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  #1  
Old 03-04-2011, 04:06 AM
EVDL List EVDL List is offline
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Default [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

I've recently purchased an S-10 pickup conversion, with a new set of
twenty Sam's Club Energizer EC8 6v 105 reserve minute golf cart
batteries (120v).

I have been driving the truck 5,10,15,20 miles and then re-charging to
"break in" the battery pack.

I am in the enviable position of having a short (4.5 mile round trip)
daily commute, which is well under the maximum range of the battery pack.


My question is about how frequently I should charge the pack. I want to
maximize battery lifetime, and I don't plan on ever needing to drive the
truck past a 50% state of discharge.

My question:
Is it better to drive it a few trips (down to 25-45%) before recharging,
to lower the total number of charges?

Or is it better to charge it every night, even if only down 10-15%
because at the lower depth of discharge the more cycles I'll get?

Or some hybrid combination of charging every night usually and once a
month drive the pack to 80% depth of discharge to "exercise" it?

Any comments?
-Jay



P.S. Some details about my two chargers:

1. A Quick Charge 110V charger (possibly the SCO -120-10), it draws
about 10 amps max. It is currently set to mode F3 (Gas & then float),
but I could re-set it to mode F2 (Gas and then turn-off). This is the
easiest charger to use, as I don't have an outdoor 240v outlet (yet).
The length of charging time doesn't matter, as it will easily recharge
from 10-25% overnight. [Also, I like being able to use my Kill-o-Watt
meter on it, as I do not yet have a way to track how much power the 240v
Zivan charger uses.]

2. A 240v Zivan NG3 "high frequency charger". To use this I have to
leave my back door cracked open with a high capacity extension cord
going from my dryer vent out to the truck. This charger appears to work
fine (I have tried it once), and after it is done charging it turns it's
fans off. However, the LED indicator light is broken, and does not light
up, so I have no indicator of how far along in the charge it is at any
point in time. It has no "mode settings" that I could find, looks to be
a plug it in and forget it type of charger.


I'm wondering about the "gas" setting on the QuickCharge, as I don't
think I actually need to do a gas/equalization charge every time if I'm
charging from a low percentage discharge, and doing one too frequently
may lower the lifespan of the pack. (Or should I gas the batteries on
every charge? I have no idea what the Zivan charger is doing.)


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  #2  
Old 03-04-2011, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

Hello Jay,

I use to charge a 180 volt Trojan 245 AH battery pack every four days
driving only 1.1 mile a day and every time I went 5 miles or more. I charge
with a PFC-50B charger at 40 amps at 7.5 volts per battery at a 70 F in
about 4 minutes for the 1.1 mile run. Did not temperature compensate for
lower battery temperature, because the batteries never went below 60 F in a
insulated battery box.

These type of batteries are rated for minimum of 1000 ampere capacity and in
3200 cycles at that charging rate I had 6 batteries that had a reading of
about 500 ampere capacity. The remaining 24 batteries are now in another EV
and is still going today.

3200 cycle life is about equal to a 20% DOD according to the U.S. Battery
Manufacturing Co. Expected Cycle Life vs. DOD. Just type U.S. Cycle Life
vs. DOD in your search engine and it should bring this graph up.

I am now running U.S. 6 volt 251 AH and now charging them at 25 amps at 7.75
volts per battery at a battery temperature of 60 F. every time I go my daily
run for 1.1 mile for about 6 minutes.

Now according to the U.S. Battery cycle Life chart, I am charging these
batteries at about 2% DOD which should give 90,000 cycles. At 1.1 mile that
would be 130 years and 5 miles it about 5% DOD at 15,000 cycles in 40 years.

At 50% DOD, its at 1150 cycles or about 3 years.

Therefore I am going to tried these shallow DOD discharges at 2 to 5% DOD
and see what happens.

Roland






----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Summet" <xxx@xxx.xxx>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <xxx@xxx.xxx.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 3:01 AM
Subject: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?


