AuthorTopic: Batteries  (Read 161 times)

Guest

  • Guest
Batteries
« on: September 30, 2018, 12:30:46 PM »


youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of K-Dog



Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

Friend us on Facebook



Published on The Doomstead Diner on September 30, 2018



Image result for batteries



Discuss this article at the Science & Technology Table inside the Diner



A star if it is big enough, upon using up its hydrogen fuel will begin burning helium and other heavier elements to maintain nuclear reactions and keep from going dark. As we use up our fossil fuels we should be replacing them with alternatives. Alternatives which like the heavier elements in a star won't yield as much energy as the hydrogen in a star did or as fossil fuels on earth did, but that's better than dead. There will be less energy and civilization must make drastic changes but survival could be possible. Civilization does not have to go dark.



Most likely however we will go dark and die. This will be like a star burning up all its hydrogen fuel and then going supernova without burning heavier elements between hydrogen and iron first. Iron takes more energy to fuse than it yields and when the core of a star becomes all iron the star goes supernova as it collapses onto itself. Mankind will go straight to supernova. We are not as smart as stars and a permanent dark age looms. Collapse will happen by a failure to transition to alternative energy sources and by not dedicating ourselves to not using any more energy than we actually need.



To be as smart as a star, civilization would be transitioning to alternative energies as quickly as it can, right now without delay. That is not happening.



Batteries should be part of the transition because they store energy. They can't generate energy. Energy to charge them must come form other sources but batteries are a big part of the solution. To that end I introduce you to John Goodenough.






Thanks to John I'm building a battery pack for this electric bicycle right now. All the batteries use the cathode originally developed in John's lab.






I'm using recycled laptop batteries that I get at a computer recycling center. Here is a laptop pack I just opened. I get the packs at a buck each. When finished I may spend $100 getting enough batteries. I want about 1000 watt-hours of capacity. This pack has nine batteries, most have six. If they are good it is a great deal. If they all test bad that's not good!






These batteries are Japanese batteries made in Fukushima before the tsunami. I knew that from the color right away and Fukushima is printed on them. They are connected to a small circuit board that will be removed and thrown away. The board is a charge management controller and I will replace that functionality later but for now I separate the batteries and test them. I keep only those that are worthy. My batteries will mount on the sides of the bike rack shown in the photo over the front wheel. Both sides of the rack will hold a pack and there is another rack over the back wheel which will hold two more packs. I may have as many a 224 batteries spread over four packs, or only 168. I am not sure yet. The battery cell size is called 18650. Eighteen millimeters wide by about 65 millimeters long.



Here is a picture of my battery tester and a wheel I can test motors on in the background. I'm actually more interested in testing motor control circuits with it.






I built up the bike myself and it was working using three lead acid batteries of seven amp-hours each on the back rack until they gave out. That was a few years ago and I could go about five miles using those batteries. Lithium batteries are expensive so the bike has been hanging unused in the garage but now reclaimed laptop batteries make a lithium battery project affordable. It turns out using laptop batteries for E-bikes is a kind of 'thing' and there are many You Tube videos about doing this. You can figure out what to Google if you are interested. I was not the first to think of using reclaimed laptop batteries, though I did think of it on my own.



Electric vehicles will not replace the ease and convenience of fossil fuel powered vehicles. Making electric cars has been practical since the auto age began but electrics can't compete against fossil fuel economically. Electric cars have been impractical from economics but technically they have always been feasible. Even using older battery technology electrics have been good, but never 'good enough'.



Society will only tolerate a drop in replacement for fossil fuel cars and such inflexibility dooms us. Only by embracing alternatives now can we hope to survive even if they don't work quite as well as fossil fuels did. I realize the blasphemy of this statement but after the fracked oil is all fracked up it is also all fricking gone. If we have not prepared we will then go medieval. Waiting until then to prepare will be too late. The new medieval will be far more miserable than the first and it will also last forever. We need to make other arrangements even if new solutions can't work quite as well. Failure to do so will be fatal.






