Charging voltage vs. battery damage

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Wildfire
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Charging voltage vs. battery damage

Being minimally electronically inclined, I've been pondering a question for the past few weeks and have so far been unable to come to a conclusion. Therefore, I open it up to the group: when charging an electric vehicle such as the Vectrix, does it harm the battery (heat it up more) by doing a charge using a higher voltage? On the one hand, I can see that a higher voltage means more energy potential per electron (if you will) so you are not necessarily feeding in more electrons per charge. On the other hand, you're still packing in X quantity of amp-hours of energy in a lesser amount of time so I would assume that higher voltage charging would heat the battery more. But then again, higher voltage equals less current which equals less resistance which equals less heat (there was a physics class somewhere back there in my education). Me = confused...

Though I don't at present have any inclination to run 220V power from my dryer hook-up out to the garage, I'm seriously considering getting a Nissan Leaf (hey, it rains here in Seattle!) which would bring with it the possibility of an advanced charger possibly capable of delivering such a voltage.. Also just a curiosity to file away..

AndY1
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

I'm no expert, but higher charging voltage = higher charging current.

moccasin
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

I could be wrong, and I usually am with technical stuff, but the Vectrix Charger only charges as x amount of output regardless of what's coming out of the wall plug. You could hurt the charger itself with too low a voltage rating, but it is designed for 120 and 240 volt input so that it can be used worldwide. I don't think the charge output is affected either way, and if you have a US model, it isn't wired for 240 anyway. It's not a two stage charger like some EVs have been designed with. (ie. 240=Rapid Charge vs 120=Standard Charge)

fost5097
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

I recently installed a 220vac outlet for charging my Vectrix. I had to create an adapter so the plug would mate with the outlet. It does not appear to shorten charge time or change the charge cycle at all. The way I understand it is at 110V it draws about 20 amps whereas at 220V is draws about 10 amps. The only change is it should be less expensive to charge at 220v than 110v. Please be aware that I got advice from an electrical engineer before installing. I myself do not know that much about it.

AndY1
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

I get 7.5A draw at 220V.

marylandbob
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

With the VECTRIX charger, as you change the A.C. voltage from 110 to 125, 208, 220, 230, 250 etc. the D.C. voltage and amperage sent to the BATTERY does not change, and the wattage used to charge remains almost the same, so there is no difference in TIME or COST to charge, as the battery charging rate remains the same, at all normal A.C. input voltages. The A.C. input AMPERAGE will decrease as the A.C. voltage is increased, keeping overall power consumption relatively constant. (The lower current at higher voltage means that a given wire size can be LONGER at the higher voltage, and still be suitable for use as an extention cord for VECTRIX charging.--100 feet of 12 guage extension cord, at 240 Volts A.C. input seems to work just fine!)-Bob Curry

Robert M. Curry

Wildfire
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

Considering my dash is displaying 11 amps for bulk charging when plugged into 110V, it seems as though the Vectrix charger is making up for the higher voltage by reducing the charging amperage (hence the reading of 7.5A). Using the watts = volts x amps equation, it seems as though you guys on 220 are still getting more watts into the battery for a slightly faster charge, but perhaps because you are charging at the higher voltage with less amperage, the heat caused by the resistance is reduced. In other words, perhaps the charging cycle program was set up to accommodate a certain amount of heat production within the battery pack, no matter what the voltage. One would hope such a heat production output would be matched to what the cooling fans were capable of whisking away...

Changing the subject to the Leaf again, I suppose what makes me the most curious is how you could have a battery that takes 21 hours to charge at 110V, 8 hours to charge on 220V and 30 minutes at 440V (to 80% SOC, anyways). This vast difference in charge times makes me wonder how much harm you might be doing a battery to quick-charge it, especially as a benefit of the lower voltages is a longer charge time which allows for more time for heat to dissipate from the battery.

After thoroughly roasting my battery yesterday on its equalization charge cycle (it got up to 41ºC on a 12ºC day), I think I'll probably stick with 110V charging no matter what my vehicle...

