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Old 01-10-2017, 11:51 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Mike is a very long time member and tester/developer here at ICN. PERIOD.

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Old 01-11-2017, 01:28 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Sorry Willie. I was being sarcastic...
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:20 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Sorry Steve that wasn't for you. it was for eq1.

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Use: 390,000 mi. @ 58.2 LMPG.



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Old 01-11-2017, 04:58 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Mike's great and has contributed a lot, etc., but he didn't develop the deep discharge concept, obviously. After the idea started to catch on, he did do a few tests and programmed his Genesis grid charger to accommodate a deep discharge routine. And although his contributions along those lines were/are important, it isn't/wasn't the end-all be-all to 'deep discharging' - he'd probably be the first to attest to that... You can hardly say that, 'because Mike did a few tests after the deep discharging idea started to catch on, you should take whatever he came up with as gospel'. OK, you can say that, but it's not like everyone should believe it hands down...
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:45 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Starting Nov/Dec 2016, I read everything I could on this site when planning out a plan of action for my HCH1 that was a warranty replacement in 2011 and has been through 70K miles since the replacement. I did receive advice that confused me and also weren't consistent with the threads I read that were most comprehensive and complete from what I was able to find. In any case, in an effort to formulate a plan from the mish mash of info I read and received, these were the main points that stuck out at me.

1. There is some possibility of doing harm to a pack from doing a deep discharge to near 0 volts. In my effort to locate the data points for this possibility of harm, I was only able to identify one case of a first person experience. I heard of a couple other cases but was not able to chase down the source.

2. The most likely cause of harm from deep discharge is from doing it at too high of current. All it takes is one cell to get shorted from irreversible severe voltage reversal from high currents for a pack to turn from limping along to door stop. The one first person case I chased down may have suffered from this high current reversal in the discharge process.

3. The overwhelming feedback from deep discharge to near 0 volts has been positive or at worst neutral. A thread asking people if they've deep discharged their pack has nobody volunteering a net negative result from deep discharge. The worst feedback is a couple results that were neutral.

4. The main motivation of the stepped discharge is to reduce the likelyhood of voltage reversal at high currrent. However the same goal can be achieved just as well by using low current (low power light bulbs).

5. There is the possibility of some recovery from high internal resistance if charging at 1C (6.5A) that would not work with 350mA charge. It has been proposed this can be achieved by charging the pack in the car at 4A from 20% SOC to 80% SOC, however there hasn't been pack level data to back up this hypothesis that I could find.

That's my attempt for anyone coming around now to summarize what I was able to learn from a heck of a lot of sometimes confusing reading. Based on these learnings, I decided the biggest bang for my buck is to do a deep discharge followed by a grid charge. I proceeded to do so with a 57W bulb, and discharged to 0.2V for the pack. It then took 52.5 hours for my pack to charge with a MEAN WELLS 350mA power supply to observe the pack voltage drop, at which point I stopped the grid charge.

From this single cycle deep discharge and grid charge, my pack has dramatically improved from barely useful to being utilitarian. It will still recal when I use heavy assist going up a hill. In more pedestrian usage on flatter grounds, it does not recal. It has thrown P1600 without CEL once, and then CEL and IMA once. Both are after heavy assist testing followed by recal and forced charge.

I have no idea how much good the 3-step "old school" methodology does, as I haven't tried it yet. I do know I've read a couple cases where the 3-step cycle didn't do much good and a deep discharge to near 0V did a lot of good. I also haven't read of any 3-step making a pack useless, but have read maybe 3 total cases of deep discharge to near 0V making the pack useless. So take that for what you will for risk reward based on 4-6 data points.

Once I'm better equipped to do so, I'll do a test to see if a 3-step cycle improves my pack further. I need to figure out how to run the fan in my civic first, as I put everything back together for registration inspection, and cannot fully balance charge the pack without risking overly high cell temperatures.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:25 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eq1 View Post
Not sure if that was a 'car full' pack, just after he charged, or what. The next day he saw a voltage of 159V. In general, I'd say almost any pack that's left with voltage reading 169V and the next day it reads 159V has got self discharge issues. ... hmm, then again, maybe it's possible or just as likely that the 169V reading was due to 'deteriorated' cells, maybe some high IR cells? Seems like I've seen 'artificially' high voltage on high IR cells - so the idea is that those cells simply didn't get charged as much as the voltage would suggest to begin with; they didn't necessarily lose the charge in the self-discharge process... Not sure...
I can say with a pretty high level of confidence now my pack is tired and suffers from barely acceptable high self discharge and inefficiency. The first sign of this inefficiency is when it took 52.5 hours of grid charging after discharging the pack to 0.2V for me to observe a voltage drop. This is over the max 48 hour limit recommended by Hybrid Automotive and the 24-36 hours I usually see for when you should see the voltage drop, even for an empty pack.

