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Discussion Starter #1
I am one of those people who have been doing this for
10 or so years. I was very close to buying a new 10 x
12 V pack of optimas for my Festiva EV for my 8 mile
round trip commute. Now I hear no warranty and people
are having serious quality issues with them - real
manufacturer defects. So, $2k for a pack as-is at my
risk when they are known for having issues right now -
no way!!!!

I guess my EV is going to become a dust collector and
yard art until someone markets a battery that can
actually be used in an EV and has a warranty and is
good for at least 400 real world cycles. Other than
that, I'm not buying anything. I've been burned on
this before - even recently. For now, I have to pull
the plug on my EV commuting. Hopefully someone can
come back with some encouragement that we will someday
have successful battery packs.

I hate to give up on driving my EV like this, but what
choice do I have when I can't get a decent battery.
Someone please redirect me if there actually is a real
usable EV battery out there before I turn my car into
yard art.

Steve



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Discussion Starter #2
From: Steve Powers
> I am one of those people who have been doing this for 10 or so
> years. I was very close to buying a new 10 x 12 V pack of Optimas
> for my Festiva EV... Now I hear no warranty and people are having
> serious quality issues with them -- real manufacturer defects.
> So, $2k for a pack as-is at my risk when they are known for having
> issues right now -- no way!

> I guess my EV is going to become a dust collector and
> yard art until someone markets a battery that can
> actually be used in an EV and has a warranty and is
> good for at least 400 real world cycles. Other than
> that, I'm not buying anything.

I don't think it's that bad. Optima quality seems to have fallen, but the Orbitals seem to be a reasonable alternative. There are also other AGMs. Hawkers are still very good, and I had good results with my Concordes. Deka gels are very good if used modestly. And of course premium flooded golf cart batteries (Trojan, US Battery) can have very good life and low cost per mile.

--
"Excellence does not require perfection." -- Henry James
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart-at-earthlink.net

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Steve,

If you are only doing a 8 mile commute, no drag racing and no peddle to the
floor acceleration, I would go with the 6 volt fluids with single filler
locking type o-ring caps in the 220 to 260 AH range with standard auto post
with the top stud. I use battery clamps, but use the top stud to put
downward and internal pressure on the battery clamp, to prevent shrink back
and maintain a higher torque.

I am using Trojan T-145's which are going on six years. No BMS, stays in
balance in with of 0.01 to 0.02 volts of each other. Have a high enough ah
so if you only going 8 miles, you could go for a week before you get down to
75% SOC or 25% DOD. This battery will last longer if you can keep it at or
above 25% DOD.

I expect to get another 6 years out of this battery. My daily runs are about
5 miles and once a week I have a 10 mile drive. I only water it about every
4 months than equalize charged them at 7.5 volts per battery and normal
charge them at 7.4 volts.

I no longer try to put 100% charge back in the battery, because I do not
have to squeeze every bit of energy out of them. I may stop charging them
any time between 97 to 100% during the normal weekly charge.

The warrenty is 24 months no matter what they are in. Only had one battery
replacement in the first week in 30 years, because one stud started to pull
out, which was cause the error in there spec sheets using a torque of 105
in.lbs instead of 75 in.lbs.

Make sure the warrenty time is from the day you received them from the
dealer, not the manufacture date. Some dealers will try to push out old
stock or mix old stock with new. One time I received 10 batteries that was
10 months old while the other 20 batteries were only two weeks old. I made
them replace the 10 older batteries. Check the date stamp on the battery to
make sure they are at least in the same month you purchase them.

It is best to select you batteries your self from a dealer. They normally
get in 50 batteries to a pellet, so I select the best 30 that was all
balance in with of a voltage of 0.001 volt of each other. If you see any
dark positive posts, do not select that one, because this is a sign of a
post seal leak.

I like a battery where the tops have a built in sluts for a carrying handle
and also the top is about 1/4 wider the body of the battery. This allows
for air ventilation around the batteries while the tops may be tight
together. I also space the perimeter of the battery pack from the battery
box for air inlet and exhaust.

Its is now 2007, so you could possibly get to 2017 or more with these type
of batteries.

Roland




----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Powers" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 8:12 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Now I'm really spooked about batteries


> I am one of those people who have been doing this for
> 10 or so years. I was very close to buying a new 10 x
> 12 V pack of optimas for my Festiva EV for my 8 mile
> round trip commute. Now I hear no warranty and people
> are having serious quality issues with them - real
> manufacturer defects. So, $2k for a pack as-is at my
> risk when they are known for having issues right now -
> no way!!!!
>
> I guess my EV is going to become a dust collector and
> yard art until someone markets a battery that can
> actually be used in an EV and has a warranty and is
> good for at least 400 real world cycles. Other than
> that, I'm not buying anything. I've been burned on
> this before - even recently. For now, I have to pull
> the plug on my EV commuting. Hopefully someone can
> come back with some encouragement that we will someday
> have successful battery packs.
>
> I hate to give up on driving my EV like this, but what
> choice do I have when I can't get a decent battery.
> Someone please redirect me if there actually is a real
> usable EV battery out there before I turn my car into
> yard art.
>
> Steve
>
>
>
> ____________________________________________________________________________________
> Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search
> that gives answers, not web links.
> http://mobile.yahoo.com/mobileweb/onesearch?refer=1ONXIC
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>

