Any Battery failures with new software?

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HarryS
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Any Battery failures with new software?

I have been a regular reader of this forum for the past year and have learned a great deal about my Vectrix. Thank you all for that. It seems to me that most of the current concern surrounds battery health issues and many users including me may have had an excellent experience thus far but are anxiously awaiting that catastropic battery failure. In reading the posts it seems as if we are lumping the experiences of at least three types of Vectrix's together leaving no clear answers. More specifically:
1. Pre October 2008 Vectrix running old software (pre October 2008) exclusively.
2. Pre Pctober 2008 Vectrix, using old software initially switch to new software at some point
3. Any new or leftover Vectrix running only the new software for its lifetime

Hence I would like to get feedback from users who have nevere run the old software (i.e. group 3) but were using the Oct 2008 fix with charging delay throughout. Have there been battery issues? How about those who have had the battery pack replaced and have only operated the new software since.

Is it possible that software upgrade fixed the battery problem sufficiently to assure longevity and are we missing this in the discussion because people use different battery/software combination.
Thanks, I am curious.

pyjohnson
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

I've had my vectrix since April 08, it's an April 08 model vin around 2060-2070

3000 miles later

In October 08 it had a battery problem, would only charge to 14/17 and I could get the batt hot and battery light to come on within 5 mins of leaving the house, reduced range and disappearing bars syndrome.

New software (Oct 08) installed but that did not fix the problem

New batteries installed and everything ok for 150 miles then very reduced range

It was found that there was a problem with the new batteries, in goes set number 3

Bike has been running great ever since, over 4000 miles on set 3 with Oct08 sw, long may it continue

Negatives:- The new software reduced the range slightly and down a little on performance
Positives:- The bike is still running and it seems to be more economical to run

Regards,
Peter

-----------------------------------------------------------
Central Scotland

R
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

I've had my vectrix since April 08, it's an April 08 model vin around 2060-2070

Your bike is from the "dark" production period!! how interesting! Your V's front white VIN label (behind the fork, in the front side of the battery compartment) does it say April 2008, or you just bought it in april 2008? It should have been produced in November 2007... Can you verify this? Thanks!
pyjohnson
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

Just went out to confirm and yes it's an April 08 bike, manufactured, registered and bought all in the same month

Regards,
Peter

-----------------------------------------------------------
Central Scotland

Mik
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

1. Pre October 2008 Vectrix running old software (pre October 2008) exclusively.
2. Pre Pctober 2008 Vectrix, using old software initially switch to new software at some point
3. Any new or leftover Vectrix running only the new software for its lifetime

In the "Vectux" has been running pre-battery recall firmware, exclusively.

But I reduced the frequency of full recharges (cutting out many CC and EC hours of charging) and monitored the voltage of the weakest cells manually during any rides which could have taken those weak cells close to the zero-SOC (State of Charge) level.

The weakest cells were already down to around 16Ah (@20A to 1.1V cutoff) capacity when I "took over" from the stock BMS.

I have also given the weak cells occasional selective top-up charges to compensate for their increased self discharge rate.

Right now I am preparing the Vectux for a repeat of the battery capacity measurement during which I fried my laptop and CBA II a few weeks ago. Cells 102-001 to 102-014 (denoting their re-arranged position in the 102s battery - the numbers in the diagram linked below denote their original location before I sorted them according to capacity) are being charged with 2.8A (the maximum current my charger will produce for 14 cells). I am monitoring the battery temperature through the stock thermistors in the battery, and individual cell voltages. It's all done through the M-BMS, without opening the battery compartment.
http://visforvoltage.org/sites/default/files/Vectux%20M-BMS%20Switch%20Array%202009-05-10.pdf
http://visforvoltage.org/sites/default/files/Vectux%20M-BMS%202009-05-10.pdf
http://visforvoltage.org/book/ev-collaborative-hand-books/7234
.

The auxiliary charger is set to stop after 7000mAh, just in case I get side tracked.
The ABCool is running the cooling impellers to cool any cells which might be located away from the temp sensors and heat up much more than the others.
The auxiliary charger is powered through an isolating transformer this time, just to make sure I don't fall into some ground loop trap again.

Once the temperature of the cells starts to rise and they are close to full (1.445V at 3A charge current), I'll switch to just charging cell 102-003 until it is definitely full.

Then, I'll connect the new CBA III (through an isolating USB hub) to cell 102-003 and discharge it at 10A down to about 1.0V at cell level. Unfortunately, I cannot do the test at 20A (like the test I did when the cells were on the workbench), because the fuses in the tab cables are 10A rated.
And I'll have to watch carefully as the cell empties, because I'll probably have to set the CBA III at 0.1V cutoff voltage to achieve an actual 1.0V cutoff voltage at the cell level (due to the resistance of the cables, fuses and connectors). But maybe the "lab voltage calibration" of the Pro-software version will allow me to adjust for this.

Anyway, the results will not be directly comparable to the workbench testing at 20A to 1.1V cutoff level. The capacity at 10A should be higher than at 20A due to reduced losses (Peukert effect).

But by also testing cell 102-014, which is a good cell with direct, resistorless tab access, I will be able to tell if the weakened cells have continued to deteriorate faster than the good cell, despite the M-BMS protection from over-discharge and frequent over-charging.

The test results should give some indication about the ability of the "New Firmware" to protect already damaged batteries from further decline. That means for the bikes in group 2.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

AndY1
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

My first battery pack failed in May 2009 with the old software installed. I got a new battery in August 2009 with the new software installed. So, I'm the one, driving completely new pack on new software from beginning of pack's life. So far, my pack has never exceeded 28°C and it is performing as it should. I'm always using pre-charge cooling, never accelerating with max throttle and driving up to 70km/h, very rarely (maybe twice) 80km/h and I only use regen breaking at 13 battery bars or less.

