Vectrix low battery blues

138 posts / 0 new
Last post
dvdaudio
dvdaudio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 8 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 20:40
Points: 32
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Thanks so much Andy. Spent a lot of time today surfing - especially Mik's threads dealing with batteries. Yikes. He's done an amazing amount of work, including a much more detailed BMS. I had no idea that my ambient temperatures were already past spec.

Gonna see how my wife deals with me pulling into the living room to enjoy several hours of 24˚C temp before charging. With what I've read today, the Vectrix BMS may be doing me a favor cutting off at max 138-139 volts; as I just found out about the high temperature spike at the end of charging, especially on Equalizing Charge.

Also, I know the fans are not much current, but appear to be running for hours while I'm parked in the shade at work; which certainly doesn't help my 14-17 mile range now. Our middle of the day temps will be 38-44 until September; which is when I occasionally leave work for lunch. (Eat in most days) Seems like it's not as bad riding in the high temps vs. charging.

Glen
Arizona USA

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

...

Gonna see how my wife deals with me pulling into the living room to enjoy several hours of 24˚C temp before charging. With what I've read today, the Vectrix BMS may be doing me a favor cutting off at max 138-139 volts; as I just found out about the high temperature spike at the end of charging, especially on Equalizing Charge.

Also, I know the fans are not much current, but appear to be running for hours while I'm parked in the shade at work; which certainly doesn't help my 14-17 mile range now. Our middle of the day temps will be 38-44 until September; which is when I occasionally leave work for lunch. (Eat in most days) Seems like it's not as bad riding in the high temps vs. charging.

Glen
Arizona USA

12V x 4A = 48W power consumption for the battery cooling impellers.

Assuming the DC/DC converter is 90% efficient, that means about 53W energy consumption.

At 130V (battery voltage whilst parked at work) that means 53W / 130V = 0.4A

So you will loose about 0.4Ah battery capacity for each hour with the impellers running.

8hrs x 0.4A = 3.2Ah (that is more than 10% of ideal battery capacity).

In addition to this the batteries stay warm due to the lack of cool airflow, and the self-discharge rate is high under those conditions. It might well be another 10% to 30% of the 30Ah capacity.

At least the constantly running impellers will equalize temperature gradients in the battery to a large degree.

Just parking the Vectrix in an air conditioned environment will not cool the batteries much at all; the impellers need to be running and they are noisy!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

dvdaudio
dvdaudio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 8 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 20:40
Points: 32
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hey thanks Mik for specs on cooling impellers; and all your specs for the "ABCooling" setup. Yeah. Didn't think about the fan noise in the living room. Doesn't bother me in garage - but I don't do much sleeping there - HA. Anyway, the impellers are running a lot - and at least bringing inside air temp through charging cycle should make a remarkable difference.

Appreciate your endless concern on very relevant details to get most service life. I could have bought a used Honda, Yamaha, etc. for half the price, and even with current US petrol prices (about $USD 2.80/gallon now) had a lot of cheap miles without being restricted to my local area. Wanted to support Vectrix having the balls to bring to market. Just going through US DOT certification must have cost them a bundle.

I don't know how Australian gov't is right now, but US is nuts enough for me considering to get the hell out of the (former) "land of the free." Just with Vectrix registration problems - US officials a bunch of wankers. Saw today about Maryland Dealer who had to give up due to local authorities. BTW Maryland right next to Washington DC.

US Treasury and Federal Reserve system gonna hit a wall this year after the new Trillions they're creating filter through the world system. $AU Dollars might double (in value) against US.

All Best to you,
Glen O'

jmap
jmap's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 10:30
Points: 340
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hey thanks Mik for specs on cooling impellers; and all your specs for the "ABCooling" setup. Yeah. Didn't think about the fan noise in the living room. Doesn't bother me in garage - but I don't do much sleeping there - HA. Anyway, the impellers are running a lot - and at least bringing inside air temp through charging cycle should make a remarkable difference.

Appreciate your endless concern on very relevant details to get most service life. I could have bought a used Honda, Yamaha, etc. for half the price, and even with current US petrol prices (about $USD 2.80/gallon now) had a lot of cheap miles without being restricted to my local area. Wanted to support Vectrix having the balls to bring to market. Just going through US DOT certification must have cost them a bundle.

I don't know how Australian gov't is right now, but US is nuts enough for me considering to get the hell out of the (former) "land of the free." Just with Vectrix registration problems - US officials a bunch of wankers. Saw today about Maryland Dealer who had to give up due to local authorities. BTW Maryland right next to Washington DC.

US Treasury and Federal Reserve system gonna hit a wall this year after the new Trillions they're creating filter through the world system. $AU Dollars might double (in value) against US.

All Best to you,
Glen O'

Hello. I See that you have more problems than me with high temperatures. Have you seen my post about Refrigerated Charging? With a portable AC, you resolve the charging problem at the garage.

