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TomT
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:11 pm

Actually, most modern ICE cars don't do this anymore. Most now use monitored feedback charging which maintains a much lower voltage than in the old days. It is easier on the battery and requires less energy from the engine, while maintaining tighter control over the battery charge state..

Here's a video that explains the Ford system.

http://youtu.be/FAJeDX-T-Eg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Phatcat73 wrote:Unlike ICE cars where the alternator keeps the lead acid battery charged at 14.4V during operation, the Leaf hovers between 14 and 12, usually the latter.
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
2019 Model 3; LR, RWD, FSD, 19" Sport Wheels, silver/black; built 3/17/19, delivered 3/29/19.

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RegGuheert
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Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:46 pm

TomT wrote:Actually, most modern ICE cars don't do this anymore. Most now use monitored feedback charging which maintains a much lower voltage than in the old days. It is easier on the battery and requires less energy from the engine, while maintaining tighter control over the battery charge state..

Here's a video that explains the Ford system.

http://youtu.be/FAJeDX-T-Eg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Phatcat73 wrote:Unlike ICE cars where the alternator keeps the lead acid battery charged at 14.4V during operation, the Leaf hovers between 14 and 12, usually the latter.
Thanks for that video! Very interesting!

I must say that unless Ford has done an outstanding job of monitoring charge balance and returns 115% or more of what is used, they will be essentially trading battery life for better fuel economy, much as Nissan has apparently done with the LEAF. (And, just like the LEAF, the Fords will also need to return all energy lost while the vehicle was off, which is where Nissan seems to have missed the boat.)

By way of update on our LEAF's 12V battery, I am convinced that it is currently about 35% sulfated. Each afternoon last week I put it on our trickle charger (which charges at up to 1.5A and absorb charges at about 14.7V) and then measured the voltage in the morning. In every case, it the voltage had dropped to between 12.25V and 12.35V, which is about a 65% SOC. This indicates that about 35% of the capacity is already lost to sulfation. (Here is a good article from Rolls on this topic.)

I may pull it out of the car and try to perform a recovery charge (at about 15.6V and low current) to see if I can break down the sulfation.

If all the manufacturers are starting to do this, that may explain why the 12V batter manufacturers have nearly all abandoned their long pro-rated warranties. Most now only offer a one- or two-year full warranty and nothing beyond that. I just bought a battery for our HCH at Costco because they offered a 3-year full warranty with 100 months prorated at rock-bottom prices. But they are definitely the exception these days.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

QueenBee
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:26 pm

RegGuheert wrote:
TomT wrote:Actually, most modern ICE cars don't do this anymore. Most now use monitored feedback charging which maintains a much lower voltage than in the old days. It is easier on the battery and requires less energy from the engine, while maintaining tighter control over the battery charge state..

Here's a video that explains the Ford system.

http://youtu.be/FAJeDX-T-Eg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Phatcat73 wrote:Unlike ICE cars where the alternator keeps the lead acid battery charged at 14.4V during operation, the Leaf hovers between 14 and 12, usually the latter.
Thanks for that video! Very interesting!

I must say that unless Ford has done an outstanding job of monitoring charge balance and returns 115% or more of what is used, they will be essentially trading battery life for better fuel economy, much as Nissan has apparently done with the LEAF. (And, just like the LEAF, the Fords will also need to return all energy lost while the vehicle was off, which is where Nissan seems to have missed the boat.)

By way of update on our LEAF's 12V battery, I am convinced that it is currently about 35% sulfated. Each afternoon last week I put it on our trickle charger (which charges at up to 1.5A and absorb charges at about 14.7V) and then measured the voltage in the morning. In every case, it the voltage had dropped to between 12.25V and 12.35V, which is about a 65% SOC. This indicates that about 35% of the capacity is already lost to sulfation. (Here is a good article from Rolls on this topic.)

I may pull it out of the car and try to perform a recovery charge (at about 15.6V and low current) to see if I can break down the sulfation.

