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Hopefully I'm not going out on too big of limb here but I received a private message from another member asking about the battery and what controls it . I will post some pictures and instead of calling some of the parts by the name that we use at work and the engineers use I will just call them computers trust me I know everyone on this forum isn't lacking any knowledge about the Karma it's just easier for me LOL .

Ok first picture is a view of the bottom of the car battery in.

Next is the fixture we use to remove the high voltage battery

Next is the shields removed and you get a look at all the connections on the battery anything in orange is High Voltage .

Next up is the battery out of the car which only takes about 45 minutes to remove.

You can see in this pictures you can see the main disconnect which is under the left rear seat .

The next couple of pictures are the battery without the cover over it you can see the battery packs and the computer that handles the battery functions . You will also see the cooling hoses within the case . Please ask any questions you like and I will try and answer them for you .I hope this gives you a little insight how the battery pack is put together .Thanks for looking






That's rare look into the heart of the Karma
 

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@harleyguy,

Thanks so much for posting these. It gives us an appreciation of the complexities of a PHEV :exclamation:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dennis said:
@harleyguy,

Thanks so much for posting these. It gives us an appreciation of the complexities of a PHEV :exclamation:
Thank you for looking at the pictures the pictures really aren't top secret well I hope they aren't and everyone knows that the first round of cars had to have the batteries inspected or replaced . Yes the system is very complex .
 

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Wow! I saw a car with the left rear seat pulled up at my dealer and was wondering why? That explains it. Now I know where the battery disconnect is. Not that I'd ever mess with it, just nice to know.

If anyone isn't impressed with the intricate nature of the battery pack and cooling system, they're not paying attention. Great pictures Harley Guy and thanks for the explanations!
 

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[Thanks for showing us harleyguy!

Somebody told me that in order to do a 7 year warranty, that all electric car manufacturers are cycling the battery use in all cars so that no one cell is in use all the time thereby reducing the overall usable charge on a pack but increasing its life. I assume this is not true of the Karma but I thought I would ask. In other words, is the entire battery pack in full charge/discharge use all the time?
 

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Battery is about 600lbs, the cover that is off in those pictures is only a couple of pounds. the Cells are discharged together and are networked together, they load balance to keep the voltages in check. if the voltage level where to drop too low, the battery pack is considered dead (on GM 300v 2mode hybrids, that threshold is 194v). the Black covers you see are actually the cell controllers.
 

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The level of complexity and sophistication is mind-boggling. I usually think of a battery as a monolithic, and essentially passive, device that simply reacts to the electrical current, or the absence of it. This is something very different, very active and very intelligent. Thank you for sharing these photos.
 

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Charged in The OC said:
Somebody told me that in order to do a 7 year warranty...
Just to clarify, Fisker doesn't provide a 7 year warranty on the battery do they? I thought the battery was just part of their 50 month/50K mile bumper to bumper warranty.
 

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Charged in The OC said:
[Thanks for showing us harleyguy!

Somebody told me that in order to do a 7 year warranty, that all electric car manufacturers are cycling the battery use in all cars so that no one cell is in use all the time thereby reducing the overall usable charge on a pack but increasing its life. ...
(Side note: as pointed out elsethread Fisker provide a 50-month warranty, not 7 or 10 year.)

That would make things worse, not better.

What does help (different amounts of "helpfulness" for different chemistries) is to limit the range of the "State of Charge" (SoC) of the cells. GM use this on the Volt, keeping SoC well above minimum at all times, so that the pack has roughly 8 "usable" kWh even though it stores about twice that much. The A123 batteries benefit less and Fisker use a wider range, with about 20 "usable" kWh. (The Volt and Karma get similar battery-powered ranges—roughly 35 and 45 miles depending on weather and driving style and so on—despite the Karma's roughly 2x energy storage simply because the Karma is so much heavier and, well, nicer. :D It's the same basic reason that a basic 1990s-era Toyota Corolla got almost 30 mpg [edit: EPA est = 26 highway] while your BMW 3- or 5-series got more like 15.)

Most electric cars, including all the commerical ones today, have fancy electronics that balance the load on all the cells. Some homebrew setups ditch the load-balancer (which is complicated and expensive) and just rely on the fact that if you buy a batch of cells all at the same time, they should all be pretty darn equal to start with, and if you then age them at the same rate through usage, they should remain pretty darn equal. The drawback to this light-weight approach is that if one cell is way out of spec for some reason, the whole system falls over, and you have to know what you are doing to figure this out and cut out the failed cell, etc. In other words, it's cheaper, but can be a hassle.

Someone speculated that GM might widen the SoC range on the Volt over time: if you start with a 50% range and then as the pack ages, widen the SoC range, you could keep your nominal 30-to-40-mile battery-only distance-range even though the battery's total storage has dropped.

There is a lot of speculation today about whether used packs will have a resale market where utility companies (PG&E, SCE, Rocky Mountain Power, whoever your local power company is, etc) would buy them to use them for ancillary services (voltage/frequency support etc). It seems likely, but as Yogi Berra said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you for looking at the pictures I'm glad you all enjoyed them . If i'm not mistaken I believe the battery is now warrantied for 8 years but I have to double check that it was originally a 5/50 but they increased it .I don't have the actual amount but I believe the cost of the battery is around 20K . If I do any other interesting work I will post those pictures for everyone else to see .Hopefully if things go right I will be out in Anaheim in May I should be able to take some great pictures while out there .
 

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I have an odd question.

People say living next to a power line can cause cancer. Is there any chance that these batteries could do us any harm? Do they emit anything harmful?

My wife is concerned, so does anyone have an answer?

Thanks!
 

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ffcars said:
I have an odd question.

People say living next to a power line can cause cancer. Is there any chance that these batteries could do us any harm? Do they emit anything harmful?

My wife is concerned, so does anyone have an answer?

Thanks!
This information from the WHO may be of interest:
http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index1.html
 

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ffcars said:
People say living next to a power line can cause cancer. ...
Except, if you look at the statistics carefully, you find that power lines do not actually "cause cancer" at all. Yes, there are some "cancer clusters" near some power lines ... but not all power lines, and it's one of those false correlations, like the one about collisions with deer occurring when the driver's headlights are on. There is instead some common cause (dusk, in the case of deer-and-headlights) and you need to look for the common cause, rather than simply assuming that driving with the headlights off will avoid the problem.

(Power lines are often built on, or even become due to industry springing up right next to them, chemical dumping "brown fields". The problem is the chemicals, not the electromagnetic fields.)
 

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ffcars said:
I have an odd question.

People say living next to a power line can cause cancer. Is there any chance that these batteries could do us any harm? Do they emit anything harmful?

My wife is concerned, so does anyone have an answer?

Thanks!
I would think being exposed to the exhaust and other emissions of any of the other cars in your prodigious garage would be far more harmful than any emissions from the DC current going through the cables in the Karma. Since most of the cabling in the Karma carries DC, the magnetic field does not constantly reverse polarity as AC does which means there is almost no EM radiation.
 

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Wimbledon said:
This information from the WHO may be of interest:
http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index1.html
This is an excellent article. Well written, informative and sourced.

Of relevant interest to this thread is the Conculsions paragraph:

Conclusions from scientific research
In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years. Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.


Thanks for sharing.
 
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