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Discussion Starter #1
EVDL,

I just joined the listserv so it won't come as a surprise that I have a
problem. I'm trying to use the various archives and faq to discover
owners who have had similar experiences.

I have been charging and driving my /new/ TEVan for about two weeks, and
now have had a very disappointing development.

I logged usage and charging from 10-15-07. Each time the charging cycle
completed, I got a FULL+ reading on the fuel gauge.

I did a manual watering of the batteries with distilled water on Monday,
the 22nd. It took 16 minutes from 1:44pm to 2:15pm.

Beginning on the 27th, I couldn't get past a half charge. Now it won't
take any charge at all.

As you can see, I never was getting very good mileage.

Here is my activity log since the 22nd.

Date Time Odometer Fuel Gauge, Begin Activity
10-22-07 1:44pm 15085 FULL+, started manual watering
10-22-07 2:15pm 15085 FULL+, ended watering
10-22-07 2:33pm 15085 FULL+
10-22-07 5:23pm 15085 FULL+, home to Port mtg downtown
10-22-07 7:48pm 15088 FULL on line, downtown to home

10-23-07 3:22pm 15092 0.75, home to Smith Bldg
10-23-07 5:33pm 15095 0.77, Smith Bldg to Cap Lake
10-23-07 6:30pm 15096 0.77, Cap Lake to home
10-23-07 6:57pm 15103 0.27 started charging
10-24-07 1:02am 15103 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
10-24-07 5:24pm 15103 FULL+, home to Morgan Stanley
10-24-07 8:19pm 15106 FULL on line, Morgan Stanley to home
10-24-07 8:31pm 15108 0.77, home

?????????????????????? ???, started
charging
10-25-07 12:17pm 15108 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
10-26-07 6:49pm 15108 FULL+, home to Traditions
10-26-07 9:00pm 15111 FULL+, Traditions to home
10-26-07 9:15pm 15114 0.646, home
10-27-07 ??? 15114 started charging
10-27-07 9:30pm 15114 0.52, still charging
10-27-07 ??? 15114 ???, turned charging off (I had left the
heater & fan on)
10-28-07 12:00noon 15114 0.52, started charging
10-28-07 7:00pm 15114 ???, still charging
10-28-07 7:03pm 15114 0.5, turned charging off (I had left the
radio on)
10-29-07 8:27pm 15114 0.52, started charging
10-30-07 1:15am 15114 ???, still charging, turned charging off
10-30-07 2:30pm 15114 ZERO, started charging
10-30-07 5:14pm 15114 ???, still charging
10-30-07 6:40pm 15114 ZERO, still charging, turned charging off

Did something not work right with my manual watering? What should I be
looking for? Any idea what might be happening?

As I noted before, the mileage, though not good, seemed to be improving
and the operation, e.g., acceleration, was fine.

Walt Jorgensen

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http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
 

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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Hello Walt,

When I received a new pack of batteries, the first thing before I accept the
batteries from the deal is check the manufacturer dates. I had one dealer
slip in 10 batteries that was about 9 months old with 20 fresh ones that he
had to order.

Next, check the electrolyte level. The level should at least be to the
bottom of the fill neck but is ok if it's a little bit below that.
IMPORTANT!! Do not add water at this time before checking the specific
gravity of the electrolyte.

Lets say the specific gravity reads 1.275 SG meaning it about 100% charge.
Actually 1.277 SG with a setting voltage reading of 6.37 volts is consider
100% charge for a 6 volt battery or 12.74 for a 12 volt battery.

If the battery level was down a bit and it was reading 1.277 SG and you
added water at this time, then you deluted the electrolyte, making it
weaker.

One time, I had a new set of batteries with a manufacturer date of no more
then 2 weeks old, the electrolyte was reading 1.275 SG at a voltage of 6.33
volts, but the electrolyte was about 1/2 inch below the bottom of the
filling neck. This means the manufacturer did not finish filling the
battery with 1.275 SG electrolyte, so I had the dealer furnish me with
battery electrolyte, so I can finish filling the cell to the bottom of the
fill neck.

