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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just got my discharger in the mail today from hybrid automotive, what size light bulb are you guys using to do this? high watt? low watt? anything specific?
 

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just got my discharger in the mail today from hybrid automotive, what size light bulb are you guys using to do this? high watt? low watt? anything specific?
The wattage depends upon how much current you want to discharge at.

I have a chart that shows various wattage light bulbs vs current on my website. See the link below.
 

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I used a 200-250 watt single bulb flood light and it discharged from 172v down to 2 volts in 5 hours. Using other bulbs of varying wattages, I could not get any lower than 2 volts in a reasonable amount of time. How do you get less than 2v without increasing the amount of time significantly?
Thanks
Gerald
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
olrowdy,

i apologize for simple questions. i found your chart and am having a bit of trouble understanding it. i assume where are two numbers for the wattage (ex 25-40) your referring to the type of bulb in your discharge? if so would it say that the 100-100 combo provides the best results?

also, i have heard other members getting there packs down to below a full volt for ex .5. would the best habit be to use a relatively low watt for a slower drain but get it down lower? or does it not so much matter?

i apologize with the petty questions, new to the discharging game, let alone new to working with electronics and the various terms. learn something new every day.

cheers
 

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just got my discharger in the mail today from hybrid automotive, what size light bulb are you guys using to do this? high watt? low watt? anything specific?
I've been using a 75 watt bulb, I think it's pretty much all over the board. Some are using low watt bulbs some high watt bulbs. I have an extra car to use so I just used what I had. I start it during the day and it's done the next moning when I wake up. I got my last one down to .17 volts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the input!

also olrowdy, i forgot to mention im using a single bulb set-up.
 

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olrowdy,

i apologize for simple questions. i found your chart and am having a bit of trouble understanding it. i assume where are two numbers for the wattage (ex 25-40) your referring to the type of bulb in your discharge? if so would it say that the 100-100 combo provides the best results?

25-40 means that one bulb was a 25 watt bulb and the other a 40 watt bulb (and they are wired in series).

Well "best results" are when it discharges the way -you- want it to. Basically I favor starting off at a rather low current rate and when the current drops too low in value to switch to higher wattage bulbs to get the discharge current back up again. The discharge current to use is a personal decision though.


also, i have heard other members getting there packs down to below a full volt for ex .5. would the best habit be to use a relatively low watt for a slower drain but get it down lower? or does it not so much matter?

The higher the wattage bulb(s) you use the quicker the pack will discharge and also pull the pack to a lower voltage because there is more load on the pack. Another trick is to use various 12 volt car bulbs as the discharge load when the pack gets down below 15 volts. But don't take too long in switching to the 12 volt bulbs because the pack voltage may bounce back to a pretty high voltage for a short while until the 12 volt bulb(s) can pull the voltage back down again.

I think in general the jury is still out on how much current is the right amount.


i apologize with the petty questions, new to the discharging game, let alone new to working with electronics and the various terms. learn something new every day.

cheers
We all had to start somewhere. I remember when I didn't know what questions to ask much less the answers. :)

I favor using two bulbs in series because a full pack has too much voltage for the rating of a single bulb. It wouldn't help if you start a discharge on a full pack and the bulb burns out so you end up wasting all that time if you don't notice the bulb is shot.
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[edited the following sentence]
I think one thing that so far people haven't figured out yet (or aren't talking about it) is does it help to hold the voltage per cell at some low discharge rate for a longer time to allow time for the chemical reactions to take place. Something a around 0.2 volt/cell which would be on the order of 24 volts for the whole pack IF none of the cells had dropped out to 0.0 volts.

eq1 posted some pages from a Ni-MH book he has that seemed to indicate that there might be some advantage in doing that. Unfortunately most of us don't have the proper equipment to really tell long term, if one current drain vs what voltage to go to is better than other currents and voltage.

But I do think the group is getting closer to the better way, for our purposes, to bring batteries back to life. Basically grid charge to balance a pack and grid charge then deep discharges to bring a sick battery back to life if the battery isn't just shot.
 

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We all had to start somewhere. I remember when I didn't know what questions to ask much less the answers. :)

I favor using two bulbs in series because a full pack has too much voltage for the rating of a single bulb. It wouldn't help if you start a discharge on a full pack and the bulb burns out so you end up wasting all that time if you don't notice the bulb is shot.
---

I think one thing that so far people haven't figured out yet (or aren't talking about it) is does it help to hold the voltage per cell at some low discharge rate for a longer time at low voltage per cell to allow some chemical reactions to take place at the low voltage per cell (something a around 0.2 volt/cell which would be on the order of 24 volts for the whole pack IF none of the cells had dropped out to 0.0 volts).

eq1 posted some pages from a Ni-MH book he has that seemed to indicate that there might be some advantage in doing that. Unfortunately most of us don't have the proper equipment to really tell long term, if one current drain vs what voltage to go to is better than other currents and voltage.

