Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

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jonescg
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg »

tonyw wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 19:00 I'm sure I'm telling you nothing you haven't already calculated, but...

I would be careful about "desensitising" the current sensing. The current sensor is probably also used to limit the current if Leadfoot Leroy floors the pedal on a steep hill or driveway. If the indicated current is lower, you risk overheating something, and there are electronic components in there that don't like to be overloaded. The motor can probably take a 20% overload briefly, but silicon can't.
The inverter has it's own internal DC and phase current sensors which it uses to do just that - so I think messing with the battery current sensor is probably fairly safe.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

richi wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 14:29 I dare say hacking the current sensor won't be enough—it would compensate for the Coulomb counting downward that I assume is happening, but not of course for the trigger at critical low cell Voltage.
Right, but the larger capacity should stop the low cell voltage from happening as soon. Plus, we want to retain protection against low cell voltage. LMO and NMC have similar characteristics at lower SOC.
Not sure from your description, but it sounds like the new cells reach that Voltage at a much higher SoC, right?
Yes.
Likely you'd need to intercept and rewrite the messages from the CMUs to the BMU, and fake the Voltages.
I certainly hope it won't get anything like that complex.
I don't know if anyone has pulled out the BMU hardware to see if it's actually reflashable.
✋ I have found a MUT-3 update CD with iMiEV specific files, but most of the ECU firmware seems to be encrypted. It may be possible to figure out how to decrypt by analysing the MUT-3 PC software, but the keys etc may reside inside the MUT-3 itself. I found that the CMU firmware is not encrypted, and have analysed some of that, but it's hard going, and I've made little real progress.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

jonescg wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 14:40 Should quickly add that the original LEV50 cells were LiMnO2 chemistry, not LFP.
Oops, I used "NMO" instead of "LMO". Sigh. I've edited the original post.
LiMnO2 cells maintain a higher operating voltage in the first 50% of the SOC, unlike NMC which tend to show a quick drop off to 4 V and fairly linear drop over the SOC.
Yes. That's the problem, that initial rapid drop-off in voltage.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

jonescg wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 19:20 The inverter has it's own internal DC and phase current sensors which it uses to do just that - so I think messing with the battery current sensor is probably fairly safe.
I'm glad to hear that. But there is still the chance that some ECU will compare the current measured in the battery to the current measured in the MCU, and if the two differ by more than a certain amount, it may generate a trouble code. But there are other loads on the main battery (heater, air conditioning, DC-DC), so the two will never be the same, so maybe they won't compare them. [ Edit: However, the battery current reading less than the current consumed by the motor controller might cause problems. ]

There may be other uses for the battery current than for counting coulombs (estimating SOC) and the motor controller. Hopefully we'll find out soon.

I also worry about long term drift of the current sensors; there will be a DC offset introduced. It should be small with high precision resistors, but the current sensor itself won't be perfect, and they may have calibrated out the error and saved the calibration data inside the BMU. But hopefully all that gets reset every time the battery gets charged.

Finally, the BMU may well be assuming LMO characteristics, adjusting the SOC based on current drawn amongst other things. This monkeying with the current might end up making the learned SOC somehow unstable, or drift badly with time. That might mean that the Range Remaining meter is even more divorced from reality than it usually is, and the turtle may turn up at unexpected times.

So there are plenty of potential problems. :|
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

jonescg wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 14:40 NMC cell discharge curve:
CJs Discharge test NMC.JPG
CJs Discharge test NMC.JPG (27.57 KiB) Viewed 1002 times
Compared with the LEV50 curve, from the datasheet:

LEV50 SOC.png
LEV50 SOC.png (119.4 KiB) Viewed 1002 times

Here is my rough attempt at overlaying these two, using only the 25°C curve for LEV50. The NMC curve should probably be a bit higher, bringing them a little closer together:

LEV50 vs NMC.png
LEV50 vs NMC.png (94.43 KiB) Viewed 1002 times

My original overlay; messy and partly mirror imaged! The NMC curve has the red dots:

Various lithium + LEV50 SOC 2.png
Various lithium + LEV50 SOC 2.png (362.66 KiB) Viewed 1002 times
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by richi »

Thanks for that extra data, Mike. It's not half as bad as I'd feared from your earlier comment.

