Do I need a new controller?

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Post by Paul9 » Thu, 15 Dec 2016, 23:55

Thanks Richo,

I will have my gloves on! When you say to each traction battery terminal do you mean to each positive and negative traction battery terminal? If to both the positive and negative terminals do I, when testing a negative traction terminal, put the other end on the positive of the aux battery?

Pardon my dumbness!

Thanks
Paul

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Post by Paul9 » Fri, 16 Dec 2016, 17:52

I went through every cell terminal and connected each to the neg side of the aux battery. When I eventually got to the last pos terminal of the entire bank I got a zero reading. The last neg terminal, when connected to the chassis, gave me a reading of -120v.

I assume from Richo's comment my short must be from one of the cables attached to the pack's positive terminal? Or maybe the terminal itself?

Apologies for my slowness but not only am I not an EE I'm not even an E! I am in fact a retired A for accountant so the very little I know about E is what I have learned while building this thing!

Thanks again,
Paul

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Post by Richo » Fri, 16 Dec 2016, 20:38

Paul9 wrote:I assume from Richo's comment my short must be from one of the cables attached to the pack's positive terminal?


Bingo Image

So now you know it's the POS terminal of the pack connected to the chassis.

Start by disconnecting the wiring from the terminal at the traction pack POS.
Measure from the traction pack POS to chassis and traction pack NEG to chassis to make sure the problem is NOT the pack but something that was connected to it.
Be aware that your BMS may also still be connected and causing the problem.

Leave the pack disconnected - for safety reasons...
Measure the voltage at the disconnected wiring trac POS to chassis.
SHould read 0V.
You should now be able to measure resistance at different points along the traction pos in the wiring to chassis to see where this issue is.
You can disconnect devices such as controller, DC/DC, contactor, fuses etc one by one until the short goes away.

Hope this makes sense
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Post by Paul9 » Fri, 16 Dec 2016, 21:17

Thanks Richo,

Will try that tomorrow. Both your advice and your patience is appreciated!

Paul

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Post by Paul9 » Mon, 19 Dec 2016, 20:47

My investigations have got somewhere (I think?)

Richo's instructions were:

"Start by disconnecting the wiring from the terminal at the traction pack POS."

DONE.

"Measure from the traction pack POS to chassis and traction pack NEG to chassis to make sure the problem is NOT the pack but something that was connected to it."

Traction pack POS to chassis read zero volts. Traction pack NEG to chassis read 2.03 volts. I left the DMM attached to NEG and chassis and the voltage, over a 10 minute period, sank down to zero volts.

"Be aware that your BMS may also still be connected and causing the problem."

I did all of the above with the big red button down which also turns off the BMS.

"Leave the pack disconnected - for safety reasons..."

Left the pack disconnected. I am normally fairly safety conscious. I can only remember a couple of times when I have licked the positive terminal while holding the neg terminal with wet hands! Actually reminding me about safety is good advice - a number of times I have come within a second or two of doing something fatally stupid!"

"Measure the voltage at the disconnected wiring trac POS to chassis.
SHould read 0V."

The voltage of every disconnected red wire attached to the POS terminal and the chassis read zero volts except the DC-DC pos wire. It read 2.50v. Would this be where the short/leak is happening? Or do I need to keep searching?

Thanks tons
Paul


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Post by Johny » Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 18:48

Hi Paul
Lacking any response from Richo, I'll chip in.

So now you know that one of the wires that you disconnected from the + side of the pack somehow is connected, or leaks, to chassis/ground.

Two ways to go here.
1/ Change to the Ohms settings on your DVM and measure each of the disconnected + wires to ground.
OR
2/ Connected each of the disconnected wires up one at a time - each time measuring pack- to ground (DVM back on Volts here).

Or do both - 1 first.

John



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Post by Richo » Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 20:35

Thanks Johny I've been busy as a mad hatter Image
Christmas and all that...

With the pack pos disconnected you still read 0V from trac pos to chassis.
Now that just means there was no voltage differential doesn't imply the short is still there.
What you need to remember is that you CANT measure RESISTANCE while there is VOLTAGE on the line.
So measure the VOLTAGE FIRST to see if it ZERO then measure RESISTANCE.

Measure trac pos to chassis again make sure it is still 0V.
Now change to Resistance and measure track pos to chassis.
If the short has gone you'll see the reading increase to a high value kR/MR or "OL".
This will mean the short is in the wiring NOT the pack.

At this stage it is probably easier to unplug things.
As you say the DC/DC is looking suspicious.

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Post by Richo » Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 20:37

Paul9 wrote:Traction pack POS to chassis read zero volts. Traction pack NEG to chassis read 2.03 volts. I left the DMM attached to NEG and chassis and the voltage, over a 10 minute period, sank down to zero volts.


