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ANSWERED Odyssey PC545 Battery conditioning

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"EnerSys (Odyssey) is adamant that these batteries will not charge without applying a minimum of 6 amps, and at 14.2-14.7 volts."

 

I'm curious what our bikes put out with normal riding. And what about adding a vest or lighting accessories?

@gstallons - thanks, my friend! I've been planning on this thread for quite some time. After reading this forum since 2003, and fussing with several V11, I really believe the battery condition is both critical for optimum performance and often rather neglected. One of the three or four most important aspects of a happy V11!

 

@footgoose - I share your question about charging output. I mean, the voltage is straightforward to measure, and the AGM will not be entirely well charged if the regulator is below 14.2v. But what kind of amperage is being put out by the V11 charging system? :huh2:

 

The chart in the Workshop Manual states 13 amps at 1200 rpm rising to 26.5 amps at 6,000 rpm. I do not understand if that amperage is regulated in any way depending on the battery's state of charge. Others here know these things far better than I . . .

 

I have run some heated gear with some commensurate learning curve. The system did not sustain both my Gerbings jacket (77 watts) and gloves (22 watts). If I had a do-over, I would go just with a vest. That said, when I'm going to take the Sport out with the heated jacket, I condition the PC545 before by discharging it and bringing it up to a full SOC (state of charge). My theory is that the charging system can dedicate to keeping me warm and not have to do double duty also trying to bring the battery up to a full SOC. This has been working so far and I am hopeful that my regulator and stator are benefiting from the reduced load.

 

One of the take-aways has been, if your AGM is below 12.65v, do a proper discharge/charge at correct voltage/amperage before expecting the V11 to do it for you. Instead of "maintenance free" (they're not!), perhaps we could more accurately say only, "Never add water."

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The reason I share the question about the bike's charging output is that (apparently) Yuasa states not to charge their AGM above 2 amps. I told the rider who was concerned about this that I expect the bike is always putting out well over that.

 

So, between Yuasa saying nothing over 2 amps and Odyssey saying nothing under 6 amps (will *charge* the AGM), what is the V11 charging system actually doing with amperage?

 

Does the charging system taper current like a microprocessor controlled charger?

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I just ordered BatteryMINDer #12248. It is supposed to work with AGM and other types of batteries. I think it will be useful for car and trailer batteries. I have a few old batteries in the garage and I will experiment to see if this charger can improve their condition.

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Docc,
          The VII charging system looks at the battery Voltage, if it's a bit low it connects the alternator to the battery and pumps in whatever the alternator will produce, once it starts it can't stop or limit the current until the end of the current cycle, think of it as as a large charger with a switch rapidly turning on and off.

This all happens 14 times for each engine revolution.

I suspect the current pulses are well over 30 Amps, this would explain why the 30 Amp fuses melt

 Heat is current squared x resistance.

(I did measure the current once but have forgotten)

 

To back off the regulator skips half cycles,

 

The V11 regulator is a series type, it controls the average current.

The shunt regulator most other bikes have can control the peak current by shorting out the alternator when the Voltage gets too high thus removing the power source to the rectifier.

 

BTW as you know the alternator can put out a very high Voltage, well over 60, this is why you must never try to run without a battery to soak up the spikes.

 

When I first got my V11 Sport the regulator quit, I was able to limp home using just a bridge rectifier (no regulator) but I had to keep the revs low or the ECU would shut down.

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Regarding chargers, I have a few of the $20 Shumacher charge/maint. type from Walmart.  They take the battery all the way up to 14.40V, and then go into float mode.  

 

I've have excellent results with these, but I also use a 24hr timer.  It's like plugging it in once a day for a couple of hrs.  10+ years on OEM batteries.  Pb acid, and AGM.

 

Note that these chargers are rated for at least 1.5A charging.  IMHO, much better than a Battery Tender Jr. (0.5A ??)

 

I also own an older Battery Minder.  

Awesome charger with the desulphation mode that I've SEEN work.  

It removed some desulphation from a 16AH "wet" cell battery on my Ducati ST2 years back.  That OEM battery went close to 8 years.  I prematurely replaced it only to "upgrade" to a 22A-hr AGM.

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I am quite surprised today by my 5 1/2 year old PC545 in my "test bed," Swampee the garden tractor (725cc V-twin Köhler). It has sat for a couple months and I recently worked at getting it properly charged and conditioned. After the last EnerSys Ultimizer  charge, it was holding at 12.7v (about 90%) after 12 days. Pretty good, I thought!

 

I pulled it outside in 40ºF for an hour or so and cranked it (slowly) until the battery just wouldn't. I pushed it to the Jeep and started to put the jumper cables on. Then, I remember the poster who (and I forget who!) said to turn the lights on for a few minutes to heat the battery and it will perform the start better. Even though I had already run the battery down, I tried this (two 27 watt bulbs). Darned if it didn't then crank (faster) and finally start! :o

 

I'm sold on this technique now: turn the headlamp on for 2-3 minutes, then start.

 

Quite surprised how well this worked! :thumbsup:

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Crazy! This answers a riddle that plagued me for a while. Ride into work bike starts easy, after work go to start bike sounds like a dying battery: turns but barely. Wait literally 10 seconds and the starter spins like nothing! Defies logic until you think about slightly cool AGM plates goo and whatnot.

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My intuition has always been against discharging the battery before relying on it for a start.

 

It just ain't so: discharge/ *wake up* the battery / then start. :luigi::nerd:

 

Works better every time.

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if that indeed heats the battery, then it makes sense. I've known for a very long time that with flashlight batteries, and whatnot, you can squeeze a bit more juice from a low one, by heating it.

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I've got to try and look for that post. I owe the guy that.

 

It gels with all the reading I've been doing on the AGM (which is a [Valve Regulated] lead-acid battery): discharge first - then do what you want (start or charge).

 

I've seen it work on a wet lead-acid, too. Turn the lights on for a little while, then start . . .

 

So surprising to me on the difference in starting.  :blush:

 

I just never thought of using the battery itself to heat its own-self up! Chemistry!! :homer:

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This is almost zen-like in its simplicity.

 

I received the wrong charger - returned and reordered. Hopefully that will waiting for me when get home at end of week. I'm looking forward to doing some tests on a few older batteries - including an Odyssey that was in the wrecked LeMans. I'm sure it sat for a while, but it started the bike after being on a battery tender overnight. And it's just been sitting since then.

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The warm up discharge is surprising. Then again if you think of the plates as sort of sponge like perhaps the original discharge gets rid of the tired surface layer exposing the fresh material below. I'm sure there is a good explanation on here somewhere.


Sent from my shoe phone!

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The discharge warming up and better starting that goes with it is all to common with the Lithium batteries. There it really can make a large difference. I don't think it makes quite as big a difference with lead/acid batteries, but it certainly can make enough of a difference if you are marginal.

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Yes, but the Odyssey PC545 is a AGM lead acid type not lithium.

One thing they do mention for Odyssey is the plates are pure (99.99%) lead as opposed to the normal lead paste type.

 

After reading the Technical Manual I must say I'm impressed.

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