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  #1  
Old 12-21-2020, 08:23 PM
thorpdrvr thorpdrvr is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Default EarthX 680 puffed

Has anyone ever had their EarthX battery swell up like this? Puffed on two large vertical sides. Worked fine one flight and two days later has about 1 volt showing when I attempted to turn on master switch. Will not accept charge following the EarthX procedure. Battery was never overcharged or discharged to the 9 volt cutoff. The master was NOT left on between flights. It is about 4 years old. Mounted forward of firewall, but Odyssey batteries lived in same location for over 10 years with no issues.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2020, 08:30 PM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
 
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Location: Sunman, IN
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Default Batteries

Odyssey batteries are NOT lifeo4 chemistry. Is it possible that the heat exceeded the recommended value for the earthX when mounted on the firewall?

Just spitballing...
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2020, 09:30 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Bob,
Yes, it is entirely possible.

Bernie,
Did you get a short LED warning flash, 2 secs on/2 secs off? Per the EarthX manual, that light sequence means your battery was exposed to temperatures over 65 degrees C or 150 degrees F. The manual's limitations section also warns to never expose the battery to over 85 degrees C environmental temperature. I you haven't installed the LED or connected it to your EFIS, I really recommend you do that.

Because my ETX 680 is also firewall mounted (HOT HOT HOT), I did the following. I ran a blast tube from the aft engine baffle to the battery's top. I also mounted the battery in EarthX's thermal battery box, designed for the ETX series of batteries. It has a bracket on top designed to hold the blast tube in place.

https://earthxbatteries.com/shop/the...0-900-vnt-1200

Gotta treat these batteries right. They'll treat you right, right back.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2020, 09:36 PM
thorpdrvr thorpdrvr is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketman1988 View Post
Odyssey batteries are NOT lifeo4 chemistry. Is it possible that the heat exceeded the recommended value for the earthX when mounted on the firewall?

Just spitballing...
I suppose it is possible, but the first EarthX lasted over a year before it had a dead cell and was replaced (no puffing),and this one lasted about 4 years with no puffing until it died a few days ago. My lipo chemistry batteries used for radio controlled plane and heli flying regularly puff as they age, but the hobby LiFE chemistry batteries never do.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2020, 09:43 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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You know, 4 years is a nice ripe old age for most any battery. Aside for the aforementioned temperature concerns, you might want to go ahead and call the EarthX folks.
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Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
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Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

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  #6  
Old 12-22-2020, 05:00 AM
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Lenny Iszak Lenny Iszak is offline
 
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My ETX1200 was in the tailcone of my RV-10. Puffed up and cracked itself in half. It was 3 years old.
Back to hauling lead again...

Lenny
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2020, 12:36 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny Iszak View Post
My ETX1200 was in the tailcone of my RV-10. Puffed up and cracked itself in half. It was 3 years old.
Back to hauling lead again...
Lenny, any idea what might have caused this? Probably more a question for Kathy, but happy to get any hints or tips to avoid it on my little lifepo4.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2020, 01:23 PM
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Lenny Iszak Lenny Iszak is offline
 
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Unfortunately I was never able to find out, that's why I switched back to lead. My airplane is electrically dependent, and couldn't afford that uncertainty with my risk budget.

Just like the OP, I never completely discharged this battery, and when I ran the avionics for an extended period I always charged it back up with the approved Optimate charger.

There's one thing I think may have helped destroy the battery. A few months before I discovered the swollen battery I had a failed rectifier bridge in my alternator. Normally the EarthX maxes out the alternator after startup for a few seconds to a minute. I would see 60+ amps during that time. With the failed bridge (and a missing phase) it would only go to 40 amps or so.
These batteries don't seem to be liking pulsed power. See Rotax notes in the manual. My battery was 3 years old.

From what I understand, puffed cells are likely the result of an overvoltage event. There were none of those in my case. I have crowbar OV protection on my alternators, and OV audio alarms in my Efis. If a cell shorts out (there are 4 connected in series), the others will see a higher voltage and it will puff up the rest of the cells.

I wish EarthX would investigate these events more to come up with an improved BMS. They designed a great system, but maybe they haven't thought of everything.

There's a lot more to our diverse electrical systems than a benchtest setup. We have a bunch of load dump events, voltage spikes from solenoids, and the possibility of missing alternator phases that these cells might not like to be handling. Btw, I do have a load dump Mosorb in my RV-10, and all solenoids/relays are transient protected with TVS diodes.


Lenny

Quote:
Originally Posted by rv8ch View Post
Lenny, any idea what might have caused this? Probably more a question for Kathy, but happy to get any hints or tips to avoid it on my little lifepo4.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2020, 02:12 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny Iszak View Post
Unfortunately I was never able to find out, that's why I switched back to lead. ...
Thank you Sir. Not exactly the answer I was hoping for, as it sounds like you did everything right, and still suffered a failure.
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2020, 02:19 PM
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Lenny Iszak Lenny Iszak is offline
 
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I forgot to mention one important point. The battery never actually failed. It cranked the engine just fine. It was just puffed up, cracked, and a terminal was loose, cause it was no longer being held the case. No fault light either.

Lenny

Quote:
Originally Posted by rv8ch View Post
Thank you Sir. Not exactly the answer I was hoping for, as it sounds like you did everything right, and still suffered a failure.
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