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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I think I need some help. Here is my setup.

24 6v flooded lead acid (Interstate workaholic back when they were
made by US Battery)
251 ah at 20 hr rating
Manzanita PFC-30
Zilla 1k controller


Since insulating the box holding 19 batteries, my PFC will on
occasion continue to put out amps but pack voltage does not rise to
setpoint, therefor does not shut off. I believe this is called
thermal runaway. The first time it happened I had the amps set at 25,
and the batteries were COOKING when I shut the charger off in the
morning. Since then I have made a number of trips, followed by
charges. Most of the time voltage rises to setpoint and amps go to
zero after timer finishes.

However the situation where the charger stays on without reaching the
setpoint has happened my last few charges (no longer charging at high
amps).

An additional point is that the battery temperatures vary alot
(almost 20 deg F) between the large insulated sub-pack and the two
smaller uninsulated subpacks under the hood.

Does this indicate a bad battery/cell?
Is this normal when battery temperatures vary greatly?
Is 5,200 miles about what I should expect out of this pack of floodies?
Have I murdered my pack?

I have had the entire pack gassing for a few hours, but I am still
seeing voltage differences. Just now I took 2 specific gravity
reading. Cells from two batteries in the insulated back had s.g. of
1.152 and 1.157. The s.g. from a cell from 1.179. This was about 3
hours after a trip that I thinks consumes about half the useable pack
capacity.

Any ides appreciated.



Below is a description of the truck history and recent changes made.

I have about 5,200 miles on the pack. For most of these miles I had
the batteries in two uninsulated plywood boxes, one subpack of 21 in
the bed of my truck and 3 in a box under the hood.

I had been charging to US Battery specs (2.58 temp adjusted volts)
and things were good until it started getting cold and performance
took a nosedive.

Last Sept I took the truck out of service for some upgrades/
revisions. I finally got it back on the road early september of this
year.

One of my revisions was to move two batteries from the truck bed to
under the hood.
Included in the plan was to insulate each of the now three plywood
boxes.

I was only able to insulate the box in the bed (now 19 batteries)
with 2 inch pink board insulation (plus additional lower quality
insulation to fill space )


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Discussion Starter #3
I have almost the exact use pattern you described, to the mileage, and range of battery voltage differences.

Since I am unable to get to the Trojan recommended daily setpoints, I have been charging at lower currents and my batteries are not getting as hot, not gassing as much and the end voltage is climbing higher.

Will an un-balanced pack lead to excessive heat build up?

John

Wayne Krauth <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> I am also wondering about my battery health.
>
> My lead-acid flooded pack recently started getting hotter than usual in both
> charging and driving. Sounds like this may be a sign of pack decline? If
> so, is there a remedy or is my pack about shot?
>
> I still seem to get most (~ 90%) of the original range, although at a temp
> in the 80-100F range. Now I am seeing 120 F on a charge, which I know is
> too high. Each cycle is getting uncomfortably hot now.
>
> My EV has about 8,000 miles running on 15, 8V T-875 Trojans and a Zivan NG3
> charger. It travels about 19 miles to work, charges, goes home and
> charges, so is either charging or discharging 24 hours a day.
>
> Before plugging in recently, the batteries all measured between 8.29 and
> 8.36, which seems ok.
>
> I have checked all of the connections, they're clean and tight. Water has
> always been kept up. Are the batteries on the way out or is there
> another reason for the extra battery temp?
>
> Advice appreciated,
> Wayne
>
>
>
> Several things:1) US Battery advises higher charging voltages than Trojan
> and the EV list. After getting 3 years/9K miles per pack, I'm listening to
> the EVDL and Trojan. I don't want to purchase a new pack every 3 years.
> Basically, they are asking you to take it to equalizing voltage every
> charge, +/- temp. compensation. Experienced EVers only take it to USB
> charging spec. about 1x/mo., and keep charging until the charge current is
> 3% or so. Of course as they age, they won't go quite that low.2) When the
> temp got that hot ("cooking, in your words"), yes, I believe you hit thermal
> runaway. Been there, done that.3) You should expect 4-6 years, and 18K on
> floodies. Lynn Adams had a Civic in Colorado and did it regularly, driving
> 40 mi. 2x per day.That will get you started... As far as the health of the
> existing pack, I think I'd hook your 6V batts. in pairs, and let a 12V load
> tester see how they are; something I can't do with my 8Vers.
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/Battery-health-and-charging-question-tp2994714p2996442.html
> Sent from the Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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Discussion Starter #4
When your batts were out of service, did you keep them charged and
desulfated?


