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Very cold weather operations.


The Wizard
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My understanding is that the colder it gets outside, the quicker your battery cools down, further limiting your charge and thus total miles available.

At 10 to 20 degrees the battery losing charge very quickly.

Doesn't a large battery get hot and sometimes very hot during use/load?

Wouldn't this process Fully counter the cooling effect even in the coldest of temperatures? Even to the point of it not being a factor at all?

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The battery and motor have to be under some stress in order for it to generate a lot of heat. Normal riding of just cruising along generates hardly any heat even on the hottest day (but going uphill fast does).

My experience is that once the battery is ambient temperature of around 25 degrees or less, then that's it; pack it up and go home.

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Ok. Thank you. Just to be clear...

I know the Motor does not get hot at all. And neighter was I thinking it's heat helps the battery stay warmer.

But JUST the battery loading internally alone does not get warm enough to fight off the external wind chill effect? Directly inside the battery, not the outside componates or shell.

Most large batteries get dam hot?

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Going towards freezing (0°C), it will damage the batteries if they get recharged (which happens during riding on every little braking), so that's when you shouldn't ride (and the Ninebot One Z, for example, switches off for this reason if the battery gets too cold - 5°C I think).

With regular riding at around freezing temps, the battery cools off but stays warm enough to work until it's empty anyways. But you notice the reduced range, up to 20%, from the cooling off. The power draw isn't enough to keep the temp high enough, regular riding just isn't that taxing. It may be different going up hills all the time.

If you stop and let the wheel cool out then, it may be too cold to continue riding.

I don't think the batteries get too hot in general. They're not very big after all, 2 or 3 layers of cells with air between them and wrapped in a foil, not exactly a heat sink. It's not like a massive car battery or something like this.

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Ok. That's good. I think that'll do it.

The cut out possibilities of riding when an euc is cold are alittle scary but who's gonna do that.

Still can't ride mine. Probably never again. But I am pondering building a custom seat for my now very very lonely dearly beloved nb1 c+.

Torn posterior Sacreillic Joint Ligament.

Be safe and be careful out there. 🙃

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  • 3 years later...

Any thoughts guys on how if any the cold weather would affect the battery performance? 20° F here in Denver today.  And might get a lot colder.  I’m guessing if you keep it in a frozen garage that would not be ideal.

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2 minutes ago, Josiah said:

Any thoughts guys on how if any the cold weather would affect the battery performance? 20° F here in Denver today.  And might get a lot colder.  I’m guessing if you keep it in a frozen garage that would not be ideal.

Don’t do that, or you’ll shorten the battery life considerably at the least. My emtb, e scoter and wheels are all parked up in a well insulated and easily heated room in my garage at the moment, along with batteries for my electric chainsaw etc. Treat your wheel kindly and with warmth, as you’d like to be treated yourself! A frost stat heater of some sorts and insulation are friends for your valued wheel/PEV. Even an electric blanket set on low would do.

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Your batteries are likely rated for a minimum storage temperature of -4C -4F, so if it ever gets below freezing in your garage bring them inside.

DO NOT EVER charge a battery that is actually frozen. Google can tell you 'why'!

When the batteries are cold, they lose capacity so your range will go down (quite a bit), and they can't deliver current as rapidly so you don't want to be playing chicken in traffic.

If you want to ride in 20F it certainly can be done... I ride at 0F BUT. I start with the wheel in the house and at room temperature so everything is nice and warm. Then I run out, ride, and bring it back in the house before it gets too cold again (riding keeps it warmish). I let it sit and dry vertically and point a fan on it (condensation avoidance) for a few hours and then I charge. So far, no fires and batteries seem ok!

[edit: gol darn units]

Edited by Tawpie
should be °F!
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1 hour ago, Freeforester said:

you’ll shorten the battery life considerably at the least

Storage as low as -20°C is perfectly fine for storing cells.
We had a good time going through a paper on that recently...

And more discussion below:

On 9/27/2022 at 9:57 AM, RagingGrandpa said:

The cells are rated for long-term storage at -20°C / -4°F, and intermittent exposure to -40.
Don't charge or discharge them at those temperatures... but storage, yes.

Bigger issue is moisture: the answer is to make the storage room a slightly higher temperature than the outside air. Ideas here.

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It was around -35c with fairly strong breeze last couple of morning commutes. Yesterday (the first day of these temps) the S-18 kicked me off after a couple of kms on the way to work.

Thinking that the very cold air streaming through the very exposed S-18 wheel at 30-50kmh be the issue, I tried riding very slowly (12-15kmh) the rest of the way... and I made it. 

Following up on that, before going home again I threw a transparent garbage bag over it, modified to just not get in the way of the pedals or wheel. Idea being, just keep the wind out of the wheel.

With this in place I rode normally home last night, and again back to work this morning, wheel didn't complain, rode at normal speeds.

My takeaway from this is that if you can keep the wind out of the wheel you'll be good to go. My old ACM was a great winter wheel because everything was enclosed. S-18 and most if not all newer wheels have everything exposed to the elements. Simple remediation may be needed for ultra-cold riding in those cases.

 

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I was wondering how you'd fare in the current conditions! Good advice on the bag. S22 monitors the battery temperature and reduces your speed limit when it's cold, I honestly wouldn't expect it to allow travel at -35C.

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On 12/15/2022 at 12:30 PM, Tawpie said:

I start with the wheel in the house and at room temperature so everything is nice and warm. Then I run out, ride, and bring it back in the house before it gets too cold again (riding keeps it warmish). I let it sit and dry vertically and point a fan on it (condensation avoidance) for a few hours and then I charge.

This is pretty much my process as well. I also plug the wheel in for a while before heading out to get a little pre-ride heat into the battery. I don't do the fan part.

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On 12/22/2022 at 8:22 PM, winterwheel said:

It was around -35c with fairly strong breeze last couple of morning commutes. Yesterday (the first day of these temps) the S-18 kicked me off after a couple of kms on the way to work.

Thinking that the very cold air streaming through the very exposed S-18 wheel at 30-50kmh be the issue, I tried riding very slowly (12-15kmh) the rest of the way... and I made it. 

LG M50 was originally rated at max. 1.45 A @ -20..5 °C (-4..41 °F) and only 0.97 A @ -30..-20 °C (-22..-4 °F). Newer M50T and M50LT are rated at max. 2.4 A @ -20..10 °C (-4..50 °F). What is interesting, it explicitly disallow operation below -20 °C (-4 °F). As S18 battery is configured as 3P, below 10 °C it can only output 7.2 A, which translates into 600 W of power. I assume that as the battery cooled down, at some moment it was unable to deliver power required to keep you balanced during normal ride.

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I'll end my comments here by saying now that I've figured out how to keep the S-18 running at very low temperatures it is my favorite winter wheel. I like the combination of having suspension (winter riding can be very bumpy at times) and lighter weight. Also that it is a relatively inexpensive wheel by today's standards, so I don't mind too much the giving it daily winter abuse. We'll see how long it lasts, but I'm optimistic right now. :ph34r::)     

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