Battery woes....

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Buzby
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Battery woes....

My VX1 is due to have its Third Birthday (next month) but the celebrations will be rather muted, but to the battery failing and reducing my range to just 25 miles before up pops the red light and the estimated range drops very quickly from 28 miles (say) and 6 or 7 bars on the indicator icon, as it too quickly drops to nothing and I'm limping home. Irrespective of ambient temperature, (from 3 to 20 deg C). Despite careful riding and recharging, the collapse in power is almosr predictable as soon as there's 25 miles or so showing. All other aspects of the bike operation are fine.

I have no battery expertise, however back in the heady days of the original purchase, I do recall that Vectrix had a 2 year warranty on the bike, but that the battery pack was promoted as having a 5-year lifespan and/or 80,000Km (50,000 miles) of use. My mileage sits at 5,000m - barely 10% of the anticipated useful life.

Clearly each bike is different, and I do recall on here discussions on how/why Gold Star purchased parts of Vectrix Corp (supposedly to stave off any class actions from disgruntled users). So far, I am unable to contact my usual UK service expert (Steve Scott) and just get referred to a dealer 300 miles away, who points to the 24 month warranty.

Under EU law, such warranties are actually meaningless, as consumers rights are now directly linked to their cost and expectation of use. So a £7k bike with a battery pack that dies after 10% of use, I have consumer protection rights - but with the fancy footwork of old Vectric, new vectrix and for all we know - future Vectrix, finding who to complain to is proving difficult.

Anyone got thoughts, of whether Vectrix are offering exchange deals, or perhaps upgrate packs to newer technology at a price that will restore the bike to good order?

Thanks!

R
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Re: Battery woes....

I'm afraid those 3 years/5000 miles is what these BMS-less, under-engineered battery packs can last
Take into account that if one single cell fails (1% of the pack), it can slash the range to half (50%!!)
If I were you, I would shunt/replace the damaged cell, and wait for somebody to sell li-upgrading kit.
Nobody expects an upgrading li kit from vectrix...
And of course, you can buy a vectrix LI!

Cell Propelled
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Re: Battery woes....

If someone has time, please create a video/guide on a cell replacement that is talked about often.

mikemitbike
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Re: Battery woes....

If someone has time, please create a video/guide on a cell replacement that is talked about often.

Hi CP, take a look to the Handbook here. there are photos
how to get to the battery. But rember:
The battery-voltage is lethal
you need an inrush current limiter before you reconnect the battery to the motorcontroller.
you should use a CBA III or other battery tester to identify the damaged cells.

Before you start: read the colaborative handbok. Many information but quite helpful.
I try to answer you more detailed later but I have to write it down and sort out before I
post it here. Otherwhise it will beconfusig ;-)

Greetings Mike

Aircon
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Re: Battery woes....

I rode to redlight + about 2km yesterday. the whole recharge cycle took 8 hours and 45 mins!!!
12 hours later with no use, I had 139v and 29 deg. hmmm.

R
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Re: Battery woes....

I rode to redlight + about 2km yesterday. the whole recharge cycle took 8 hours and 45 mins!!!

Equalization?
12 hours later with no use, I had 139v and 29 deg. hmmm.

Self discharge and heat disipation. Normal in NIMH
Aircon
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Re: Battery woes....

I rode to redlight + about 2km yesterday. the whole recharge cycle took 8 hours and 45 mins!!!

Equalization?
12 hours later with no use, I had 139v and 29 deg. hmmm.

Self discharge and heat disipation. Normal in NIMH

I certainly hope it was an equalisation to take so long, but I've never known it to take THAT long before.

Glad it's sort of normal though.

Mik
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Re: Battery woes....

There is no way of telling if this is normal, or not. Too little information!

It could be normal, but it could also be a badly damaged battery with some dead cells dropping to 0V within hours of charging.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Aircon
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Re: Battery woes....

There is no way of telling if this is normal, or not. Too little information!

It could be normal, but it could also be a badly damaged battery with some dead cells dropping to 0V within hours of charging.

I'm quite sure that's the case, actually, since my range has dropped from a reliable 45km to a reliable 35km. I guess I was more surprised about the 8 hours 45 mins.

HarryS
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Re: Battery woes....

