Well, today was a busy day -- I went through all 56 100Ah CALB battery modules and got
them all sitting at ~2.75V, in preparation for assembling into a pack in my '97 Force. I
had previously done a ballpark discharge to 2.75V but because I did them in groups of 3 or
4, there was bound to be a little variation. Turned out to not be so much -- when I put
them in the Powerlab 6 charger to do individual discharges to 2.75V, none took more than
about 5 minutes to settle down to the desired voltage. It was amazingly consistent from
battery to battery. As each battery completed the process, I carried them to the car and
set them in the battery box, working out my final battery layout.
Since my Force had previously been converted to NiCD, the front battery box is that odd
two-tier box built for Saft STM-100s, and the form factor is different from the lead-acid
box. Turned out I was able to fit 5 batteries in the upper tier (1x5) and 15 in the lower
tier (3x5), with the terminals exactly where I needed them! That was really nice. I
needed 8 of the short interconnects from the NiCD pack -- no problem, I just cleaned them
up a bit to get the lugs nice and shiny. Used the nice CALB copper interconnects where I
could -- Oddly, they really missed a golden opportunity with those -- they fit nicely when
the batteries are side by side with the batteries sharing the long axis, but if the
batteries are end to end, the interconnects are too long, so I had to use some of the old
interconnnects where the batteries were connected end-to-end. Would have been nice if
they had designed the batteries so that the terminals were the same distance from each side.
I put the remaining 36 batteries in the rear box, and man -- is there a lot of room left
in there! Since my car was set up for the high top-end voltage of the NiCDs, the DC-DC
converter can handle up to 250V, and I started thinking that it might be a good idea to go
for the max number of batteries I can accommodate in the box and still stay under the
DC-DC converter's voltage limit while under charge. If I get a chunk of spare cash in the
next few months, I may do just that.
So I got all the batteries in there and did all the interconnections, verified that there
was ~154V available (56 X 2.75V), and connected the main service disconnect. Up came the
Ah meter and I tested the lights and they were all working. I went ahead and disconnected
it after checking that all is well.
Next step: tomorrow morning I reprogram the Brusa NLG5 for these batteries and charge this
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