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Discussion Starter #81
I'll contact my buddies at Ewert Energy (Orion BMS producers) to see if they have any old BMSs that are primitive w/o MOFSETs or can easily separate the MOFSETs. You mentioned earlier that the 80s pack has to be in two 40s modules to be connected in series with a fuse in between. Does the vehicle charging system charge the pack as one pack or does it charge multiple modules at lower voltages? If as one pack, then what the highest voltage they use? If multiple charge points, then what are their max voltages?

I can try to explain this to the Ewerts, but it would be better for you to write a paragraph on what you like to see the BMS do for my 80s or 2x40s pack. If it has to be their programmable model, then at least it can be used for many different types of batteries and pack configurations. Thanks.
 

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The Ewert energy ORION2 BMS does not have power control MOSFETS...
It does not control power directly. So it is already suitable.

The vehicle charges as one pack. The voltage is variable.

To be honest I've written enough for now if they want to Facebook messenger video or Zoom me then we can chat.
 

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'Simple drop in Lithium' for the Insight for a reliable saleable commercial product isn't simple or cheap.
We have had these kinds of discussions before and it wasn't cheap then.

We are now discussing it again and, turns out, the quote conclusion is being proven again. On top of that, the market is so small that it isn't a viable business venture.
 

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Discussion Starter #84
This project wasn't meant to challenge Jeff Bozos' #1 $B position, but to minimize Inisights from going to the junk yard (without a financial loss for us). I believe this is possible, and I'll just have to do this myself if no one else wants to pitch-in. Honda and dealers have markups. I can get cells or packs at wholesale prices, and if we design this right, I think we can provide a Li-ion replacement pack for much less than the dealership (NMH). If I don't get any help here, I'll just have to kidnap a retired engineer from the Honda Insight gen-1 program to sort this out. I knew I should have done a double EE major with my ME. It's still not too late, not all of the brain cells have gone south, yet!
 

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It is the old classic "Show Me". Go for it if you can. Nothing is impossible to do, just some things are harder.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Alright then, might have to kidnap two retired Honda Insight engineers.
 

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,edited>
It is possible, but you have to do all the labor yourself(i.e. free), and you have to use cheap battery material(i.e. used Fit packs).
Alright then, might have to kidnap two retired Honda Insight engineers.
That might be a start, if you can feed them beans and cornbread and force them to work for nothing. That's a joke, but close to the truth:)
 

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I'll wait for the zoom discussion to chip in further.

I think you have had a lot of 'Help' already to advise and guide you. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #89
I asked my buddy at Ewert (Orion BMS), and here's his reply and question:

We're very familiar with the Honda powertrain as we did some research and development work on a battery replacement system for the older Civic hybrid models some years ago. Yes, a MOSFET based system would be a very poor decision for an application like this and I can see why that would cause problems (frankly speaking, FET based BMS systems really can't be used in automotive applications at this scale--e-bikes and scooters are one thing, but applications at this level require more sophisticated and intelligent controls).

For context, a FET based BMS system has an integrated switch or "valve" if you will that controls when current is permitted to leave or enter the pack. This works great for low current applications (ie: power-tools, cellphones, scooters, etc), but for higher current applications this can be a problem for a number of reasons. This is especially true for systems that attempt to limit or "throttle" current using this method--high power inverters don't appreciate having their current input (or worse, current output) restricted or limited in this fashion and can fault out as it sounds like your customer has experienced.

What you need here is a BMS that can accurately calculate data about the pack (state of charge, current limits, fault status, etc) and send this data to the vehicle so it knows how much power it can actually draw / dump back into the pack. Without this, it's forced to guess which can result in a sudden shutdown on the road rather than a gradual reduction in operation power.

Fortunately our BMS does all this already, and we have extensive experience in hybrid operations. We started out converting Toyota Priuses from hybrids to plugin hybrids, so we are familiar with the types of data vehicles like this require. The Insight operates extremely similar to the Prius, in that it is expecting State of Charge, Charge Current Limit, Discharge Current Limit and a couple of other parameters from the BMS to make vehicle level decisions.

In your Insight system here, the BMS would calculate these parameters and send them digitally to your buddies "translator" device that converts this into the proprietary serial protocol used in the Honda hybrid system for the MCM (motor controller) to make decisions off of. We developed a similar "translator" system for the Civic years back but our client never took it to market.

For this to work well though, your translator board would need to have the ability to receive CAN messages from the BMS. Can you confirm whether that is the case or not?

