Gaining extra range

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Gaining extra range

Post by iDaVID » Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 17:16

I don't know if anyone else has come across this yet, in respect to why a reduction in range may occur (other than it being colder due to winter), but I hadn't checked my "ancillary" battery (you know the old fashioned 12 volt one under the bonnet) since I had bought my Miev 13 months ago.

Sure enough it was on about a third of a charge.

So overnight the "ancillary" battery was attached to the old fashioned 12 volt battery charger. And guess what? For the first time ever I've hit three digits on the guess-o-meter. The best previously was always mid-90s but this morning it was at 102kms.

Now I don't know whether this is a one off, but it maybe worthwhile everyone checking your "ancillary" battery, charging it if need be, and see of you also gain somewhere around 10 kms extra range as I've done.     
Last edited by iDaVID on Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 06:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Johny » Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 19:37

Hi David.
How did you measure a "third" of the charge?
For instance, I hold my 12V system at 13.6 volts as it is almost never called upon to supply anything other than pull in four contactors for 100mS - so it is set to 12V "float" charging. So it probably looks like it's not fully charges to anyone just doing a voltage measurement.

I really can't see charging a 12V battery using enough energy to measure as a change in range. The weather is warming up - maybe that's it?

OR
Maybe your 12V DC-DC is faulty. The iMiev should keep it fully charged.
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Post by iDaVID » Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 20:04

Johny wrote: Hi David.
How did you measure a "third" of the charge?
For instance, I hold my 12V system at 13.6 volts as it is almost never called upon to supply anything other than pull in four contactors for 100mS - so it is set to 12V "float" charging. So it probably looks like it's not fully charges to anyone just doing a voltage measurement.

I really can't see charging a 12V battery using enough energy to measure as a change in range. The weather is warming up - maybe that's it?

OR
Maybe your 12V DC-DC is faulty. The iMiev should keep it fully charged.


My 12 volt charger has four leds which light up depending upon the charge. Only one was full whilst the second was partly alight. So I'm guessing it was about a third.

The car's battery pack meanwhile was full as I had charged it the day before. Yesterday it read 92kms. After the "ancillary" battery recharge it had jumped to 102kms.

I too cannot explain why the "ancillary" battery should make a difference, yet it seems to do so. Whether the "ancillary" battery is on the way out maybe an issue, as it is probably a 2010 battery, so there maybe power drain coming off the battery pack thus reducing the range.

I understand the weather routine, as I've been discussing this experience in another thread, yet currently the temp is no different to four weeks ago when the warm weather had stabilised here. Back in winter my range was hovering around 80kms but then went back to around 90kms. So today I think we can rule this out in this instance re the temp.

The only other variable of late has been tyre pressure. I discovered about 3 weeks ago that mine were at 19 psi. I pumped them back up to 38 psi and gained around 5kms range as a result which has been constant in the 3 weeks.

So the only reason I can see for the jump today was the charging of the "ancillary" battery as my driving style etc has remained constant.

I have, since posting my original comment, driven around for about 50 kms. I'm now charging the car to see if it was indeed a one off. I'll know in an hour or so I guess.

Nonetheless, ATM it appears just through some basic car maintenance, I've gained about 15 kms range.      
Last edited by iDaVID on Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 09:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Gaining extra range

Post by iDaVID » Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 21:16

OK, so the second recharge of the car's battery pack has seen me hit the century mark once again.

Please see attached photo.

I'm 2kms down on this morning, but that variation isn't unusual in my experience


Image
Last edited by iDaVID on Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 10:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by iDaVID » Sat, 07 Nov 2015, 15:09

There does seem to be consistency to my theory about ensuring that your ancillary battery charge is fully charged to ensure overall better range. Since I've done this I have hit triple figures every time.

This morning has been the best to date at 105 kms range (see attached photo).

I had never hit the century mark previously since I bought the car back in early October last year.

Image

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Post by zzcoopej » Sun, 08 Nov 2015, 01:41

Johny wrote:
Maybe your 12V DC-DC is faulty. The iMiev should keep it fully charged.
We get about 95-103 on our guess-o-meter. I don't know how the iMiEV schedules charging the aux (PHEV does it daily @2pm) but it shouldn't take much juice?

I'm thinking your aux batt might be RS? If it doesn't hold its charge maybe the iMiEV thinks it needs recharging constantly and that might drain the drive batt?
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Post by iDaVID » Sun, 08 Nov 2015, 11:17

zzcoopej wrote:
We get about 95-103 on our guess-o-meter. I don't know how the iMiEV schedules charging the aux (PHEV does it daily @2pm) but it shouldn't take much juice?

I'm thinking your aux batt might be RS? If it doesn't hold its charge maybe the iMiEV thinks it needs recharging constantly and that might drain the drive batt?



Well ever since I did the ancillary battery recharge my range has jumped 10 kms from previously. I never had triple figures before during the previous 13 months I've owned it. I've since done four main battery charges with the last being 105 kms range (see photo in earlier posting).

Also since the ancillary battery got its recharge, it's been holding the charge.

