Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR MY BELOVED NIMH VECTRIX ??

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2008 Silver Vec...
2008 Silver Vectrix Owner's picture
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Hello everyone,

Thank you everyone for the great advise over the years. I have probably read every post on this forum and still feel like I do not fully understand this bike.

Anyway-

Recently, on my way to work as I have done everyday over the past two years, I noticed the cooling fans were running. I stopped the bike, turned it off, and squeezed the left hand brake to check the battery temperature.(I have the new software) The temperature read 39 C, so I did not ride that day. I simply put the bike back in the garage and drove my ice vehicle. sigh.. Then it happened again the next day and the next. It has even shown 40 C on one occassion. Ambient temperature is around 31 C. I let the bike cool then checked the temperature while charging. The charge temperature was a normal 32 C all the way up to just a few bars remaining on the battery indicator. The next morning the bike is again 39 C, so my theory is that the last few bars of charging are greatly affecting my temperature, but why? Does anyone here know what is going on? Is this the beginning of the pack dying on me? I have 5338 miles so far without any problems, except the high temps on the pack. Any suggestions ?

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JJ

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HarryS
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

You have to get into an environment that is far below 31C for charging. Inevitible charging will heat up the battery. Once it hits 35C it get bad. Charge at night after a long cool-off, when temperatures reach 25C and use Mik's ABCcool device and monitor the temperature duing riding. Put it on a timer and avoid the CC charge stage alltogether if you can live with the reduced range. The fans come on at 36C and stay on during rides. Heat is a killer for NIMH cells.
I have been using my bike with the second battery in Alabama this summer by charging at night at around 23-25C. I have the ABCcool running all night. When I drive 16miles to work the battery goes from about 27-30C. I park the bike in the shade and it reads 31C when I leave. By the time I am home the battery is at 33-34C and I have travelled 33miles. Then I start all over.

2008 Silver Vec...
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

I use the charge timer set at 8.5 hours before charging and always at around midnight. Temps around 23-25 C. Riding the temperature only increases minimally a few degrees celcius to maybe 31-32 C. The higher temps after full charge, timer delayed, is something new. Temps are almost the same year around in Hawaii. I think this may be the beginning of the end. I have always charged 100% and discharged until around 4 bars. I also have always used the charge timer delay. I may have to delay or not charge to 100%. That seems to be how the high temps come about. Has this happened to anyone else? Does the abc cool really make all that much difference? I'm really trying to determine if a) I should start thinking battery replacement, b) can I do anything to prevent more damage, c) has anyone else experienced this and what happened over time? I am going to baby it until I can find out more about why this is happening.

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JJ

antiscab
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

2008 Silver Vectrix Owner wrote:

Ambient temperature is around 31 C. I let the bike cool then checked the temperature while charging. The charge temperature was a normal 32 C all the way up to just a few bars remaining on the battery indicator. The next morning the bike is again 39 C, so my theory is that the last few bars of charging are greatly affecting my temperature, but why?

Self discharge is much greater above 70% SOC, and/or 30 deg C

Your battery is probably still fine, its just self discharging due to the higher temp.

I suggest using a timer so the charge completes just before you need to use the bike (so it spend the least amount of time at full charge).

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

pcarlson1979
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Hi there,

Unfortunately I don't own a Vectrix, I have a eRider lithium 8000w but I do have a lot of experience in NiMh batteries from racing RC cars pulling nearly 1200watts from a 7.2v battery. My nick name was acid burn, or pops, as I used to REALLY treat by batteries for peak performance, charging to 50°c just before a race.

When a pack is new, the cells have a nice low internal resistance and can handle a bit of tough love, but after a while I noticed (by exploding batteries...hence the nick names) that as a battery gets older, the internal resistance keeps getting worse and they would start to heat up before they could hold a full charge, plus once charged they would quickly discharge themselves and I would lose performance.

4000 odd miles is amazingly good on a battery. If you notice that the battery is only reaching 32°c when charging, but 39°c when riding then either it's a hot day or your cells may be on the way out. From my experience with Sub-C cells (half the size of a C sized battery) when they reach 45°c you REALLY should stand back! If it gets over 55°c then she will blow with a hell of a bang! and a splash of acid. It only hurts if it hits you in the eyes. Skin is fine.

Do you have a Vectrix dealer near you to ask any questions?

