New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give any sign of life

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emanuele
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Joined: 08/09/2008
Points: 7

Hello everybody...
I am desperate!
My new battery was mounted on my vectrix 10 days ago...
I was so incredibly happy, nearly 90 km on the second ride, could not believe my eyes.
I was just about finishing the third full discharge, the red battery sign was already on and left it on my doorway turned on for an hour or so.
My brother walked by and saw it outside, then drove it gently to the garage: he saw it with the lights on, so figured out himself that it was supposed to stay that way, and left it with its lights on inside the house.
I've never gone down there until today (2 days after)...that means I never noticed that it was ON! When I approached it today to recharge it I thought it was simply switched off, what happened in reality is that IT COMPLETELY DIED!!!! NO voltage at all from the battery, vectrix won't turn on nor recharge, no sign of live whatsoever.
At the beginning I thought somehow the fuse burned out (as it has happened to me once already).
I called the service (in Verona) and they said that if it was left on it might be a big mess, for it will need a special "reanimation" process.
I could not believe what happened and was so sorry it almost brought tears to my eyes....this all happened after almost a year I was waiting for a new battery.
I was wondering: has this ever happened to any of you at all?? Do you know what are my chances of recovery? Could I have already burn out cells on my battery, although it was BRAND NEW?
They said I can bring it to them nexr week and they'll see what they can do..
I am so lost over this.
Thank you so much for any feedback.
Cheers***

emanuele

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AndY1
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Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

I don't think that at so low current (35W for the front bulb and some for the rear LEDs and computer) there could be any significant reverse charge damage.

I hope that this was your last deep discharge as I encourage people to not do deep discharges, since they will only harm the battery. Syncing just isn't worth it, especially because sync always happens after completed EQ charge.

The service engineer has to do is to bring the battery voltage back up to the level, where the Vectrix' charger takes over. He has to open the battery compartment lid and do some battery charging.

Mik
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Points: 3726
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

Sounds like they forgot to build a low voltage cutoff into the DC/DC converter! Bummer.

35W +2W + XW for the electronics.....lets say 50W for arguments sake.

0.9V x 102 cell = 91.8V

50W / 91.8V = 0.54A (Drain from the battery)

0.54A x 48hrs = 25Ah (in other words, you have totally drained your battery to empty!)

BUT there is a small chance that the NiMH cells will bounce back up to a significant positive voltage per cell if you give them a few hours or a few days rest!

To give yourself the best chance to get your Vectrix going again, do this:

A) Leave the Vectrix turned off all the time! Do not turn it on to check, leave it alone, turned off!

B) After about 24hrs rest, plug in the charging chord WITHOUT TURNING THE VECTRIX ON FIRST!

The battery MAY recover to a sufficiently high voltage to allow to start the charging process. It will need to be able to fire up the electronic systems for about 30sec only, before the charger will put in fresh electrons.

If this does not work, then hope that your dealers have by now built themselves a "Freddy" charger....

__________________

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

R
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Points: 1392
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

: has this ever happened to any of you at all?? Do you know what are my chances of recovery?

well, the battery was discharged at slow current until reached the computer's operational voltage limit (around 80v) When the internal computer is shut down, the charging process cannot start. If you apply a small current on the battery terminals (for instance 90v DC 0.3 A)the computer may restart and will be able to begin the charging process. The recovery chances are almost 100%. Any service shop of electric vehicles/solar stuff will have a kind of universal freddy to remotely charge the battery to reach operational voltage... If you put in series 4 5w 24v solar panels,they will also do the charge.

Could I have already burn out cells on my battery, although it was BRAND NEW?

Luckily it wasn't lithium! the battery would have died. With Nimh new pack, probably all cells are well balanced, and thanks the slow current, I guess the cells received minor damage. I'm sure the pack is damaged, but it will be operational. You'll be able to travel 60-70 km instead of 90km. When my last pack was new, I could easily reach 80 km without driving efficiently. Now that my pack is damaged I only get 50 km of range.

Mik
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Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

R wrote:

...
...If you put in series 4 5w 24v solar panels,they will also do the charge.
...
...

Do you mean nominal 24V panels or nominal 12V panels?

I have very limited experience with solar panels, but the 12V nominal ones I have played around with do get up to around 20V to 24V (IIRC) if they do not have a significant load connected.