Now it could be on the way out, to be fair, but if people have had a sudden and consistent drop in range for no apparent reason (ie winter), then check and charge if need be the ancillary battery.    

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Gaining extra range

Post by Gabz » Sun, 08 Nov 2015, 13:18

Is your battery Mitsubishi factory or has it been replaced ?

maybe time for a new battery
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Post by zzcoopej » Sun, 08 Nov 2015, 13:31

Gabz wrote: Is your battery Mitsubishi factory or has it been replaced ?


I gather the first few sold from Ryde had the original 12V aux and there were problems, so Ryde replaced the rest. I got one with a newer 12V aux. David's was a bit older but I think GregP's is older again.

If iDavid's observations are confirmed in another car, then this is a fundamental flaw in the 12v Aux as there is faulty detection of battery failure on the dash (I see the batt icon flash at startup so it is there). The car just tries to keep charging 12v aux, I guess until the point where it can't even power up the computers.

Sounds like a good idea to check the 12V aux voltage every now and then!

I wonder if we can find something about 12V aux charging demands via the ODB interface? I'm planning to try running my PHEV battery app on the iMiEV sometime, hopefully Mitsu havn't changed too much and I can start exploring that car's workings.
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Gaining extra range

Post by iDaVID » Sun, 08 Nov 2015, 15:17

Mine's an October 2010 build if that means anything.

Yes I bought it from Ryde at the beginning of Oct last year. As said, though, I've never hit triple figures for the range until I charged the 12 volt battery 2 weeks ago. And just to confirm this consistency, again after a recharge of the main battery overnight, it's now reading 109 kms on the meter (see attached photo). So that's now five charges of the main battery with each one in triple figures.

Now I've checked the 12v battery and it does appear to be the original, so it could be on the way out although it seems to be holding its charge for now, nonetheless if people are getting mid 80s to mid 90s range, and they expect more as I did, it maybe well worth checking/charging their ancillary battery and yes see if there's a jump of 10 or more kilometres range.


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Post by T1 Terry » Sun, 08 Nov 2015, 19:41

Might be worth rigging a small trickle charger to recharge the aux battery every time the main battery is charged. An extended life from the aux battery would make it worth the effort I would think.

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Post by mikedufty » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 07:51

I thought I read that the i-MiEV recharged the auxiliary itself whenever the main battery is on charge, so it shouldn't make a difference. Seems to though, so either what I read is wrong, or there is a faulty battery.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 13:14

Yes the Imiev charges the battery when ever the main battery is on charge. It also charges it when ever it is in (Ready)Mode.

I think there is more to this than charging the battery.

the battery in the Imiev is about 35AH x 12v 420whrs (in a ideal world) so I get around 100whr/km from my Imiev and that about as good as most could expect. In theory if the imiev had to recover all of the 420whr's back into the 12v lead acid battery the most you could expect to loose would be about 4.2km.

Though for one the battery would have to be completely dead as you have just charged the car for several hr's and it would have charged the 12v battery.


There is more to this... need to stew it over some.

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Post by Johny » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 14:42

offgridQLD wrote: Yes the Imiev charges the battery when ever the main battery is on charge.
Kurt
I know I shoudn't question this Kurt because I don't have an iMiev and you know a lot about them, but are you sure it charges the 12V when on charge?

The Leaf certainly doesn't and I wonder at the economy of adding a 12V charger to the main charge system when there is a DC-DC off the traction pack that will keep the 12V charged when the car is in use.

It would be useful to this discussion to measure the 12V battery voltage before and during a charge to actually verify this.

If the iMiev's Guess-O-Meter (GOM) is somehow linked to the 12V battery's SOC (as well) then it add a whole new element of mystery to the GOM.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 15:12

Sorry Johny I don't have a MM at this house but I am 99% sure the 12v lead acid battery is charged when you are charging the main traction pack.

I'm 99% sure the DC/DC converter is active when ever the car is charging to. As the coolant pump that cycles on and off when your charging is a 12v pump and there is no way they are going to have that sucking at the little 35AH lead acid battery for 6hrs.

If the DC/DC converter is active then it's there available to charge the 12v battery as well.

Hang on I think I have a little 12v charger in the back of my ute that has a basic 3 digit MM built in (back in a sec with results)....

Kurt

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 15:34

Confirmation that yes the Imiev charges its 12v lead acid battery via the DC/DC converter when your charging the cars traction pack.

Before the traction pack charger is switched on. 12.2v (that could be a little higher as the leads are very long on the meter and accuracy questionable. Though I will check this with a better meter over the weekend to see if this is a sick battery.
Image

After the traction pack charger is switched on 14.3v
Image


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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 15:51

How charging the 12v battery if the results from the RR meter comparison are accurate enough to determine anything from them effects the RR reading on the next recharge is a mystery.

Typically if a 12v lead acid battery is sick it just wont take a charge. As in it will take very little energy to raise the voltage with bugger all current flowing.

Some how pumping energy into the 12v battery from a external charge could show up as extra available energy (or less energy used previously) on the RR meter results after the next charge.

