2023 Battery Pack Balancing

As every year, when the first warm days of pre-summer beckon, I feel the itch of taking TW560 on a long one-day-trip. Part of such an one-day-trip is typically charging the pack to the maximum 4.22V per cell, unlike the usual 3.8V for everyday use, and then drive the pack to the self-imposed minimum cell cut-off voltage of 3.0V. This works very well and is no issue if the pack’s many cells are all well balanced and at the same voltage. Since my TWIKE does not have any active cell balancing or thermal management (for weight and full-pack cut off […]

2021 Dreifels 51Ah pack capacity update

Since purchasing my new 51Ah pack over four years (as per today 4 years, 7 months and 6 days) ago, I’ve been tracking the degradation of the pack’s capacity over time with periodic long-distance full-cycle trips. With one of the first nice and not freezing days in 2021, I thought it would be nice to see how the battery was doing. My pack was purchased in March 2016 and installed August 8, 2016. If you’re interested to know more about how this pack was chosen, got its final size and capacity, please head over here to read all about how […]

Pre-TDI2020 battery spa

As always, the time until a major trip seems endless until…the trip is just 2 weeks away and the agenda is still full with calls and meetings and weekends are chock-full with other stuff. Equally important is balancing a pack before setting out on 3 weeks of full-cycle discharges during long-distance daily trips. Thanks to the fact that I have multiple battery workstations, balancing the 42 strings takes only about one day in total and – as mentioned previously – this exercise is also a very good indicator for cell ageing and cell health in general. TW560’s pack is nearing […]

Pre-TDE2019 balancing

Balancing batteries is an important part of maintaining pack health. Especially with a battery pack that doesn’t have an active cell-level BMS monitoring every cell. TWIKE 560 currently has three 100-cell stacks which all would need an own balancing connection – a BMS would be adding weight, considerable amounts of cabling and complexity to the setup. Furthermore, one of the really neat features of Dreifels‘ DFC 3.0 controller, being able to completely and physically disconnect the battery from the vehicle when not in use and effectively go to zero amps would be rendered useless as the BMS controller is connected […]

Two years in: Testing Dreifels 51Ah Pack Capacity

How time flies – it’s already been 2 years since I installed my 51Ah 17.7kWh LiNiCoAlO2-Cell-based battery pack. For better battery health and less ageing my daily charge is only to 3.8V cell charge, I never discharge below 3.3V and balance the cell packs from time to time. As my daily commute is only around 11% of the total pack capacity, I never see what the real capacity of the pack is and if it has lost any capacity. Using ‘Tesla-speak’ I drive in trip mode only 1-2 weeks total per year. And there, I never really drive the pack […]

New Battery Pack: How far can I go on a charge?

Every time when changing something related to batteries, many other parameters potentially change at the same time: Chemistry, response to load, max/min voltages and discharge curves, etc. In a way, it feels like being a novice TWIKE pilot again – you really don’t know how your battery will react and – in consequence – how far your will be able to drive. Without a reliable total charge capacity figure, any subsequent computations are meaningless. I’m currently driving with the 29E-config I just left in-place since my 35E pack has at least 14% more capacity. It would, nevertheless, be interesting to […]

Finally: My 51Ah pack has arrived!

Samsung’s 35E cells weren’t available when I ordered TW560’s new Dreifels 51Ah battery pack. Thanks to a very kind offer by Ralph from dreifels, I was still able to go on my yearly TWIKE adventure and experience a large pack / range with his personal 29E/45Ah pack. During my vacation Dreifels sent me an email telling me that they had received the cells and were having them spot-welded at a third-party supplier. After receiving the welded cell-packs, Dreifels then builds battery-blocks consisting of multiple cell-packs, adding up to a standard voltage of 180V and 17Ah. I’m really looking forward to […]

A 2nd Life for TW560’s previous batteries

My last battery-related entry was on TW560 getting a new battery pack. (Finally, I have the time to write an entry after my epic 10-day TWIKE adventure across some of the highest passes of Europe with less charging stops. 🙂 ) This entry is dedicated to the previous’ pack’s second life as a stationary battery pack for a Swiss household. The application they are going to be used in is very simple: Solar panel – charging circuit – battery – inverter – 230V-loads in household… grid. The idea is to keep renewable energy in-house and only send energy to the […]

TW560’s *New Battery Pack Installed*

I’ve been hinting at this for a while now: TW560 is getting a major battery upgrade. Today, I’m very happy to report that the first phase of this upgrade has been completed. My TWIKE is definitely ready for our upcoming 11-day, 2500km yearly trip, TDAF2016. This upgrade has been in the making for a very long time – more than 18 (!) months, to be precise. Yet again, since this is a major investment in a 15-year old vehicle, I definitely wanted to invest all the time necessary to thoroughly evaluate and compare all options: Buy original packs from Fine […]