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Protecting your battery


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17 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:38 AM

For those who are concerned about the HVB in the Energis, I feel that it is important NOT to use the hybrid battery in the car as much as you might in general.  This means that you should switch the car to EV later when you are down to 1-2% charge level and just use the engine without draining the hybrid battery down.

 

The reason I say this is that I've watched the battery cells and I can see voltage swings between the cells once you start to dig into the hybrid battery.  At 1-2% charge level, the cells may be at 0.00v or 0.01v variation at worst, but once you start using the hybrid battery by the time you get to 50% charge level on that you're 0.02 pushing 0.03v variation between cells.  Also the VSC number can go up, from 0.24 normally to higher figures.

 

Basically what is happening is that the 'weaker' cells lose voltage quicker than the rest and they can get more damaged by being drained too much even though the rest of the pack is still in the OK range.

 

If you have a scangage you can see all this, ideally, you don't want the SOC to drop below 20%.  Even with 1-2% battery saved, the system will use more of it and drop you to 20% or sometimes less depending on how you feather the gas to stay on battery.

 

Another thing that is important is to recharge your battery when you get home due to cooling and voltage drop.  For example, last night I got home late and plugged in the HVB to charge it from the hybrid battery back up to some charge in the main battery.  It went from 50% charge on the hybrid to 8% charge on the main battery in 46 minutes and then I disconnected the charger to let the battery cool and rest.  The charge level was at 8% or 27.2% SOC and the battery temp was 62F.  This morning the battery temp had cooled to 48F and the charge level was back down to 0% and the SOC was down to 19.0 SOC!  If I didn't charge the battery and left it at 18% soc when I arrived, it could have been at 9% SOC this morning after cooling which would be very bad for the battery.

 

If you plan to use the car the next day, then you can recharge it before you go to bed or setup a value charge which will charge it up some off rock bottom and continue later when the charge window hits.  If you don't plan to use the car the next day then its best to keep the battery SOC level lower, not fully charged, so charge it some at night and then some more in the morning and disconnect it to sit around 20 to 40% charge level max.  This helps extend the HVB life by not being 100% all the time sitting fully charged and not being used immediately.

 

Hope this helps.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 25 October 2018 - 07:40 AM.








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#2 OFFLINE   Billyk24

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 05:36 PM

The charge level was at 8% or 27.2% SOC and the battery temp was 62F.  This morning the battery temp had cooled to 48F and the charge level was back down to 0% and the SOC was down to 19.0 SOC!

 

-Why did the SOC drop from 27% to 19% just sitting in your garage?  Something  wrong or did the cold(er) weather has something to do with the density(?)--I'm searching for a word(s) that exist and my lack of electrical background hinders me from obtaining- of electric charge?

-Are you saying a fully charged battery pack is dangerous to it's long term health regardless of outdoor temperature and battery pack temperature if it sits too long at 99.6% SOC? 



#3 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 10:25 PM

When battery packs heat up, the voltage rises.  When they cool down, the voltage drops.  Determining charge level is a factor of the voltage, so a lower voltage would mean less of a charge level.  

 

When I arrived home, the battery was hot from being driven for several hours.  Outside the temp had dropped into the 30's.  By morning that cooled the battery down and the voltage dropped.  Its a good thing I brought it up some before going to bed, as it can and will drop further if you let it cool after driving in the winter.  Last winter that did happen to me, battery dropped to 9% soc as I was driving around in hybrid mode out of battery and stopped for dinner with noplace to charge up.  I took a picture then and I think I posted it here.

 

In the summer the opposite it true, if the pack gets hotter the voltage rises and your charge level can go up from for example 56% charge to 65% charge level next time you power up the car hot. (say baking in the sun).  The battery can give up more energy when its hot and less when its cold.  If you are fully charged and sitting at 99% SOC and then you bake the car in the sun, the voltage could go higher and that would be bad for the cells.  In fact, the hotter the cells and the higher the charge level, the less life they will have.