Edit: even if some how you are fooling the RR meter its not of much use. How many Km you can actually drive the car is the real test. I have had my RR meter show 160km and I have had it show 60km and every number in-between that. Go take the car for a 109km trip and see how you go.

Kurt
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Post by Johny » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 16:11

offgridQLD wrote: How charging the 12v battery if the results from the RR meter comparison are accurate enough to determine anything from them effects the RR reading on the next recharge is a mystery.
Kurt
Thanks for doing that Kurt. Yes it's a complete mystery. Even more so is why iDavid's 12V battery was not showing full charge before he charged it with an external charger.
At this point it would be helpful if Davis could put a voltmeter on his 12V before and during charging and compare to yours.

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Post by iDaVID » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 16:16

Thanks for the info Kurt. It confirms the charging business, but the mystery is still there.

Maybe it was just something odd on my particular car, but all this started when I went to start my car 2 weeks ago & the way it behaved was just like I had a flat 12 v battery.

Sure enough it was on about a 1/3 of a charge.

So after charging the 12 v battery, which took several hours, I jumped into the car & it had a range of 102 kms. The best previously was mid 90s.

Since then, and there's be five charges now, I've hit the century mark consistently every time (102, 2 lots of 100, 105, & 109). My driving has been the same throughout.

Importantly, in order to see whether the meter was off, I have been keenly following the distance actually travelled every time then compared it with the guess-o-meter. And the figures pretty much meet up.

So it does seem I have gained about 10kms extra range by ensuring that the 12 v battery was fully charged. Whether the same happens to others, who have noticed a consistent drop in range, admittedly is the key so if others can charge their 12 v battery we can compare notes     

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Post by iDaVID » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 16:19

Johny wrote: Thanks for doing that Kurt. Yes it's a complete mystery. Even more so is why iDavid's 12V battery was not showing full charge before he charged it with an external charger.
At this point it would be helpful if Davis could put a voltmeter on his 12V before and during charging and compare to yours.


Alas I don't have a voltmeter. I just have four lights on the 12 v charger. When I used it, only one light was fully on & a second partly glowing. So I'm estimating it was about a 1/3 charge.

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Post by mikedufty » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 17:41

I'd be putting a new battery in. Embarrassing to be stranded in a car with a flat 12v battery while it has 10+kwh of charge in the Li Ion under the floor.

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Post by iDaVID » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 18:15

mikedufty wrote: I'd be putting a new battery in. Embarrassing to be stranded in a car with a flat 12v battery while it has 10+kwh of charge in the Li Ion under the floor.



Indeed that could be the case, as the 12 v battery would be five years old, although it appears to be holding it's charge for now.

The thing is, for those of us with 2010 models, we're all probably approaching this point. So if others are experiencing a drop in range, this could be the reason why.

Having said that my previous range, for the first 13 months of ownership, had remained rather consistent in the low 80s to low 90s region depending on the weather temp. I had never gotten triple figures back then. It's only happen since the 12 v battery got charged.

EDIT: The only variable, in the 13 month period, was tyre pressure. I read here that someone else's pressure had dropped to 19 psi and noted a loss in range. Sure enough I checked mine and they too were at 19 psi. I pumped them up to 38 psi but the gain in range was only around 5 kms.    
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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 18:49

I'm not questioning that you are seeing some kind of gain if you were consistently getting 80km RR (for the same trip) then are now registering more.

Though I am questioning if and how the 12v battery as contributing to this.

Has there been a weather change around the same time. A temp change from low to higher temps.

There is the theory that periodically our Imievs MBS recalibrates its new usable capacity. How often this is recalibrated is out for debate but some suggest its calendar based. Perhaps this recalibration just coincided with you playing with the 12v battery

I'm sure we will make sense of it all.

On the subject of 12v Imiev battery's. I have several 40ah calb lifepo4 battery's that don't have a home. So when I finish machining some brass terminal lugs to screw to them. I will be replacing my lead acid battery with 4x40ah Calb cells. Stock wire harness and round terminal clamps will be retained.

I have cell level monitors and a spare BMS that should be ok though need to give it some consideration, take some measurements first to make sure it's going to work as planed.

Kurt

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Post by iDaVID » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 19:04

Oh that's cool Kurt. All I can do is report my before and after the 12 v recharge experience.

Now I've tried to think of all variables over the last 14 months. So yes winter effected the range by about 10 kms. But we've had warm weather here since early September which was obviously before I charged the 12 v battery and had already gained that 10 kms back.

Then there was the tyre pressure. That made about 5 kms difference. Again I did the tyre pressure before the 12 v battery business by about 3 weeks.

My driving hasn't changed, for the Miev, whilst the type of trips may vary (ie local as against hwy kind of thing), but again that mix has again been constant in the before and after.

Now it'll be interesting to see the result of my next charging, but we probably now need others to charge their 12 v battery and compare notes.

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Post by mikedufty » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 20:04

Did you charge the 12V battery once, or have you been doing it every main charge?

Did you disconnect the battery or fiddle with the terminals when you charged it? could that have made a difference?


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