New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

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EvGoRetro
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New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

Post by EvGoRetro »

New guy here. Please point me to an existing thread or topic or website (or a book) if that's more efficient...

I'm planning a BMS/onboard-charging system for a vintage car conversion. This is a bit bigger than the motorcycle conversions I've done previously.
Sure, I can easily just throw together a Frankenstein solution, but I want some advice on doing a real nice onboard charging system around about 6.6 kW.

My questions are like this:
  • Would someone share their experiences of installing and using a decent 6.6 kW on board charger- Maybe Elcon HK-J series or similar? (If no experience, then a decent opinion will do!)
  • Is it worth the trouble getting all the CANbus working between the charger and the BMS? Or just keep it dumb?
  • Are matched Charger/BMS systems a 'thing' yet?
  • What do I need to know about connecting to the big wide world of Public Chargers? (Do I need to 'talk' with them? Or does it just 'plug in'? :? )
Battery pack: 96 V, 280 - 310 Ah, ~27 kWh, LifePo4, max charge rate: 0.5C (~13.4 kW). I'd be happy with 6.6 kW
Current draw: 150 A (nom.), 340 A (peak)
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coulomb
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Re: New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

Post by coulomb »

I can partly answer some of your questions.
EvGoRetro wrote: Wed, 11 May 2022, 20:07
  • Would someone share their experiences of installing and using a decent 6.6 kW on board charger- Maybe Elcon HK-J series or similar? (If no experience, then a decent opinion will do!)
I don't know if I'd class the newer ultra high frequency, ultra compact Elcon chargers as "decent". One user had a lot of trouble with them, I thought it was @Paulvk but I can't find the post now. @jonescg used one in the Prelude conversion, and it seems to work OK, as long as the power source is capable of about 30 A.
  • What do I need to know about connecting to the big wide world of Public Chargers? (Do I need to 'talk' with them? Or does it just 'plug in'? :? )
There is a small amount of "talking" required; you can't "just plug in". There is a small module, the AVC2, which is designed for doing this "talking" for DIY conversions, but there seem to be problems. See Chris Jones' posts on the Prelude conversion, starting about here. You might be able to read earlier posts and find the post where he selected the Elcon; I could not quickly find it.

There is little hope of connecting a conversion to a fast (50 kW+) DC charger. The handshaking is very complex, though Damien McGuire was attempting it using used BMW parts. Note that many DC fast chargers won't charge a battery under 200 V, though I believe that the fairly common (at least in Australia at present) Tritium RT 50 kW will charge from 50 V upwards. A 27 kWh battery probably doesn't need DC fast charging, even a higher-end vintage conversion. But the ability to charge at public type 2 "chargers" would be good in a higher-end conversion.
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EvGoRetro
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Re: New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

Post by EvGoRetro »

You're a champion, Coulomb.
That AVC2 info is what I needed to know - and I did read your comments in the links)

Still keen to hear about any recommendations for a decent On-Board Charger around 6.6~7 kW. Or other people's experiences with OBC's.

Anyone used an Orion BMS? https://www.orionbms.com/products/orion-bms-standard/
Or can suggest a decent alternative?

I'm always happy to listen to experience... its a much cheaper way to learn.

DC Fast Charge? Nah, not for me!

Proposed Battery pack: 30s LiFePo4, 96 V, 280 - 310 Ah, ~27 kWh, max charge rate: 0.5C (~13.4 kW). I'd be happy with 6.6 kW OBC.
Expected Current draw: 150 A (nom.), 340 A (peak)
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Re: New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

Post by jonescg »

I installed the TC charger in the Prelude and it's been working reliably, however if the ZEVA BMS processes a corrupted data packet, it can for some odd reason reset the BMS which means the charger loses some comms. It appears to continue charging though.
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Re: New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

Post by 4Springs »

EvGoRetro wrote: Wed, 11 May 2022, 20:07
My questions are like this:
  • Would someone share their experiences of installing and using a decent 6.6 kW on board charger- Maybe Elcon HK-J series or similar? (If no experience, then a decent opinion will do!)
  • Is it worth the trouble getting all the CANbus working between the charger and the BMS? Or just keep it dumb?
  • Are matched Charger/BMS systems a 'thing' yet?
  • What do I need to know about connecting to the big wide world of Public Chargers? (Do I need to 'talk' with them? Or does it just 'plug in'? :? )
I've just installed an Enpower charger, purchased from Oz DIY. Mine is a 3 kW version, I don't know if they do a 6.6 kW, but I assume you could put two in.
I control it with a Thunderstruck EVCC (EV Charge Controller), which talks CAN to it. I was a bit concerned that the Thunderstruck EVCC would only talk to a Thunderstruck charger, but it works fine with the Enpower. The other charger I looked at was a TC Charger, which appears to use the same CAN interface. I went with the Enpower since it was about the same price as the TC Charger, but there is a local distributor. The EVCC can control up to three chargers.
The EVCC takes input from a BMS, and can talk CAN, but in my case I kept it dumb with a simple loop control.
The EVCC also lets me use a Type 2 AC socket (it adjusts the charger control current to suit the EVSE). This means I can plug in at public chargers (AC).
It looks like Thunderstruck are now selling an MCU (Master Control Unit) which does charger, BMS and Type 2 socket all in the one unit.

I haven't quite finished yet, but the car is charging nicely from the two EVSEs that I have here. Once finished I intend on writing up my system so that others can copy it. In the meantime I've been making videos and posting to my Youtube channel. You can see the first one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0_l13UUyPc&t=606s
EvGoRetro
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Re: New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

Post by EvGoRetro »

Ta Jonescg1

Always keen to hear:
  • Please share your experiences of installing and using a decent 6.6 kW on board charger- any type.
  • Is it worth the trouble getting all the CANbus working between the charger and the BMS? Or just keep it dumb?
  • Any other good or bad experiences connecting a home-built car to the big wide world of Public Chargers? :? )
... or am I just worrying about it all too much?
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EvGoRetro
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Re: New on-board Charger/BMS- doing a nice job of it.

Post by EvGoRetro »

Hi 4Springs,
Yeah that Thunderstruck MCU (Master Control Unit) looks pretty trick- so much functionality. I think I've found a solution.
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