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Discussion Starter #1
Well, my luck with Optima batteries continues.
History so far:
Bought 13 Optima BlueTops.
2 were bad and had to be shipped back for replacement.
The 2 replacements showed up, and 1 of those was bad.
The replacement for that showed up - and the shipper had dropped it.
The replacement for that finally showed up (after an odd delay in
shipping) and seems to be good.

I did a few light cycles of the new battery on the bench to bring it to
close to the rest of the pack. (only had about 6 cycles on the pack so
far!).

Note that the Sparrow has sat with the BRB pressed, and one battery out
with cables disconnected for a month. The only load on the batteries
were some MKIIC regs.
I hooked in the new battery, and turned on the PFC40. 9 of the regs
immediately lit up. Of the 4 "low" ones, the new one and 2 others were
about .2v below the reg point. So I've put those on a small charger to
top them off.
The problem is the 4th low battery. It was QUITE low. Like at 13V or so.
So I put 12A charger on it. (Standard car battery charger). Set to AGM
and 12A charge rate. Charger said the battery was at 51%.
2 hours later, it's at 65%. 3 hours it's still at 65%.

AARRGGHH!!!

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Discussion Starter #2
Measure the voltage on charge.
Disconnect charger.
Wait 24 hours.
Measure the Open Circuit voltage.

That may give a clue about what happened.

Joe Smalley
Rural Kitsap County WA
Former owner of 48 Volt Fiesta
NEDRA 48 volt street conversion record holder
[email protected]


----- Original Message -----
From: "John G. Lussmyer" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>;
<[email protected]>
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2007 2:52 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Optima Trials and Tribulations


> Well, my luck with Optima batteries continues.
> History so far:
> Bought 13 Optima BlueTops.
> 2 were bad and had to be shipped back for replacement.
> The 2 replacements showed up, and 1 of those was bad.
> The replacement for that showed up - and the shipper had dropped it.
> The replacement for that finally showed up (after an odd delay in
> shipping) and seems to be good.
>
> I did a few light cycles of the new battery on the bench to bring it to
> close to the rest of the pack. (only had about 6 cycles on the pack so
> far!).
>
> Note that the Sparrow has sat with the BRB pressed, and one battery out
> with cables disconnected for a month. The only load on the batteries
> were some MKIIC regs.
> I hooked in the new battery, and turned on the PFC40. 9 of the regs
> immediately lit up. Of the 4 "low" ones, the new one and 2 others were
> about .2v below the reg point. So I've put those on a small charger to
> top them off.
> The problem is the 4th low battery. It was QUITE low. Like at 13V or so.
> So I put 12A charger on it. (Standard car battery charger). Set to AGM
> and 12A charge rate. Charger said the battery was at 51%.
> 2 hours later, it's at 65%. 3 hours it's still at 65%.
>
> AARRGGHH!!!
>
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Discussion Starter #3
Joe Smalley wrote:
> Measure the voltage on charge.
> Disconnect charger.
> Wait 24 hours.
> Measure the Open Circuit voltage.
>
> That may give a clue about what happened.
>

Well, it wasn't a full 24 hours, but I checked it this morning, about 18
hours off charge.
1-12.76
2-12.76
3-12.76
4-12.73
5-12.75
6-12.64
7-12.91
8-12.77
9-12.78
10-12.69
11-12.76
12-12.89
13-12.72

#10 is the one was really low yesterday. I put it back on the charger
today, and it did seem to actually come up to full after a couple hours
at 5A or so.
#12 is the latest replacement battery.
#6 was replaced a month or so ago.
The rest are a few months old, with about 5 cycles on them.

When I found/bumped the loose cable yesterday, the dome light flashed a
few times and ended up off.
And it seems that finding that loose cable - by bumping it - killed my
Vicor DC-DC.
166V input, 0V output.

I seem to have accumulated a massive amount of negative karma that I'm
burning off....

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Discussion Starter #4
Jeff Shanab wrote:
> Do you mean 13V under charge at 12A? Is that one weak one warm? one
> cylinder noticeably warmer than rest? drops to 8V-10V when remove power?
> If answer is yes A cell is reversed! Set to 1amp max and charge for a
> day until it's open circuit is above 12V then charge normally.
> I did this to an orbital. similar construction.
>

No, it wasn't that low under charge.
See my more recent posting.

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep!

We have a set of Genesis XE-40s for Tweety on order from AeroBatteries!

WooHoo!

Ken

http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/983





-----Original Message-----
From: John G. Lussmyer <[email protected]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[email protected]>;
[email protected]
Sent: Sat, 3 Nov 2007 5:52 pm
Subject: [EVDL] Optima Trials and Tribulations



Well, my luck with Optima batteries continues.
History so far:
Bought 13 Optima BlueTops.
2 were bad and had to be shipped back for replacement.
The 2 replacements showed up, and 1 of those was bad.
The replacement for that showed up - and the shipper had dropped it.
The replacement for that finally showed up (after an odd delay in
shipping) and seems to be good.

