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  • March 22, 2021 10:38 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    At The Tesla Science Center (TSC) on Saturday, March 20th, 2021 there was metal, there was metal, and there was METAL! It was a B-E-A-Utiful Saturday in Suffolk County filled with recycling and upcycling.

    Tesla’s & Non-Tesla’s tuned into some 100.5 FM where they could tune into metal covers of popular songs (hopefully you see why we chose to go with this genre). If you didn’t get enough, or weren't able to join us, you can listen here on my Amazon Music Playlist- Metal For Tesla.


    Hundreds of Cars from all over Long Island showed up in the name of Tesla, donating varieties of scrap which will be used to one day turn the grounds of The Tesla Science Center into a B-E-A-Utiful Museum & Learning Center. The TSC is working hard so that in the near future they will be able to welcome people from all over the world to learn about Nikola Tesla and the legacy he left behind.


    Upcycling, mentioned earlier, is the process of taking what many would deem to be simply scrap, and finding ways to put it to good use. Why recycle a rusty hammer, when it can still hammer in nails, sure maybe it doesn’t look pretty... but it gets the job done!


    Thanks to Gershow Recycling, The Tesla Science Center is getting closer and closer to the goal of getting all the funds it needs to turn Nikola Tesla’s last remaining laboratory into the place it deserves. If you couldn’t make it to Metal For Tesla, and you have some scrap metal, you can still always bring it to your closest recycling center, and feel free to forward the proceeds to The Tesla Science Center.


    Remember, recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. Instead of having to source raw materials from the Earth again, let's put the existing materials back to work!

    Shared Google Photos Album - (Please add any relevant Photos & Videos Here)

    Event Organizer: Carson J Gallo - CarsonG@TOCNYS.org

  • March 18, 2021 8:33 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    100 MW of Tesla Batteries to be Installed in Israel -

    In an addition to Tesla’s recent spree of orders for energy storing megapacks, Tesla received an order for 100 megawatts of energy storage. Nofar Energy, an Israeli electricity supplier ordered a new energy storage system that they claim will deliver over 100 megawatts of energy between 2021 and 2023. It was also announced that Nofar will pay $30 million for the battery system. Recently, Tesla’s energy division has been deploying a massive amount of energy storage, with 1584 MWh deployed last quarter alone. Although Tesla has not yet begun selling vehicles in Israel, it is good to see them making an impact on the country’s emissions.

    Tesla Learned From Model Y’s First Winter -

    At the time of its release, the Tesla Model Y was likely Tesla’s most capable car in the snow, and still is. A big part of this is due to the heat pump that was introduced first into the Model Y but now is present on the Model 3 and refreshed Model S/X. Vehicles made prior to the heat pump must use energy from the battery to heat the battery, but the heat pump allows heat to be recycled and created much more efficiently, resulting in a far less noticeable difference in range lost in cold temperatures as opposed to warmer temperatures. This week, Tesla released a software update to all Model Y and 3 cars, and the release notes state: “Minor Cold Weather Improvements and Bug Fixes. Additional enhancements have been made to improve the overall experience of your Tesla vehicle in cold weather.” Although it is not explicitly stated as to what the actual improvements were, some owners are reporting improvements in regenerative braking in cold temperature, and the battery management software was also likely updated.

  • March 11, 2021 10:16 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Plaid Plus Delayed -

    Announced earlier this year, the refreshed Model S and X have received a lot of attention, and preorders too. There are currently two different versions of the Model S plaid for sale, firstly there is the plaid, which will begin deliveries soon, and secondly the plaid plus, which was originally scheduled to arrive in late 2021 and is faster and has a longer range than the standard plaid. This week, Tesla’s online configurator updated and now shows that plaid plus deliveries are estimated to begin in mid 2022, a fairly sizable pushback from the original late 2021 arrival date. There’s a couple reasons why Tesla may have made this move. Firstly, they could be seeing underwhelming orders for the standard plaid Model S, as most buyers are willing to wait the extra couple of months for the faster and longer range version. Second, Tesla could still be uncertain as to where the 4680 battery cells will be produced in volume, something vital to the performance and range of the plaid plus. All in all, this will likely result in a boost of sales for the Model S plaid, as many who had orders for the plaid plus may be reconsidering.