> I've recently purchased an S-10 pickup conversion, with a new set of
> twenty Sam's Club Energizer EC8 6v 105 reserve minute golf cart
> batteries (120v).
>
> I have been driving the truck 5,10,15,20 miles and then re-charging to
> "break in" the battery pack.
>
> I am in the enviable position of having a short (4.5 mile round trip)
> daily commute, which is well under the maximum range of the battery pack.
>
>
> My question is about how frequently I should charge the pack. I want to
> maximize battery lifetime, and I don't plan on ever needing to drive the
> truck past a 50% state of discharge.
>
> My question:
> Is it better to drive it a few trips (down to 25-45%) before recharging,
> to lower the total number of charges?
>
> Or is it better to charge it every night, even if only down 10-15%
> because at the lower depth of discharge the more cycles I'll get?
>
> Or some hybrid combination of charging every night usually and once a
> month drive the pack to 80% depth of discharge to "exercise" it?
>
> Any comments?
> -Jay
>
>
>
> P.S. Some details about my two chargers:
>
> 1. A Quick Charge 110V charger (possibly the SCO -120-10), it draws
> about 10 amps max. It is currently set to mode F3 (Gas & then float),
> but I could re-set it to mode F2 (Gas and then turn-off). This is the
> easiest charger to use, as I don't have an outdoor 240v outlet (yet).
> The length of charging time doesn't matter, as it will easily recharge
> from 10-25% overnight. [Also, I like being able to use my Kill-o-Watt
> meter on it, as I do not yet have a way to track how much power the 240v
> Zivan charger uses.]
>
> 2. A 240v Zivan NG3 "high frequency charger". To use this I have to
> leave my back door cracked open with a high capacity extension cord
> going from my dryer vent out to the truck. This charger appears to work
> fine (I have tried it once), and after it is done charging it turns it's
> fans off. However, the LED indicator light is broken, and does not light
> up, so I have no indicator of how far along in the charge it is at any
> point in time. It has no "mode settings" that I could find, looks to be
> a plug it in and forget it type of charger.
>
>
> I'm wondering about the "gas" setting on the QuickCharge, as I don't
> think I actually need to do a gas/equalization charge every time if I'm
> charging from a low percentage discharge, and doing one too frequently
> may lower the lifespan of the pack. (Or should I gas the batteries on
> every charge? I have no idea what the Zivan charger is doing.)
>
>
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

[quote]Jay Summet wrote:

> My question:
> Is it better to drive it a few trips (down to 25-45%) before
> recharging, to lower the total number of charges?
>
> Or is it better to charge it every night, even if only down
> 10-15% because at the lower depth of discharge the more
> cycles I'll get?

Which one ends us being optimal will depend on how your charger(s) treat the batteries, but it is usually advised to operate the batteries between 50-80%DOD for lowest cost of ownership.

The cycle life curve is logarithmic (i.e. # of cycles possible at shallow DOD is much higher than at high DOD), however, this only tells part of the story. The lifetime energy throughput (lifetume Ah) of the battery is almost constant regardless of the DOD, and the battery has a calendar life as well as a cycle life.

Using the US Battery cycle life vs DOD chart that Roland refers to (<http://www.usbattery.com/usb_images/cycle_life.xls.pdf>), notice that at 100%DOD 500 cycles are predicted, and at 10%DOD, 7000 cycles are predicted; so the lifetime Ah at 10%DOD is only 40% greater than at 100%DOD, even though the cycle curve makes it look like the battery will last over 10x longer.

You might think that if you use only 10%/day and recharge each night, then 7000 cycles means your battery will last you >19yrs, however, the rated calendar life for a lead acid battery used in standby service (i.e. discharged about 1x per month or less) is typically 10yrs at 20-25 degrees C. For every 7-10C that the battery temperature is warmer than this, the calendar life is reduced by a factor of 2; that is, batteries at 30-35C (86-95F) would have an expected calendar life of 5yrs.

A recent recommendation I came across in one battery manufacturer's literature is that if the battery is discharged less than 40% in a day, then charge every other day; if it is discharged more than 40% in a day, then charge daily.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use and care for your batteries such that they wear out just before dying of old age. ;^>

Cheers,

Roger.

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  #4  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

[quote]Jay Summet wrote:
> I've recently purchased an S-10 pickup conversion, with a new set of
> twenty Sam's Club Energizer EC8 6v 105 reserve minute golf cart
> batteries (120v).

> I am in the enviable position of having a short (4.5 mile round trip)
> daily commute... My question is about how frequently I should charge the pack. I want to
> maximize battery lifetime, and I don't plan on ever needing to drive the
> truck past a 50% state of discharge.

I had almost exactly the same situation with my ComutaVan EV. This is a
"postal jeep" size mail truck EV. My pack was twelve 6v Sam's Club golf
cart batteries, and my daily commute was 4 miles each way.

I didn't recharge daily; instead, I drove 2-3 days until the pack was at
about 50% state of charge. Then I recharged. But I didn't do a full
equalizing charge; I stopped when the batteries reached "full" but did
not go beyond this to equalize them. I charged at 40 amps initially
until the voltage reached 7.2v per 6v battery, then held the voltage
constant until the current fell to about 4 amps, then hold the current
at 4 amps for about an hour, then shut off. The shutoff voltage would be
around 7.4v per 6v battery. This is the normal charge cycle for the
"Lester Computime II" charger I was using.

