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using recombining caps or auto-fill watering systems?

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  • fred_dot_u
    If you re using flooded lead-acid batteries, do you use an auto-fill watering system or recombining caps? I d appreciate hearing from anyone who has used
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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      If you're using flooded lead-acid batteries, do you use an auto-fill
      watering system or recombining caps?

      I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has used either and especially
      if you've used both systems.

      thanks

      fred
    • John G. Lussmyer
      ... I don t think there is anyone who has used Flooded Lead-Acid batteries in a Sparrow. For that kind of question, the EVDL is a better list.
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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        fred_dot_u wrote:
        > If you're using flooded lead-acid batteries, do you use an auto-fill
        > watering system or recombining caps?
        >

        I don't think there is anyone who has used Flooded Lead-Acid batteries
        in a Sparrow.
        For that kind of question, the EVDL is a better list.
      • jakeoshins
        I think that you ll find that there s literally no way to fit enough flooded batteries into a Sparrow. You d run out of room for batteries by the time you had
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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          I think that you'll find that there's literally no way to fit enough
          flooded batteries into a Sparrow. You'd run out of room for batteries
          by the time you had about eight 6V batts. This would give you 48V at
          about 200A, which is only about 10kW. Perhaps you might squeeze in
          another battery or two, but you'd still only have a maximum of 15kW or
          so. If you managed to find really good flooded batts that can give you
          300A, you might get up to 20kW.

          The existing 13 Optima batteries can put out 500 or more amps at 160V
          (when new, and when you manage to get a batch of good ones.) This is
          80kW. Most of the controllers in our Sparrows go into current limit
          before that gets delivered to the road, but my Sparrow for instance can
          get better than 50kW to the road at 45mph.

          This is why I don't think that you'll find anybody using flooded batts
          in a Sparrow. If you're just intellectually curious about flooded
          batteries and you're curious what other EV drivers have done with them,
          try asking your question on the EVDL.

          - Jake Oshins
          #220



          --- In sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com, "fred_dot_u" <fred_dot_u@...> wrote:
          >
          > If you're using flooded lead-acid batteries, do you use an auto-fill
          > watering system or recombining caps?
          >
          > I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has used either and especially
          > if you've used both systems.
          >
          > thanks
          >
          > fred
          >
        • bortel
          Hi Fred, I ve been following your posts on the ZAP list, but I thought I would reply to you here since this is my home group. IMHO, putting floodies in a
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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            Hi Fred,



            I've been following your posts on the ZAP list, but I thought I would reply
            to you here since this is my 'home' group.



            IMHO, putting floodies in a Sparrow, or an SD, is a VERY bad idea. You can
            sort of control the gassing to a point where it is marginal, but you can't
            control the acid mist and seep. The acid is really hard on electronics and
            most folks have electronic devices in the boxes with the batteries. It won't
            be long before you have a HUGE mess in the battery boxes. That's one of the
            big reasons most of the hard core EVers don't use them.



            There's also a lot of other good reasons to avoid them inside a vehicle,
            including safety and so on. I rolled over a Volkswagen Beetle (in my younger
            days, about 1968) that ended up stopping upside down. The battery in a
            beetle is under the back seat. The guy riding in the back seat had to have
            surgery on his private parts because of the acid leak from under the seat
            and no place to rinse it off out on the highway.



            Later,

            Dan



            _____

            From: sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of fred_dot_u
            Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 10:02 AM
            To: sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [sparrow_ev] using recombining caps or auto-fill watering systems?



            If you're using flooded lead-acid batteries, do you use an auto-fill
            watering system or recombining caps?

            I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has used either and especially
            if you've used both systems.

            thanks






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • fred_dot_u
            Thanks for your information, Dan. I m also aware of the totally ugly results of acid mist from the liquid batteries. It s pretty clear on the single battery
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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              Thanks for your information, Dan. I'm also aware of the totally ugly
              results of acid mist from the liquid batteries. It's pretty clear on the
              single battery under the hood of most vehicles. I did some additional
              research which lead to those solar power storage people and they report
              good results with the recombination caps. I've discovered that the
              price of the liquid batteries are one-third of the "special" ones and
              have a little bit more power in them. I'm not committed to any solution
              as yet though. It's easier for me to put things off to the last
              minute/hour/day/week/month just to get pointed in the right direction.