I did a few light cycles of the new battery on the bench to bring it to
close to the rest of the pack. (only had about 6 cycles on the pack so
far!).

Note that the Sparrow has sat with the BRB pressed, and one battery out
with cables disconnected for a month. The only load on the batteries
were some MKIIC regs.
I hooked in the new battery, and turned on the PFC40. 9 of the regs
immediately lit up. Of the 4 "low" ones, the new one and 2 others were
about .2v below the reg point. So I've put those on a small charger to
top them off.
The problem is the 4th low battery. It was QUITE low. Like at 13V or
so.
So I put 12A charger on it. (Standard car battery charger). Set to AGM
and 12A charge rate. Charger said the battery was at 51%.
2 hours later, it's at 65%. 3 hours it's still at 65%.

AARRGGHH!!!

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Discussion Starter #6
John G. Lussmyer writes:
>
> Well, it wasn't a full 24 hours, but I checked it this morning, about 18
> hours off charge.
> 1-12.76
> 2-12.76
> 3-12.76
> 4-12.73
> 5-12.75
> 6-12.64
> 7-12.91
> 8-12.77
> 9-12.78
> 10-12.69
> 11-12.76
> 12-12.89
> 13-12.72

John,

Note that none of your batteries are "fully charged" yet! They should
read 13.1v or so when fully charged. They should hold that voltage for
days, so resting overnight wouldn't affect the readings much.

Bummer about the DC/DC!

Ralph

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Discussion Starter #7
Ralph Merwin wrote:

> John G. Lussmyer writes:
> >
> > Well, it wasn't a full 24 hours, but I checked it this
> > morning, about 18 hours off charge.
> > 1-12.76
> > 2-12.76
> > 3-12.76
> > 4-12.73
> > 5-12.75
> > 6-12.64
> > 7-12.91
> > 8-12.77
> > 9-12.78
> > 10-12.69
> > 11-12.76
> > 12-12.89
> > 13-12.72
>
> John,
>
> Note that none of your batteries are "fully charged" yet!
> They should read 13.1v or so when fully charged. They should
> hold that voltage for days, so resting overnight wouldn't
> affect the readings much.

There may not be enough information here to make that conclusion! John is reporting the voltages after about 18hrs rest, and we need to know the voltages shortly after charge completion (say 30-60min) to be able to say if the batteries were fully charged but have high self-discharge, or if they simply weren't fully charged.

Cheers,

Roger.

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Discussion Starter #8
Roger Stockton writes:
>
> There may not be enough information here to make that conclusion! John is
> reporting the voltages after about 18hrs rest, and we need to know the
> voltages shortly after charge completion (say 30-60min) to be able to say
> if the batteries were fully charged but have high self-discharge, or if
> they simply weren't fully charged.

True. I was assuming that since these are fairly new batteries that the
self-discharge rate would be very low, so he should be able to see the
full 13.1v or so even after 18 hours.

Ralph

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Discussion Starter #9
John G. Lussmyer wrote:
> Well, it wasn't a full 24 hours, but I checked it this morning, about 18
> hours off charge.
> 1-12.76
> 2-12.76
> 3-12.76
> 4-12.73
> 5-12.75
> 6-12.64
> 7-12.91
> 8-12.77
> 9-12.78
> 10-12.69
> 11-12.76
> 12-12.89
> 13-12.72
>
> #10 is the one was really low yesterday. I put it back on the charger
> today, and it did seem to actually come up to full after a couple hours
> at 5A or so.
> #12 is the latest replacement battery.
> #6 was replaced a month or so ago.
> The rest are a few months old, with about 5 cycles on them.
>

I finished charging #10, and then let the batteries sit another 3 days.
Now we get:
1-12.71
2-12.73
3-12.72
4-12.67
5-12.69
6-12.59
7-12.68
8-12.71
9-12.73
10-12.82
11-12.71
12-12.71
13-12.65

All batteries do have MKIIC regs on them - so there is a tiny draw at
all times.
Now I need to drive the bird and see if #10 chokes early, but I have to
wait for the new DC-DC to show up.

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Discussion Starter #10
From: John G. Lussmyer
> Well, it wasn't a full 24 hours, but I checked it this morning, about
> 18 hours off charge... 12.64-12.91 volts.

Weird. I have 3 very old and very abused Optimas here. I just measured the voltages on them after sitting about 4-6 months since the last time they were charged. 12.90v, 12.87v, and 12.84v.

I can imagine one bad battery; but almost of them? Have you checked your voltmeter? Maybe it is lying to you. How much current exactly do your Rudman regulators and whatever else is connected to the batteries draw?