Then once or twice a month, I did a full equalizing charge. This means
continuing to charge at 4 amps until the voltage stops rising. It will
take the batteries over 7.5v, and takes an extra 1-2 hours.

My pack lasted 7 years and 12k miles with this regimen (though I had one
early battery failure at 5 years that got replaced). At the end, the
pack was down to about half of its original range, and I had to turn the
current up from 4a to 8a, and the ending voltages were lower (7.3v
normal and 7.4v when equalizing).
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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  #5  
Old 03-04-2011, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

To add another fly in the ointment is if you charge at a higher or lower ra=
te =

that will affect battery life and performance. Seems leadacid likes t=
o be hit =

hard butI'll leave that to the experts to expalin as I frequently charge=
below =

10 amps. Lawrence Rhodes..........

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  #6  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

The long and the short of it ...

First the short:
Do nothing different, plug in every chance you get.
Assuming your chargers are setup correctly, this is best way to always
have a full charged pack and reduce sulfation for a longer pack life.
Full charges after a shallow discharge is a good thing.

The long of it:
Remember, you are driving around with an equivalent to a 2 gallon fuel
tank [ http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm ]. Having the
pack always fully charged, & ready to go adds to your EV grin (a good
thing).

What little electrolyte you bubble off, you will replace during your
monthly maintenance by adding only "Distilled Water" (Do Not Use
anything else. Water sold that states "distilled" has to be
distilled, thus a known-quantity and quality. Besides, distilled water
is cheap, I get it for $.85 a gallon at Walmart/Kmart/Foodsco/Smart-
n-Final, etc. On pack like yours, you should never need to use more
than a half a gallon per month. You can afford less than a 1/2 a buck
a month to have a healthy pack.).

I learned a trick to make my monthly pack maintenance quick and easy.
After an overnight full charge, I unplug the AC and pull the pack
DC kill switch (opens the circuit).

I use a Windex-like window/glass cleaner (the blue-stuff) on the tops
of the batteries (caps still on). This not only cleans them making
them look nice for showing off, but removes road grime/grit/grease,
and the cleaner is slightly base which will neutralize what little
acid spray occurs during the gassing/equalizing stage.

I take the caps/tops off the batteries setting them on a clean paper
towel. I have a $15 dedicated garden sprayer
http://common1.csnimages.com/lf/3/hash/3677/3492594/1/1.jpg
with the plastic spray tip unscrewed/taken off so it now squirts. I
fill with a gallon of distilled water, a few pumps ... adding
distilled water to the cells is now a breeze. Usually I spent more
time yakking EVs to the public that sees me watering and just has to
ask EV questions, than the actual maintenance itself.

Fill to the internal ring 1/4" from the top, Do Not fill to the
tippy-top, that is too much. Recap/top the batteries, and clean again
as before getting what you missed.

Connections should checked/tightened during this monthly maintenance
(things get shaken loose over time). If you see any acid corrosion
build-up, neutralize with baking soda+water solution, clean, and apply
a anti-acid protective coating (I do not like the quickie sprays as
they do not last. I use the thicker, dark colored anti-acid grease to
coat connectors). If done right, I only have to apply that once when
the new pack was put in.


Some web research tells me:
http://www.summet.com/blog/2011/02/27/s-10-electric-pickup/
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~summetj/

Some light reading for you:
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_the_lead_acid_battery
http://www.chargingchargers.com/tutorials/charging.html

Your Sam's Club batteries are likely re-badged Exide GC8-110 types
http://www.ebatteriestogo.com/Exide_Golf_Cart_Batteries.htm

You can find details on your Quick Charge model
http://www.quickcharge.com/Select a Charge portable new.htm

I recommend you keep the chargers at the gas, then float setting.
If you really-really want to only gas occasionally, the Quick
Charge manual states there is a charge to stop (no float) setting,
but I do not recommend using it. Don't mess with the Zivan's
settings.

The gas/equalization phase, is a low current over charge for a couple
hours that brings all cells up to the same SOC, and the slight
bubbling churns the electrolyte reducing acid stratification. During
this phase an occasional small bubble will come to the top. It
should not be a boiling roar of bubbles during gassing (if so
something is not set correctly! I have seen this with the Zivan
chargers I have had, but not with the pfc chargers I have owned).