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

This page has been added to the Vectrix Collaborative Handbook. Please stay on topic!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

clagros
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 00:04
Points: 85
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

OK, following the 'old' instructions in the Vectrix manual, once I experienced the sudden drop of bars and range dropping to "0": I run the bike waiting to the red battery telltale to go blinking. It didn't happen, but it lit red.
After the red battery telltale is on (red), I was able to run the bike more than 10 kmts (almost 15 kmts), until the speed drops to 60 km/hs, 40 km/hs, 20 and then 10, crawling back to my charging point.
In other words: if you face the sudden bars dissapearing and the estimated range drops to "0", it does means that the battery state is not synchronized with the software.
That's why the Vex manual asks you for running until the red battery telltale blinks, so the lowest level is then achieved and then the whole system resets.
So, my advise is keeping the eyes in the bars: you know each bar last 4-5 kmts. If you've seen 4-5 bars and then they suddenly dissapeared and the 'estimated range' drops to '0', that doesn't mean in any way that you loose your power. You just loose your monitoring, and probably you can run about 20 kmt at reasonable speed before you V dies.
In that circumstance, I'd suggest you to drive carefully back to your charging point, about 40/50 km/h. You'll be able to get it without any kind of problem.
Well... Vectrix.... what can you expect?
Please Mike and all the other gurus please confirm this.
Claudio
Israel

oobflyer
oobflyer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Friday, August 8, 2008 - 09:12
Points: 383
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I ride my Vectrix almost exclusively - as my primary mode of transportation. Your experience is what I have experienced each and every time I get down to the last 4 or 5 (or 6) bars. I've been riding for over a year and I have never been able to ride at full power down to the last bar. Last fall Vectrix released a software update that resulted in this pattern - before that the last 4 or 5 (or 6) bars simply disappeared all at once. I guess it's a minor improvement.
I'm not trying to bash Vectrix - I love my bike (that's why I ride it every day!) But, I think this is a problem that they never were able to resolve. Maybe it's a limitation of the battery technology, or lack of programming expertise on the controller. In any case it will be interesting to see if similar problems occur with some of the new electric bikes that will be selling soon (Brammo, Zero, Current, etc.)
Meanwhile just pretend that it's a 12-bar fuel gauge and enjoy!

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

OK, following the 'old' instructions in the Vectrix manual, once I experienced the sudden drop of bars and range dropping to "0": I run the bike waiting to the red battery telltale to go blinking. It didn't happen, but it lit red.
After the red battery telltale is on (red), I was able to run the bike more than 10 kmts (almost 15 kmts), until the speed drops to 60 km/hs, 40 km/hs, 20 and then 10, crawling back to my charging point.
In other words: if you face the sudden bars dissapearing and the estimated range drops to "0", it does means that the battery state is not synchronized with the software.
That's why the Vex manual asks you for running until the red battery telltale blinks, so the lowest level is then achieved and then the whole system resets.
So, my advise is keeping the eyes in the bars: you know each bar last 4-5 kmts. If you've seen 4-5 bars and then they suddenly dissapeared and the 'estimated range' drops to '0', that doesn't mean in any way that you loose your power. You just loose your monitoring, and probably you can run about 20 kmt at reasonable speed before you V dies.
In that circumstance, I'd suggest you to drive carefully back to your charging point, about 40/50 km/h. You'll be able to get it without any kind of problem.
Well... Vectrix.... what can you expect?
Please Mike and all the other gurus please confirm this.
Claudio
Israel

That is only true under certain circumstances, including having a good battery (all cells with near-new capacity) and balanced state of charge.
Under other circumstances you would do a lot of damage if you continue riding.

If some cells are already damaged and have reduced capacity, then the attempted resetting (or resynchronizing) with the electronics will be futile and do further damage.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

X Vectrix
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 days ago
Joined: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - 05:20
Points: 298
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

clagros...what SW do you have in the bike?

RaDy
RaDy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - 03:16
Points: 334
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Clargos, have you tried turning off the bike when you have 3 or 4 bars left and you have the red battery light on? Well what happens is that after turning off the bike and then on again all the bars dissapear but as you say, you can still drive, in my case around 10 or 15 kms!! i suppose i have to recondition the gauge, ihave the latest oct 08 SW, i have never seen the blinkin red battery light????
RaDy

R
R's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 09:46
Points: 1768
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Certainly Rady, Blinking battery happened during the first SW version.

qmprius
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Thursday, April 9, 2009 - 08:00
Points: 15
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

A Vectrix technician of my dealer says me a full discharge (the red battery lights) is necessary perodically, so the software can adjust the "0" point and so you can avoid the effect of "bars disappear suddenly". My usual diary trip is about 20 km, so he recommended me a full charge each 20 partial charges. To simplify I do a full charge each 500 km. and I have no problems for now (currently my Vectrix has 4000 Km).
Regards.

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

That's exactly what I'm currently practicing.