Before I add the electrolyte, I check out the electrolyte SG and found it to
be 1.265 SG. This is a common reading for standard cranking type batteries.
This lower reading SG is being use by the manufacture, so that can state it
is a 5 or 7 year battery, because the lower SG acid makes the cell plates
last longer.

I than had to get pure sulfuric acid which will read about 1.8 SG and add it
to distill water which is 1.0 SG. You mix 3 parts of 1.8 SG H2SO4 acid with
5 parts of 1.0 SG water or:

10.40 = 1.8 + 1.8 + 1.8 + 1.0 + 1.0 + 1.0 + 1.0 + 1.0

This is 8 parts so the average is 1.30 = 10.40/8

Now that you have a electrolyte higher than 1.275 SG, then add a little more
distill water to the 1.30 SG until it reads 1.275 SG or the same reading of
the electrolyte in your battery that is too low but is 100 percent charge.

It is normal for a battery in the very high ampere-hour type, for the
electrolyte to full while its discharge and rise while it's being charge.
If you are discharge down to 50% state of charge and the electrolyte is just
below the top of the plates, then just add just enough to rise the
electrolyte about 1/8 inch above the plates. DO NOT ADD ANY MORE THEN THAT
AMOUNT AT THIS TIME.

Now when you charge the battery, the electrolyte will rise, because the
heating of the electrolyte expands. If you added distill water to a
discharge battery, lets say it's at 1.172 sg which is about 50% state of
charge, and you add more water to it at this time, then you may have diluted
to 1.124 sg which is 30% state of charge and you try to charge it to 1.277
sg for a 100 percent charge, the electrolyte level may rise too high in the
neck or even overflow.

DO NOT ADD DISTILL WATER AT THE BEGINNING OF A CHARGE CYCLE OF A VERY LOW
DISCHARGE BATTERY. First charge it to about 85% to 90% then check the
specific gravity of the electrolyte. If it reads about 1.275 to 1.277 SG at
this time, and if the electrolyte level is between 1/4 to 1/8 inch from the
bottom of the fill neck, THEN DO NOT ADD ANY MORE WATER or you will diluted
the electrolyte and will lower the specific gravity even more.

A 90% charge battery should read about 1.250 SG, so if its reads higher at
about 1.265 or higher and the electrolyte level is lower than the bottom of
the fill neck, than you can add 1.0 SG distill water, which will lower the
electrolyte S.G. and than you continue to charge to rise it to 1.275 SG.

Adding distill water at about 90% state of charge (SOC) and then continue to
charge the battery, mixes the water better than adding it at 100% SOC.

One thing to watch out for, is when a battery has been setting for a while,
the sulfuric acid is heavier then water, so it will settle to the bottom. So
when you check the specific gravity of the electrolyte, you are only pulling
a sample off the top, which will normally read lower SG then at the bottom.
Give this battery a trickle charge so as to make it a very light bubble.
This will mix the electrolyte so the SG will be more even from top to bottom
of the cell. Then read the SG of the battery.

If you are using a E-meter to read how much ampere-hour you are using, and
you are only replacing the exact amount of AH you are replacing, then after
each charge cycle, you are lowing the AH and/or the specific gravity of the
battery. I find with my higher ampere-hour batteries which are 260 AH, that
If I remove 50 AH according to my E-meter, and if I replace 50 AH and check
the the specific gravity of the electrolyte, that the SG reading may only be
1.265 SG instead of 1.275 SG, which is about 1 percent difference, but I
have to charge about 5 more AH into the battery or about 10 percent more to
bring this up to 100% charge.

Now you know why the battery manufacture went to seal batteries, so a person
does not screw it up by adding water at the wrong time and adjusting the
specific gravity level, but then it's guess work by testing only by voltage.

The voltage of a 100% charge 12 volt battery is about 12.74 V for a
electrolyte reading of 1.277 SG, but the manufactures have reduce the
electrolyte to 1.265 SG or 12.68 volt which is really a 95% SOC for the
cranking type batteries to make them last longer.

Start at the beginning and do all the test as I stated above to trouble
shoot your batteries. Your EV is doing a load test of the batteries as a
group or you can do a load test separately. Do not do a load test on a full
charge battery, even a bad battery may show good if it fully charge. It is
best to do the load test on a battery that has a setting voltage above 6
volts, or about 60 to 70 percent charge.

Roland









----- Original Message -----
From: "Walt Jorgensen" <[email protected]>
To: "EVDL" <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:53 AM
Subject: [EVDL] Very Disappointing Development: Batteries Won't Take a
Charge


> EVDL,
>
> I just joined the listserv so it won't come as a surprise that I have a
> problem. I'm trying to use the various archives and faq to discover
> owners who have had similar experiences.
>
> I have been charging and driving my /new/ TEVan for about two weeks, and
> now have had a very disappointing development.
>
> I logged usage and charging from 10-15-07. Each time the charging cycle
> completed, I got a FULL+ reading on the fuel gauge.
>
> I did a manual watering of the batteries with distilled water on Monday,
> the 22nd. It took 16 minutes from 1:44pm to 2:15pm.
>
> Beginning on the 27th, I couldn't get past a half charge. Now it won't
> take any charge at all.
>
> As you can see, I never was getting very good mileage.
>
> Here is my activity log since the 22nd.
>
> Date Time Odometer Fuel Gauge, Begin Activity
> 10-22-07 1:44pm 15085 FULL+, started manual watering
> 10-22-07 2:15pm 15085 FULL+, ended watering
> 10-22-07 2:33pm 15085 FULL+
> 10-22-07 5:23pm 15085 FULL+, home to Port mtg downtown
> 10-22-07 7:48pm 15088 FULL on line, downtown to home
>
> 10-23-07 3:22pm 15092 0.75, home to Smith Bldg
> 10-23-07 5:33pm 15095 0.77, Smith Bldg to Cap Lake
> 10-23-07 6:30pm 15096 0.77, Cap Lake to home
> 10-23-07 6:57pm 15103 0.27 started charging
> 10-24-07 1:02am 15103 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
> 10-24-07 5:24pm 15103 FULL+, home to Morgan Stanley
> 10-24-07 8:19pm 15106 FULL on line, Morgan Stanley to home
> 10-24-07 8:31pm 15108 0.77, home
>
> ?????????????????????? ???, started
> charging
> 10-25-07 12:17pm 15108 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
> 10-26-07 6:49pm 15108 FULL+, home to Traditions
> 10-26-07 9:00pm 15111 FULL+, Traditions to home
> 10-26-07 9:15pm 15114 0.646, home
> 10-27-07 ??? 15114 started charging
> 10-27-07 9:30pm 15114 0.52, still charging
> 10-27-07 ??? 15114 ???, turned charging off (I had left the
> heater & fan on)
> 10-28-07 12:00noon 15114 0.52, started charging
> 10-28-07 7:00pm 15114 ???, still charging
> 10-28-07 7:03pm 15114 0.5, turned charging off (I had left the
> radio on)
> 10-29-07 8:27pm 15114 0.52, started charging
> 10-30-07 1:15am 15114 ???, still charging, turned charging off
> 10-30-07 2:30pm 15114 ZERO, started charging
> 10-30-07 5:14pm 15114 ???, still charging
> 10-30-07 6:40pm 15114 ZERO, still charging, turned charging off
>
> Did something not work right with my manual watering? What should I be
> looking for? Any idea what might be happening?
>
> As I noted before, the mileage, though not good, seemed to be improving
> and the operation, e.g., acceleration, was fine.
>
> Walt Jorgensen
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
 

