8496Re: [solectria_ev] '97 Force CALB 100 Upgrade
- Nov 5, 2012I kind of follow Solectria's lead on the temperature sensor placement -- figuring that the
metal terminals would conduct heat out of the battery better than the plastic case, I
zip-tied the sensor to one of the terminals on a battery in the middle of the pack, then
applied a decent layer of RTV silicone caulk around it (but being careful to not get it
between the sensor and the metal of the terminal. The caulk acts as an insulator, so if
the battery box interior is warmer or cooler than the battery, the sensor will pick up the
true battery temperature.
The NLG5 will connect to up to 3 temperature sensors but I just use 2, one in each box.
And since I'm using the CA series cells, which can deal with cooler temperatures, and
since my car gets charged in a heated garage, I didn't bother putting the heater mats back
in the boxes.
I have a heated garage, but typically I only keep it at around 40 degrees F -- just enough
to keep the pipes from freezing. Occasionally I'll warm it up to 65 if I'm working on some
projects out there.
On 11/5/2012 3:39 PM, Chandler Chip wrote:
> Congratulations, Tom.
> I am wondering where you placed your temp sensors in your battery boxes. I have two in my rear box, one in the middle top between two cells, where I think the warmest location would be, and one on the side halfway down in the narrow gap between the cells and the inner wall. No insulation in or over my boxes except for the half inch (or whatever) on the outside, and my heat pads are disconnected. I'll report in January on my temperature findings, but so far have not had any readings on the high end that are close to being alarming, even on 90 degree days (highest pack high temp was 102F after driving and charging). In fact, as Bouty has said, these cells shine in a tropical setting. Understandably the outside wall temp reading is almost always lower and the difference is greater as the temperatures cool here in the NE. Knowing where you are taking your readings, insulation, and use of pack heaters might help with any comparisons between your CALB 100s and my TS 160s (1997 Force, 8500 miles) since we are both living in the cold. Heated garage? Thanks,
> Chip Chandler
> On Nov 5, 2012, at 3:21 PM, Tom Hudson <tdhudson@...> wrote:
>> OK, I'm just wrapping up some final bits and pieces on this car, but it is looking GREAT.
>> In process:
>> * Wiring in the rear pack temperature sensor -- the front's went in the other day, because
>> I needed to close up that battery box to get the controller in place for the test drive.
>> I don't have charge voltage temperature compensation programmed into the charger yet,
>> because I don't have any information on exactly what the compensation should be. Not a
>> big deal now because charging the batteries in my cool garage showed little or no
>> temperature increase, but I want to have that set up before the weather warms up next year
>> -- at the very least, a derating of voltage and current when the battery temperature goes
>> above some threshold, just in case operating the car in hot weather causes some battery
>> * Hooking up the fuel-fired heater -- When I put the NiCD batteries in this car back in
>> 2001-2002, the new battery box forced the controller to be mounted differently than
>> before, and there was no longer any room to fit the gallon-sized kerosene tank in the
>> engine compartment, so I simply left the heater disconnected and have relied on the
>> electric heat since then. I decided to get that all back up and running, so I refilled
>> the coolant, reconnected the hoses and old fuel tank and did a test-run of the heater a
>> couple of days ago -- after about 10 seconds, the little heater unit fired right up. The
>> fuel tank still won't fit, so I went to the US Plastic Corp website and found a 2-quart
>> one that will -- Should have that by the end of this week and will get it installed when
>> it arrives.
>> * Trunk blocking and trim -- Once the rear temperature sensor is installed and that
>> battery box is bolted shut, I'll adjust the foam blocks around the new charger and get the
>> carpeting back in there.
>> * Take the car in tomorrow for a lube job, gearbox oil change and to check on a little
>> periodic rubbing sound coming from the front. I believe the sound is a brake needing
>> adjustment -- the sound varies with wheel speed, and if I press the brake pedal slightly,
>> the sound goes away.
>> On Sunday, when the car had been sitting overnight, I went in and measured the battery
>> voltages, which were all within 0.02 volts of each other -- excellent.
>> This morning I took a 14-mile drive at 45+ MPH just to see how the car would do. This is
>> the same trip where the motor heated up terribly a while back with the NiCDs. When I got
>> to the destination I popped the hood and felt the motor cooling fins, which were just
>> barely warm. The motor controller was ice cold. Checked again when I got home and
>> nothing was hot. It is amazing to me how efficient that motor controller is -- no waste
>> heat at all! The trip was 14.3 miles and took 14.4 Ah. Not bad, especially considering
>> that there is some friction in the system from that dragging brake (or whatever it is).
>> Started a top-off charge when I got home and re-measured the voltages in the pack as it
>> was charging -- all batteries were at 3.35V (charge target voltage is 3.4V), no variation.
>> So, after I get the rubbing noise straightened out tomorrow and get the rear pack all
>> buttoned up, I consider this car 100% ready to go. All in all, a very easy upgrade. The
>> worst part was bottom-balancing all the batteries, which took about a week with two
>> Powerlab 6 chargers and battery swaps every couple of hours, with overnight discharges of
>> gangs of 3-4 batteries. Compared to the previous upgrade to NiCD batteries, which
>> involved massive amounts of fabrication work including coolant plumbing, this was a cake walk.
>> Thomas Hudson
>> http://portev.org -- Electric Vehicles, Solar Power & More
>> http://klanky.com -- Animation Projects
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