If all the manufacturers are starting to do this, that may explain why the 12V batter manufacturers have nearly all abandoned their long pro-rated warranties. Most now only offer a one- or two-year full warranty and nothing beyond that. I just bought a battery for our HCH at Costco because they offered a 3-year full warranty with 100 months prorated at rock-bottom prices. But they are definitely the exception these days.
When you measure the voltage in the morning are you doing so with it disconnected from the car?

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RegGuheert
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:27 am

QueenBee wrote:When you measure the voltage in the morning are you doing so with it disconnected from the car?
No. But I have previously measured the load current to be around 20 mA. Also, I have previously measured the battery voltage in our LEAF and noted that it did not drop to such low voltages even after several days of sitting:
Image
Yesterday afternoon I did a desulfation charge at ~15.6V for a couple of hours. This morning, the battery is at 12.7V. I am going to do another charge at that level now.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:30 am

RegGuheert wrote:Yesterday afternoon I did a desulfation charge at ~15.6V for a couple of hours. This morning, the battery is at 12.7V. I am going to do another charge at that level now.
O.K. I charged our LEAF's 12V battery at 15.9V for a bit over three hours this morning. It bubbled steadily during that time. After standing for about one hour, the voltage is now at 13.0V. We'll see how the voltage holds up over the next few days, as I do not think we will be driving the LEAF until at least Saturday.

(BTW, I decided to charge the battery without removing it from the vehicle. 15.9V is pretty high, so I am not recommending that others do this. I'm hoping the electronics in the car have been designed for higher voltages. I think 17V is the normal upper limit.)
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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JeremyW
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:17 pm

I'm seriously considering getting this for my leaf (as well as another SLA I have that has seen very little use): Battery Desulfator

I would use it with the battery disconnected from the leaf and a small trickle charger also attached. DON'T use this with the battery still attached to the leaf! The key to de-sulfation is pulses tuned to the resonance of the sulfate crystals to break them apart. An elevated charge voltage works too, but is less effective and causes unnecessary heating and hydrogen generation.

Also for those with the little caps on the battery (I think '11-'12s only): CHECK YOUR WATER LEVEL!!! (I'm sure Reg has already done so :) )
Former 2012 SL leasee 6/23/12 - 9/23/15
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Now driving Spark EV and Model 3.

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thew
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:05 pm

This to has happened to my 2011 LEAF just about a month ago. The Pilot Signal from the EVSE seems to require the 12 volt Battery to Send the Pilot Signal back to the EVSE Dock. After I disconnect the 12 volt battery and then Metered it. It was as 10 volts. I then recharged the Battery, reset the Car and got it to fire up again.. But while it was dead I did some testing and Discovered that the EVESE Dock was Drawing about 2 amps off the 12 volt battery. The car had sat long enough for the EVSE to run the Battery down .. I thought the LEAF did a Vacation Draw down and Recharge with Traction Pack and the 12 volt battery. I have left my LEAF for longer in the past with no issue.

But for some reason this time the EVSE dock did Discharge my 12 volt Battery. I think We had some power surges in some storms that caused the Power to go out and then come back on.. Some how this confused the ECU and the Car did not reset itself .. So the EVSE kept Drawing the Pilot Signal from the 12 volt Battery.

Now when I leave it for longer than a Week I Unplug it from the EVSE Dock..
2011 Nissan LEAF Silver SL w/ QC port.
Reserved 5/5/11
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BrockWI
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:29 am

I wonder if some evse's use the 12v from the car to close the contractors? What else would pull 2 amps at 12v?
2013 S model with QC package Mar of 2013
lost first bar @ 72k
@100k miles - 57.3Ahr - 87.62SOH - 84.13Hx - 241GID
3.3 kw solar pv - XW6048 - eight L16's
4 ton GSHP - 1 ton ASHP
2003 VW TDI 210k miles - 52 mpg lifetime
EVSE level 2 - Clipper Creek HSC-40