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Registered
Joined
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If you van uses Saft Nicads then the filling process is very specific,
if not followed correctly you will overfill the batteries and on the
next charge the electrolyte will spill from the batteries. Filling
must me done at the end of a maintenance charge which occurs after the
batteries have been FULLY discharged, they are then charged at a
specific rate on a maintenance charge of a fixed amp output for a
specific time. At the end of the charge the batteries must be filled
within 15 minutes or you will over fill them. If you have the Saft MRE
180 in your car let me know and I can give you the specifics.
Discharging the batteries to 0 resets the plates and brings the packs
capacity pack significantly- let me know if you need help. Don't add
any more water!


Mark
Walt Jorgensen wrote:

> EVDL,
>
> I just joined the listserv so it won't come as a surprise that I
> have a
> problem. I'm trying to use the various archives and faq to discover
> owners who have had similar experiences.
>
> I have been charging and driving my /new/ TEVan for about two weeks,
> and
> now have had a very disappointing development.
>
> I logged usage and charging from 10-15-07. Each time the charging
> cycle
> completed, I got a FULL+ reading on the fuel gauge.
>
> I did a manual watering of the batteries with distilled water on
> Monday,
> the 22nd. It took 16 minutes from 1:44pm to 2:15pm.
>
> Beginning on the 27th, I couldn't get past a half charge. Now it
> won't
> take any charge at all.
>
> As you can see, I never was getting very good mileage.
>
> Here is my activity log since the 22nd.
>
> Date Time Odometer Fuel Gauge, Begin Activity
> 10-22-07 1:44pm 15085 FULL+, started manual watering
> 10-22-07 2:15pm 15085 FULL+, ended watering
> 10-22-07 2:33pm 15085 FULL+
> 10-22-07 5:23pm 15085 FULL+, home to Port mtg downtown
> 10-22-07 7:48pm 15088 FULL on line, downtown to home
>
> 10-23-07 3:22pm 15092 0.75, home to Smith Bldg
> 10-23-07 5:33pm 15095 0.77, Smith Bldg to Cap Lake
> 10-23-07 6:30pm 15096 0.77, Cap Lake to home
> 10-23-07 6:57pm 15103 0.27 started charging
> 10-24-07 1:02am 15103 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
> 10-24-07 5:24pm 15103 FULL+, home to Morgan Stanley
> 10-24-07 8:19pm 15106 FULL on line, Morgan Stanley to home
> 10-24-07 8:31pm 15108 0.77, home
>
> ?????????????????????? ???, started
> charging
> 10-25-07 12:17pm 15108 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
> 10-26-07 6:49pm 15108 FULL+, home to Traditions
> 10-26-07 9:00pm 15111 FULL+, Traditions to home
> 10-26-07 9:15pm 15114 0.646, home
> 10-27-07 ??? 15114 started charging
> 10-27-07 9:30pm 15114 0.52, still charging
> 10-27-07 ??? 15114 ???, turned charging off (I had left
> the
> heater & fan on)
> 10-28-07 12:00noon 15114 0.52, started charging
> 10-28-07 7:00pm 15114 ???, still charging
> 10-28-07 7:03pm 15114 0.5, turned charging off (I had left the
> radio on)
> 10-29-07 8:27pm 15114 0.52, started charging
> 10-30-07 1:15am 15114 ???, still charging, turned charging off
> 10-30-07 2:30pm 15114 ZERO, started charging
> 10-30-07 5:14pm 15114 ???, still charging
> 10-30-07 6:40pm 15114 ZERO, still charging, turned charging off
>
> Did something not work right with my manual watering? What should I
> be
> looking for? Any idea what might be happening?
>
> As I noted before, the mileage, though not good, seemed to be
> improving
> and the operation, e.g., acceleration, was fine.
>
> Walt Jorgensen
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hi Walt,

According to Wikipedia, the TEVan came equipped with flooded Ni-cads, or
nickel-iron batteries and then later there were "advanced" lead-acids and
even some NiMH batteries. The two responses I've seen to your note
seem to be making different presumptions about the chemistry of your
pack and (obviously) the answer depends on that quite a bit.