You can find details on your Zivan NG3
http://www.zivanusa.com/NG3BatteryCharger.htm
http://www.zivanusa.com/ChargeCurve.htm

If you have access to a 220VAC 20A or better circuit (i.e. a dryer
outlet) but it is too far from the driveway, consider getting/making
an 10-3 extension cord so you can use the NG3 charger at home. If
25' or less you could get away with a 12-3 extension cord, but I
have found you will have more uses for the more expensive, heavier
gauge 10-3 cord.


I would verify both chargers are set correctly. That is, their
charging stages transition at the correct pack voltages. Assuming you
have a fairly accurate DVM (meter), after a pack has finished a full
charge, let it stand/sit for at least an hour. Take SOC measurements.
Then spend an hour taking pack voltage and charging current
measurements.

If your two chargers are set correctly you are good to go. If not,
I suggest you don't mess with them, but get them adjusted by the
manufacturer (especially the Zivan). I 'do' have experience with
Zivan chargers, both K and NG series. I do not have experience
with Quick Charge models.


If you decide to expand your EV grin and use public charging you
will need the appropriate adapters (i.e. J1772 to 14-50, AVCON to
14-50, etc.). Note: the NG3 220VAC charger will not work with an
EVII ICS-200 AVCON because the Auto Manufacturers required EVII
have a circuit to sense the EV charger's power factor correction (pfc)
rating. Any charger (like the Zivan NG series) with a pfc lower than
95% the EVII AVCON EVSE will shut off after 1.5 minutes into the
charge. I do not know if the newer J1772 EVSE have this same
restriction.

Looking at what public EV charging is near you in Atlanta, GA:

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/
Cole Electric Technology
Electric
3980 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Atlanta GA 30336
Type: Level 2
Phone: 404-691-9119
Distance: 7.7 Miles
Intersection Directions: Located in fenced area at company warehouse
Access: Public - call ahead

http://www.mychargepoint.net/find-stations.php
Name: SIEMENS / E-FTC
Address: 200-398 Technology Dr, Alpharetta, Georgia, 30005, United States
Status as of : 2011-03-04 12:26:54 (EST)
Port 1: 120V, 16A, NEMA 5-20R:Available
Port 2: 240V, 30A, J1772:Available

http://electric.carstations.com/
Georgia Power Headquarters, Atlanta
241 Ralph McGill Boulevard NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Type: Level 2 J1772



I hope this helps.
{brucedp.150m.com}



-
From: Jay Summet
I've recently purchased an S-10 pickup conversion, with a new set of
twenty Sam's Club Energizer EC8 6v 105 reserve minute golf cart
batteries (120v).

I have been driving the truck 5,10,15,20 miles and then re-charging to
"break in" the battery pack.

I am in the enviable position of having a short (4.5 mile round trip)
daily commute, which is well under the maximum range of the battery
pack.

My question is about how frequently I should charge the pack. I want
to maximize battery lifetime, and I don't plan on ever needing to
drive the truck past a 50% state of discharge.

My question:
Is it better to drive it a few trips (down to 25-45%) before
recharging, to lower the total number of charges?

Or is it better to charge it every night, even if only down 10-15%
because at the lower depth of discharge the more cycles I'll get?

Or some hybrid combination of charging every night usually and once
a month drive the pack to 80% depth of discharge to "exercise" it?

Any comments?
-Jay



Some details about my two chargers:

1. A Quick Charge 110V charger (possibly the SCO -120-10), it draws
about 10 amps max. It is currently set to mode F3 (Gas & then float),
but I could re-set it to mode F2 (Gas and then turn-off). This is the
easiest charger to use, as I don't have an outdoor 240v outlet (yet).
The length of charging time doesn't matter, as it will easily recharge
from 10-25% overnight. [Also, I like being able to use my Kill-o-Watt
meter on it, as I do not yet have a way to track how much power the
240v Zivan charger uses.]

2. A 240v Zivan NG3 "high frequency charger". To use this I have to
leave my back door cracked open with a high capacity extension cord
going from my dryer vent out to the truck. This charger appears to
work fine (I have tried it once), and after it is done charging it
turns it's fans off. However, the LED indicator light is broken, and
does not light up, so I have no indicator of how far along in the
charge it is at any point in time. It has no "mode settings" that I
could find, looks to be a plug it in and forget it type of charger.

I'm wondering about the "gas" setting on the QuickCharge, as I don't
think I actually need to do a gas/equalization charge every time if
I'm charging from a low percentage discharge, and doing one too
frequently may lower the lifespan of the pack. (Or should I gas the
batteries on every charge? I have no idea what the Zivan charger is
doing.)
-


--
View this message in context: http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/Can-you-charge-Lead-Acid-Batteries-too-frequently-tp3335046p3336201.html
Sent from the Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

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  #7  
Old 03-04-2011, 07:35 PM
EVDL List EVDL List is offline
EVDL List Bot
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 70
EVDL List is on a distinguished road
Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

The long and the short of it ...

