Conditioning a new battery

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
I know that Flecc recommends chemically conditioning a new lithium battery by giving it two full discharges and charges. Does the same apply to a NiMh battery?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
Yes Bob, but it can take three to four of these for the NiMh battery to reach initial full capacity.

Don't worry if it's not practical to do all of those immediately, since the process can be broken into parts after the first couple. NiMh batteries actually continue to very slightly increase capacity over roughly the first 100 charges before the reversal where a decline in capacity starts.
.
 
C

Cyclezee

Guest
My Agattu's battery was 60% charged when I collected the bike.
In hindsight, to get the best out of the battery, I should have run it flat first instead of fully charging it before using it as recommended in the owner manual. This needs to be clarified by the suppliers and stated in the owner manual:mad:

John
 

HarryB

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2007
1,317
3
London
clarification on Torq battery

And with the Torq li-ion do you mean completely flat until it cuts out and it keeps cutting it out or do you expect the lights to stay on red. This is proving difficult in practice and emotionally after spending months and months not letting the lights go yellow let alone red. Please assure me I am not going to damage it! And it will be raining all day...but I have done 25 miles so not that more to go surely.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
My Agattu's battery was 60% charged when I collected the bike.
In hindsight, to get the best out of the battery, I should have run it flat first instead of fully charging it before using it as recommended in the owner manual. This needs to be clarified by the suppliers and stated in the owner manual:mad:

John
Not really John, no harm was done by that one initial recharge. As with NiMh, the running down to empty is done in the early stages to condition the cell content in order to reach full capacity, and all you did was delay that process by the first charge. That discharge to empty also resets the calibration of the integral battery meter, and the readout you got from the ex manufacture charge would have been unreliable anyway. It may have been quite low in charge.

Well managed Li-ion batteries are very tolerant of use variations in fact, and that's one of their main attractions. With owners already confused on requirements, I don't think that user manual addition is necessary or desirable.

See also my review for more on this, which will be published following the A to B one.
.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
And with the Torq li-ion do you mean completely flat until it cuts out and it keeps cutting it out or do you expect the lights to stay on red.
Yes Hal, to cut out at end of charge is ideal, but not absolutely vital. Very low will do, and the process can be spread a little anyway, as it's just a cell conditioning to reach full capacity. You couldn't do it any harm by small variations, just slightly delay peak attainment.
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ITSPETEINIT

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 11, 2006
492
0
Mere, Wilts
First deep Discharges Li-ion

Yes Hal, to cut out at end of charge is ideal, but not absolutely vital. Very low will do, and the process can be spread a little anyway, as it's just a cell conditioning to reach full capacity. You couldn't do it any harm by small variations, just slightly delay peak attainment.
.
I ran my Torq for 30+ miles for the first deep (full) discharge. ALL the lights (Red, Yellow and Green) went out.
It has never accomplished such a high mileage on one charge since.
Now, after 16 months/700 miles I can get 'just about' 20 miles out of it on a Sprint. Funny thing! The other two batteries, 5 and 6 months respectively, each having run approximately 300 miles, will do about the same mileage on that same course. I run them until I get a red light near the top of the worst of the hills. They don't cut out on the Sprint but they ain't happy - after 15 miles they are pretty feeble on the least rise in the road gradient.
My Profile: 78 yo (no leg power), very unfit (unless chased by a rabid dog - wonderful stuff Adrenalin), weight 88 Kg. The typical course: 7 hills varying between 7% and 9% each about 0.5 km long. out and the reverse of that 7 back in 42 miles.
It takes 3 batteries on board (2 spare) to finish and by that time I am in "deep discharge".
Peter
 