I've heard that flooded Ni-Cads can be killed by the accidental addition of
even a miniscule amount of acid. On the other hand, the nickel-iron cells
have a reputation of being nearly indestructable. I'd be curious to know if
anyone on the list has any experience with nickel-iron cells being sensitive
to contamination from acid.

Anyway, presuming you have flooded alkaline cells of some type, a
possible explanation for the behavior of your batteries would be said
contamination. Did you use watering equipment that had previously
been used on lead-acids?

Best,
Joe

Walt Jorgensen wrote:
>
> EVDL,
>
> I just joined the listserv so it won't come as a surprise that I have a
> problem. I'm trying to use the various archives and faq to discover
> owners who have had similar experiences.
>
> I have been charging and driving my /new/ TEVan for about two weeks, and
> now have had a very disappointing development.
>
> I logged usage and charging from 10-15-07. Each time the charging cycle
> completed, I got a FULL+ reading on the fuel gauge.
>
> I did a manual watering of the batteries with distilled water on Monday,
> the 22nd. It took 16 minutes from 1:44pm to 2:15pm.
>
> Beginning on the 27th, I couldn't get past a half charge. Now it won't
> take any charge at all.
>
> As you can see, I never was getting very good mileage.
>
> Here is my activity log since the 22nd.
>
> Date Time Odometer Fuel Gauge, Begin Activity
> 10-22-07 1:44pm 15085 FULL+, started manual watering
> 10-22-07 2:15pm 15085 FULL+, ended watering
> 10-22-07 2:33pm 15085 FULL+
> 10-22-07 5:23pm 15085 FULL+, home to Port mtg downtown
> 10-22-07 7:48pm 15088 FULL on line, downtown to home
>
> 10-23-07 3:22pm 15092 0.75, home to Smith Bldg
> 10-23-07 5:33pm 15095 0.77, Smith Bldg to Cap Lake
> 10-23-07 6:30pm 15096 0.77, Cap Lake to home
> 10-23-07 6:57pm 15103 0.27 started charging
> 10-24-07 1:02am 15103 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
> 10-24-07 5:24pm 15103 FULL+, home to Morgan Stanley
> 10-24-07 8:19pm 15106 FULL on line, Morgan Stanley to home
> 10-24-07 8:31pm 15108 0.77, home
>
> ?????????????????????? ???, started
> charging
> 10-25-07 12:17pm 15108 ??? charge ended (maybe earlier)
> 10-26-07 6:49pm 15108 FULL+, home to Traditions
> 10-26-07 9:00pm 15111 FULL+, Traditions to home
> 10-26-07 9:15pm 15114 0.646, home
> 10-27-07 ??? 15114 started charging
> 10-27-07 9:30pm 15114 0.52, still charging
> 10-27-07 ??? 15114 ???, turned charging off (I had left the
> heater & fan on)
> 10-28-07 12:00noon 15114 0.52, started charging
> 10-28-07 7:00pm 15114 ???, still charging
> 10-28-07 7:03pm 15114 0.5, turned charging off (I had left the
> radio on)
> 10-29-07 8:27pm 15114 0.52, started charging
> 10-30-07 1:15am 15114 ???, still charging, turned charging off
> 10-30-07 2:30pm 15114 ZERO, started charging
> 10-30-07 5:14pm 15114 ???, still charging
> 10-30-07 6:40pm 15114 ZERO, still charging, turned charging off
>
> Did something not work right with my manual watering? What should I be
> looking for? Any idea what might be happening?
>
> As I noted before, the mileage, though not good, seemed to be improving
> and the operation, e.g., acceleration, was fine.
>
> Walt Jorgensen
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
>

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_______________________________________________
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