              I figure with the Sparrows having such a high voltage (lots more
              batteries) that it's a good platform for this sort of thing. I'll temper
              that with your note that there can't be too many Sparrows with liquid
              batteries in them.

              In the late 70s, I rolled an older VW (solid axle) about 8 times. I had
              removed the passenger seat so the battery had free travel within the
              cabin. I'm paying for it now, with a blown disc and crushed nerve. We
              sure were foolish when we were young! I did win the race against that
              six cylinder pickup truck with the lower gearing.

              Has anyone rolled a Sparrow? I think once it gets up to that point, it
              would slide?


              --- In sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com, "bortel" <dannyb61@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Fred,
              >
              >
              >
              > I've been following your posts on the ZAP list, but I thought I would
              reply
              > to you here since this is my 'home' group.
              >
              >
              >
              > IMHO, putting floodies in a Sparrow, or an SD, is a VERY bad idea. You
              can
              > sort of control the gassing to a point where it is marginal, but you
              can't
              > control the acid mist and seep. The acid is really hard on electronics
              and
              > most folks have electronic devices in the boxes with the batteries. It
              won't
              > be long before you have a HUGE mess in the battery boxes. That's one
              of the
              > big reasons most of the hard core EVers don't use them.
              >
              >
              >
              > There's also a lot of other good reasons to avoid them inside a
              vehicle,
              > including safety and so on. I rolled over a Volkswagen Beetle (in my
              younger
              > days, about 1968) that ended up stopping upside down. The battery in a
              > beetle is under the back seat. The guy riding in the back seat had to
              have
              > surgery on his private parts because of the acid leak from under the
              seat
              > and no place to rinse it off out on the highway.
            • John G. Lussmyer
              ... No, the whole point is that a Sparrow is a BAD platform for floodies. You can t get true deep cycle floodies that fit in one, and provide enough voltage.
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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                fred_dot_u wrote:
                > I figure with the Sparrows having such a high voltage (lots more
                > batteries) that it's a good platform for this sort of thing. I'll temper
                > that with your note that there can't be too many Sparrows with liquid
                > batteries in them.
                >
                No, the whole point is that a Sparrow is a BAD platform for floodies.
                You can't get true deep cycle floodies that fit in one, and provide
                enough voltage.

                > Has anyone rolled a Sparrow? I think once it gets up to that point, it
                > would slide?
                >
                Depends on terrain and other mitigating factors. Sliding sideways and
                hitting the berm at the edge of driveway can roll one.
                I know, I did it. (Had the broken collar bone to prove it.)
              • Jake Oshins
                Be careful to make a distinction between power and energy. It s true that floodies contain more usable energy than AGMs. It s false that they can provide
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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                  Be careful to make a distinction between "power" and "energy." It's true
                  that floodies contain more usable energy than AGMs. It's false that they
                  can provide more power.



                  Energy: The total amount of work that the battery can perform before it
                  needs to be recharged



                  Power: The rate at which that work gets performed



                  Energy is (in this case) measured in kWh. Power is measured in kW. This is
                  particularly confusing because the "power company" is really selling you
                  energy.



                  My last message was an attempt to convince you that you'll never get enough
                  power out of floodies. I still believe that.



                  Depending on how long you want your AGM batteries to last, a Sparrow has
                  between 3kWh and 6kWh of usable energy on board. Limiting your trips to
                  under 3kWh, along with a good battery management system, will make your
                  batteries last a few years and cost per mile can start to get competitive
                  with gasoline. Draining your batteries as far as they'll go on every trip
                  will kill them in a matter of months, leading to battery costs upwards of $1
                  per mile. And, with gentle driving habits, your AGMs will never be asked to
                  produce more than, say 35kW of power.



                  Contrast that with any floodies you can find. I doubt that you can fit
                  enough of them into a Sparrow to deliver more than 15kW of power. This
                  means that acceleration will be less than half of what you have now. You'll
                  probably end up with a much lower voltage, too, which will lead to a
                  correspondingly lower top speed. A Sparrow with only 72V won't get up to
                  highway speed.



                  Furthermore, a lower-voltage system will require a new motor controller and
                  different gearing. You'll also need a new DC to DC converter.



                  - Jake





                  From: sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Behalf Of fred_dot_u
                  Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 4:42 PM
                  To: sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [sparrow_ev] Re: using recombining caps or auto-fill watering
                  systems?




