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GELCOservices - Technical Information


Outlander PHEV – Outstanding Performance

by Bob Gell
SAE-A, IAME - GELCOservices.
Article from: Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News, October/November 2016

Our first Performance Review article covering the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle – PHEV appeared in the February / March 2016 edition of the AAEN Magazine. (article below)

In that article we outlined some of the technologies employed within the PHEV such as plug in to recharge capability, the cooling coefficients of the on-board generator and electric drive motors, the use of the regeneration system, use of air conditioning and aspects of the recharge data.

After some 12 months of operation, primarily in the high end of the urban drive cycle (less than 10% total distance covered in country driving) we now have some meaningful data in regard to fossil fuel consumptions and overall driving economies.

The PHEV has covered 13,560 kilometres in just under the first 12 months of operation and delivered an outstanding set of economies:

• Overall fossil fuel consumption was 167.96 litres across the 13,560klm of travel in the 12 months – equates to around 33.6litres of ULP each of the 5 petrol station visits in the 12 months. In other words, the PHEV visited the petrol station every 73 days only!

• The overall fossil fuel consumption came in at a very respectable 1.17L/Klm!
This company allocated Outlander PHEV has shown that with careful EV driving habits across a full 12 month period that the SUV can deliver a better economy than estimated, however this car did operate at a high level of urban transit trips.

Lots more...

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Mitsubishi Outlander - Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Performance Review

by Bob Gell
SAE-A, IAME - GELCOservices.
Article from: Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News, February/March 2016

Hybrid Electric vehicles are now becoming a sort after option to pure fossil fuel powered internal combustion engines. Globally there is a plethora of new models of passenger cars, SUV’s and 4WD available from most vehicle manufacturers, as the car makers now focus on lowering vehicle emissions, gaining in ICE fuel consumption economies and much improved electric with traditional drive line designs and configurations.

The recent release of Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles – PHEV – is an example of the current technologies being applied to motor vehicle manufacture.

The plug in to the mains option is seen by the motorist as a very suitable and economic option, particularly as the plug in feature offers the choice of a regular Hybrid drive system, with on-board charging and the ability to utilise the vehicle as an Electric vehicle (EV) and thus gain full economies of energy options.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one such excellent example of combining regular ICE and electric drive with a respectable total EV&ICE driving range, very suitable for the mix of urban transit
and country touring. Combined fuel systems on the Outlander can deliver up to 726 kilometres of travel! (source – GELCO services test data)

GELCO services has recently acquired an Outlander PHEV and we have been able to capture operating data of the vehicle. By using strict operational records and access to the PHEV on-board data capture we have been able to extract and analyse a number of operational aspects of the PHEV in “real time” types of use.

• Cooling coefficients of generator and front drive motor
• Regeneration use data
• Air-conditioning use data
• Recharge data
• Overall fuel consumptions

Lots more...

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The Science of Battery Testing

by Bob Gell
SAE-A, IAME - GELCOservices.
Article from: Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News, April/May 2015

Automotive batteries we find today in current model cars are becoming far more complex to effectively test in the field due to the variances in battery chemistry, construction and designed purpose.

The recent introduction of Idle Stop Start (ISS) systems and Hybrid drive systems has launched a plethora of new battery technology, all designed to deliver higher Amp Hour capacities and sustainable high current recharge in very short periods of time as we see with the regenerative battery charging from ISS applications.

Idle Stop Start batteries are a classic case to consider. These ISS battery chemistries can be Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) or a new version of the regular Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) chemistry and grid metallurgy, all designed to be able to accept in just 20 seconds or less high charge currents in the order of 80-110 amps at >14.5 volts and receive this charge current impact at high operating temperatures for the battery.

At last the aftermarket battery tester manufacturers are beginning to recognise that the older testing platforms
and algorithms may not be suitable any longer for the new regime of battery technologies. Some progressive battery tester manufacturers have now launched an ISS (both EFB and AGM/ISS) testing capability as a selectable option.

Essentially, there are three battery tester technology platforms that have the capability of testing current
battery chemistry design and ISS batteries;

• Conductance testing
• Ohmic Load testing
• Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) 

The objective of testing a battery is to determine the battery capacity in Amp Hours (Ah), the battery internal resistance (mO), the State of Health (SOH), State of Charge (SOC), Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) and the State of Fitness (SOF) of the battery when deployed in an ISS application. These tests will then determine the ability of the battery to meet the engine cranking capability - measured in Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) which is the Standard for battery measurement in Australia.

