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      06-13-2019, 07:32 AM   #1
mingqing007
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My F30 320d is 1.5 years old and recently I've notived that the battery voltage is always around 12.3+V.

One is measured by a multimeter before my vacation and the other one is measured by Battery-Guard the nextday after 500km drive home.

BTW, I rarely drive in ECO mode and always turn Auto-Start-Stop off. I've also measured a few times in between, always around 12.3+V. Also, when measuring the voltage using Battery Guard APP, I do that before start-up and without unlocking the car.

The third graph is from the Internet for references. What is the case with you guys, is my battery voltage normal?
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      06-13-2019, 07:55 AM   #2
Mr Podman
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You're fine.

You run in eco mode so you can save gas but have your starter motor suck your battery and wear itself out at every traffic stop.

For your own curiosity, measure battery voltage while the car is running. If you see readings around 14 volts it means your charging system is working properly.
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      06-13-2019, 09:47 AM   #3
mingqing007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Podman View Post
You're fine.

You run in eco mode so you can save gas but have your starter motor suck your battery and wear itself out at every traffic stop.

For your own curiosity, measure battery voltage while the car is running. If you see readings around 14 volts it means your charging system is working properly.
Actually I don't turn on ECO mode that often and I've coded Auto-Start-Stop off (remember last setting).
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      10-22-2019, 01:18 PM   #4
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Having similar issue, 12.2V after few hours from turning car off, car is just 2 years old. Doing regular daily commute of totally ~1-1.5hr of suburban/urban driving to work and back. Always comfort mode, start-stop deactivated.

No any issues so far, but wondering when temps go into -10C or lower in month or two, will the car start with such low SoC.

During drive, voltage is between 14.7 and 14.9V, so alternator seems to be working OK, however not sure with how much current is it charging... And if all working correctly, why so low battery voltage and SoC?
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      10-22-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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You can use the 'hidden menu' in the cars OBC/instrument cluster to look at battery/charging system values, no need for multi meter. Search on YouTube for F30/F-Series hidden menu, see link. . Unlock and you can scroll thru and read system voltage, coolant temp and various parameters. Very convenient tool.

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      10-22-2019, 03:57 PM   #6
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Interesting topic, I assume we all know that the SoC with BMW's energy management and intelligent alternator control, is not targeted at 100%, even after a long run. Typically we run in the 70 - 80% range, allowance for 'over-run' regeneration. Not much over-run harvesting, SoC stays at a lower state. In fact we may drop out of that level, if using too many ancillaries and energy demands are not replenished within the alternator control. Then we go to a conventional charging phase, to get back to the 70 - 80% state.

If we run with a voltmeter active, we may notice the 14.4V steady state increases to 14.7V on the over-run, this is a sign we are in the 70 - 80% SoC range (or above) and the battery is charging in the over-run state.

If we charge the battery, SoC soon reduces, no alternator charging as such, (balance of battery use and alternator support) to allow battery capacity for the over-run charging.

I'm monitoring my battery at the present time, and seeing how the SoC is influenced by daily and less frequent use.

I've done this before, and typically the voltage settles to ~12.3 - 12.4 Volts, when in the sleep mode after use. Same last winter, mid summer and at the present time.

I charged my battery last Tuesday and then used my car every day, 25 - 30 miles, including a couple of starts along the way. Sunday after use, the battery was reading 12.4 Volts in sleep mode.

I've also been driving slightly different to get maximum energy harvesting on the over-run. To see if this will keep the SoC in a higher state. Even after two long runs, (both over 60 miles) the battery wasn't "charged up", still reading similar voltage to what I typically see.

That's energy management for you!
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      10-22-2019, 05:13 PM   #7
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I generally dont drive mine on the weekend as its a work car. I put it on a battery tender on Friday and it usually takes about 12 to 24 hours for it to cycle to float. Makes me think that the charging system never really brings battery to 100%.
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      10-22-2019, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rparnel1 View Post
I generally dont drive mine on the weekend as its a work car. I put it on a battery tender on Friday and it usually takes about 12 to 24 hours for it to cycle to float. Makes me think that the charging system never really brings battery to 100%.
Even if you start out with 100% SoC, charge will almost certainly go down with driving, as the alternator won't be charging except on the over-run, therefore won't keep the battery full. Unless you have miles of over-run driving.