    Cybertruck Will be Able to Power a Camper -

    According to a recent tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the upcoming Cybertruck will be capable of powering a camper. This is a very important thing because it is terrible for the environment when campers and RVs keep their engines on for extended periods of time in order to power things like the air conditioning, lights, or a TV. With a range up to 500 miles, the Cybertruck will require a massive battery which is great for campers and powering external devices. It is likely that Tesla will add either a 14-50 or a TT-30 outlet somewhere on the exterior of the truck, capable of powering a camper, and possibly a Cyberquad.

  • March 04, 2021 8:38 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    India Incentivizes Tesla’s Arrival -

    Recently, Tesla has been building factories all over the world, from Shanghai to Berlin, and the fifth biggest car market, India, may be the next recipient of a Tesla factory and the government loves it. When Tesla opens a new factory somewhere, it creates thousands of jobs from executives to janitors, and many governments want to capitalize on this and thus incentivize Tesla to build a factory there. Most recently, Texas provided massive incentives for Tesla to build their newest US factory there. This week, transport minister of India, Nitin Gadkari told Reuters that, if Tesla were to build a factory in India, they would offer: 

    “The government will make sure the production cost for Tesla will be the lowest when compared with the world, even China, when they start manufacturing their cars in India. We will assure that.”

    In comparison to many European countries as well as China and the US, India sells an abysmal 5,000 EVs a year, and is looking to increase EV adoption. Luckily, India has a blueprint as to what would happen if Tesla built a factory there as the recent Shanghai factory has increased EV awareness and adoption in China while providing jobs.

    Wider FSD Release Aimed for Next Month -

    In October, Tesla released the first version of FSD Beta, the beta version of what will soon be Tesla’s fully autonomous driver assist system, able to handle any driving situation. The beta is currently and has been a private beta, meaning one needs an invitation from Tesla to join the beta. As of the Q4 2020 earnings call in January, CEO Elon Musk stated that there were “about 1000” beta testers at that time. Over the past months the system has been constantly improving and according to a recent tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the FSD Beta will be “offered much more widely” when the 9th version of the beta is complete, which Musk estimates to be next month. Ultimately, this is a fairly cryptic tweet as “Elon time” has become a running joke among Tesla enthusiasts who have noticed Musk’s propensity to underestimate how long it will take to bring something to fruition. Also, it is unclear what “much more widely” means, it could mean the entire fleet, or it could mean another lucky 1000 will receive the next version of the beta.
  • March 02, 2021 8:18 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Elon Musk Claims High Demand For Updated S/X -

    In a recently leaked email from Tesla CEO Elon Musk he began by saying that the Fremont factory was shut down for a few days due a supply chain hiccup, and used the time to give their workers a few days off and make some improvements to the assembly line. Here is the full email:

    “We are experiencing some parts supply issues, so we took the opportunity to bring Fremont down for a few days to do equipment upgrades and maintenance.

    Fremont production is back up and running as of yesterday and will speed up rapidly to full Model 3/Y production over the next few days.

    Model S/X production lines are almost done with the retooling and will be aiming for max production next quarter. There is high demand, so we are soon going to need to go back to two shifts. Please recommend friends for recruiting.”


    Elon Musk Under SEC Investigation Once Again -

    Elon Musk is once again under the scrutiny of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) due to his recent tweets about the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. Dogecoin was originally created to mock other cryptocurrencies but has recently gained a lot of publicity and the price has been increasing. Musk was previously under investigation from the SEC for market manipulation from this tweet in 2018. It is likely that either nothing will result from the investigation or Musk will have to pay a fine, but Musk is more than willing to be defiant of the SEC and has done so publicly.
  • February 26, 2021 2:58 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    "There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future?" - Elon Musk

    TOCNYS is proud to announce that we are embarking on an exciting and daring project, an EV conversion for a one-of-a-kind vehicle! We are inviting members of the club who have a knowledge and passion for: engineering, mechanics, physics, electro-mechanics, power propulsion, aerodynamics, computer programming, battery management/chemistry, vehicle assembly, problem solving, publicity/marketing, blogging/vlogging, and/or anything else that you may be able to offer.

