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Re: Pba battery pack problem

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  • Wolf Packs, Inc.
    I went to a shop that sells batteries and had them test mine. They told me which two were failing. After that I put a PakTrakr 600 monitoring system on the
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 11, 2010
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      I went to a shop that sells batteries and had them test mine. They
      told me which two were failing.

      After that I put a PakTrakr 600 monitoring system on the batteries.
      Because you can look at the individual voltages while driving you can
      see which batteries are starting to go bad before they get to the
      point of needing replacement. I think it helped to give my weakest
      ones an individual charge occasionally, it probably delayed their
      demise.

      I removed my PakTrakr system when I switched to lithium and would
      offer it to this list for $100 including shipping. Please reply to me
      directly so that the whole list does not have to see off topic
      posts... just replace the <at> with the @ sign for my real e-mail
      address paul<at>wolfpacks.com

      It's the 600 model with two extra remotes so that it will monitor up
      to 18 batteries. I did not buy the current sensor or data logger
      options. I bought it in June of '08 (mfg. date says April '08) and
      paid $290 plus shipping. I'm happy to e-mail pictures of the system.

      I noticed .1 to .2 volts difference on a few batteries between what
      the PakTrakr display showed and what a multi-tester showed for static
      voltages. This could be due to the terminal end connections or
      calibration inside the unit. It was not enough of a difference to
      worry about but I thought it might help others to know there can be
      small discrepancies in readouts (...like is that one at 10.6V or is it
      really at 10.4V?). Knowledge is power :-).

      Paul Martin
      Ashland, Oregon
      1997 Force
      Cell phone 541-944-6076
    • Wolf Packs, Inc.
      My slightly used PakTrakr has been sold. It s nice that people on this list can re-use various EV parts. Paul Martin
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 11, 2010
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        My slightly used PakTrakr has been sold. It's nice that people on this
        list can re-use various EV parts.

        Paul Martin
      • tom_sandiego_e10
        Don, Thanks for the idea of using the inverter with a specific load and timing the load at about 50 amp load. Even when batteries load test equally with a 150
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 16, 2010
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          Don,

          Thanks for the idea of using the inverter with a specific load and timing the load at about 50 amp load. Even when batteries load test equally with a 150 amp load tester some will last twice as long on the calibrated inverter load. Great idea, simple and very effective.

