January 03, 2014

We all make mistakes, even when we know better. I certainly make mistakes with an alarming regularity- but it is not very often that I make a mistake with a lithium battery. Yesterday, I made a classic battery mistake and I thought it was a good idea to talk about it here. In the past few years, I've posted a bunch of heavily linked articles about battery capacity. I've been clear about what is, and is not, covered by a lithium battery warranty. I've gone to great lengths to tell everyone who will listen to never allow your battery to get drained, as this could damage a lithium battery beyond repair.

This morning, I became a part of the problem.

I've been working on my old racebike for the last week or so, trying to finish a restoration which has sat in the corner of our showroom for a few years.

Restoration bike.

I put most of it back together last weekend, and it runs great. I had the bright idea to start playing with the Nemesis ECU and DDA, as well as removing some stuff from the harness. Things were looking good yesterday when I left the shop.

This morning, I arrived at the shop and went to check on something in the map. As soon as I looked at the kill switch, and the dark dashboard- and then at the still connected battery...I knew I was in trouble.

I killed the battery. Dead. Stone cold dead.

Dead battery

Multimeter says 2.38v. Not good. Chances are, in fact, that this one is a goner. A brick. A paperweight.

With A123 Systems cells, anything below 8.4v (in our pack configuration) is considered toast.

2.38v. Crap.

Well, I am going to try to bring this one back from the dead. The good news is that it only sat in this drained state from maybe 18 hours. This gives me hope. 

So, I am going to hook this up to a few different chargers that we have here and report the progress.

Wish me luck.