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LiBCM Open Beta: 47Ah FoMoCo Discussion

13655 Views 161 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  mudder
This thread is for any and all questions related to the 47Ah LiBCM project during the Open Beta period.
I will also start publishing my development updates here.

This thread - along with the entire 47Ah FoMoCo project - is in early alpha testing.
There is QTY1 prototype unit running in my car.
Open Beta ETA: 2022, late November

Fill out this form if you want to join the Open Beta waiting list.

Fill out this form if you want to purchase converted FoMoCo modules from me.
FYI: You can purchase cheaper FoMoCo modules here, but then you will need to convert them yourself... and also those modules are untested, and might have physical damage (particularly to the module's unprotected bottom).

If your comment isn't specifically related to LiBCM's 47Ah FoMoCo variant, please post it elsewhere:
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· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Lithium Module Shipping Update:
So I'm sending out the first set of FoMoCo modules and boy is hazardous shipping expensive:
Sending QTY1 module to California costs $115!
Sending QTY5 modules to California costs $575!

Observations:
-FedEx does not allow combined shipping for hazardous materials.
-The hazardous fees are $80 of the shipping cost, which is why other lithium battery sellers don't properly declare their hazardous materials.
-Shipping hazmat via FedEx Ground is not sustainable from a business perspective. I will need to come up with another legal way to ship these modules**.
-At my estimated ($350/module delivered) cost, my net profit per module is only $20... and that doesn't include any of the additional costs I've incurred wandering down this rabbit hole, or the time I spend balancing and preparing each module prior to shipment. I will lose money on every single module I ship. Awesome!
-I absolutely will not purchase any more FoMoCo modules. I didn't want to anyway, but here we are.
-I can see why other sellers are tempted to break the law (by not declaring hazardous materials).
-If you're close by, I recommend picking these modules up in Chattanooga (or purchasing them from other sellers).

**Probably freight shipping on a pallet. If someone in CA can receive an entire pallet, it probably makes sense to send QTY50 modules to that one location (on a pallet), and then have people come pick them up locally.

Here's a video wherein I restate the above for five minutes:
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don't ship them is the answer I fear.

What do battery hook up Do?
I don't have any public comment on how Battery Hookup ships these modules. If anyone wants to post their Battery Hookup packaging experience, I'm sure the community would love to hear it.

I will say that in general most shippers are shipping these modules using the "Limited Quantity" exemption (up to 300 Wh, whereas these modules are 2070 Wh each). Hazmat isn't required for LQ shipments... the Hazmat fee is $75 per physical box sent, so you can see why most shippers are using the LQ exemption. Note that the fine is $75,000 for shipping oversized batteries as LQ. This is only slightly less than the $100,000 fine for not declaring anything at all (i.e. stuffing the battery in an unmarked box).
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'd be willing to do the pallet thing. Though I would need the exact dimensions of the pallet with batteries on it to confirm I have the space(I should). I could also stock the required number of LiBCM kits so people could just show up, pick up a whole kit+batteries and be about their way.
LTL shipping QTY50 FoMoCo modules to you on a 48x48 pallet is only $945, including liftgate service (so you don't need a forklift). That's more than 6x cheaper than FedEx.

I must go on record I am NOT interested at being a builder ATM. I'm far too busy, however that may change by the end of the month and if it does I'll update.
Understood.
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have a forklift at the shop. I gotta see if it runs, it's probably been a good 7-8 years since it was started.
Only if you want to take on that side project... liftgate only adds $100 or so.

Mudder, How many sets of batteries would you be sending to California? We can share the shipping cost and add a little extra so at least $25 per module shipped that would be more than enough to cover the shipping cost and then some.
Based on my data thus far, around half of the LiBCM units are in CA. Therefore, I'm thinking about sending QTY10 sets (i.e. QTY50 modules) to LA. Obviously CA is a big state, but it's still 'smaller' than driving to Chattanooga and back. Phoenix and Las Vegas are also relatively nearby.
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
How many modules will safely fit in an insight with passenger seat removed.
Each FoMoCo module weighs 26 pounds, so each five module 'set' weighs 130 pounds.
IMO, at most you could carry two sets (ten modules), but to stay under the car's 360 pound weight limit you'd only want one set (five modules).

I might be able to assist logistics in a small way. My tahoe will also be returned for so ill have a lot of storage but won't know my route until closer to the date. Generally from California I go east to Phoenix area and then to New mexico or Colorado or both. I wouldn't have the full tahoe for storage as I use part of it for sleeping in while traveling.
People en route who have filled out the reservation form:
@tervic (Erie, Colorado).
@hondarider90 (Scottsdale, AZ)

What date are you taking this trip? The FoMoCo modules won't make it to LA until early-to-mid November.