Here are a few batteries with good capacities which will be used on the bike.



 



 



 



 



Offline Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16292
    • View Profile
Re: Batteries
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 01:23:35 PM »
Do you have some kind of dedicated load tester you've built? Or is it storebought?

Or do you just check to see if they'll charge? What DO you test, exactly?

I have load tested lead-acid car and solar batteries, but nothing small. I ended up with a small load tester and a bigger one I got from "quality leader" Harbor Freight (#sarcasm....but I still end up spending money there) so I could test some solar cells I got that were beyond the capacity of the one made for car batteries.

How do you charge them before you test them?

I realize I'm asking things that are answered on utoob, but I'd like to hear your version, because I know you've though it through after already watching that stuff....or you never needed videos at all. I want the real skinny.

The IDEA of a battery bike is fascinating to me.....but it is something I just decided didn't work for me at all in BAU.

This town is a bike town, but there are (unfortunately) white ghost bikes on every street corner here, so many that they take them down, where people have been run over by cars.

And the distances mean it's too far for me to commute by bike, and difficult because my normal route is a "no bike" zone of toll road. Besides the car people texting.

What I should do is move closer to work, but that would mean all kinds of personal compromises, and I decided not to do it. I only have a few more years anyway.  At least I have the eV. We'll probably buy one more soon. I need to get the missus new wheels, and I'm very happy with the Volt, although I'm looking at the Bolt now. I'm just not a guy who would ever spend for a car what a Tesla costs. I'm glad people are salvaging the totaled ones. Too technically difficult for a project for me....but you could probably do it. :)

Your lady would no doubt object to a wrecked Tesla in your garage though....:) Mine would.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34745
    • View Profile
Re: Batteries
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 05:18:37 PM »
I moved this discussion to Science & Technology.  I also spruced up the blog article with a Diner formatted header and moved it into the Feature area of the blog.  All native Diner blogs get featured for at least a week.

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline K-Dog

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 2694
    • View Profile
    • K-Dog
Re: Batteries
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 12:51:09 AM »
Do you have some kind of dedicated load tester you've built? Or is it storebought?

I am going to build my own charger/tester but once I had the idea I googled and found the You Tubes right away.  Those turned me on to the commercial choices.  A popular device is the BT-C3100.  I was able to get the improved BT-C3400 at the same price.  I have a couple of meters on order from China.  A 4 digit voltmeter and 4 digit ammeter I'll incorporate into my own device.  I really could just use the commercial one but this is something I want to  do because I want something that will charge faster than the commercial software algorithm allows.  That's worth an article by itself.

The batteries are removed and fully charged.  Some if they are dead enough I 'jumpstart' by charging from another battery in parallel because the charger does not charge at full rate on an absolutely dead battery.  Once the batteries are fully charged they are fully discharged and the milliamp-hours are measured.  Then the batteries are full charged.  The BT C400 does this automatically but it takes a long time.  I put a strip of masking tape with the milliamp-hours written down on the side of the fully charged battery and sort it into the correct box.

This is somewhat subjective and somewhat related to how the batteries actually spread out but: 1000 mAh or less get tossed.  1000 to 1500 mAh are dead batteries walking, I'll explain.  1500mAh to 1900mAh are set aside for stationary storage.  1900mAh and up are E-bike worthy.  It turns out nerds on the net have all the spec sheets for all the batteries in the packs so a person can easily find how healthy a battery is compared to a new battery.  I do have batteries which have capacities which are better than their original specs.  Not many of course.  Some batteries have blistered plastic heat shrink.  They have been hot and I toss them.  I also toss any battery that gets too hot in the charge discharge cycle.  Some heat has to be tolerated because the chemical reactions are exothermic but not much.  How much to tolerate you have to totally learn by experience after learning what normal is.  Some batteries are open circuit because internal pressure caused the Current Interrupt Device CID (a 1 way safety switch) to open.  As I am still getting enough batteries for a pack sorting by amp hour capacity is all I do now.  I will be looking at self discharge voltage and internal resistance later.