Do you have a handle on how far it'll actually drive until power gets reduced? (i.e., not just lighting the turtle, but actually acting like one.)
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

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richi wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 20:41 Do you have a handle on how far it'll actually drive until power gets reduced? (i.e., not just lighting the turtle, but actually acting like one.)
After the 12%/10% turtle light, I believe that when the estimated SOC gets to 0%, the car stops dead. Like a turtle 🐢 on its back :o
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brunohill »

Good luck Mike. I see Wolftronix still hasn't got his hacked LEAF BMS working. If only they were reflashable with the voltages and currents just written in HEX.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by richi »

Mike, sorry to keep hammering this point, but have you tried it? If I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, then I apologise.

You see, I have a sneaking feeling that the light is triggered by the Coulomb counting downwards, but the actual power reduction and final shutdown happens on lowest cell Voltage. This is how the Outlander seems to behave.

If I'm right, you might get lucky: The GOM will be utterly wrong, but you might still get 200 km of real, usable range without changing anything. Then a simple add-on OBD-polling app can replace the GOM and you can stick some tape over the turtle ;)
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

oulomb wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 20:57
richi wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 20:41 Do you have a handle on how far it'll actually drive until power gets reduced? (i.e., not just lighting the turtle, but actually acting like one.)
After the 12%/10% turtle light, I believe that when the estimated SOC gets to 0%, the car stops dead. Like a turtle 🐢 on its back :o
I test drove my iMiEV three times down to turtle (GOM still reading several km to go). On two occasions, with aircon on I drove at least 4 or 5 km after GOM said zero, it failed to shut the aircon off and reduce available power.
But yes, SoC was not zero, so don't know at what stage SoC the predicted slow down or stop would have happened.
Back to the 93Ah cells:
I still wonder at what voltage the cells stop charging, is it 4.1 V? Or does it depend on how far the pack has run down? Putting it an other way, if the pack would be (artificially) drained below the 49 Ah level when it goes to turtle , would it accept a charge to 4.1 V or does it stop charging at about
the 49 Ah input?
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by richi »

Andreas, sorry but that's not what I'm asking. I want to know what happens to Graeme/Mike's car with the 94 Ah cells.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

richi wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 22:08 Andreas, sorry but that's not what I'm asking. I want to know what happens to Graeme/Mike's car with the 94 Ah cells.
Yes, we are on the same page, I too would like to know how the "brain" in the iMiEV restricts the use of more cell capacity. Is it happening at charging or at discharge, or both?
My post(s) referring to my car are to highlight what normally happens, comparing that with data on the 94 Ah cells hopefully may shed some light on where to look for solutions.
Of course I have a vested interest in this, as I may encounter similar issues with the 60 Ah cell project.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by wovenrovings »

There is another guy in brisbane, Danie Rykiert, that has put a second 150AH pack in the back of his Minicab. Not sure if he is an AEVA member. Anyway he has it spliced into the wires to DC wires to the motor controller. He has reported seeing over 200km on the GOM and fast charging of 47kW. This experience may lend hope to the idea that tricking the current meter from the battery might work.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

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richi wrote: Tue, 15 Sep 2020, 22:08 Andreas, sorry but that's not what I'm asking. I want to know what happens to Graeme/Mike's car with the 94 Ah cells.
I am waiting too for Graeme's news on the battery project, can't wait for a solution on the BMS "seeing" all the capacity! 8-)
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by tonyw »

We're ALL waiting!

Now what can we Southerners do to help in this investigation? Send pizzas? Beer?
cheers

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

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tonyw wrote: Wed, 16 Sep 2020, 19:28 We're ALL waiting!
No pressure, then :oops:
Now what can we Southerners do to help in this investigation? Send pizzas? Beer?
You could find me a decrypted BMU image to analyse. Someone must have one, or know how to get one. But it might be tricky. 😐
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

I am looking for ideas of how to ad one or two additional temperature sensors per module on the 60Ah aftermarket project. The temp sensors on the BMS boards will be too far from the cell tops for my piece on mind.
It will be easy to place a probe near the centre of the module but how to monitor 22 of them is not so easy. Maybe something like an arduino?
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg »

Encapsulation epoxy to create a path from the sensor to the cell top?
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

jonescg wrote: Mon, 21 Sep 2020, 21:59 Encapsulation epoxy to create a path from the sensor to the cell top?
The distances between the voltage sensors and the cells vary due to the cell layout. I don't see that as a problem (hope I'm right). But I fear that it is not possible to direct the cell temp to the correct sensor over a distance of close to the full length of the module (I have not enough gold to make thermal paths that long,lol).
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

nuggetgalore wrote: Mon, 21 Sep 2020, 21:47 I am looking for ideas of how to add one or two additional temperature sensors per module on the 60Ah aftermarket project.
My understanding is that the temperature sensors are these tiny things on some of the voltage connections (the ones where three of the three-pin connector's pins are used):

CMU temperature sensor.jpg
CMU temperature sensor.jpg (242.19 KiB) Viewed 834 times
Maybe something like an arduino?
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I think that might be the way to go. Figure out what the existing sensor is doing, and take the max of that and the new sensors, and somehow get an isolated FET (perhaps a linear FET-output opto, if there is such a thing) to send the correct value. Maybe check if the average is less than say 10°C; if so, send the minimum (as that's what is needed to reduce/prevent charging while freezing). Sounds fairly tricky, especially since you then have to also power the Arduino.

I wonder why they seem to go to the trouble of routing those tracks under the blob of silicone (white dome). It might be a good idea to check if there are any components under there. I can't imaging any, but then I can't imagine why they seem to always route the tracks there. Maybe it's just to check that the PCB hasn't snapped, and therefore the voltage measurement may not be trustable.

I'll PM you my banking details so you can remit that penny ;)
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

Thanks Mike,
I am not at all worried about freezing, yes I know it can be unpleasantly cold in Melbourne but the iMiEVs range is to short to head into the snow!
The sensor appears to be close to the spot where the board is screwed to the tab on the cell.
That is what I guessed it would be, and most likely electrically connected.
All I want is to get a warning or display if any of the cells or modules get hot so I can do something about it. Either stop charging / driving, or direct cold air from the AC over the pack.

Something else:
while still locked up in Dan's jail, for something to do I investigated the much talked about trick to energise the DCQC contactors. Of course without kiev's help I would never have succeded.
http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php? ... t&start=30

There is a chance I may assemble the 60Ah cell modules and charge/discharge the iMiEV to the exact voltage of the second unit. Then connect the packs via the DCQC port and observe what the charge system has to say. With the car on blocks, and the TCL off, we can then observe what happens in ready, driving and (limited) regen. It might provide some limited data on how the new cells behave, of course the amps drawn/charged will be nowhere near like in real life.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

mark_hetho wrote: Tue, 02 Jun 2020, 15:13 For reference I have a 2010 imiev. I read at some stage and was able to reset or clear (or the car cleared it automatically):
- P0A0A Inter lock SW
- P1A10 OBC power supply circuit low
- P1A15 High voltage circuit (1)
- P0A09 DCDC converter fail (1)
- P1A14 Quick CGH. contactor circuit low

I remember it seemed like these codes didn't clear at first when I thought I'd asked for it. I think the user interface of the i909 was a little confusing. Also some of the units may only respond with the car on (even if it won't go ready).

I don't recall the trouble code for when the airbag warning light was on, but it just wouldn't clear.
Interesting that you could clear P1A14 with the i909 as I cannot,though the warning light goes out on the dash as soon as I plug the QC relay back in, P1A14 must be one of the history codes that do not clear when the fault is gone.
By the way, when I ask the i909 to clear the code, it wants me to say yes or no, but there is no YES or NO button, OK brings up the message that the DTC is cleared, but isn't. ESC I assume means NO,
takes the screen back to the menu.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

Another update on the Minicab MiEV with the 94 Ah cells. This week I started with a baseline range test, getting the Range Remaining meter down to 1 km before the turtle. I was able to drive the Minicab the 100 m to the workshop in turtle mode without a problem. Total range was just over 80 km, including about 40% air conditioning use (it was a muggy day), many stops to write down data, and endless stops at traffic lights. About 50% freeway driving, although only about 10% was at 100 km/h. I was surprised to find that this consumed a whole day. [ Edit: so this wasn't normal driving conditions by any standard. ]