          Tom Shjarback
          E10

          --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, theoldcars@... wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hello Gary
          >
          > I figured out this one on my own years ago. It is the least expensive test
          > and finds bad modules very quickly. I have 8 or 10 different inverters
          > depending what I want to do and how many batteries I am working with. They are
          > great as they will cut off at 10 or 10.5 volts so that will not damage most
          > batteries. Including NiMH or LifePo4 if the cell number is correct.
          >
          > Take an inverter. I prefer one that can handle at least 800 watts. I use a
          > 50 amp load which is a 500 watt halogen work light and a 100 watt light.
          > This can vary a bit by the inverter. An analog clock. A DC clamp meter for
          > reading the amp load.
          >
          > Fully charge the battery. Then place the load on the inverter by turning it
          > on and note the time the clock. Measure the amp load. The amp load will be
          > a little lower then as the voltage falls the amp load will increase. You can
          > average it out and get a fairly accurate one time capacity test. The in
          > verter will cut the power for low battery protection and the clock will stop.
          > Now you know how long that battery will last at that amp load.
          >
          > In most high voltage AC drive systems a constant 50 amp load will move you
          > along at freeway speeds 50 to 60 miles an hour on flat ground no wind. If
          > the battery is any good you will find out how long it lasts under this type of
          > load and how far in real life you will travel.
          >
          > Be careful you dot put the positive on the positive and negative on
          > negative with the inverter and battery. If you cross them you will be buying a new
          > inverter or taking it apart and hoping you can fix it.
          >
          > You can buy an 800 watt inverter for 60 dollars on line. Most of the other
          > items most EVers have or are not expensive.
          >
          > Don
          >
          > In a message dated 2/10/2010 5:16:02 PM Pacific Standard Time, gjc0@...
          > writes:
          >
          > Don:
          >
          > A true capacity tester would be best.
          >
          > For a load test, I draw 100 amps from the pack and read the voltage of the
          > individual batteries.
          >
          > Sincerely,
          > Gary Carlson
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: _theoldcars@..._ (mailto:theoldcars@...)
          > To: _solectria_ev@solectria_evsol_ (mailto:solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com)
          > Sent: Wed, Feb 10, 2010 5:54 pm
          > Subject: Re: [solectria_ev] Pba battery pack problem
          >
          > Do you want to test for battery true capacity or just a load tester?
          >
          > Don
          >
          > In a message dated 2/10/2010 4:47:01 PM Pacific Standard Time,
          > _mailto:gjc0%40aol.com_ (mailto:gjc0@...)
          > writes:
          >
          > Greetings all:
          >
          > Can someone recommend a high aquality battery tester
          > by brand name and model number?
          >
          > For Lead-Acid gels.
          >
          > Thank you,
          > Gary Carlson
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Wolf <__wolf@wolftronix._wo_ (mailto:_wolf@...) _
          > (mailto:_wolf@..._ (mailto:wolf@...) ) >
          > To: _solectria_ev@To: _solecTo: _solectria__solectria_ev@solectria_evsol_
          > (mailto:solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com) )
          > Sent: Mon, Feb 8, 2010 5:29 pm
          > Subject: Re: [solectria_ev] '99 Force, Pba battery pack problem
          >
          > I looked at the other responses, and I don't have much to add.
          >
          > You always want to check a battery under load, its the best way to get info
          > on how it performs.
          >
          > Testing with the heater and lights and AC on, is good if the pack is
          > already run down... However the best way to check a battery is with a
          > battery
          > tester.
          >
          > If you can borrow and/or rent a battery tester, that is the way to go.
          >
          > You want one that can measure the internal resistance of the battery, under
          > a fixed load.
          >
          > Batteries that are starting to go bad will have higher resistance then good
          > ones.
          >
          > The one thing to note, is that a battery tester needs to warm up first,
          > before it can give a good measure of resistance.
          > So always hook another battery up first, to warm it up, and then test all
          > your batteries.
          >
          > When checking a batteries internal resistance, the battery should be fully
          > charged (the tester will put a low resistance load on it).
          >
          > Wolf
          > *wags his tail*
          > www.wolftronix.www
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Larry
          > To: _solectria_ev@To: _solecTo: _solectria__solectria_ev@solectria_evsol_
          > (mailto:solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com) )
          > Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2010 7:17 PM
          > Subject: [solectria_ev] '99 Force, Pba battery pack problem
          >
          > I am sending this post out to everyone who may have information and/or
          > experience with their force battery pack.
          > The current battery pack in my force is around 2 years old. I have been
          > getting 20 - 25 miles on a charge for the last 6 months. Lately that has
          > been
          > getting less and less and today I was only able to get 15 miles using 18.0
          > AH
          > and the last 2 miles were in "limp mode". I opened the battery boxes and
          > measured the battery voltages, in this discharged state. I figured(hoped)
          > that
          > maybe 1 or 2 of the batteries would show a much lower voltage and that
          > would indicate that they should be replaced. Maybe a cell was shorted
          > causing
          > them to limit the current that they could pass.
          > The battery voltages were as follows:
          > Trunk battery box:
          > #1 - 12.55 VDC
          > #2 - 12.61 VDC
          > #3 - 12.60 VDC
          > #4 - 12.60 VDC
          > #5 - 12.50 VDC
          > #6 - 12.55 VDC
          > #7 - 12.62 VDC
          > #8 - 12.63 VDC
          >
          > Front battery box:
          > #9 - 12.48 VDC
          > #10 - 12.54 VDC
          > #11 - 12.51 VDC
          > #12 - 12.56 VDC
          > #13 - 12.56 VDC
          >
          > As you can see, the voltages are within 10 to 15 mv of each other, which I
          > think is good.
          > I expected the front battery box to be at a slightly lower voltage, as a
          > result of the long connections. I have read on another site that 12.5 volts
          > represents a 35% DOD. If that is the case, then I should still have plenty,
          > but didn't. I guess I could load test each battery and see if any of them
          > exhibit voltage sag or current capability less than the others. Does anyone
          > have
          > any ideas or similar experiences of their own?
          >
          > I would like to upgrade to LiFeP04 batteries, but that is a $10,000
          > upgrade, by the time you get the batteries, BMS, and charger. I would like
          > to make
          > sure that everything else is OK, before I embark on that trip. I would like
          > to hear of anyone else's experience with this type of upgrade.
          >
          > Wolf,
          > If you are reading this, would you suggest that I open up my AMC325
          > controller and/or BC3Kw Charger and see if any of the problems with the
          > capacitors
          > or other issues that you have described may be lurking. My controller and
          > charger have been working just fine, but since I have access to them, while
          > I
          > test the batteries, it might be prudent. Better to catch a problem before
          > it
          > happens! I am an electrical engineer with 40 years of experience, so I am
          > comfortable with high power circuits.
          >
          > Thanks for everyone's interest.
          >
          > Larry
          > '99 Force (Sollie)
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • theoldcars@aol.com
          Hello Tom Your welcome I was glad to share the information. Some battery manufacturers only tested with around a 25 amp load for cycle life. EVs can be far
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 17, 2010
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            Hello Tom

