Saturday, January 30, 2016

ZB206+ Battery Tester

I bought this unit from eBay as a DC 5V USB Battery Capacity Tester / Battery Life / Internal Resistance Analyzer.  It's a ZH-YU ZB106+ v1.3, and it's still available from a variety of sources.

Mine is 5v USB powered, though a version exists that runs on straight 12v.  The USB version has a 5v to 12v boost converter for power (the small square labeled "5V--12V").

It's an excellent unit, and I'm quite happy with it!  This is my "go-to" unit for battery measurements now.  A major part of this is because it supports four wire measurement and measures watt-hours in addition to amp-hours, and supports from 0.1A to 2.6A in 0.1A increments.  It's much more configurable than my other units.

As always, if you're interested in such things, read on.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Trek Valencia Ride+ BionX Battery Pack Rebuild

It's near the end of January.  Oil is back over $30, Bitcoin is (yet again) doomed, and I've just spent the last two posts detailing a teardown of a Trek Ride+ Valencia battery pack.

If you haven't read them, you really read both to understand where this post is coming from.  It's hard to appreciate the rebuild without understanding the horrors of the teardown.

Trek Valencia Ride+ BionX Battery Pack Teardown: Part 1
Trek Valencia Ride+ BionX Battery Pack Teardown: Part 2

And now, I'm going to rebuild it.  Read on, because you know you want to see what happens!

If you're here because you have a Trek Valencia Ride+ battery pack you want rebuilt, please go here for information on my pack rebuilds.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Trek Valencia Ride+ BionX Battery Pack Teardown: Part 2

If you missed part 1 of the Trek Valencia Ride+ battery pack teardown, you should go read that first.

To recap: A battery pack, bound together by a lot of adhesive, difficult to get apart, and I didn't feel like pulling the actual battery pack apart after I got it out and discovered it was a corroded mess.

Now I'm going to dive into the corroded mess and see if I can figure out what's going on.

Read on to join me for a lot of battery pack photos!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Trek Valencia Ride+ BionX Battery Pack Teardown: Part 1

It's been a while since I've torn down a battery pack!  The last one I tore down was a BionX 9.6AH 36v pack, back in June.  I've been busy since then, and have rebuilt a few packs, but I haven't played with anything new.

Until now!

I've got a Trek Valencia Ride+ (powered by BionX) battery pack to rebuild if possible.  The first part in rebuilding a battery pack is, of course, to tear it down and figure out what I'm dealing with.

The Trek Valencia+ (or Trek Valencia Ride+) is a Trek bike with a factory installed BionX kit.  The battery is a 6.4Ah 40v battery (which is a bit unusual as far as voltage goes), for a total nominal capacity of 260Wh.  It's a fairly small battery by ebike standards, but it's also fairly light, and the BionX kits are quite efficient (being pedal assist and having regen).  This bike was mostly notable for the rear spokes being utterly incapable of handling the weight and furious power of the BionX motor, and spending more time in the shop having spokes replaced than actually being on the road.

Previous research indicates that it's a 11S4P cell arrangement of some form, and that it's a bit tricky to get apart.

The pack looks like this:

If you're interested in a bunch of teardown photos and some analysis (of course you are), read on!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Electric Car Battery Packs and Longevity

It's 2016.  We've all messed around with lithium battery powered devices.  Cell phones, laptops, tablets, GPS units, smart watches, hoverboards... whatever.  After a few years worth of use, they all have absolutely terrible battery life, and you need to either replace the battery (if that's even possible) or buy a new one (with the manufacturers, obviously, preferring you to buy a new one).

Why should electric cars be any different?  Won't they just need their battery replaced in a few years, for some absurdly large sum of money?

Probably not - at least if the auto maker is doing things properly.  There's quite a few reasons involved, and I'm about to dive into most of them.

The biggest factors in determining battery longevity are battery chemistry and additives, temperature of the cells when charging and discharging, state of charge when stored, cycle life, and pack capacity.

Keep reading for a dive into all of these!