Is this normal - Renault Z.E. Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Is this normal

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere on the forum I've had a quick scan and haven't found anything.

I've had the Fluence for about 6 weeks and covered about 2000 miles. Tonight after a journey of around 65 miles and around 1/4 battery remaining I plugged the old girl in at home (british gas wall unit) and within a few seconds (and for the first time) a noise similar to that of a fan started to emanate from the rear of the car where the battery pack is located. I vaguely remember someone mentioning a battery cooling fan or similar on here in the past so thought nothing of it.

6 hours later the fan noise was still present. The charge time remaining on the dash was -:-- ie zero but the wall box still had the green charge light Illuminated.

As soon as I unplugged the fan noise stopped. Incidentally it was also warmer in the car than if it had just been left parked up.

Is this normal? some kind or battery maintenance? Or is the whole thing about to rip a hole in space time and create a gravity well which will spaghettify us all?

Answers much appreciated.

Regards

Aaron

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:36 AM
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RE: Is this normal

Not sure I have the answer. There is indeed a battery cooling fan, I've only heard it cut in once in a year's motoring. Six hours is a long time to charge so maybe the car was doing "battery maintenance". Did you accidentally have pre-heating switched on? - the heat from that could have triggered the fan.

I am worried by your space time hole idea, I'd hate to disappear down one and find I'd forgotten my charging lead....

Today's the day I test my wall charger for the first time since it spectacularly failed when trying to charge a Leaf. Wish me luck.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 05:34 AM
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RE: Is this normal

Yes. Entirely normal. It means you were probably driving enthusiastically towards the end of your drive, in any case one way or t'other the battery got warm. As you charge, it only gets warmer.

So there is a Peltier cooling system to manage the battery temperature when charging, which I have noted consumes around 600W when operating, but only when charging. So if you want to be a bit more efficient, don't plug in straight away after driving but wait a while for natural cooling of the cells, then the system might not need to kick in the cooling.

I've posted at length on it before. I have established that the system draws in outside air from around the rear RHS wheel area, circulates the air through the filter (that is the 2-yr service item replacement) passes it by the Peltier heat sink, and then vents it into the cabin space. It can make for quite a warm cabin when the weather gets warmer.

I believe the gauge will hit 'zero remaining' once it is in the final 'constant voltage' phase of charging. About 45 mins before the end of charging, the drawn current (which is usually a constant 15.2A for the main 'constant current' charging phase) begins to ramp down in a series of gentle cycles until the battery is full. The cooling will continue beyond the end of the charging, but if you unplug then the cooling stops. I would not suppose the cells get that warm at the slow charge rate the Fluence works at, and suspect it is just fine to unplug once the car indicates a full charge. I'd tend to leave it an hour or so, though, to help keep the battery temp happy.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Is this normal

Thanks for the info Donald. At least I know what it is now. I'm just a little confused what caused it to kick in as there was certainly no spirited driving. Primarily as the wife was behind the wheel and our 10 month old had drifted off in the back and that's the way we like to keep her lol. It was certainly the longest run in the warmest conditions We have made but was still only around 14c when we got home.

I'll keep an eye on it.

Cheers.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 07:51 AM
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RE: Is this normal

If the car was doing town work, power going in and out all the time, and the Sun was shining warming up the ambient of the cabin and boot space, it all contributes to gradually raising the temperature of the cells. What you are reporting sounds to me to be nothing to be concerned about. It is meant to do this, and is why the batteries should last longer than the Leaf (no thermal management at all).
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 12:04 PM
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RE: Is this normal

Hi Aaron - this is totally normal as Donald says - mine does it all the time. Quite loud ain't it?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 01:13 PM
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RE: Is this normal

I have this with all my EV's! My dealer recommended I used off-peak power, or waited at least 2hrs to delay the start of charging so the battery temp can become ambient. It also helps the battery charge slightly faster when it isn't thinking it's overheating!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Is this normal

Thanks for the reassurance all.
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