    There are two goals for this project: have a great time with other members while building an awesome EV conversion, and the second being to increase member participation and engagement. This project will also help support Tesla's mission by raising awareness and shining a light on sustainable methods of transportation.

    Our project will be taking place at our physical headquarters in Rochester, NY. We'll also be welcoming members to join the team by means of Zoom, where they can share ideas and insight remotely. For members who want to join in-person, we will: maintain a safe physical distance, wear a mask, and take other necessary precautions to insure the safety of the team. In order to comply with safety regulations, and to ensure the security of the privileged information regarding this project, we are limiting the number of members who will be able to participate. Selected participants are expected to show a fair level of commitment and dedication throughout this project.

    This project is anticipated to have innovating ideas that could result in patent(s), therefore participants are expected to sign Mutual Non-disclosure Agreement as a condition to be accepted into the project. If you are interested in applying to become a part of the team that will be working on this project, send an email to PatrickH@tocnys.org for more information.

  • February 18, 2021 6:18 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Powerwalls & Solar Prove Very Useful in Texas Blackouts -

    With all of the recent blackouts in Texas due to the snowstorm, a few people are proving to be much better prepared for events like this than others. Those people have powerwalls and solar. Even without solar, one can charge their powerwall prior to the storm, and use the electricity from their powerwall to provide power to the essential things in the house. With the rolling blackouts, one can charge their powerwall when they have power, and then run their house off of the powerwall when they do not. Although Texas governor Greg Abbott tried to claim that the power outages were due to frozen wind turbines, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas proved that the majority of the loss in capacity was caused by thermal and coal plants. One Houston resident claims that their four powerwalls provided them with over 45 hours of electricity, and was able to recharge during the brief periods when the grid power was on. 

    3 & Y Prices Reduced - 

    Tesla has updated the pricing for both the Model 3 & Y, making the standard range, rear wheel drive Model 3 start at $36,990. While the cheapest Model 3 & Y have gotten cheaper, the most expensive version of both has gotten more expensive, as the Performance 3 & Y received a $1,000 price bump. This combined with the new federal tax credit incentives will make the Model 3 cheaper, and likely result in a boost in sales for Tesla. One gripe that many RWD Standard Range Model 3 buyers had with Tesla is that they never delivered on the originally promised $35,000 base price. The $35,000 promised in 2017 would be equivalent to $37,350 today, meaning the Model 3 is actually cheaper than was first promised.
  • February 18, 2021 5:14 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    On day Two, Thursday, the crew arrived started right where they left off. The Powerwalls team completed running the conduit from the electrical panels to the roof to connect to the solar panels. This involved several discussion over the two days as to how best to route the conduit as there were code requirements to be met. It was finally determined that the conduit could run up the side of the chimney and well above the gutters to ensure that water flow from the roof would not be impeded. The result was an unobtrusive line.



    While the conduit was being run, the Panels team was installing the solar panels on their mounts. It all began to come together.


    While the panels were going up, the Powerwall team began pulling all of the wires through the conduits. Two sets of power wires and control wires ran from the Powerwalls the length of the house to the entrance panels. Then sets of power and control wires were pulled from the entrance panels to the solar panels. With the twists and turns the conduit had to make, this was a significant effort.

    Now it was time to setup and test the system. The Network Gateway, a small device that connects to the house’s internet, was installed the previous day. A WiFi connection from the Entrance Gateway to the network was made and the new equipment connected to our Tesla account. The energy system now showed on the Tesla app on our phones and tablets.

    The crew leader switched off power from the electric meter with the breaker in the Entrance Gateway to simulate an electrical outage. The Powerwalls immediately took over with such a slight drop that only the digital TV in the family room turned off. Nothing else, including the PC, the network, and the cable boxes, was affected. The crew wrapped up and left as the sun was setting.