 

Given that last statement, it goes to say that a battery with a higher average SOC will last less (over the years) than one with a less SOC.  So if you keep your battery at 99.6% SOC all the time (plug it in every chance you get so its always full), then say in 5 years even if you don't drive it more than I do and I keep my battery average SOC at 40%, then the battery with the lower SOC average will have less degradation and last longer.  There are documents about this online, search battery university and you will find information about this.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 25 October 2018 - 10:27 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   Allornothing

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 05:48 AM

rbort,

I've noticed since the weather cooled here in Pittsburgh when I do a full charge it only shows 14-15 miles on the battery, when a month ago it was 21-23 on a full charge. My Cmax is a 17 and only has 6600 miles, I can't see the battery dropping that fast.   Also if I plug it in at night and go to bed, does it hurt the battery to be plugged in for a few hours after the charge is complete? 

 

Thanks to you and everyone who posts they've all been informative. 



#5 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 07:41 AM

Its harder to move the car in colder weather.  For me in the summer time I might see mid 30's for a full charge.  In the winter it can drop by 10 miles.  On the coldest of days I can only go 21-22  miles on a full charge.   The air is thicker, the transmission is not as free with the oil in there more like gel.  That makes a difference you even notice the car doesn't coast as well.

 

Ideally you want to spend less time at full charge if possible.  A few hours don't make a huge deal, but if you do it every day then you're raising the average charge level of the battery over time and the higher the average charge level, the less the battery lasts over time.  Lower is better.  We're not talking alot of difference here, but peanuts add up over time.

 

So what you can do to minimize this is setup a value charge window, I have done this on mine.  Mine starts at 4am to noon.  So if I want to plug the car in before I go to bed, it will automatically start charging at 4am not midnight say and the car will be ready by 10am at the latest which for me is good I don't plan to go out before then.  You can use the window timing to cut the time the car sits at 100% charge level.  Plug it in before you go to bed, but it will start later at night to recharge.

 

Hope that helps, any other questions please let me know.

 

-=>Raja.



#6 OFFLINE   Allornothing

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 12:29 PM

Raja,

 

Does your charge show 10 miles less in the cold weather to start?  I'm not only getting less, but my gauge show 15 instead of the previous 23. 

 

I tried doing the myford mobile previously and had difficulty, plus my radio kept quitting, Ford replaced radio and knock on wood it's worked perfectly since. 



#7 OFFLINE   Billyk24

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 03:08 PM

The oil (Mobil 1 0w20) isn't going to be gel like at 37F which is what you are experiencing in the Pittsburgh region.  It is where I am at in Butler County. 



#8 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:41 PM

These days the charge level is close to 30 still with me.  It depends on how you use the battery.  What keeps my numbers up is that I start the engine to climb hills and use the battery for the flats and downhills if I know I'm using both propulsion systems.  If I'm 100% battery then I use it for hills also.

 

Right now the car is charging so it comes off the bottom (1% charge) before I go to bed.  Its showing 4 miles in MFM now at 12% charge and 35 miles range when its full.  I know it won't go 35 miles in pure electric mode in this cold weather (in summer yes), but if I use the engine for hills then sure the battery will last as much as the 35 miles indicated -- that's an estimate.

 

Edit:  Unplugging it and going to bed now, its at 17%.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 30 October 2018 - 10:58 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   Allornothing

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 09:48 AM

Mine has never shown above 23 miles on full charge, and like I've said now it's only showing 15 miles on full charge.  It has me wondering if having it plugged in for overnight and say it hit's full charge at 3am and I leave it plugged in until 6am when I get up is damaging the battery somehow.

 

Billy, I'm in Ross township just below you, what kind of mileage does yours say on full charge?

 

I love the car just trying to figure out how to maximize battery and mileage, currently I"m averaging 59.7 MPG on the 4500 plus miles I've driven it. 



#10 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 09:54 AM

Are you using heat at any time during the day or in the morning? Seeing it 'instantly' drop from 23 miles to 15 sounds like the estimate it'd give for using heat which will be normal. It's simply giving you a better estimate as to the range you'll get with the energy used by the heating system.



#11 OFFLINE   Allornothing

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 12:31 PM

Are you using heat at any time during the day or in the morning? Seeing it 'instantly' drop from 23 miles to 15 sounds like the estimate it'd give for using heat which will be normal. It's simply giving you a better estimate as to the range you'll get with the energy used by the heating system.

I'll turn off all heat and other draws on battery and see if it changes.  I would think the heater draws the same or less than the air conditioner which I leave on the auto position the same as I do currently.   I'll let you know. 

