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  #1  
Old 01-01-2014, 09:53 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
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Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
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Default Odyssey battery Rejuvenation

The following "borrowed" from Brian Chesteen. Rejuvenation instructions for a sulfated battery.

I have been in contact with the folks at the Odyssey battery headquarters. They are very helpful folks. They have instructed batterymart.com to give me credit under warranty for the 6 month old battery.

They tell me that the primary reason for an Odyssey battery to have the symptoms that my 6 month old and 3 year old battery had was sulfation.

They also gave me a special procedure to follow to desulfate the battery if it can be saved. The prodedure is to discharge the battery at the 5hr rate maximum down to ~10v OCV. For the PC680, that is 3 amps max. And then to use the 6 amp Ultimizer to recharge the battery till it goes into trickle mode and to do this as many times as needed as long as the discharge time keeps taking longer than the last cycle.

I found my oldest battery (never threw it out) with a date code of July 09. It was replaced back in the fall of last year due to the same symptoms. I wanted to see if the special procedure could bring this thing back to life. So far I have completed 3 cycles on the battery. The first lasted about 5 minutes, the second almost 2 hours, and the third was well over 4 hours and tonight I plan to try another one. The bottom line is that this procedure seems to be working to revive this battery.

The only thing the support from Odyssey cannot explain is why these batteries are getting sulfated so quickly or at all in this application and with the continuous use of the Ultimizer charger.

I am a bunch more educated about these batteries now and I think the new one is going to last a long time even if I have to perform regular desulfating procedures on it. I still do not plan to keep it on the Ultimizer continuously.
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VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."

Last edited by Mike S : 01-11-2014 at 08:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2014, 10:37 AM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Odyssey did come back with an answer on what they thought the reason was that I killed these 2 batteries so quickly.

They claimed the problem was sulfation of the battery by being stored (even shortly since I fly almost once a week) at something less than full charge.

Apparently the Odyssey is can sulfate quicker than other types of batteries due to how it is made and how thin the plates are.

Symptoms of this failure mode are apparent full charge voltage but no capacity to do any real work....

They claimed that the issue may have been my constant use of the Odyssey Ultimizer Charger (almost any smart charger will have the same issue).

They said that the Odyssey battery needs to spend a certain amount of time in the absorption phase of the charge. The length of time spent here is dependant on how discharged the battery is. The voltage needs to be at least 14 or more volts during this time. The manuals say 14.7v.

Here is the theory...When using the Odyssey Ultimizer, the charger looks at the voltage of the battery when you turn it on. If the voltage is high enough to start with or rises quickly, the charger will very quickly kick into trickle mode and won't spend much time in the absorption phase of the charge. Odyssey says this can cause what I experienced due to the fact that the battery is not getting fully charged.

Their recommendation was to always discharge the battery enough that the Ultimizer charger will not think the battery is fully charged quickly after hooking it up and turning it on. This will allow the normal absorption charge cycle to complete properly.

So to recap here are their recommendations:
  • Never store your Odyssey battery (even for just a week, the effect is cumulative) on less than a full charge
  • Never put the battery on the Ultimizer charger unless it is discharged enough to allow the absorption phase to complete properly. If it quickly switches to trickle after you used the battery, most likely it will not be fully recharged.


I think my habits of doing a ton of avionics tweaking/hangar flying on the ground and constantly just trusting the Ultimizer charger to take care of the battery was what killed my two batteries prematurely. I remember it switching to trickle quickly most times.

Folks that fly often and always fly long enough to allow their alternator to recharge their battery fully after starting may not experience this issue often if ever as long as their main bus volts are up where they need to be.

Folks that have low main bus volts while the alternator is running may have issues prematurely. The manual wants 14.7v...I doubt many of us have that high of main bus voltage while running. Mine runs between 14.2-14.4 and I have an internally regulated PlanePower alternator.

Since learning this info, I always either fly long enough to allow a full recharge or if I use the Ultimizer charger, I always run some load until the surface charge of the battery is burned off. This allows the Ultimizer to spend all the time it needs in the absorption phase. The difference in the time it takes to switch to trickle is significant using this method. So far so good with the replacement battery!
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Last edited by Brantel : 01-01-2014 at 10:44 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2014, 05:48 AM
Russ54 Russ54 is offline
 
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Location: Lewiston, Maine, USA
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This sounds familiar to what is going on with my battery. I have a two year old Odyssey 680 that is having a hard time swinging the prop. I have deep cycled the battery 5 times and after placing the battery on an analyzer the performance increase went from 30% to 35%. The batteries history is mostly short flights followed by connecting a battery minder. I have ordered a new 680 and was wondering if it would be best to charge the new battery before use or are these batteries fully charged?

Save the batteries fly more!



Russ Keith
RV-9A Flying N1909K
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2014, 06:10 AM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike S View Post
The prodedure is to discharge the battery at the 5hr rate maximum down to ~10v OCV. For the PC680, that is 3 amps max.
How are you doing the discharge procedure?
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2014, 06:24 AM
brad walton brad walton is offline
 
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Timely information because I am having the same issue with my avionics backup battery which I am only getting a year of use from before having to replace.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2014, 06:47 AM
Russ54 Russ54 is offline
 
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Location: Lewiston, Maine, USA
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I have been using a 50 watt MR16 bulb connected to the battery to discharge. 50/12=4 amps

Russ
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2014, 07:28 AM
tracy tracy is offline
 
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I bought rv8 one year ago that has the 680 and the battery will not spin prop on first try. It takes a release of starter and a second try to get it to spin. This is when the temps are around 40 degrees. Should a healthy battery spin the prop first try at these temps?
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2014, 08:52 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plehrke View Post
How are you doing the discharge procedure?
The line you are quoting was from Brian--------sorry for the confusion, I did a color change to the OP to make it easier to figure out. Brian's words now in red.

Long winded way of saying----------ask Brian
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Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2014, 08:59 AM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plehrke View Post
How are you doing the discharge procedure?
I used an old headlamp off of something. It drew about the correct amount of current. You don't want a high discharge rate or the procedure will not be as effective. The efficiency of this procedure is tied to the discharge rate because the efficiency of the Odyssey goes down with increased rates of discharge.

At least that is what the folks at Odyssey told me....
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Brantel (Brian Chesteen),
RV-7/TU, #72823, N159SB
Lyc. O-360 carbed, HARTZELL BA CS Prop, Dual P-MAGs, Dual Garmin G3X Touch
Track N159SB (KK4LIF)
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2014, 03:29 PM
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JohnInReno JohnInReno is offline
 
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Location: Prescott Valley/Chandler AZ
Posts: 282
Default 3rd PC680 in 16 months

Add me to the data.

#1 purchased from Vans 9/18/12
Airworthy certificate July 3, 2013. The battery started failing on repeated starts during prop balancing.
#2 purchased from Aircraft Spruce 9/13/13
Stranded at KCHD. Fully charged, load test drops to 8 volts in 3 seconds.
#3 purchased from Batteries Plus on 1/22/14.

I have regularly used a Schumacher smart charger on #1 and #2. #3 has not been on a charger and based on this thread it wont. I will fly regularly and see what happens.
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