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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lv3 = Create your own new profile from scratch .. when modifying existing is not enough .. An extension/expansion of Lv2 just taken a bit further , to allow one to escape/change some of the 'safety' settings that might be part of Lv2 above , and are more limiting than you might want to be.
Completed Lv3 style PL8 LTO preset.
My thanks to those who provided me with programming assistance.

To those who are interested .. Unzip the attached file.

Any SoC to start .. Charge .. Discharge .. Cycles .. Data Log .. etc.

The PL8 firmware has to be updated to at least no older than version 3.35 .. this is available as a button in the free (with PL8) Charge Control Software , with Internet access.

Discharge should be done using regenerative discharge mode .. For lower voltage .. like one cell at a time , it has to be done in regenerative discharge mode.

You should use the cell level voltage node connection .. in additional to the main power banana plug connection .. even for just 1 cell .. But you can do 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8 series set of cells at a time .. allows for cell level balancing through the 8 cell node.

IF the 8 being tested are part of a larger series string .. like my 48s LiFePO4 pack .. and IF you are using multiple PL8s at once .. Like I use 3 .. then each PL8 must have it's own (don't share one source among multiple PL8s) Source Battery to put regenerative discharge energy into and pull charge energy out of.
 

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Completed Lv3 style PL8 LTO preset.
My thanks to those who provided me with programming assistance.
Great news. I for one am grateful for your work. I think this may turn out to quite valuable.

Just as soon as I can get the bugs worked out of my installation, I plan to do some testing on my unused 4 packs, so this is coming at a really good time. My mancave is going to be very busy on those winter snow days:D

I think you might want to split this off as a separate thread where you, I and probably others will have some valuable posts. I'll set that up if you want me to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great news. I for one am grateful for your work. I think this may turn out to quite valuable.

Just as soon as I can get the bugs worked out of my installation, I plan to do some testing on my unused 4 packs, so this is coming at a really good time. My mancave is going to be very busy on those winter snow days:D

I think you might want to split this off as a separate thread where you, I and probably others will have some valuable posts. I'll set that up if you want me to do so.
Welcome .. Happy to help :D

An 'LTO Testing' like thread .. is probably not a bad idea.
If you wish to split it off as such .. so such discussion doesn't clutter up this LTO conversion too much.

I do already have lots of the parts (batteries, cell fins, VIP, etc) , effort , etc .. for my already in progress A123 LiFePO4 ~8kwh v2-Li-IMA .. that will take me well into 2019 .. Soo , I probably won't be doing allot with LTO for a while yet .. I might tinker a little , but not large amounts in the near future.
 

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@Ian

Since the "design" discussion has died down some, I'm getting motivated to start doing some testing of my 4 remaining LTO packs.

I have a question. If I use my PL8 to cycle my packs, 8 cells at a time, will I be able to leave the voltage of ALL cells at some selected top storage level? Put another way, will I be allowed to specify and achieve an accurate and balanced finishing voltage for all cells, even though the pack is done in segments?

Obviously, I need to buy some more harness pieces from Revlectrix:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
@Ian

Since the "design" discussion has died down some, I'm getting motivated to start doing some testing of my 4 remaining LTO packs.

I have a question. If I use my PL8 to cycle my packs, 8 cells at a time, will I be able to leave the voltage of ALL cells at some selected top storage level? Put another way, will I be allowed to specify and achieve an accurate and balanced finishing voltage for all cells, even though the pack is done in segments?

Obviously, I need to buy some more harness pieces from Revlectrix:)
Yes you can.

The PL8 has the ability to do either top balancing or bottom balancing.

You make the physical connection with the balancing wires.

You make the software selection in the charge control software.

If you are going to do lots of the same .. I would recommend just setting up the profile how you want it .. to do what you want it to do .. and then it's just saved that way in the PL8 itself .. so even if later your PC isn't connected it just runs that profile the same way you have it set up to do before .. The PC connection is only needed to tweak the profiles, or to log the data.

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One note about a little balancing quirk on the PL8.

The PL8 does balancing by bypassing the amps one cell sees .. up to either the balancing Amp rate you set .. or .. up to about ~99% .. works fine most of the time .. but over the numerous times I've used mine I have found a quick in this method.

