Sunday, November 15, 2009

Battery failure ==> new pack

This summer my wife drove to work and back and then drove back to near work again to meet me at a store. Unfortunately there was no charging done in between trips. Normally this double trip would not have been a problem. I've gone 20 miles on a charge in the summer before with no problem. Apparently my range has decreased significantly. On my way home my PakTrakr gave me a message that battery #2 needed to be charged. I should have turned around and gone back to the Cowlitz PUD building where there are some EV charge plugs and plugged in for a while. Instead I tried to nurse the Gizmo home but I had one bridge to climb up and over and then 450 feet of elevation to gain on top of that. Well, one cell in battery #2 doesn't bubble on equalize anymore. I think I reversed the cell climbing the hill. Fortunately, my son and I picked up Gizmo #26 in Minneapolis, MN this summer. It had an aging pack of 6V flooded batteries which I've installed for now. I have a pack of TS-LFP100AHA on order from They are supposed to arrive the end of November 2009. I hope to have them installed durning my Christmas break.

While I had the batteries out I discovered a couple of things. First, the bottom of the aluminum battery boxes were badly etched from battery acid. I recommend that if you have metal battery boxes that you check them regularly for potential structural problems. Also, the battery box from the Gizmo I picked up in MN had cracked welds on all four corners. The Gizmo had been used as a pizza delivery vehicle so it has significantly more miles than Gizmo #31 does but it is another structural item to check.