way.
  4. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Feel like I'm at confession, but "It's been 7 weeks since my last fill-up…" (which is how long I've had my new car - but my last time at the gas station was 11/17/17 according to Fuelly - so it's actually been more than two months!)

    In fact, after more than 800 miles, the fuel gauge still shows almost half a tank left. I've already had to watch a month's worth of gas rewards disappear because they expired. Woe is me! LOL

    btw, I'd be interested in seeing your numbers, so count me as a YES
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  5. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We are going to make it through the month of January without filling up at a gas station (okay there was that gas station stop out of curiosity which amounted to 0.2 gallons and $0.67) , and that includes our 4Runner which is rarely driven. Actually the last fill up at a gas station was December 20th. Our solar system came on line on January.

    Solar started on Jan 16 and I have records for the Clarity from that date. The Clarity has used 273.6 kWh and the solar system has generated 169.5 kWh. So we haven't driven only on solar but there will be months when we will. We've had a rainy (5 inches) cloudy January, and the winter sun angle is low so the system isn't operating anywhere near peak. On the sunny days the solar did generate more than the car used.

    As examples:
    - Jan 20 car=10kW solar=28kW
    - Jan 23 car=19kW solar=25kW

    So it is quite possible the system will power the car most days of the year. Redding CA is the 2nd sunniest city in America after Yuma AZ. I'm hoping for many 50kW days from the solar system. I'm looking forward to the day, not that far off, when we will have had 1 megawatt generated from the solar system. The idea of solar + plug-in hybrid was a single decision so they go hand in hand.

    Our combined car gas and electricity bills for 2017 totaled $3,552 (Prius had a lot to do with low gas cost); nearly a 50/50 split. I expect to cut that total by about $2,000 due to the solar and great EV range of the Clarity.

    An interesting note from our house in 2017. I went room to room and replaced every incandescent bulb in the house with LED. I was shocked to end up counting 96 incandescent bulbs replaced by the time I was done. It just seemed outlandish but there were bulbs in odd places. For example, 4 bulbs in the refrigerator, 2 under the microwave, 2 in the garage door opener, a bulb above the furnace which is in our attic crawl space, and more. We have six ceiling fans, each with four bulbs. We even replaced the 4' fluorescent bulbs with LED and that alone totaled 12. We're actually pretty diligent about turning lights off so I doubt if those LED bulbs will amount to too much electricity savings, but it will mean more power available for the Clarity.
  6. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    You're doing pretty well on production for January. Our highest production so far this month was today with 27.85 kWh (6kW system). So I'm thinking we'll probably max out somewhere around 35-40kWh/day as time goes by. There'll be more heat loss as we get into summer months.
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  8. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    You're right about the loss due to the hot sun. I forgot about that. Too bad just at the time when the sun is most intense the system looses power. We have daytime highs over 100 for weeks at a time in the July-Sept timeframe, often up into the 108-112 area.

    Right now I'm trying to figure out the logic of the installing company putting in a 5000w max inverter on a system designed for 6.57kW. My daily graphs are clipped at 5000w the few times we've had enough sunlight recently.
  9. teedee

    teedee New Member

    Thanks for the tip! I'll check later when I have a few more posts :)
  10. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    I'd call 'em up and ask about it. Ours is 10kw - I found out when I asked if there was room for additional panels in the future, they said with 10kW inverter, we had plenty of room. You may be making more energy than the system can report, but you're still making it.

    I know it gets hot up there. I spent several summer weeks working in Red Bluff several years in a row back in the 90's (when temps were well into the 90's before breakfast! LOL) Hot, hot, hot! Thank heavens for AC…
  11. teedee

    teedee New Member

    Day 1
    Started with Total 683 (43 EV, 641 HV)
    Ended with 527 HV, 0 EV
    Drove 102.7 miles mostly in Econ mode but occasionally switched to Sport
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  13. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Teedee, you can see how inaccurate the HV range indicator is. Assuming you actually got a full 43 EV miles (you may have gotten even less), you only drove a bit less than 60 HV miles, yet you lost 114 miles of HV range.

    That’s almost double of what an accurate range indicator should have lost. We’re all having this issue, so it’s not just your car. There’s a real issue with these range indicators.

    In reality, with a full 7 gallon tank, the HV range should be more like 300 miles (42x7)...actually 294 if we wanted to be precise.
  14. teedee

    teedee New Member

    I'm taking photos each day so maybe I can send them to my local dealer and ask them to submit a service ticket to Honda.

    I've also started a Google sheet to track the data each day.

    Do we know if the fuel gauge is accurate on this car?
  15. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    The fuel 'gauge', the graphical depiction of the fuel remaining, is more accurate than the numerical readout. The exact opposite is true of the electrical range. In that case the numerical readout is far more accurate than the graphical depiction of range remaining. It's very strange and like nothing I've seen in any of the hybrids or electric cars I've owned. Those include the Ford Fusion PHEV, Hyundai Sonata PHEV, Tesla Model S and now the Clarity. The other cars were/are far more accurate in their estimates.
    dstrauss likes this.
  16. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    That type of sizing is standard. One reason is that panels make rated power only for a short period of time, if at all (heat, electrical loss, clouds, even light cirrus, etc). A little clipping probably is a good indication that your system is a near optimal design. The amount of kWh lost to clipping is relatively small. At either low light end, you want to run the inverter as soon as possible (morning) and as long as possible (evening) which takes more panels, part of the trade-off. A good forum for solar discussions is: There are a lot of installers there who chime in to explain system design.

    Another great resource is a DOE NREL calculator here: PVWatts (click underline for link). It is relatively easy to use and you can do a lot of "what if" type questions by changing parameters. See how your production is doing compared with the PVWatts estimates for your system and location (it factors in average weather too, although it sounds like for you most of the time that is clear and blue skies, CAVU as the pilots say!).

    My system is sub-optimal, facing East, rotating the home turned out too be too costly :(. However, the difference is only about 20%, but I never clip. I can make about 15 kWh/day deep of winter and up to about 60 kWh/day summer.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  17. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I'll go to the forum for more information. I appreciate your input.
  18. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Our Clarity gets a lot of miles, I am almost sure the difference between HV range estimate and actual is caused by an error in using the HV calculated MPG including electricity use.

    For January we have 550 kwh in our Clarity, and maybe another 300 in the Volt (measured from the wall for both), so I really need to get Solar to offset that some. On the plus side is gas usage is way down from the Van. Of maybe 2000 miles on the Clarity this month, roughly 1300 were electric and the remainder gas, a long trips and very cold weather shortened up the EV range... I expect much better efficiency in the warmer months. Still, I saved about 105 gallons of gas (more than 2 barrels worth).
  19. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I will be interested to see if the HV range number self corrects over time. After a year of driving will the numbers even out?
  20. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Mine correct as I am driving gas long distances, it drops really fast.
  21. teedee

    teedee New Member

    Day 2
    Start: 45 EV, 527 HV
    End: 0 EV, 411 HV
    Miles driven: 103.7

    HV range reduced 116
  22. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The issue is it needs to consider that battery power is finite. In your case it seems to be thinking you will continue getting 70 mpg after your battery runs dead. If you drive another 100 miles without charging it would correct some more. Mine was accurate after a long gas only trip, but quickly returned to inaccurate using EV around town.
  23. teedee

    teedee New Member

    I feel so bad driving on gas only. The poor car sounds so angry by the time I get home.
    HappyValley and Tiralc like this.

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