 

Thanks



#12 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 04:34 AM

I'll turn off all heat and other draws on battery and see if it changes.  I would think the heater draws the same or less than the air conditioner which I leave on the auto position the same as I do currently.   I'll let you know. 

 

Thanks

 

The heater is generally WAY more than AC.  I mean if it's 55F out and you ask for it to be 65F then the hit might not be hugely more than AC, but if it's anywhere near freezing, the electric heater will draw LOTS more power.  More yet if you ask for defrost at all.  And if temps get down to around teens, figure on about half the range.  And don't forget everything else that sucks up your power this time of year like lights, wipers, cold temps on tires, any precipitation on the roads that take more energy to drive through,etc...


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#13 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 05:10 AM

Mine has never shown above 23 miles on full charge, and like I've said now it's only showing 15 miles on full charge.  It has me wondering if having it plugged in for overnight and say it hit's full charge at 3am and I leave it plugged in until 6am when I get up is damaging the battery somehow.

 

Billy, I'm in Ross township just below you, what kind of mileage does yours say on full charge?

 

I love the car just trying to figure out how to maximize battery and mileage, currently I"m averaging 59.7 MPG on the 4500 plus miles I've driven it. 

 

Leaving the car plugged in after the charge cycle has completed is not a problem and does not damage the HVB. I leave the car plugged in all the time without any issue. 

 

As for your milage estimates, it is just an estimate based on previous driving. The more careful you are speeding up and braking and switching to EV later when appropriate higher the estimate will be. Jackrabbit starts and hard braking along with driving on hilly roads or using EV at highway speeds will all reduce estimated range displayed.

 

I no longer try to squeeze every EV mile out of the car but rather try to use EV for low speed driving and EV later on the highways. This results in efficient HVB battery usage and easy enjoyment of the car. This is still a great car after 5 years of ownership.

 

Tom


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#14 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 08:51 AM

Allornothing:

 

There are several factors that damage the lithium batteries and make the capacity drop.  Its not just one factor, but several and they all add up individually.  While heat is the worst, charge level is still another factor and so is deep discharge.

 

Temperature       40% charge              100% charge

 

0°C                     98% (after 1 year)     94% (after 1 year)

25°C                   96% (after 1 year)     80% (after 1 year)

40°C                   85% (after 1 year)     65% (after 1 year)

60°C                   75% (after 1 year)     60% (after 3 months)

 

 

Here is a table I cut and paste from the battery university page.  As you can see here a battery with a lower SOC lasts longer than one with a higher soc.  Their text says:

 

"Table 3: Estimated recoverable capacity when storing Li-ion for one year at various temperatures. Elevated temperature hastens permanent capacity loss. Not all Li-ion systems behave the same."

 

So therefore there is no reason to plug in the car all the time if you are not going to be using it right away.  Of course if you need it tomorrow then charge it up, but if you don't need it don't plug it in on Friday evening and let it sit 100% until Sunday for example when you go out.  Think average charge level over the years needs to be as low as possible, not as high as possible.  If you plug it in all the time then its as high as possible, and that's one X bad mark for your battery.

 

2nd X bad mark is for it to get hot or overheated.  This could happen with it parked in the hot sun God forbid fully charged or from you driving it in the summer and constantly recharging the battery for more because you don't want to burn a drop of fuel that day.  That's the worst X bad mark for the battery.

 

Third, over time cells do wear out and some a little faster than others.  Those cells will drop quicker in voltage and they will get heated more and puff if you deep discharge the battery.  That's because while other cells are holding the voltage OK, one or some are lower and they will drift less voltage and go below minimul levels which will damage the cells further.  Once you have damaged cells in the pack, its going to be as good as the worst cells because they are all in series together.  So to prevent some of this I recommend that you do NOT use the battery completely, a 20% SOC should be the limit meaning you should leave about 1 to 2% in the HVB battery on the MFM screen display and switch into EV later before you go into hybrid mode automatically.  They will prevent the real deep discharge levels that could bring the cells down to 15% SOC.  I noticed the cells will start to sway away from each other once you drop below 20% SOC.  (balance wise).  The newer your battery the less this is, the older the worse it will be.

