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No longer getting a full charge?

c-max batteries charging

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111 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   TopherTheME

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:19 PM

I'm no chemist but I am an engineer, and I do understand several things though I may not be an expert on everything.  We all learn something every day.  Your explanation sounds complicated for the average Joe Topher.  Let me explain it in my terms and you let me know if you agree or not.

 

I'm not a chemist either, but some would call me an expert in this area or at least professionly knowlegeable. My explanation should be complicated to the average Joe because its an extremely complicated subject. It takes a team of engineers with PhD's to design and develop commercial BMS systems, not your average Joe.

 

 

First off, I do understand and know that when you let batteries sit after a drain, the voltage will rise.  However, I believe there is a different scenario that causes battery voltage to rise with heat and drop with cold.  I don't know the exact chemical explanation for it, but I know about it from my hobbies and have seen it on my Energi.  I could leave the car tonight (unplug from charging say at 50% charge and tonight is 40 degrees.  Tomorrow the sun comes out and the charge level will be higher, like say 55% for example.  I can post specifics later.  I have also seen the charge drop from 55% where I left it one day, to 45% the next day when the temp outside was a high of 48 degrees just a couple of days ago.  What's your explanation of that (and not counting the relaxation point, that I already know of and agree with).

 

I think you're having trouble understanding the difference between State of Charge and Voltage. An increase in voltage does not imply an increase of state of charge. The state of charge is merely a measure of how much chemical energy is actually stored in the cell while the voltage is simply the cells electrical potential. The increase of the battery SOC could be attributed to many things like voltage relaxation or Peurkerts Law. I don't know the details of Ford's BMS software so I don't know for sure but 5% error in SOC is very common. Also keep in mind we are referring to open circuit voltage and not voltage under load. Voltage under discharge will increase with temperature due to lower cells internal resistance.

 

 

As far as the supercharging that Gary calls it, here is my explanation of that in simple terms.  Assume the Li-ion battery voltage range goes from 3.7v dead to 4.2v at 100% full.  You never want to exceed those limits and you really shouldn't use up a Li-ion or Lipo pack below 20% capacity or say 3.73v per cell.  Anyways, given this, let's assume Ford decided to limit charge to 90% which is I don't know the figure off the top of my head, say for example 4.1v.  The system charges the pack until the cells reach 4.1v at which point it stops charging and it shows 100% full but its really 90% as seen in the SGII.

 

OK, but realistically the voltage range is more likely around 3.3V to 4.1V. An NMC cell is fully charged at 4.2V.

 

 

Now if Gary turns on his AC while charging, that draws some power from the system and will drop the cell voltage to 4v (for example, don't get caught up on exact numbers, just illustrating).  The AC pulls about 1.5kwh but the high voltage charger pumps in 3.3kwh, so there is more charge going into the battery while the AC is on.  The voltage will rise under load of the AC slowly from 4v up to 4.1v, at which point it shuts charging off and says 100% again, but the AC is still ON.  Now Gary turns off the AC and unplugs the charger, and the load is gone, and the cells will bounce up to 4.2v per cell and the car will still show 100% but SGII will also now show 99.9% instead of 90%.  By using the AC load on the system, Gary has fooled the charging system into thinking the cells are not up to 4.1v yet and it continues to charge more with the load of the AC until it brings the voltage up to 4.1v with the AC running hence you have "supercharged" the pack or in reality just defeated the safety margin than Ford put in to make room for voltage rise when "fully" charged and soaking in the hot sun in Arizona for example.  Lipo or Li-ion packs you never really want to store at full charge, best stored at 60% charge or about 3.95v per cell.  Anyway, forget about storage charge, that is for long term storage while not in use and usually shipped in this range, but I believe what I explained above here is easy for the average person to understand.

 

I don't really understand any of what you're saying but Gary clearly stated that he's not charging the battery beyond its charging limits, just simply preconditioning the vehicle. And it doesn't matter if the car is plugged in and the AC is on. The battery is either being charged or discharge, it can't be both, and the BMS will know how much current is going in and out of the battery along with its voltage. And you don't want to store cells at 60% SOC, 30 to 40% is more reasonable. And they are often shipped at around 25 to 35% per UN regulations.









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#22 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 03:06 PM

OK Topher, please explain those things to me per your knowledge.

 

I charged the vehicle to 75% yesterday, and unplugged it when it reached there.  Today the temperature is warmer, in the 80's, and I just walked into the warm garage and powered up the vehicle.  Charge level shows 81%.  So we went from 75% yesterday to 81% today and I have not gone anywhere with this car.  

