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Author Topic: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state  (Read 1174 times)

Burton

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Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« on: January 31, 2014, 07:15:10 PM »

"To get the most power pack life, recharge each power pack immediately after each ride. Leaving a power pack in a discharged state will cause damage."
This quote is from the 2013 owners manual has me worried.

There is a good chance I will not be able to charge my bike after driving to work unless I am willing to pay twice as much for parking a month. Right now I pay $215 for parking in DC a month and can't see paying twice that just to have access to a charging port. I have not asked my current parking garage about outlets I will be able to use but from what I can tell they have access to one, at least where I park now, and I doubt they would give it up easily given how often they use it. I will inquire when I pay my dues next month. The guy working the afternoon shift on the first floor is a fellow rider and tends to treat me very well because of it.

So what will happen to my batteries if I don't charge after driving to work? I assume I will have about 65-75% of a charge left after my morning daily commute.

On another separate but related topic, that being charging, What is the lowest/highest ambient temperature I can charge my bike. I ride year round and want to know what to expect on really hot / cold days so I know if I will have to ride my ICE into work.
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protomech

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 07:31:25 PM »

Zero states that the BMS will disable the bike below -22F or above 140F (battery temperature, usually above ambient). I think for most people those are reasonable limitations.

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/owner-resources/Guidelines-for-Hot-and-Cold%20Weather-Operation-SV-ZMC-012-050.pdf

The charger is disabled below 32F or above  131F, and will decrease charge speed above 110F (2013 bikes).

Zero's warning about immediately charging the bike is for if you fully discharge the bike to 0 (charge it within 24 hours). There is no problem leaving the bike in a partially discharged state, as long as it is charged before the BMS and other electronics fully deplete the battery.

I think Zero stated this as around two months, so if you discharge the bike down to 25%, then you should make sure to plug it in within 2 weeks to avoid damaging the battery.

So leaving the bike in a partly discharged state during the day is no problem. I have a much shorter commute now, so I charge once a week or before a longer ride.

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protomech

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 07:42:53 PM »

With that said, you will see a decrease in top speed when it is very cold (say < 40F) or in sustained top speed when it is very hot (say > 100 F), as well as a decrease in range when it is cold (Zero states 30% drop in range at 32F). It is possible that at either extreme the bike may not be able to sustain 80+ mph, though 70 mph is probably okay.

I never commuted primarily by interstate, but perhaps someone with a 2013 bike that does can comment on their experience.

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benswing

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 10:10:09 PM »

The caution about leaving a battery in a discharged state causing damage is only if you leave it almost entirely discharged.  It is healthier for the battery to be in a slightly discharged state (40-60%). 

Terry usually leaves his charged between 40-60% charge overnight and only charges fully when he's about to use it immediately. 
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trikester

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 11:30:22 PM »

If I'm just using my 2013 FX (or e-trike) for short trips locally I don't plug it in until it gets down to below 50%. If I go on a ride, then I plug it in as soon as I return.

If I were riding to work (or other destination) as you are, and there was enough charge left to ride back home, I would charge overnight at home.

Trikester
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Le Z Turbo

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 01:13:53 AM »

And yes, absolutly, there is a decrease in power AND range when going below freezing temperature. I'm riding my DS 2013 all winter and it's really noticable.
Laurent
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Burton

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 01:23:30 AM »

Zero states that the BMS will disable the bike below -22F or above 140F (battery temperature, usually above ambient). I think for most people those are reasonable limitations.

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/owner-resources/Guidelines-for-Hot-and-Cold%20Weather-Operation-SV-ZMC-012-050.pdf

The charger is disabled below 32F or above  131F, and will decrease charge speed above 110F (2013 bikes).

The charger is disabled below 32F? >_< how are you suppose to charge the bike in winter move the bike indoors? I have a garage but I can tell you it gets colder than 32F in there. Is it a fault in the charger or is it a problem in general of charging Liion batteries in cold weather? I find it odd that you can discharge the batteries but not charge them

Could you instead charge through the controller directly? Maybe I am not understanding the role and connection of each part on the bike.  Anyone got a diagram showing the parts, connections to them, and what role they play on the bike?
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protomech

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 03:04:43 AM »

The charger is disabled below 32F? >_< how are you suppose to charge the bike in winter move the bike indoors? I have a garage but I can tell you it gets colder than 32F in there. Is it a fault in the charger or is it a problem in general of charging Liion batteries in cold weather? I find it odd that you can discharge the batteries but not charge them

Charging indoors may be an option for some people.

It's not an option for me; I park my bike outside @ work and in an unheated parking garage @ home. In my case, I don't ride far enough for range to be an issue .. and can charge every few days when the temperature rises above 30F.

Generally speaking, lithium cells can be damaged when charging in cold temperatures. It is partly for this reason that many electric vehicles include heaters for the batteries .. plugging in to charge will first activate the heaters, then begin charging the battery when the battery is sufficiently warm (> 32F). Unfortunately Zero does not build cell heaters into their battery packs.

If ambient temperatures are fairly close to 30F, then it may be less of a concern - discharging the battery will heat the cells above ambient, and plugging in to charge will also generate some heat that will typically keep it above ambient.

For example, let's say it's 25F when you leave work. Riding for 20 minutes back home will heat the cells (say to 40+F) .. then when you plug in at home in an unheated garage, the cells will be kept above 32F due to heat generated while charging. If the cells do drop below 32F then the BMS will disable the charger to prevent damage to the cells.
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JefRo

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 09:48:06 AM »

The caution about leaving a battery in a discharged state causing damage is only if you leave it almost entirely discharged.  It is healthier for the battery to be in a slightly discharged state (40-60%). 

Terry usually leaves his charged between 40-60% charge overnight and only charges fully when he's about to use it immediately.

I concur with your comment completely. I always try to leave my 2013DS at below 50% SOC when I know that I won't be driving it for a while. I do not see much capacity loss at all even when parked for two or three weeks. The BMS does not have much parasitic current draw, especially relative to the huge capacity of the battery. All of the extensive research I have done on all types of lithium chemistries suggest storing the battery at a SOC of less than 50% for the longest service life. However, it is good to charge completely before a ride if the bike has been sitting for a while to ensure a good balancing of all the individual cells. I have even adopted the partial charge procedure on my other devices such as cell phones and lap-top computers when I do not need a full run time. Gone are the days when I leave the phone plugged in overnight to charge when it would top up in an hour or so.
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hein

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 02:24:35 AM »

.>> The charger is disabled below 32F

This hard cut-off is really annoying.
Mine seems to cut-out well above freezing (several degrees)
Why can it not do something smart?
Why not a soft cut-over?
20F --> 40F  could perhaps map to 5% --> 100% max charge current?
Even a charge @ 20% would be acceptable @ 32f ( 0 degree C ) IMHO.
Or burn some energy to warm it up first, then charge more and more as the temp increases?


I had a nice ride yesterday @ 40F, but now I can not charge it back up in my garage :-(.
There is liquid water on the floor, so it is above freezing... it should charge some!.

Is it possible that the cut-off is poorly calibrated?
Can it be adjusted? ... by me ? by a service tech?   
I need to take it in for the recall anyway.

annoyed,
Hein
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protomech

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Re: Leaving a power pack in a discharged state
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 02:27:15 AM »

Yes, it is possible that the temperature sensors are miscalibrated.

If it is very cold outside, then a cold ride, especially with a cold soak or at lower speeds, could reduce the battery temperature below 32F.

I agree that cell heaters would be very useful for cold temperature operation.
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