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Discussion Starter #4
<<<< If you are only doing a 8 mile commute, no drag racing and no
peddle to the
floor acceleration, I would go with the 6 volt fluids with single filler
locking type o-ring caps in the 220 to 260 AH range with standard auto post
with the top stud. I use battery clamps, but use the top stud to put
downward and internal pressure on the battery clamp, to prevent shrink back
and maintain a higher torque. >>>>

His EV is a Festiva (very small import) with a 450lb pack - less than
the weight of 8 T105's...not that folks don't manage his commute with
a 48V system, but once you get used to SLAs, you don't want to go
back...ditto for higher voltage systems.

Steve, you might want to investigate Odysseys, which are rated for 400
cycles at 80%DOD. Model PC1500 is Optima-sized, about $200 each, maybe
less if you are buying 10 of them. And the White Zombie feeds off
these when on a leaded diet - maybe John can help you with feedback.

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think the problem is the batteries exactly - it's that most hobbyist
EVs use them blindly.

A typical DC controller doesn't pay much attention to what it's doing to the
battery. It has no idea what the battery can withstand in terms of current
withdrawn or DOD. It's up to the driver to pay attention. Do you? ;-)

A typical low-cost EV charger also has very little smarts to apply to the
job. Again, the user has to keep an eye on things. Same question as above.

If Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, etc. ever really build an EV for sale, you
can bet that it will have multiple computers and monitoring devices to
ensure that the (warrantied!) battery is well cared for. Just look at how
well the Prius battery is monitored.

The same thing could be done with our hobbyist EVs. However, even though it
would save money in the long run, it would cost far more up front than the
typical EV hobbyist is willing to pay. The hobbyist market is small to
begin with, and that would limit its market to a fraction of a tiny sliver.
It's hard to imagine who would want to market to such a miniscule group.

But then Victor just released his EVision, which probably won't have a
market much larger. So perhaps there is hope after all.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
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Discussion Starter #6
Steve Powers wrote:

> I am one of those people who have been doing this for
> 10 or so years. I was very close to buying a new 10 x
> 12 V pack of optimas for my Festiva EV for my 8 mile
> round trip commute. Now I hear no warranty and people
> are having serious quality issues with them - real
> manufacturer defects. So, $2k for a pack as-is at my
> risk when they are known for having issues right now -
> no way!!!!

There has always been the risk of getting one or more substandard
batteries when buying a new pack. The 1 or 2 duds (out of 13) that John
discovered in his new pack could have been weeded out on the bench prior
to ever being installed in or used in an EV and returned for warranty
replacement without any question. The challenge is to identify any
batteries that aren't performing up to spec right off the bat, before
you give the battery co. any reason to decline warranty coverage.

It is also usually good practice to buy at least one or two spares.
I've got 12 new AGMs for my car; I need 10, but have cycled the pack
several times on the bench and will now install the 10 strongest and
keep the other 2 as spares.

> I guess my EV is going to become a dust collector and
> yard art until someone markets a battery that can
> actually be used in an EV and has a warranty and is
> good for at least 400 real world cycles. Other than
> that, I'm not buying anything.

If you want to drive EV today and want some sort of warranty on the
battery, then you need to do some legwork to determine what sort of
batteries you can buy locally that the seller will honour warranty on
when used in an on-road EV. The most likely candidate is the venerable
flooded golf cart battery, but it sounds as if Exide might be willing to
warrant the Orbital in EV use so you might want to check with your local
dealers to see if they will or won't (I suspect warranty coverge may
have as much or more to do with the dealer than the battrey
manufacturer).

I realise your EV is a small car and a flooded pack may be impractical
for it, but if you want to drive EV, you can always transfer your motor
and controller to a vehicle better suited to the sorts of batteries you
are comfortable with. A small pickup (or even just a slightly larger
car) with 96-120V of 6V floodies, for instance. Your commute is so
short that you should get many hundreds of cycles from a flooded GC pack
before wearing it out to the point of being unable to make your commute.

Cheers,

Roger.

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Discussion Starter #7
Roger Stockton wrote:
> It is also usually good practice to buy at least one or two spares.
> I've got 12 new AGMs for my car; I need 10, but have cycled the pack
> several times on the bench and will now install the 10 strongest and
> keep the other 2 as spares.
>
So, how do you keep the 2 spares from turning into expensive paperweights?



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Discussion Starter #9
John G. Lussmyer wrote:

> So, how do you keep the 2 spares from turning into expensive
> paperweights?

Store them in a cool place and top them up a couple times a year.

AGMs are remarkably easy to keep. The YT blems still working in my car
today were pulled out of Ralph Merwin's Prizm back in '99 after he
couldn't make his commute with them any longer, and weren't installed in
my car until 2006.

Cheers,

Roger.

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