Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Force NiCD upgrade complete

Expand Messages
  • Tom Hudson
    Hi everybody, Just a quick note to announce the completion of the writeup of my battery upgrade in our 1997 Solectria Force. We bought the car new with a
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 6, 2002
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi everybody,

      Just a quick note to announce the completion of the writeup of my battery
      upgrade in our 1997 Solectria Force. We bought the car new with a lead-acid
      pack and I had promised my wife that we'd upgrade the battery pack when it
      needed to be replaced. True to my word, I did the job, though it took a
      while to (A) get all the components together and (B) find the time to do the
      job. I completed the upgrade in late May and finished writing the account
      of the job yesterday. It's a blow-by-blow account of the whole process,
      with photos. I hope you enjoy it!

      The URL for the story: http://www.portev.org/solectria/ho/nicad.htm

      -Tom

      Thomas Hudson
      http://portdistrict5.org -- 5th District Aldermanic Website
      http://portev.org -- Electric Vehicles, Solar Power & More
      http://portgardenclub.org -- Port Washington Garden Club
      http://portlightstation.org -- Light Station Restoration
    • Don Buckshot
      I m sending my 1996 NiMH Force to Solectria this week for repair (of the batteries, I think) Actually wish I had a simple lead acid version. Don ... From:
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 6, 2002
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        I'm sending my 1996 NiMH Force to Solectria this week for repair (of the
        batteries, I think) Actually wish I had a simple lead acid version.
        Don

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Tom Hudson" <tomhudson@...>
        To: "Force Mailing List" <force_ev@yahoogroups.com>
        Cc: "Karl Thidemann" <thidemann@...>
        Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 11:45 AM
        Subject: [force_ev] Force NiCD upgrade complete


        | Hi everybody,
        |
        | Just a quick note to announce the completion of the writeup of my battery
        | upgrade in our 1997 Solectria Force. We bought the car new with a lead-acid
        | pack and I had promised my wife that we'd upgrade the battery pack when it
        | needed to be replaced. True to my word, I did the job, though it took a
        | while to (A) get all the components together and (B) find the time to do the
        | job. I completed the upgrade in late May and finished writing the account
        | of the job yesterday. It's a blow-by-blow account of the whole process,
        | with photos. I hope you enjoy it!
        |
        | The URL for the story: http://www.portev.org/solectria/ho/nicad.htm
        |
        | -Tom
        |
        | Thomas Hudson
        | http://portdistrict5.org -- 5th District Aldermanic Website
        | http://portev.org -- Electric Vehicles, Solar Power & More
        | http://portgardenclub.org -- Port Washington Garden Club
        | http://portlightstation.org -- Light Station Restoration
        |
        |
        |
        |
        |
        | To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        | force_ev-unsubscribe@egroups.com
        |
        |
        |
        | Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        |
        |
        |
      • Adam Kuehn
        ... Actually, this is a good segue for me. I am looking to possibly acquire a used Force. It has 13K miles and the original (PbA) battery pack. The seller
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 6, 2002
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          >I'm sending my 1996 NiMH Force to Solectria this week for repair (of the
          >batteries, I think) Actually wish I had a simple lead acid version.
          >Don

          Actually, this is a good segue for me. I am looking to possibly
          acquire a used Force. It has 13K miles and the original (PbA)
          battery pack. The seller claims that it still has a 50-mile range.
          Assuming it has been well-cared for, what might be the typical
          maintenance requirements on this vehicle?

          Some background on the purpose for the question: I am not a car
          enthusiast in general, and I don't really know my way around an ICE
          car. I've swapped out belts and tightened a few bolts, but I'm not
          much of a do-it-yourselfer. On the other hand, I am very interested
          in environmental issues, and thought that an EV would be a good way
          for me to take care of my commuting needs in a relatively
          non-polluting way. Sort of a "put my money where my mouth is"
          approach.

          But I need to know if I'd be getting in over my head. Is maintenance
          fairly straightforward? Is Solectria still pretty good about
          customer support, even though they have stopped production? Are
          parts available fairly readily? What are the typical problems
          encountered from simple day-to-day commuting, and will I be likely to
          be able to handle them myself or find the help I might need?

          I've spoken with a Solectria rep, and they sure sound nice on the
          phone. But what are your real-world experiences?

          Thanks for your help,
          --

          -Adam Kuehn
          Durham, NC
        • umarc@hippogryph.com
          ... In October 2000, I bought a 1992 Force with 11,300 miles on it, not having had any experience with electric cars before nor much of an inclination for
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 6, 2002
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            On Tue, 6 Aug 2002, Adam Kuehn wrote:

            >
            > Actually, this is a good segue for me. I am looking to possibly
            > acquire a used Force. It has 13K miles and the original (PbA)
            > battery pack. The seller claims that it still has a 50-mile range.
            > Assuming it has been well-cared for, what might be the typical
            > maintenance requirements on this vehicle?

            In October 2000, I bought a 1992 Force with 11,300 miles on it, not having
            had any experience with electric cars before nor much of an inclination
            for tinkering with things automotive (I work in radio, though, and have
            never shied away from screwdrivers or soldering irons).

