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Old 12-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #321 (permalink)
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Hi,

I have not read the entire thread yet, so I apologize if this isn't useful but here is a link to a long, informative thread about building 20ah a123 packs (now up to 31 pages):
A123 20AHr Pouch Cell Battery Build & Info Thread
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A123 20AHr Pouch Cell Battery Build & Info Thread

Postby bigmoose Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:23 pm
I thought it might be worthwhile to have a single thread of ideas and info for all the folks about to build or building batteries with the recent purchase of A123 20 AHr Pouch Cells lately. If you think this is a bad idea let me know, and I'll merge this thread with where folks think it ought to be.

I'll start it off with some .jpg's .pdf's and Solidworks models for a single cell, a 12 cell stack, and an 18 cell stack. I don't have my cells yet to personally do the measurements, but Dr Bass did them and hopefully I copied them correctly into the solid models.
And 1p kits A123 20ah kits (maybe he would make up some 50s kits or you can get some ideas from his design). I don't know the reason for the 6A charge limitation:
A123 AMP20M1HD-A Battery pack kit
Quote:
Configurations available:
4S, 6S, 12S, 12S2P, 16S, 18S, 24S, 30S. Other configurations might be available on larger quantities (20pcs)

Balancing connectors and traces capable of 6A continuous (rev2)...

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Old 12-26-2012, 07:26 PM   #322 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by retepsnikrep View Post

I haven't touched my BMS etc or BCM interceptor fooler in the car for nearly two years, it just works. With some newer cells now and the extra knowledge we have gained it's only a matter of time before someone else takes the plunge. Current mileage is 133265
Ya, I know this is a tall order but it would be awesome is if someone or one of the small companies doing hybrid battery and EV work could put together a kit of components/boards/cables needed to switch to a lithium based chemistry and do all the requisite fooling of the BMS etc.

My wife and I are now both driving 1st gen honda hybrids with IMA lights on and it would be great to leave the nickel batteries behind, especially the Honda refurbished ones that don't last more than 3 years. If a 'kit' like this could be kept at or below the $1000-$1500 range (not including the actual battery cells or a grid charger solution) I would think it would be a strong competitor for getting a Honda refurbished battery or one of the new replacement NiMH batteries.

I would love to see a system that would allow the use of either LiFePO4 or RC type lipo chemistries. I realize the quality may not be quite that of something like an A123 pouch but 1 kW*hr of RC lipo (e.g. from hobby king) is only a couple hundred bucks and with the appropriate considerations of safety (alarm + shutdown on over-voltage, over-temp or under-voltage) it would be pretty darn cost effective to use these types of cells and just swap them out as they fail.

I built an electric recumbent trike using an 10AH of 18S lipo pack built from hobby king cells and it rocks. 38 mph top speed and 20 mile range. The battery was sub $300 and it's about 750 watt hrs. I think these batteries are only 'rated' at 200-300 cycles, but that's assuming some pretty hardcore conditions. Most RC type motor controllers allow discharge down below 3V per cells and the chargers often charge fast and up to the full 4.2V or slightly more per cell. Some of the electric bike folks are getting 1000+ cycles from these batteries running 10C discharge and 1-2C charge rates and keeping charge/discharge voltages in a happy range.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:31 PM   #323 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rajuncajun View Post
Ya, I know this is a tall order but it would be awesome is if someone or one of the small companies doing hybrid battery and EV work could put together a kit of components/boards/cables needed to switch to a lithium based chemistry and do all the requisite fooling of the BMS etc.

My wife and I are now both driving 1st gen honda hybrids with IMA lights on and it would be great to leave the nickel batteries behind, especially the Honda refurbished ones that don't last more than 3 years. If a 'kit' like this could be kept at or below the $1000-$1500 range (not including the actual battery cells or a grid charger solution) I would think it would be a strong competitor for getting a Honda refurbished battery or one of the new replacement NiMH batteries.

I would love to see a system that would allow the use of either LiFePO4 or RC type lipo chemistries. I realize the quality may not be quite that of something like an A123 pouch but 1 kW*hr of RC lipo (e.g. from hobby king) is only a couple hundred bucks and with the appropriate considerations of safety (alarm + shutdown on over-voltage, over-temp or under-voltage) it would be pretty darn cost effective to use these types of cells and just swap them out as they fail.

I built an electric recumbent trike using an 10AH of 18S lipo pack built from hobby king cells and it rocks. 38 mph top speed and 20 mile range. The battery was sub $300 and it's about 750 watt hrs. I think these batteries are only 'rated' at 200-300 cycles, but that's assuming some pretty hardcore conditions. Most RC type motor controllers allow discharge down below 3V per cells and the chargers often charge fast and up to the full 4.2V or slightly more per cell. Some of the electric bike folks are getting 1000+ cycles from these batteries running 10C discharge and 1-2C charge rates and keeping charge/discharge voltages in a happy range.
Thanks for your post. There are more than a couple of us (myself being one) interested in this concept. I believe we'll see something like this in 2013 but, even though I like a bargain as much as the next guy, I expect to pay substantial bucks for the R&D and inevitable support someone like Peter Perkins or Mike Dabrowski will have invested to get such a "Holy Grail" kit to some approximation of a plug-and-play system even without the cells. Here's hoping it's sooner than later.