First the short: do nothing different, plug in every chance you get.
Assuming your chargers are setup correctly, this is best way to always
have a full charged pack and reduce sulfation for a longer pack life.

The long of it:

Remember, you are driving around with an equivalent to a 2 gallon fuel
tank [ http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm ]. Having the
pack always fully charged, ready to go is a good thing.

What little electrolyte you bubble off, you will replace during your
monthly maintenance by adding only "Distilled Water". Do Not Use
anything else. Water sold that states it is "distilled" has to be
distilled thus a known-quantity and quality. Besides, distilled water
is cheap, I get it for $.85 a gallon at Walmart/Kmart/Foodco/Smart-
and Final, etc. On pack like yours, you should never need to use more
than a half a gallon per month.

I learned a trick to make my monthly pack maintenance quick and easy.
After an overnight full charge, I unplug the AC and pull the pack
DC kill switch (opens the circuit).

I use a Windex-like window/glass cleaner (the blue-stuff) on the tops
of the batteries (caps still on). This not only cleans them making
them look nice for showing off, but removes road grime/grit/grease,
and the cleaner is slightly base which will neutralize what little
acid spray occurs during the gassing/equalizing stage.

I take the caps/tops off the batteries setting them on a clean paper
towel. I have a $15 dedicated garden sprayer
http://common1.csnimages.com/lf/3/hash/3677/3492594/1/1.jpg
with the plastic spray tip taken off so it now squirts. I fill with a
gallon of distilled water, a few pumps ... adding distilled water to
the cells is a breeze.

Fill to the internal ring 1/4" from the top, Do Not fill to the
tippy-top, that is too much. Recap/top the batteries, and clean again
as before getting what you find you see you missed when the caps were
off.

Connections should checked/tighten at this monthly maintenance for
the first three months, and every six months there after (things get
shaken loose over time). If you see any acid corrosion buildup,
neutralize, clean, and apply a anti-acid protective coating. I do not
like the quickie sprays as they do not last, I use the thicker, dark
colored anti-acid grease to coat connectors. If done right, I only
have to apply it once when the new pack was put in.

Some web research tells me:
http://www.summet.com/blog/2011/02/27/s-10-electric-pickup/
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~summetj/

Some light reading for you:
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_the_lead_acid_battery
http://www.chargingchargers.com/tutorials/charging.html

Your Sams Club batteries are likely re-badged Exide GC8-110 types
http://www.ebatteriestogo.com/Exide_Golf_Cart_Batteries.htm

You can find details on your Quick Charge model
http://www.quickcharge.com/Select a Charge portable new.htm

I recommend you keep the chargers set to gas, then float setting.
If you really-really want to only gas occasionally, the Quick
Charge manual states there is a charge to stop (no float) setting,
but I do not recommend using it.

A gas/equalization phase, is a low current over charge for a couple
hours that brings all cells up to the same SOC, and the slight
bubbling churns the electrolyte reducing acid stratification.

You can find details on your Zivan NG3
http://www.zivanusa.com/NG3BatteryCharger.htm
http://www.zivanusa.com/ChargeCurve.htm

If you have access to a 220VAC 20A or better circuit (i.e. a dryer
outlet) but it is too far from the driveway, consider getting/making
an 10-3 extension cord so you can use the NG3 charger at home.

I would verify both chargers are set correctly, that is their stages
stop at the correct pack voltages. Assuming you have a fairly
accurate DVM, after a pack has finished a full charge, let it stand/
sit for at least an hour. Take SOC measurements. Then spend an hour
taking pack voltage and charging current measurements.

If your two chargers are set correctly you are good to go. If not
I suggest you don't mess with them, but get them adjusted by the
manufacturer (especially the Zivan). I do have experience with
Zivan chargers, both K and NG series. I do not have experience
with Quick Charge models.

If you decide to expand your EV grin and use public charging you
will need the appropriate adapters (i.e. J1772 to 14-50, AVCON to
14-50, etc.). Note the NG3 220VAC charger will not work with an
EVII AVCON because the Auto Manufacturers required EVII install
a circuit to sense the EV charger's power factor correction (pfc)
rating. Any charger like the NG series with a pfc lower than 95%
the EVII AVCON EVSE will shut off. I do not know if the newer J1772
EVSE have this same restriction.

