Question about Battery indicator

YYZ2017

Member
So far, I have been enjoying the new bike for the most part, aside from the odd nuts and bolts that needed tightening (and possibly treadloc later on...)

One thing that I could use clarification on is that while I mostly ride with PAS the battery indicator doesn't seem to drop. I was actually more afraid that it doesn't really work until yesterday when I returned home from a 60 km ride and have 3 bars left. Now, I do notice the bars drop when I used throttle to climb a long steep hill, but then it almost "recovers" if I go back to just PAS especially if I drop down to like a level 2 or 1.

Since I highly doubt that the battery is actually regenerating, my question is, how do I find out how much actual battery do I have left on the road and maybe when I get home.
Ultimately I would like to know these info for two reaons.
a) I want to eventually be able to go further and know what the limit is before running out of battery.
b) I want to monitor the battery life so I know how much life is actually left.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Denis Shelston

Active Member
So far, I have been enjoying the new bike for the most part, aside from the odd nuts and bolts that needed tightening (and possibly treadloc later on...)

One thing that I could use clarification on is that while I mostly ride with PAS the battery indicator doesn't seem to drop. I was actually more afraid that it doesn't really work until yesterday when I returned home from a 60 km ride and have 3 bars left. Now, I do notice the bars drop when I used throttle to climb a long steep hill, but then it almost "recovers" if I go back to just PAS especially if I drop down to like a level 2 or 1.

Since I highly doubt that the battery is actually regenerating, my question is, how do I find out how much actual battery do I have left on the road and maybe when I get home.
Ultimately I would like to know these info for two reaons.
a) I want to eventually be able to go further and know what the limit is before running out of battery.
b) I want to monitor the battery life so I know how much life is actually left.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Great question. Looking forward to comments.

Along the same lines, what would be considered best practices in respect to charging said battery? Being new to this I wonder.

I've seen someone with a timer to limit charging time for example. Is this required, as I would have thought the charger would switch to maintenance trickle charge mode once the battery was full charged.

Let's say you go for a 1 hour, leisurely ride, with little PAS, where the indicator barely moves, or not. Do you still put it on the charger upon your return? Should you drain fully the battery before recharging?

I guess what I am asking is how does one take really good care of this $500 battery?

Thanks.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Those battery indicators are not very accurate, since they are affected by load.. Under throttle and going up a hill, there is a voltage drop ("sag") from the load that instantaneously lowers the battery indicator level.

White still not very accurate, the best way to use the gage is to remove all load (like coasting) and see what the indication is. At least it will be comparable to other points during your trip.

When the battery indicator is in the red zone it may start cutting out under load, since the low voltage cutoff (LVC) will protect the battery, until the load is decreased.
 

Falken

Active Member
@JoePah is correct. In short, the LED indicators are voltage sensitive, the greater the voltage drop on the battery ( hill climbing ), the less bars you show. As far as the battery "recovers", well that's exactly what a battery does. It's called recovery effect. You can read a little about that here. Remember when that flash light went dead camping, then the next night it mysteriously works for a few minutes again? :)
 

YYZ2017

Member
Great question. Looking forward to comments.

Along the same lines, what would be considered best practices in respect to charging said battery? Being new to this I wonder.

I've seen someone with a timer to limit charging time for example. Is this required, as I would have thought the charger would switch to maintenance trickle charge mode once the battery was full charged.

Let's say you go for a 1 hour, leisurely ride, with little PAS, where the indicator barely moves, or not. Do you still put it on the charger upon your return? Should you drain fully the battery before recharging?

I guess what I am asking is how does one take really good care of this $500 battery?

Thanks.
Someone please correct me if i am wrong but for lithium batteries you do not want to fully diacharge it. I just plug mine in whenever you get home and yes your charger should drop to trickle when full. It is aware of status as the jndicator does go from red to green.

And thanks guys for the input
 

Slimsim666

New Member
Great question. Looking forward to comments.

Along the same lines, what would be considered best practices in respect to charging said battery? Being new to this I wonder.

I've seen someone with a timer to limit charging time for example. Is this required, as I would have thought the charger would switch to maintenance trickle charge mode once the battery was full charged.

I am looking at buying an electric bike so I have done some reading to educate myself. At this time I must say the Teo fat bike is on top of the list.