 

You're saying there is a 5% error in the software to figure out the charge level.  How does it figure out the charge level, doesn't it look at the voltage of the pack and doesn't the voltage rise in order to show an increase in the reporting from 75% to 81%?  If it was at 100% it would still be at 100% reported in the vehicle, because what you guys are saying is that it only charges to 90% per your scan guage readings but that shows 100% in the vehicle display.

 

So, what happened here, is it just an error in the reporting per your thoughts?  Also, what happens when the temperature drops, lets say tomorrow is 40 degrees out.  Will there be an error in the reporting the other way?  Is the voltage increase/decrease just fooling the car into reporting an error in the charge value?

 

Also, going back to my point, if you were to charge the cells to 4.2v per cell or 100% and then there was some voltage rise, would you say that would be bad for the cells?

 

So you agree 4.2v is full and that the car charged to 4.1v, but uses the cells to 3.3v?  I said 3.7v because while I realize cells can drop to 3v before damage starts happening, best practices say don't drop them before 20% charge.  My hobby batteries I don't discharge them less than 3.7v per cell for longer life and as far as storage charge my charger puts them at 60%, I believe that is close to 3.9v per cell.

 

Maybe Gary is not thinking about "supercharging" as he calls it but he is loading the system while charging and making it charge the pack higher to 100%,  He said that himself as he sees from the sgII.  He may be conditioning the cabin, but let me ask you when I was running the heat set to 70 degrees when it was like 50 out or running the AC why did my range keep rising?  For example the battery was full at 28 miles, and then turn on the heat for some time and back off to let the battery get back to full and back on, etc or leave on I forget the exact sequence but being there waiting for my wife the range did increase more over time, 3, 4 miles or more I have not done it in a bit.

 

So please explain to my what is happening here?  supercharging or something else and why more range?  Maybe higher voltage from the pack?

 

Thanks,

 

-=>Raja.



#23 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 05:32 PM

I'm not a chemist either, but some would call me an expert in this area or at least professionly knowlegeable. My explanation should be complicated to the average Joe because its an extremely complicated subject. It takes a team of engineers with PhD's to design and develop commercial BMS systems, not your average Joe.

 

 

 

 

 

I think you're having trouble understanding the difference between State of Charge and Voltage. An increase in voltage does not imply an increase of state of charge. The state of charge is merely a measure of how much chemical energy is actually stored in the cell while the voltage is simply the cells electrical potential. The increase of the battery SOC could be attributed to many things like voltage relaxation or Peurkerts Law. I don't know the details of Ford's BMS software so I don't know for sure but 5% error in SOC is very common. Also keep in mind we are referring to open circuit voltage and not voltage under load. Voltage under discharge will increase with temperature due to lower cells internal resistance.

 

 

 

 

 

OK, but realistically the voltage range is more likely around 3.3V to 4.1V. An NMC cell is fully charged at 4.2V.

 

 

 

 

 

I don't really understand any of what you're saying but Gary clearly stated that he's not charging the battery beyond its charging limits, just simply preconditioning the vehicle. And it doesn't matter if the car is plugged in and the AC is on. The battery is either being charged or discharge, it can't be both, and the BMS will know how much current is going in and out of the battery along with its voltage. And you don't want to store cells at 60% SOC, 30 to 40% is more reasonable. And they are often shipped at around 25 to 35% per UN regulations.

 

You must know by this time this guy has some issues. 

 

Gary



#24 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 05:58 PM

Gary, if you dont have anything constructive to add hold your breath.  I'm asking topher's opinion at the moment, thanks.

 

-=>Raja.



#25 OFFLINE   viajero

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 06:05 PM

You're saying there is a 5% error in the software to figure out the charge level.  How does it figure out the charge level, doesn't it look at the voltage of the pack ...

 

So, what happened here, is it just an error in the reporting per your thoughts?  Also, what happens when the temperature drops, lets say tomorrow is 40 degrees out.

 

As Topher mentioned, a 5% error in measuring SoC is not bad at all.  The only way to really know how much energy is left in the battery would be to sample the chemicals inside it.

 

Measuring voltages and currents can tell you how much energy came OUT OF the battery to within a couple percent, but you can't really measure how much energy is LEFT IN the battery.  You can only guess based on how much energy went out relative to how much went in on previous charge/discharge cycles.  Battery capacity changes with age, so you won't get exactly the same results each time as you did the time before.

 

To make it even more tricky, how much energy you can get out of a battery for any given state of charge depends on how fast you take it out.  A long gradual discharge can yield more total energy than a short fast discharge.  Driving a car is more complicated than either of those cases, because you have pulses of rapid discharge while accelerating, then periods of gradual discharge while cruising, and then brief fast charges when you decelerate.

 

If the temperature drops tomorrow, you won't be able to get as much energy out of your battery.

