Electric Auto Association
East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter

Batteries - How to Keep Them Alive

Saturday, Sept 26, 2009

Location: Alameda

Attendance: 22

What a delightful meeting and great weather to meet outdoors! Due to an availability conflict, we met at the local park, up on the berm, with a great view down at a line of EVs park along Buena Vista Ave in Alameda! (Full count was 6 EVs and 2 hybrids.)

We met on folding chairs and reviewed the recent EV rallies - our annual Fall Rally @ Chabot College and EAASV's Palo Alto Rally. Each had a good mix of EVs on display and some rides, especially in Teslas, but the general public attendence was low, probably due to the economy.

Our main topic of Keeping Lead Acid Batteries Alive was covered from several angles. Scott, our long-time leader/member with years of practical and technical know-how provided a summary of suggestions. Don Gillis of the SJEAA shared from his experience of being involved with battery recycling. He has found some additives work for desolfating flooded batteries, recently tested with local electric golf carts in the San Jose area.

And Chris Christian shared his current project for extending the batteries on his ZENN. He's been monitoring the voltages over time using a multimeter and confirmed that the SOC (state of charge) is linear. He has monitored his charger to understand the charging phases. Next he is going to install a Paktrakr monitoring system and record driving performance data. The last stage will be install Powercheks to provide some active balancing of the pack. Together he hopes to extend the life of his batteries, which seem to die early on NEVs. He plans to report back to the group at various stages.

We had some discussion at the end about plug-in hybrids and the nitch they play in the EV scene. In some practical ways, this type of an upgrade allows owners of hybrids like the Prius to experience 10-20 mile all-electric driving while still having the benifits of the standard gas-performance driving, in a standard production vehicle.

Thanks everyone for attending and being flexible.


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