Dead Optimas

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bbustard
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Dead Optimas

I think I killed my batteries. I have 6 12V 41Amp Yellow Top Optima batteries on my motorcycle and after only 2 seasons of riding none of them hold more then 12 volts and discharge below usable levels if they sit a few days. I have a Zivan NG1 charger that I thought was charging them correctly but now I'm not sure. I would plug in the charger after everyride and let it go. I assumed it shut off when it was done and sometimes I just left it plugged in overnight? Can anyone help me diagnose if the charger is working properly or if I did something to the batteries?

Thanks
Ben

andrew
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Re: Dead Optimas

Ben, I also have a Zivan NG1 that I bought from Electric Vehicle Convesions in CA for my motorcycle. The charger has some sort of pulsing algorithm on the last stage that I really didn't like. It would stay on for hours at end of charge and not shutting off, sometimes heating up the batteries, and causing one or more to outgas. This was even with powerCheq units installed. I think these chargers are fine for flooded lead-acid, but I wouldn't use one for AGMs again. However, an NG1 seems to have been working ok for my Dad's bike which is a 72v system with Hawker Cyclones, but it is an older model without any pulsing algorithm on the last stage.

I have since changed to a parallel charging scheme.

I recommend you buy a 12v Vector B&D smart charger and charge each battery separately to try get some charge in them for now. Eventually, a bank charging setup might work (6 12v chargers) better, or you might use a BattEQ equalizer with a charger that has no pulsing algorithm at end-of-charge (like a 72v Soneil). It sounds like your batteries are shot, but I wouldn't give up on them just yet.

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andrew
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Re: Dead Optimas

Also, after you charge them, and get a better idea of their condition, it may be helpful to add a small amount of distilled water if you can remove the vent caps. I would start with 1 ml per cell. I bet the Zivan charger overcharged them causing gassing and loss of electrolyte.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

frodus
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Re: Dead Optimas

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=zivan+death+battery

apparently its a problem, one reason I'm building my own BMS/charger....

PFC, programmable battery type, programmable curve, built in monitoring and comm to a display...with equalizing when not being charged (while driving or while sitting). Working with Synkromotive on it.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

fisher727
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Re: Dead Optimas

Can you tell us about your charger. Is the charger located on the bike. What voltage do you notice when it is charging. What voltage is the charger floating the batteries at. Does the charger have temperature compensation, if it does where does it sense temperature. Here is a quote from one of the information sites your might find interesting.
(When a battery that is 90 degrees F in temperature is charged at the correct voltage for 50 degrees F it will be boiled dry in three months.)

Eric Fisher
www.SiliconeBatteriesUSA.com

bbustard
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Re: Dead Optimas

The charger is located on the bottom of the bike. I don't know the voltage because you are not supposed to turn on the bike while it's charging. I usually let the bike cool off a few hours before charging so I doubt it's anywhere near 90 degrees.

bbustard
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Re: Dead Optimas

Also, after you charge them, and get a better idea of their condition, it may be helpful to add a small amount of distilled water if you can remove the vent caps. I would start with 1 ml per cell. I bet the Zivan charger overcharged them causing gassing and loss of electrolyte.

I'm a little worried about cracking these batteries open. Is that something people do to sealed Optimas?

frodus
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Re: Dead Optimas

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

those are AGM, they're sealed. You do NOT add water or otherwise maintain the sealed optimas.

That is for flooded batteries only (normal car batteries). They do better with maintenance.

SLA's, AGM's and gels are maintenance free, don't crack them open. The flooded batteries have a cap, you take off and add water.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

ArcticFox
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Re: Dead Optimas

Years ago I remember the Optimas not dealing with vibration well. Could this be the same issue?

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<a href="http://www.BaseStationZero.com">[img]http://visforvoltage.org/files/u419...
[size=1][color=black]www.[/color][color=#337799]BaseStationZero[/color][co

andrew
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Re: Dead Optimas

I'm a little worried about cracking these batteries open. Is that something people do to sealed Optimas?

Not normally, but if the batteries were damaged due to loss of electrolyte and are not usable anyway, than it can't hurt to try and add some water. I would need to take a close look at an optima to find out how to take the vent cover off, and remove the vent caps. I can do this for all standard sized sealed AGMs and have done so to add water to restore life to UPS batteries which are often slowly overcharged and killed that way.

Optima and any other AGM manufacturer will not recommend doing this. That's because, provided the battery is charged within specs, this wouldn't ever be necessary, and doing so can hurt the battery. But, IF your battery is already bad, than you have nothing to lose by trying to add some water. That's why I said to do this AFTER you try and charge them with a Vector charger and get an idea of their condition.

It's important to only add a small amount of water, and only add distilled water. 1 ml is a very small amount, and you'll need a dropper to measure this, and add it to the cells through the vent. The electrolyte is fully absorbed in the glass matting between the cells so it will not, nor is it supposed to pool up like for floodeds. This also makes it difficult to determine the electrolyte "level". That's why you'll need to add water in small increments of 1 ml and test the battery by charging and load testing to determine any improvement.

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[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

reikiman
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Re: Dead Optimas

Is anybody else, when they see this thread title, thinking of a rock band?

bbustard
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Re: Dead Optimas

Thanks I will look into those chargers and equalizers. I hope I can save my pack because new one's are around 160$ a piece and I got a quote for LiPo. All I can say is wow.

Thanks to everyone for your replies,
Ben

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