 

Battery University is written by a company that makes battery testing and analyzing equipment.  They talk about the subject here and mention 10% errors in typical use.

 

http://batteryuniver...state_of_charge

 

Short answer - don't expect the battery gas gauge to be super accurate or consistent and you won't be disappointed.

 

To be fair, I should point out that all the gas gauges on my gas-powered cars were not much better.  They usually sat pegged at "F" while a whole gallon or two was burned.  They also varied up and down by up to an eighth of a tank if the cars were parked pointing uphill or downhill.


Edited by viajero, 02 June 2014 - 06:06 PM.


#26 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:00 AM

Gary, if you dont have anything constructive to add hold your breath.  I'm asking topher's opinion at the moment, thanks.

 

-=>Raja.

 

As you can see, no response,You don't want to understand the facts here, you want to disagree with anything I post. I got News for you, see a doctor for help Don!

 

Gary.



#27 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:27 AM

Gary:

 

No response because Topher hasn't been online I'm betting, not because he doesn't want to respond.  I'm just curious to see what his explanation is of what I'm experiencing is, hopefully he'll give me something that I can understand.

 

You still think I'm Don eh?  Who is that guy and what did he do? 

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 03 June 2014 - 06:39 AM.


#28 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:43 PM

Gary:

 

No response because Topher hasn't been online I'm betting, not because he doesn't want to respond.  I'm just curious to see what his explanation is of what I'm experiencing is, hopefully he'll give me something that I can understand.

 

You still think I'm Don eh?  Who is that guy and what did he do? 

 

-=>Raja.

 

Still waiting by the phone Don?

 

Gary



#29 OFFLINE   bro1999

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:48 PM

Uh.....anyways, to the OP: were you able to figure out the issue?

#30 OFFLINE   reedrinn

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 08:25 AM

Well, I made 2 trips back and forth to Houston over the past few days, which gave me several opportunities to fully charge and then fully drain the battery.  I zeroed one of the odometers after each charge and monitored the kWh used.  It was a very consistent 4.4 kWh every time the battery indicator reached zero.  I believe that someone here said it should be around 5.4 kWh, so it looks like I have a problem.  I'll be PM-ing the Ford rep that replied earlier and probably setting up a visit to the dealer.

 

I'll post updates as they occur.

 

-RR



#31 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 08:31 AM

Definitely, you should be able to get 5.5kwh out of the battery before its dead.

 

5.7 if you dig into the hybrid portion as well.

 

-=>Raja.



#32 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 12:25 PM

So I'm at the dealer right now. Charged my car to 100% while running errands. Came back distance showing is 30 miles. Still plugged in turned on ac miles dropped to 22. Several minutes later went back up to 24 miles with ac load on. Turned off ac and range jumped to 32 miles. Nos we are charged higher than the normal threshold.

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 04 June 2014 - 02:20 PM.


#33 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:23 PM

So I'm at the dealer right now. Charged my car to 100% while running errands. Came back distance showing is 30 miles. Still plugged in turned on ac miles dropped to 22. Several minutes later went back up to 24 miles with ac load on. Turned off ac and range jumped to 32 miles. Nos we are charged higher than the normal threshold.

-=>Raja.

 

If you don't have a SGII, you will never know from the OEM SOC gauge, what 100% SOC is. You have been assuming SOC percentage ever since you have been talking about it. Those of us here that compared the OEM SOC gauge to the SGII, must know what I'm talking about.

 

Gary



#34 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:27 PM

Oh no you're right Gary I don't know exactly what it is without a SGII, but I know its higher than it used to be if indicated travel miles on battery increased by 2 miles.  You would have to agree with that as 2 extra miles don't come out of thin air, right?

 

You never answered my question on where is the best place to get a SGII and how much are they?

 

-=>Raja.



#35 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 08:20 PM

Oh no you're right Gary I don't know exactly what it is without a SGII, but I know its higher than it used to be if indicated travel miles on battery increased by 2 miles.  You would have to agree with that as 2 extra miles don't come out of thin air, right?

 

You never answered my question on where is the best place to get a SGII and how much are they?

 

-=>Raja.

 

Look, if you are going to blame me for your inability to google pricing, go F yourself. Pricing changes every day. I don' t make a thing from sales, so get the best price!

 

Gary



#36 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 08:48 PM

Man...now you're getting rude Gary.  I guess you're getting to be a grumpy old man eh?   :stirpot:

 

-=>Raja.



#37 OFFLINE   timwil56

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:46 AM

...but I know its higher than it used to be if indicated travel miles on battery increased by 2 miles.  You would have to agree with that as 2 extra miles don't come out of thin air...