I'm now also able to confirm this inefficiency with in car performance, where I'm seeing much less energy come out of the pack than I'm putting in. I have my healthy Prius batteries a a reference for how much regen I do and how much energy I'm getting out of the pack. Yes in a way it's comparing apples to oranges, but having experience with another hybrid does give me a good feel for how much the battery pack should be charging up from deceleration regen, and how quickly the pack drops as I use it. Basically I regen less on the Prius and can use it longer even on EV mode. The HCH1 pack regens for longer, and I barely use it by comparison before it goes empty and recals.

The 169V as after trying to charge it up fully on the road, minimizing assist, and regen as much as possible until in-dash charge state shows full. I'm consistently seeing extremely high self discharge whether it's over a few hours during the day or overnight.

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On "limited regen" - it seems like the only time limited regen doesn't reflect a sub-par pack is when the state of charge is maxed-out (i.e. you've hit the nominal ~80% upper limit) or perhaps if it's really really hot out. All other times, the fact that your regen is being limited reflects a pack that's not up to speed... Even when state of charge is high, like '19 bars', I'm pretty certain my regen doesn't get throttled, definitely not on a regular basis. My pack can be at around 70%, coming off the highway at 60 mph, I can graze the brake pedal to invoke full regen - and I'll still see about 40-50 amps...

Maybe this is a caveat or addition or whatever to what I was saying above about seeing 190-192V on full regen; you actually shouldn't see voltage that high except under the most extreme conditions. If you can see 45-50 amps at full regen and voltage stays below 192V - that's really what you want. If you're seeing below 192V below 50 amps - then regen is being throttled, which indicates an under-performing pack... Of course this assumes you're going fast enough to generate that much regen, the pack's state of charge isn't maxed-out already, etc...
Thanks, this is helpful info. I will see if I can get higher regen voltages with further reconditioning work. Plan to do a full balancing grid charge and test results. Then follow that up with 3-step charge cycle and test results. Depending on my patience and progress, I may construct in-car fan supply or pull pack out of the car again. Either way will take a few weeks to keep testing in its current state and then run the new tests.

Quote:
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There is an electro-chemical process that happens with deeply discharged cells - not to 0.9V but below that. If it's deep self discharge then it's about 0.68V: if your cells have self discharged to that level then there's nothing to be done but charge them up in order to gain any lost capacity or whatever performance loss they've endured.

The big problem that mucks everything up is working with 120 cells. When you discharge a full pack you're invariably unable to deeply discharge - 0.9V or otherwise - all the cells. To me that's the most important thing - that you make sure ALL the cells get deeply discharged. Whether it's to at least 0.9V for each and every cell, or 0.68V or some such value, or 0.2V - I'm not as certain - though I do lean toward lower than 0.9V each cell. What's most important is that ALL the cells get discharged. In a full pack, typically, a lot of cells never even get much below the normal levels of discharge seen in the car...
Yes, this and the thread you pointed me to about crud theory in tinkering with a non-working IMA battery is what convinced me deep discharge to near 0V is what gives you the biggest bang for the buck and go straight to that approach. I didn't mind the risk of killing a couple cells/sticks if it came to that, so I skipped the 3-step approach. People who want to be super safe should stick with the 3-step approach near as I can tell, perhaps with a 4th step that goes below 0.4V pack voltage instead of 12V pack voltage recommended by Hybrid Automotive. But given the amount of time it takes to do that and the cost for getting some sticks to play with, it didn't makes sense to spend a week carefully watching discharge voltages and cycling through a bunch of charge/discharge cycles just to reduce the risk of killing a cell or two. Given the ~3 cases I could find about deep discharge potentially killing a pack of the dozen or two total experiences shared, that's way too much time and effort to make sense to me just to marginally reduce the risk of cell/stick death.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eq1 View Post
The other important thing has to do with grid charging. Most people think grid charging balances the cells, but I don't think that's the way it works. If your cells aren't voltage depressed or whatever, then sure, a full grid charge will balance the cells. But if some cells are voltage depressed - or whatever - then they simply will never charge to full no matter how much you keep charging them (see this thread: Graphic Illustrations of Grid Charge & Deep Discharge Process). To me it seems clear that deeply discharged cells get some kind of re-organizing that enables a full charge. And the theory backs this up, spells it out, in more technical terms... It's a fairly closed case...