Last Sept I took the truck out of service for some upgrades/
revisions. I finally got it back on the road early september of this
year.


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Discussion Starter #5
The EV was off the road for only 2 weeks last summer, and had less usage
during dec-feb (not enough cabin heat!), but the battery pack has always
been kept charged and watered.

I was expecting that as the batteries declined, it would be seen as a
gradual reduction in range. I was not expecting them to run so hot.
The last drive was only 5-6 miles and the pack temp went up by 10F, to 84.
Then after recharging for 2-3 hours, the battery temp was down a bit to 82,
but when I next checked it it was over 130F so I unplugged it.

The individual battery voltages are all 8.46v - 8.51v, with one at 8.40v and
one at 8.55v

Is battery overtemp an expected failure mode? or is there any possible
remediation?

Or could my battery charger be failing and causing the batteries to
overtemp?

Wayne



EV Convert wrote:
>
> When your batts were out of service, did you keep them charged and
> desulfated?
>
>
> Last Sept I took the truck out of service for some upgrades/
> revisions. I finally got it back on the road early september of this
> year.
>
>
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>
>



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Discussion Starter #6
Well they got a regular charge before taking the truck apart, then one charge in the spring. Living in Massachusetts temps were low over the winter.

It could well be they needed a long low amp charge. That seems to have helped.

John

EV Convert <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> When your batts were out of service, did you keep them charged and
> desulfated?
>
>
> Last Sept I took the truck out of service for some upgrades/
> revisions. I finally got it back on the road early september of this
> year.

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi,
Finally someone who has the same problem I have had. As far as I can find
out it is a problem will all of the new "high tech" chargers and older
batteries. As the batteries age they cannot achieve a maximum voltage
specified and their internal resistance increases. The chargers think the
batteries are not charged and will continue the high (equilization voltages)
indefinitely (or in my case until the water boils off!!).

I have had both a Zivan NG3 and the Elcon do this when my Trojan 105's
reached about 2/3 of their rated capacity. I replaced the Zivan thinking it
was a problem with the charger. But, when I bought new batteries the
problems disappeared.

I wish manufactures would include this type of information in the manuals so
won't destroy our batteries.

If you want to run your batteries longer about the only solution for
chargers you cannot program is to put them on a time.
tom H.
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Discussion Starter #8
On 22 Oct 2010 at 10:32, Tom H wrote:

> As far as I can find out it is a problem will all of the new "high
> tech" chargers and older batteries.

A charger which uses a dv/dt algorithm won't behave this way. Instead of
charging until the battery reaches some target voltage (or doesn't), it
stops charging when the on-charge voltage is no longer rising.

It has no need for additional tweaks to compensate for battery age or
ambeint temperature - it does that naturally. In effect, it works like an
automatic nozzle on a gasoline pump - when it sees that there's no more room
in the "tank," it shuts off.

The dv/dt algorithm has been used in Lester Lestronic chargers for at least
30 years.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Discussion Starter #9
EVDL Administrator wrote:
> A charger which uses a dv/dt algorithm won't behave this way. Instead of
> charging until the battery reaches some target voltage (or doesn't), it
> stops charging when the on-charge voltage is no longer rising.
>
> It has no need for additional tweaks to compensate for battery age or
> ambeint temperature - it does that naturally. In effect, it works like an
> automatic nozzle on a gasoline pump - when it sees that there's no more room
> in the "tank," it shuts off.
>
> The dv/dt algorithm has been used in Lester Lestronic chargers for at least
> 30 years.

