Zeon Batterry Replacement

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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby jasonhc73 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:10 pm

I bought a Zeon last year, the company I bought it from bought 8 or 9 directly from Excel/Hustler. They got them at closeout prices, so, sold them at as is prices. Mine had 1 hour on it. The company I bought put in a set of batteries last summer. I used it with the Hustler charger. I didn't know anything about boil over or worse freezing. So I thought the boiling was normal. Low and behold it absolutely was not. The charger from Hustler worked fine all summer, I had no issues at all. I actually mowed for a solid 90 minutes once. Well anyways over the winter the batteries froze and swelled and well died. Some could say I killed them, but I'm pleading ignorance...

Now that freezing has ended for the year, I still had 3 months left on the battery warranties, so I took them to where they where bought, and they offered a prorated price for replacements for just $440.00 a set. A-hemmm... I umm said well maybe someone else can offer a better deal. About 5 miles away at Atwoods, they had a special on Marine Dual purpose (Starter/Trolling) batteries. So for 280.00 I have a brand new set installed. I used the factory charger and let it charge overnight. When I unplugged the charger the level indicator on the mower showed just 1 bar (out of 10). The voltmeter indicated 52.6v, but the charger was yellow blinking, which means bad batteries.

So I gave the mower a shot and mowed with it showing 1 bar. I was ready for it to go into stubborn mule mode, what happens when the batteries are empty on a Zeon, there is no free wheeling so it ain't moving mode. I mowed my entire yard with 1 bar showing, well it's a 5 minute mow in the back. So I plugged the factory charger back in again, and solid yellow, indicating charging. I let it charge for 4 hours. Checked it and blinking yellow again. Unplug it and v-meter showing 52 something, turn it on and 10 bars. My guess the controller needed to cycle once so it could calculate min and max again.

Anyways I just bought a Schumaker 4825 and two 50amp connectors. I was about to get a Genius Gen4 but couldn't understand how putting 4 separate connectors could possibly work on a 48v pack.

Sorry about image upload, I thought this was going to be clickable icons...
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Ready and Charged
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16 Hours
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby Christopher rhode » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:27 am

Hi Jason, I started out the same way you did. I got mine with a set of toasted (factory issued) Trojan 31xhs batteries, but didn't want to pony up the $700-$800 for replacements. I bought dual purpose batteries like you did from our local farm store just to try it out. I averaged an 45 minutes per use with those, but had all sorts of issues like the fuel gage being wrong. I also suspect the wrong batteries ruined my first charger. I was so pleased with the machine that I returned those batteries and bought the correct batteries (Trojan 31xhs). Huge difference! Mowing time doubled, and the fuel gage has been much more accurate. You will be much happier with every aspect of the correct batteries except the price.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby jasonhc73 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:14 am

So far I've put an hour of mowing on it, the gauge showed only 50% capacity. Yes I get it brand new batteries still...

Well, I put in a disconnect switch to open the circuit. I also am using a Schumacher 4825 to charge, even with the battery set isolated from the system the charger doesn't go into maintenance mode, or show full charged. It just charges and switches off. I guess since still new there are no sulfides to pulse off yet.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby roberttroll » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:54 pm

Interesting - I have the four bank version of that charger. I wonder how the 48v version compares. It should switch into maintenance mode.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby Evblazer » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:10 pm

I have found the gauge on mine to be somewhat useless.
Mine only is accurate ish when it the mower is off a fresh charge.
If the batteries have time to settle it often starts at one bar and the mower will last as long as usual.
Right off a recharge or if I top them off the gauge lags behind a bit when one batteries voltage crashes hard. I could have all batteries above 11 and then one rapidly goes down and the mower stills shows the same bars.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby Jake » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:18 pm

The battery gauge indeed doesn't help much. The cut-off voltage for the deck is pretty consistent so it'd be better to just put a voltmeter on the battery pack instead and watch that.

