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How to Replace Cells in Vectrix Battery Modules
Submitted by Mik on Sat, 07/25/2009 - 15:13
The cells in the Vectrix battery are held together by a metal band in modules of 9 cells or 8 cells.
The metal band provides compression against cell swelling during times of raised intra-cell pressure. The cells can then only bulge at little bit on the narrow sides.
In my experience, the individual cells can not be removed from the modules without taking the metal band off. But apparently some dealers give advice that it can be done. http://visforvoltage.org/forum/6936-replaing-troublesome-oem-batteries#comment-40281
I prefer to undo the metal band to avoid damaging the cells during removal.
By using six long hose clamps, combining them into three double-clamps, the module can be re-assembled with proper compression.
The original metal band can then be tied together with wires. This increases the length of the module by about 5mm, but it can be squeezed into the plastic battery housing. The increased module length is due to the wire thickness, not due to insufficient compression.
It is very tricky work and definitely not recommended to do unless you have to!
Check out the photos for details, click to enlarge.
Important: Remove the inter-cell connectors first to reduce the risk of shorting the cells with hose clamps or other metal objects. They could get welded to the cells and you'd be watching your cells self destruct. Wear eye protection just in case.
Make three hose clamps out of two clamps each, so that one of the tightening screws is on each side of the module. One very long hose clamp will not allow you to tighten the clamp in a balanced way!
Place all three double-clamps around the module to be re-assembled. One double-clamp is put exactly where the original metal band will later be placed.
Gradually tighten the clamp screws by alternating between left and right sides and upper, lower and middle clamps so that the compression plates are approaching each remaining parallel.
When all three double-clamps are as tight as you can get them, the cells will be close enough to start tying the original metal band around the module once you have removed the double clamp in the middle.
Two double-clamps are sufficient to hold the module together, but it is much easier to tighten it using three double-clamps. Once it is tight, two will do to hold it there whilst the original band is re-applied.
The third double-clamp is not shown in the photos so far!