I will note that these functions do not come cheaply. I understand that this may seem like a very simple application but it is actually significantly complex. Cheap Chinese based systems simply aren't going to give you the kind of control, feedback and operation performance you need to reliably control an application like this, so you really would need something like our product (full BMS) here. I can get you pricing of course, though we need to confirm first that the gateway device you are using is able to receive BMS signals somehow (ideally over CANBUS, but there may be other ways this could be conveyed if that is not possible).

Are you able to check on that and let me know?

Can Peter or someone provide some answers? Thanks.
 

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I asked my buddy at Ewert (Orion BMS), and here's his reply and question:

We need to confirm first that the gateway device you are using is able to receive BMS signals somehow (ideally over CANBUS, but there may be other ways this could be conveyed if that is not possible).

Are you able to check on that and let me know?

Can Peter or someone provide some answers? Thanks.
Our current gateway device (The BCM Interceptor) could receive CAN data if redesigned (more expense).

Currently it simply has two 5V logic level hi/low inputs. (The Orion2 can use those IIRC)

The inputs are pulled high internally using 4.7k resistors for broken wire detection, and they need to be pulled low by a BMS open collector output, opto coupler, or switches for normal operation.

LOW = OK
HIGH = Something wrong

Input 1) HIGH. One or more cells is over voltage or the pack is fully charged, so cut regeneration.
Input 2) HIGH. One or more cells is below voltage or the pack is exhausted, so cut assist

If Input 1 & 2 are both HIGH then that is currently used to signify a pack overtemperature situation.
In that scenario both assist and regeneration are shut down.

I am familiar with the Orion2 basics and have 60 cell system of my own (not currently installed)
I have also been able to receive CAN messages from it with my other devices.

I'm happy to discuss the requirements via Zoom if necessary.

I think the BMS price point will be the most likely stumbling block for the proposers project..
 

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Our current gateway device (The BCM Interceptor) could receive CAN data if redesigned (more expense).
Yes, the Orion provides the I/O signals to control the BCM Interceptor as currently configured. This is how the Capt. T configuration, which I now own, is set up.

The Orion2 is extensively documented and all control questions are answered in the documentation. You can do your own reading, but here is a confirmation link:


Look at the first line of the I/O section.

I think the BMS price point will be the most likely stumbling block for the proposers project..
Also my strong view. Very very few will be willing to buy even the 60 cell Orion with its required ancillary devices. About $1200-$1400 for that BMS and ancillaries alone.
 

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I admire your persistence. :)

There is a kinda fundamental cost range driven by choices.

A 60cell Fit based battery with strictly manual controls and no BMS can be brought in as a kit for around $1500, plus or minus a bit. Being a kit, the owner must do most of the work so it isn't even close to drop-in, it can't be warranted, and requires a skilled operator. Parts of it could be sold as a kit.

A commercial "foolproof" BMS managed system, warranted, professional build system will be $5000 to $7000 which NO ONE is going to pay. (Find an old envelope, turn it over and start writing down component costs, including profits). On top of all that, I don't know where you are going to get the batteries. Are new SCiB available? No one here has experience with Kokam so that is an entirely new game - not impossible but bringing more complication.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
My buddy at Ewert Energy just replied again, and he's gone through all of this more than once with clients. He also feels that an 80s1p using 2.9Ah LTO cells might be a bit tight on the low end of the discharge curve. The 80s2p should definitely work fine. I specialize in Li-ion batteries (all 6 chemistries). So, getting cells or packs won't the problem. I'm just not familiar with the controllers.
 

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Discussion Starter #95

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My devices can work with the Orion BMS as previously stated, however the Orion is complicated and expensive.
Of course it is a very good BMS as well, you get what you pay for.

One of the most tricky/complicated issues with the Orion is the fuse and disconnect position.

I suggest you read the wiring pdf from the bottom of page 37 to the bottom of 40.

Our Lithium pack needs to be split into two halves to mate with the IMA switchboard.

To use the Orion the pack split would have to be at 36 cells, limiting you to 72 cells maximum, assuming you have 2 packs the same for ease of manufacture.

You could however use one pack of 36 and one pack of 44 to give your 80 cells total.

Already we have a price for the bare control components of over $1100 dollars.

Orion BMS $750
BCM Interceptor $250
BCM Fooler and pre resistors etc $65
Wire connectors etc etc $50

That's without OBDIIC&C and or IMAC&C P&P or the cells themselves etc.

