30 March, 2011

Range Anxiety - Day 133

Odo 1390

Well not so much range as falling range. The Molicel lithiums in the pack are rated for 300 full charge/discharge cycles. Zero claims far more cycles from them than that, which seems odd. I wouldn't have expected that they could get more cycles than the manufacturer... Anyway I've put about 250 or so (I haven't counted) part charge cycles on them. I don't know if the range is falling or not as I'm not using anywhere near the maximum range, but the batteries are beginning to behave differently to how they were when new. I know where the first bar disappeared on the way to work, but now it's going one hill earlier. I know that on a round trip to town, even if I rode like my hair was on fire the display never fell below half, but now I'm seeing it go below half even with careful riding. I wouldn't say the pack was stuffed and if there was no voltage display then I'd never be able to tell the difference, but something is changing.

I wrote to the local guy who sells A123 battery packs and he thinks he can build one for the Zero. A123 estimate between 1000 and 6000 full cycles depending on the drain/charge rates and temperature. His first order estimate on cost was lower than a replacement Zero pack so I'm thinking I'll go that way when the time comes. He has a deeply uninspired website but seems like a nice guy. http://www.lightningev.comuf.com/ I actually asked him about building with the 20 Ah pouches but he seems to think the ANR26650 cells would be the ticket.

In unrelated news I just got my car back from the panel beaters who have de-dented, de-rusted and resprayed the whole thing. It looks better than new!

I've also fallen deeply in love

How can a motorcycle be so charming?

1 comment:

  1. Only 1390 kilometers and the batteries are showing some weakness? I'm surprised! And you have Li-ion batteries... my '07 Vectrix has NiMH batteries. I started seeing a drop in range at about 8000 miles (13,000 kilometers) and for me it was very sudden - I'm sure that some of the cells have gone dead. I can still commute to work (18 miles there, plug-in, 18 miles home), but I can't do much more than that. I've decided to upgrade to Li-ion - an australian gentleman is offering a conversion kit for sale. I'm ready to order the batteries (from China), but I have to do some research regarding importing (taxes, customs, etc.)

    Speaking of falling in love - have you seen this new monster?: