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On individual chargers...

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  • Danny Miller
    Ran into a guy who drives his dogs around Austin on a Zapp! electric vehicle. Little 2-seat trike (one front wheel Only got to talk briefly, he was headed
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 7, 2012
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      Ran into a guy who drives his dogs around Austin on a Zapp! electric
      vehicle. Little 2-seat trike (one front wheel Only got to talk
      briefly, he was headed the other way.

      Said he's got 10K miles on it now, but has been through, I think he said
      3 sets of batteries. He said the charging system was really the
      murderer, as it was one charger and creating major imbalance problems.
      He'd been through the "charging shunts" but that really didn't work very
      well.

      He ended up being very satisfied with individual chargers- well, not one
      per cell, one per 12v battery.

      I do think the same problem is contributing to Robomower battery death,
      and we'd be better off with 2x 12v smart chargers hooked up together.
      They're plenty cheap enough now off of eBay.

      Danny
    • Lee Hart
      ... If it s a Zap Xebra, it s a miracle to get 10k miles on one. Zap are borderline crooks, and they import truly horrible stuff from China to sell to
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 7, 2012
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        On 10/7/2012 1:00 PM, Danny Miller wrote:
        > Ran into a guy who drives his dogs around Austin on a Zapp! electric
        > vehicle... Said he's got 10K miles on it now, but has been through,
        > I think he said 3 sets of batteries.

        If it's a Zap Xebra, it's a miracle to get 10k miles on one. Zap are
        borderline crooks, and they import truly horrible stuff from China to
        sell to unsuspecting suckers (err, "customers").

        A local pizza company bought a fleet of Xebras for delivery vehicles. I
        did a lot of work on them, trying to keep them running. Piece by piece,
        just about everything broke. The only way to keep it going to to find
        better parts to replace things.

        The original batteries were bottom-of-the-line junk that only lasted a
        few months. Replacing them with deep-cycle "marine" batteries lasted
        almost a year. Replacing these with true deep-cycle 8v golf cart
        batteries doubled it again (but the vehicles themselves had so many
        problems that they were unusable).

        The crappy charger's main problem was that it didn't know the difference
        between the original AGMs, flooded marine, and golf cart batteries, it
        wasn't temperature compensated (mandatory for vehicles used outdoors),
        and didn't change its charging profile as the batteries aged (charging
        voltage needs to be reduced as batteries age). We replaced them with
        DeltaQ chargers.

        --
        Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any
        good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. -- Howard Aiken
        --
        Lee A. Hart http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs leeahart@...
      • Lee Hart
        ... Sorry for the rant. I got so wound up that I forgot to address the original topic. :-) ... I think this is good advice. I had short battery life with my
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 7, 2012
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          On 10/7/2012 1:00 PM, Danny Miller wrote:
          > Ran into a guy who drives his dogs around Austin on a Zapp! electric

          Sorry for the rant. I got so wound up that I forgot to address the
          original topic. :-)

          > He ended up being very satisfied with individual chargers- well, not one
          > per cell, one per 12v battery.
          >
          > I do think the same problem is contributing to Robomower battery death,
          > and we'd be better off with 2x 12v smart chargers hooked up together.
          > They're plenty cheap enough now off of eBay.

          I think this is good advice. I had short battery life with my stock
          Robomower charger, so I replaced it with two 12v chargers.

          The ones I'm using aren't exactly "smart", but they are smarter that
          what it came with. They are intended for electric wheelchairs, so built
          better than the usual stuff. They charge at 2.75 amps until the voltage
          reaches 14.7v, then hold 14.7v until the current falls under 200ma, then
          switch to a 13.7v float voltage.

          --
          If you would not be forgotten
          When your body's dead and rotten
          Then write of great deeds worth the reading
          Or do these great deeds, worth repeating.
          -- Ben Franklin, from Poor Richard's Almanac
          --
          Lee A. Hart http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs leeahart@...
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