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Discussion Starter #11
Lee Hart wrote:
> From: John G. Lussmyer
>
>> Well, it wasn't a full 24 hours, but I checked it this morning, about
>> 18 hours off charge... 12.64-12.91 volts.
>>
>
> Weird. I have 3 very old and very abused Optimas here. I just measured the voltages on them after sitting about 4-6 months since the last time they were charged. 12.90v, 12.87v, and 12.84v.
>
> I can imagine one bad battery; but almost of them? Have you checked your voltmeter? Maybe it is lying to you. How much current exactly do your Rudman regulators and whatever else is connected to the batteries draw?
>
All my readings are with a new Fluke 87 meter. Have you checked YOUR
meter for accuracy? :)
I don't know how much the MKIIC's draw, I should check.

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Discussion Starter #12
John G. Lussmyer writes:
>
> I finished charging #10, and then let the batteries sit another 3 days.
> Now we get:
> 1-12.71
> 2-12.73
> 3-12.72
> 4-12.67
> 5-12.69
> 6-12.59
> 7-12.68
> 8-12.71
> 9-12.73
> 10-12.82
> 11-12.71
> 12-12.71
> 13-12.65
>
> All batteries do have MKIIC regs on them - so there is a tiny draw at
> all times.

John,

Out of curiosity, I went out to the garage and checked the voltage of
several of my Optimas. They were charged a couple of weeks ago, and
not "properly" at that. There are no loads or regs on these batteries.
Six pairs in the vehicle all measured between 12.93v and 12.99v. One
individual battery measured 13.02v. Two more batteries on the garage
floor measured about 12.88v (these two have not been in regular use,
and have not been properly charged for a long time).

So either all of your new batteries are funky, or your batteries are
not getting fully charged, or the regs have a higher drain than expected,
or there is some other load on them. Have you made sure there are no
active loads on the pack? Have you tried charging the batteries and
then disconnecting the regs before letting them sit?

What charge profile did you use? How was it run - did you let the regs
do the taper, or did you do that manually?

One other thing to try would be to use the PFC to charge one battery,
with you controlling the charge. Let it run at 10 amps or so until
the battery hits 14.7v, then manually taper the current down in steps,
letting the voltage come back up to 14.7v at each step. Continue until
the current drops to below one amp. The taper may take an hour or so
if the battery has not been getting fully charged.

Ralph

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Discussion Starter #13
That is interesting...
Since Tweety is a daily driver it never sits longer than 12 hours
between charges / drives. However, every morning all of its batteries
are at 13.0 to 13.1 volts. I do have regulators installed, but they are
Hot Juice Electric BEQ1s. They draw 300 micro amps quiescent current.
Do you suppose the regulators draw enough to pull them down that much?


Ken

http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/983





-----Original Message-----
From: John G. Lussmyer <[email protected]>
To: Lee Hart <[email protected]>; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
<[email protected]>
Sent: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 9:44 pm
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Optima Trials and Tribulations



Lee Hart wrote:
> From: John G. Lussmyer
>
>> Well, it wasn't a full 24 hours, but I checked it this morning, about
>> 18 hours off charge... 12.64-12.91 volts.
>>
>
> Weird. I have 3 very old and very abused Optimas here. I just
measured the
voltages on them after sitting about 4-6 months since the last time
they were
charged. 12.90v, 12.87v, and 12.84v.
>
> I can imagine one bad battery; but almost of them? Have you checked
your
voltmeter? Maybe it is lying to you. How much current exactly do your
Rudman
regulators and whatever else is connected to the batteries draw?
>
All my readings are with a new Fluke 87 meter. Have you checked YOUR
meter for accuracy? :)
I don't know how much the MKIIC's draw, I should check.

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Discussion Starter #14
Ralph Merwin wrote:
> Out of curiosity, I went out to the garage and checked the voltage of
> several of my Optimas. They were charged a couple of weeks ago, and
> not "properly" at that. There are no loads or regs on these batteries.
> Six pairs in the vehicle all measured between 12.93v and 12.99v. One
> individual battery measured 13.02v. Two more batteries on the garage
> floor measured about 12.88v (these two have not been in regular use,
> and have not been properly charged for a long time).
>
> So either all of your new batteries are funky, or your batteries are
> not getting fully charged, or the regs have a higher drain than expected,
> or there is some other load on them. Have you made sure there are no
> active loads on the pack? Have you tried charging the batteries and
> then disconnecting the regs before letting them sit?
>

Something is definitely sounding fishy.
So I'm going to go out today and measure the current a quiescent reg
pulls, and I'll also hook up one of my regulated bench supplies to make
sure a battery is fully charged.
Note that all my batteries were probably around 45deg F when those
voltage measurements were taken.

