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Thread: Battery problems

  1. #1

    Battery problems

    I have a permobil Electric wheelchair. The past year ever since I went on vacation I've been having battery trouble! The battery just doesn't last long like if I go out for the day and drive it for 2 to 4 hours straight it'll be dead, slowly over time it gets worse and was eventually it'll only take two straight hours of driving. Then it will get to the point where I'll charge it all night and by the end of the day even if I just use it around the house it'll be at one bar going in turtle mode all the time. It's ridiculous, battery life is pretty much everything. I've replaced the battery and the charger twice this year alone $600 a pop. At first it works all right, not nearly as good as the first two years I owned it the better used to last forever which it should. But after a few months it just goes back the same, which is what has happened right now and I just replace the thing max three months ago.

  2. #2
    It's best not to run the batteries down more 50% before charging, as it severely reduces battery life. And, MK batteries are about the best available, it doesn't pay to buy the cheaper ones.

  3. #3
    I am getting about 2.5 years from MK batteries in my Permobil M300. I use the chair 50/50 inside and outside. Indoor use with the constant starts and stops, turns on carpeted floors, etc. requires more power than relatively straight, flat runs. If your batteries are showing 10 bars when you have charged them, the batteries likely are the problem.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  4. #4
    Can you look at swapping to LiFPo4 lithium batteries? You might need the help of a competent electrician but once you get batteries built up to fit your chair they'll give much better range and last a lot longer. Go to wheelchairdriver.Com and ask there loads of good advice on doing conversions. My off road wheelchair has just been converted, in the UK we have a charity called Remap where retired medical physics/wheelchair engineers donate their time to help disabled users sort solutions, one of them did my conversion. You might have a similar thing in Canada.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I had the same problem, and they also change the motherboard which seems to have fixed the problem but it's only been a month so we will see.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by handibob View Post
    I had the same problem, and they also change the motherboard which seems to have fixed the problem but it's only been a month so we will see.
    What you mean by motherboard?....The controller or the joystick?
    Art

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesMcM View Post
    I have a permobil Electric wheelchair. The past year ever since I went on vacation I've been having battery trouble! The battery just doesn't last long like if I go out for the day and drive it for 2 to 4 hours straight it'll be dead, slowly over time it gets worse and was eventually it'll only take two straight hours of driving. Then it will get to the point where I'll charge it all night and by the end of the day even if I just use it around the house it'll be at one bar going in turtle mode all the time. It's ridiculous, battery life is pretty much everything. I've replaced the battery and the charger twice this year alone $600 a pop. At first it works all right, not nearly as good as the first two years I owned it the better used to last forever which it should. But after a few months it just goes back the same, which is what has happened right now and I just replace the thing max three months ago.
    You have another problem somewere other than battery's. I don't like it that they changed from charging on the side of the chair to the joystick....which am sure goes thr all the electronics just to charge the battery's. Forget to unplug it from the joystick before you turn on your chair.....which I have done several times.....easy to forget....its never affect any of my chairs yet but could.
    Art

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2016
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    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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    Definitely sounds like a short it parasitic leak in the electrical system.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Hampstead NC
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    1,099
    Whatever the cause your current batteries sound like they are toast. If last time you had your batteries replaced with elCheapo Batteries as many vendors are prone to use, or the Insurance company may demand they use. Then those elCheapo batteries were no good to start. Old stock Batteries are another source of junk Batteries. Rapidly reduced charge times are usually a sign of sulfation, as is drastically reduced mileage/time of use. A good electrical person can use an amp meter to find if you have a parasitic electrical leak, which is 50/50. Finding the source of that leak is far more problematic.

    Power chairs operate on the top 50% of the possible battery storage because the controllers reduce or stop their operation when the power being supplied to it falls to below 11.5 volts, so you actually get about 50% of the 55 Amp usage from an Nf22 battery or a useable 27+/- amps @ +12 Vdc.

    So my advice to you is buy some new MK batteries, guaranteed to be of recent manufacture, keep them charged with a good three (3) stage charger. Charge the during the day if that is possible when you are at rest (watching TV) and still charge them every night,

    If you have a direct to the battery charge wire, where you can disconnect and reconnect the batteries to the rest of the chair easily, any chance of parasitic voltage leak can be circumvented, you will likely have to manufacture your own connector wiring system.

    We generally pay very little attention to our batteries or their connections or their chemistry, most of "us" users could care less, until they fail us. DO NOT follow the sales person's advice when buying batteries, they know less than nothing about batteries or the use you are putting them to. This stupidity applies to Vendors of both DME as well as the batteries. Educate yourself either at Wheelchairdriver.com or Battery University.com Good Luck!


  10. #10
    I have a Permobile and keep the charger plug in at all times when I'm not using it. The vendor told me that power chairs "love charging" and it's ok to keep the charge going.

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