__________________

------------------------------
eRider 8000w Scooter - PDT Version
72v 50AH CHL battery
350A Sevcon controller

24km: Delivered - 24 September 2011
2490km: Installed dual 35w HID lights Bi-Xenon Projectors - 27 November 2011
8313km: Installed BMS - 13 October 2012

"Scrappy" - Custom 48v Electric Dirtbike Conversion
20 Feb 2012: Bought 2005 Suzuki DRZ-400SM Motorcross Bike for $100
Motor: MARS ME0708
Controller: Alltrax AXE4844 400A controller
Battery: 16xCHL 50Ah LiFePo4 = 48v

2008 Silver Vec...
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

The bike still reads 31-32 C while riding, which is maybe one degree above ambient. I try not to ride it too hard, but it is fun to throttle it. What's the point of all that torque if you dont ever use it?

The only time I have noticed the higher temperatures is after a full charge the next morning, when I need to ride to work. I did let the bike charge earlier than normal, so I could watch the temperature. It started at around 30-31 C and was only 32 C with 3 bars still left to charge. After that I left the bike alone and let it charge. I thought maybe whatever was wrong had fixed itself, however the next morning the bike is at 39 - 40 C. Therefore, the last 3 bars of charge or maybe an equalization charge caused the bike to overheat. It has happened every day I have completed a full charge. (Over past week)

The bike does not overheat while riding, at least not yet. (Riding temps only go up a degree or two)

I started to ride the bike without knowing the temperature was high and it did seem to lack power as well. (High temp from charging the night before)

I'm going to set the time delay to 4 hours and then set my alarm to stop the bike from charging all the way. That way hopefully it will not overheat. I can live with the lower range for now.

I still would like to hear from someone that has the same experience with their bike. I have read somewhere that the batteries will fail rapidly from heat/resistence once a cell has gone bad.

This is such a good bike...if only the batteries/BMS was simply plug and play. You shouldn't have to even think about the bike. The software should know what the batteries need and adjust accordingly.

My new NISSAN LEAF is just plug it in and forget about it. The battery indicator works perfectly. I wish my Vectrix worked as well. Oh well...Hope to have many more miles out of the Vectrix...but with a lot more work.

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JJ

LeftieBiker
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Vectrix really failed spectacularly with these packs and chargers. I hope that the lithium conversion kits and new packs save the bikes, but I don't think I'd buy one even with a CHL pack. Not that I have the money. ;-(

sparker
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Whilst I don't have the exact symptoms you're reporting, I do have to be careful with mine during a full or EQ charge at the moment as one of the fans is only working intermittently. Fortunately the UK climate isn't causing too much overheating, though I am seeing an increase of around 12-14 degrees over ambient, which is pushing it to the high 20's/low 30's. Until the fan is sorted I'm setting a timer to trip out just as the battery indicator is full (around 3.5 hours for me) then setting a pre-charge delay of a couple of hours to take the temp out before letting the bike finish the charge. This still gives full range but stops the battery overheating. I have also employed a pre-ride delay, running the fans first thing in the morning for an hour or so to take any excess temp out before I leave.

AB cool sounds the best option though, for the temps you're dealing with.

Hopefully you have caught it early and haven't damaged the battery.

ofx210p
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

hey all, what about the lairds modified charging program designed exactly to keep the temps down. I'm running it in my bike and it doesnt go above about 3 or 4 degrees above ambient presently (ambient is around 18 degrees)

Do a quick search for more info.

oobflyer
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Where I live the ambient temperature hovers around 40C all summer - my NiMH pack often reached 40C+ while charging. I rode it even when the "Batt Hot" light was on... as it was my ride home from work! I got 11,000 miles on the pack despite the hot summers. And it was still functioning well enough to get me to work (20 miles) on a charge... but just barely. During the last 6 or 8 months I did as Antiscab recommended and used a timer to stop the charger from overheating the batteries (I usually set it for 2 to 2 1/2 hours).

I'm still in the (long) process of converting my '07 V1 to Li-ion batteries - it is my understanding that there is less of a concern with the summer heat using the Li-ion. I should know for sure next summer

;-)

2008 Silver Vec...
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

I'm going to try the charge timer idea to see if that helps. The ABC fan idea sounds good too if It's easy enough to install.
Thank you for the advice.

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JJ

Joshteacher
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Hi! I've recently purchased a 2008 VX-1, and I noticed this happening on my commute recently. It doesn't happen so much on my commute to work, since it's charging at night/early morning. However, yesterday I stopped the charge as it hit the last bar. The temperature was about 35-40C. I got ready to head home 1.5hrs later, and it was all the way up to 60C! I thankfully made it home, but I hate risking that. Afternoon charge is in a 28C room. Any thoughts? I'm wondering if I unplugged it too soon, and should let batteries go through the cc phase.

ofx210p
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Basically, apart from all the other variables of air temp/ battery condition etc. Just about the best thing you can do is get a copy of 'The Laird's ' version of the firmware for your charger and replace the factory version that sucks for exactly this reason.