Then we get into wiring it all up into your pack and finding somewhere for the Orion too live, mounting it securely. The Orion wiring requires various hack and joints into the IMA harness for power etc.

I would say conservatively connecting up the pack, installing and wiring up an Orion BMS and all the other stuff into a 80 cell pack and integrating it into the car, commissioning and testing it would be 2 long days work minimum by someone who knows what they are doing and is very familiar with the Insight system (like me).

I charge $60/hr for IMA work so call that 16hrs $960..

Total so far without cells approximately $2000

There is a reason a cheap, drop in, safe, commercially viable, simple, Lithium pack hasn't been done before........
 

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Discussion Starter #97
Thanks for the clarification. The above and other informative information about conversions should be in a dedicated thread for newcomers to read in a summary format. A few might be willing to spend the money to upgrade to a Li-ion system, but at least it will have save months of digging through the millions of posts for the newbies; as well as many days of your time rehashing the same basics with every newbie with too many questions. In the meantime, I will start putting pennies into the piggy bank and continue to ponder potential means to develop an affordable conversion. Thanks everyone for your patience. Please feel free to contact me if you ever need new Li-ion cells or packs (e.g. LTO, LFP, NMC, NCA and LMO).
 

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Thanks for the clarification. The above and other informative information about conversions should be in a dedicated thread for newcomers to read in a summary format. A few might be willing to spend the money to upgrade to a Li-ion system, but at least it will save months of digging through the millions of posts for the newbies; as well as many days of your time rehashing the same basics with every newbie with too many questions.
Info is a bit scattered around, but it's not THAT hard to find the right stuff. You make it out to be a lot more difficult than it is. A lot of us answered questions of yours back in October and apparently you couldn't even go back to that thread, to find answers to questions you ask once again, in this one... Basically, I don't think a lack of a 'summary' is the problem...

But, since you think it would be so helpful, and you bring it up, why don't you tackle that - collate the info and make that summary thread?

Having an affordable drop-in lithium would be cool, but it's not that big a deal. I think you think your alleged 'battery experience' is worth a lot more around here than it is, like you're perpetually on the verge of doing us a big favor. It could be useful, a battery connection could be useful, etc. - but the real work is in the integration, mostly on the electronics side.

The extent to which people have entertained your questions thus far probably corresponds to the extent to which they believe you'll have something of value to return. But my sense is that you're not pulling your weight - that you expect a lot more from us than we'll ever expect from you... It's like you want to spearhead this project - but you lack practically all the knowledge and experience it would take to do that. Yet, you think you have that knowledge and experience, and so you go on as if you're doling-out minor errands for the help...

Anyway, if you can't be bothered to re-read even the thread you created yourself, or you can't demonstrate that you do indeed have the knowledge it takes to do such a project, you're not going to find many people around here willing to help, who'll go the extra mile required to make such a thing happen...

I know this probably sounds pretty sour and harsh, but this is my genuine assessment/opinion, and I'm posting it only because I sincerely hope some reflection on the ideas will help you.
 

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@Olympia-WA - I sent a conversation with my commitment to write a write-up detailing the process to connect Peter's 'gadgets'. Apparently that wasn't you were looking for since I never heard back. I've decided to do it anyway for the benefit of the community.
 

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Discussion Starter #100
I guess we all view and do things differently.. If I had the knowledge and experience that you have, I would have put together a thread summarizing all the trials and tribulations in doing a Li-ion conversion, and not putting people down for their lack of knowledge When I was told to read through all the threads last year and some files you uploaded, I knew it was going to be a long haul with a tight group. I didn't have the time to comb through the millions of posts, since I still worked more than 12-hrs/day. With the COVID-19 slow down, I was hoping to find a more relaxed and more willing group of experts to put me back on track to jointly develop a kit for the other DIY'ers who might know even less than I do. Most have been very generous with advice.

I offered Li-ion battery assistance, because that's all I have to give back to the group. Regrettably, it was interpreted as showing-off or trying to position myself as some battery deity. I really wanted to befriend everyone, and share what I can offer to the group. I don't mind discouraging advice about my optimistic endeavor, but when you attack people's character from your own mis-interpretations, then that is unprofessional.

Some smarter people might be able to understand every word you tell them, but slower learners like myself might take longer to catch on. When I have time, I will try to put together what I've learned in a new thread called Li-ion Conversion for Dummies. The thread will be shallow, so I hope others will pitch-in to add more substance.

minor4326 just now posted a promise to do a primer for Li-ion conversions. So, let me know if I can assist in any way.
 
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