Age Determines Performance for Lead-Acid Batteries in VS .NET

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Age Determines Performance for Lead-Acid Batteries
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Battery capacity is also highly dependent on age The middle right diagram in Figure 8-2 shows that the battery s capacity starts at about 95 percent when brand-new, rises to about 105 percent after it has been used for about 20 percent of its lifetime, stays fairly level, then drops off rapidly after 90 percent of its lifetime One observation is that a brand new EV battery pack will not give you as good a result as one that s been used awhile Another observation is that once you begin to see battery performance go down significantly, it s time to think about buying another set
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Battery Charge Use It or Lose It
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Because every battery has an internal resistance, it will discharge by itself if it sits around doing nothing Temperature and battery age are the two main determinants of how rapidly this takes place increasing temperature and age hasten the process A 5 percent capacity loss per week is the average for lead-acid batteries (or 50 percent in 10 weeks) whether you use them or not, so periodically recharge the batteries in your stored EV This is also the reason why buying the batteries is the last step in your EV conversion process An examination of Figure 8-2 s temperature curve suggests its corollary that batteries kept at cold temperatures don t discharge themselves at all True, but you also can t get the energy out of the battery for your own use at cold temperatures! If you are planning to store your batteries for a few months, 40 degrees F is the best temperature Fully charge your batteries before storage and warm them up before using them
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State-of-Charge Measurement Volts or Specific Gravity
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The lower left graph of Figure 8-2 shows why specific gravity has been used as a battery state-of-charge indicator for so long: it s an easy-to-use-and-understand straight line Unfortunately, it doesn t show you that temperature directly affects specific gravity (specific gravity measures higher at lower temperatures) In addition, the device used to measure it, the bulb hydrometer, is prone to calibration, compensation, and readout errors because you re typically measuring in the range from 1100 to 1300 to three decimal places And if you use a hydrometer on a regular basis, it s virtually guaranteed that you ll contaminate one or more battery cells A digital voltmeter readout accurate to 3F digits (at least to 01 volt) is today s preferred method for measuring state-of-charge Thanks to modern electronics, you can observe voltage levels, current levels, and/or have the voltmeter readout drive the battery charger electronics directly You can even monitor single-cell voltages if your
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battery type has external cell straps, all without the trouble of opening your batteries, dealing with sulfuric acid and hydrometers, etc Since voltage also varies with temperature (lower temperatures produce lower voltages), you can either make a little chart to help you with your individual readings or rig a circuit to do it for you or your charger automatically Whether you use specific gravity or the voltage method, to get the most accurate state-of-charge reading, let the batteries rest for several hours (2 hours minimum, 6 hours is better, 24 hours is probably optimum, if you can afford it) before taking measurements Monitor one or a few batteries rather than the whole pack; check ambient temperature and odometer reading at the same time; and keep a logbook Do it at a convenient time, do it consistently, and make a simple graph Your diligence will reward you with a beautiful record of your EV s battery health
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Discharge Not in Haste
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The maxim haste makes waste is absolutely true when discharging batteries The lower-right graph of Figure 8-2 shows that the faster you discharge your batteries, the lower the voltage (the less capacity) you have If you take more and more from less and less, eventually you wind up with nothing at all a polite way of saying over-discharging kills battery life A corollary of this action (depth-of-discharge) affects the number of charge/ discharge cycles your batteries can deliver The number of cycles you can expect from your batteries is approximately given by the equation: Battery Life Cycles 5 Kd/Depth-of-Discharge In This equation says that the number of battery life cycles is inversely proportional to the depth-of-discharge ratio If you consistently discharge your batteries to 90 percent, you re going to get less cycles out of them than running them down to the 50 percent depth-of-discharge area In numbers, Kd might be about 12,000 for starting batteries, 24,000 for deep-cycle batteries, and 30,000 or more for industrial batteries These values reflect the fact that heavier-duty batteries deliver more cycles or support heavier depthof-discharge rates better than starting batteries What this equation doesn t say is Kd will vary with each and every individual user, because every user s application is different If a manufacturer s literature mentions they obtained 750 cycles out of one of their batteries, it s no guarantee that you will On the other hand, you might even do better Because of gassing and loss of plate material as you go above the 90 percent charging point (10 percent depth-of-discharge), liability for battery damage as you go below the 20 percent charging point (80 percent depth-of-discharge), and the fact that every leadacid battery has a finite lifetime, the best operating guidance translates to operating your deep-cycle batteries at the middle of this range roughly the 40 to 60 percent depth-ofdischarge range for optimum balance between cycle-life, depth of discharge, and the actual physical (calendar) battery life Heavier-duty industrial batteries can target the 60 to 80 percent maximum depth-of-discharge range for most efficient operation
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