As of Sept 1, 2019, the legal entity (company) Battery Condition Test B.V. has closed.
At this moment, transfer of the products to another supplier is in process. Updates about this will be provided through the website..

Technical support


Click on the + symbol (), to see the answer.


Problems

Any problem you have encoutered

The charger does not start

Possible reasons:
  1. The connectors for the A / B channels for battery and charger do not correspond
  2. The plugs on the back side are not pushed in properly or firmly
  3. Some charger do not always switch on when a battery has been connected first. Disable re-charging in the start dialog

I can not start a measurement, Voltage is 0

Before a measurement can be started, the tester needs to see the battery voltage.

Possible reasons for no voltage:

  1. The battery must be switched ON, either manually, or by communication
  2. The connections to the battery are reversed

Use a multimeter to measure the battery voltage and polarity and connect properly.

If communication is required (like the Bosch batteries) either use the proper adapter or connect the communication wires to the bicycle to have the bicycle activate the battery.

The BA-device down not show in the device list

Did a house-cleaner visit? Did you move the device?

If the tester is not shown in the list, it normally means that the USB cable is not properly connected, or defective.

The test does not finish

A test, with pre-charge and re-charge normally takes about 12 hours, depending on the charge times.

A test may get stuck in one of the 3 steps (pre-Charge, Dis-chargeor re-Charge). The program works in steps (called State), which can be observed in the Progress Status tab. 

In this Progress Status screen, you can see where the test is, and what the reason is that it is waiting for.

When is my test successful?

Your test is successful when the measurement went through all the steps that you intended. If the result of the test is not what you expenced (or whished for) you can check:

  • If the battery was charged correctly (see Max Charging Voltage in the Tab page Measurement Results)
  • If there were no unusual interruptions like disconnected wiring
  • If the dis-charge test stopped, when the voltage was not yet at the specified Turn-off (see the Tab page Measurement Results) the BMS of the battery may have measured overtemperature or overcurrent

Remember, this tester is like a multimeter. The user needs to interpret the results to exclude measurement errors.

How to reset the Slot / Channel data

Before you read on first check whether the power cable is securely plugged into it’s socket. Also if you use a mains power block with a switch, make sure that the switch is set to On.

Sometimes, after changing the USB plugs, Battery slots show RED in the Channel list.
The program must re-assign the ports to the slots. Therefor the existing configuration must be deleted.

To remove the Slot data:

  • Close the BatteryAnalyzer V3 program.
  • Open File Explore (Verkenner).
  • Type in de address bar: %ProgramData%\BatteryAnalyser and hit ‘Enter’.
  • Select the folder SlotData and delete it.
    A prompt dialog appears the explains you need administrator permission. Just click Continue.
  • Start the BatteryAnalyzer V3 program.

Now the problem should be resolved.



Error messages

Find information about messages from the software

Device Reconnected

The USB connection of the tester was re-connected after a disconnect.

Possible causes:

  • The computer and software restarted after a power-loss
  • Bad USB cable
  • Bad USB port on the computer

You may try a different port on the computer and/or a different USB cable.

Otherwise contact your supplier.

The channel list shows RED

Before you read on first check whether the power cable is securely plugged into it’s socket. Also if you use a mains power block with a switch, make sure that the switch is set to On.

Sometimes, after changing the USB plugs, Battery slots show RED in the Channel list.
The program must re-assign the ports to the slots. Therefore the existing configuration must be deleted.

To remove the Slot data:

  • Close the BatteryAnalyzer V3 program.
  • Open the Windows File Explorer (Verkenner).
  • Type in de address bar: %ProgramData%\BatteryAnalyser and hit ‘Enter’.
  • Select the folder SlotData and delete it.
    A prompt dialog appears the explains you need administrator permission. Just click Continue.
  • Start the BatteryAnalyzer V3 program.

Now the problem should be resolved.



Technical questions

Learn more about the technical background

Does is matter what type of battery I want to test?

Not really.

Non-Lithium batteries can safely be tested with the standard settings of the analyzer.
With some batteries, you may want to change the limit of the empty-voltage. This is the voltage at which the test must end since further discharging may result in a deep-discharge.

What is Capacity in mAh or Wh?

Ah (Ampère hours) / mAh (mili-Ampère hours)

The battery capacity is the amount of current drawn from the battery, multiplied by the time it takes before it is empty. It is often expressed in Ampère-hour (Ah). For more accuracy it may be expressed in milli-Ampère-hour (1/1000th of an Ampère-hour).

To translate from mAh to Ah, just divide by 1000.

Wh (Watt hours)

Capacity can also be expressed as the amount of energy (Watt) drawn from the battery, multiplied by the time it takes before it is empty.

 

Some manufacturers put the capacity in Ah, other in Wh, and some put both numbers. Since the Ah is independent of the voltage, while the Wh does depend on voltage, measurement results will normally be a bit different between the two methods (up to some 3 to 5%).