Peter and Mike have both been extremely generous on this site with their time and expertise. Mike has done testing of the A123 pouch cells and another IC member has done a CAD/CAM drawing of a battery case to safely contain the cells in a Gen1 Insight. I know this is on Mike's radar but he's been pretty busy lately with building and supporting users of his newest gridcharger. As you probably know, Peter has had his Lithium Insight going for a couple of years, has made up the boards and schematics and has already supplied several of the more adventurous IC members with what I'd assume could be called a "kit". Now on the matter of using RC type cells to keep the cost down, the kicker is the heavy current draw involved in powering the Insight's electric motor. Way more than an electric bike motor. That's part of why the stock NIMH cells are welded together, right?

Anyhow, I know just enough to be dangerous, so don't take my word for it Surely, you'll get some of the more knowledgeable members to comment....
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #324 (permalink)
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In my experience with the Enginer kit its money and the caution of poking around the pink underside of what makes these cars go further without gas.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:58 PM   #325 (permalink)
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I'm still working on my BMS and BCM interceptor project now for use with the new A123 oem blocks I'm installing in the HCH1.

Mike might eventuallly produce a Lithium kit but it won't be near the price level you are hoping for IMHO.

There is no way personally I would use LIPO from the likes of hobbyking in an EV or PHEV.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:53 AM   #326 (permalink)
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It is possible to do a A123 PHEV insight, there are several working on it at the moment. But to have a kit, even exclusing cells, for $1500 wont be happening anytime soon.

Think about it, its about $2000 to replace just the battery sticks in this battery pack with the same nimh cells. Lithium cells are generally more expensive (ignoring the back door china cells people buy these days) and you need to tear up the packaging to make it fit right.

Add to that ANY testing and your pricing will go through the roof to amortize it over the few dozen sales you could get.

Throw in support, because its a substantial amount of work, and anyone making this kit might as well just send you thousand dollar bills in the mail to save themself the pain.

The best option would be similar to several of the battery repair places, where you send your entire pack in and it is re-constructed then sent back. It would cost near what the car is worth to start with, and I doubt people would want to double down into a high mileage older car. This would be closer to $5-6k ball park and come with a very very limited warranty.

$0.02 cents from being in the lithium battery pack industry.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #327 (permalink)
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Yup, like I said it's a tall order. More of a wish than actual expectation. I don't have a lot of experience or know a lot about the true costs that go into development of something like this into an actual commercial product, but I know it's more that one would guess and given the limited market probably not practical to do.

Unfortunately for most of us, that means either repeatedly buying Honda packs, converting the car to a non-hybrid or checking into the supposedly new packs sold by the 3rd parties. I need to do some reading on those and see how people are liking them. If they're good quality and last more than 18 mo, I supposed it's well worth the money to get one.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:43 AM   #328 (permalink)
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If you decide to go with regular 12v batteries and an EV conversion seems for 8-10k an insight can be converted to an EV and used for short distances -40-50 mi range . it might need some mods on the suspension as the lead/acid batteries would be quite heavy
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:18 PM   #329 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Slow4u View Post
Throw in support, because its a substantial amount of work, and anyone making this kit might as well just send you thousand dollar bills in the mail to save themself the pain.
I might be suicdial by the time the ten people who bought PP50 boards get sorted and on the road!!! Were did I put those $1000 bills!
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:58 PM   #330 (permalink)
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If you decide to go with regular 12v batteries and an EV conversion seems for 8-10k an insight can be converted to an EV and used for short distances -40-50 mi range . it might need some mods on the suspension as the lead/acid batteries would be quite heavy
I'm not necessarily planning on doing a phev or EV conversion. I just meant to state it would be nice if there was a way to upgrade or replace the NiMH battery with a lithium based system that helped avoid reinventing the bcm fooling circuitry that's already been implemented by others. It seems making up some PCBs, flashing MCUs and bundling it with cables connectors could be done for a reasonable amount of money but I realize it would be a lot of work and would involve someone essentially donating countless hours of their time to even get the ball rolling.

I'd be all for throwing support behind something like this but I'm not sure what the mechanism would be exactly. Over on endless sphere some folks have donated money to a small group of individuals working on a BMS project that made some headway although I don't think it's to the point of a completed system yet after at least a couple years work. This would be more complex than that since it would essentially be a BMS and an interface for the car's existing bcm.
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