Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

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Damir
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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Damir » Fri, 16 May 2014, 22:42

Johny wrote: I don't agree Richo.
The Soliton has a setting for minimum expected NO LOAD battery pack voltage.

The manual says if it's 10V under this then the contactors will not close.
If there were 13 Leads at 11.5 volts then that's 149.5 volts.
149.5 is 45 times 3.32. LiFePO4 will not be no load that high even under under no load normally. I admit that we have to drop another 10V but you can see the issue.

Taxman has to at least check what the no-load voltage setting before looking for a more drastic problem. The problem started after LiFePO4 replaced Lead - look there.

Edit: fixed OP name
I agree with you Johny, Taxman should definitely check his settings before spending any money.

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Taxman » Fri, 16 May 2014, 23:57

Thanks guys,

My settings are all good, I tried changing the low voltage cutoffs and everything, tried turning off all the inputs and outputs, reset to factory settings, etc.

Since then I have been back and forth with evnetics, they are refusing to cover any cost of the repair. It's crazy considering it's supposed to be a top end product, you pay $2500 for the thing and it's failing after only 2.5 years, around 5-6000 kms! Imagine if a car manufacturer brought out a vehicle in which a major component failed after 5000 kms?

Gargh. Anyway it looks like weber can be my hero if I can't wrangle any joy from evnetics. It doesn't look good, we're at the stage where I'm threatening to tell my story to the internet. The INTERNET! That'll scare em.

Thanks for all the local support, by the way.

Sam

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Damir » Sat, 17 May 2014, 15:54

Sorry to hear the bad news Sam , I know how you feel, I have just gone through the same thing for the second time, first time after 3 months of use the unit packed up but it was one month after warranty, since it took time to build the car and I bought the unit earlier so I could have it for planing and installation. The second time about 13 months of use, total mileage around 10,000km of careful and well monitored use the unit developed a serious fault again where the big capacitor blew up and it took out the mother board and god knows what in the middle of a controlled intersection. My suggestion to you to keep pushing Evnetics to come to a happy medium as you said last resort mention the internet and possibly the AEVA association, it has worked for me as they offered me a Soliton1 replacement for the same money it would have cost to repair the unit which was $900 so now I am going to have a more reliable unit for long term use. It still has cost me more than if I just bought it in the first place but it's a lesson in life sometimes the cheaper alternative is not necessarily the best.
My vehicles weight is around 1.35 ton fully loaded with 2 people in it the Soliton JR max vehicle weight recommended is exactly that, but I believe that is really pushing it I would not buy it if your total weight is more then 1 ton otherwise you are compromising long term reliability, I don't know your car details but if your car is over 1 ton it might be worth while pushing Evnetics to do what they have done for me and that is to upgrade you to a Soliton 1, that way you won't have to deal with them again in the near future.
I questioned the reliability and design of this unit and explained I did not want to be a part of the testing team at my expense, that I expected a well designed and reliable device for $2500, in the petrol car world there would be a major recall of units at the company's expense without question, the fact is they thinned down a very good unit to something that will need continual repair after the warranty and that all potential customers should be aware around the world, this seemed to do the job and I actually truly believe this, when you spend so much money on a crucial part in the electric car, you expect it to deliver without question, I am still hot around the collar about this so if you need support let me know if I can help.

All the best from Damir

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Richo » Mon, 19 May 2014, 20:32

Taxman wrote: Hmm, the pack is sitting at 149V though.

Johny wrote: I don't agree Richo.
If there were 13 Leads at 11.5 volts then that's 149.5 volts.
I admit that we have to drop another 10V but you can see the issue.


Yeah that "may" have been a contributing factor at the start.
But it wont fix his problem now:
Taxman wrote:Precharge timeout - no pack voltage


Precharge cct is burnt out - it needs fixing...

I agree the two minimum voltage settings will need to be chaecked after repair.
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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Richo » Mon, 19 May 2014, 20:55

I'll give you an example why:

Lets say a controller has a simple pre-charge circuit consisting of a switch and resistor designed to charge up the internal capacitors.
If the internal capacitors total 10,000uF and you are trying to charge up to 150V in 100ms.
Then you would need ~2.5Ohms to charge 10,000uF in 100ms.
Now at 150V this means the starting power required is 9kW (9000W) [60A].
They are not going to fit a 9kW resistor in a small controller!!
So the answer is to say that the pre-charge circuit has a DUTY CYCLE.
Lets say they typically expect you to start your car only every 15minutes (900sec).
Now we know that we only use the resistor for 100ms (0.1s) ever 900secs.
this is a duty cycle of 1/9000.
This means they "could" get away with a 1W resistor to pre-charge the caps.
1W fits in the controller now too.

However if the user keeps turning on/off the car regularly this resistor will burn out as it exceeds its recommended duty cycle.

Once the resistor burns out NO voltage goes to the capacitors.
The controller will then return an error - NO PACK VOLTAGE.

Changing settings wont fix it.

Weather this is a warranty issue depends on what they claim the duty cycle is.
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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Johny » Mon, 19 May 2014, 22:35

Yes, point well made Richo. Shame someone can't just open it up and replace the pre-charge.

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Richo » Tue, 20 May 2014, 20:40

Well I did offer...
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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Vortex » Thu, 22 May 2014, 16:15

Ive come into this forum late but I too have a Solitron Jnr and for the record have had a number of problems. I too had it fail after six months of first applying HV (78 x 90AH Winstons). It just stopped on a cool summers night while cruising at 80km/hr. I tried restarting several times and it attempted to, but I ended up with my head under the bonnet with a meter. The motor suddenly went to full revs and I heard the contactor drop out almost immediately. Luckily I had handbrake on and gearbox in neutral.

I then had arguments with Evnetics about warranty but as I had bought it 18 months earlier they wouldnt budge. I eventually sent it back to them and we argued some more about the repair price but they did give me a discount. The IGBT had failed along with the contactor, current transducer and some cabling. All up about US$500. Incidently I found Aus Post were the cheapest for freight. It just fits into <10Kg package and cost just over A$100 with tracking and insurance.

Getting it back was more expensive using UPS and Evnetics valued it at $1700on in the customs docs so it was shuffled into the GST queue until I sorted that out. You only pay GST on the service cost incurred + freight and I was under the $1000 threshold.

While re-installing Jnr the positive motor terminal stud sheared off. I hadnt used excessive torque, ever, as Im familiar with the fragility of brass studs. I wasnt going to return it again so I voided the warrantly by opening it up. I removed the terminal block and drilled and tapped for a SS stud.

Also I was never able to get a root cause for the failure out of them. I asked three times and was just ignored.

All went well for 2 months when Jnr failed again. Just stopped again, but this time I was able to restart after 5 minutes and all was well for another couple of days. I was now carrying my laptop around and was able to view the control panel and error messages. No messages but I did notice the throttle cal had changed from 5/95 to 5/9. I recalibrated but couldnt initially get back to 5/95. After numerous attempts it recalibrated and I was able to drive home. I checked the HAP and it was fine, along with the 5v source from JNR.

This went on for a month or two with random failures and no pattern emerging until eventually the fault wouldnt clear. I had kept in touch with Evnetics and got limited support, their answer was to return it to them again. I refused, threatening to buy a competitors product and eventually they agreed to allowing me to open it up and they would provide technical support if needed and if they couldnt they would repair it free, if I paid the freight.

I opened it up on the bench and immediately powered it up and it was working. Murphies Law. I ended up removing the logic board and carefully inspecting it under a magnifier but everything looked fine. I found nothing and after a week of soak testing I reinstalled it.

Its still working 2 months later but Im not confident and carry round a full set of tools and a laptop at all times.

Seems like there's a picture building with Solitron Jnrs and Evnetics need an Austrlain service agent.

As for thr posting problem, I had a low 12v problem where my 12v supply would drop ,11v when my power steering end stopped. It just shut down the Jnr and there was a clear error message. At times I have also tried to power up with high voltage isolated and this was clearly a different error light sequence. I suspect the problem is the software low voltage setting.

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Richo » Thu, 22 May 2014, 20:46

Vortex wrote: ...I ended up with my head under the bonnet with a meter. The motor suddenly went to full revs...The IGBT had failed along with the contactor, current transducer and some cabling.

The down side to DC and why NCOP originally made everyone put in a big red button.
Doesn't help if your out of the car tho.
Vortex wrote:No messages but I did notice the throttle cal had changed from 5/95 to 5/9. I recalibrated but couldn't initially get back to 5/95. After numerous attempts it recalibrated and I was able to drive home.
Sounds like Toyotas KILLER BITS are escaping Image
Vortex wrote:Seems like there's a picture building with Solitron Jnrs and Evnetics need an Australian service agent.

I doubt there would be enough in it for anyone to setup as a service agent.
Other than Evnetics reputation that is...
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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Damir » Thu, 22 May 2014, 22:10

Very interesting Vortex, i suspected there must be others struggling with The Soliton JR, it appears to be a legitimate concearn, i wonder how heavy your vehicle is and type of driving have youve done, hill,flat combination of the two, average take off slow normal or fast, average daily temperatures and distance traveled? I also assume you have water cooling.
Cheers Damir

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Damir » Thu, 22 May 2014, 22:19

Hey Vortex since you have had a Soliton opened have you any detailed photos of its guts, i never took my appart although Evnetics accused me of opening it, i am very interested to see its internal construction?
Cheers Damir

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Vortex » Fri, 23 May 2014, 05:59

Damir, My vehicle is a Subaru Vortex XT. Its a front wheel drive hence retaining the gearbox. I have 54 batteries in back replacing the fuel tank and 24 in front, 24kW in total. Weight is now 1220kg @ 56:44(R/F) from original 1080kg @ 30:70. I run a Kostov 220v HV 9" motor to take advantage of the Jnr HV. My BMS is a Elektromotus EMUS system and the on board charger is a Zivan NG3 charger. Jnr is water cooled.

Im in Maida Vale, W.A. and do 20% hill work. The night of the big failure I was cruising on Leach Hwy in Kewdale.

I do have photos of Jnrs internals. I cant post them now but will do on the weekend.

Cheers
Vortex.

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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Taxman » Mon, 26 May 2014, 02:11

Hey Vortex,

I'd be keen to see the guts of the thing, too. The update on my situation is - they relented after I threatened to whine about them on the internet, so they are covering the cost of repair, I have to pay for shipping.

So it's on a plane now. It's good we've got this discussion on the forum, for future potential customers!


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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Damir » Mon, 26 May 2014, 12:58

Great news even though shipping is not cheap!
It still feels like a false win as it should have never happened.
I personally would not buy a SOLITON JUNIOR again for any conversion because there are a lot of cheaper options for smaller conversions, as it is not a fully tested device for long term use, they made a great not so cheap Soliton 1 then they stripped it down till it didnt work and then placed back the last item that made it fail, called it a JR and placed it on the market, just like they did with the old phillips colour TVs when they came out.
WARNING!
My Soliton 1 replacement is stuck in Australian customs as we speak, it is very frustrating as they are not releasing it because the way Evnetics filled out the paperwork making it seem like a new purchase instead or a return repair. So A WARNING TO ALL make sure inside the return packaging there is a clear note or receipt describing the items situation, this is going to cost me another week at least in delay.
I had to send paper evidence stating it is a repair not a new purchase, since i still havent got the unit i cant confirm that this has done the trick to get it through the customs.

So if i get it hopefully soon i still have to redesign my vehicle to suit the larger controller which could take another week or so, definitely NOT HAPPY WITH EVNETICS SOLITON JR, when you spend $2500 on a carburator on a vehicle you expect it to work like a horse for life.

My decision to purchase a SOLITON JR has cost me $4200AU so far, this has definitely been the worst investment of my conversion.

Hope this information helps Cheers Damir


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Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by Damir » Mon, 26 May 2014, 13:24

Very interesting Vortex, the weight of my vehicle is 1.240 ton from original 1.2 ton, the weight factor seems to be a common factor that is fearly close to SOLITON JR 1.3 ton upper limit if you consider having passengers and some extra load like shopping the weight is definitely pushing the Solitons probabbly very generous and exagerated 1.3 ton limit and with a few very hot days and hills with time i would place my nuts on the line to say it stresses the Soliton JR design and makes it inavitable to fail in time.
This is great business from their point of view but not so great for the customer. Most people without much technical knowledge would just either buy another unit or get theirs repaired, over two years is just enough time to forget the money spent on the unit in the first place.

I would only consider buying the Solito JR, if it was priced $1000 AU and my vehicle was under 1 ton. Other wise buying Soliton 1 would be my choice, Also this i can not guarantee as i havent used it yet, i hope it can deliver long term use, if it breaks down within 5 years i will scrapp my conversion and buy a comercial vehicle.
NOT HAPPY EVNETICS!

Cheers Damir

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Re: Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by nrawal » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 07:44

Hello,

I have a soliton one and during my testing I am getting the error Pre-charge timeout, no voltage (Precharge timeout, no voltage [0x00, 0x0000]). Have you guys ever experienced this error when you were using the soliton one? Do you have any advice on how to go about solving this error, my controller mode is currently in Pre-charge Timeout, No Voltage; I am trying to get the controller to be in running mode.

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Re: Could anyone help diagnose my soliton's issue?

Post by coulomb » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 10:05

nrawal wrote:
Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 07:44
I am getting the error Pre-charge timeout, no voltage (Precharge timeout, no voltage [0x00, 0x0000]).
That sounds like the pre-charge resistor might be open circuit. It should be relatively easy to find (likely inside the controller though) and test. It will be large and probably either ceramic or inside a heat-sink.

I would expect to read of the order of 3 to 30 ohms; hopefully you can read the nominal value off the side of the resistor. Measure safely.
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