Eventually all batteries will be entered into a computer program that will arrange them in an optimum configuration so the series cell arrangement with the least capacity is made as close to the average of the capacity of the batteries actually used as possible.  The idea will be to make the weakest link as strong as possible to get as much useful capacity as possible.

Stationary storage battery bricks can light up camp lighting or a big enough pack could fry a steak through an inverter on an electric grill.  George Forman in the boonies!  RE will be excited.

Dead men walking batteries are batteries to be used up and thrown away.  They are low capacity batteries but have a useful charge on them.  I'll use them as jumpstart batteries to get batteries fresh from a laptop pack initially charged.  I put them in flashlights.  I've ordered battery holders four positions wide and will short the positions together to make a parallel configuration on a couple.  Three uncharged batteries and a dead man walking batt can precharge the new batteries for the charge - discharge/measure - charge cycle.
 

Or do you just check to see if they'll charge? What DO you test, exactly?

I have load tested lead-acid car and solar batteries, but nothing small. I ended up with a small load tester and a bigger one I got from "quality leader" Harbor Freight (#sarcasm....but I still end up spending money there) so I could test some solar cells I got that were beyond the capacity of the one made for car batteries.

If my batteries charge and discharge normally I should be fine.  The controller that runs the motor switches current through MOSFET transistors and they have the property of current limiting at their max rating.  I just got a more beefy controller than I've been using so far.  It is a 40 Amp controller good for sixty volts.  12 or 16 laptop batteries in parallel are a good match to that controller I figure.  Max of what the controller can take and what the pack will be able to put out are in the same ball park.  The numbers tell me to go with 16 batts wide but that will be a bigger pack than any other pack I've seen anyone use.  With all the weight on the wheels at a lower than normal center of gravity and with the pack split up into four sub-packs I should be able to do it easily.

How do you charge them before you test them?

I realize I'm asking things that are answered on utoob, but I'd like to hear your version, because I know you've though it through after already watching that stuff....or you never needed videos at all. I want the real skinny.

The IDEA of a battery bike is fascinating to me.....but it is something I just decided didn't work for me at all in BAU.

This town is a bike town, but there are (unfortunately) white ghost bikes on every street corner here, so many that they take them down, where people have been run over by cars.

And the distances mean it's too far for me to commute by bike, and difficult because my normal route is a "no bike" zone of toll road. Besides the car people texting.

What I should do is move closer to work, but that would mean all kinds of personal compromises, and I decided not to do it. I only have a few more years anyway.  At least I have the eV. We'll probably buy one more soon. I need to get the missus new wheels, and I'm very happy with the Volt, although I'm looking at the Bolt now. I'm just not a guy who would ever spend for a car what a Tesla costs. I'm glad people are salvaging the totaled ones. Too technically difficult for a project for me....but you could probably do it. :)

Your lady would no doubt object to a wrecked Tesla in your garage though....:) Mine would.

Mrs. Dog would blow her CID if I got a wrecked Tesla in the garage.  It would be my new bedroom.  My garage is a mess as RE will attest.  The good news is I'm finally doing something about that.  I have already started.  I took the picture of the front wheel strategically to hide the mess.

I'm doing this for fun and have no plans to use the bike for commuting.  I just want to get it working and tinker with the electronics.  I have a nice (normal) bike I'd love to have the time to use now.  Very nice.  I built it from high end components that I collected from all over the world.  Literally, the chrome fenders come from France.