I charge up to 14 bars(80%) and since my daily commute is 23-25km my charge drops to 7-8 bars(40%). Prius' NiMH battery pack works within this State Of Charge (40%-80%) range for best battery life.
When the 12hours of riding comes up for the full length charge (10 hours charge with 4 hours of balancing) after aprox. 500km, I will let it do that in the 2nd underground garage floor, where there's 18'C. This should be cold enough to prevent the battery reaching 30'C (I hope so :-).

Dave Hamnett
Offline
Last seen: 12 years 1 day ago
Joined: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - 03:50
Points: 4
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hi Baron,

I had that problem too. Also, when the battery light comes on, the remaining bars dissappear at the rate of about a quarter of a mile per bar.

Not great if this happens when you're a few miles fom home. I've limped back at less than 10mph a good few times now.

Vectrix haven't been great about this unti recently, implying that the batteries are producing the right power ouput, so there can't be a problem. But you knwo wheh the bike isn't doing what it used to.

Wouldnt be so bad if we could do our own diagnostics and just send in downloads to them.

Steve Scott has taken the bike into his care and I'm on a loan dealer bike at the moment. Doing 2 miles per bar again happily.

I hope Steve will publish the problem and the solution on here when he finds it.

Good luck.

turok
turok's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 00:27
Points: 338
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

That's exactly what I'm currently practicing.

I charge up to 14 bars(80%) and since my daily commute is 23-25km my charge drops to 7-8 bars(40%). Prius' NiMH battery pack works within this State Of Charge (40%-80%) range for best battery life.

I'm certainly not the specialist, I follow up on this forum to learn something (for the future of my V), so forgive me if I say something stupid :-)

my two cents:
In this theory, Andy, aren't you forgetting that the software keeps the minimum voltage of the pack at 120(-ish?)
Wouldnt that sufficiently cover the 40% like Prius keeps left? (I read in this forum that if the voltage gets below 80(-ish? -I'm not an ace at remembering exact figures) the Vectrix wouldn't even start to charge any more)
So what concerns the lower part of the 'ideal' SOC, should we really worry, unless we don't charge for a long period of time?

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

We're here to help each other the best we can :-)

NiMH is empty at 1.0V. That means 102V for Vectrix' 102 cells. But, because there are 102 cells in a string and they do get unbalanced, some (one or two) may reach 1V while others are still at 1.1V (under load (those 120V you see when you pull the left break in unloaded Voltage)). That means, that you are causing harm to those cells that are already empty. That's why Vectrix, now, cuts off at aprox. 20-25% State Of Charge. Some cells might be emptier than others, but the emptier ones are still well above 0%. Previous software's cut-off was to low and that made the problem very bad. Current software should avoid that.

BUT, that doesn't mean, you can't help the battery even further. NiMH battery, as Li-* batteries, get more cycle life with shallower discharge. The less you discharge them, longer they live:
//priuschat.com/forums/attachments/knowledge-base-articles-discussion/16468d1247111587-understanding-nimh-hypercycles-prolong-prius-hv-battery-life-nimh-life-cycle-dod.gif)

With NiMH cells being discharged to 20% energy left in them, you get aprox. 1500 cycles out of them. With 40% energy left in them, you get 10000 cycles out of them. How nice is that?
So, lets presume, that 0 bar left is 20% SOC. 8 bars is aprox. 50% SOC. If you regularly discharge them to only 40-50% SOC and do a deep discharge (to eliminate memory effect and sync battery bars reading with real SOC) every now and then, you battery will last much longer in comparison if you regularly discharge to 0-4 bars.

Also, as Laird mentioned here, it's better to not use regen braking when the battery is above 13 bars, because most of that regen energy goes to heating battery instead of storaging it. I do the same with charging. Less the battery gets heated up, better for the battery. So, I try to time my partial charges to 13-14 bars and my discharges to 7-9 bars. That should keep the battery in the 40%-80% SOC range, the same range Prius' NiMH pack cycles.

I will do my 'to the red battery discharge' every 500km, after the full charge, with 4 hours topping charge is added to balance the cells, so that I do that with my cells completely balanced. That will also sync my battery bar reader and remove any memory effect.
//www.duracell.com/oem/rechargeable/Nickel/Images/591.gif)

Until then, I go by the bar reader and Voltage at which I terminate my partial charge - aprox. 145V.

turok
turok's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 00:27
Points: 338
Re: Vectrix low battery blues

That makes sense, I'm going to adopt your habits until further notice.
I usually do only about 12km/day, so my battery lasts up to a week if I do no extra trips (wich I do only twice a week usually)
I used to charge when my bars got well below half, but it's no problem for me to plug it more often.

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

Use code"Solar22" and enjoy 12% off for all solar Kits.


Who's online

There are currently 0 users online.

Who's new

  • leoke
  • Nicolay
  • Nickel
  • Florix
  • gray62

Support V is for Voltage