Intelligent alternator control (IGR), isn't designed to keep a battery at 100%. The following from BMW data:

Quote:
Energy recuperation
Fuel consumption is reduced by way of energy recuperation in favourable vehicle operating modes (overrun phases) based on a request to increase the alternator voltage (target values). This energy recovered without the use of fuel is stored in a "receptive battery". The charge status of the battery must be within certain levels that permit charging. A fully charged battery (100 % charged) cannot accept energy and is therefore avoided as part of the intelligent alternator control strategy.
The "within certain levels...".

Quote:
In contrast to conventional charge control, the intelligent battery control avoids a 100% charge. The charge level of the battery reaches about 70 - 80% of the maximum possible charge.

The intelligent alternator control is suppressed cyclically in order to allow 100% battery charge to maintain the full capacity of the battery over time (regeneration).
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      10-27-2019, 04:23 AM   #9
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Issue is that battery is not kept at 70-80%, but 12.3V is ~50% SoC... And sometimes is just 12.2AV. All that now at +20C outside temp. In month or two it shall be -10C, sometimes even -15C in the morning, will the car start if such low SoC is kept by "inteligent battery management"?

"The intelligent alternator control is suppressed cyclically in order to allow 100% battery charge to maintain the full capacity of the battery over time (regeneration)."???

I have never seen above 12.4V (after night sleep) even after 800km day trip. Does anyone ever get more?

By contast, my wife car (not BMW), is typically at ~12.7V (similar age battery, also AGM - healthy 100%, measured full rated CCA, similar internalR). My daily trip to work is at least 1hr (~35km round trip through rush hours), and of my wife is even less.

BTW this battery tester is fully aware battery is AGM type (selected on battery test start) and not a regular type.
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Last edited by Sigtran; 10-27-2019 at 04:49 AM..
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      10-27-2019, 04:47 AM   #10
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Here in the north it is common to get your car coded to disable the brake energy regeneration stuff so that battery would be charged to 100% but I am not sure if it truly works like that. In any case during winter I would rather have my battery in top shape than save a drop of fuel. Mine has been coded like that so I will check my voltages.
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      10-27-2019, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeikei View Post
Here in the north it is common to get your car coded to disable the brake energy regeneration stuff so that battery would be charged to 100% but I am not sure if it truly works like that
I am not aware it is possible to use coding to disable BMW's Brake Energy Regeneration system and to force system to charge battery up to 100%... I've "googled" about this topic and there is no info to be found to support such idea, at least not for BMW brand.
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      10-27-2019, 01:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigtran View Post
Issue is that battery is not kept at 70-80%, but 12.3V is ~50% SoC... And sometimes is just 12.2AV. All that now at +20C outside temp. In month or two it shall be -10C, sometimes even -15C in the morning, will the car start if such low SoC is kept by "inteligent battery management"?

"The intelligent alternator control is suppressed cyclically in order to allow 100% battery charge to maintain the full capacity of the battery over time (regeneration)."???

I have never seen above 12.4V (after night sleep) even after 800km day trip. Does anyone ever get more?.
Even after a charge, my battery typically settles at 12.3 to 12.4V (sleep mode), after driving around a few days of local use, (24 - 30 miles in a day). When I connect to a CTEK charger, the bulk phase usually completes quite quickly, sometimes within 30 minutes. CTEK state the bulk (step 3) charges to approximately 80% SoC, which would seem quite quick for the voltage I start with.

Your "???" for the intelligent alternator control comment. Are you questioning the battery must leave charging capacity, as part of the system design? Or are you reading the battery will be cyclically charged to 100%, (within the energy management), to extend the battery life?

I'm also interested in what other users find if checking the sleeping voltage. I take my readings from the front jump start terminals. Driving profile may make a difference, particularly if a user does an lot of over-runs, which keep topping up the SoC.
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      10-27-2019, 02:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigtran View Post
I am not aware it is possible to use coding to disable BMW's Brake Energy Regeneration system and to force system to charge battery up to 100%... I've "googled" about this topic and there is no info to be found to support such idea, at least not for BMW brand.
I can try to find out what gets coded, I did not do it myself. In any case it is very common over here, especially for cars like mine which have an independent fuel operated heater (Webasto) as that uses battery when it operates.

I can see from my dash that it no longer goes to the blue charge area during engine braking, or in any situation for that matter. Whether it charges the battery to 100% I guess I can just hope it does
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