Next I installed the current gauge reducing gizmo. I had endless trouble with crimping connectors, but it's all sorted now. The first iteration didn't work, as I had screwed up the resistor value calculations. With the second iteration, the current readings were highly inaccurate; it seems that the BMU loads the current sensor considerably, more than it should by my reading of the current sensor specifications. So the third iteration included buffer op-amps; these had to be rail-to-rail CMOS types because the output voltage range is 2.5 V ± 2.0 V (4.0 V swing), from a 5.0 V supply. An LM358 for example can only source to Vcc - 1.5 V, the applications requires Vcc - 0.5 V. This iteration worked, except that the high current channel read 4 A when not in ready (so the current should be exactly zero). I have 20 turn potentiometers to adjust the zero reading, but as a side effect of the original miscalculation, there wasn't enough range on the adjustment. I could only get the zero current reading down to 2 A.

By Friday afternoon (the owner needs his EV over the weekend), I had the fourth iteration working and adjusted. Using the air conditioning, headlights (low and high beam), I was able to determine that the gizmo seemed to be working. I tried to measure the battery current, but there are battery cables to the air conditioning (I think), motor controller, and DC-DC, so there isn't one place to hang a clamp meter to measure total battery current. On the ground, I was able to move the Minicab a few meters without errors occurring. Time for a test drive! Unfortunately, the Minicab was stuck behind an ICE car with a fan belt issue. Should be just 10 minutes, they said. Well, this fan belt was over a metre long and snaked over about 6 pulleys, and took 45 minutes to fix. ICE cars! I only had time for a few quick circuits, jotting down data. I passed the owner a couple of times on my circuits, so I didn't have time to gather any more data.

The average of 5 circuits (2.4 - 4.2 km) before the gizmo was 0.462 Ah/km (Ah was the most convenient figure to use). After the gizmo, the average of two circuits (2.3 and 2.4 km) was 0.405 Ah/km. So that's a reduction of 14%. Unfortunately, the "before" values were at low state of charge, and the "after" circuits were at high state of charge (88-84% per the G-Scan tool), so that may well account for a lot of the difference. The current reduction (adjusted at my desk, before the latest iteration) was 10%. So I'd expect a 10% reduction. Given the low number of tests, the low resolution of the reported data, and other effects, this difference is not unexpected.

The Minicab's power meter only ranged to 90% of maximum, so the power meter is another thing affected by the current sensor modification. Hopefully, it will be little extra work to correct the power meter, as well as the Range Remaining meter, with a CAN bus filter. But this means that the motor controller must have its own current sensors, and is limiting the motor current to a safe value independently of the battery current sensor. At 10% adjustment, there was no fault code recorded as a result of the disparity of current sensors. Hopefully, that will still be the case when the adjustment is cranked up to higher values.

The Minicab's owner is driving it with the gizmo installed this weekend, so we'll get his impressions as a much more experienced Minicab driver soon.

The next step will be to increase the reduction to about 25%, then try to adjust the reduction to get the RR down to near zero near the actual "empty" (with a safe margin) of the battery, and see what range is achieved. My feeling is that it won't be quite as much as 94/50 (88% more range compared with new), because of the difference in chemistry and how the cell voltages vary between LMO and NCM cells.

After that, I'll survey the options for man-in-the-middle CAN bus filter devices, and try and correct the reported battery current, Range Remaining meter (if necessary), and power meter (again, if necessary). Some upgraders might choose not to do this. Finally, I'll consider the final design for the current sensor adjusting gizmo.

[ Edit: NMO → LMO ]
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

I forgot to mention the most important discovery of the week! :D

When working outside a MiEV / iMiEV with the door open, merely inserting the key into the keyswitch starts an incessant beeping that wears thin after a short time. Graeme had at times used heavy tape to push the door switch closed. I found that the earth for the switch is provided through the single screw holding the door switch in place:

MiEV door switch.png
MiEV door switch.png (52.61 KiB) Viewed 695 times
Merely undoing the screw half a turn was enough to provide blissful relief from the beeping. It only takes a second to screw it back so that the interior light works again.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m »

Yep, that trick works on most (but unfortunately not all) cars
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