Yes, this is my Tesla Model 3, and yes I am (generally) an introvert.
Let me tell you how this idea was born.
Not long after the summer solstice, I came across a news story about a group of meteorologists who all wore the same ties on the summer solstice.
They did this to raise awareness of a trend in our atmosphere that has been going on for well over a century.
What has been happening is that the average temperature on our earth has been increasing. Some areas faster than others, globally though, it has been about 1.35 degrees Celsius, or 2.43 degrees Fahrenheit. Just for comparison, the difference in the global average temperature between the last ice age and the beginning to the industrial revolution is only about 5 degrees Celsius.
Professor Ed Hawkins at the University of Reading in Great Britain came up with this wonderful visualization (actually he has a lot of really interesting visualizations, I highly recommend go checking them out). The full data with references are available at this link.
Professor Hawkins also has graphics showing the temperature changes of different geographical areas, such as central England, the lower 48 states of the US, and the city of Toronto.
He also includes links to all the data and references if you are interested in the nitty-gritty details.
While the specifics can change somewhat, the general trend is all in the same direction, cooler to warmer.
So this brings me back to my car :)
After seeing that story about the meteorologists and the graphic, I though that was a wonderful way to raise awareness as well as starting conversations.
I reached out to Triet Nguyen at Tint Pros - Platinum Auto Wraps. I shared with them what I wanted to do and they were very excited about the project.
Working with their designer, and Professor Hawkins graphic (after asking for and receiving his permission) we came up with a plan.
Triet sent me photos of the process, which took a few days.
Putting a two dimensional graphic on a three dimensional object, with lots of curves and corners is very impressive. Triet's crew did a phenomenal job keeping the stipes straight, and all lined up whenever a stripe crossed from one body panel to another.
As for my goal of raising awareness and starting conversations, it appears to be working!
Below are photos of two of the events I was at this weekend. I want to give a shout-out to the Minnesota Plugin Electric Vehicle Owners Circle (MNPEVOC) group, as well as all of the other EV owners that helped organize these events as well as sharing their experiences with people at the events.
I have had more conversations in the last 10 days than I have in a very long time. At one of the events, I heard a woman using the 'warming stripes' design to show her daughter how the earth's temperature has been changing :)
Besides events such as the above, I have had conversations in parking lots, while eating lunch, and almost anywhere. Some of them about the Tesla Model 3, some about the car wrap and many about both!
I want to, once again, thank the team that really got this introvert out of his shell:
Mr. Elon Musk, for building my own personal spaceship.
Dr. Ed Hawkins, for creating such a wonderfully concise graphic that relays over a century of data so simply.
Mr. Triet Nguyen and his crew for such phenomenal work.
AND all the people that have taken time to stop, and talk to me.
It took a lot longer than anticipated, we now have a backup system for our all electric house!
When we were preparing to move in, we had planned to have a battery backup system made by Tesla called the Tesla PowerWall.
This backup would allow us to run part of the house during a grid outage. Primarily the HVAC system, our refrigerator, network, a TV and a couple of outlets.
Welllllll.... with cutting edge products and such, there were a few delays.
Tesla canceled the first gen PowerWall before we got ours, replacing it with a second generation PowerWall with lots of really great improvements. This involved the first of our delays.
Then, as we got closer, a really nasty hurricane hit Puerto Rico, and Elon Musk sent a bunch of PowerWalls and solar panels to a hospital to get it up and running, with or without a local grid.
Seriously, how could I possibly be frustrated with that?
And of course, the normal delays involving shipping an extremely high demand product.
We need what?
Because of the way our system is set up with three inverters and a production meter, it worked best to have three PowerWalls. This was more than we planned for, but gave us some opportunities as well.
Additional room in our mechanical room was also needed, so we combined two of our three electrical panels.
Of course, this shows one of the advantages to knowing all the details when you are designing the electrical system in the first place. If we had know then, what we know now, it would have gone much more smoothly. We weren't willing to wait to build until the batteries were finalized, so I have no regrets about this.
With the advances in the second generation PowerWall, and the fact we were getting three, we made some adjustments to make our plan a little better.
First, the app that controls the PowerWalls allows you to set the system as either backup power, or "sustain" mode.
Sustain mode means the batteries will soak up all the solar energy they can, and then discharge it overnight, or any time the house needs more power than it is generating.
The masterful part of this, is the two can be mixed. For example, you can run in Sustain mode, but tell the system to reserve 20% of the batteries in case of a grid outage.
After running this for a few weeks, I expect to run with a very small reserve for grid outages in the summer, perhaps 10%. During the winter, when it is much more critical that we have power for our heating, we will run with a reserve of 50% or more.
Here is an example of what the App shows. In this image our PowerWalls are charging in the morning. In addition to charging from our solar panels, the solar is also supplying power to the house and even some to the grid.
This can be seen in the image below.
Details Details Details.
Unfortunately, there are always more details. We found an issue with one of our eGauge systems. We have a temporary one it place and are waiting on our original one to be fixed or replace. In the meantime, with the new PowerWalls and some rewiring, eGauge needs a few corrections to get it back to how it was working before.
Although it was a bumpy ride, we got here!
Our PowerWalls are in place doing their job. The install (Thanks to All Energy Solar) was fairly quick, once they got the delivery of PowerWalls from Tesla.
The ease of use of this system, capabilities and speed it cuts in if the power cuts off is amazing! My computer monitor doesn't even flicker!
We were never terribly worried about a day long power outage at our house, but things like that can happen. We are now completely confident in the ability of our house to maintain heat even during a week long power outage in the coldest winter in Minnesota delivers!
Mark really doesn't like to talk about himself, the house is much more interesting.