So I assume that 24V rated solar panels will reach around 40V if open circuit...

Anyway, that is an interesting idea to build a universal battery rescue charger from solar panels. Small panels will make it easy to have built-in current limiting. It will take a full days sun (or several), but it could resurrect almost any serviceable HV battery to a sufficient voltage for the stock charger to take over again.

The problem is that 50mA at such voltages are easily lethal, even if they come from a series of seemingly harmless solar panels! And they do not have any fuses or safety devices to shut them down, similar to HV batteries.

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

R
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Points: 1392
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

Yes, 24v nominal.

but it could resurrect almost any serviceable HV battery to a sufficient voltage for the stock charger to take over again

Certainly, that's the idea: discharged batteries rise its voltage notably with very small energy inputs, such as energy coming from solar panels.

The problem is that 50mA at such voltages are easily lethal

Umh... a solar panel is not battery, because it does not have a huge energy storage which can be instantly drained to a person and kill it. It's a small power generator, in my opinion in cannot service enough instant power to harm. The only problem? you cannot plug some solar panels directly to the battery, because solar panels can generate energy in sunlight.. but in dark they radiate energy...without a "diode" to prevent reverse flow of energy, the battery can be emptied!

Mik
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Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

R wrote:

Yes, 24v nominal.

but it could resurrect almost any serviceable HV battery to a sufficient voltage for the stock charger to take over again

Certainly, that's the idea: discharged batteries rise its voltage notably with very small energy inputs, such as energy coming from solar panels.

The problem is that 50mA at such voltages are easily lethal

Umh... a solar panel is not battery, because it does not have a huge energy storage which can be instantly drained to a person and kill it. It's a small power generator, in my opinion in cannot service enough instant power to harm. The only problem? you cannot plug some solar panels directly to the battery, because solar panels can generate energy in sunlight.. but in dark they radiate energy...without a "diode" to prevent reverse flow of energy, the battery can be emptied!

This is incorrect: The solar panels can very easily kill a human due to cardiac arrest when arranged in series to produce higher voltages!

If you have a 1W solar panel (@24V) then it can produce 1V/24W = 41.6mA current at 24V.

No matter how many panels you put in series, this current will remain the same. But the voltage will go up by 24V with each additional panel in series.

Once you have enough voltage to overcome the resistance of the human body, this current can flow through the body. And if it flows through your heart it can kill you.

A fully charged Vectrix battery will probably not put much more current than that through your body, either!

It's all in Ohm's law V/I=R

The resistance of the human body determines what current will flow through it at a given voltage. The resistance varies widely, particularly due to skin moisture levels. If you have a wound, or poke a single copper strand of a live wire into you body and it's salty blood, the resistance drops sharply.

It does not matter if the 150V DC come from a Vectrix battery, or a nuclear reactor, or a series of mere 1W solar panels! As long as the power source is able to produce more than 20mA at that voltage the result on you will be exactly the same!

The difference is when you short the output with a low resistance, like a metal tool accidentally dropped on the voltage source:

A battery will cause an explosive discharge, possibly melting the tool or welding it to the battery terminals, because hundreds of A will flow instantaneously.

The series of 1W solar panels, when shorted like this, will just cause a tiny initial spark, their voltage will collapse and it will still produce about the same current (41mA in above example).

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This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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X Vectrix
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Joined: 08/04/2009
Points: 235
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

emanuele
All may not be lost. The Scooter is designed to start shutting things off as the voltage drops. The lights will go off at about 95V. Its a trade off between leaving someone stranded with no lights (if they break down) and preserving the batteries (if left on). The tail and position stay on till about 90V then go off. At these low currents your battery may be fine. It just needs to be boosted for the charger to kick in. Try what Mik suggested, sometimes the voltage will float up enough to allow the charger to come on.

R
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Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

Thanks for this illustrative post! I'll be very careful if I ever put some solar panels in series...

Mik
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Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

emanuele wrote:

Hello everybody...
I am desperate!
My new battery was mounted on my vectrix 10 days ago......
...

How did it all go?

__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

berndoz
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Joined: 10/16/2008
Points: 26
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

Mik wrote:

Sounds like they forgot to build a low voltage cutoff into the DC/DC converter! Bummer.