Conal

Pedelecer
Sep 28, 2007
228
2
Ezee Forza battery use

Hi
I have had my Forza for a few weeks now and after two 60 mile successful journeys to work and back (30 miles and a recharge each way) I derestricted it. I was advised that the derestricted mode would give me assistance at a higher speed but less range. This is true. I can travel the whole 30 miles on one charge at a pedelec setting of 4; but I have to do a lot of the work. At 5 or 6 I use up the battery (red light then off) anywhere between 27 and 39 miles - makes for an interesting last few miles.
Because I swim locally every morning until 8:15am, and need to be in work in London by 10am, I decided to travel 11 miles by M11 and park just south of Harlow, cutting my distance to 19 miles each way. I now have the luxury of deciding if and when to use full assistance, and have been able to get work on amber in 50 minutes to one hour; not much longer that when I drove the 19 miles and parked 10 minutes from work!
I have "used up" about 20 (full or nearly full) charges so I assume from the earlier posts that I have about quite a way to go before I have to worry about my lithium battery starting on its downward slope. Can any one tell me if my extravagant use of the remaining power in the battery as travel the last two or three miles is ill advised? By conserving the battery would I extend its life?
Conal

PS the two hours plus exercise three days a week has helped me lose a stone in three weeks! Maybe I should tell Weightwatchers!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
Conservation will improve the life, lithium batteries generally responding best to gentle treatment, but it's clear that with your fitness level there shouldn't be too much of a problem. The riders who've suffered the most trouble with Li-ions on the Torq are generally those who cannot give full fitness assistance to it, mainly by reason of age or on occasion through medical conditions.

The fitter the rider, the younger they are, the lighter they are, and the more average the conditions, all these help to avoid any possible trouble.

Congratulations on your weight loss rate, quite an achievement!
.
 

HarryB

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2007
1,317
3
London
The riders who've suffered the most trouble with Li-ions on the Torq are generally those who cannot give full fitness assistance to it, mainly by reason of age or on occasion through medical conditions.

The fitter the rider, the younger they are, the lighter they are, and the more average the conditions, all these help to avoid any possible trouble.


.
I am 46, just over 70kg and 5'8 tall. I would consider myself fit to very fit and judging by how hot I get while cycling I would say I put a lot of effort in. I wouldn't consider my route very hilly - certainly I don't encounter a hill that the Torq would have any trouble with. But as one who has had terrible trouble with Li-ions I wouldn't say the problems can be confined to the unfit.

You might have more luck than me but I would say if you are riding 19 miles de-restricted before charging the battery it is going to take a hell of a beating. To give you a comparison I would always charge after 10 miles and for the vast majority of its life the bike would be left restricted. After 100 charge cycles the battery was showing serious signs of exhaustion and then was unusable after 130 charge cycles.

If you are serious about extending the battery life I would say that you should consider restricting your bike (boring I know) and keep the assistance down to the minimum - at least you have a dial to do this.

Keep us posted as we are interested in real life battery usage to build up a picture of how these batteries perform.
 

Conal

Pedelecer
Sep 28, 2007
228
2
restricted v derestricted for battery conservation

Thanks for the advice, please can you clear up one point? If I stayed under 15.5 mph, and gave the same assistance over the same journey in the same weather conditions, wouldn't the battery charge loss be identical on my bike in restricted mode as in derestricted mode?
Also, it seems that I should buy another battery and swop them 1/2 way, and then charge both to full battery strength. Is this the ideal way to extend the battery life?
Conal
 

ITSPETEINIT

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 11, 2006
492
0
Mere, Wilts
Battery Conservation

This may seem to have little bearing on the subject, to begin with, but bear with me, it's a truism.
You may recall the advice coming through the media about "What to eat", ""what not to eat": "What's good for you" (Benecol, Probiotic Yoghurts, Chocolate, Red Wine, etc. etc.). I was discussing diet with my Doctor one day when considering the detrimental effects of Cholesterol and I said "It seems to me that eating and drinking is bad for one". "That's absolutely right!" he said.
Peter
 