How long will a test take?

A battery test can best be done at the current that is drawn during normal operation. That results in a battery time that is comparable to the usage time.

It is possible to speed-up the test by increasing the test current. However, care must be taken not to exceed the maximum allowable current for the battery under test.

Normal values are:

Capacity Test Current Test hours
 10 Ah  (360Wh)  6 A  1h35
 14 Ah  (500Wh)  6A  2h20
 6 Ah  (215Wh)  4A  1h30

If the test runs at full motor power the time may be calculated as Time = Battery capacity [Wh] / Motor power [W].

What is the principle of testing?

With the test, we want to determine the actual capacity of the battery to hold energy. This is done by charging the battery to 100% and discharge it with a constant test current. The time till 0% is measured.
The product of Time * Test current is the capacity in Ah.
Example:  A test of 1h30 with a current of 6 A results in 9 Ah capacity.

Important: To determine whether a battery can handle the power of acceleration or up-hill driving, we provide a special test profile to simulate that.
The result of that test shows the real street performance of the battery.

What is a BMS?

A BMS is the Battery Management System. It is used in Lithium Ion batteries to protect the battery against short circuits and over-current. A most BMS’s also protect against deep-discharge and over-charging.

If a BMS fails, the battery may be damaged and can become dangerous, since it may ignite and burn into flames.

Some batteries have a BMS without connections to the outside world. Others provide connections to allow read-out by special electronics and software. Depending on the BMS protocol, the Battery Condition Test software V3, can read the BMS data, using our analyzers.

What is a C-rate?

Often, the maximum charge and discharge current of a battery is specified as 0.2C, 0.5C or 1C.
1C means that the full battery capacity used in 1 hour.

The table shows some examples of capacities, Currents and C-rates:

Capacity (Ah) C-rate Current (A) Time (h) Time (h:mm)
10 1C 10 1 1:00
10 0.2C 2 5 5:00
10 0.6C 6 1.67 1:40
10 2C 20 0.5 0:30

Checking the measurement accuracy

If there are doubts about the calibration of the Battery Analyser you can verify it.

This can be done by following the next simple steps.

The following items are needed:

  • A multimeter capable of measuring at least 10A DC
  • A fully charged battery (24V, 36V or 48V will work).
  • The standard battery cable as delivered with the Battery Analyser

Checking the voltage measurement:

  • Switch the Voltmeter to DC Volts
  • Connect the Volt meter to the + and – of the Battery
  • Do NOT start a measurement
  • Check if the voltage displayed by the meter is within 2% of the value displayed in the software at “Voltage Loaded”
  • Example: When the “Voltage Loaded” shows 41.15V the multimeter should show a value between 41.97V and 40.33V. If it does not, please contact battery Condition Test by filling out the contact form on this page.

Checking the Current measurement:

  • Switch the Current meter to DC Amp measurement
  • Connect the Current meter in the + lead
  • Note: Use Average current measurement NOT RMS
  • Start a Warranty Evaluation test and set the current to 5A.  Click here for test settings
  • Disable the Pre-Charge in order to speed up the process
  • Check if the current, displayed by the meter is within 5% of the value as displayed in the software at “Current:”
  • Example: When the “Current” shows 5.00A the multimeter should show a value between 5.25A and 4.75A. If it does not, please contact battery Condition Test by filling out the contact form on this page.

 

My battery BMS has switched off. Can I reset it?

When a battery is deep-discharged, a BMS may decide that it is unsafe to re-charge the cells.
So if it has shut down the battery, think twice to ‘re-vive’ it.

If you sill want to try, use a Lab-power supply with adjustable current limit.
The power supply must be set to:

  • A voltage, equal to the charger voltage
  • Maximum short circuit current of 100mA
  • Connect this to the battery output Bat+ and Bat-, instead of the charger input pins
Warning: If you do not know how to do this, ask someone who does. Do not ‘just give it a go’, since you may easily burn down your office/home.

How can I test Sparta-Ion

Sparta Ion can be tested by making a T-connection between the Motor and the Frame (use a black wire instead of blue as on the picture).
The BA_xxx is connected to the Red (+) and Black (-) wires.

Connector types (AMP part numbers):

Side Connector type Body Contacts Other Wire
Frame side AMP Super seal 1.5 series 282087-1 183025-1 or 282110-1 Seal 1 per wire 281934-2 1.5mm2 or 14~15 AWG
Motor side AMP Super seal 1.5 series 282105-1 183024-1 or 282109-1 Seal 1 per wire 281934-2
Pin Function Color
1 + Red
2 Sig Yellow
3 Black

Cut a part of the isolation of the Red and Black wire and connect the BA_xxx red and black wires.
You may use the crimp elements from the Terminal Converter Set to make your Ion connection it detachable.