As a side note on that how many modules are expected to go to Wisconsin? It always seemed like it had an inordinate number of insights per capita.
So far nobody has reserved modules in Madison.
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
My brother will be having 5 modules sent to LA so if you want to coordinate with me we could combine shipping.
There's certainly a bulk shipment heading for LA... the plan right now is for QTY50 modules to arrive at Jue Motors in early November. If that doesn't work out, then the backup plan is to send them common courier to @Balto.

I don't care much if the modules come from BH or mudder. I say whatever is best for mudder is preferred for me. So if he just wants them gone then we should buy them from him or if most of the batteries are spoken for then BH is good too.
Right now I have ~QTY40 modules available. I don't care where you buy them from... they're certainly cheaper from BH, but then of course you'll need to convert them yourself.

Another idea would be to see if it's possible for you to have mudder do the install himself at his extended technical support rate. That would save you maybe $500 on shipping. I have no idea if he would be interested in doing that though.
Conceptually I'd love to install the entire LiBCM kit myself. However, I don't have the time to do that right now. If at some point in the future I find myself with gobs of free time (unlikely), I'll gladly offer installation service.
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
It's a lot more more. At this point I can install it in about four hours start to finish, but I've done it many times already. No idea... wait for the videos next month to get a better idea what needs to happen.
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I must shamefully admit, with significant mental relief, however:

I had, in fact, turned off IMA switch when I parked at the airport. My coworker has verified.

Apologies to mudder for having to take time to run calculations to determine if I was in the anti-goldilocks zone regarding firmware upload date vs. SOC on my parking date.

Relieved that I'm in the clear.
No shame here...
...but I was excited to hear the datapoint "all is good; LiBCM turned itself off at 10% SoC".
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I still haven't received the last custom part required to ship these FoMoCo kits.
At this point even if I received them tomorrow, there isn't enough time to shoot and edit the installation videos prior to Thanksgiving... which I'm spending in Wisconsin with my wife's family.

So obviously these kits won't ship until early December. If you've been following along for a while now, this slipping schedule won't surprise you ;). It'll be ready when it's ready. I'm excited to share it.
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
hey mudder, i filled out a purchase form, looked at my browser tonight after work and everything was blank, let me know if you didn't get it as i have terrible cell towers, happy holidays in wisconsin. if you have room for haz mat in the trunk i might be in range
Form received.
I have tentative plans to bring a set to @Tynow on this trip. If that doesn't work out I'll let you know.
I'll be in Madison next week, and then again for Christmas.
 

· Linsight Designer
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Discussion Starter · #59 · (Edited)
It's the brand new MeanWell UHP-1500-230. I make a few internal modifications for use with LiBCM (schematic will be in my next git commit). It's a slick unit, but I'm a bit annoyed to find out that it requires additional external circuitry for continuous safe operation at 120 volts (obviously not a problem in the UK). The datasheet is a bit lacking on the details; I've been working with their engineering team to improve it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
By negative logic, do you mean that power supply shutoff requires a line pulled high, so if what is pulling up the line loses power, the supply turns on?
Not that unsafe, but basically there's negative logic in how to control the output voltage. In both cases, if LiBCM turns off (or is unpowered), there's no risk that the power supply will turn on.

Note that I've worked around this issue entirely... it was just annoying.

I will be looking forward to the next commit to learn more about the issue at 120V vs 240V operation.
With Vin=120 volts, the output power is limited to either 900 or 1000 watts (datasheet claims one thing, boilerplate claims another). Regardless, in my testing at Vin=120, the supply outputs 1200 watts, which causes the input rectifier to overheat (since it's twice the current to yield the same output power). I'm working with MeanWell to better understand this limitation.

I can prevent this overheat condition from occurring by driving the current control pin, but that requires external circuitry (which I'm probably going to throw onto this heater PCB I'm designing at the moment). If I go that route, I might also move all the internal supply modifications (I mentioned previously) onto this PCB, too, so that we can just use the unmodified supply as-is.

For my LTO projects I am favoring redundancy on certain things. Any reason I should not employ both internal and external shut off circuits as independent shutdowns? (My place has taken a lightning strike before and I've seen what crazy things it can do to electronics, including leaving stuff half working.)
All LiBCM grid chargers have redundant control circuitry. That's why the "negative logic" issue I mentioned previously won't actually cause any issues... the redundant control mechanism might not actually work, but the primary one will. Again, though, note that I've worked around the "negative logic" issue... it no longer exists with the internal modifications I'm making to each supply.

Finding the insulator failure must have been fun....
It took a minute... I definitely wear ear plugs and glasses when testing these things... and in this case it was worth it.
 
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