I'm not trying to inject myself into this argument, but I'm not sure two additional or fewer miles on the SoC display accurately indicates anything. This situation has happened to me on several occasions. When I charge over night and I plug in with, say, 12-15 miles SoC remaining, it charges to a total of 28-30+ miles, and when I charge with 0-5 miles remaining, it charges to 25-26 miles. This is only a personal visual observation, nothing scientific.


Edited by timwil56, 05 June 2014 - 05:48 AM.


#38 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:56 AM

Tim:

 

First of all its not an argument, I'm never arguing online just sharing information and thoughts from another point of view and I appreciate yours.  I do this because I love this car and talking about it to learn more is very interesting to me.

 

The additional 2 miles goes back to what Gary said before, using the SGII unit he sees the car charge to 90% on the battery if you charge it overnight.  But then he called it supercharging and that is when he comes in and turns on the AC after the car is fully charged but is still plugged in and runs it for about 10 to 15 minutes to condition the cabin cooler for his drive.  The AC puts a load on the battery and the voltage drops, and then the charger comes one and charges while the AC is on.  He keeps doing this until he sees the up arrow on the battery is gone, and at that point he disconnects the car and drives off.  

 

Of interest is that his SGII now shows 99.9% charge, higher than what is was before, and my explanation was that he put a load on the system and caused the charger to charge the battery to a higher state, basically confusing the charger on where it would stop normally on the cell voltage.

 

If you don't have the SGII, you can't accurately see the 99.9% charge or anywhere between that and the 90% standard stopping point, but seeing an extra 2 miles of range after doing this is a good indication that the charge level is higher than it was before you turned the AC on while plugged in.

 

That's all I was saying.  The estimate difference you are seeing is most likely due to your driving habits, i.e. if today you drive slow and get 175mpge on that trip and recharge, it will give you 28-30 miles range for example.  And if tomorrow you drive and get 150mpge on the next trip, when you recharge it will give you a lower range, maybe 26 miles like you see sometimes.  Sometimes I can drive and empty the whole battery and go 30 miles, and when I recharge I get 32 miles of range.  Depends on your previous trip MPGe rating.

 

Topher's been online but he never replied to give me another point of view of my explanation.  Someone else replied above and gave a link to the battery university document which is good reading.  In the first paragraph there it says:

 

 

 

Temperature also plays a role. Higher temperature raises the open-circuit voltage, a lower temperature lowers it, and this phenomenon applies to all chemistries in varying degrees.

 

And that appears to agree with my theory as to why the charge level on the car tends to vary due to temperature as I was asking above - its my only logical explanation of it but was hoping to hear another logical explanation from Topher that makes more sense than mine.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 05 June 2014 - 07:59 AM.


#39 OFFLINE   honemch

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 08:38 AM

I've only been able to get 4.8 kWh out of my battery... Haven't noticed a range loss though. I'm going to make an appointment as well and will report back.

#40 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 12:26 PM

I'm not trying to inject myself into this argument, but I'm not sure two additional or fewer miles on the SoC display accurately indicates anything. This situation has happened to me on several occasions. When I charge over night and I plug in with, say, 12-15 miles SoC remaining, it charges to a total of 28-30+ miles, and when I charge with 0-5 miles remaining, it charges to 25-26 miles. This is only a personal visual observation, nothing scientific.

 

When it turned hot here in Jupiter FL, it was time to precondition the cabin with the A/C for the first time in 6 months. When I did this, I was also recalibrating the battery. rbort doesn't understand any of this and shouldn't be using my post to explain what he thinks I'm saying. TopherTheME is the battery Engineer here and understands what I'm doing. I discovered most of this with my Energi by trial and error when preconditioning the battery in hot weather, but I knew what recalibration was from owning my '05 & '09 Escape Hybrids (FEH). The computers in the FEH's recalibrated the batteries about every 6 months (or when they needed it) by taking control of MG1 and charging over the operating charge of 52%, and charging the battery near 100%. The batteries would then burn off the high charge to the normal operating range of 40 to 52% again. After a recalibration was completed, the battery operated more efficiently. 

 

When I discovered how to precondition the cabin last year, I called it supercharging because I extended my battery range in hot weather up to 33.9 EV miles on a single charge with the A/C on. I've been able since then to fine tune the process with preconditioning about ten minutes prior to a long EV trip. I'd say if I don't supercharge, I reduce my EV range in hot weather by 4 to 6 miles. What's really nice, sometimes I can leave the A/C off after supercharging in 84F OAT with the windows down and go 8 miles further in EV. I went 36 miles in EV just the other day with a 88F OAT and a 40 mile battery range estimate after supercharging.

 

There is no need to supercharge in 80F OAT and below because the battery thermal balances (cools) the cells itself with outside cooling with the battery fans. Cold weather is another story that has to be told my those that live like snowbirds up North.

 

Gary










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