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Old 07-08-2011, 10:09 AM   #971 (permalink)
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I agree, it's much better this way. It's 25 pages for me as well because I've maxed it out.

I occasionally run into an issue when someone says, "Somewhere on page 7" though on a thread that only has 2 pages for me. Post # is much more helpful to me because of that.

If it were possible I'd have a thread as one long page but alas there are limits.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:24 AM   #972 (permalink)
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On the topic of grid charging in general, has anyone looked into using one of ElCon's smaller chargers like the PFC1500. They have a 144v charger and I'm sure it can come loaded up with the right chemistry profile. After that, all you need to do is hack into the cooling fan power with either a separate 12V power supply or a second (much smaller) dc-dc converter.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:30 AM   #973 (permalink)
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A PFC1500 would be a monster charger, wouldn't handle NiMh properly due to the method of termination required, and quite expensive. To get one of those to do what we'd need it to do it would be a bit spendy. Not to mention 1500 watts is just way too much for a grid charger for these cells.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:18 AM   #974 (permalink)
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I understand that people are getting anxious and want to get going with their grid charging, and hope that everyone knows that I am doing the best I can.
Things will start falling into place more quickly, as we approach the finish line, of course barring any unforeseen issues.
The Sheetmetal shop indicates that the boxes are now at the powder coaters, and will be letting me know when I can expect delivery later today.

The main controller PC boards are working well, and I will have a full up charger prototype with all supplies operational by days end, so the other two internal cards can be confirmed.
I will be installing/defining the final Insight internal harness hopefully this coming weekend, and will be looking for a first gen or second gen Civic owner on the list that would be available sometime next week, so I can nail down that harness.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:32 AM   #975 (permalink)
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MN Driver, what do you mean it wouldn't work due to the method of termination?

1500 watts is quite a bit, but it would only crank out that kind of power for a short period before tapering down to a trickle charge and eventually shutting off. How fast it cuts back and at what pack voltage are defined by the algorithm. Algorithms are generally determined by chemistry and cell size (Ah).

For being a 144v charger they are a pretty good deal and only run roughly around $400-$500.

Mike - Congratulations on your grid charger build, I've been following what I can find and it looks like it should work great for all these cars. Does your charger tie into the battery packs thermistors too? It looks like you've put a lot of work into it. I can't wait to see the final product.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:14 PM   #976 (permalink)
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I have a system for pack temp monitoring that will allow reading the PTC strips or any of the built in thermistors, and also have two temperature probes to measure the pack inlet/ambient air temp, and the pack output temp, so we can see what the temperature gain across the pack is. Should be a very safe charger, and once we get some real world feedback as to what the charger tells us about the pack health with the many measured parameters, we will be able to publish a grid charger guide, that should be able to be an important diagnostic device for maintaining and troubleshooting failing packs.

The tapping of the stock thermistors/PTC is relay isolated, so no ground loop or backfeeding of the stock sensing circuits will interfere with the readings,and it makes the unit more universal as it does not need to deal with differences between cars.
The charger has an isolated RS232 com port for communications with other peripherals, or for data logging if we determine that it is required.

So far, we are looking at an isolated BCM power source, controlled by the charge.

A smart fully controlled and monitored booster supply so the charger can reach higher voltages.

A smart discharger/cycler/tester, for deeper diagnostics of a pack that is not able to be brought back with the charging/balancing. Locate the bad subpacks, and since I have all the tooling/ equipment to locate/ remove/ replace a bad cell, I could see a time down the road where I could offer a subpack repair service. Use the charger to maintain, and then to diagnose your packs problems, and only replace the cells that are bad.

Since Hybrid battery repair has indicated that he will offer a $200 350ma charger, in competition with my soon to be released chargers with his packs, I don't see any reason to not offer a service he does not provide, which is subpack repair for the guys that have the technical ability, and not the big bucks for a full rebuild.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:37 PM   #977 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dabrowski 2000 View Post
Since Hybrid battery repair has indicated that he will offer a $200 350ma charger, in competition with my soon to be released chargers with his packs
For more than two years I have been asking Mike to build an inexpensive charger to sell to my customers. He has refused to do so and in fact only started this current project because I convinced him that there was a market for the product.

In order to meet the needs of my customers, I developed another another source for chargers.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:53 PM   #978 (permalink)
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Sounds like some really good additional circuitry from the safety standpoint as well as the extra features. Plus anyone who is interested in working on their battery pack themselves would love the additional data logging features.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:56 PM   #979 (permalink)
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That's not a problem, Mike. Personally I would rather have mine RIGHT than FAST.

Sam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dabrowski 2000 View Post
I understand that people are getting anxious and want to get going with their grid charging, and hope that everyone knows that I am doing the best I can.
Things will start falling into place more quickly, as we approach the finish line, of course barring any unforeseen issues.
The Sheetmetal shop indicates that the boxes are now at the powder coaters, and will be letting me know when I can expect delivery later today.

The main controller PC boards are working well, and I will have a full up charger prototype with all supplies operational by days end, so the other two internal cards can be confirmed.
I will be installing/defining the final Insight internal harness hopefully this coming weekend, and will be looking for a first gen or second gen Civic owner on the list that would be available sometime next week, so I can nail down that harness.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:40 PM   #980 (permalink)
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What Ron did not mention was my response to his wanting a "cheap" charger.
I explained that while a black box 350ma charger would do the basic charge balance job in most situations, there would be situations where shorted or very high resistance cells could cause overall pack damage without any supervisory circuits watching the charging process.
I did not feel comfortable selling that version to the general public for both safety and liability reasons and felt that a smart well monitored charger would offer not only the basic balancing benefits, but the ability to determine what condition the pack is in, and potential for diagnostics and safe full pack cycling.
Better safe than sorry.

Lots more things I could go into, but this is not the place, and it is between Ron and I.
I wish Ron all the best, but do not see myself working with him in the future.
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