HarryB

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2007
1,317
3
London
Thanks for the advice, please can you clear up one point? If I stayed under 15.5 mph, and gave the same assistance over the same journey in the same weather conditions, wouldn't the battery charge loss be identical on my bike in restricted mode as in derestricted mode?
Also, it seems that I should buy another battery and swop them 1/2 way, and then charge both to full battery strength. Is this the ideal way to extend the battery life?
Conal
To your first question, yes I thought the same but on a Torq it never worked out and so I went back to riding it restricted. With your bike it is easier as you have the assistance factor knob thingy. The best way to extend range it to ride at a speed just above the bikes top speed, so 16-17mph if it is restricted. That way it is you making most of the contribution not the motor. This is difficult unrestriced (well I cannot manage to cruise at 25 mph!).

On your second point the answer would also be yes, but estimate how many charge cycles you are going to use in a year per battery. You would be tying up £500 in batteries(!) Also don't forget that Li-ions age even without use .

If you were getting 39 miles with a Li-ion then you could buy a NiMH battery and easily get 19 miles on a charge. So cheaper to run yours into the ground and go down the NiMH route (in my opinion).
 
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coops

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 18, 2007
1,225
1
Manchester U.K.
Conal said:
If I stayed under 15.5 mph, and gave the same assistance over the same journey in the same weather conditions, wouldn't the battery charge loss be identical on my bike in restricted mode as in derestricted mode?
I find with the derestricted Torq that with careful throttle use I can get quite close to restricted range when I ride 'as if' restricted i.e. limiting speed to ~15mph etc.

I've no experience with the EAF and I'm unsure how its use would affect range vs 'normal' throttle control, but if you set it so that the top speed is ~15mph (you may have to use a lower setting than usual when its derestricted) then you may get similar results - try it & see (maybe on a leisure ride though!) :).

The Forza has greater acceleration than a Torq though, I think, so you may find rather higher battery drain from starts and on gradients when delimited (though you could try to pedal assist and shift up through the gears more quickly to compensate), which could reduce your range unpredictably: the 12 mile variation in your range of 27-39 miles between EAF 5 & 6 may show the sensitivity of range to throttle setting and/or pedal assist level, either that or hills - but I assume that range variation is for the same route under similar conditions, Conal?

Other ways I try to maximise range are to mostly pedal only initially from starts, and reduce speed & throttle by a few mph (if I'm doing 15mph or more) on steeper slopes while pedaling harder. With an EAF these may be achieved a little differently than with a throttle - setting a lower top speed and simply pedalling harder on starts & slopes might achieve similar results: that, and the constant throttle position should help too :).

Stuart.
 
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Conal

Pedelecer
Sep 28, 2007
228
2
Forza battery range

Coops (and others who have advised me)

"the 12 mile variation in your range of 27-39 miles between EAF 5 & 6 may show the sensitivity of range to throttle setting and/or pedal assist level, either that or hills - but I assume that range variation is for the same route under similar conditions, Conal?"

My normal journey is 30 miles. I did the 39 when I reached work and travelled purposely on an additional flat route to see how far I could go (didn't want to run out at the bottom of a hill!). The extra nine miles took me from steady green through amber and red to no charge. I think I confused the issue with this, sorry.
I find that wet roads use more charge (greater resistance?) and I assume that wind makes a difference (the weather sort that is!) but have not measured this.
I am very interested to see the difference using low power to set off from lights etc... will make; and, by reducing the assist when going up hills (when I need it the most!), what my saving on power output is. I can also check the results of changes in the assist levels for the whole journey.
I will experiment in derestricted mode and then restrict the bike again to compare.
My only problem is how to measure the discharge. I have a very fancy meter; can any tell me how to measure the charge left at the end of each journey?
Once I can measure the charge I start and finish with I will take notes over the next few weeks and report back

Conal
 

JamesC

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 1, 2007
435
5
Peterborough, UK
Thanks for the advice, please can you clear up one point? If I stayed under 15.5 mph, and gave the same assistance over the same journey in the same weather conditions, wouldn't the battery charge loss be identical on my bike in restricted mode as in derestricted mode?
Also, it seems that I should buy another battery and swop them 1/2 way, and then charge both to full battery strength. Is this the ideal way to extend the battery life?
Conal
Conal, thank you for the report on the battery performance that you are getting on the Forza, which is fitted with the EAF facility. It is very useful to hear the relative distances at the different EAF settings, and it will be very interesting to learn to what extent the life of the Li-ion is extended by softening the all out performance demands of a derestricted bike.

