MarkH
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:17 pm

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:15 pm

Yeah, looks like that's what I'll have to do. No BMW dealer within 90km so I'll do the replacement myself and then get it registered. Biggest problem may be getting the correct replacement battery. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

alohart
Posts: 2318
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:24 pm

MarkH wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:15 pm
Yeah, looks like that's what I'll have to do. No BMW dealer within 90km so I'll do the replacement myself and then get it registered. Biggest problem may be getting the correct replacement battery. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
Don't bother registering the replacement battery. According to a couple of BMW i-certified mechanics in a different group, battery registration does nothing in an i3 but record the replacement date, battery type, and battery capacity which don't affect the 12 V battery charging protocol as occurs in BMW's ICE vehicles.

Some have installed power sports batteries even though they aren't designed exactly like the i3's original auxiliary battery type. Try to find an AGM battery ideally with no less than 20 Ah capacity. It can't be much taller than the original battery due to space limitations. You could probably figure out how to attach the automotive terminals that could be removed from the original battery.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

MarkH
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:17 pm

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:25 pm

It's good to hear that it doesn't have to be an exact match.
I have found some AGM batteries of 20aH and similar dimensions, but none have the breather tube.
How important is that?

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:36 pm

When charging a lead acid battery, it can outgas hydrogen, which is highly flammable...best to vent it out and way from the enclosed spaces.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

MarkH
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:17 pm

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:52 pm

That's interesting. Hydrogen is lighter than air, but the venting tube heads downwards :?

alohart
Posts: 2318
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:06 pm

MarkH wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:25 pm
I have found some AGM batteries of 20aH and similar dimensions, but none have the breather tube.
How important is that?
I believe that AGM batteries are sealed with a pressure relief valve on each cell. A properly-functioning AGM battery cell shouldn't produce so much internal pressure that its pressure relief valve opens. However, when a problem that produces gas pressure occurs, the pressure relief valve should open to prevent the battery case from cracking, maybe somewhat explosively. That's when it would be best to vent flammable hydrogen gas away from inside the frunk which the standard vent tube does. However, the frunk isn't sealed, and there are fewer ignition sources in the frunk than in an Internal combustion engine compartment, so I think the fire or explosion risk would be minimal. I've read reports of i3 owners installing this type of battery with no reported problems.

Maybe you could determine the manufacturer of the dead battery in your i3. If so, maybe you could contact the manufacturer to learn whether there's a local retailer who could order this battery for you. That's what I did. However, I and the original battery's manufacturer are both in the U.S. which made things easier.

If I were in your situation, I would probably install a power sports battery while continuing my search for a battery with a vent tube. I wouldn't drive more than 180 km round-trip to pay a BMW dealer too much for the correct battery.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

alohart
Posts: 2318
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:08 pm

MarkH wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:52 pm
Hydrogen is lighter than air, but the venting tube heads downwards :?
True, but it would be under pressure when vented, so that would force the hydrogen to flow downward.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

MarkH
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:17 pm

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:17 pm

It's the East Penn Manufacturing Co.
I've got it out and will take it around a few local suppliers tomorrow to see if anyone can source a direct replacement - otherwise find the closest "other" 20aH AGM that I can. I'll also call the nearest BMW dealer to find if they have a direct replacement and, if so, what cost :o
The voltage on the old battery was <1V and I'm now concerned at the time that the HV might be sitting at a very low charge while I wait for a replacement. Murphy's law dictates that this failure must happen at the start of a long weekend!

alohart
Posts: 2318
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:12 pm

MarkH wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:17 pm
It's the East Penn Manufacturing Co.
I'm surprised that a U.S. manufacturer would be the source 12 V batteries for i3's sold in New Zealand. I'm pretty certain that the 12 V batteries in European i3's aren't supplied by East Penn Manufacturing.
MarkH wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:17 pm
The voltage on the old battery was <1V and I'm now concerned at the time that the HV might be sitting at a very low charge while I wait for a replacement.
The HV battery's charge level shouldn't drop more than 1%/month while your i3 is parked. 12 V is required to close the HV battery's main contactor, so without 12 V, the HV battery is isolated and would only self-discharge.

Of course, if its charge was < 10% when your 12 V battery failed, it would be good to install a replacement 12 V battery ASAP.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

MarkH
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:17 pm

Re: Battery discharging while Stationary

Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:33 am

MarkH wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:17 am
It's the East Penn Manufacturing Co.
I'm surprised that a U.S. manufacturer would be the source 12 V batteries for i3's sold in New Zealand. I'm pretty certain that the 12 V batteries in European i3's aren't supplied by East Penn Manufacturing.
MarkH wrote: ↑
The car was imported into NZ from the UK. I got the battery manufacturer off the old battery that is now out of the vehicle.

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