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Unread 07-11-2018, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

Sad to report that I let my batteries get low enough on water to expose the plates in almost every cell on my 4 year old Crown batteries...

Noticed that my DPI charger was not down to its float amps, and on checking I find that my batteries are not only extremely hot they are very dry. After correcting the water levels I plugged back into the charger and let it charge for a while. The voltage climbed to 57.2 (expected 59) and then started falling to 56.3 but all the while the amps hovered in the 11 to 12 amp range. And I became worried as all the batteries were fairly warm/hot with two of them being uncomfortably hot. So I decided to stop everything and start again in the morning.

Next morning the batteries are cool and the voltage is 50.9 to which I checked the specific gravity and found ALL cells in the 1.27 to 1.30 range which is considered good. Took the cart out for 2 mile hilly ride and I'm noticing that my voltage is sagging a little bit more than previously known to drop but not falling below 42 volts on climbing our biggest hills. BTW I started noticing voltage sag about a year ago but the cart has always performed and never let us down so I considered it acceptable for 3 year old batteries.

Plug back into the charger and let things go for several hours to which the voltage climbs and the amps are falling pretty much as expected but the volts never rose above 58.5 and the amps never fell below 6.5 and I'm noticing that the 2 batteries that got the hottest were again getting pretty warm down towards the very bottom. So I'm concerned.

I figure that while my batteries have been deeply hurt they still seem viable but they just will not reach the 58.8 voltage called for by MODE 4 anymore. So I switched back to MODE 2 or 56.4 volts and let things charge for a while expecting that the charger should go into float mode, and while it did drop to 4.5 amps the volts climbed to 57.3 and the charger never switched over to float.

So I'm wondering if the control board is perhaps failing and allowing the batteries to be over charged? As after nearly 2 hours my batteries are @ 9.59, 9.67, 9.57, 9.3, 9.86 & 9.35 = 57.3 volts. Shouldn't the charger done switched over to float soon after 56.4 volts?

Not trusting the charger and running out of home time I instructed the wife to use cart until the voltage drops below 50 volts standing and then charge for 4 hours till I come home in for 4 weeks.

But then again if it were the charger would it be causing all the batteries to get hot? As while they are getting a little warm its just the two in the middle that I can feel getting hot on the bottom...

Thinking about getting a small float charger and trying to nurse another year out of these Crown batteries...

Ramble and rant mode off....
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Unread 07-11-2018, 10:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

The two under 9.5 are probably pretty shot. My neighbor just had an issue with a new Yewi Charger not going into float and the amps staying around 10 at 58-60 volts. Had his batteries tested and 4 were toast. Got a new pack and all is well.
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Unread 07-12-2018, 09:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

I went through this several years ago. Similar scenario but with a simple charger on an EZGO with Trojan's.
Batteries would not come up to the charger's programed shut off voltage so the charger kept chugging away. The charger had an amp gage and the amps would only drop to about 7-8 amps and not shut off. Normally the charger would be at 1-3 amps just before shut off. New batteries cured the problem.

This had me stumped for awhile. The batteries were only 4 years old to the month at the time and had been cared for IAW the generally accepted procedures on this forum. Even started a thread about it in the EZGO section. The consensus of opinion was (is) that the batteries were just at early stage of end of life.

Factors: This is a street cart and used heavily. Almost a daily driver. So even though it had quality batteries that were meticulously maintained and charged every day that the cart was used, the batteries were mostly gone at exactly 4 years. This was puzzling. Not only that, the batteries were charging fine one day and the next this problem arose. Also, the cart operated normally albeit some range reduction.

Conclusion: The batteries were starting to fail because of a very high number of charge cycles. We've all seen the charts showing battery life expectancy vs. depth of charge (discharge). Even though these batteries were never deeply discharged, they had hundreds of shallow ones. You only get X number of charge cycles and apparently I had used most of them up at the 4 year point.

I am fortunate to live in a place that is extremely golf cart friendly. Thousands of them here so batteries are a big business. This means that batteries are plentiful, relatively cheap, and most of all FRESH. These particular batteries were loaded right off the shipping pallet and all next to each other. They were a matched set, or at least as close as you can get to a matched set. This might explain why they all basically died together. Could also be a testament to Trojan quality control but this is all speculation really.
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Unread 07-12-2018, 10:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

Thanks Kernal & Racer for your input...

Kernal your scenario is indeed sounding a lot like mine. As while the batteries have occasionally needed water the plates had never been exposed and I've had zero issues from them or the charger till now, except for a slight decline in overall strength.

What I'm just a little upset over is having not done my own research until now only to find that DPI recommended a charge algorithm a little more aggressive than recommended by Crown that being CODE 3. Had I left on CODE 2 the least aggressive profile verse CODE 4 these batteries might still be viable.