Things like DC/DC converters usually have internal caps that "bleed" from the HV lines to the low voltage outputs and visa versa.
This is probably what you are seeing.
I don't think this is an issue or causing the problem.
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Post by Richo » Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 20:44

This is pretty much what Johny said but with more detail for the low E ppl.

Measure trac pos WIRE to chassis again make sure it is 0V.
Now change to Resistance and measure track pos WIRE to chassis.
We are expecting a short so a value in the Ohms region is expected.

So trace where the disconnected trac pos WIRE goes.
Obviously the dc/dc will be there which is a good place to start.
Unplug the trac pos WIRE from the DC/DC.
Measure volts trac pos WIRE to chassis.
Should read 0V
Now change to resistance.
Has the low ohms gone?

Repeat for other items on the Trac pos wire one by one until the resistance goes high.

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Post by Richo » Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 20:50

Paul9 wrote:I did all of the above with the big red button down which also turns off the BMS.


Ah Yes it may turn it "off" but I bet there are still wires running across your pack connected to the terminals.

So they are OFF but still CONNECTED.
One of those BMS wires can still be connected to the chassis in some manner without causing a fault.

Leave the BMS until the trac pos wire trace returns no cause.
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Post by Paul9 » Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 21:44

Thanks muchly Johny and Richo,

I am going to print those instructions out and go through them one by one!

I am going to try to go through the process before Christmas but may end up busier than a Beirut bricklayer in which case I will do straight after Christmas.

Thanks for the step-by-step instructions!

Cheers
Paul

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Post by Richo » Thu, 22 Dec 2016, 20:39

I'll be busy doing stuff for the next few weeks so if you do respond it may take some time before I get back to you.
Have you tried uploading a picture recently?
It'd be nice to see what we are helping you with!

What heater do you have?
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Post by Paul9 » Fri, 23 Dec 2016, 13:04

Thanks Richo,

No problems as I will be busy for a few weeks also. I have printed out your step-by-steps and will take them over to my electrician brother's place on Christmas day for him to read. Hopefully I can then tee up a day for us to work through your instructions.

I still have the heater we originally put in the car back in 2009. I have never turned it on. It is only 200watts and was only installed to comply with rego requirements in NSW.

I will try uploading a picture or two but have always had trouble with that function on these forums.

I will keep this thread updated with any progress we make but I won't expect much in the way of replies - everyone is on holidays over Christmas and January.

Thanks and have a good holiday break,
Cheers
Paul

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Post by evric » Fri, 23 Dec 2016, 14:31

Hi Paul,
For adding images, I have found that it works better to put your post up, then go "Post Options" and "Edit Post" and upload your image from that set of menus.

Merry Christmas.
Eric
Prius Plug-in Conversion: http://www.evplus.com.au ...Holden Barina EV: http://www.evric.kestar.com.au

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Post by Paul9 » Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 01:07

Hi people,

Progress!

After my holidays and my brother's holidays we finally got together yesterday. We followed Richo and Johny's instructions and still ended up with 38 to 39 volts between the traction pack and the body of the car. We disconnected all the components connected to the Traction POS then reconnected them one by one. Didn't make no difference - still had 38 to 39 volts (rear traction battery bank was disconnected).

We then tried disconnecting all the negative lines (with all the POS wiring reconnected). Same result 38-39 volts.

My brother then thought to disconnect both all POS and NEG wiring from components to the traction pack. We had zero volts from taction pack to the body. We then reconnected both POS and NEG lines from each component and kept getting zero volts until we reconnected the NEG line of the TBS Pro. Voltage immediately went to 39v. Disconnected the TBS Pro NEG line and back to zero. Then connected POS line of TBS Pro and voltage back to 39v.

In short (pardon the pun), it didn't matter whether we disconnected the POS or NEG lines of the TBS Pro, we were still going to get 39v. We had to disconnect BOTH POS and NEG lines to get the voltage to zero.

Great that I now have that problem fixed except I now have an inoperable TBS Pro which I find extremely useful when driving the car!

Comments on our progress very welcome! Comments on how to maybe fix the TBS Pro also very welcome.

Thanks to Richo, Johny and others for leading the way!
Cheers
Paul


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Post by Johny » Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 14:57

Paul, is your current shunt at the end of the pack or wired in the middle somewhere?

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Post by Paul9 » Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 15:54

Thanks Johny it's at the end of the pack just before the NEG terminal.

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Post by Johny » Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 16:07

I can't seem to find an installation manual for the TBS Pro. There's a lite and an E-Xpert but they don't tell me much.
The lite shows that the Aux battery (12V) and the traction pack shunt are connected but I'm sure that is not how yours is wired.

Have you got any diagrams etc. that show how it's wired into your vehicle?
(It's most-likely a fault in the unit but we might as well try to see if anything is amiss first.)
For instance is there a voltage resister divider or does it connect right across the pack?