So far so good, but I've only driven a bit less than 2000km with the new pack. Old pack failed at 4000km, but the failure occurred so fast because I got my new bike with front battery fan not working and that really cooked my front battery pack and that led to premature pack failure.

2008 Silver Vec...
2008 Silver Vectrix Owner's picture
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

I had the new software installed from the dealer before my purchase in August 09. I have over 700 miles on it so far and no problems at all. (Post October 08 bike with new software from the beginning) I do use the precharge delay on a daily basis and the bike has been in a cool climate. Recently I have moved to someone very warm and only time will tell if the pack will hold up. - Will keep everyone informed after more miles are put on the bike....

JJ

Mik
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

...
...
The test results should give some indication about the ability of the "New Firmware" to protect already damaged batteries from further decline. That means for the bikes in group 2.

Unfortunately the test results indicate that the cell has further deteriorated.

The resistance of all the cables and connectors added up to about 0.11 Ohm, and this made it impossible to measure at 10A because the CBA III cannot handle the very low resulting voltage.

But, at 6A the CBA can run the test through the M-BMS, and it can even be calibrated so that the graph shows the "at cell level voltage".

The cell 102-003 (previously 102-048, middle of left bottom front battery module) only had 19.95Ah capacity at 6A to 1.0V cutoff level. Previously, after reconditioning, this cell achieved 21.70Ah at 20A.
Following this 6A test today, a further 0.836Ah could be drained at 3A, and a further 2.248Ah at 1A, and another 2.29Ah at 0.4A (to 0.4V cutoff level).
A total of 25.3Ah, but these are not accessible at the current levels needed for driving a Vectrix!
It remains to be seen if the above reconditioning treatment temporarily improves things again.

But I fear this cell (and probably a few others) is on the way out. Well, I eked another 7000km or so out of it, and almost all of these kilometers have been high current demand kilometers. Unlike Andy1, I ride to work on 80km/h limited road, almost everyone is speeding, and it is constantly undulating, some places steeply. And just about every acceleration is a full throttle acceleration for me, at least until about 50km/h.
And in Summer, the battery temperature very rarely gets below 28degC !!!
In other words, this cell has been working very hard for those additional 7000km!
It appears like the cell does not charge as efficiently as the others. If self discharges faster, but it also charges slower, so it falls further and further behind, and gets hotter and ages quicker and falls behind faster and faster.....

For comparison, the results of the same test for the one good cell which I have wired up in the M-BMS to allow resistor-less access: Cell 102-014 (formerly 102-023, bottom left module of rear battery):
(I have a further 5 good cells wired up for individual monitoring, but cannot charge or discharge them individually without taking the battery out. All these 6 monitored good cells have been performing flawlessly and I assume they are representative of all the 89 good cells in the pack):

Capacity test CBA III at 6A to 1v cutoff: 32.272Ah total
Capacity continued at 3A: 1.293Ah
Capacity continued at 1A to 0.8V cutoff at 1718pm: 1.835Ah

That is so far a total of 35.4Ah !!! The 0.4Ato 0.4V cutoff test is still running.

Previously, this cell had 28.86Ah capacity at 20A to 1.1V cutoff, after reconditioning and 24hrs after a full charge on the bench.
Initially (when I started the battery rework) it had had 26.53Ah at 20A, followed by another 6.14Ah at 1.5A (to 0.4V cutoff for reconditioning).
So the total capacity was around 32.6Ah when I first worked on that very good cell, and now it is higher than it was, due to lower current testing.

So in summary, the good cell has a lot more capacity at 6A than it had at 20A, 7000km ago.

But the bad cell has now less capacity at 6A than it had at 20A, 7000km ago.

.
.

EDIT: 0.4A to 0.4V test on the good cell is now finished: only 0.295Ah!!

That is one of the characteristics of a good cell, it releases a large proportion of it's charge at high current, whereas the damaged cell retains a lot of it's charge which can only be discharged very slowly.

.
.
EDIT 2: The pictures: (The good cell, the bad cell, both overlayed. Click to enlarge)

//i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk217/Mr_Mik/Vectux/Battery/Cell%20tests%207000km%20after%20M-BMS/th_C0147000kmoverlay.jpg) //i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk217/Mr_Mik/Vectux/Battery/Cell%20tests%207000km%20after%20M-BMS/th_Cell0037000kmoverlay.jpg) //i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk217/Mr_Mik/Vectux/Battery/Cell%20tests%207000km%20after%20M-BMS/th_Cell003andC0147000kmoverlay.jpg)

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

jurba
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

Hi,
good thing to have split the thread .
I had always wondered if the new soft had had a positive effect on the batt life time .
I have bought the vec in the end of february 2009 the new soft was in the pics
my millage is 15000 km at the time, I'll make a picture soon .
I ride max 70 km, and sometimes max speed but rarely, I don't ask too much power at the end of the batt and going uphill .
the max recharge temperature I have displayed have been 35° celcius accidentally otherwise 30°/31° is my max ....
so far I have had no range reduction execpt when I found out my tyres were 1,6 bars ...
I live in fear... waiting for my pack to end is life ...
june and lithium are gonna be a nice relief for me .
my average monthly millage is 1300 km
regards
jean mi

vectrixhoper

antiscab
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Re: Any Battery failures with new software?

i also have been running solely on the newest software.

1700km so far
so far so good
Matt

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion

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