Users of standard Torq's have struggled with the rapid deterioration of Li-ion batteries, particularly when the battery is asked to supply high current demands.

By the sound of it, the EAF is allowing much better control of the load placed on the battery.

On the Torq, a number of users have followed Flecc's lead in fitting lower gearing to allow the rider to get the bike moving before winding on the throttle, and to modify the throttle control to provide better matching of speed and throttle.

I am not sure how many Li-ion batteries have been given this improved "management" from new, but possibly not many.

The gearing has been attended to on the newer bikes, and EAF should reduce the sudden demands on the battery.

Coupled with your level of fitness, it will be very interesting to hear whether the Li-ion maintains performance.

Please keep the reports coming in.

James
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
I am 46, just over 70kg and 5'8 tall. I would consider myself fit to very fit and judging by how hot I get while cycling I would say I put a lot of effort in. I wouldn't consider my route very hilly - certainly I don't encounter a hill that the Torq would have any trouble with. But as one who has had terrible trouble with Li-ions I wouldn't say the problems can be confined to the unfit.
In my comments on those areas, I didn't say the problems were confined to the unfit, only that they suffered more, adding that those least affected generally have the least trouble.

In essence, the less the battery has to do, the least trouble it gives, and that's clearly affected by the rider's fitness.

By the same token, it's equally affected by the bike efficiency, also giving the battery more or less to do, and my more efficient bike has kept a li-ion going over 60% longer than the less efficient one on it's battery.
.
 

HarryB

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2007
1,317
3
London
My only problem is how to measure the discharge. I have a very fancy meter; can any tell me how to measure the charge left at the end of each journey?
Once I can measure the charge I start and finish with I will take notes over the next few weeks and report back

Conal
It is pretty difficult to make these measurements without a clever meter like the brain drain or cycle analyst http://www.ebikes.ca/drainbrain.shtml . It measures the amount of charge the motor uses and is hand made and thus expensive.
 

coops

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 18, 2007
1,225
1
Manchester U.K.
Conal said:
I find that wet roads use more charge (greater resistance?) and I assume that wind makes a difference (the weather sort that is!) but have not measured this.
Yes, I think adverse road conditions and winds will use more...

Conal said:
I am very interested to see the difference using low power to set off from lights etc... will make; and, by reducing the assist when going up hills (when I need it the most!), what my saving on power output is.
Sorry Conal, I expressed it wrong - I didn't mean to say reduce throttle/assist, and there's no need to do so, but rather resist any urge to increase throttle to maintain speed on a gradient, but instead keep throttle more or less the same i.e. let your speed drop a little & increase pedal input a little - which of course is easy with EAF - you don't need to do anything, just leave it as it is :). Hills and starts seem to be the two biggest drains on the battery other than outright speed & strong headwids, so any reduction of high drain in those areas should boost range noticeably, and that would seem to be a part of how the EAF achieves greater range: similar range can only be achieved with carefully economic throttle control on non-EAF bikes and both methods require greater rider input to achieve longer range, but the EAF seems very easy & useful since it requires no adjustment while riding :).

As James said, the Forza & new Torqs have lower gears useful for pedal input from starts & on steeper hills, and I think I've benefitted from lowering the gearing on my Torq in terms of pedal input from starts & on hills - though of course the motor gearing remains the same, as flecc has always emphasised when considering regearing a Torq, with peak torque (when delimited) at around 12mph.

Stuart.