For what its worth, here is something I picked up on the Goldenmotors.ca site

IMG_0084.PNG


So it would appear that not fully charging your battery would have a serious positive impact on battery life. I believe fully discharging it once in a while is a good practice however.

At 400$ CAD, the Golden Motors cycle satiator is not cheap but it allows you to quickly charge any type of battery and program the charge level you want to get. So if the data in the graph above is true, it may very well be the best investment you can make to enhance battery life.

If anyone wants to check it out:
https://www.goldenmotor.ca/products/Cycle-Satiator.html

I hope this helps!
 

Denis Shelston

Active Member
I am looking at buying an electric bike so I have done some reading to educate myself. At this time I must say the Teo fat bike is on top of the list.

For what its worth, here is something I picked up on the Goldenmotors.ca site

View attachment 16828

So it would appear that not fully charging your battery would have a serious positive impact on battery life. I believe fully discharging it once in a while is a good practice however.

At 400$ CAD, the Golden Motors cycle satiator is not cheap but it allows you to quickly charge any type of battery and program the charge level you want to get. So if the data in the graph above is true, it may very well be the best investment you can make to enhance battery life.

If anyone wants to check it out:
https://www.goldenmotor.ca/products/Cycle-Satiator.html

I hope this helps!
Thank you for this. I too have been doing some research and have found out just about the same. That you should avoid charging to 100% all the time, and charge up to 80% to get better battery life. Use only 100% when planning an extended trek with your e-bike.

I have read very good reviews and seen some good comments on this Luna Cycle Advanced charger. It offers 2 neat features: 3 or 5 amp charging and 80 or 100% charge, just by flipping a switch or sliding another. At $99 USD + $7 for the cable adapter, it looks to me as a decent alternative. As a matter of fact I just bought one, I will leave the Téo provided charger at my son's home, and keep the Luna model at home here. When I visit my son, I'll need a quick & dirty charge to get back home. At home I'll put Téo on Luna' s slow and 80% charge. I'm a bit anal with battery maintenance, I have many years of boating and RV experiences and have always cared well for my batteries.

Here is the link https://lunacycle.com/batteries/chargers/luna-charger-48v-advanced-300w-ebike-charger/

LunaCharger.jpg
 
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Slimsim666

New Member
I agree with everything that was posted above - some knowledgeable folks here :) And that gadget that @Denis Shelston found is off the hook!!

My knowledge regarding the lith-ion battery pack is:

- Don't let it drain completely EVER
- Always recharge the battery after each trip, even if short
- Always let it cool down before recharging it
- 80% vs 100% is ideal indeed but you can't do that with the OE charger.

Thanks @america94 for your sharing of all this knowledge. If I do buy a Téo fat bike, I will make sure I do it through the link you provided so you can get a little reward for the time you put into my education.

I just watched the video in the following link. An interview by Court of the founder of Grin Technologies; a truly passionate electrical engineer who has dedicated his career to ebikes and, to a lesser degree, eskateboards.

This guy is also the inventor of the cycle satiator I referred to in my previous post. Goldenmotor.ca is a distributor.

Batteries wear out.

It is a long video but I enjoyed every second of it. For those who are mostly interested in this thread's topic, it starts at 00:18 and lasts for about 5 minutes.

From what I understood of the video ... battery chemistry is very complicated but there are some elements that seem to draw a consensus:

  • When in storage, never let the battery discharge completely. Keep it as close as possible to a 50% charge at all times.
  • When utilizing the bike, keeping a battery "charge range" between 0% and 60% is better than a 20% to 80% range
  • An occasional full charge is a good thing as some batteries will need this to balance the cells.
I hope I understood correctly but if I did not, feel free to correct me. :)
 

Slimsim666

New Member
Hello @america94. In this particular case, the Gospel didn't spread very far: I live in McMasterville, Quebec .

For the second point, in the conversation between Court and the Grin guy (sorry I don't remember his name; I'll call him Grin for the purpose of this post) court says at some point that one should keep the battery charged between 20% and 80% to optimize battery life and Grin replied that it would be better to aim for a range of 0% to 60%. I'm also French so I hope I understood correctly. I will watch that part of the video again tonight to amend if I misunderstood.

If this is correct, I would try to charge my future battery at about 60% to 70% and let it discharge almost completely before recharging. If I was planning on an extended excursion, I would not go over 90% charge, except for the occasional full charge to balance the cells.

