Author Topic: Cold Weather Charging  (Read 6346 times)

Brammofan

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Cold Weather Charging
« on: January 24, 2011, 11:27:59 AM »
BrammoBrian posted this information on another thread but I wanted to make sure it had its own space.  I have also posted it on the Brammo Forum Wiki.
Guys,

Probably should move this thread over to another topic, but the issue with cold weather (sub-freezing) charging is metallic lithium plating in the actual cell.  This can cause permanent degradation to your batteries, and it's best to avoid if at all possible.  You can read more about it here:

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_at_high_and_low_temperatures

One thing to remember is that what we're really concerned about is the temperature of the battery and less so the ambient tempertaure.  If you've just completed a ride at 32F, it's unlikely that your batteries are also at 32F as discharging requires current and current generates heat (especially with increased impedance due to the cold temperatures).  Given the thermal mass of the batteries, they'll also stay warm for a considerable amount of time following the ride.  So... worst case scenario and to be avoided is charging the bike outdoors in sub-zero temperatures after the bike has been sitting in that environment for serveral hours.
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Brammofan

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Re: Cold Weather Charging
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2011, 04:12:31 PM »
Guys,

Probably should move this thread over to another topic, but the issue with cold weather (sub-freezing) charging is metallic lithium plating in the actual cell.  This can cause permanent degradation to your batteries, and it's best to avoid if at all possible.  You can read more about it here:

Are the lithium iron phosphate batteries in the Enertia 3.1 subject to the same lithium plating? (this might be more a question for Valence and Leyden)

Does the Enertia onboard display report pack / cell temperature?


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BrammoBrian

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Re: Cold Weather Charging
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 09:42:28 AM »
Yes, the Enertia 3.1 Valence batteries also have this restriction to charging, hence the statement in the owner's manual about recommended charging temperature. 

The internal battery temperature is recorded and monitored in the VCU, but not displayed on the current version of the Dash firmware.  It may be displayed on the "secret screen" during charging - I'll have to double check. 

craigq

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Re: Cold Weather Charging
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 10:17:16 PM »
Are the batteries fine for storage lasting approximately 5-6 months in temperatures down to about -30*C ? Can the batteries and charging/management system be easily removed for indoor storage and charging? Or is it advisable to acquire heated storage for the bike (some places offer battery charging, I'm sure they would plug in the bike periodically during storage)?

BrammoBrian

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Re: Cold Weather Charging
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2011, 01:44:20 PM »
Craig,

This storage period and temperature are fine, although that is REALLY friggin' cold.  At this storage length, you'll want the batteries to be around 50% State of Charge.  The self discharge of these (or any) lithium ion batteries is not significant over this period, so you don't need to worry about the batteries draining themselves down to nothing as this would take years.  You do, however, need to worry about storing at full charge levels as this can reduce the overall capacity "retention" (new batt term alert!) of the battery pack at the end of the storage cycle. 

JN2Wheels

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Re: Cold Weather Charging
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2011, 09:52:52 AM »
Will the Empulse have the same charging restrictions?

JN2Wheels

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Re: Cold Weather Charging
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 10:10:29 AM »
May have answered my own question..

From protomech
Quote
Leyden Energy hasn't published any real datasheets for their Lithium Ion batteries (Enertia+ and Empulse), but they list these specs:
Discharge: -30C to 60C
Charge: -20C to 60C

Valence has published a datasheet (pdf) for their U-Charge XP batteries used in the Enertia. They list these specs:
Discharge: -10C to 50C (122F)
Charge: 0C to 45C (113F)
Storage: -40C to 50C

So, it would seem that the Empulse and Enertia plus are cleared for charging in temps down to -4f..  YEA for all midwesterners with unheated (or no) garages.

Gavin

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Re: Cold Weather Charging
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 11:14:17 AM »
Sweet....I have a garage...so charging is no biggie...but I like that the battery works in colder and hotter temps...

Now I can ride my Plus even when -5 degrees or 110 degrees....  :)


Gavin