I have seen an EQ charge take this long on a good battery.
The CP charge from empty to full should be 2:45 followed by 0:15 transition then 1:00 CC charge followed by 1:00 CO (cool off) the a 2:00 EQ charge followed by another 1:00 of CO and at the end about 8-10 minutes of CP to make up for the lost power with cooling. So if I count correctly, that would be 8:10. Note that sometimes, particularly if you force. 30ah capacity, the initial CP charge is followed by 3 attempts to inject more charge into the battery, each lasting about 2-5 minutes separated by 15 min cooling. I have seen my bike take over 9h to complete this cycle.

Aircon
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Re: Battery woes....

I have seen an EQ charge take this long on a good battery.
The CP charge from empty to full should be 2:45 followed by 0:15 transition then 1:00 CC charge followed by 1:00 CO (cool off) the a 2:00 EQ charge followed by another 1:00 of CO and at the end about 8-10 minutes of CP to make up for the lost power with cooling. So if I count correctly, that would be 8:10. Note that sometimes, particularly if you force. 30ah capacity,

how do you do that, and why would you want to?

HarryS
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Re: Battery woes....

The software that controls the VX1 does that for you. It triggers an EQ charge cycle every 12h of use.

Aircon
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Re: Battery woes....

The software that controls the VX1 does that for you. It triggers an EQ charge cycle every 12h of use.

I meant the forcing 30ah capacity/charge.

R
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Re: Battery woes....

I meant the forcing 30ah capacity/charge.

Scooter diagnostics program + laptop + Peak canbus adapter.
My brother has just received the Peak adapter. It is time to check the temps of the battery! ;-)
Buzby
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Re: Battery woes....

Following my earlier posting, I've made an intersting discovery. My use of the VX1 has leapt dramatically due to a change
in circumstances, requiring a 20 mile trip each way, with a recharge at the destination. Having done this for 2 weeks, I've
noticed the battery is showing signs of recovery to its former self, as preciously estimated distance after charge was 40 miles,
it increased to 50 miles (on average) and is now showing 60 miles.

The acid test is to see if I now get more that 25-30 on a charge that inst boosted at the 20 mile stage, but its looking much better.

Incidentally, after 3 emails to Steve Scott, with no response I'm worrying he might have decided not to continue.

Anyone know for sure?

- Raymond

HarryS
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Re: Battery woes....

I don't like to be the spoiler here but what you are describing are in fact incomplete charges or what I would call slippage.
If you run your bike down to the red light and charge full, it will show 42 mile range, whether or not that is the range you are going to get. In all likelihood you won't. Then you start partial discharges and charges. The bike needs less amperage to get to full each time, and hence predicts a greater range than before. Your battery voltage will actually decrease. It probably is only 140V as opposed to 146V now. You need to do a red battery discharge once a week and charge to full to keep the computer remember what full and empty is. Every time the miles keep creeping up like you are seeing it is time for a red battery discharge.

Mik
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Re: Battery woes....

True, only real distance travelled counts, not what the display shows as estimate.

However, the battery might be improving due to exercise.

I recently got 11km until the first cells reversed under full throttle acceleration onto the highway and then crept home to a total of 31km, reversing some cells during the last few hundred uphill meters despite the slow speed. That was after a normal recharge after a long break (months, then one drive, then several weeks standing again). The next ride, after a Freddy charge at 0.6A for several days, got me to a distance of 44km before any reversal occurred under load. That was mainly slow driving (60km/h on average), but a marked improvement. It's been 11 days of standing still with empty battery again since then. Today I'll try out how far it will go after a normal charge again.

Recharging after long inactivity shows that the weaker cells go to a higher initial voltage under the 11A charge: 1.402V vs 1.325V for the good cells. The weaker cells then slowly drop in voltage as charge progresses, then rise slowly, until they have the same voltage as the good ones.
I think this represents increased internal resistance - the increased resistance causes some heating, and that heat energy is missing in the weaker cells compared to the good ones. The initial charges after long rest might actually increase the imbalance between cells due to this!

That's why an EQ charger is so useful (or reduced charge rate via firmware changes). The weaker cells need more time (or slower charge rate) to absorb the charge. After some cycling, they get better again.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

oobflyer
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Re: Battery woes....

My 2007 VX-1 followed the same exact pattern, although I think I had a few more miles on it before the range suddenly decreased.
That's why I'm planning to make use of antiscab's Li-ion conversion kit.

A better question might be: Has any Vectrix owner NOT experienced this problem?

ejbattery
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Re: Battery woes....

For the Li battery field,there were also different type,like Lithium ion battery pack,LiMnO4-LiCo3 battery,LiFePO4 battery type.They are quite different.The LiFePO4 battery type is the best one which very safe/envirnmental/super long cycle life.But the price of LiFePO4 battery is the most expensive one in the Li battery fields.Now we designed and manufactured LiFePO4 battery pack 12V/24V/36V/48V/144V(any other voltage series also available) for customers directly for their EVs.Anyone want to learn more about the batteries for EVs can link www.ejbattery.com or contact us freely.

Battery expert providing you high quality green power solutions for any electric vehicles---www.ejbattery.com

mikemitbike
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Re: Battery woes....

For the Li battery field,there were also different type,like Lithium ion battery pack,LiMnO4-LiCo3 battery,LiFePO4 battery type.They are quite different.The LiFePO4 battery type is the best one which very safe/envirnmental/super long cycle life.But the price of LiFePO4 battery is the most expensive one in the Li battery fields.Now we designed and manufactured LiFePO4 battery pack 12V/24V/36V/48V/144V(any other voltage series also available) for customers directly for their EVs.Anyone want to learn more about the batteries for EVs can link www.ejbattery.com or contact us freely.

Hy ejbattery,
it would be great if you check the status of your server before you post links.
Your Site could not be reached from Europe/Austria the last days! I tried it
quite often.

Greetings Mike

R
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Re: Battery woes....

Your Site could not be reached from Europe/Austria the last days!

MIke, today that web is working.
I couldn't find prismatic lifepo4 cells. Useless web.
ejbattery
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Re: Battery woes....

Your Site could not be reached from Europe/Austria the last days!

MIke, today that web is working.
I couldn't find prismatic lifepo4 cells. Useless web.

Mike,I was so sorry for that our website didn't work in your Austria.And I informed our website engineer to check the problem is was.Now our engineer informed us that we changed the website server company to make sure all the customers can open our web worldwide smoothly.We felt sorry again that any inconvenient made by us.

R,

We speciazed in manufacturing LiFe cyclindrical cells and also big capacity prismatic cells all the time in these several years,and we using cyclindrical or prismatic cells to assamble differnt size/working current/burst current according different customers' requirements.In the past years,our factory only produce approx 20 models prismatic cells in big qty and now we opened much more models until this month.Just now our website still updating and we will update our full list prismatic cell models on web.Or you can send us email sales [at] ejtechgroup.com to contact us to get the product details of our prismatic cells.

Thanks Mike and R sparing time to give the comment on our web.

Battery expert providing you high quality green power solutions for any electric vehicles---www.ejbattery.com

mikemitbike
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Re: Battery woes....

Hi, I could reach the website now. As I´m out of time right now I had only some clicks. I have shut down my pac and am heading for the real world right now ;-) Thanks for the efforts for better reaching the Site. I´ll have a close look later on.

Greetings Mike

Buzby
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Re: Battery woes....

Bit of an update - things appear to has settled down with the reliable range hovering around 25-30 miles. However, on the odd occasion when this drops to 20m (probably caused bt recent headwinds) I'm arriving at my destination with the red battery showing. No problem, as I can recharge there, so I wait for 2 hours to let things cool, and then plug it in.

My problem now is it will recharge, but only to 50% on the dashboard graphic, before shutting down as if the charging cycle is complete. This means that if I attempt to ride home, I'm not going to have the range and possibly be stranded as a result.

Unplugging and reconnecting shows the correct initialisation (temp at 25deg C) and the speedo swings up to 100 - but only for a few minutes. It then returns to 0, and the display goes off. I have never seen this behaviour before, and is going to be an issue if I don't find a solution soon. No other warnings or CP display shows anything out of place.

Any thoughts?

- Raymond

AndY1
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Re: Battery woes....

