Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vectrix Charging at Work - From Empty To Full

Few days ago, after coming back from vacation , the timer on my Vectrix did not work - because of a low lithium button battery - and the night charge of my Vectrix did not take place ...
When I discover this in the morning, I usually go to work, but slower, trying to save up my battery to make sure I get there and charge in my office building undergound parking

Well, this time, as I was arriving, I got the low battery solid red light on the dash and sure enough the battery gauge went to empty as soon as I turned the bike OFF and ON again; I do not like this because everytime I get this low, the charging process is taking very long because the NiMH battery pack over-heats ....

Here are the different phases of charge my Vectrix went through during that day:

It starts with a pack at 125V and a CP - Constant Power - charge phase where the charger gives out all the power it can to charge the battery pack in bulk; 153 means it is trying to reach 153V as a target voltage; The speedometer tells us that there are 12A -on 120 / 10- going into the battery pack right now: 12A x 125V = 1,500W the  charger can deliver; Battery cells temperature is pretty low at 13°C

An hour and ten minutes later, voltage went up to 143V and Amps went down to 10.5, still 143V x 10.5A = 1,501W, always the same 1500W the charger is pushing into the battery pack
Temperature went up 3 degrees only and we gained 7 bars on the right - voltage - gauge 

After maybe two to two hours and a half, came a TR - Transition - charge phase where the charger has quit because it reached 153V, and the whole pack is being cooled by fans only for a determined period of time (countdown here showing 5mn and 32s): the cells temperature is now at 21°C, but maybe it got higher as it was closer to 153V; We now have 11 bars on the voltage gauge

My Vectrix plugged  in  a simple 220V outlet at work



After the end of the TR phase, the charger goes into CC - Constant Current - phase and delivers only 3A and tries to complete the charge to the top; Note that the cells temperature is up again at 27°C

Now the charger has quit because the cells temperature got too high - here showing 43°C !! and maybe went up to 50 ? - and a CO - Cooling - phase is taking place and I have the red battery sign flashing a now to let me know that there has been an over-temperature situation; We are near the complete state of charge though, with 14 bars and 145V

Towards the end of the afternoon, I saw the charge mode go into EC - End of Charge - even if there were only 14 bars of voltage indication (not 17 bars for full)
Because the cooling had stopped, the temperature went up to 46°C, and the red battery sign was still flashing; I re-started the cooling process by turning th bike ON -and OFF to remove the key- and let fans blow until I finally left the office

Leaving the office ...

Temperature went down to 40°C, which is still a lot, so I decided to ride smoothly and accelerate softly not to go into an over-temp situation again

...

And finally arrived home without any problems, and a good state of charge left (2 bars used only), 135V, and a little temperature decrease down to 38°C

I started charging right away (my timer is out of order, so no other choice)

went for a smoke outside, and came back after 13mn and we are now at 142V and 33°C (the fans do their job while charging)

...

The next morning, the Vectrix was fully charged and the temperature was still a bit high with 33°C and the red flashing battery warning ON ... it is just a warning

Next day again, arriving back from work, I am back to a regular situation, 5 to 6 bars used for my daily round trip commute


4 comments:

  1. I would recommend that you switch to different firmware for your bike if you want to protect the batteries!! Vectrix firmware is very bad and will destroy your cells!

    Check this link for details of the custom firmware: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/12321-latest-may-2012-software-instructions

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Thanks I will look into it
    On my daily use, no problems though, and it has been like this for 2.5 years, with 30 km round trip
    BTW it is a NiMH battery pack
    Christophe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problems? You have the battery warning lights flashing in winter time! I am sure some of your NiMH cells are damaged because of the Vectrix firmware now.
      The custom firmware is especially for NiMH. I use it since June 2012 and my batteries are in better shape than ever, more range and more power.

      Delete
    2. Right I have this warning but only when I go down to fully discharged, which i snow 2 times a year; Otherwise, my Vectrix wroks perfectly for my daily commute of 30km to 40km, very powerfull acceleration, and it has been like this for the last 2.5 years
      If some cells are damaged, well, I can live with them until it is really necessary to change the whole pack for LiFePO4. As long as it works for me like this, I am not touching a thing

      Delete

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