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Next Generation Battery Technology

by Bob Gell SAE-A, IAME -  GELCOservices
Article from: Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News, February 2015

We have seen from our article in the last issue of AAEN that as vehicle manufacturers steadily move to improve drive systems and resultant fuel economies that the traditional Lead Acid battery may not be able to keep up with the technology enhancements now envisaged.
For new eco-solutions to function the vehicle battery has to support more loads and must therefore increase in capacity. The greater requirements placed on the battery has resulted in the development of completely new battery technologies.
Production of vehicles featuring new technologies designed to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy will have increased to approximately 70-80% of all vehicles produced in Europe by end 2015 (In excess of 30 million vehicles).
High volume production vehicles from 2008/09 onwards feature technologically advanced and modified forms of the conventional flooded Lead acid battery, such as AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) and EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery). Carbon negative plates are also being explored in an effort to improve battery Ah capacities.


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Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions

By Bob Gell SAE-A, IAME - GELCOservices

In many countries in the world Electric Vehicles (EV) are now becoming an accepted alternate to internal combustion engine cars that burn fossil derived fuels, which are finite and not sustainable. Registrations of battery only powered EV’s in USA in the month of July 2014 were an amazing 5693, and 2014 YTD there are now 66,406 plug in EV’s registered in USA. Cumulative plug in EV registrations in USA is now over 235,000 vehicles. European countries are now setting about achieving the 20/20 target – 20% of all urban cars to be alternate fuels to fossil derived by the year 2020.
In Australia the take up by motorists has been very poor when compared to other countries. The national actual registrations to June 2014 are just 748 which represent less than 0.6% of the total new vehicle sales.

One of the concerns of potential EV buyers is “where and how can I charge my EV?”
The charging of a pure Electric Vehicle can be done in a number of ways:

• At home via a 10 or 15 amp rated wall socket that is on a dedicated circuit from the home  
electricity distribution board. Using the floating cable as supplied with the EV.
• At home via a Level 2 EV home charger unit.
• At the office via a dedicated Level 2 EV charger
• In the street via a dedicated Level 2 EV charger
• In the street via a Direct Current (DC) fast charger
• Regeneration of charge by the EV itself
• In an emergency via the Auto Clubs mobile EV charging facility.


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Are The Days of The Starter Motor Over?

By: Robert Gell, GELCOservices Pty. Ltd.

Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News - Article – for Pub. July/Aug 2014

Saturn Vue Greenline hybridAs the motor vehicle industry changes to adopt new drive systems technology it appears – at least for Hybrid drive systems – that the days of a Starter motor and flywheel ring gear may be numbered!

Ultracapacitors are now beginning to be applied in low-end hybrid electric vehicles for support for primarily the Idle Stop Start (ISS) feature. In reality, an ISS system is not a true hybrid electric vehicle, rather a micro-hybrid, since it applies no electric torque to the vehicle drive wheels.

The micro-hybrid features can be summed up as:

  • Engine shuts off while the vehicle is in motion and below approximately 8 kph.
  • In emergency braking, the engine remains running to provide vacuum / hydraulic assist to the brakes.
  • If the battery State of Charge (SOC) is low, the engine remains on to charge the battery via the alternator.
  • If the temperature is above 30oC, the engine remains on to sustain cabin air conditioning.
  • When the temperature is below -5oC, the engine stays on for cabin heating.
  • A possible two cell Ultracapacitor module is designed to aid the battery by boosting voltage during engine cranking so the vehicle electrical distribution system voltage is stabilised.


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Lithium-ion Starter Batteries Part II

by: Bob Gell, GELCOservices Pty. Ltd.

Extract from: Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News, December 2013 / January 2014

Since writing the last article on this subject, I attended The Battery Technology Show at Novi in Detroit covering the latest technology in the HEV and BEV applications. The need for a much improved charge acceptance for Hybrid drive vehicles, particularly in Europe and North America has led to further development of Lithium-iron Phosphate (LIFeP04) batteries as a viable option for the Idle Stop Start (ISS) rugged duty Internal Combustion Engine (ICE )applications where the traditional lead acid battery tends to fail in charge acceptance capacity.
At the Detroit conference the Lithium battery maker - A123 systems (new Chinese ownership) launched a newly developed starter battery which went on view to the Conference attendees.
This battery design features an in built Lithium cell Battery Management System (BMS) for each cell load and charge balancing as well as overall battery charge and discharge controls. The battery chemistry chosen is the LiFeP04 which has best stability and control capabilities and is also suitable for the demands of regenerative battery charge when the vehicle is on coast or braking.


