Monday, April 27, 2009

Dealing with a Lithium Ion Battery Overload

Here's what the owner's manual for the TravelScoot's Li-Ion Battery says about battery overload. It sounds like exactly what happened to me. I still prefer this battery. I'll just be better prepared if/when it happens again.

Unlike SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) and NiMH (Nickel-Metal-Hydride) batteries, the Li-Ion battery has a Protection Circuit Board (PCB), which controls charging and discharging. An important feature of the PCB is the overload protection.

Light duty batteries, such as those commonly used in light-duty scooters can be overloaded easily when used a prolonged distance on inclines or off-road conditions, especially when heavily loaded. SLA and NiMH batteries are generally not protected against such rigors and are subsequently subject to premature deterioration.

The overload protection inside the Li-Ion battery prevents this type of abuse and shuts off the power instantly. You will notice no light on the battery meter.

In order to restore power, a brief charge to the battery is necessary. Unless you are in a building, you might have no immediate access to an electric outlet, so you need to do it differently. You need to get off the scooter and with the power switch ON, give it a strong brief push while staying standing. The motor will act as a generator and reset the battery. During the push the light is red and will return to green. A few attempts may be required.

Since this procedure is a bit annoying, you need to be smart and avoid such situations in the first place.

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