Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

How do you store and manage your electricity?
User avatar
BigMouse
Senior Member
Posts: 600
Joined: Thu, 28 Oct 2010, 02:39
Real Name: Vincent Tannahill
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by BigMouse » Wed, 17 Oct 2012, 02:37

These have isolated outputs, right? Any reason they couldn't be run in series to charge a 96p pack? That's be good for some folks AC conversions. I've already got the 400+v CAN one, or I'd consider them myself. Higher current would be good for a faster charge on a high voltage pack. Currently planning on 110s, but I doubt I'll ever run the motor fast enough to need that voltage, so 96s would probably be passable.

I wonder if there's any way to make a non-CAN ELCON CAN enabled, or is the hardware different?

User avatar
jonescg
Senior Member
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu, 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by jonescg » Wed, 17 Oct 2012, 03:07

As far as I know, they are indeed isolated. However if you trawl through my split pack charging thread, you will see the merits of generating an isolated pack (three floating lots of 32s), at which point isolated outputs doesn't matter.

I don't know about the charge enable circuit though. I used the chargers in parallel with three solid state relays to allow the EV-Power BMS master unit to cut all three chargers without any problems.

Anyway, if you're interested in all three chargers ($1000) I'll happily ship for free since they're just languishing in my shed.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

bga
Senior Member
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon, 01 Sep 2008, 19:27
Real Name: Bruce Armstrong
Location: Perth WA

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by bga » Wed, 17 Oct 2012, 18:23

The charger's control jack (connector) is referenced to the negative battery lead, so this needs to be considered in any design.

The charger supplies a low current 12V source to enable controlling the charge enable line.

As far as I know, all models of the charger talk a TTL (non-RS232) async serial protocol. There is a CAN bus interface that plugs into this connector, so it is likely that any of the chargers can be driven by this CAN interface.


See here

Additionally, the charge enable control input, shown with a relay driving it, is linear and can be used to regulate charge current via a resistor voltage divider.
It's not the end of the world, but I can see it from here.

User avatar
BigMouse
Senior Member
Posts: 600
Joined: Thu, 28 Oct 2010, 02:39
Real Name: Vincent Tannahill
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by BigMouse » Wed, 17 Oct 2012, 19:25

bga wrote:As far as I know, all models of the charger talk a TTL (non-RS232) async serial protocol. There is a CAN bus interface that plugs into this connector, so it is likely that any of the chargers can be driven by this CAN interface.
That would be very good to know! The link you posted specifically mentions "CAN enabled" versions. Whether "CAN enabled" means it ships with that interface box, or whether there is actually a difference in the hardware, would be valuable information. Doesn't an rep for Elcon frequent this forum?

User avatar
jonescg
Senior Member
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu, 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by jonescg » Wed, 17 Oct 2012, 19:51

Paging Nancy Loo... Image
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

ChrisRider
Noobie
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed, 05 Dec 2012, 16:23
Real Name: Chris Rider
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by ChrisRider » Fri, 14 Dec 2012, 15:55

Ive had a read of this thread, very interesting project your undertaking......is there any new updates yet?

User avatar
coulomb
Site Admin
Posts: 3036
Joined: Thu, 22 Jan 2009, 20:32
Real Name: Mike Van Emmerik
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by coulomb » Sat, 15 Dec 2012, 14:49

ChrisRider wrote: Ive had a read of this thread, very interesting project your undertaking......is there any new updates yet?


[ Edit: Chris, as original poster, I assumed you were talking about our build. However, there are several interesting builds in this thread; my apologies if you were talking about one of them. ]

Our MX-5 build thread is I believe the largest thread on this site, at least as of late 2012.

In summary, we have two of these chargers, and have "converted" them to use industrial fibre optics (IFO) for the communications. The main CAN bus issue (not able to handle more than ~ 2 packets per second) is possibly solved now, but at least one of our chargers is old enough that we would have to use either a dedicated CAN bus for it. Our motor controller (a Tritium Wavesculptor 200) uses CAN bus, so we'd either have to treat the two chargers differently, or use a third computer to provide a third CAN bus. We wanted to be able to use both the chargers and the Tritium Driver Controls units (we have 2 of those as well) to be live swappable backups for each other.

So we're using these chargers in "CAN mode" (it's not clear to me whether or not the CAN-enabled versions can be used in any other way), but using 2400 BPS serial over optic fibre. We've written software for the Driver Controls units to charge the pack based on the voltage of the highest voltage cell, using a standard PID control loop. This seems to work quite well. This software is freely downloadable, though as written, it assumes our own Battery Management Unit design (also freely downloadable, both code and PCB design documents).

From our index page, here are the charger related posts:

Charger
Elcon charger arrives
Elcon charger RS232 experiments and partial CAN box circuit; using Driver Controls to send and receive CAN packets; using a CRO; 74C04 based converter (circuits here and here); how CAN IDs are constructed.
Code for talking to the charger and charger repair
Charger control and more
Charge algorithm


We also have links to our main Battery Management Unit posts, and all other aspects of our build. Right now, we're pushing to get one half pack into the car, so that it is drivable again. We thought we'd get there yesterday, but various gremlins kept us from making it.
Last edited by coulomb on Sat, 15 Dec 2012, 04:08, edited 1 time in total.
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.

Frankie
Noobie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat, 29 Apr 2017, 22:42
Real Name: Vlad
Location: AU/UKR
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by Frankie » Sun, 07 May 2017, 05:25

Hi, any body knows how to setup Elcon TC 3,3 Kw for 200v
Charger is https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-ARR ... 63937.html

Admin- Corrected link
Last edited by evric on Sun, 07 May 2017, 05:44, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
evric
Site Admin
Posts: 498
Joined: Sun, 20 Jul 2008, 01:57
Real Name: Eric
Location: Adelaide SA
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by evric » Sun, 07 May 2017, 15:48

Elcon (TC) Chargers are normally setup in the factory for your preferred voltage.
Prius Plug-in Conversion: http://www.evplus.com.au ...Holden Barina EV: http://www.evric.kestar.com.au

User avatar
coulomb
Site Admin
Posts: 3036
Joined: Thu, 22 Jan 2009, 20:32
Real Name: Mike Van Emmerik
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by coulomb » Sun, 07 May 2017, 17:37

evric wrote: Elcon (TC) Chargers are normally setup in the factory for your preferred voltage.

Indeed. Alternatively, they can be ordered as CAN bus models, where some external computer like a BMS master determines the voltages and currents moment to moment. This appears to be true for the older, recent, and newest models.

The firmware update method a few of us worked out on diyelectriccar.com only works for the models before late 2013. I also have a way to change 2013 and older models from a fixed voltage to CAN version. This would almost certainly not be translatable to work with the newer models.
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 421
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by zeva » Sun, 07 May 2017, 17:55

evric wrote: Elcon (TC) Chargers are normally setup in the factory for your preferred voltage.

I recently added CAN integration with TC Chargers to the ZEVA EVMS. As people have mentioned, it allows you to adjust the charger's target voltage and current parameters, and also allows the BMS to shut the charger down via CAN bus if any cells go out of range, avoiding the need for any additional power relays etc. So it is quite useful compared to the old paradigm of ordering chargers with a fixed voltage/current. (They still have a maximum voltage/current of course, but you can use them anywhere below this too.)

Happy to forward the CAN protocol docs from TC Charger if anyone wants to have a look. It's pretty simple to implement, with only one data frame going in each direction, but would require some understanding/familiarity with CAN bus. The old TC chargers used that little blue plug with a serial interface, then an external CAN bus adapter dongle. The new ones (like in Frankie's link) don't require the dongle, having CAN bus pins on the control port. But AFAIK in both cases if they are ordered with CAN bus compatibility, they won't work without control data coming in over CAN bus.

Oh, for anyone already using a ZEVA EVMS2, I'm happy to do a free firmware upgrade to support TC Chargers for you. Pic below of the monitor in my Honda NSR150 conversion showing realtime feedback from a TC while charging.

Image
Last edited by zeva on Sun, 07 May 2017, 08:03, edited 1 time in total.
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

User avatar
EV2Go
Senior Member
Posts: 2058
Joined: Wed, 16 Jul 2008, 00:21
Real Name: Paul
Location: Brisbane 1963

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by EV2Go » Sun, 07 May 2017, 18:46

Been so long since I last looked at mine I need to take it out of the box to remember.

Does anyone know if a firmware update can been done on this model? Without digging up receipts, guessing somewhere around 2010 - 2012 going off the address on the box.

ImageImage

Paul9
Groupie
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon, 20 Apr 2009, 02:10
Real Name: Paul Coggiola
Location: Sydney

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by Paul9 » Sun, 07 May 2017, 20:33

Just for anyone's reference I have recently (last couple of days) received the manuals from TC Charger for their 1.8kw, 3.3kw and 6.6 kw chargers. I attach them below in case they provide some of the info you are seeking.

In my thread "Charger 3kw and 2kw?" Coulomb asked me to ask TC Charger some additional questions to which I received the following replies:
(Each of coulomb's questions followed by TC Charger reply)

1) Is the enable function suitable for adjusting the maximum charge current using pulse width modulation? Would 17% to 42% PWM ratio represent zero to full rated current (so as to generate an average DC voltage of 2.0 to 5.0 V, as used by earlier TC Charger models)?

NO. Enable only control ON/OFF.

2) Can I use a DC signal from 2.0 to 5.0 V referenced to the E pin of the signal control connector, similarly to the enable signal of earlier TC Charger models?

NO, There is no such function any more.

3) The CAN bus interface is stated as "optional". If the CAN bus is not used, how is the maximum battery charge voltage determined? Does the charger become specific to a particular number of cells in series, with a particular Amp-hour capacity, as it is with earlier TC Charger models? Do I specify the number of cells and their capacity before the sale is complete? Does this process delay the delivery of the charger?

If CAN interface is not required. Charger is programed with your battery info.

4) If I change my mind about the number of cells in the future, can I just start using the CAN bus, and this will override the number of cells that I specify at the time of purchase?

If charger without CAN, you cannot changed cells.

5) Is the enable input and the 12 V 5A power supply isolated from the battery? In earlier TC charger models, they were not.

12v 5a is for BMS power supply. It's isolated from battery.

6) How do I specify or change the CAN bit rate? The manual states that the CAN Baud Rate is 125/250/500Kbps. Does it auto detect the bit rate of messages sent to the charger?

CAN bit rate is set when you place order. It's not adjustable for you.

7) What is the charger's CAN ID, and what ID is it expecting voltage and current requests on? Are these the same as earlier TC Charger models?

See attachment.

Hope some of this info helps,
Paul

1.8KW_User_Manual1.pdf
3.3KW_User_Manual2.pdf
6.6KW_User_Manual2.pdf
CAN_Protocol-ALG1430-2.pdf

User avatar
Adverse Effects
Senior Member
Posts: 967
Joined: Sat, 01 Jan 2011, 03:30
Real Name: Adverse Effects
Location: Brisbane

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by Adverse Effects » Sun, 07 May 2017, 20:57

wow they dont seem like a very "friendly" charger

Frankie
Noobie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat, 29 Apr 2017, 22:42
Real Name: Vlad
Location: AU/UKR
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by Frankie » Sun, 07 May 2017, 20:59

I have some discussion about 3.3 charger

the new models really have no suitable hardware for 201V.
there is suitable for the old TCCH series charger but it is unavailable now.
can we just change into the other charger?

They want to give me some another charger which has 201,6 V out and looks like home made. Thats why I prefer to ask You guys! before they start delivery.

User avatar
coulomb
Site Admin
Posts: 3036
Joined: Thu, 22 Jan 2009, 20:32
Real Name: Mike Van Emmerik
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by coulomb » Mon, 08 May 2017, 01:21

EV2Go wrote: Does anyone know if a firmware update can been done on this model? Without digging up receipts, guessing somewhere around 2010 - 2012 going off the address on the box.

Yes, this is the model that can be firmware updated. But there isn't much point, unless you want a fixed voltage charger. It's already a CAN model; the main reason to update the firmware is to change the fixed voltage(s) to another set, or to change the charge algorithm from lead-acid to Lithium or vice versa.

The ~2 CAN bus messages per second limitation can't be fixed by a firmware update; it's a limitation of the design. The charger actually uses 2400 bps serial; the external CAN box converts CAN bus messages to streams of 12-character serial packets. I think the external CAN box mindlessly converts all CAN bus messages to such strings, so if you have anything else sending CAN bus messages, it very soon overloads the slow serial bus. Later models have a microcontroller that has CAN port, and they have the CAN bus drivers inside the charger.

The firmware updates aren't official at all; they're the result of me reverse engineering the firmware of several chargers, and figuring out how to change the algorithms. The charger still has voltage and current limits, of course. To change the voltage and current limits requires changing the transformer turns ratio, and probably changing up to a dozen other components. I've never done a "transformer transplant", and have only ever heard of one being done.

The gory details of firmware updating are on the diyelectriccarc.com forum. Despite early enthusiasm, very few were actually performed. However, I've worked out a "universal" CAN bus firmware, which will convert any old-model TC / Elcon charger from fixed voltage to pseudo-CAN bus. It's not even necessary to open the case to do this. I've done three of these for Geoff O'Toole of GT Tooling, and may do some more in future. Since the Batrium BMS interfaces to the pseudo-CAN bus of these chargers, it's a good way of repurposing a charger that was ordered with a fixed voltage.

Maybe the Zeva BMS can do this too... Ian?
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.

User avatar
coulomb
Site Admin
Posts: 3036
Joined: Thu, 22 Jan 2009, 20:32
Real Name: Mike Van Emmerik
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by coulomb » Mon, 08 May 2017, 01:44

Frankie wrote: the new models really have no suitable hardware for 201V.

There is a 3.3 kW model that goes to 198 V max; the next one up has 440 V max, a huge gap, and of course a lot less current (10 A vs 23 A). Since 198 V is only 3 V less than your desired 201 V (1.5% less), perhaps that model would do?

there is suitable for the old TCCH series charger but it is unavailable now.

So that's official? The older models aren't available, despite persisting on the English version of their web site? I see that they *have* disappeared from the Chinese version of the web site.

can we just change into the other charger?

I don't know what you're suggesting here, but you can't convert a new model to old specifications.

They want to give me some another charger which has 201,6 V out and looks like home made. Thats why I prefer to ask You guys! before they start delivery.

Is there a web page for this alternative charger, so we can look at it?

[ Edit: reworded clumsy sentence re large voltage gap. ]
Last edited by coulomb on Sun, 07 May 2017, 15:46, edited 1 time in total.
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.

Frankie
Noobie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat, 29 Apr 2017, 22:42
Real Name: Vlad
Location: AU/UKR
Contact:

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by Frankie » Mon, 08 May 2017, 17:28


Some GNE charger Link

User avatar
EV2Go
Senior Member
Posts: 2058
Joined: Wed, 16 Jul 2008, 00:21
Real Name: Paul
Location: Brisbane 1963

Questions on Elcon/TC chargers

Post by EV2Go » Tue, 09 May 2017, 17:59

coulomb wrote:
EV2Go wrote: Does anyone know if a firmware update can been done on this model? Without digging up receipts, guessing somewhere around 2010 - 2012 going off the address on the box.

Yes, this is the model that can be firmware updated. But there isn't much point, unless you want a fixed voltage charger. It's already a CAN model; the main reason to update the firmware is to change the fixed voltage(s) to another set, or to change the charge algorithm from lead-acid to Lithium or vice versa.

The ~2 CAN bus messages per second limitation can't be fixed by a firmware update; it's a limitation of the design. The charger actually uses 2400 bps serial; the external CAN box converts CAN bus messages to streams of 12-character serial packets. I think the external CAN box mindlessly converts all CAN bus messages to such strings, so if you have anything else sending CAN bus messages, it very soon overloads the slow serial bus. Later models have a microcontroller that has CAN port, and they have the CAN bus drivers inside the charger.

The firmware updates aren't official at all; they're the result of me reverse engineering the firmware of several chargers, and figuring out how to change the algorithms. The charger still has voltage and current limits, of course. To change the voltage and current limits requires changing the transformer turns ratio, and probably changing up to a dozen other components. I've never done a "transformer transplant", and have only ever heard of one being done.

The gory details of firmware updating are on the diyelectriccarc.com forum. Despite early enthusiasm, very few were actually performed. However, I've worked out a "universal" CAN bus firmware, which will convert any old-model TC / Elcon charger from fixed voltage to pseudo-CAN bus. It's not even necessary to open the case to do this. I've done three of these for Geoff O'Toole of GT Tooling, and may do some more in future. Since the Batrium BMS interfaces to the pseudo-CAN bus of these chargers, it's a good way of repurposing a charger that was ordered with a fixed voltage.

Maybe the Zeva BMS can do this too... Ian?
Thanks coulomb, at the moment I am still planning to run around 292v of lithium which it should be set up for, but nice to know the voltage can be changed if I can't fit enough batteries in.

Post Reply