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CAS trip

I needed to go to San Francisco to the California Academy of Sciences (CAS). I was leary of going there as I was not sure I could get back as SF EV charging is not good.

So, Yesterday I took my gumption and a full charge to find parking at CAS. I needed to complete a chore to free me up to possibly attend the Cal Poly EVent on Sunday.
I took Hwy 101 North to the Fell street exit.

San Francisco was built out from the original port to incorporate the peninsula hills. So one should always plan SF driving to include steep hills to climb and pump the brakes on the down side (this eats 30% more power). Hwy 101 was basically flat until I reached SF. I didn't climb any hills until I left the Hwy and was on Fell Street. But this was mid-week and mid-day so traffic was light and I could tractor my way in the right lane conserving power by going the speed limit.

I was at 28 miles on the trip odometer (more than half way) but at 67ahs down or ~34 miles energy miles used. I found parking at CAS and went in to complete my chore. I took a different route heading back to stop at the Colma BART to charge.
I took Golden Gate Park's roads to 19th ave.

19th ave. is a straight shot but it too has steep hills past when you reach Hwy 280. Hwy 280 is more of a challenge as now you have to go Hwy speeds climbing steep hills and dodging cars that drive like accident seeking missiles.

I pulled into the Colma BART station (next to Daly City) All my concerns of no EV charging access was defused. There were three EV parking only signed spots with a smaller large paddle gen1 inductive charger and one AVCON (ics-200). An silver EV1 NiMH gen2 was plugged in, but the other two spots were open. Since it was the early afternoon, there were few cars vying for spots (trolling the parking lot for cars leaving). I pulled into the spot that was in front of the AVCON. I pushed the charge button on the box and got nothing. The unit looked dead from the outside. But this can be deceiving as the settings can be weird and really the unit can provide power. The only way to tell is to connect to it and try it

I connected my EAA AVCON adaptor ( http://eaaev.org ). The AVCON head unit clicked with no synth-o-voice and the green power led bar was lit. I routed the 14-50 208VAC power from the EAA AVCON box to the PFC-20 charger I am borrowing. I got 20 amps into my pack

At 87 ahs down, my pack was lapping up the juice. 20 amps is nice, but at this rate to be safe about heading back, I would need to charge for four hours. If I had the PFC-50 I signed up for, I could cut that time in half.

I had time to kill as my ahs were replenished. The Colma BART station was one of the first public EV charging stations before CARB established the AVCON as the Level 2 charging standard. There were some large blue PG&E (a local utility) boxes with conduit running out of them to a
5-20 120VAC 20amp duplex outlet and a 6-30r straight blade (208VAC 30amp) outlet.

The 6-30's were turned off (probably turned off by their risk-management), but the 5-20's were on! There were four of these 5-20's spread across several parking spots. With a back seat full of extension cords, the only limitation I had was how many 120VAC chargers I have.

I connected the two Zivan K2 (forerunner to the NG3) 120VAC chargers I had. Each 120VAC K2 puts out 10 amps each. Since the K2's are isolated, I could connected it with the PFC-20 unisolated charger.

I now had three chargers pumping 40 amps into my pack in parallel. Within two hours, I was still pumping 32 amps into my pack (smart chargers taper as the pack voltage rises) and now only down 20 ahs (or minus 10 miles of a 50 mile pack).

A 40 mile range was plenty of safety margin to head home.
It was now after 5pm, so there was traffic on Hwy 280 heading South to Hwy 380, then connecting to Hwy 101 South. But the brunt of the traffic jam bumper to bumper in the opposite direction. I was going against the commute traffic direction.

A good trip, and charge. I am going to dash off a nice letter to BART thanking them for keeping the EV charging spots available to us. If you use public charging spots, please make time to let the host know your appreciation on a regular basis. Else their management will think no one is using the EV charging spots.



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