    A few days later an independent electrical inspector came to check all of the work and determine whether it could be approved for use. He commented that he had seen a lot of work by different electricians in his time and that the workmanship here was some of the best. He approved the work and submitted his report to the town. With the system approved, Tesla now submitted the bill to us and we made the bank transfer to complete the sale.

    A few days later the town building inspectors came and reviewed the installation. The Certificate of Compliance came in the mail a few days after that. The information has been sent to the utility company. There only two remaining items needed to complete the installation and bring it fully online. First, the utility company has to return and install the new meter that manages the interface to the electric grid. This will allow us to either draw from the grid or supply to the grid. The second item is for Tesla to return and enable the solar panels through the inverter in software, and connect it to the house’s network.

    It was interesting to learn that, were we to start supplying the grid from our solar panels, the existing meter could not differentiate that from the grid supply to the house so that we would actually be charged for the power we were supplying rather than receiving payment. Further, it would be a violation of Public Service Commission rules and we could be liable for significant fines.

    We’re looking forward to the day in the very near future when we can say we’re making a difference for environmental sustainability, not only by driving Tesla cars, but by generating energy with other Tesla products.

  • February 17, 2021 11:13 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Day 1: Powering Up with Tesla Solar—Installation

    The installation planning is done and now it’s time for the installation of the Tesla solar panels and Powerwalls. It starts with an inspection of the existing home by an electrician. He spent a couple of hours reviewing the planned locations of the solar panels and Powerwalls.

    The first part of the inspection was reviewing the existing entrance service and main service panel. He determined what would be needed in terms of making room for the added equipment and any additional structure that would be needed to accommodate the new equipment. He also reviewed the electrical sub-panel in the garage that feeds the two NEMA 14-50 outlets for the Tesla chargers.

    Next, the inspector moved on to the area for mounting the two Powerwalls in the garage. It appeared that we would have plenty of room for them. We discussed the town requirements for fire protection, in this case, fire resistant drywall behind the Powerwalls. Finally, the inspector went into the attic to check on the roof structure to which the solar panels would be mounted. As the roof had been replaced about four years ago and a few sections of sheeting had been replaced, the roof structure was deemed ready to accept the solar panels.

    Now that the inspection was complete, Tesla called to setup a date to begin installation. They estimated for our system that it would take two full days and, indeed, it did. They scheduled it for a Wednesday and Thursday. I prepared for the installation by borrowing the TOCNYS club’s traffic cones and flag. On the Wednesday morning, I moved our Tesla cars to the street and blocked off the area in front of the house with the traffic cones. I also displayed the club flag in front of the house for all to see.

    About 8:30 Wednesday morning, four trucks showed up and pulled into the driveway with their crews to begin unloading. The crew lead met with us to go over the plan and review the installation details. Particular attention was paid to the Powerwall installation as that would require running control and power lines the length of the house. In addition, we discussed how the two different sets of solar panels would be connected. It was decided the small set of panels would connect over the back roof to the main set so that the conduit between them (shown in red) could not be seen from the street.

    The crew of about six split into two teams. One team worked on the solar panels while the other worked on the Powerwall installation. The panels were unloaded from the trucks and interconnections were prepared. Meanwhile, the second team was preparing the electrical installation. This would eventually involve installing the Entrance Gateway, the Gateway Sub-Panel, and the Inverter. In addition, modifications to the existing main electrical panel would be made to convert it to a sub-panel by separating the ground and neutral connections. As shown in the picture, the Gateway is on the left, the Gateway Sub-Panel below it, the existing panel in the middle, and the Inverter on a new support structure on the right.


    At 9:30, the utility company, Rochester Gas & Electric, arrived and pulled the meter disconnecting all power from the house. Now the Powerwall team could get to work making all of the connections. The entrance service would now go to the Gateway, rather than the existing panel, and the Main Breaker would be in the Gateway. Conduit and wiring installation continued throughout the day until the installation was complete. At 3:30 in the afternoon, the utility company returned and reinstalled the meter. The house power was brought back online.

    The Powerwall team now moved to the garage to begin the Powerwall installation. The first job was to install the drywall sections behind the Powerwall locations. Next the Powerwalls were themselves installed. Then the conduit that would connect the Powerwalls to the Gateway was installed. Finally, bollards as required by building code were installed as to prevent someone hitting the Powerwalls with a vehicle.

