Climate control issues

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Thread: Climate control issues

  1. #1
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    Climate control issues

    I just got a 500e about a week ago. I like it so far. However I have noticed some odd behavior by the climate control system. Ic seems like it impossible to turn off the AC. In most cars you can turn off the AC and just run the vent fan in the cabin to add some air flow. This typicaly does not affect the mileage of a gas powered car because the clutch on the AC pump stays disengaged. In an AC system the vent fan draws very little current compared to the compressor. However, whenever the blower motor is on in the 500e it cuts down the range estimate by about 10%. I read on another forum that if you continue driving the car the range estimate will creep back up because the system assumes worst case scenario when the climate climate control is initially turned on even if the AC is off. This seemed logical enough to me until I started doing some testing.

    I parked the car and started turning on and off the ac button. It made no difference. I could hear the AC pump cycling on and off periodically with the ac button lit or unlit. The only way to turn off the pump is to turn off the system completely. I'm not confusing the vent fan with the AC compressor. I know how air conditioning works. This seems really silly on an electric car with a very limited range where every KW is precious. I know I could just roll down the windows but I don't want the noise.

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  3. #2
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    You can turn it off as it relates to cabin temps.

    But the AC compressor is also used to cool the EV system, and you have no control over that at all.
    It will cycle automatically without any input from you.

    If the compressor is running to cool the EV system anyway, then you may as well run the AC to keep yourself cool IMHO
    2016 500e
    Granito Lucente
    15" Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 wheels
    205/50-15 Kumho PA31 tires
    Abarth front springs and Abarth/Koni struts
    500 Madness rear lowering springs with Koni yellows, Energy bumpstops
    ST rear swaybar

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    The HVAC system uses a humidity sensor, cabin sensor, and ambient temp sensor to chose the operation mode to control cabin comfort. The controller can and will choose to operate the AC compressor if the cabin does not meet the parameters set in the controller. So even in winter if you have high humidity in the cabin with heat on it will operate the ac until humidity levels off.

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    Tedolph (03-20-2017)

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbobster View Post
    You can turn it off as it relates to cabin temps.

    But the AC compressor is also used to cool the EV system, and you have no control over that at all.
    It will cycle automatically without any input from you.

    If the compressor is running to cool the EV system anyway, then you may as well run the AC to keep yourself cool IMHO
    I belive you are incorrect. The EV system is cooled by a coolant system much like a regular car. The passenger system is separate.

    http: //articles.sae.org/11604/

    From the article:
    There are two cooling system loops—one for the battery pack and one for the passenger cabin. The battery thermal-management system, in addition to maintaining optimal operating temperatures for the high-voltage system, also incorporates supplemental passive cooling. Using the car’s brazed aluminum radiator, the system is configured to remove heat from the ethylene glycol-based coolant as air enters the front of the vehicle. The radiator also provides cooling benefits for the eDrive motor and the power inverter.

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    If that's the case, then the owner's manual is incorrect, too

    Electric Air Conditioning Compressor
    Your 500e uses an electric air conditioning compressor.
    The air conditioning compressor is powered by the high
    voltage battery system and is used to cool the vehicle
    occupants and the high voltage battery while the vehicle
    is being driven or when it is being charged.


    The high voltage battery may require cooling to keep the
    vehicle running. The air conditioning compressor will
    activate without any input from the occupant.


    NOTE: The AC system helps cool the high voltage
    battery. If the air conditioning system should require
    service see your authorized dealer as soon as possible.
    2016 500e
    Granito Lucente
    15" Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 wheels
    205/50-15 Kumho PA31 tires
    Abarth front springs and Abarth/Koni struts
    500 Madness rear lowering springs with Koni yellows, Energy bumpstops
    ST rear swaybar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charrigan View Post
    The HVAC system uses a humidity sensor, cabin sensor, and ambient temp sensor to chose the operation mode to control cabin comfort. The controller can and will choose to operate the AC compressor if the cabin does not meet the parameters set in the controller. So even in winter if you have high humidity in the cabin with heat on it will operate the ac until humidity levels off.

    I talking about using the system in manual mode with the AC button off not auto mode. I can understand why in Auto mode it would use all of those sensors to determine at what fan speed and how cold the system should operate. However, it makes no sense that the AC pump would run with the AC and Auto buttons in off position. I can verify this buy turning the system to auto mode and listening to the compressor. When I turn off auto mode and turn off the AC button the pump still runs. However, when I turn the climate control off completely the pump stops running. It's like the AC on/off button does nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbobster View Post
    If that's the case, then the owner's manual is incorrect, too

    Electric Air Conditioning Compressor
    Your 500e uses an electric air conditioning compressor.
    The air conditioning compressor is powered by the high
    voltage battery system and is used to cool the vehicle
    occupants and the high voltage battery while the vehicle
    is being driven or when it is being charged.


    The high voltage battery may require cooling to keep the
    vehicle running. The air conditioning compressor will
    activate without any input from the occupant.


    NOTE: The AC system helps cool the high voltage
    battery. If the air conditioning system should require
    service see your authorized dealer as soon as possible.
    Hmm. Interesting. Perhaps the car has a chiller type system rather than a typical AC system. This would explain the ethylene glycol being part of the system and the fact that they say the batteries are liquid cooled. However, It still doesn't explain why I hear the compressor run more with the AC button turned off and the vent fan running.

  12. #8
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    I run into the same confusion with the auto climate panel on both our 500 Sport and 500e. To solve, just imagine the following changes to the nomenclature on the push buttons on the panel:

    AC -> Compressor ON/OFF
    OFF -> Climate Control ON/OFF

    Not entirely logical pressing "OFF" to turn something ON!

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    Quote Originally Posted by choyado View Post
    whenever the blower motor is on in the 500e it cuts down the range estimate by about 10%.
    Yup the 500e range estimator is dumb. It doesn't measure actual draw from accessories but just chops off 10% for any use of the cabin heating/cooling.

    You can sort of turn AC off and for the vent position and fans but I'm not convinced its actually working as we'd like. In the end I just use the AC and it range is tight just slow down as that makes a bigger impact.

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