            Since then, I've bought a new charger, two new sets of batteries (the
            first lasted a year), a new set of tires, and had some brake work done on
            the car.

            The manual that came with the car was deceptive. No, you don't get a 50
            mile range -- not in Massachusetts, anyway. In the winter, if you go more
            than 10 miles between charges you'll dramatically shorten your battery
            life (this is assuming you have lead-acid batteries, as I do). The manual
            says something about not discharging more than 60 to 80 percent; what it
            doesn't say is that when it's cold out, the actual capacity of the
            batteries drops by at least 50%, and there's nothing in the car you can
            look at that will tell you how far you can go before you start cutting
            into your battery life. In my experience, if you go far enough to feel the
            car get sluggish, the damage is done -- count on buying a new set of
            batteries 3 to 6 months later.

            So, as a result, I use my car to drive to work (6 miles), where it gets
            recharged, and home again, where it gets recharged again. I drive it to
            the supermarket and other very local destinations, but never more than a
            few miles. If I need to go farther I use my gasoline car or take the
            train.

            I find that my car is underpowered for Massachusetts driving -- it
            can't accelerate very well, especially on an uphill grade. I find
            that other drivers sometimes assume I can get moving faster than I can,
            and I have had a couple of close calls as a result. Now, I understand that
            in subsequent years the Force was shipped with a thirteen-battery,
            156-volt system, which probably performs better than my twelve-battery,
            144-volt system.

            Oh, and you won't get much heat out of the heater -- just enough to keep
            the windshield defogged.


            Rob
            umarc@...
          • Don Buckshot
            Adam, I have to say that Solectria is willing to go all out to help me with trouble shooting my car problems. There really have been very few in the year that
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 6, 2002
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Adam,
              I have to say that Solectria is willing to go all out to help me with trouble
              shooting my car problems. There really have been very few in the year that I
              have been driving it. All of these appear to have a common cause, the
              batteries.

              I sent them the charger to determine what was wrong and they checked it out,
              changed out a fuse, tested it and sent it back to me for just a few bucks.

              I sent my controller to them for an upgraded main board and they turned it
              around in a couple weeks and the cost was modest.
              They provided software to use to get error codes to find cause of problems.

              See comments below.

              Don
              816-582-6891



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Adam Kuehn" <akuehn@...>
              To: <force_ev@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 1:09 PM
              Subject: [force_ev] Newbie Questions


              | >I'm sending my 1996 NiMH Force to Solectria this week for repair (of the
              | >batteries, I think) Actually wish I had a simple lead acid version.
              | >Don
              |
              | Actually, this is a good segue for me. I am looking to possibly
              | acquire a used Force. It has 13K miles and the original (PbA)
              | battery pack. The seller claims that it still has a 50-mile range.
              | Assuming it has been well-cared for, what might be the typical
              | maintenance requirements on this vehicle?

              Unless something is broken, there should be almost nothing to do except charge
              it and keep the tire pressure up.

              |
              | Some background on the purpose for the question: I am not a car
              | enthusiast in general, and I don't really know my way around an ICE
              | car. I've swapped out belts and tightened a few bolts, but I'm not
              | much of a do-it-yourselfer. On the other hand, I am very interested
              | in environmental issues, and thought that an EV would be a good way
              | for me to take care of my commuting needs in a relatively
              | non-polluting way. Sort of a "put my money where my mouth is"
              | approach.

              This we have in common. I am interested in driving and promoting EVs. I am no
              longer into fiddling with cars as I once was.

              |
              | But I need to know if I'd be getting in over my head. Is maintenance
              | fairly straightforward? Is Solectria still pretty good about
              | customer support, even though they have stopped production?

              YES!

              Are parts available fairly readily? YES!

              What are the typical problems
              | encountered from simple day-to-day commuting, and will I be likely to
              | be able to handle them myself or find the help I might need?

              Should be none!

              |
              | I've spoken with a Solectria rep, and they sure sound nice on the
              | phone. But what are your real-world experiences?

              See above.

              |
              | Thanks for your help,
              | --
              |
              | -Adam Kuehn
              | Durham, NC
              |
              |
              | To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              | force_ev-unsubscribe@egroups.com
              |
              |
              |
              | Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              |
              |
              |
            • Tom Hudson
              ... This has not been my experience, but then my car came with the thermal management system, which keeps the batteries warm (around 70 degrees F). And I live
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 7, 2002
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                > The manual that came with the car was deceptive. No, you don't get a 50
                > mile range -- not in Massachusetts, anyway. In the winter, if you go more
                > than 10 miles between charges you'll dramatically shorten your battery
                > life (this is assuming you have lead-acid batteries, as I do). The manual
                > says something about not discharging more than 60 to 80 percent; what it
                > doesn't say is that when it's cold out, the actual capacity of the
                > batteries drops by at least 50%, and there's nothing in the car you can
                > look at that will tell you how far you can go before you start cutting
                > into your battery life. In my experience, if you go far enough to
                > feel the
                > car get sluggish, the damage is done -- count on buying a new set of
                > batteries 3 to 6 months later.

