Power in Flux
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Thread: What stinks and sizzles?

              
   
   
  1. #51
    Senior Member harlan's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, the problem was not your controller but the way your precharge circuit was originally configured which was preventing the relay from consistently activating which then required you to manually activate it.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    My friend would love to reprogram the Sevcon controller, but you need a rare $350 device to access the program and I think the batteries have had too much of this action to make much difference in their overall life.
    ...
    Harlan rents the Sevcon programmer at a reasonable price. The controller determines how much is drawn from the cells, not the motor (well not directly). Continuing to tax the cells by drawing too much will degrade the cells further. I recommend setting it closer to 2c (100A) instead of 3c.

    Watch for my post about the LiPo GPR-S. I imagine it's comparable to the performance of the low end Empulse

  3. #53
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    Thanks for that information, Chef. Right now the controller is set to adjust the power so that the voltage stays at 50 volts for the entire pack. Originally, it would limit the output to 175 amps for a few seconds and then drop it down to 150 amps (3C), and then drop to around 120 amps, where it would stay for a while under full throttle. As the pack deteriorated, maximum amperage dropped to around 130 amps when the voltage dropped to 50 volts, but that was with a dead battery, or two. Unfortunately, the motor needs at least 150 amps to get me up the local hills at a safe speed. We have a lot of fast moving traffic around here. The D&D motor is just too large for the batteries to feed. My first GPR-S, with its smaller Mars motor, performed better. BTW,.I note that EMS no longer has my sepex motor listed on their web site (it is ghosted on the site). I am not sure what that means.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlan View Post
    If I remember correctly, the problem was not your controller but the way your precharge circuit was originally configured which was preventing the relay from consistently activating which then required you to manually activate it.
    Ah, OK, I guess after my first accident you guys had to fix a lot of stuff, and didn't have time to elaborate on everything. This whole time I have been under the (mis)impression that the controller was replaced...

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by guity View Post
    Ah, OK, I guess after my first accident you guys had to fix a lot of stuff, and didn't have time to elaborate on everything. This whole time I have been under the (mis)impression that the controller was replaced...
    Just checked my posts from a year+ ago on the electric Motorcycle forum. I guess the stalling problem was fixed later than the repairs for the first accident. The stalling problem would have been fixed after I drove the bike too far and trashed some batteries. At least a couple of batteries were bloated up so big and stuck so tightly into the cases that Hollywood Electrics couldn't get them out without possibly damaging something. (I never mind damaging things, so I went ahead and split the metal cases at the corners.) I think the stalling problem was fixed during that time the bike was in the shop, and I was so focused on the battery problem that I didn't look into what the final resolution was for the stalling problem...Sorry.

  6. #56
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    My friend, who is trying to fix my GPR-S, told me that he discovered that Hi Power sells a tool that will squeeze bloated batteries back into shape. He says that they claim that bloating does not hurt the batteries. He showed me how you could take a big clamp and squeeze a bloated battery back into shape and it would then drop right into the cell pack. Frankly, I was amazed and also surprised that the bloated batteries that I had, which had not completely shorted out, still seemed to function fine - at least for the distance that have ridden the bike so far.

    I was also surprised that I had no real problem removing bloaters from my pack. I sprayed silicon lube between the batteries, then I screwed in the bolts into the cell terminals. I then grabbed them with a pair of vice grips and wiggled the cell back and forth longitudinally a little at a time until it came out. Once one cell was removed, you could pull the rest out of the pack container easily.

  7. #57
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    Richard, there was actually more to my battery's story than bloating and stinking and leaking -- it was one of 4 batteries that my cell logger caught pooping out in the middle of my hill road home. These batteries can be really sneaky. Any time I measured voltage on them when the bike was standing still, they matched up with all the other batteries just fine. But the cell logger, recording the voltages every second during 20 miles of riding, showed that battery and 3 or 4 others taking a total nose dive way below the danger point when I made my last run up the hill, leaving the other batteries to do all the work. I probably should replace all those poop-out batteries, but at $100 a pop I'm biding my time. Do you have any way to log/record your individual cell voltages as you are riding? It could possibly shed some light on your stalling issue if you do...

  8. #58
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    Hi guilty. No I do not have a cell logger. Perhaps you can let me know what you are using and how to buy one. That sounds like something that would be useful - or maybe it might show me something about my cells that I don't really want to know about.

    I am pretty sure that some of my batteries were performing the same way right before I finally gave up and took things apart and ditched the original BMS. The CA would show 80 volts (after replacing the cell that had apparently been shorted out since the first day that I bought my bike) and then drop down to 76 volts after riding only a mile or two. So I figured that one or two cells had crapped out by then and were likely doing the same thing as yours were. Unfortunately, I had to go a mile uphill to get back home and I was not about to turn the bike off and push it home - so the batteries just had to suffer. That was why I was surprised that some of the cells could be brought back to useful condition, although I got them mixed up and I couldn't tell which ones were the ones that were bad at that time and which ones I had removed because they seemed sick earlier. I just checked out all of the cells that I had and installed the ones that tested out the best when reassembling my packs.

    That was why I was both happy and upset when I went for a ride after installing the miniBMS. While it ran, the CA was showing that the total battery pack was functioning normally. The pack would start out at 81 volts, then it would drop low under full throttle, but would rebound quickly to 78 volts once the throttle was closed, even after 5 miles of riding. That voltage level was an improvement compared to when the GPR-S was brand new. When the GPR-S was new, the CA would show a maximum voltage of 76 volts after a overnight charge. So I was really happy with its performance (I left the CT90 chase bike in the dust), until the bike stalled at a long traffic light stop and wouldn't get going again for a while, even though the CA was showing 80 volts at the time. That was depressing.

    But my friend is doing a lot of research and plans to talk directly to a Sevcon expert tomorrow and he hopes to learn more about the controller. He also seems to believe that there is some way to access the controller and alter the programming using a PC. He might be right. It could be that you only need the rare programmer if you are in the field and can't bring the equipment near a lap top. He also tells me that the Sevcon controller is used for all sorts of electric motor-driven industrial equipment and that operating motor vehicles was not really in their marketing plan when designing the device.

  9. #59
    Not to be taken seriously DaveAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    But my friend is doing a lot of research and plans to talk directly to a Sevcon expert tomorrow and he hopes to learn more about the controller. He also seems to believe that there is some way to access the controller and alter the programming using a PC. He might be right. It could be that you only need the rare programmer if you are in the field and can't bring the equipment near a lap top. He also tells me that the Sevcon controller is used for all sorts of electric motor-driven industrial equipment and that operating motor vehicles was not really in their marketing plan when designing the device.
    Hey Richard, I've got a favor to ask. Could your friend ask the Sevcon expert about the CAN protocol used in the Powerpak controller, and if there's a specification that he could send me? I'm hoping to use the information to build a real time display.

    As for hooking the Sevcon up to the PC, from what I understand is that this is available for most Sevcon controllers, except for the Powerpak. However, the interface and software required would likely cost as much as the hand held calibrator if it were available.

    I should have my calibrator today or tomorrow, but right now my batteries are out of the bike again. Hopefully I can get it hooked up this weekend and I'll tell you what I find out about my settings.

  10. #60
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    I'll pass your request along to my friend, Dave.

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