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 Post subject: Re: Cold charging
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:24 pm
Posts: 23
HI everyone, Luke from Michigan, EV expert, CODA owner. PM me if you want me website.

Two question to CODA owners.
When its below 40deg. F outside, when your coda gets plugged in:
1.) does the charge light come one for just a blink of a second and then go out?(watch dash while plugging in, have drivers door open)
2.) do you hear the water pump come on when you plug the car in within the first 30 seconds?

My coda is more of a restoration project, the gauge has like 350,000 miles on it and its beat up and wires are cut off going to no where but it works (drives) with out errors.

just the facts
My coda won't charge when parked outside unless the temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
it will if it is left in my heated garage at slightly lower outside temps like 28F.

Why this is and solutions:
lithium batteries having different chemistries, have differences of performances based on discharge capability in C ratings (how many times you can pull over there given amp hour rating) but more importantly there thermal performance.
here is the best to worst thermal performance for cold weather operating of lithium batteries.
1.lithium manganese (Xalt, Dow kokam)Best, what electric drag racers use
2. lithium nano phosphate (A123)very good, automotive grade (except for that bad batch of 20ah cells floating around)
3. lipo4 (CALB, thundersky, Realforce) good (only for exactly what their amp rated for an nothing more)
4. lithium iron (CODA battery of choice) good for consistent discharge, so there OK if you don't plan on accelerating hard.
5. GBS brand lithium cells (throws those away) not worth a cent

basically Coda put the cheapest type of lithium battery (one typically used for energy storage not automotive) into there car to get the range of the vehicle high with the vehicle price competitive.

I am planning to open up my pack and add insulation, and something similar to a heated electric blanket under the battery to warm it directly. This will also use some sort of thermal protection, temperature sensing, and a timer circuit. it will not impede or integrate with other systems on the car, except the A/C input j1772 port wires.

Trick you could do that I've done is to turn the car on, turn the heat on, turn fan on low. The heater element will heat the cab, but the battery heater will also come on and eventually heat the battery. After a while of heating I would turn the car off and plug it in, (or unplug wait a min and replug in) and this would work.


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 Post subject: Re: Cold charging
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:43 am
Posts: 16
I have yet to figure of the cold charging thing, but I certainly do understand the vehicle more after so much looking around...
New question though, I disconnected the high voltage battery to ensure it doesn't very discharged keeping the battery warm with the car off, today in our wonderful 5° weather, I went for a drive and power output was significantly cut, so does anyone else have a similar power output restriction in very cold climates?

Also, to Ecotronics, what's the coldest that you've been successful with leaving the car on?


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 Post subject: Re: Cold charging
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:24 pm
Posts: 23
it worked to turn the heat on form 23 deg F. after 20 min it would charge.

I haven't noticed reduced power output, but i have noticed regen braking doesn't work at all in the cold unless the battery warms up, then I get just a little regen. On a warm day i don't have to use the brakes it regens so much.

Hogwit; when you disconnect the HV do you do it from the back seat? or underneath the vehicle?


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 Post subject: Re: Cold charging
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:43 am
Posts: 16
So today it's 13°, I went out to the car, connected the battery, then drove at an unspecified speed of fast, after about 10-15 miles, I turned the car off then on and the lightning bolt was gone and full power was restored. Remember that LiFe cells have a fairly high resistance so they create a fair about of heat with a rapid discharge. I then plugged in and the charge icon illuminated so it should be charging away. If a short drive is all it takes, and I always do destination charging, I'll never have a problem.
I've disconnected the hv battery under the rear seat, I intend to add a switch inline with one of the interlock connections at the front of the car which will also disable the hv.


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