                This has not been my experience, but then my car came with the thermal
                management system, which keeps the batteries warm (around 70 degrees F).
                And I live in Wisconsin, which is a LOT colder than Massachusetts. I've
                taken the car out at -10 degrees F, driven 18 miles, watched a three-hour
                movie while the car sat out in the cold, and driven home. No problem. In
                fact, the batteries were about 65 degrees F when I got home (I was curious
                about how the cold had affected them).

                I've recently upgraded my batteries to NiCD modules, which don't need the
                system, so I have a set of thermal management heater mats and control boxes
                if anyone's interested. Email me privately.

                > Oh, and you won't get much heat out of the heater -- just enough to keep
                > the windshield defogged.

                My rule of thumb is that the electric heat is effective down to about 25
                degrees F. Below that I use the fuel-fired heater (we got that instead of
                air conditioning because of our colder climate). The fuel-fired heat is
                also better range-wise because it uses less electricity than the electric
                heater elements.

                -Tom

                Thomas Hudson
                http://portdistrict5.org -- 5th District Aldermanic Website
                http://portev.org -- Electric Vehicles, Solar Power & More
                http://portgardenclub.org -- Port Washington Garden Club
                http://portlightstation.org -- Light Station Restoration
              • Tom Hudson
                I thought I d drop a note about our record-setting (for us) trip yesterday. I drove the NiCD Force about 40 miles yesterday afternoon, running down to get a
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 10, 2002
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  I thought I'd drop a note about our record-setting (for us) trip yesterday.
                  I drove the NiCD Force about 40 miles yesterday afternoon, running down to
                  get a haircut and stopping at a garden center for some potting soil, then
                  came home and started charging. We then went out to dinner with some
                  friends, another 40-mile-plus trip. The car hadn't been charging up long
                  before we started out on the second trip, and we wound up with just under
                  80Ah on the meter when we got home. I had established 85Ah for the general
                  limit we'd allow on drives with the new pack, and considering that these
                  trips involved a lot of 65MPH highway travel, with associated high discharge
                  rates, I'm pretty impressed and happy with the result. I've never had the
                  Ah-counter up that high before, and it was kind of fun to verify that it's
                  no problem to do so.

                  David Roden, if you're out there, do you know what the Peukert number for
                  NiCDs is? I'm just curious how badly their capacity is affected by high
                  discharge rates...

                  -Tom

                  Thomas Hudson
                  http://portdistrict5.org -- 5th District Aldermanic Website
                  http://portev.org -- Electric Vehicles, Solar Power & More
                  http://portgardenclub.org -- Port Washington Garden Club
                  http://portlightstation.org -- Light Station Restoration
                • David Roden (Akron OH USA)
                  ... Peukert s equation attempts to model behavior of lead batteries, so it really doesn t apply to nickel chemistry. Nicads show relatively little loss of
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 10, 2002
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On 10 Aug 2002 at 16:39, Tom Hudson wrote:

                    > David Roden, if you're out there, do you know what the Peukert number for
                    > NiCDs is? I'm just curious how badly their capacity is affected by high
                    > discharge rates...

                    Peukert's equation attempts to model behavior of lead batteries, so it
                    really doesn't apply to nickel chemistry.

                    Nicads show relatively little loss of capacity at higher currents (I suspect
                    most of the loss is caused by internal resistance). The figures below are
                    adapted from a published Saft graph:

                    0.1 C5 => 110ah
                    0.5 C5 => 105ah
                    1.0 C5 => 100ah
                    1.5 C5 => 95ah
                    2.0 C5 => 90ah

                    I'm pretty sure that C5 is the 5-hour capacity (100ah), so that would be 20
                    amps. (Most lead batteries' ratings are based on the 20-hour rate, which is
                    a much lower current.)

                    I define discharged as 5.0 volts per module under load, though Saft
                    apparently define it as lower voltages for higher loads. Their definition
                    would add a trivial amount, 2-5 ah, to each of the above figures except the
                    first.

                    Again, Peukert's equation doesn't model their behavior, so this is kind of
                    deceptive. But if we approximate Peukert's number based on the 0.1C5 and
                    2.0C5 capacities as if they ~were~ lead batteries, their quasi-Peukert
                    number would be about 1.067. This is about the same as the very best lead
                    batteries (some AGM types get as low as 1.06 to 1.10). It's ~much~ better
                    than East Penn gel batteries (about 1.23) and Trojan SCS225 flooded
                    batteries (1.27).

                    Sounds like you're having fun, Tom!


                    David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
                    1991 Solectria Force 144vac
                    1991 Ford Escort Green/EV 128vdc
                    1970 GE Elec-trak E15 36vdc
                    1974 Avco New Idea 36vdc
                    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
                    Thou shalt not send me any thing which says unto thee, "send this to all

                    thou knowest." Neither shalt thou send me any spam, lest I smite thee.

                    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

                    Est. yearly US cost to safeguard Persian Gulf oil supply: $50 billion

                    Est. 2001 value of US crude oil imports from Persian Gulf: $19 billion
                    -- Harper's Index, April 2002
                    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.