Looking at what public EV charging is near you:

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/
Cole Electric Technology
Electric
3980 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Atlanta GA 30336
Type: Level 2
Phone: 404-691-9119
Distance: 7.7 Miles
Intersection Directions: Located in fenced area at company warehouse
Access: Public - call ahead

http://www.mychargepoint.net/find-stations.php
Name: SIEMENS / E-FTC
Address: 200-398 Technology Dr, Alpharetta, Georgia, 30005, United States
Status as of : 2011-03-04 12:26:54 (EST)
Port 1: 120V, 16A, NEMA 5-20R:Available
Port 2: 240V, 30A, J1772:Available

http://electric.carstations.com/
Georgia Power Headquarters, Atlanta
241 Ralph McGill Boulevard NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Type: Level 2 J1772

I hope this helps.
{brucedp.150m.com}



-
From: Jay Summet <xxx@xxx.xxx>
I've recently purchased an S-10 pickup conversion, with a new set of
twenty Sam's Club Energizer EC8 6v 105 reserve minute golf cart
batteries (120v).

I have been driving the truck 5,10,15,20 miles and then re-charging to
"break in" the battery pack.

I am in the enviable position of having a short (4.5 mile round trip)
daily commute, which is well under the maximum range of the battery
pack.

My question is about how frequently I should charge the pack. I want
to maximize battery lifetime, and I don't plan on ever needing to
drive the truck past a 50% state of discharge.

My question:
Is it better to drive it a few trips (down to 25-45%) before
recharging, to lower the total number of charges?

Or is it better to charge it every night, even if only down 10-15%
because at the lower depth of discharge the more cycles I'll get?

Or some hybrid combination of charging every night usually and once
a month drive the pack to 80% depth of discharge to "exercise" it?

Any comments?
-Jay



Some details about my two chargers:

1. A Quick Charge 110V charger (possibly the SCO -120-10), it draws
about 10 amps max. It is currently set to mode F3 (Gas & then float),
but I could re-set it to mode F2 (Gas and then turn-off). This is the
easiest charger to use, as I don't have an outdoor 240v outlet (yet).
The length of charging time doesn't matter, as it will easily recharge
from 10-25% overnight. [Also, I like being able to use my Kill-o-Watt
meter on it, as I do not yet have a way to track how much power the
240v Zivan charger uses.]

2. A 240v Zivan NG3 "high frequency charger". To use this I have to
leave my back door cracked open with a high capacity extension cord
going from my dryer vent out to the truck. This charger appears to
work fine (I have tried it once), and after it is done charging it
turns it's fans off. However, the LED indicator light is broken, and
does not light up, so I have no indicator of how far along in the
charge it is at any point in time. It has no "mode settings" that I
could find, looks to be a plug it in and forget it type of charger.

I'm wondering about the "gas" setting on the QuickCharge, as I don't
think I actually need to do a gas/equalization charge every time if
I'm charging from a low percentage discharge, and doing one too
frequently may lower the lifespan of the pack. (Or should I gas the
batteries on every charge? I have no idea what the Zivan charger is
doing.)
-



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  #8  
Old 03-06-2011, 12:55 PM
EVDL List EVDL List is offline
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Posts: 70
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Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

[quote]Brucedp5 wrote:

> Do nothing different, plug in every chance you get.
> Assuming your chargers are setup correctly, this is best way
> to always have a full charged pack and reduce sulfation for a
> longer pack life.
> Full charges after a shallow discharge is a good thing.

As you see, there are dissenting opinions on this. Sulphation is not an issue for batteries that are discharged less than 10%/day and are charged every few days. There are other things going on inside the batteries when regularly fully charging after every shallow discharge, such as accelerated grid corrosion, that cannot be reversed.

> Fill to the internal ring 1/4" from the top, Do Not fill to
> the tippy-top, that is too much. Recap/top the batteries, and
> clean again as before getting what you missed.

A word of caution about this: some makes of batteries have a fill well (short tube that sticks down inside the cell from the battery cover); some of these will have a "fill to" level marked on them, if so, fill to the mark; if not, fill to 1/4" below the bottom of the well. Other makes do not have a fill well, they just have a bit of a 'flange' around the cell cap opening: do not fill these to 1/4" below the flange or they will be overfilled!

Cheers,

Roger.