            Your welcome I was glad to share the information.

            Some battery manufacturers only tested with around a 25 amp load for cycle
            life. EVs can be far higher than 25 amps so cycle life is less when used in
            an EV.

            I find a 50 amp constant load is closer to the real world use. That is why
            I like the 800 watt or greater power supplies. You can test at higher loads
            and get a fairly good idea of what to expect in use. It also finds any bad
            modules very fast. Sure beats getting stuck on the side of the road and
            needing a tow.

            Don


            In a message dated 2/16/2010 10:38:52 PM Pacific Standard Time,
            tom@... writes:

            Don,

            Thanks for the idea of using the inverter with a specific load and timing
            the load at about 50 amp load. Even when batteries load test equally with a
            150 amp load tester some will last twice as long on the calibrated inverter
            load. Great idea, simple and very effective.

            Tom Shjarback
            E10

            --- In _solectria_ev@solectria_evsol_ (mailto:solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com)
            , theoldcars@., theoldc
            >
            >
            > Hello Gary
            >
            > I figured out this one on my own years ago. It is the least expensive
            test
            > and finds bad modules very quickly. I have 8 or 10 different inverters
            > depending what I want to do and how many batteries I am working with.
            They are
            > great as they will cut off at 10 or 10.5 volts so that will not damage
            most
            > batteries. Including NiMH or LifePo4 if the cell number is correct.
            >
            > Take an inverter. I prefer one that can handle at least 800 watts. I use
            a
            > 50 amp load which is a 500 watt halogen work light and a 100 watt light.
            > This can vary a bit by the inverter. An analog clock. A DC clamp meter
            for
            > reading the amp load.
            >
            > Fully charge the battery. Then place the load on the inverter by turning
            it
            > on and note the time the clock. Measure the amp load. The amp load will
            be
            > a little lower then as the voltage falls the amp load will increase. You
            can
            > average it out and get a fairly accurate one time capacity test. The in
            > verter will cut the power for low battery protection and the clock will
            stop.
            > Now you know how long that battery will last at that amp load.
            >
            > In most high voltage AC drive systems a constant 50 amp load will move
            you
            > along at freeway speeds 50 to 60 miles an hour on flat ground no wind. If
            > the battery is any good you will find out how long it lasts under this
            type of
            > load and how far in real life you will travel.
            >
            > Be careful you dot put the positive on the positive and negative on
            > negative with the inverter and battery. If you cross them you will be
            buying a new
            > inverter or taking it apart and hoping you can fix it.
            >
            > You can buy an 800 watt inverter for 60 dollars on line. Most of the
            other
            > items most EVers have or are not expensive.
            >
            > Don



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