     

    While the Powerwall was working, the Solar Panels team was on the roof preparing for the installation of the panels. This was a significant effort that started with installing plates on the roof to which the team could attach their safety and rappelling lines as they began they work.



    The Panels team installed the solar panel mounts and edge pieces which transitioned the panels to the roof. In addition, they installed the conduit that would contain the connections between the small set of panels on the east roof to the large set of panels on the south roof. The panel mounts themselves were devices about the size and shape of an inverted coffee cup. These were filled with sealant before being screwed through the sealant to the roof structure. These can bee seen in the following pictures.


    It was determined during the installation that all 19 panels could not go on the south roof due to interference with a roof vent. One of the panels would have to be relocated to the east roof, leaving 18 panels on the south roof and 6 panels on the east roof. From an aesthetic standpoint, this was an unexpected improvement.

    With the Powerwalls installed, the conduit nearly complete, and the solar panel mountings installed, it was getting dark and time to call it a day.

    CLICK HERE FOR DAY 2

  • February 16, 2021 10:04 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    This past Saturday’s monthly meetup of the Niagara Frontier section was typically virtual, via Zoom, seeing that we are still in the middle of COVID season (as it were).

    That said, it was virtually a home run again, following up on last month’s surprise appearance by Tesla Joy and bonus guest Rafael “TesLatino” Santoni. This time around, both coasts of the USA weren’t enough and we went all the way to sunny Baden, Switzerland for the twenty members and guests attending the call.

    Our friend Ralf Schwesinger from MR & MRS T ON TOUR was kind to join us for an hour of prime conversation. The focus was on the epic journeys he and Mrs. T took around the globe not long ago . . . solely in Tesla vehicles (nine of ’em, for those counting).

    All of us on Zoom were downright fortunate to hear a first-hand account of their tour—nearly two years’ worth of work that ended up supplanting their former day jobs, becoming a full-time effort. Whether it was within Australia, New Zealand, Europe or The States, Ralf guided us along via a sleek slideshow presentation with epic photography galore.

    Sometimes their stay involved top-notch hotel accommodations, others more on the modest side. Yet the hosts of those properties were plenty cordial and down-to-Earth. It seems that the organization put into the trips paid off, since they never wound up needing to take up overnight accommodations inside the car. In response to one question by TOCNYS President Patrick Ho, Ralf outlined the process of not planning more than two weeks in advance. Always effectively, though.

    One of the revelations we had involved hearing that ALL of the travel was completed by Tesla-branded EVSE. Translation: Supercharging and Destination Charge Stations. If that isn’t a shining endorsement of the brand, what is?

    Another highlight involved their chance to meet Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen at the Hawthorne, California Cybertruck reveal in 2019. Did Ralf reserve one? Of course.

    Sure, getting to learn about this round-the-globe spree was great, but merely an appetizer. The full account of Europe appears in the hardcover book that Ralf recently completed and has put up for sale in Europe or the USA. Titled “#recharge  The Ultimate EV Travel Guide for Europe,” it lives up to its name and makes a handsome coffee table addition. Yours Truly had his copy in hand for the audience, including a nifty final chapter on charging.


    Image courtesy of MR & MRS T ON TOUR

    What’s next for this pioneering globetrotter? We hope that the best practices in reservations and charging that they refined during the trip become de facto standards at lodging destinations around the world. If Ralf has any say, Tesla itself will start to incorporate these insights into their product line, allowing anyone with a Tesla to reap the benefits of plugging in wherever they choose to travel.

    A round of thanks to Ralf for his support of TOCNYS and giving our members some world-class diversion from the lockdown still going on these days.

    Stay tuned for info on the March 13 monthly meetup as well as the rest of the 2021 season of Niagara Frontier events.

    -John P. Weiksnar
     Niagara Frontier Regional Organizer

    By the way, though the T in MR & MRS T ON TOUR stands for Tesla, I think he needs to adopt a certain catchphrase: “I PITY THE FUEL!” ;-)

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