Yes, my 30-year-old Lester "CompuTronic II" charger uses the dv/dt
algorithm. No computer, either, just plain old logic. Indeed, it works
fine with old or abused batteries.

Industrial chargers have used dv/dt, di/dt, and various derivitive
charging algorithms for many years. The logic is a bit more complicated,
but they are a lot more tolerant of old or abused batteries, or ones at
different temperatures than the charger is assuming.

Basically, the dv/dt algorithm says to keep charging until the voltage
rate of rise falls below something like 0.03v/hour per cell. In other
words, if you're checking every 6 minutes, you want to see at least a
3mv/cell rise every 6 minutes.

The di/dt algorithm is similar. It watches the current fall during the
constant-voltage phase of the charging cycle, and shuts off when the
rate of drop gets low enough.

Combinations of dv/dt and di/dt are used in chargers that can't
accurately regulate current or voltage.

Way too many modern chargers are "smart but not wise". They were very
cleverly designed by smart people who had very little experience with
batteries. Of course a good charger can properly charge a good battery.
But, what does it do with a hot, cold, old, abused, or damaged battery?
They forget to design or test for this!
--
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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Discussion Starter #10
From: Tom H
> As far as I can find
out it is a problem will all of the new "high tech" chargers and older
batteries. As the batteries age they cannot achieve a maximum voltage
specified and their internal resistance increases. The chargers think the
batteries are not charged and will continue the high (equilization voltages)
indefinitely (or in my case until the water boils off!!).<

I think this has been the sad end for many packs . Its seem to happen
without warning , if you catch it you can still get some years on you
pack.


>I have had both a Zivan NG3 and the Elcon do this when my Trojan 105's,,,,,,,
If you want to run your batteries longer about the only solution for
chargers you cannot program is to put them on a time.
tom H.<

One simple fix for chargers you can't adjust might be to put some
diodes in series with the chargers out put . One full wave bridge
would drop 1.4 volts and make the charger think the pack is 1.4 volts
higher that it is, it might take a few to get the end voltage where
you like it . You could even have a relay on a timer to short out the
rectifiers at the first part of the charge then open up and let the
diodes do there voltage dropping . Would need a heat sink and fan ,
but with a timer shorting out the diodes when the amps are high this
might not be such a problem.
Steve Clunn----------------------------


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

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Discussion Starter #11
Tom,

Your description seems to summarize my situation well. Although the
batteries are in decline; they seem like they still have about 80% of
original range, so to me, should quite usable for a while longer, for local
driving.

If the charger set points could be reduced to whatever the pack is capable
of now, it seems that the pack life can be stretched out for a while, and
charge and equalize without having it get so hot it. Or is the heating
from internal battery resistance that will occur regardless of a charger
tweak?

I know the Zivan NG3 is factory programmed for a specific pack and charging
curve, but I think there are some trim pots in it that can tweak the voltage
and current set points. On the NG1 it looks like it is 0.8V per turn.
Can this be done on an NG3? Or is it simply new pack time.

Wayne



Tom H wrote:
>
> Hi,
> Finally someone who has the same problem I have had. As far as I can find
> out it is a problem will all of the new "high tech" chargers and older
> batteries. As the batteries age they cannot achieve a maximum voltage
> specified and their internal resistance increases. The chargers think the
> batteries are not charged and will continue the high (equilization
> voltages) indefinitely (or in my case until the water boils off!!).
>
> I have had both a Zivan NG3 and the Elcon do this when my Trojan 105's
> reached about 2/3 of their rated capacity. I replaced the Zivan thinking
> it was a problem with the charger. But, when I bought new batteries the
> problems disappeared.
>
> I wish manufactures would include this type of information in the manuals
> so won't destroy our batteries.
>
> If you want to run your batteries longer about the only solution for
> chargers you cannot program is to put them on a time.
> tom H.
>

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