Wildfire
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

Bob - Didn't notice your posting until after I had hit "save" for mine.. This does certainly make sense that the power to the batteries would remain the same as I suppose you simply could not take 220V power converted to DC power and expect to charge a 125V (or whatever the proper nominal voltage is) battery pack; what I mean to say is, since you already have to have fairly good control over voltage and amperage to the batteries, might as well make it consistent no matter what the incoming voltage.

AndY1
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

After thoroughly roasting my battery yesterday on its equalization charge cycle (it got up to 41ºC on a 12ºC day), I think I'll probably stick with 110V charging no matter what my vehicle...

That is very strange. I had done EQ cycle two weeks ago. The ambient temperature was 11°C and the battery, at the end of the EQ cycle, was only 19°C.

Wildfire
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

More bizarre still was a quick check of the resting voltage on the bike this morning which showed... 205V
Umm, WTF?? It was reporting 145V shortly after the completion of the equalization charge...

At 1,750miles, I believe this is my first equalization charge so I'll be interested to see what all this means for my range and condition of my batteries..

kingcharles
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

I encountered an EQ charge 2 days ago.
I started with a batt temp of 25c so gave it 30 mins pre cooling.
After the bulk charge temp was 19c
When I noticed that the 3 amp charge was taking forever (with intermediate cooling) I realized it was an EQ charge.
In all the complete charge took 7 hours and the final temp was 14c.
Ambient temp was 12c at the start and 10c in the end.
My bike has 3800 km and is charged twice a day on workdays.
All my charge cycles are starting around 128v (3-4 bars on the gauge) and the bike usually has a target voltage of 153-155v.
I don't do deep discharges anymore since the bike has enough range to get me to the office. Sometimes with strong headwinds I get the red battery light but I see this as a natural gauge reset moment.
My commute is 30km one way and I do most of that 80-95km/h in order to keep up with traffic.
I think so far my battery is in good shape considering I received my bike 4 months ago after it being stored for over 2 years. Production label shows sept. 2007
My only issue is that the orange wrench illuminates once in a while for about a minute. But the dealer promised to have a look at this next time he is in the neighbourhood.

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

AndY1
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

My only issue is that the orange wrench illuminates once in a while for about a minute. But the dealer promised to have a look at this next time he is in the neighbourhood.

You don't need to worry about that since it's a CANBUS sync error and it does RESET at that time. All bikes do that, some more, some less, since it's a hardware chip problem.

R
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

That is very strange.
Not strange at all. If the battery is unbalanced and some cells are damaged, it is normal to see those 41 ºC. If you only get 19ºC after EQ, you still have a well-balanced pack... you are a lucky man.
R
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

voltage on the bike this morning which showed... 205V

Firmware bug. Happened before....
kingcharles
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

You don't need to worry about that since it's a CANBUS sync error and it does RESET at that time. All bikes...

There is always a very short interruption of drive/power when the orange wrench light comes on. Is that also part of the same error?

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

Wildfire
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

Yup, I've experienced the same.. The power interruption on mine (actually feels like regen kicks on) is only for a split second, but the wrench icon stays on for a good half mile or so..

AndY1
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

That is very strange.
Not strange at all. If the battery is unbalanced and some cells are damaged, it is normal to see those 41 ºC. If you only get 19ºC after EQ, you still have a well-balanced pack... you are a lucky man.

And my EQ cycle charge lasted less than 2 hours. I checked the bike after 1 hour of EQ and it was still EQ charging. I again checked after 2 hours and the bike was already turned off. I really must have well balanced pack, but I'm really taking care of my pack. I hope it lasts.

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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

I can also comfirm that the yellow wrench indicator is a "normal" issue of the Vectrix, since i got it 15 months ago, i have now 9300kms and its still does it from time to time, nothing happens, it simply goes away and everything stays the same.

kingcharles
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Re: Charging voltage vs. battery damage

My only concern is that it seems that the interval between the hickup seems to get shorter. But maybe it's just me.

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

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