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RegGuheert
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:40 am

RegGuheert wrote:
QueenBee wrote:When you measure the voltage in the morning are you doing so with it disconnected from the car?
No. But I have previously measured the load current to be around 20 mA. Also, I have previously measured the battery voltage in our LEAF and noted that it did not drop to such low voltages even after several days of sitting:
Let me start by stating that I now realize that my old current measurements were not applicable to this case. The reason is that I had forgotten to remove the ELM327 during the entirety of recent testing. So this morning I measured the current draw of the LEAF with it plugged in: 175 mA. That is 10X the quiescent draw of the LEAF without the ELM327 plugged in! On other words, our ELM327 devices have contributed to further 12V battery degradation beyond what the Nissan charger design already achieves.

But does that invalidate my belief that our LEAF's 12V battery is badly sulfated? Not at all. At 175 mA load, the battery should be depleted less than 5% of the nameplate capacity of 55 mAh overnight. Still, I have removed the ELM327 for now to reduce the overnight load.
RegGuheert wrote:O.K. I charged our LEAF's 12V battery at 15.9V for a bit over three hours this morning. It bubbled steadily during that time. After standing for about one hour, the voltage is now at 13.0V. We'll see how the voltage holds up over the next few days, as I do not think we will be driving the LEAF until at least Saturday.
I measured the voltage this morning after 19 hours of sitting (with the ELM327 still in place): 12.40V. That is a marked improvement over the tests I did last week since a higher voltage, and thus, a higher SOC, was achieved after sitting 1.5 times as long. This result represents about a 10% improvement in capacity, which is about what I would expect given that the high voltage charges have only put a total of about 6 Ah of charge into the battery. Several more of these sessions will be required to eliminated all of the remaining sulfate. I just started another desulfation charge this morning.

(BTW, I am convinced that yesterday's reading of 12.70V was erroneous. Likely the charger had just finished a charge not long before my reading. Now I am removing it altogether to prevent similar occurrences.)
JeremyW wrote:Also for those with the little caps on the battery (I think '11-'12s only): CHECK YOUR WATER LEVEL!!! (I'm sure Reg has already done so :) )
Absolutely! And our LEAF's battery's cells' fluid levels are each just slightly above the upper "FULL" line, just as they have been since we bought it. The bottom line: the LEAF's charger stays so far away from a full charge that it does not seem to electrolyze ANY of the water in the battery. As a result, it is likely that no LEAF batteries will fail from a loss of water, but that most will fail prematurely due to sulfation.

One thing I love about this battery is that the case is translucent so you can easily check the battery fluid levels without removing the caps. Simply hold a stubby flashlight behind the battery and shine it below the water level. The level can then easily be seen.
thew wrote:The car had sat long enough for the EVSE to run the Battery down.
Just for reference, all of the testing I have done to date has been with the EVSE unplugged. I believe that gives me the lowest current draw.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

BrockWI
Posts: 831
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:28 am
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Location: Green Bay, WI.
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Re: 2013 Leaf - Dead 12-Volt Battery every 2 Weeks

Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:50 am

Just thinking out loud. Is there a way to tap in to the incoming level 1 / level 2 power at 120vac? I ask because I was thinking of throwing a water proof 800mA battery tender jr under the hood and just leave it connected. Then when the car is plugged in it would just charge the 12v battery without me popping the hood and connecting an external charger. I think once a week topping off the 12v will work out, but it would be nice if it wasn't something I would have to mess with.
2013 S model with QC package Mar of 2013
lost first bar @ 72k
@100k miles - 57.3Ahr - 87.62SOH - 84.13Hx - 241GID
3.3 kw solar pv - XW6048 - eight L16's
4 ton GSHP - 1 ton ASHP
2003 VW TDI 210k miles - 52 mpg lifetime
EVSE level 2 - Clipper Creek HSC-40

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