_______________________________________________
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| Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2011, 09:25 AM
EVDL List EVDL List is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 70
EVDL List is on a distinguished road
Default [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

When I had my Lawn business I got to see batteries and what they
liked and didn't like but in many ways what they like and don't like
is still a mystery . Now days I do so little driving that I haven't
bought a new battery in 3 years and just use all the old stuff I take
out of cars when I up grade them. For the 15 years that I ran my
lawn business with the electric truck, using golf cart batteries, I
got about 2 years on each pack. This was driving 20 to 30 miles a
day, towing a lawn trailer with a lawn mower. Over the years I
charged them higher Amps and had been said by a few people, 40 Amps
for a Golf Cart Battery is pretty good. Charging at 10 Amps or lower
will cut 20% off their life, ( my guess). The last 3 years of the
Lawn Business, I had the Electric Lawn Mower with a AGM Batteries and
would charge 5 to 10 times a day at 100 to 150 Amps. I never really
got to wear out a set of Batteries. I killed the first pack, after a
year, while cutting my OWN grass and leaving them plugged in.. (
dahhhh) ...Thought someones septic tank had broken...what a smell !
From the lawn mower experience and the Golf Cart batteries in my
truck, I would say that, fast charging is under rated when it comes to
taking care of Batteries. Yes letting them go flat is definitely a
nail in their coffin, but I have seen a lot of people who charged
their batteries at a low current and I don't think they are getting
the life that they could, if they charged them at a higher current.
The last 3 years of the lawn business, when I had the electric lawn
mower, I had 38 Golf Cart Batteries on the truck so that I would
have enough power on board to charge all day long. I also did a lot
of Opportunity Charging. I had the PFC 50 charger and any place that
had 3 yards to cut ( about an hour) I would plug in to a dryer
outlet and pump away. When I went from 20 to 38 batteries ( this
was 2 strings, with the Voltage being 114V, which dump charged my 96V
lawn mower just right, giving me a 10 min. charge time). Even though
I was still using 80% of the power in the batteries, by having 2
strings and not stressing the Golf Cart Batteries out as much as with
one string, at the end of 3 years ..one year longer than what I
normally got on the Golf Cart Batteries,...they were still doing good
when I sold the business. So, keeping the discharge rate below
75Amps for the Golf Cart Batteries seemed to give me 1/3 more life. I
was not the best "care taker" of my Hawker Odyssey's on the lawn
Mower, I was always going to work on a management system, didn't have
the famous Lee Hart Regulators and many times came home from work, so
tired that I didn't even charge them. I would get them in the
morning. I would charge them a bit, but didn't bring them up to a
full charge with equalization with all that stuff, even after a hard
day of work, and them being charged 10 times. I still have the lawn
mower now ( I had to re po my equipment as the guy I sold the lawn
business to ruined everything) and I am still using some of those
batteries today, that were on the Mower 4 years ago. In my shop, I
have 4 PFC Chargers so I can BLAST batteries with 100 Amps and look
forward to cutting the grass here at the shop whenever I can.

Steve Clunn





<
xxx@xxx.xxxa-q.local>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"us-ascii"

[quote]Brucedp5 wrote:

> Do nothing different, plug in every chance you get.
> Assuming your chargers are setup correctly, this is best way
> to always have a full charged pack and reduce sulfation for a
> longer pack life.
> Full charges after a shallow discharge is a good thing.

As you see, there are dissenting opinions on this. Sulphation is not
an issue for batteries that are discharged less than 10%/day and are
charged every few days. There are other things going on inside the
batteries when regularly fully charging after every shallow discharge,
such as accelerated grid corrosion, that cannot be reversed.

> Fill to the internal ring 1/4" from the top, Do Not fill to
> the tippy-top, that is too much. Recap/top the batteries, and
> clean again as before getting what you missed.

A word of caution about this: some makes of batteries have a fill well
(short tube that sticks down inside the cell from the battery cover);
some of these will have a "fill to" level marked on them, if so, fill
to the mark; if not, fill to 1/4" below the bottom of the well. Other
makes do not have a fill well, they just have a bit of a 'flange'
around the cell cap opening: do not fill these to 1/4" below the
flange or they will be overfilled!

Cheers,

Roger.



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

_______________________________________________
xxx@xxx.xxx.edu
For general EVDL support, see http://evdl.org/help/

--
Tomorrows Ride TODAY !
Visit our shop web page at: www.Greenshedconversions.com

_______________________________________________
| REPLYING: address your message to xxx@xxx.xxx.edu only.
| Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-07-2011, 09:35 AM
EVDL List EVDL List is offline
EVDL List Bot
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 70
EVDL List is on a distinguished road
Default Re: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

Those are great real life data points, thanks for posting.

Did you do any balancing on your batteries? Or did they just naturally stay in
balance? Or did you have to top up a low battery manually once in a while?