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Discussion Starter #15
John G. Lussmyer wrote:
> Something is definitely sounding fishy.
> So I'm going to go out today and measure the current a quiescent reg
> pulls, and I'll also hook up one of my regulated bench supplies to make
> sure a battery is fully charged.
> Note that all my batteries were probably around 45deg F when those
> voltage measurements were taken.
>

So I checked a random reg with my Fluke 87 meter.
Hook the reg up, and the current jumps up to mA and then starts
dropping, and continues dropping.
After a minute or two, it was down to 0.2uA!
I don't think the regs are causing a significant draw!

(Actually, I need to check all the regs - just in case I have a bad one.)

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Discussion Starter #16
John G. Lussmyer wrote:

> So I checked a random reg with my Fluke 87 meter.
> Hook the reg up, and the current jumps up to mA and then
> starts dropping, and continues dropping.
> After a minute or two, it was down to 0.2uA!
> I don't think the regs are causing a significant draw!
>
> (Actually, I need to check all the regs - just in case I have
> a bad one.)

Probably not necessary to check them all, though it can't hurt. All modules are showing an abnormally low voltage for "fully charged", so if this reg isn't draining its module, it is unlikely that another one is, and one bad one wouldn't explain all of the batteries being similarly low.

Be interesting to hear what the result of individually charging a module is. I wonder if your regs are somehow kicking in at a lower voltage than you think/intend and are preventing your modules from charging fully? (That is, they are remarkably evenly undercharged ;^)

I'll add my voice to the others who've stated that their Optimas hold right around 13V for quite a while off charge, when fully charged.

Cheers,

Roger.

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Discussion Starter #17
From: John G. Lussmyer
> So I checked a random reg with my Fluke 87 meter.
> Hook the reg up, and the current jumps up to mA and then starts
> dropping, and continues dropping.
> After a minute or two, it was down to 0.2uA!

John, that can't be correct. What model regs do you have? The early ones all had an LM358 which draws a couple milliamps of supply current, plus a few resistors that add a bit more. The later regs have a lotmore parts, so I would expect them to draw even more.

--
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Discussion Starter #18
Lee Hart wrote:
> From: John G. Lussmyer
>
>> So I checked a random reg with my Fluke 87 meter.
>> Hook the reg up, and the current jumps up to mA and then starts
>> dropping, and continues dropping.
>> After a minute or two, it was down to 0.2uA!
>>
>
> John, that can't be correct. What model regs do you have? The early ones all had an LM358 which draws a couple milliamps of supply current, plus a few resistors that add a bit more. The later regs have a lotmore parts, so I would expect them to draw even more.
>

Sure seemed weird to me. The reg started out drawing multiple mA, and
it just kept dropping as I watched the meter. I had to switch the meter
to uA mode to continue watching.
I did the experiment several times.
What could I be doing wrong?
These are MKIIC's.

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Discussion Starter #19
John, sounds like you were measuring AC mA to me. My
Fluke 87 (one of the early ones) is at home, so I
can't confirm, but I seem to remember when you rotate
the knob to measure current, it is by default AC
current and you have to push the orange "shift" button
to get it to measure DC current.

- Steven Ciciora


--- Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:

> From: John G. Lussmyer
> > So I checked a random reg with my Fluke 87 meter.
> > Hook the reg up, and the current jumps up to mA
> and then starts
> > dropping, and continues dropping.
> > After a minute or two, it was down to 0.2uA!
>
> John, that can't be correct. What model regs do you
> have? The early ones all had an LM358 which draws a
> couple milliamps of supply current, plus a few
> resistors that add a bit more. The later regs have a
> lotmore parts, so I would expect them to draw even
> more.
>
> --
> "Excellence does not require perfection." -- Henry
> James
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,
> leeahart-at-earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
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Discussion Starter #20
Hmm, I thought maybe he was just seeing a capacitor charging (i.e. no real
load)

> John, sounds like you were measuring AC mA to me. My
> Fluke 87 (one of the early ones) is at home, so I
> can't confirm, but I seem to remember when you rotate
> the knob to measure current, it is by default AC
> current and you have to push the orange "shift" button
> to get it to measure DC current.
>
> - Steven Ciciora
>
>
> --- Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> From: John G. Lussmyer
>> > So I checked a random reg with my Fluke 87 meter.
>> > Hook the reg up, and the current jumps up to mA
>> and then starts
>> > dropping, and continues dropping.
>> > After a minute or two, it was down to 0.2uA!
>>
>> John, that can't be correct. What model regs do you
>> have? The early ones all had an LM358 which draws a
>> couple milliamps of supply current, plus a few
>> resistors that add a bit more. The later regs have a
>> lotmore parts, so I would expect them to draw even
>> more.
>>
>> --
>> "Excellence does not require perfection." -- Henry
>> James
>> --
>> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,
>> leeahart-at-earthlink.net
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> For subscription options, see
>> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>>
>
>
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