If one if trying to bottom balance .. you are taking energy out of the cells ... if the balancing Amp rate is set for say 1A .. well it will then bypass up to that 1A setting or .. about ~99% of that .. but would still be pulling a small minimum around ~10mA from that lowest cell (~1% of ~1A) .. If I were to start the bottom balance discharge from a good SoC away from the bottom .. there is plenty of time for the ~1A balancing rate to correct any balance issue before reaching the bottom .. or if there is only a small difference in balance to fix , also no issue .. but .. if start the bottom balancing very near the bottom and there is also a very large difference between cells .. there might not be enough 'head room' left and it will get some balancing , but might not have enough 'room' to do 100% of the balancing before that minimum ~1% rate pulls the one lowest cell down to the cut off , and the PL8 just times out before being 100% done.

Conceptual example .. 1A on highest voltage cell and 10mA on lowest voltage cell .. is a 990mA rate of balance correction .. A ~990mAh out of balance difference might be fixed in a minimum of ~1Hour , to move those two cells closer to each other .. 3A on highest voltage cell and 30mA on lowest voltage cell .. is a ~2.97A rate of balance correction .. a ~2.97Ah out of balance difference might be fixed in a minimum of about ~1Hour .. but in both cases, how far apart are the highest and lowest cells .. and how far is the lowest cell from the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The PL8 firmware has to be updated to at least no older than version 3.35 .. this is available as a button in the free [with PL8] Charge Control Software , with Internet access.
More accurately .. I tested it on mine with the 3.35 version of the firmware .. screen shot attached .. I do not know the differences between firmware versions , I don't know how much it matters (if at all).
 

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Just a quick FYI for anyone ever wishing to test LTO cells. The iCharger 206b and probably similar but higher-end models, at minimum, plus clones like the Reaktor or 'Charsoon', would be able to test LTOs. You can adjust voltage thresholds to fit the LTO's profile in the Lithium cycling program. In other words, the voltage thresholds for the standalone chemistry profiles on these chargers have discharge and charge voltage limits that don't match the LTO. But the cycling program allows you to adjust voltage to a much finer level. For instance, the 'LiFe' cycling program can discharge down to 2V, which I think is low enough for even the high energy Scib cells. I know that threshold works for the high power Scibs (those are near fully discharged at about 2.3V at 20 amps)... And then you can set the charge high voltage cutoff to anywhere below the max voltage for the particular chemistry profile you're using, such as I think 3.4V for the LiFe - so you could set it to say 2.7V for the LTOs...

hmm, on the other hand, 20 amps is the current limit for the 300W iCharger 206b and similar, and that might not be high enough for a large, 20 amp-hour cell... You might want to go for one of the higher power models, such as the 1000-Watter...
 

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I think most LTO testers are going to want to test multiple cells at once with a final precision balanced charge to get all the cells top balanced. (Multiple cells because there are so darn many in a pack.) The PL8 will in theory do that, but non of the stock profiles were anywhere near the operating range of the cells. Plus high current testing.

Plus, it is desirable to get out close to the full range of the cells(1.5-2.7V), so that there is a meaningful measurement of capacity. And, don't forget graphing capability so that there is a historic record.

There may be other chargers which will do all that. I'm just not familiar with them well enough to know, plus I had a good adviser;)

Maybe these aren't the essential testing requirements, but seem right to me.
 

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Plus, it is desirable to get out close to the full range of the cells(1.5-2.7V), so that there is a meaningful measurement of capacity....
Looking at a graph I have of the 20 amp-hour Scibs, looks like voltage falls off a cliff at about 2V at 0.2 to 1C rate, maybe just a hair lower at a 3C rate. So whether you go to 2V or 1.5V shouldn't matter...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Although I'm sure other testers can be used .. one should just check because LTO is not as common as other types of batteries.

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Because some people have expressed difficulty .. I'll try a bit more step by step approach.

Reminder .. thanks to those who helped me with the programming of this custom LTO battery preset .. this was not all me by myself .. my solo effort was the previous more 'lv2' approach of just modifying one of the existing PL8 presets .. and that worked , but had it's limitations .. this 'lv3' custom LTO preset works far better.

The Insight Central Site won't let me upload *.ps8 file types .. I previously tried to get around it by zipping the file first .. which will require the other person to unzip before using .. but I also uploaded the unzipped *.ps8 LTO battery preset to my google drive .. can be directly down loaded:
LTO Preset Link

Although I don't know for certain if firmware version 3.35 is needed .. For those having trouble with getting it .. I think this will work as an executable .. I'm not a software guru , nor have I done testing on every conceivable combination of computer hardware and software .. so, 'use at your own risk' .. also uploaded that to my google drive as well:
Firmware 3.35 Link

I also recorded a short desktop screen capture video walk through as well .. Uploaded to my YouTube page.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Some graphs of LTO testing (mine and others):
There is not much left to be had discharging bellow 1.80v per cell .. and not much to be gained for charging above 2.60v per cell.
 

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Voila!!!

Ian, I was able to load up your LTO profile by following the directions in your video. For some reason, I could never get through the process with Firefox browser, but had success with Microsoft Edge.

Now, just need to pick your brain a little bit more - probably won't hurt much;)

I have a question on driving the balance port. Currently the PL8 ships with something called a "Single Port Safe Parallel adapter (SPA) and FMA Wiring mode vs. XH/EH Wiring mode" adapter. There is a nice 9 wire (8 white, 1 black) harness with the adapter. I'm wondering if I should just "butcher" this harness to get 9 balance wires, OR if I should try to use the adapter. Any guiding words??

Have to shop for a deep cycle golf cart battery on Monday. Can't continue to use one of my packs for these experiments.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
:D

I have a question on driving the balance port. Currently the PL8 ships with something called a "Single Port Safe Parallel adapter (SPA) and FMA Wiring mode vs. XH/EH Wiring mode" adapter. There is a nice 9 wire (8 white, 1 black) harness with the adapter. I'm wondering if I should just "butcher" this harness to get 9 balance wires, OR if I should try to use the adapter. Any guiding words??
The end that plugs into the PL8 itself is the most useful part .. For my own use .. I just cut the ends of the wire and put whatever connector I want onto it .. ring terminals , alligator clip , anderson connector .. etc .. whatever you want.

I used single cell for testing .. so I don't have the car module you have to look at .. but and ideal .. would probably be cutting and splicing together the wiring harness that the OEM car already used to get to each individual cell , for the OEM BMS .. or if that isn't readily available .. however you want to reach the + and - of each cell , up to 8 can be done in series at one time.

You can select which balance wiring approach you prefer in the PC PL8 charge control software under the 'options' tab .. under 'node'.

There select either 'FMA' mode or 'XH' mode .. examples of each are shown in the PL8 manual .. copy attached .. pages 61 to 71.

Although the PL8 itself will let you select up to 3A to the balancing wires .. I only set mine to use up to 1A with the 22Ga wire that came with my PL8s .. maybe I'm just a bit cautious .. but I'd probably make a slightly heavier gauge wire version if I wanted to run continuously at the full 3A through the balancing port.

Have to shop for a deep cycle golf cart battery on Monday
I do like the regenerative discharge feature .. but it isn't a 100% efficient cycle .. so be sure you have enough room in whatever source battery you use .. for test battery discharge wh to charge into that source battery .. and for test battery charge wh to come from discharging out of that source battery .. if you are going to do lots of testing .. it can be useful to have a CV power supply to trickle replace what is lost in the less than 100% round trip .. just leave room/capacity at top and bottom for both charging and discharging .. The PL8 does have 'supply' tab , so you can setup/configure whatever source battery details you like.
 

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Thanks again for your thoughts :)

:D
The end that plugs into the PL8 itself is the most useful part .. For my own use .. I just cut the ends of the wire and put whatever connector I want onto it .. ring terminals , alligator clip , anderson connector .. etc .. whatever you want.
Sounds good. I'm going to use ring terminals. They make good connections and they won't jar loose or fall off during cycling.

I used single cell for testing .. so I don't have the car module you have to look at .. but and ideal .. would probably be cutting and splicing together the wiring harness that the OEM car already used to get to each individual cell , for the OEM BMS .. or if that isn't readily available .. however you want to reach the + and - of each cell , up to 8 can be done in series at one time.
The 12 cell subpacks have a board on top which taps into each cell, but I don't really see any advantage to using it for just the balancing wires. Each cell junction has a nice threaded tap. The cell tap screws have to be installed/removed anyway, so no advantage in using any of the Honda OEM stuff just for this purpose.