...

I don't think there's any benefit to low current cycling per se though, not with our cells, at least. If you deep discharge and full grid charge and then use them, you should gain all the benefits that are there to be gained.
That mostly concurs with my understanding based on what I've read here. I believe I did see some people benefit from cycling as well, but it's inconclusive if it's the cycling or the discharge to any of the voltage thresholds that did the good. In any case, I've already done the deep discharge balance charge bit. I will attempt to tease out what additional benefits can be conferred by a 2nd balancing charge, and then later a 3-step cycling regiment, adding one data point to the analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eq1 View Post
Finally, there's a lot of different circumstances for each pack and owner. Some people are working with packs that haven't seen action in years. Others are working with packs that have thrown their first code. Still others are working with packs that limp along from day to day. And others who don't really have a problem but hear they should be doing pack maintenance. Etc. Whatever one chooses to do with his or her pack should be tailored to the circumstances - as much as possible...
Yep. My pack has gone from "will not pass emissions" to "limp along day to day" from single deep discharge, balancing grid charge cycle. Now I need to see if there's anything that can be done about the high self discharge and low efficiency.

Consequently, is there an easy way to measure IR on a stick? I saw the Turnigy Reaktor is capable of this measurement, but the lower cost model you guys purchased is no longer available for purchase. Is there an updated recommendation as the next best replacement model?
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:22 PM   #57 (permalink)
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^There might be a higher power 'dual' model Reaktor that HK sells now. Not sure. As I recall it doesn't have logging capability though... You might have luck just checking your tap voltages - that might reveal an outlier tap/s, help narrow down what's causing problems. A, again, I was thinking about the Insight; not sure what the tap reading situation is for the HCH1... Sounds to me like you probably still have at least a few misbehaving cells (neg recal going up hill with heavy assist load, large voltage drop over night), and since you've already deep discharged and charged, it's not likely that they'll spring back to life. In my own experience and from what I've read, it seems like, amidst general widespread deterioration of whatever kind, there's often a few cells that are way worse off and beyond repair - that continue to stunt the whole pack... You gotta find those and replace the sticks...
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:06 PM   #58 (permalink)
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^ It's not a higher power, it's just two 300W in the same case, and it can't log. The Reaktor 1000W is like a 989 on steroids and is a better choice unless well equipped for regenerative discharges. The 1000W is a icharger 3010 clone. Full logging capability and much higher current allowances. Can charge 3 sticks in series (ir you one ever wanted to).

The IR measurement is... interesting. First, your connections have to be near perfect, or your noise will be greater than the measurement. I use heavy gauge wire with high current bullet connectors and ring terminals attached with bolts. That may sound like overkill, but it's the only way the numbers get consistent. And in the end, it's not even an accurate measurement, but it should be relevant for comparison. If 19 sticks show 17-20mΩ and one shows 30mΩ, then you can be pretty confident it's a turd. However, if one is 22mΩ, you now have no idea, maybe 17-22 is good.

Two current discharges are a good way to see IR issues. If you discharge at 20A and get 5500mAh and then discharge at 1A and get another 500mAh, then you're good. A high IR stick will show a smaller disparity between them like 5100/900 between the two discharges.

Yet another way is with a $19 Schumacher ST-100 12V battery load tester from Amazon Prime. That will put about 60A on it. See where it ends up after 15 seconds. The high IR sticks will stick out as outliers.

eq1, you may have missed the specifics. His pack had such horrible SD, it was below nominal in a couple days. From less than nominal voltage, he "deep discharged" it and held it near zero overnight. It plummeted in something like 30 minutes.