The fact that your temperatures are rising considerably whilst riding is also a really bad sign

However you dont say how many kms your ride home is, nor what speed you are doing.

If it were mine. No.1 i'd change the on-board firmware. No.2. if i couldnt find out if the batteries need replacing i'd limit my speed and distance of riding. If distance isnt possible i'd certainly limit my speed and just as importantly accleration off the lights as this is a high current drain.

Hope this helps

ofx210p
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Basically, apart from all the other variables of air temp/ battery condition etc. Just about the best thing you can do is get a copy of 'The Laird's ' version of the firmware for your charger and replace the factory version that sucks for exactly this reason.

The fact that your temperatures are rising considerably whilst riding is also a really bad sign

However you dont say how many kms your ride home is, nor what speed you are doing.

If it were mine. No.1 i'd change the on-board firmware. No.2. if i couldnt find out if the batteries need replacing i'd limit my speed and distance of riding. If distance isnt possible i'd certainly limit my speed and just as importantly accleration off the lights as this is a high current drain.

Hope this helps

Joshteacher
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

It's a 12 mile one way commute, and I've had success in avoiding the red battery light by staying at or below 40mph.

While the lairds version of firmware can be helpful, please understand that I'm a history teacher, and I don't think I have the skills or equipment to do the update. I will continue to limit speed, and also watch the acceleration off the light. I was hoping for a definitive answer as to why temperature spikes one afternoon out of five. I'm trying to understand the logic behind how these temperatures change.

Mik
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Your battery could be damaged beyond repair, but it could also be suffering from reversible voltage depression.

When the red battery light comes on, then the rest of the remaining bars will disappear and the gauge is reset to zero when the scooter is turned off.

Following that, the charger tries to force too much charge into the battery, that causes the heating. It sounds like you do not get the overheating after rides that did not end with the red light, and they seem to be the rides towards home.

Is there a an uphill stretch on which the red light comes on, or is it all flat?

You could try the following to improve the battery:

Ride the scooter very gently until it is really empty. Do not stop riding and do not plug in the charger when the red light comes on, but keep on going around the block until it becomes too weak to be driven safely. Drive very gently, no hills and only gentle accelerations. How much further you will be able to drive will depend on the terrain. You can go a lot further on really flat ground, when the slightest hill would already be too steep to climb. It is practically impossible to push a Vectrix uphill, so choose the terrain wisely.... The more voltage depression your battery has, the further you will be able to drive after the battery is supposedly empty (red light).

After really discharging the battery like this, set a pre-charge delay to cool the battery before charging it. Watch the temperature display during the charge - when the temperature suddenly begins to rise steeply, then the battery is full. Stop charging there. Take note of how many bars are shown on the fuel gauge - that's your real battery capacity.

Another way to drain the battery slowly is to leave the scooter turned on for long periods after riding it to empty.

__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Joshteacher
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Mik, I'm going to give that a try. The temp spikes seem to match the appearance of the battery light. Thanks for the procedure!

R
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

the best thing you can do is get a copy of 'The Laird's ' version of the firmware for your charger and replace the factory version that sucks for exactly this reason.

I completely agree. The The Laird's firmware stopped the harm to my battery. The only thing I have to care now is to avoid under-voltage. No overcharging, no disappearing bar syndrome, and no overheating. It is really worth giving it a try.

gasmatt
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Re: Battery Temperature Reaches 39-40 C after full charge, ...

Joining the thread, as it's happened-
My 08 V just hit 53 degrees on a 1h45m timed charge. Normally, a guestimated timed charge results in charging to within 1-2 bars short of full & avoids final equilibration charge. I'd noticed the fans running for about 15min after the last 2 charges (but no rise in dashboard temperature), with a gradual range reduction to about 22m over the last couple of months.
It was apparent that the battery was beginning to stumble, infinitely helped by the fact that I'm stuck with a replacement Runke charger & no option to reprogram with less brutal charging software (V bought with a dead ESD charger on board, but with only 160m on the clock). Now it looks like pack's officially dying.
Having canvassed the Laird, I clearly need to open the pack & replace the dead/dying cells before they kill the rest of the pack.
I also need to dump the Runke & chance it with a second hand reprogrammable ESD charger.
Finally, need to do a Li conversion (Antiscabs?), but not until I can be sure I'm not going to cook the new battery.
So....
1) Anyone in North Hants area with a V who can give a hand opening packs/identifying & replacing cells (I wouldn't expect them to do this for free)?
2) Anyone selling a working ESD charger in UK?
3) Anyone splitting NiMH packs in UK?
4) Anyone know next week's lottery numbers?
Wearily yours, Matt

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