Since the PL8 is to be used on 8 cells at a time, 1 1/2 sections/subpack, using the OEM tap board for this purpose just confuses the setup. Eventually something has to be screwed down, so may as well screw the balance wires directly to the cell taps

One of the guys, I get confused with so many players, is working on a BCM board to replace the OEM. Certainly the OEM first layer tap board will be useful for efforts like that. I'm really hoping he can make his BCM work, but we don't have much detail yet. He is using the Linear Technology chip set, so lots of hope. I can't make that work so surely hope he can.

[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks again for your thoughts :)
Welcome.
Happy to help.

One of the guys, I get confused with so many players, is working on a BCM board to replace the OEM. Certainly the OEM first layer tap board will be useful for efforts like that. I'm really hoping he can make his BCM work, but we don't have much detail yet. He is using the Linear Technology chip set, so lots of hope. I can't make that work so surely hope he can.
In the mean time :
#1> Be conservative / gentle with your window of usage.
Wider window is more risky , and more requires better matched and balanced cells.

Narrower / smaller window .. is more conservative , more gentle , more forgiving of small mis-match, or small out of ballance state.

I'd personally not do more than say about 10-90 window at the maximum limit , it just asks for a very high less of matching and balance to safely go into last top or bottom 10% .. and of course 20-80 range is even safer / more gentle / more forgiving.

#2> You can just check it yourself manually every now and then.
If each cell's voltage tests as nicely tightly balanced you're good.

If when tested you see more drift than you would like .. you can use the PL8 to correct any balance drift (8 cells at a time).

#3> If you want .. A simple 'Lee Hart bat bridge' .. half pack voltage compare LED can also give you some peace of mind .. example shown in YouTube Video Bellow.

Such, won't tell you which specific cell , but such could give a warning before a single cell goes 'bad' , and can let you see how well the balance holds under higher loads .. of course you can tweak components to tweak how much of a difference threshold you have .. A pretty simple circuit can go down to about ~1.3v difference without trouble .. showing a difference of less than 1.3v (is of course possible) , just starts to get more complicated the further bellow 1.3v differences you want to be your threshold .. The idea of the 'bat bridge' is not to see tiny ~10% balance differences , but instead to give a simple , reliable (high MTBF) , Fail safely , low cost method of seeing if there is any significant balance differences , or cells that went bad .. if you want to see tiny balance differences, or what specific cell it is , then something like the Orion BMS might be needed.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Toshiba Abuse testing Video.

 

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Still in Trouble

Well, I spoke too soon. I thought I had downloaded the profile, but no. It did load something to slot 24, but it has no "LTO" in the name and I can't load it to PL8.

I'm getting really frustrated, so gotta give this a break for sanity sake. It probably has to do with some "protection" I have set up on this Win10 laptop, but I don't know where to look and am getting pretty down with the trying. Gotta give it a break.:(

Gonna go off and build the Lee-Hart Bat-Bridge. I think I have the parts for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I spoke too soon. I thought I had downloaded the profile, but no. It did load something to slot 24, but it has no "LTO" in the name and I can't load it to PL8.

I'm getting really frustrated, so gotta give this a break for sanity sake. It probably has to do with some "protection" I have set up on this Win10 laptop, but I don't know where to look and am getting pretty down with the trying. Gotta give it a break.:(

Gonna go off and build the Lee-Hart Bat-Bridge. I think I have the parts for that.
Sorry to hear about your trouble .. It was all pretty smooth for me.

Worst case .. I'll update your PL8 from my laptop at the next InsightFest.
 

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Think I have the kinks ironed out. Problem was Norton Internet Security Anti-Virus which kept deleting the firmware upgrade to LTO. Finally caught a small message in bottom right which said basically the file was "dangerous" and was automatically deleted. Disabling anti-virus briefly allowed the LTO firmware to be downloaded.

Thanks Ian for your considerable help and patience:)
 

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The iCharger 206b and probably similar but higher-end models, at minimum, plus clones like the Reaktor or 'Charsoon', would be able to test LTOs.
Looked at some ProgressiveRC chargers and you are probably right on those. Could save a bunch of money if one could be found refurbished.

I looked some at the 206b and the 306b. The 306b allows for 30A discharge in a regenerative mode, so at a quick glance, that charger looks like it would be useful. Just a first impression. Didn't look at the others.

Ian has developed an adjustable "Generic LTO profile" for the PL8 and that seems tailor made of testing those cells, but no actual experience yet.
 
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