I did my first run of mowing in the larger area in my backyard for this year yesterday, glad to see the batteries still going strong after winter storage and revival. I'll continue to measure charge and discharge cycles to report on aging. I also took a video this time of the autosteering. Thanks to GPS & Glonass, mowing straight tracks with about an inch or 2 of overlap, is a piece of cake:

Track one, just cutting a path to start somewhere: https://youtu.be/94uRhfRTLKI and track two https://youtu.be/V0DXDik_TEs, coming back along the previous swath.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby Evblazer » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:15 pm

was away on an assignment for most of two months. On one day when I was home i unplugged the charger because of storms. Next time I was home in a few weeks the batteries were 9.2, 11.9, 10.2, 10.1
I had unplugged the emeter but not the individual battery volt meters. The batteries were gone always I guess I just put some finishing touches on that.
It is only. $240 a month to get the lawn mowed and it was nice not to do it. May actually finish the season that way and figure out what to do next year since batteries are so much and the lawn should hibernate soon with the heat coming.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby Evblazer » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:11 am

I'm going to be on my second but the mowers fourth set of batteries. At about 150 or so hours total.
I was thinking of the mean green mower but it is so much with so little detail I'm worried I'd be back in the same spot. I imagine 5 acres mowing but maybe that is only in light grass, slowly, in power save blade mode and with sand blade and ...
So maybe go for some lithium. I'm wondering if this golf cart replacement pack might do it with 120ah
http://hybridautocenter.com/HAC4/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79
It seems a lot but the mean green is 11k for an unknown mower and battery and would be too big for alot of places the zeon squeezes through.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby Jake » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:47 am

These lithium golf cart battery packs are indeed interesting. I expect that the 120 Ah capacity version will provide at least 50% more runtime than the stock 31XHS set, possibly double. My concerns are whether the Zeon electronics would throw any fault codes with the higher full charge voltage and whether the BMS of this Lithium pack disables the battery pack output before the Zeon turns off the deck to give the "go back to the charger" warning. Any warning issues with the slightly higher battery pack voltage range might be solved by adjusting parameters in the Zeon with the diagnostic tool, not sure whether e.g. the deck turn-off point is adjustable. Wish this supplier was close by, it would certainly be worth a try to see if it is as simple as a drop-in replacement for the lead-acids.
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Re: Zeon Batterry Replacement

Postby Evblazer » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:57 pm

I'm looking at two options. Both could have a charging BMS that just protects the high end or a 4x as expensive BMS that will cutoff the power when it hits low voltage. One could also use the charging BMS along with some other means of sounding alarms if there is low cell voltages as there are many cheap cell log devices that track voltage for remote control lipos.

2 "48v" Chevy Volt modules with a total of 95AH which sits at about 45 volts max of 50v. This pack would spare any high voltage issues and the discharge graph lines up well with my mowers approximately 41volt deck cutoff. I could with major surgery maybe get another module in but that involved cutting off the back of the mower and moving it back and raising the seat a bit or cutting some stuff off the volt battery in addition to moving the seat up.

The nissan leaf kits comes in with 60AH or 120AH and fits with no issue if you buy the kit. The metal box encloses the charger and other items which make it a little tall/wide and since the zeon is a metal box I was thinking i'd just want to put a plastic box around it to keep everything out. It does have a higher voltage with 2 extra groups in series with a stated 53.2V average, 58.8V max and a cutoff at 42v. The charger can put the lead acids that high although they won't stay that way for long at all and I'm not sure how fast the leaf batteries would drop down to the 53v. I also may need a low voltage alarm/cutoff unless I can get a kit with two less in series to match the chevy volt pack or failing that get them to tune the BMS/Charger to 12S and keep the extras for spares.
So I'd have the following + BMS on the end in a box
Image

discharge curve on a leaf cell. If i'm reading it right the full 14S kit would be almost 48 volt when the batteries is 90% empty. Too high for my comfort level I think I'll have to ask about just getting 12 in a series.
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