________________________________
From: Steve Clunn <xxx@xxx.xxx>
To: xxx@xxx.xxx.edu
Sent: Mon, March 7, 2011 9:18:02 AM
Subject: [EVDL] Can you charge Lead Acid Batteries too frequently?

When I had my Lawn business I got to see batteries and what they
liked and didn't like but in many ways what they like and don't like
is still a mystery . Now days I do so little driving that I haven't
bought a new battery in 3 years and just use all the old stuff I take
out of cars when I up grade them. For the 15 years that I ran my
lawn business with the electric truck, using golf cart batteries, I
got about 2 years on each pack. This was driving 20 to 30 miles a
day, towing a lawn trailer with a lawn mower. Over the years I
charged them higher Amps and had been said by a few people, 40 Amps
for a Golf Cart Battery is pretty good. Charging at 10 Amps or lower
will cut 20% off their life, ( my guess). The last 3 years of the
Lawn Business, I had the Electric Lawn Mower with a AGM Batteries and
would charge 5 to 10 times a day at 100 to 150 Amps. I never really
got to wear out a set of Batteries. I killed the first pack, after a
year, while cutting my OWN grass and leaving them plugged in.. (
dahhhh) ...Thought someones septic tank had broken...what a smell !
>From the lawn mower experience and the Golf Cart batteries in my
truck, I would say that, fast charging is under rated when it comes to
taking care of Batteries. Yes letting them go flat is definitely a
nail in their coffin, but I have seen a lot of people who charged
their batteries at a low current and I don't think they are getting
the life that they could, if they charged them at a higher current.
The last 3 years of the lawn business, when I had the electric lawn
mower, I had 38 Golf Cart Batteries on the truck so that I would
have enough power on board to charge all day long. I also did a lot
of Opportunity Charging. I had the PFC 50 charger and any place that
had 3 yards to cut ( about an hour) I would plug in to a dryer
outlet and pump away. When I went from 20 to 38 batteries ( this
was 2 strings, with the Voltage being 114V, which dump charged my 96V
lawn mower just right, giving me a 10 min. charge time). Even though
I was still using 80% of the power in the batteries, by having 2
strings and not stressing the Golf Cart Batteries out as much as with
one string, at the end of 3 years ..one year longer than what I
normally got on the Golf Cart Batteries,...they were still doing good
when I sold the business. So, keeping the discharge rate below
75Amps for the Golf Cart Batteries seemed to give me 1/3 more life. I
was not the best "care taker" of my Hawker Odyssey's on the lawn
Mower, I was always going to work on a management system, didn't have
the famous Lee Hart Regulators and many times came home from work, so
tired that I didn't even charge them. I would get them in the
morning. I would charge them a bit, but didn't bring them up to a
full charge with equalization with all that stuff, even after a hard
day of work, and them being charged 10 times. I still have the lawn
mower now ( I had to re po my equipment as the guy I sold the lawn
business to ruined everything) and I am still using some of those
batteries today, that were on the Mower 4 years ago. In my shop, I
have 4 PFC Chargers so I can BLAST batteries with 100 Amps and look
forward to cutting the grass here at the shop whenever I can.

Steve Clunn





<
xxx@xxx.xxxa-q.local>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

[quote]Brucedp5 wrote:

> Do nothing different, plug in every chance you get.
> Assuming your chargers are setup correctly, this is best way
> to always have a full charged pack and reduce sulfation for a
> longer pack life.
> Full charges after a shallow discharge is a good thing.

As you see, there are dissenting opinions on this. Sulphation is not
an issue for batteries that are discharged less than 10%/day and are
charged every few days. There are other things going on inside the
batteries when regularly fully charging after every shallow discharge,
such as accelerated grid corrosion, that cannot be reversed.

> Fill to the internal ring 1/4" from the top, Do Not fill to
> the tippy-top, that is too much. Recap/top the batteries, and
> clean again as before getting what you missed.

A word of caution about this: some makes of batteries have a fill well
(short tube that sticks down inside the cell from the battery cover);
some of these will have a "fill to" level marked on them, if so, fill
to the mark; if not, fill to 1/4" below the bottom of the well. Other
makes do not have a fill well, they just have a bit of a 'flange'
around the cell cap opening: do not fill these to 1/4" below the
flange or they will be overfilled!

Cheers,

Roger.



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

_______________________________________________
xxx@xxx.xxx.edu
For general EVDL support, see http://evdl.org/help/

--
Tomorrows Ride TODAY !
Visit our shop web page at: www.Greenshedconversions.com

_______________________________________________
| REPLYING: address your message to xxx@xxx.xxx.edu only.
| Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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