This E-bike will be a mean machine probably unsafe for commuting.  I already have gearing on it that allows for a pretty good cruising speed and I'll add wrap around handle bars this time around to streamline the rider.  It has been an upright bike so far.  I expect this thing will cruise at 25 mph no problem so deciding where to safely ride it will be a smart thing to do.  I'm upping the voltage.  At 36 volts I was cruising on the lead acid batteries at 17 mph with comfortable assist.  The new pack will be 52 volts fully charged and it will drop to 42 volts at end of charge.  Point being is that this thing will be going as fast as a rider on the Tour De France goes and that is a bit fast for city bike paths and a bit slow for the open road and Washington State drivers to whom eyes on the road are not a top priority.  12 or 16 cells will be in each level of a 14 cell stack.  An abbreviation of that is 14S16P or 14S12P.  Both arrangements will keep the discharge rate of the cells within battery specs because I'll have so many cells in parallel.  I should have a range of thirty miles.

When it comes to designing the packs I'll do well to figure out how to make the cells modular so they can be replaced.  Eventually all laptops will be thin and won't use any cylindrical batteries but making the bike so I can replace batteries makes it a doomstead machine!  Scavenging for batteries to keep vehicles running after collapse.  We could write stories! 

From a new collapse novel - A scavenger comes across a new in box Dell laptop in the mess of an abandoned warehouse.  Madly he rips the box open and tears the battery pack from the laptop case throwing the never used computer aside.  Inside the pack six 18650 cells will buy bullets in Karptown, that crazy place where after collapse everything is traded and everything has a price.

It turns out some of the batteries, a small number, could be useful for a very long time.  Internally the chemistries vary and internal additives inside the battery can extend life by as much as thirty to one relative to other batteries.  There is a lot of variability and it is not all fully understood.   At least this is what one source claims.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 12:58:40 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline K-Dog

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 2694
    • View Profile
    • K-Dog
Re: Batteries
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 12:58:58 AM »
I moved this discussion to Science & Technology.  I also spruced up the blog article with a Diner formatted header and moved it into the Feature area of the blog.  All native Diner blogs get featured for at least a week.

RE
Thanks
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline K-Dog

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 2694
    • View Profile
    • K-Dog
Re: Batteries and regarding what Eddie wants to know.
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 01:27:07 AM »
I learned an incredible amount from the You Tubes very quickly.  My background makes me soak it in as fast as it comes and I had not know much about lithium cells before this so initially there is a lot to soak up.  My background also makes me roll my eyes at what some of the You Tube 'experts' do and say.  So much that it has all given me quite a chuckle.  You Tube is a fascinating phenomena.  The only place where ignorance is delightful because people are trying so hard not to be ignorant!

One tuber was explaining that the red batteries are not as good as the others.  No doubt that has been his experience, it has not been mine and the specs are available.  If we had been in the same room I'd have disputed his claim.  There is more than one kind of red battery.  Another tuber said throw away batteries with less than a volt of charge out of the pack.  More dumb advice.  You don't know anything about a packs history though I've become a forensic expert on them.  I can tell how they have been used.  Relevant here though is you don't know how long a pack was dead and if it hasn't been long your cathode is probably in good condition.  One of my best batteries was as dead as a door-nail when I first measured it.  You can't tell much until you test them.

The You-Tubes are great for me because I know so much that any misinformation I spot right away.  If I knew nothing about electronics or other kinds of batteries I'd not have had a base strong enough to keep the 'experts' from leading me astray.  Instead I find them lots of fun.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16292
    • View Profile
Re: Batteries
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 09:43:06 AM »
Thanks for explaining all that. I sorta get it.

This is for sale locally, and it reminds me a lot of those cargo bikes you see everywhere in Mexico. Not quite as industrial looking.

At $1800 used, it's a little steep, but I like it a lot.




https://austin.craigslist.org/bik/d/taga-20-electric-cargo-box/6708279456.html
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
839 Views
Last post October 17, 2012, 02:50:45 PM
by Petty Tyrant
0 Replies
489 Views
Last post August 21, 2014, 01:21:59 AM
by RE
1 Replies
1441 Views
Last post September 22, 2014, 05:58:40 AM
by RE