                  Thanks for your information, Dan. I'm also aware of the totally ugly
                  results of acid mist from the liquid batteries. It's pretty clear on the
                  single battery under the hood of most vehicles. I did some additional
                  research which lead to those solar power storage people and they report
                  good results with the recombination caps. I've discovered that the
                  price of the liquid batteries are one-third of the "special" ones and
                  have a little bit more power in them. I'm not committed to any solution
                  as yet though. It's easier for me to put things off to the last
                  minute/hour/day/week/month just to get pointed in the right direction.

                  I figure with the Sparrows having such a high voltage (lots more
                  batteries) that it's a good platform for this sort of thing. I'll temper
                  that with your note that there can't be too many Sparrows with liquid
                  batteries in them.

                  In the late 70s, I rolled an older VW (solid axle) about 8 times. I had
                  removed the passenger seat so the battery had free travel within the
                  cabin. I'm paying for it now, with a blown disc and crushed nerve. We
                  sure were foolish when we were young! I did win the race against that
                  six cylinder pickup truck with the lower gearing.

                  Has anyone rolled a Sparrow? I think once it gets up to that point, it
                  would slide?

                  --- In sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com <mailto:sparrow_ev%40yahoogroups.com> ,
                  "bortel" <dannyb61@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Fred,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I've been following your posts on the ZAP list, but I thought I would
                  reply
                  > to you here since this is my 'home' group.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > IMHO, putting floodies in a Sparrow, or an SD, is a VERY bad idea. You
                  can
                  > sort of control the gassing to a point where it is marginal, but you
                  can't
                  > control the acid mist and seep. The acid is really hard on electronics
                  and
                  > most folks have electronic devices in the boxes with the batteries. It
                  won't
                  > be long before you have a HUGE mess in the battery boxes. That's one
                  of the
                  > big reasons most of the hard core EVers don't use them.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > There's also a lot of other good reasons to avoid them inside a
                  vehicle,
                  > including safety and so on. I rolled over a Volkswagen Beetle (in my
                  younger
                  > days, about 1968) that ended up stopping upside down. The battery in a
                  > beetle is under the back seat. The guy riding in the back seat had to
                  have
                  > surgery on his private parts because of the acid leak from under the
                  seat
                  > and no place to rinse it off out on the highway.





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • fred_dot_u
                  ... true ... they ... I certainly used the wrong terms and thanks for pointing that out. I am concerned about power, yes, but energy is my biggest concern. ...
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 2, 2008
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                    --- In sparrow_ev@yahoogroups.com, "Jake Oshins" <jake@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Be careful to make a distinction between "power" and "energy." It's
                    true
                    > that floodies contain more usable energy than AGMs. It's false that
                    they
                    > can provide more power.

                    I certainly used the wrong terms and thanks for pointing that out. I am
                    concerned about power, yes, but energy is my biggest concern.

                    > Energy: The total amount of work that the battery can perform before
                    it
                    > needs to be recharged
                    >
                    > Power: The rate at which that work gets performed
                    >
                    > Energy is (in this case) measured in kWh. Power is measured in kW.
                    This is
                    > particularly confusing because the "power company" is really selling
                    you
                    > energy.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > My last message was an attempt to convince you that you'll never get
                    enough
                    > power out of floodies. I still believe that.

                    That's an important consideration.

                    > Depending on how long you want your AGM batteries to last, a Sparrow
                    has
                    > between 3kWh and 6kWh of usable energy on board. Limiting your trips
                    to
                    > under 3kWh, along with a good battery management system, will make
                    your
                    > batteries last a few years and cost per mile can start to get
                    competitive
                    > with gasoline. Draining your batteries as far as they'll go on every
                    trip
                    > will kill them in a matter of months, leading to battery costs upwards
                    of $1
                    > per mile. And, with gentle driving habits, your AGMs will never be
                    asked to
                    > produce more than, say 35kW of power.

                    I'm of the club that believes that fifty percent discharge is the best
                    way to get long life from a pack. I am also a light-acceleration sort
                    of fellow. Those EPA mpg readings always come up lower than my figures
                    when I'm aiming for best economy. I've learned that works well in the EV
                    world as well.