IMO you have a bad cell. Your bad cell has only 50% of capacity left, that's why it drops to red. When you recharge, other cells still have 50% of charge left, that's why when you recharge, it stops at 50%, because it reaches cut-off voltage (written below the spedometer - compare it the voltage on the left LCD). Cut-off voltage is reached because healthy cells, that were 50% charged at the red battery are now charged at 100% and bad cell, that was empty, but only has 50% capacity left, also reaches full charge.

The bad cell is the weakest link, which resets the battery gauge (red battery telltale) because it's empty 50% sooner than other cells. You will reclaim the full range by isolating the bad cell and shunting it.

Mik
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Re: Battery woes....

...
...
My problem now is it will recharge, but only to 50% on the dashboard graphic, before shutting down as if the charging cycle is complete. This means that if I attempt to ride home, I'm not going to have the range and possibly be stranded as a result.

Unplugging and reconnecting shows the correct initialisation (temp at 25deg C) and the speedo swings up to 100 - but only for a few minutes. It then returns to 0, and the display goes off. I have never seen this behaviour before, and is going to be an issue if I don't find a solution soon. No other warnings or CP display shows anything out of place.

Any thoughts?

What voltage does it peak at before stopping the charge process? You need to check while it is still charging at full power in CP mode.

If it reaches the voltage cutoff (shown in the centre, e.g. "CP151") before stopping, then the battery is as full as you can get it with the stock system.

If it is indeed such a "recharge after a Balpor", then the indicated "fuel level" will be quite reliable, at least shortly after charging. It means that the last few bars will not disappear suddenly, but hold good energy, like the top bars usually do.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Anderson
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Re: Battery woes....

The bad cell is the weakest link, which resets the battery gauge (red battery telltale) because it's empty 50% sooner than other cells. You will reclaim the full range by isolating the bad cell and shunting it.

A way to do this was just posted, see message 100 in http://visforvoltage.org/forum/10583-vectrix-lithium-conversion-kit?page=3

Aircon
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Re: Battery woes....

That's what I don't get with mine.

When I charge it the display will show maybe CP153 like last night, but the process finishes at maybe 145v and only a 1 deg rise in temp. If the 145v is what's being used as a basis for finishing charging (clearly it doesn't read ALL the cells) then why does it stop there? I rode to red light today (119v) and still the battery is only 2 deg over ambient.

Are there other sensors used to work out how the charging is done?

What I'm trying to say is that apart from what I feel is a reduced range, I don't get any of the symptoms I've read about on here indicating a battery issue....but I've always been curious about why it's doesn't keep charging up until 148v or so.

AndY1
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Re: Battery woes....

Because the SOC gauge doesn't show the real battery SOC, but only an approximation. Longer from last battery telltale and full charge, more out of sync it is and sooner the gauge reaches the 17th bar, even though the battery is not full.
That's why, soon after the battery telltale, the full charge voltage will end at 150V(17bars), later it will only reach, let's say 146V, then 145V(17 bars) and so on.
The battery SOC gauge undervalues the real battery discharge - whether it is because it doesn't account for self discharge or not, is unknown.

That's why Vectrix recommends driving until the red battery light every fortnight, so that the battery SOC gauge is synced before the difference is to large.

However, I don't practice that. I watch for the discharge voltage and charge voltage and I know how full my battery is from that. My 17th full bar is usually at 70%-80% of real battery SOC.

Mik
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Re: Battery woes....

...
...

What I'm trying to say is that apart from what I feel is a reduced range, I don't get any of the symptoms I've read about on here indicating a battery issue....but I've always been curious about why it's doesn't keep charging up until 148v or so.

I assume the display gets to 17/17th at that stage. The only explanation I can think of for this is that the battery capacity is set lower than the capacity of the majority of cells actually is. This could be because the system has learned the capacity of the weaker cells and is now protecting them. If the battery capacity measurement process resulted in, say, 20Ah capacity to be stored, then the system will put in only 20Ah after the red battery light occurred.

I think you can see the set battery capacity in the scooterdiag screen.

The big question is of course if the capacity was measured correctly.....

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Aircon
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Re: Battery woes....

I wish I'd brought this up a year ago!! It's like I frightened my V into doing it. I have NOT seen this happen since the first couple of months of ownership.....and I've owned it for 18 months.

2011-05-19 20.46.28.jpg

IMG_20110519_224119.jpg

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