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SuperCapacitors – Advantages when combined with Starter Batteries
By Bob Gell

Extract from: Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News,
February March 2014, Pages
16, 17 & 18

Capacitors store electrical charge. Because the charge is stored physically, with no chemical or phase changes taking place, the process is highly reversible and the discharge-charge cycle can be repeated over and over again, virtually without limit. Electrochemical Capacitors (ECs), variously referred to by manufacturers in promotional literature as “SuperCapacitors” or “Ultracapacitors,” store electrical charge in an electric double layer at the interface between a high-surface-area carbon electrode and a liquid electrolyte. Consequently, they are also quite properly referred to as electric double layer capacitors (ELDCs) or simply double layer capacitors (DLCs).
A simple EC can be constructed by inserting two conductors in a beaker containing an electrolyte, for example, two carbon rods in salt water. Initially there is no measurable voltage between the two rods, but when the switch is closed and current is caused to flow from one rod to the other by a battery, charge separation is naturally created at each liquid-solid interface. This effectively creates two capacitors that are series-connected by the electrolyte. Voltage persists after the switch is opened-energy has been stored. In this state, solvated ions in the electrolyte are attracted to the solid surface by an equal but opposite charge in the solid.

The image above shows typical cylindrical SuperCap design.


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Lithium Batteries for the Mass Car Market?

Extract from: Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News,
October November 2013, Pages 11, 14

According to Bob Gell, a leading consultant and considered by many as an authority in this area, Lithium car batteries will only be seen in racing and high performance European marques for quite some time to come.
At this time there is considerable developmental work being done to formulate a cost effective Lithium-ion base chemistry battery system for the mass car market.
Many different chemistries are being tried, with the best currently being Lithium Iron Phosphate - LiFeP04, as this chemistry is the most stable in regard to cell management and has great tolerance for charge and discharge cycles without degradation. Lithium Sulphur is also being tried.
"The inherent high cost of rare earth metals continues to hold up the prices of Lithium chemistry starter batteries and I do not see Lithium replacing the "standard" Lead Acid (with Calcium) chemistry in the next 5-8 years for mass vehicle manufacture."
Although Lead is very heavy by comparison and not as efficient from a Wh/Kg aspect as the exotic battery chemistries, it is still one of the most readily available raw materials and the "above ground" mine (displaced and recycled spent batteries) is very large throughout the world.
"I do foresee the introduction of Super Capacitors as a "Start-Assist" function being introduced in the next few years as these SuperCaps will allow a smaller, less expensive and cycling chemistry battery to be used in automotive applications."


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Lead Acid Grid Construction Comparisons
by Robert J. Gell

Exploded VARTA Battery

This technical report outlines the differences in the most commonly used lead acid battery grid forms and constructions. The features and benefits of each grid type are outlined and a summary and conclusions are presented. Some of the chemistry effects of various grid builds are discussed and commentary is given in regard to each grid type. Technical references are acknowledged at the end of the text.
Essentially the grids contained within the lead acid battery are fundamental to the design purpose of that battery and form the “heart” of the planned battery longevity and electrical / chemical performance.


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EVSE Simulator Level2

EVSE Simulator

The EVSE Simulator is designed to enable a Level 2 Mobile or static EV Charger
to be connected and various functions can be simulated.

  • EVSE power ready recognition
  • EVSE connected to vehicle function
  • EVSE charge delivery function
  • EVSE Control Pilot Signal communication test
  • EVSE Proximity signal operation test.
  • Load test – to a safe 2.5Kw capacity.

The EVSE Simulator is powered entirely from the output of the EV Charger
system, thus fully replicating the connection to a vehicle.


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A Study of Lead Acid Battery Self-discharge Characteristics
by Robert J. Gell


Lead Acid batteries, regardless of construction chemistry all exhibit a self-discharge characteristic that varies by storage temperature, state of health and state of charge of the subject battery.
This Paper will explain the phenomenon and give the various self discharge values for each of the popular lead acid battery chemistries.


The open circuit voltage for a battery system is a function of temperature and electrolyte concentration as expressed in the Nernst equation for the lead acid cell. Since the concentration of the electrolyte varies, the relative activities of H2SO4 and H2O in the Nernst equation change. The open circuit voltage (OCV) is also affected by temperature. Most lead acid batteries operate above 2 Molar H2SO4 – 1.120 specific gravity and have a thermal coefficient of about +0.2 mV/OC.


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The Development of a Mobile EV Charge Solution to support the EV Driver and delivered by the Global Automotive Clubs. by Robert J. Gell

The rapid deployment of Electric Vehicles Globally has led to a special need for a sophisticated Mobile EVSE Solution to enable the Automotive Clubs to offer that extra roadside service to the EV driving Membership to assist to offset any range anxiety and also to underpin the effective use of Electric Vehicles.

The most recent development by Club Assist of a small Mobile EV Charge trailer that can be towed behind a motorcycle or small rescue van adds real value to the Motoring Associations as well as Government, by providing a dynamic service that can be delivered via use of the Emergency traffic lanes on Toll ways, Freeways, and traffic tunnels, thus helping to avoid substantial traffic delays in a real world.


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Please note: This product is no longer supplied to/by Club Assist Pty. Ltd.
For more information please contact GELCOservices.




More coming soon...   


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