Flashing green light on charger? When does regen take place?

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I've got a 2008 Zapino (hidden speed switch).

I've noticed that the charger's LED will switch from red to green, but about an hour later will start flashing green. What does that indicate?

I'm not clear when regeneration (motor charging the battery) takes place. Part of the manual seems to indicate that "the system" is disconnected when the brakes are in use*. Another place says that braking is regenerative**. Another seems to indicate that regeneration only takes place during deceleration (coasting?)**. Can somebody clarify to me exactly when regeneration takes place?

* From the manual: "For safety, this vehicle has a circuit cut-out brake system. When the front and rear brake is applied, the controller will disable the circuit; to run, release the throttle back to the start position then accelerate again."

** From the manual: "In addition to not wasting energy at idle, the motors offer the advantage of using the permanent magnet motor's energy recovery capability during deceleration (regenerative braking), so the batteries recharge during deceleration."

Thanks,
Bill

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Joined: 12/22/2007
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Re: Flashing green light on charger? When does regen take place?

I have the same version Zapino. I have never used the String charger so I am not sure what the flashing green light is indicating unless it is trickle/maintenance charge. (I use Bank Charging).

The Zapino does not have regenerative braking.

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Robert Dudley
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Re: Flashing green light on charger? When does regen take place?

sgmdudley wrote:

The Zapino does not have regenerative braking.

When I operate one of the handbrakes while the Zapino is moving I hear a clicking sound that sort of sounds like a bicycle with playing cards hitting the spokes. I only hear this with one of the handbrakes and thought this was the regenerative braking.

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Steve Tanner

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Re: Flashing green light on charger? When does regen take place?

No regen braking on the Zapino. Both switches that are operated by the brake levers do the same thing.
They interrupt the controller so you can't be running the motor while braking.

Since the two brake levers operate different brakes, I suspect you have a brake rotor/caliper that is making the clicking noise.

Tracy kindly sent me some info on the String Charger. My thanks to the explanation from Tracy.

If you think of the charger as filling up a glass of water
CC/CV - "Constant Current Constant Voltage" Charge method

1- (Bulk charge-Constant Current i.e. AMPS) You turn the faucet on full blast and fill the glass up 80% (Full amps until you hit 14.6 vdc or so)

2- (Top off charge-Constant Voltage i.e. Reduce current based on programmed algorithym to achieve full charge without exceeding charge voltage target) You start turning the faucet down more and more until it is just barely running but still a small stream of water (reducing the amps and allow the voltage to climb to charge target, maybe 14.8 ), as it approaches spilling over you slow the stream more and more (turn the amps down more and more) until you can't continue without spilling (without exceeding charge target voltage)

3- (Float charge ) You then turn the faucet off, and let the water completely settle and no waves (voltage drops from 14.8 as charge absorbs into depths of batteries), then, when the water is completely still (lower float target reached about 13.25) you turn the faucet back on, basically a drip pattern (very low amperage) and the glass fills to the brink of spilling (lower float target reached 13.4 maybe) you turn the faucet of (stop the amps) then, because you are in Arizona and the water evaporates quickly (the float voltage is slowly being absorbed into the depths of the battery) the water level drops just enough to put one more drop of water in the glass to replace what evaporated (you turn the amps on and the volts jump up quickly to 13.4 again and you turn the amps right back off).
You sit there all day MAINTAINING that completely full glass (floating the batteries with a drip drip drip of amperage).

THAT's what causes the green light to flash, amps on, amps off, over and over.

And it is this constant introduction of current (amps) via the float voltage function that can cook these EV batteries over time, especially silicone, floating is not needed on a EV battery that is being used once a week and fully charge to stage 1 and stage 2

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Robert Dudley
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