Does anyone else have a TBS Pro and if so, does it "leak" from the traction pack to chassis (or 12V)?

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Post by Paul9 » Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 16:44

I think I have a manual for the TBS Pro somewhere so I will have a hunt around for it Johny. I have a very busy day today so I don't think I will be able to get back to you on this until tomorrow.

Thanks
Paul

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Post by Johny » Wed, 01 Mar 2017, 14:09

I took the liberty yesterday to contact TBS Pro about the HV to 12V "leakage" issue. They responded today (quite quickly).

The mail trail is a bit confusing bit the answer is in the immediately following text.
In short - the TBS Pro does not isolate supply voltage from the HV pack.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi John,

Thanks for your email.

It is difficult to answer such questions without a schematic, but in this case the explanation could be simple. There is indeed no isolation between the supply voltage of the battery monitor and the HV traction pack. This is because due to the current shunt being connected into the traction battery negative line. So isolation is very difficult to achieve here. May I assume that you are using a passive voltage prescaler? In this case, some people use an isolated DC-DC converter to create an isolated supply for the battery monitor. When an active 1:5 prescaler is used, the battery monitor will be supplied from the traction battery itself due to the built in (non isolated) DC-DC converter.

I hope this helps a little bit.

Best Regards,

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Daniel Schouten

TBS Electronics BV

TBS Electronics | De Marowijne 3 | 1689AR Zwaag | The Netherlands | T : +31-(0)229-271246 | www.tbs-electronics.com

From: Hans Schouten
Sent: dinsdag 28 februari 2017 8:52
To: Daniel Schouten
Subject: FW: TBS Pro ground fault

Met vriendelijke groeten / Best Regards,

Hans Schouten
TBS Electronics BV

From: XXXXX, John [mailto:xxx]
Sent: maandag 27 februari 2017 23:30
To: info@xxxx
Subject: TBS Pro ground fault

Hi

A friend of mine appears to have a problem with the TBS Pro.

On a DIY EV, they have been attempting to find a "leak" from the traction pack to vehicle ground.

See following:

----------------------

"My brother then thought to disconnect both all POS and NEG wiring from components to the traction pack. We had zero volts from taction pack to the body. We then reconnected both POS and NEG lines from each component and kept getting zero volts until we reconnected the NEG line of the TBS Pro. Voltage immediately went to 39v. Disconnected the TBS Pro NEG line and back to zero. Then connected POS line of TBS Pro and voltage back to 39v.

In short (pardon the pun), it didn't matter whether we disconnected the POS or NEG lines of the TBS Pro, we were still going to get 39v. We had to disconnect BOTH POS and NEG lines to get the voltage to zero.

Great that I now have that problem fixed except I now have an inoperable TBS Pro which I find extremely useful when driving the car!"

--------------------------

Does the TBS Pro isolate the traction pack from 12V?

Thanks

John

Last edited by Johny on Wed, 01 Mar 2017, 03:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Paul9 » Wed, 01 Mar 2017, 16:57

Thanks tons for your help John! I do use a 5:1 voltage prescaler. Their reply causes two questions in my tiny brain:

a) I get 39v even if the shunt wires are disconnected, whereas their reply appears (?) to imply that the short can only happen through the shunt wires?

b) How come it worked fine for the last 7 years when wired the same way?

Again thanks
Paul

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Post by Johny » Wed, 01 Mar 2017, 18:52

Paul9 wrote:b) How come it worked fine for the last 7 years when wired the same way?
Again thanks
Paul
It works fine now. It's just that someone proved that the traction pack isn't isolated from the 12V system.

TBS clearly say that the device is not isolated so the only way to ensure that it is would be a 12V to 12V isolating DC-DC.
The issue that would still remain is that all wiring to the TBS would still be "hot". As long as you are aware of that then no problem.


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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Wed, 01 Mar 2017, 19:25

[quote="Paul9"] ...
b) How come it worked fine for the last 7 years when wired the same way?
/QUOTE]

Working and safe are two different things. If you don't have the 12V system isolated from the traction battery system, then one short could be serious. Otherwise you need two shorts before anything bad happens. Also, if you are grounded to the car and you touch one place on the traction battery, you could be zapped. if the car is isolated, it is only dangerous to touch the high voltage system in two places.
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Post by Johny » Wed, 01 Mar 2017, 19:36

Peter I think I saw somewhere that you were using a TBS. Do you have a DC-DC isolator?

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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Wed, 01 Mar 2017, 19:41

Johny wrote: Peter I think I saw somewhere that you were using a TBS. Do you have a DC-DC isolator?

No isolator but I only use the TBS to monitor the traction battery. I have the passive voltage divider. I have a different gauge for the 12V system.
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