Test procedure

Fully Charge the battery before test.
During test, the charger must not be connected.
Then disable pre- and post charge in the start dialog.
Note that the battery must be kept active during test. Otherwise the battery will shut off which will terminate the measurement.

How to interpret a test report

Normally you will have the charger connected and the tester control the charger. If not, you must be certain that the battery was fully charged before testing.

On the report, there are 3 important number to look at:

  • Capacity in Wh
  • Capacity in Wh
  • Internal resistance

They can be found in the Test results part of the report (see this example).

The battery is either specified in Ah or Wh (example: 11Ah or 400Wh). Both numbers are on the report. In this case, both indicate around 96.6% you can assume that this is correct. The impedance (internal resistance) is below 400mOhm (and  even below 200). Tis is a good value. Lower is always better.

The conclusion is that the battery is very good and can be used normally.

The graphs give extra information:

The first 2 graphs show the voltage (red), current (blue) and the impedance (internal resistance, green).

The curves are nice and smooth. During the parts with constant current (in this case the entire measurement) no irragularities should show.
On the 2nd plot, you may read the capacity in Ah at the moment the voltage stops.

Finally, the charging curve shows the voltage during charging. If you battery allows BMS readout, most batteries will also show the temeprature during charging.


Battery Condition Test – The Test report explained
This video explains the meaning of the information on the test report.

What is an acceptable battery wear rate?

The decrease of capacity is caused by the use of the battery. When a battery becomes empty, after a 100% charge, 1 cycle is counted. Generally, most Lithium batteries wear about 30 to 40% in 500 cycles.

Whether a battery is still fit for the job, you need to consider the use of a battery that can do only 60 or 70 % of its original distance.

What is an acceptable internal resistance or impedance?

Most good batteries have an internal resistance and impedance between 120 and 200 mOhm. A lower value is even better.

In our test profiles we let a battery fail when the value exceeds 400mOhm. In this case, the battery will probable also fail on a low capacity due to the high loss of voltage in the internal resistance.

Which test conditions should be observed?

There are 2 test conditions that are of interest:

  1. Test for normal use
    In this test you want real life conditions, meaning a constant load of 100% of the motor power (often 250W) and peaks for acceleration and hill climbing (upto 1.8 times the normal power).
    So a 36V battery should be tested at about 7 Amp with peaks to 12.5 Amp.
  2. Test for manufacturer warranty
    Most cells are specified at a discharge of 0.2C, meaning 0.2 times the rated capacity.
    So a battery of 10Ah should then be tested with 10 x 0.2 = 2A.

Here you can see the requirement for a good battery tester. It must be capable of testing at higher power to reveal possible battery problems.
The BA610, BA760 and BA910 testers all handle this nicely.

 

The battery gives no voltage

A battery can not be tested if the it needs communication to be active, which is normally handled by the display on the bicycle.
For the Bosch and Gazelle Panasonic batteries, we made special cables that activate the battery.

For other type, the battery manufacturer has not release the communication protocol. Testing is then only possible to make a T-connection on the Bat+ and Bat- wires on the bicycle (or the motor+ and – wires). Then bike keeps the battery active. But most bikes only keep the battery ON during 5 or 10 minutes after the last activity. So you will need to do some activity within that time.

Examples of this:

  • Shimano Steps
  • Sparta Ion (See also: “How can I test Sparta-Ion”)
  • Some batteries with CAN-bus protocol

We urge you to ask the manufacturer to release the protocol to us, so that we may support their product(s).

How do I get support

We provide support through our web site (click here) and e-mail. Please first read the Questions and Answers and –only when you cannot find the topic, use email.

See the technical support section here

If you have a general question (not about a measurement):

  • Read the “Your Support | Before ordering and Technical support”.
  • Write an e-mail to support (see below)
  • Please write a short description of what you would like to know, including your Company/Name/Address/Phone.

If you have a question about a measurement also include the following information

  • Which battery type are you testing:
    – What is the capacity of the battery?
    – How many cells is the battery?
    – What is the cell type (Li-Ion/Lead Acced/Other?)
    – What is the battery nominal voltage?
    – What is the charger voltage?
    – Which cable are you using?
    – Which version of the software are you using?
    – What is the type number of the battery analyzer?
  • attach the .bctdata file (In the software, go to File | Explore | Reports).
  • Press from the program: Help | Support and copy the system information into the email.
  • Additionally:
    – Can you send me a photo of the battery + cable + BA analyzer?
    – Can you send me a photo (or print-screen) of the main screen of the Software with the analyzer connected and the battery connected to the analyzer?

e-mail: ————

When you contact us without sending this, we need to ask you anyway to send this.
So it saves both of us time and it is easier for you to send an email while not being on the phone. This way we can serve you better.