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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the electric world and just acquired a dated electric trike from a member on here. He has 4 modules of Chevy Volt batteries and they have been sitting out in the elements for a few years in New York. I was curious if there was a way to refurbish these batteries and bring them back to life? I did have good news that the on board charger seems to show signs of life as there was a charger fault lights and it indicated the AC power from the 120V plug was present so maybe the charger wasn't recognizing the minimum voltage it is needing?

Any light or help would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you done a voltage check? Volt packs have a demonstrated longevity if not abused too much.
I have not done one as of yet. I just know being with the trike being in New York for those winters throughout the years, surely has put a damper on the battery life if anything. Is there a way to "boost" them back to life? What voltage should I be concerned or looking for?
 

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The Chevy Volt battery consists of 288 pouches wired 3p96s. It is split into four modules. From front to back the 96s is broken down into 30s+24s+(18s+24s) with the 18s module on the left side.

The pouches are Li-ion. So if all the pouches are around 3.6 volts the battery is in an intermediate state of charge and probably ok. This corresponds to respective module voltages of 108V, 86.5V, (65V, 86.5V).

These ratios are 5:4:3:4. If the voltages of the four modules are all in those ratios the battery is probably good, if not then you may have a bad module.

If the ratios are all good but the voltages are significantly lower or higher then the battery may be near 0% or 100% state of charge respectively. Anything above 400V total is 100+%, you shouldn't be seeing that.

(Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on this battery, I'm just learning about it as I shoehorn it into my Delorean.)
 

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The Chevy Volt battery consists of 288 pouches wired 3p96s. It is split into four modules. From front to back the 96s is broken down into 30s+24s+(18s+24s) with the 18s module on the left side.
Just two points to clarify:
  • those four blocks, each of which is mechanically bolted together, each consists of two or three modules electrically
  • those specs are for the first-generation Volt; the second generation (2016+) is generally similar in format, but different in cell count (it's 96S 2P instead of 96S 3P) and grouping into modules (7 modules instead of 9)

This document from GM can be helpful:
VOLT_BATTERY.pdf

So if I put "[" and "]" around the bolted-together blocks, but list all of the modules, the breakdown of a first-generation Volt battery is:
[6s+12s+12s]+[12s+12s] + [12s+6s]+[12s+12s]

The corresponding breakdown of a second-generation Volt battery is:
[12s+12s]+[16s+12s] + [16s]+[16s+12s]
or
[12s+12s]+[16s+12s] + [16s]+[12s+16s]
Still four blocks, still three different sizes, still composed of modules of two different sizes... all the same logic applies, but with different numbers.

The pouches are Li-ion. So if all the pouches are around 3.6 volts the battery is in an intermediate state of charge and probably ok. This corresponds to respective module voltages of 108V, 86.5V, (65V, 86.5V).

These ratios are 5:4:3:4. If the voltages of the four modules are all in those ratios the battery is probably good, if not then you may have a bad module.

If the ratios are all good but the voltages are significantly lower or higher then the battery may be near 0% or 100% state of charge respectively. Anything above 400V total is 100+%, you shouldn't be seeing that.
There are several lithium-ion chemistries (cathode compositions), and they have different operating voltages... but the nominal voltage of the Volt cells is 3.75 V, so anything near that is an intermediate state of charge.

This idea of comparing module voltages, allowing for the various cell series counts, makes a lot of sense to me. :)
Since the terminals of the individual modules are accessible, they can be compared at the module level. In the first-generation battery, that means every module is either 6s or 12s, so the small ones should be half the voltage of the large ones (22.5 V and 45 V at nominal voltage, or 21.6 V and 43.2 V at 3.6V/cell).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is quite the information! I greatly appreciate the insight. I will have to get more photos and figure out the configurations I currently have in this trike. Due to the trike being out in the elements for a year or 2, what would I be looking for when diagnosing the batteries? I do know that I do have a Delta-Q QuiQ 1000 battery charge, https://delta-q.com/product/quiq-1000-industrial-battery-charger/

When I plugged in the 120V plug, I had a fault with the red indicator light blinking twice. I attached the manual for this and it says to check the voltage is between 36.0V and 55.2V

I talked with the original owner and he said to hook up 4 car battery chargers and the charger should recognize this. Is this safe to do to see if the batteries wont start charging?

Again, I'm completely new to this.
 

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I am new to the electric world and just acquired a dated electric trike from a member on here. He has 4 modules of Chevy Volt batteries and they have been sitting out in the elements for a few years in New York. I was curious if there was a way to refurbish these batteries and bring them back to life? I did have good news that the on board charger seems to show signs of life as there was a charger fault lights and it indicated the AC power from the 120V plug was present so maybe the charger wasn't recognizing the minimum voltage it is needing?

Any light or help would be much appreciated.
Hello,
I have one of these 48V 45AH Volt modules on my ElMoto
https://www.diyelectriccar.com/foru...ectric-motorcycle-upgrade-lithium-198097.html

Got any pics of your trike?
...especially the batteries (installation, configuration etc.)

What voltage is your bike set up to operate at?
...& how are the modules configured?

Like, 48V 180AH (all 4 wired "in parallel")
or
90V 90AH (2 modules wired "in series" & 2 modules "in parallel")

I agree with Duncan, you should know where they "stand", voltage wise, before attempting to charge them (safely anyways)


If I may suggest, start off by "simply" trouble shooting the "module" voltage of your battery pack.

First disconnect the battery modules
...from the system & also, from each other too.

* Be sure to take lots of pics & notes, as to, how they were originally assembled & connected.

Then, using a simple multi meter (set to 200 DCV) test each individual module by "touching" the red probe to the positive (+) terminal
…& the black probe to the negative (-) terminal

Each of your modules should show or read a voltage of between
...~36V (lowest) ~3.0V per cell
...to ~49.8V (highest) ~4.15V per cell

Once you have some readings & are comfortable with this procedure
...then, move on to the BMS plus (as Duncan suggests) & get/record some "finer" readings from each cell.

Then, you'll know what's goin' on inside of your battery pack
…& can make decisions on how to proceed.
 
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