A single 48 hour grid charge is really the only semi-conventional thing he's done, and the improvement is pretty astounding given the completely worthless prior state. He started discharging it but managed to blow the main fuse soon into the process. During the wait for a new fuse, he collected pack voltage and tap voltage SD data over several days.

If it were my pack, I would continue the HA process and make a final determination after the process is complete. I have personally witnessed 4 of 11 HCH2 sticks that behaved EXACTLY like his pack return to near perfect condition. The remaining 7 improved dramatically, but still fall short of what a car needs.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:48 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Knowing what I know now, I would go even more incremental with my experiments. I'd do a grid balancing charge first to see where the pack is at. Then do a deep discharge to near 0V to see how much of a difference that makes. That would allow me to separate out improvements from balancing grid charge vs deep discharge. I did do a 5 hour grid charge earlier that allowed me to make it all the way up the hill with pretty heavy assist. Just after the hill it negative recal. Need to get that fan going so I can see how much improvement I can get from a balancing grid charge after the 144V discharge test.

From the tap voltages I've measured, there are no obvious candidates for really bad sticks. Just some hints of some sticks that might be worse than others. But overall they have looked remarkably uniform, much more uniform than I was expecting. Is it necessary to disassemble the pack to do the Schumacher 12V load test? It'd be convenient if I can do that test just by removing the rear panel and keep the pack intact.

Fortunately I'll be picking up the Insight tomorrow so I have another deteriorated pack to test and learn from. First thing I'll do is nothing at all. Just drive it around to see how it's behaving after presumably self deep discharge from not having been driven much at all for over a year. Then I'll try a balancing grid charge and note the results from that. Finally try deep discharge and more tests. I have a baseline test driving up a hill to gauge and compare performance with, albeit in a car that's almost 1000 lbs lighter than the HCH1.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:12 AM   #60 (permalink)
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"more incremental" implies smaller steps. Your subsequent words do not support your statement.

Your stated scenario does not compare grid charge vs. deep discharge, it compares:
1) grid charge only
2) grid charge + deep discharge

and it's LESS incremental because you're going to the extremes instead of the increments between...

"Deep" discharge (to silly low voltages) is useful for 1 thing: recovering capacity loss due to voltage depression. It basically bypasses the 3 progressively lower cycles (which go as low as 12V - pretty deep). The "cycling" inherent in the progressively deeper discharge/charge process helps to disrupt the "preferred pathways" discussed in a post you linked.

I have to admit, I'm continually frustrated by your seemingly detailed scientific approach (or at least desire) yet you readily go way off on a tangent and collect little useful objective data and are vigorously UNscientific. With the exception of your whole-pack SD (which was cool to see), you've pretty much just generated noise

You need the following materials:
  1. pack
  2. charger
  3. discharger
  4. fan
  5. voltmeter
  6. ammeter

Steps:
  1. Grid charge for 24-30 hours with constant cooling.
  2. Wire the damn ammeter into discharge circuit and leave it there. $5 HF voltmeter in 10A mode will work all day long.
  3. Discharge at high current (1A+)
  4. Record time, voltage and current at intervals until target voltage is reached (I prefer 132V)
  5. COMPUTE pack capacity using time and current intervals.
  6. Continue at lower current (200-300mA or so) to a deeper voltage. I recommend no more than 50% more additional mAh extraction beyond what you computed at your target voltage while BELOW your target voltage, i.e., don't count the capacity extracted when the voltage bounces and comes back down to your target voltage - yes, record it, but don't count it against the 50% total.
  7. Repeat 1-5

If the computed capacity has not increased by more than say 10% on the second cycle, there is little to be gained from progressively deeper discharge from a capacity standpoint. You can elect to continue with step 6 and 7 as you see fit or simply discharge down to 120V (1V/cell) and repeat a couple times for a total of 3 charges and discharges. This may give you some cycling benefit which might help IR and SD.

You have the ability to actually KNOW whether there's an improvement or not.

I'm almost convinced you just want to try random shit and see what happens with no interest in the actual results.

I keep getting sucked back in! I want to see you succeed in either learning something or fixing your pack, but you seem adamantly opposed to both by your default mindset, which is over-analysis and under-developed, uncontrolled experiments with no defined parameters/purpose.

Good luck with the Insight,

Steve

P.S. Schumacher is on the bare sticks. Dangerous as shit and likely almost impossible to do in the pack.
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