The cart is still functioning quite well and I had hoped that by switching down to the mildest profile I could trust the charger to come down to float/hold mode but that didn't appear to be the case before I needed to return to work. I'll keep asking the wife to check the voltage meter and charge when it drops below 50 volts till I can afford to replace the pack...
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Unread 07-12-2018, 12:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

Here is what DPI told me is the voltage setting for different modes.
Mode1=61.6
Mode2=57.2
Mode3=57.6
Mode4=58.4

Unless you can figure a way to bring your SG up your batteries are shot. With a DPI charger close doesn't count.

One more thing I thought of that you might try. If you still got your PD charger you could bypass the relay and try an equalization charge on your batteries. It should run the voltage to 63v.
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Unread 07-12-2018, 04:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teecro View Post
Thanks Kernal & Racer for your input...

Kernal your scenario is indeed sounding a lot like mine. As while the batteries have occasionally needed water the plates had never been exposed and I've had zero issues from them or the charger till now, except for a slight decline in overall strength.

What I'm just a little upset over is having not done my own research until now only to find that DPI recommended a charge algorithm a little more aggressive than recommended by Crown that being CODE 3. Had I left on CODE 2 the least aggressive profile verse CODE 4 these batteries might still be viable.

The cart is still functioning quite well and I had hoped that by switching down to the mildest profile I could trust the charger to come down to float/hold mode but that didn't appear to be the case before I needed to return to work. I'll keep asking the wife to check the voltage meter and charge when it drops below 50 volts till I can afford to replace the pack...
If you want to mentally kick yourself for letting the batteries get low on water, fine. But I don't think you should second guess yourself on DPI mode settings. I could make the argument that at mode 2 you might have been chronically undercharging the batteries. I have seen literature from Crown saying the batteries should be charged to 2.5-2.7v per cell. US Battery sent out a technical service bulletin a few years ago stating that their batteries should be charged to 60 - 62.4v (48v pack).
2+ years ago I acquired an additional cart. This one came with a brand new state of the art Lester Links charger. It brings the 48v pack to 65v routinely. I was a little concerned but Scottyb experienced the same with a new Lester Summit charger and started a thread about it. He was installing it as an onboard unit. A Trojan engineer told him it was fine as long as the end stage current was low. Lester is an old and reputable company so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt so far. My point is, I don't think the setting you used on the DPI really was critical to the service life of the pack. The facts are the internal resistance in your batteries is increasing because of time (age) and charge cycles. It is just their time to go. You can keep going as long as the cart will take you where you want to go but you can't trust the charger to shut off. I'm confidant this is a battery not a charger issue.
FWIW the latest version of the DPI (GenIV) doesn't have a float mode apparently.
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Unread 07-12-2018, 04:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

Quote:
FWIW the latest version of the DPI (GenIV) doesn't have a float mode apparently.
But they do have an equalization mode now.
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Unread 07-12-2018, 09:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kernal View Post
If you want to mentally kick yourself for letting the batteries get low on water, fine. But I don't think you should second guess yourself on DPI mode settings. I could make the argument that at mode 2 you might have been chronically undercharging the batteries. I have seen literature from Crown saying the batteries should be charged to 2.5-2.7v per cell. US Battery sent out a technical service bulletin a few years ago stating that their batteries should be charged to 60 - 62.4v (48v pack).
2+ years ago I acquired an additional cart. This one came with a brand new state of the art Lester Links charger. It brings the 48v pack to 65v routinely. I was a little concerned but Scottyb experienced the same with a new Lester Summit charger and started a thread about it. He was installing it as an onboard unit. A Trojan engineer told him it was fine as long as the end stage current was low. Lester is an old and reputable company so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt so far. My point is, I don't think the setting you used on the DPI really was critical to the service life of the pack. The facts are the internal resistance in your batteries is increasing because of time (age) and charge cycles. It is just their time to go. You can keep going as long as the cart will take you where you want to go but you can't trust the charger to shut off. I'm confidant this is a battery not a charger issue.
FWIW the latest version of the DPI (GenIV) doesn't have a float mode apparently.
In the end I know your right, I'd just like to make myself feel better as the CR165 batteries should have been charged to 2.37 to 2.40 according to Crown...

What would be a good brand of float charger to look for if I decide to nurse these batteries along for a while?
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Unread 07-13-2018, 11:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teecro View Post
In the end I know your right, I'd just like to make myself feel better as the CR165 batteries should have been charged to 2.37 to 2.40 according to Crown...

What would be a good brand of float charger to look for if I decide to nurse these batteries along for a while?


I have no idea. Not an option that would work for me.
Over the years there have been various discussions on ways to extend battery life mostly in other sections of the forum. Look at the EZGO and Extreme DC sections first. I'm pessimistic tho. I think once the plates have sulfated enough to affect charging, they're gone.
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Unread 07-15-2018, 09:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: DPI Charger and Battery Issues?

I really had to laugh at a story my wife related to me the other day. She was at our neighbors house and in conversation mentioned our battery issues. Well our grumpy 76 year old neighbor see this as an excuse to rag on her about that's why you should buy a gas cart etc... When he kept this up a bit too long she told him that despite the fact that our batteries were on the tired side that she has to ride the brakes while following his gas cart and that not only was it noisy enough to scare off the wildlife that it stunk worse than a dead skunk...
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