If we believe Grin, proper battery care can extend battery life by a factor of 2 to 4. He even mentioned a potential tenfold increase ... but I would not bet my life on this.

@YYZ2017, Grin said that you cannot know how much power is left in the battery but the cycle satiatir lets you know how much you have taken out. He likened this to a gas tank gage on a car that would work in reverse. Check it out!

Again, I hope I understood correctly what was said; I would not want to be the cause of premature battery death because these are so darn expensive.
 

Denis Shelston

Active Member
Hi @Slimsim666 , welcome to the group.

Be that as it may, I think we all suffer from range anxiety.... I could not, in good conscience, go for ANY ride with a 60-70% charged battery.

Given:
1. That a 100% charge should allow for roughly 500 cycles, a pretty realistic number of cycles for the casual rider over a few years.
2. That an 80% charge should allow over 1500 cycles, not sure I'll even be alive in 1500 cycles ;)
3. That the Cycle Satiator goes for over $400 CAD
4. Given that a new battery cost $600 CAD, and battery technology gets better by the day. Prices will go down too.

I wanted a 2nd charger, more for convenience than anything. So I opted for a $150 CAD ($99 USD) advanced charger where I can pick 80% charge if I feel it makes sense at that time, probably when I know I will not be riding for a few days for example.

Just my 2 cents.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
There is far too much worry about partial charge vs full charge cycles.

1. Batteries degrade about 5-10% PER YEAR just from aging, based on my experience since 2009 with two different ebikes.. IF you keep it stored in a cool area you might do better.
2. I've fully cvharged both battery packs on my bikes every time and almost every day for years, and the drop off in capcity is about 10% per year total.. So unless you need 100% of your original capacity, a battery pack should last 3-4 years if you don't abuse it (don't fully discharge every time, store in a cool room, keep out of the sun when possible.). Got 700 cycles on my first battery (capacity was down to 60%), and sold my second one at 400 cycles (capacity down to 80%).
3. If you partially charged your batteries all the time you might get another couple of years before replacement.

4. IF getting a couple of extra years is important to you, you don't need to buy a special charger. Just buy a cheap timer and use it as an off switch. Make a table of the time it takes to charge the battery to 80-90% from different states of charge (say 0% to 70%), and set the timer based on that.. The charger will turn off and the battery should be partially charged. Personally think partial charging is just cheating yourself, but everyone uses their bikes differently.
 

jazz

Well-Known Member
I don't sweat it over batteries nor do I waste my valuable time trying to maximize life. I have several ebikes and I just charge them up and use them. I don't use any special chargers, timers etc. My oldest lithium is 7-years old and still holds over 95% capacity. My 2nd oldest ebike battery is from 2013 and has only lost 10% capacity. I don't do 80% charge, 60% charge or whatever. I just charge them up and use them and don't think twice about it until I need to charge it again. Yea batteries are expensive but even if you get 3-4 years out of it, who knows what the technology will be in 2021-22.
 

YYZ2017

Member
LoL,
so to prevent your matter max declines and become 60% you purposely charge it to only 60%? Kinda defeats the purpose.
I say charge it and use it., the only thing I may do differently is not charge it after a really short ride. (thinking 5% or less)

Cheers
 

Bosse_A

New Member
Hey!
I have built an electric bike with Bafang center engine. It works great, but I don't like the battery indicator.
In the beginning when I cycle, it is not affected at all, but after a while it drops especially in the event of a load.
The battery is at 36 V (10 cells at 3.6 V). Fully charged, it has a voltage of 42 V and completely discharged 27.5 V.
By measuring the voltage directly on the battery in sleep mode, I can directly see the charge level.
After an evening round tonight, the voltage was 38 volts measured with voltmeter, but the display was full.
I have now bought a voltmeter that can be connected to the charging socket on the battery and it will also show me the charge percent of the battery.
I welcome comments on this subject.
// Bosse_A
 

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MikeSL1

New Member
I have a BAFANG 750w coupled to a 17.5amp Samsung battery of which I get 50-80 miles depending on how I ride. I changed my led readout from bars to % which does not make the readout any more stable but is more informative than bars at 20% per bar. I seem to go for 35 miles with 100% then at 50 mikes I have 40% left. If someone is suggesting “Volt drop” is the problem, should the cable in between the battery and the motor be larger?