35W +2W + XW for the electronics.....lets say 50W for arguments sake.

0.9V x 102 cell = 91.8V

50W / 91.8V = 0.54A (Drain from the battery)

0.54A x 48hrs = 25Ah (in other words, you have totally drained your battery to empty!)

BUT there is a small chance that the NiMH cells will bounce back up to a significant positive voltage per cell if you give them a few hours or a few days rest!

To give yourself the best chance to get your Vectrix going again, do this:

A) Leave the Vectrix turned off all the time! Do not turn it on to check, leave it alone, turned off!

B) After about 24hrs rest, plug in the charging chord WITHOUT TURNING THE VECTRIX ON FIRST!

The battery MAY recover to a sufficiently high voltage to allow to start the charging process. It will need to be able to fire up the electronic systems for about 30sec only, before the charger will put in fresh electrons.

If this does not work, then hope that your dealers have by now built themselves a "Freddy" charger....

Bloody Hell (an Ozzie expression)
so, to gently and evenly discharge the whole battery bank without getting stuck down the hill from my place I used a light bulb 240V 500W to discharge the battery down to the last three bars. Well, a good bottle of red later and I completely forgot about my light in the garage......next morning the light was off as the battery was down to 30V

It took me all weekend to find this thread as I remembered reading about it back in 2010.
Sadly no further help came from it BUT Mik's suggestion of just trying after a few days and hoping that the cells bounced back.
Well, FMD, battery voltage came up to 130V, enough to start the charger.

Now I have to seriously consider a "Freddy' or something similar.

Aircon
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Joined: 12/23/2009
Points: 425
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

berndoz wrote:
Mik wrote:

Sounds like they forgot to build a low voltage cutoff into the DC/DC converter! Bummer.

35W +2W + XW for the electronics.....lets say 50W for arguments sake.

0.9V x 102 cell = 91.8V

50W / 91.8V = 0.54A (Drain from the battery)

0.54A x 48hrs = 25Ah (in other words, you have totally drained your battery to empty!)

BUT there is a small chance that the NiMH cells will bounce back up to a significant positive voltage per cell if you give them a few hours or a few days rest!

To give yourself the best chance to get your Vectrix going again, do this:

A) Leave the Vectrix turned off all the time! Do not turn it on to check, leave it alone, turned off!

B) After about 24hrs rest, plug in the charging chord WITHOUT TURNING THE VECTRIX ON FIRST!

The battery MAY recover to a sufficiently high voltage to allow to start the charging process. It will need to be able to fire up the electronic systems for about 30sec only, before the charger will put in fresh electrons.

If this does not work, then hope that your dealers have by now built themselves a "Freddy" charger....

Bloody Hell (an Ozzie expression)
so, to gently and evenly discharge the whole battery bank without getting stuck down the hill from my place I used a light bulb 240V 500W to discharge the battery down to the last three bars. Well, a good bottle of red later and I completely forgot about my light in the garage......next morning the light was off as the battery was down to 30V

It took me all weekend to find this thread as I remembered reading about it back in 2010.
Sadly no further help came from it BUT Mik's suggestion of just trying after a few days and hoping that the cells bounced back.
Well, FMD, battery voltage came up to 130V, enough to start the charger.

Now I have to seriously consider a "Freddy' or something similar.

FMD, another great aussie expression :)

HarryS
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Joined: 10/08/2008
Points: 341
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

I highly recommend installing a diode protected tap that ends somewhere near the uner seat compartment whenever you open the batter box the next time. I found a 150V regulated DV power supply on EBAY. I have seen some pop up for as little at $80. They need not have a large amperage. Even 0.3A is plenty. Mine is adjustable up to 3A. If ever the voltage drops below 100V, just hook it up for a half hour and it will be back to sufficient voltage to run the charger.

Frolle
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Joined: 05/11/2012
Points: 45
Re: New Battery, COMPLETELY discharged, vectrix won't give ...

Look at Ebay, search for "DC 30-90V 300mA"

30-90v.jpg

Input AC 85-265V 50/60Hz
Output DC 30-90V 300mA

About $12 each.

Personally I was thinking about adding two of those in series to do EQ-charging over the weekends.

The backside is that I guess you are not so eager to wait for a month of shipping time :- )

Good luck!

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