But I do think the group is getting closer to the better way, for our purposes, to bring batteries back to life. Basically grid charge to balance a pack and grid charge then deep discharges to bring a sick battery back to life if the battery isn't just shot.


I just checked out your link. I like it. Thank you for taking the time to put together this information.
 

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250w for sure. Rips packs down quick and allows for more discharge/recharge cycles when you are under time constraints (like trying to get it done on your days off).

Forgot to add. Wal-Mart has 250w heat lamp bulbs for 5$ a piece. For me, they were in the light bulb Isle, they may be in the lizard/snake Isle elsewhere.
 

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I just checked out your link. I like it. Thank you for taking the time to put together this information.
Glad to help. :)

This is a great community of people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thank you for the clarification at response olrowdy. the info you have on your page is awesome.

unfortunatley i got a single bulb unit so will most likely use a heat lamp of some sort like balto is discussing. i was hoping to get a double but Hybrid Automotive only offered single bulb for insight and it fits right into the harness for grid charger.

balto, when you bought your bulbs did they give a life span of some sort? olrowdy does have a valid point about the bulb burning out.


also if i used one of these larger bulbs and let it sit overnight would it be bad for the pack to get that low or for that long?

ALL OF YOUR HELP AND COMMENTS ARE APPRECATIED!

cheers
 

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When I was testing single cells I never saw a benefit to dwelling at a deep discharged voltage, such as 0.2V. At the cell level, I found the lowest I needed to go was about 0.4V at 0.3A. Of course it's not like I have a large random sample of cells and a database based on it... So for the pack, whatever you think you need to do to get every cell down to that level is what I recommend; you can't just take the average - 120 cells times 0.4V. Hopefully everyone knows that by now. You basically need to go to zero...

On deep discharge current, I'd choose a bulb or resistor based on the current at 140V (but within a range of about 0.5A to 2A) and how unbalanced your pack likely is. The more unbalanced, the lower within this range you'd want to be... 140V is about where you might see the first cell reversals...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
eq1,

a 140v lightbulb? does that exsist? if so where would i find. i would assume i should be referencing watts with regaurds to light bulb strength.

if not, please elaborate if possible!

Cheers and thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
have had excellent luck with balto's suggestion of 250 watt heat lamp from Walmart, definitely worth the 5 bucks.
 

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Lightbulb technique?

Guys,

I have been using a grid charger for awhile now. I'm aware of the drain need, but I've never used a lightbulb. I've always just run the battery down myself on the road. What is the exact technique for this? How do you hook up the bulb? Do I have to open the battery compartment up again or can I somehow do it with the way the grid charger plugs in?

Dan
 

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Guys,

I have been using a grid charger for awhile now. I'm aware of the drain need, but I've never used a lightbulb. I've always just run the battery down myself on the road. What is the exact technique for this? How do you hook up the bulb? Do I have to open the battery compartment up again or can I somehow do it with the way the grid charger plugs in?

Dan
I have an article on my website that should help. It's in the "charger/discharger" article. The link to my website is in the signature lines below.

I show how to make a simple light bulb discharger etc. I also present a chart that shows the ma drain that various wattage light bulbs will draw as the battery voltage drops. This should give you a guide to selecting what wattage bulbs to use.

If your grid charging harness doesn't have diodes in it you connect the discharge load to the same wires that go to the IMA battery.
 

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Hey guys, just thought I'd chime in with a little experiment that I did this last week.

I knew that I was going to be away from the Insight for about a week, and as I'm moving soon, I wanted to get a discharge cycle in before all my "stuff" get's boxed up. So, I ran to the local ACE Hardware and grabbed a couple 7 watt bulbs! I normally use 40 watt bulbs, but knew that they would work too quickly.

Anyway, long story short is that my battery (after an overnight grid charge) took 8 days to go from 170 volt range down to about 3 volts! I usually shoot for .5 volt, but as I was going to be needing the car, and since I figured it had stayed in a relatively low range for longer, I stopped the discharge there.

So... add 7 watt bulbs to your "arsenal" of discharging loads!
 

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Was that your "resting" voltage an hour after discharging?

Willie
 

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I thought the whole idea is to discharge at a safe rate to minimize cell reversal. I roughly followed the guide here: Prolong Simple Disharger User Guide ? Hybrid Automotive


I made sure let the battery sit for a few hours after fully charging before staring the discharge process.

I started with a 250W heat bulb. Dropped to a 75W bulb around 140V. Then a 14W bulb at around 100V. I left the 14W in until it went out, then swapped to a 6W LED CREE bulb (highly recommend these for general home use). Let that pull to as close to zero as it would go. When it stopped discharging, I put the 75W back in to pull the voltage lower just for a few minutes.

Then I started the charge process for just under 24 hours.

IMO, it's better and safer to go slow and do fewer cycles as opposed to charging and then discharging as fast as possible.

-Chris
 

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Here's what works for me now:
Simply use a 100w light bulb and in 12 hours it's at .1-.2v.
I've done a lot do discharging with no negative effects.
Gerald
 
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