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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought y'all might find this interesting with all the talk of whether and how frequently the 12V battery recharges itself. I think it's a well-beaten horse that it DOES, but I'm still curious exactly how frequently and under what circumstances. A bluetooth battery monitor shows that, when it does, the DCDC comes on for exactly 1 hour at a time to top up the 12V, but it's a little unclear what the logic is.

Well, it turns out there are a handful of projects built on the Bluelink/UVO API that work even in the USA (unlike Tronity), and one of them works just great with Home Assistant, which I use anyway so I set that up. Basically, it polls the Kia Connect API every so often, and makes a forced refresh (wake up the car to get new data) every couple hours. All the API data comes into Home Assistant, and the way I have it set up, all that data also gets shoveled over to InfluxDB and is available in Grafana to graph. What's interesting is, in addition to all the stuff you see in the app (EV battery %, odometer, doors or windows open, etc) the API ALSO reports 12V battery state of charge. I assume the app shows this for ICE vehicles but just hides it for EVs, but it's still there.

To spare your eyes, the yellow line is odometer, green is EV battery %, and blue is 12V battery, presumably also %. It looks like the car turns on the DCDC to top it up whenever it hits 80% estimated, and that tops it up to 90-91%. Looks like it drains around 15% per day if not much is going on.

You can see my odometer hasn't ticked up in days - the car's been sitting at the dealership waiting on new tires since just before I set the system up, so 15% per day off the 12V and like half a percent per day for the EV battery just sitting around, maybe moved a few feet from space to space once every day or two.

The next stage to this experiment is to put a maybe 5W load on the 12V constantly and see if the car gets angry about it (like a dashcam in parking mode with no external battery)

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow this is awesome! I had no idea you could access Kia data via home assistant. Thanks for posting this.
I didn't either until someone posted a screenshot in the Ioniq 5 subreddit a couple days ago.

Meant to include the integration link in the first post:

If you want to try it yourself - I've never used a third party integration and found it confusing and cumbersome. The rough outline is:
  1. Install HACS
  2. Restart HASS core
  3. Go to the new HACS tab, and bottom-right click "explore repositories" and find and install the one above.
  4. Once that's installed, go to the NORMAL integrations section, in Settings>Devices and Services, then click Add integration
  5. Find UVO, and THAT'S where you can then "configure" to add your Kia Connect credentials.
 

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To spare your eyes, the yellow line is odometer, green is EV battery %, and blue is 12V battery, presumably also %. It looks like the car turns on the DCDC to top it up whenever it hits 80% estimated, and that tops it up to 90-91%. Looks like it drains around 15% per day if not much is going on.
I don't think that is a correct presumption. 15% per day rate of self discharge for a lead acid battery which should only have a small idle load on it is excessive. Unless the dealer has left the interior lights on or something else is happening?

ICE cars don't recharge unless the engine/alternator is running and if this rate of discharge was applicable, it would be dead in a week and unable to start the car.

I'd say you are on the right track but I doubt the units(%) is correct in the case of the 12V battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think that is a correct presumption. 15% per day rate of self discharge for a lead acid battery which should only have a small idle load on it is excessive. Unless the dealer has left the interior lights on or something else is happening?

ICE cars don't recharge unless the engine/alternator is running and if this rate of discharge was applicable, it would be dead in a week and unable to start the car.

I'd say you are on the right track but I doubt the units(%) is correct in the case of the 12V battery.
Guess it just depends what a reasonable power budget is. The 12V battery is roundabout 500 watt hours, so 15% is 75Wh. 75 Wh per day is 3.125 watts continuous drain, where .125 of that is the Bluetooth battery monitor I have on there.

3 watts seems pretty reasonable to me for a vehicle that has lots of continuously running systems including telematics, and a massive battery to recharge from on-demand.

The EV6 also adopts a power strategy similar to ICE vehicles with (relatively) high-drain telematics and continuous systems, which is that after a couple days of no activity, it goes into an extra-low-power long term mode where the telematics system doesn’t wake up to check in.

In other words, 15% per day seems perfectly reasonable to me, though I expect if I left it alone even longer that would probably drop when the telematics entered “don’t wake up” mode. Though of course, my telemetry would also stop.
 

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Here is a cool video about how to monitor your 12 v battery.
Monitor your 12 v battery -- youtube
I got one of those after I saw that video. I tested it for 2 weeks on a spare battery to see how much it would drain the battery (very little) and then put it on my Prius. After my EV6 arrived I moved it to the EV6. Here are some recent graphs of the EV6 12V battery.

May 18 - two short trips (5 minutes each).
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May 19 - EV6 decided to charge the 12V at 3 in the morning. I used the car in the afternoon and early evening. I put the car on the level 2 charger at 10PM for a scheduled charge at midnight.
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May 20 - the scheduled charge ran from midnight to 5AM. I disconnected the charger at 8AM. I drove 20 miles at 9-11AM, and between 1-2PM.
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May 21 - car still idle in the garage.
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Guess it just depends what a reasonable power budget is. The 12V battery is roundabout 500 watt hours, so 15% is 75Wh. 75 Wh per day is 3.125 watts continuous drain, where .125 of that is the Bluetooth battery monitor I have on there.

3 watts seems pretty reasonable to me for a vehicle that has lots of continuously running systems including telematics, and a massive battery to recharge from on-demand.

The EV6 also adopts a power strategy similar to ICE vehicles with (relatively) high-drain telematics and continuous systems, which is that after a couple days of no activity, it goes into an extra-low-power long term mode where the telematics system doesn’t wake up to check in.