 

And finally, you should recharge the battery if its drained down to the hybrid portion or close to it, say 20% SOC, back up to at least 8% charge level on the MFM screen before letting it sit immediately when you stop driving as when the battery is hot the voltage will be higher and when it cools its going to drop.  You don't want it to drop to dangerous levels (below 15% SOC).  Conditions change depending on how hot the battery is as to how much it can drop when resting.  Last night for example my battery was 75F when I got home and at 19.5% SOC (I went into EV later at 1% but it still uses some battery below the set point).  I charged it back up to 28.2% SOC which was 9% charge level and this morning its at 6% charge level on MFM.  I just looked at the battery temp is now 64F and its at 25.6% SOC.  It dropped about 3% SOC which isn't that bad but it can be worse.  One time I had it drop when I parked to eat without immediately charging after the hybrid battery was in use (somewhere around 18% SOC I think) and when I came back to the car the SOC was 9.5%, the engine started immediately when I powered up the car!!! BIG MISTAKE on my part, damn, I learned something from that day.

 

Also when you do charge it use the 120v slower charger instead of 240v.  It takes longer, puts less current into the battery which does not elevate the temp as much.  In fact the HVB cooling fan runs and the temp will drop while you're charging faster.  Last night it dropped from 75F to 71F while I charged it on 120v for 43 minutes.  If you use 240v to do this, you would only charge it for 15 minutes to get the same charge amount and the cooling fan for the HVB would not run as much (doesn't run while not plugged in and doesn't run while not actively charging meaning plugged in and waiting to charge) so 120v is much better to be able to run the cooling fan longer and drop the battery temp as again, a lower temp is better than as higher temp and you want to get there quicker to the lower temps.

 

What I do is peanuts here and there, but they all add up.  You can just be a person without care and plug it in all the time so its always full and always ready to go, but I guarantee that you will be noticing capacity loss quicker over the years.  We all are going to lose capacity, time and recharge cycles also lower capacity, but why add more loss due to heat, SOC, and depth of discharge if you don't have to?  There are things you CAN do to minimize it, I do those things because I love this car and want to keep it forever if I could.

 

I try to make very meaningful posts, please read this, and read it once again any questions let me know.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 01 November 2018 - 09:04 AM.

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#15 OFFLINE   Billyk24

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 05:31 PM

25C is 77F and 40C is 104F.   We understand your point.  However, none of us store our battery without using it for one year at any temperature.  Thus, the nutpickers will say the table aren't totally accurate/valid as they do not represent the real world.



#16 OFFLINE   Billyk24

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 05:39 PM

Billy, I'm in Ross township just below you, what kind of mileage does yours say on full charge?

 

Once at 35miles, four to five times 30-31 miles, multiple times 26-28 miles.   I use EV later once speed approaches and exceeds 40+ mph, going up steep hills.   On a trip to and from outside Richmond Va last month, I got just over 47 mpg in more highway than two lane driving.   I try not to get too worked up about posting or obtaining "high"  mpg figures but certainly use tricks/tips/techniques within reason to better my mileage.    



#17 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 05:41 PM

Also an additional nitpick I have is the leaving it discharged concern. Considering how many have picked up Energi's off lease that were never charged beyond the hybrid portion of the battery and found little to no degradation.



#18 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 07:21 AM

Leaving it discharged is better than leaving it charged to 100% all the time guys.  When someone bought a used Cmax that was not charged much, the HVB was almost like new.  What I'm trying to tell you is that all the little things you do are additive to the amount of degradation that happens on the battery.  I didn't say you're going to charge it to 100% and let it sit for a year, but think of two scenarios:

 

a) you charge it all the time back to 100% as soon as you get home, and

b) you charge it just before you intend to use it and not charge it if you skip a day or two of not using it or go on vacation.

 

The average charge level over time is going to be higher with a) than with b), and depending on the average temperature of the pack over time the battery will degrade a few percent more with a) than with b) over the long haul.

 

At the end of the day its your battery and you should use it as you wish.   I'm only trying to help you get the most life out of it.   Some people don't care, the car is a lease, they are going to get rid of it in a short time so sure charge it all the time and use as much battery as you can.   In this case its not your car its a rental.

 

Below is a picture of mine yesterday morning full charged after I burned 1.65 gallons out of the tank on Halloween night.  ICE range is based on netting 51.3 mpg city driving with it for hills and speeds of less than 60mph in general.

 

-=>Raja.

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Edited by rbort, 03 November 2018 - 07:26 AM.









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