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Old 03-11-2013, 11:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I think it's fair to say that you have a problem when you say things like "my latest EV project."

It's OK. I'm in the same boat.

"Hi, I'm Ben. Welcome to E.V. Anonymous...."

I don't have a Solectria, but since it was THE factory EV Geo Metro, I've been on the Yahoo group ever since I first started playing with non-gasoline Geos.
Yeah, I seem to have a problem with EVs.

This little car will make a good commuter. We needed another car for this summer and the Solectria should do the trick. I'm hoping I can use these NiMH cells and get a charger running to work with them.

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Old 03-13-2013, 12:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I 'raced' them back in 1991. Well the company I worked for did (DEMI)
Solar Electric 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in 1991. We had a zinc-air/aircraft NiCd powered CRX.

The next year, Solectria entered a zinc-bromine battery powered car. One of the lines came off during a turn, ended the race for everyone early with a plume of brown smoke.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I keep on forgetting to take pictures of the batteries, but I hope to soon.

So far I have found a single dead cell, good news is that I have several spares to replace it with.

I also managed to kill my 10A power supply I've been using to charge them. I just ordered a proper CellPro6 system that I can use to properly charge each pack and determine the actual capacity of these batteries. I should have it for next weekend.

In the mean time I am going to make buss bar connections for the last 3 packs that are missing them.

I'm hoping to have the car running by end of April, then I will get the body repaired and I am going to paint it my self. I have a spare door for this car that I am going to use for practice once the weather warms up more.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My PowerLab 6 arrived this week and I finally got around to trying it out. After playing with all the different settings I determined I need the programming cable so I can make a profile to properly handle the NiMH cells.

The PL6 can do a 20 A charge/discharge on NiMH cells, meaning I can cycle a battery a day. I already have a few cells that I need exchange out but the packs really need a full charge with trickle balancing. I am hoping the PL6 can do that for me.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Why do you say they need trickle balancing? You should be able to do this, but only to 6 cells at once because that is the most that the PL6 can handle.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Why do you say they need trickle balancing? You should be able to do this, but only to 6 cells at once because that is the most that the PL6 can handle.
Some of the documentation I've been reading on these cells say that they should "balance" themselves a bit when they reach full charge, then are put onto a trickle charge after.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I got my USB adapter for the PowerLab 6 and I started battery cycling today. The first battery tested with 43 AH output @15 AMPs, so it is somewhat usable. I am working on the 2nd battery and I think it will take a few cycle to figure out how to properly use the PL6 and figure out what settings work for these batteries.

I had the goal of getting these batteries to hold some kind of charge by next weekend so I can install them back into the Force and test the drive train out. I should have 4-5 batteries tested by the end of this weekend, assuming things go well. I still need to make buss bars for 3 packs, but a trip to Ace Hardware tomorrow might help.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't know if you saw MetroMPG's thread on reviving his insight's nimh pack. He had to cycle them multiple times to 'revive' them to their full capacity. Each cycle (at least for the first few) ended up showing greater and greater capacity.

How many times did you cycle it? What is the rated capacity?
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't know if you saw MetroMPG's thread on reviving his insight's nimh pack. He had to cycle them multiple times to 'revive' them to their full capacity. Each cycle (at least for the first few) ended up showing greater and greater capacity.

How many times did you cycle it? What is the rated capacity?
I only did one cycle, and it's rating is 85 AH. I definitely need to cycle it more, I just need to fine tune the PL6 to meet the specs of these Ovonics. I probably need a good 5 or 6 cycles per battery to get a proper capacity reading. I also need to setup my lead acid battery bank to be the source for the PL6. I am going to set it up with 3S2P for 24 volts and ~200 AH of lead so I can use it as a regenerative charging source.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I did some more fine tuning of the PL6 last night. I adjusted the charging current to 8.5A (C/10) and the discharge current to 10A. For my first few cycles I need to charge at C/10 to give the NiMH a "forming" charge, then I can start increasing it.

My 2nd battery is now discharging and so far 45 AH have been pulled, with 75 AH being put into it last night. If all these batteries can give me ~40 AH then I will have a pack that can be somewhat usable. I think some packs will need cells replaced, but I have spares.

I found some buss bars online but I really can't justify $225 for a few pieces of bars for batteries I don't know even work. My dad and I are going to get creative by either making out own braided connections, or layered strips of copper like the bars on my Civic EV.

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