                    > Contrast that with any floodies you can find. I doubt that you can fit
                    > enough of them into a Sparrow to deliver more than 15kW of power. This
                    > means that acceleration will be less than half of what you have now.
                    You'll
                    > probably end up with a much lower voltage, too, which will lead to a
                    > correspondingly lower top speed. A Sparrow with only 72V won't get up
                    to
                    > highway speed.

                    Because some things in the EV world are not vehicle specific and the
                    Sparrow group has a greater experience base, I figure the answers here
                    are as helpful as elsewhere. In the interests of full disclosure, I must
                    admit to being the owner of a different EV.

                    > Furthermore, a lower-voltage system will require a new motor
                    controller and
                    > different gearing. You'll also need a new DC to DC converter.

                    With the advisories I've gained from this discussion, I'm expanding my
                    research to more expensive batteries, non-floodies, but need that
                    assurance regarding lifespan. The Deka 8G31 currently in use
                    (indeterminate age) for a year have "gone soft" and I don't want to have
                    to purchase a new pack every year. If AGMs will last three years and
                    give good performance, I'm willing to head in that direction. I know my
                    charger will be replaced and it's on order, because the existing one
                    isn't smart enough to handle AGMs and the new one is programmable.

                    As Tim "the tool-man" Taylor would say, "More Power!"
                  • bortel
                    Hi Fred, Are you still running the stock 72v system? If so, I think that raising that to 96v could be one of the best ways to increase your battery life (and
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 2, 2008
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                      Hi Fred,



                      Are you still running the stock 72v system? If so, I think that raising that
                      to 96v could be one of the best ways to increase your battery life (and give
                      you a little faster top end when needed). Dropping the current draw is the
                      big trick to getting better battery life for an SD. There seems to be an
                      efficiency quirk in those motors whereby they seem to get far more efficient
                      at higher voltages, so going to 96v should drop the % current draw by more
                      than the % voltage increase. Also, doing any other mods you can to reduce
                      rolling resistance will help. That includes keeping your tires over inflated
                      by 10% or so, and going through the bearings, etc. and doing a repack and
                      adjustment.



                      IMO, the gel batteries that those came with are crap and so are all of the
                      gel replacements that are being tried in the ZAP group. Deep cycle gels like
                      those are great for UPS systems and other similar electronic applications
                      where they won't see many cycles and you don't want to worry about
                      maintenance, but in EV conditions they simply won't hold up.



                      A really good choice for an SD or PK would be something like a group 31
                      Champion AGM forklift battery. These are made for heavy cycling and will
                      last for a very long time. They are a fairly heavy battery with lots of
                      lead, so they have a VERY high energy density which should increase your
                      range by nearly double. An SD should be able to handle the slightly
                      increased weight with no problem and at SD speeds you shouldn't see much
                      difference in handling. In fact handling may be better due to a lower COG.
                      They will be a little more expensive up front, but save you a lot of money
                      and headaches in the end. You should be able to get them from most forklift
                      dealers, but shop around for the best price.



                      Good luck,

                      Dan

                      _



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Jake Oshins
                      Well, if you d said that a the start, John and I wouldn t have spent any time trying to convince you that floodies won t work for you. If you can fit enough
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 2, 2008
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                        Well, if you'd said that a the start, John and I wouldn't have spent any
                        time trying to convince you that floodies won't work for you.



                        If you can fit enough floodies into a vehicle to give you the power you
                        need, and if you can properly contain them so that they don't spill, and if
                        you isolate them so that their gasses don't corrode anything you care about
                        and finally, if you don't mind the maintenance involved:



                        Then floodies make a lot of sense for an EV. They are the absolute
                        cost-per-mile winner. They are more durable than any other lead battery,
                        provided that you don't over-discharge them and you water them regularly.



                        - Jake Oshins



                        ------------------------------------------------------

                        > Contrast that with any floodies you can find. I doubt that you can fit
                        > enough of them into a Sparrow to deliver more than 15kW of power. This
                        > means that acceleration will be less than half of what you have now.
                        You'll
                        > probably end up with a much lower voltage, too, which will lead to a
                        > correspondingly lower top speed. A Sparrow with only 72V won't get up
                        to
                        > highway speed.

                        Because some things in the EV world are not vehicle specific and the
                        Sparrow group has a greater experience base, I figure the answers here
                        are as helpful as elsewhere. In the interests of full disclosure, I must
                        admit to being the owner of a different EV.






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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