In other words, 15% per day seems perfectly reasonable to me, though I expect if I left it alone even longer that would probably drop when the telematics entered “don’t wake up” mode. Though of course, my telemetry would also stop.
The EV6 accessory battery is a 60ah battery (720wh), not around 500. A 15% daily drain with the car idle would equate to a constant 375 milliamp drain which would be very high, in fact that is more than 10% of its 3ah rated load current. While the ev6 and ionic5 can charge their 12v batteries when the car is idle I don't think you'll see them recharge often enough to agree with that rate. Also, these are not typical lead acid batteries, they are calcium lead acid. The characteristics are different and they don't tolerate high drains or discharges.

I didn't know about the HACS project. I'll be playing with that tonight.
 

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Is there a problem with just keeping the 12V battery on a battery tender?
Yes there is. If you look at graphs DMiller has, the built in charger charges at around 14.6 to 14.8 volts. That's because it takes a higher voltage to overcome the internal resistance of a calcium battery to initiate a charge. So your tender will sit there idle doing nothing and then will see 14.8v backfed into it when the built in charger starts. Besides, the built in charger is a tender, it recharges when the car is idle eliminating the need for an external device.
 

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I didn't either until someone posted a screenshot in the Ioniq 5 subreddit a couple days ago.

Meant to include the integration link in the first post:

If you want to try it yourself - I've never used a third party integration and found it confusing and cumbersome. The rough outline is:
  1. Install HACS
  2. Restart HASS core
  3. Go to the new HACS tab, and bottom-right click "explore repositories" and find and install the one above.
  4. Once that's installed, go to the NORMAL integrations section, in Settings>Devices and Services, then click Add integration
  5. Find UVO, and THAT'S where you can then "configure" to add your Kia Connect credentials.
What hardware/OS are you running Home Assistant on?
 

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I bought this car charger to keep in the trunk.
Went in yesterday and got our EV GT squared away with for the recall notice and had them check the 12 volt battery. The high voltage indicator comes on atleast a few times a week and they said the 12v battery is ‘fresh and working perfectly’. I’ve seen too many people with non functioning EV6s and ioniq 5s on YouTube, FB etc. Rather be safe plus it’s a cool gadget to have around
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Very interesting update. First, have a look at the manual page for the "aux battery saver" funciton. It says if the funciton activates "10 times in a row," it'll assume something's wrong with the 12V and stop recharging it. That seems silly to me - if you just parked the car for a few months, it'd just... stop trying to keep itself alive? Even if it's got plenty of main battery charge?

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Lo and behold, I guess so. Looking at my plot, it's activated 10 times since I started, and now the 12V battery is creeping down below 80%. Guess we'll see what happens tomorrow if and when they move my car!

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So two things we know: some people have left their car unattended for a few weeks, and had no problem returning to it with a few percent off the HV battery and no problems starting up. Others have left it alone for a day or two and come back to a dead 12V battery.

It does look like my car has never entered the ultra-low-power no-telematics mode, which leads me to wonder whether pinging it every 2 hours keeps that from happening and thus results in actually-higher battery drain. EDIT: my "scan interval" is 30min, which is a lot quicker than new points are coming in, and my "force scan" interval is 4 hours, which is a lot longer than most points are coming in, so I really have no idea.
 

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The other thing you'll notice in your graph is that each of the times it charges, the final charge voltage is lower than the previous charge. The maintainer should be able to bring the battery back to rated voltage in 20 minutes or less. I suspect there is a problem with the battery and I doubt the communications would cause excessive drain but it might help expose the problem. Do you know if the service folks attached a load to the battery to test the maintainer? If not I think the battery might be bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The other thing you'll notice in your graph is that each of the times it charges, the final charge voltage is lower than the previous charge. The maintainer should be able to bring the battery back to rated voltage in 20 minutes or less.
That's not exactly the case. For one, it's not voltage. You don't think it's percent, I do, but either way it's 90 or 91 after the first 5 recharges, so it's definitely not volts. It does become 89 for the next 3, then 88 for the last two, but that doesn't really surprise me. Battery state estimation is subject to integrated error without seeing a fully charged or fully discharged condition to reset that error. I'd expect, if I took the car on a road trip and the 12V truly hit 100% SOC, then left it alone for 6 days to re-record the same graph, we'd see something similar, where the recharge indicated drifts down as the integrated SOC error piles up.

As for the 20 minute thing, I don't know, but in direct contradiction to the manual, the DCDC on periods last exactly one hour every time (based on the much higher frequency data from the bluetooth monitor I've got on there, not this chart).

Do you know if the service folks attached a load to the battery to test the maintainer?
They did not - it's just parked outside in the pile of other cars to eventually get around to.
 

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Yes there is. If you look at graphs DMiller has, the built in charger charges at around 14.6 to 14.8 volts. That's because it takes a higher voltage to overcome the internal resistance of a calcium battery to initiate a charge. So your tender will sit there idle doing nothing and then will see 14.8v backfed into it when the built in charger starts. Besides, the built in charger is a tender, it recharges when the car is idle eliminating the need for an external device.
Your comment regarding a backfeed issue with the use of a Battery Tender runs counter to the info. I gathered from Deltran concerning the use of their Battery Tender line. The tech. support person I spoke with told me there would be no issue at all. As far as this car already having a "tender", from what I am seeing the KIA "tender" is not up to the job of keeping the battery topped off and that the source of the issue.
 

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Your comment regarding a backfeed issue with the use of a Battery Tender runs counter to the info. I gathered from Deltran concerning the use of their Battery Tender line. The tech. support person I spoke with told me there would be no issue at all. As far as this car already having a "tender", from what I am seeing the KIA "tender" is not up to the job of keeping the battery topped off and that the source of the issue.
Funny, my built in charger has no problem keeping the battery topped off. The manual also tells you to disconnect the battery from the car for slow or fast charging with an external device. It's up to you what you choose to do.
 
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