reset or debug procedure for reviving a dead battery ?
I just bought a 2007 Vectrix scooter. It seems to be in good shape, but
it had been in storage for several years and the battery is completely dead.
When I plug it in, nothing happens, no lights, nothing.
Is there a reset or debug procedure for reviving a completely dead battery/electrical system?
You need to bring your battery voltage up to at least 100V. Look for a regulated 0-150V DC power supply. Use a 3-5A diode and connect two large crocodile clips to connect to the pos and neg pole on the battery. Now gradually raise the voltage and charge the bike at anywhere from 1-3a until it reaches at least 100V. This may only take 30 min. Then the charger electronics will recognize the battery and take it from here. I found a suitable charger on EBAY. I have seen several listed recently for around $150. May be you can borrow one from a friend. If you are anywhere near Birmingham AL I can help.
I recomend before going any further that you get heavy linesman electrical gloves and use them.
If for any reason somebody touches the two right places wich could turn out to be the two very wrong places it could kill the person who did that as for instance in this case by stoping there heart. That would be like touching the two battery posts that the battery cables go to with each bare hand and with the anderson connectors connected. The reason I say each bare hand is because in that case the electrical pathway is hands, arms, chest/heart so for that reason wear gloves and try to use only one hand at a time when possible to eliminate the heart pathway situation. Also obviously prior to working on the battery and other high voltage areas always unplug the two anderson connectors that will reduces most of the danger.
Wear googles to protect your eyes in case you drop metal objects on the battery that could cause sparks. Wrap your tools with electric tape, use a product like "Magnetic Socket Inserts" with your socket tools.
Not saftey related, always perform the inrush current limiter routine before connecting the anderson connectors together or else you could destroy the motor controller board.
1. Never have the Vectrix AC power cable pluged in at the same time your attempting to boost charge as mentioned above in post #1.
2. Check to see if the battery cables are connected to the motor controller and if for some reason there not then it's ok to boost charge only if the cable ends are not loose or are taped off so they can't create a short. Note it would be better if the cables were already correctly attatched to the battery when the voltage is lower and safer to work with.
3. Check if the the anderson connectors are connected together.
A. If they aren't this is good news your battery might be in good condition but then you must reconnect them before attempting to charge the battery or else it could damage the motor controller. Now and always before reconnecting the anderson connectors together you must perform the inrush current limiter routine that also includes connecting them together.
B. If they are then proceed with boost charging.
No, I recommend that you leave the battery connected. This way you need not worry about inrush. I usually wear just silicon elastic gloves, you may double them up for good measure. Just use common sense around that battery. The good news is that of you measure the voltage with a voltmeter, which I suggest you do, it probably is very low and not dangerous at all. It may read as low as just a few volts if the battery has been sitting without charge for years. Once you have it charged, make sure that you take it easy for the first ten charges or so. Only drive a few miles at a time, then charge again. Also make sure that you get the latest firmware on the bike. It will ensure a healthier battery life.
I finally got around to removing the plastic covers and revealing the battery boxes.
It has definitely been apart before .. I don't know if that's good or bad.
I measured the battery voltage at 42V. An initial inspection of the battery cells looks OK.
I did not find any bulging or heat damaged cells (but of course I can only see the top layer of cells).
I'm getting mixed stories from different sources: some people say that a bulk charge
to 100V is OK while others say I need to take the packs apart and charge each cell individually.
So now I'm not sure what I should do ..
After such a long time in a deeply discharged state, I would recommend to slowly charge with an external charger until the battery is full.
Start with no more than about 0.3A; you can charge the battery to full by continuing this for about 150hrs....or increase the charge rate to no more than 3A. But, at 3A you need to cool the battery once it approaches full state, or it may overheat.
To keep the scooter safe (or rather keep people safe), you could connect diode-protected cables from positive and negative end of the battery and route them into the boot. That will only allow to put current into the battery, but not to let it out. Then close the battery box up before charging the battery. This will also allow to use the plenum impellers to effectively cool the batteries (just connect a 12VDC (5A) source to them).
Now gradually raise the voltage and charge the bike at anywhere from 1-3a until it reaches at least 100V. This may only take 30 min.
It usually only takes be around a minute to get the voltage up, you don't have to put very much charger in at all to get a nimh battery up to 1V
charging at under 3A until the pack is full is a good idea however
generally from packs that have self dicharged to 0V, I usually find many dead cells that have been held reversed for a long period of time.
I would try and get some spare cells on hand ahead of time
Congratulations, and you learned a lot about your bike already.
How many km do you get per charge?
(What happened to the door stop - forum/12412 -?)
If you do a search on VIFV you will find plenty of help for this problem. Assuming the pack is recoverable - 'all' you need to do is bring the pack volts up to about 100V with an adjustable power supply or similar after which the stock charger will accept it and charge as normal. I don't know how likely it is that the pack will be recoverable as there is a continuous 'parasitic' drain on the pack from the charger/controller etc even when the ignition is switched off which, if not disconnected before storage, may well have completely destroyed the pack.
In which case it may be time for a lithium conversion, perhaps!