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Post by Rusdy » Fri, 13 Feb 2015, 22:37

Wow, good thread on batteries, inverter (and hack), iMiev... pretty much everything! It took me half a day just munching through the content!

Anyhoo, any of the professionals here ever directly charge the iMiev (or Leaf) using DC high voltage (let say 300VDC)? Using DC to AC inverter is wasteful me think. I wonder whether the on-board charger needs a zero crossing to work or not, considering they are most likely SMPS (http://www.directpowertech.com/docs/Whi ... ev%20A.pdf)

Also, anyone know what good passive BMS that can pass high current for LFP batteries? The one from EV-power can pass reasonable current but at much higher voltage than 3.6V (http://ev-power.com.au/webstore/index.p ... 406260943/). The EV-power V/I gradient is not steep enough me think. I want the one almost 0mA below 3.6V and then goes BANG (OK, let say at least 1A) immediately at 3.61V (and so on).


Oh, EV-power LFP definitely can replace your good-ol (should be bad-ol) lead acid 12V battery. I've done mine on my ICE car (shame on me). Unfortunately, you need to re-crimp, as the battery terminal is not compatible.
Last edited by Rusdy on Fri, 13 Feb 2015, 11:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by antiscab » Sat, 14 Feb 2015, 06:59

Rusdy wrote:
Anyhoo, any of the professionals here ever directly charge the iMiev (or Leaf) using DC high voltage (let say 300VDC)? Using DC to AC inverter is wasteful me think.


you can apply 12v to the chademo relay, and feed DC in via the chademo port - could could also piggy back an anderson connector to the back of the chademo port since a chademo plug is so expensive

control would be the biggest issue (conservative termination voltages, etc)

I'm actually in the planning stages of building a dump charge pack to make use of the chademo port cheaply.

There is a fellow who has already used an off-board charger via the chademo port, I'll have to do some digging to find his post
Rusdy wrote:
Also, anyone know what good passive BMS that can pass high current for LFP batteries?


I'm interested to know why you would want to do this?

There basically isn't a BMS that can handle more than an amp or two - heat dissipation becomes tricky, and preventing float (holding a LiFePO4 cell above 3.40v at low current for long periods of time) is not straight forward.

generally you only have to do a major balance when first commissioning a pack, to get it either top, middle or bottom balanced, if you are not sure of the individual cells present SOC.
This is best achieved, in most situations, with a single cell charger or two - mainly from a failure mode perspective

If the battery is developing significant (and here I specify that to be measureable at all) imbalance then you have bad cells or other issues with the pack
Matt
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2007 vectrix - 156'000km
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1999 Prius - needs batt
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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:23

I was asked to take a few photos of the Imiev charging off grid. So they can be used in promotional advertising for the upcoming WED (world environmental day) on the sunshine coast.

The idea was to get the solar panels in the background while the car was on charge. Try and paint the picture of offgrid or eco friendly EV charging. Though hard as my PV is so spread out over several buildings and sections NE, NW and upper and lower roofs and all some distance apart. So I couldn't get the upper shed roof tilt frame 1800w in the picture.

About as good as I could do.
Image


I tried a few other shots standing on the house roof looking down to the shed with pv in lower frame. Though the car was in he shade.(hey who charges there EV in full sun Image
Image

One in front of the Power room but the PV on the house looks a little lost in the foreground.
Image


Then while I had the camera out anyhow. I took a few shots of the car for myself.
Image

Image

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Post by weber » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:35

Great photos. I think for the purpose you mention, the third photo is best. I give second place to the first photo.
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Post by EmpowerRepower » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:42

Hi Kurt,

I like the third photo too. When you've made your selection, be sure to send it to me to forward for the publicity for WED. The photo with the Range in the background is just plain pretty. I took a few photos of my Leaf at the Mary Cairncross lookout a few weeks ago, it is just the most scenic place for car photos.
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Post by lesmando » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:42

I agree with Webber. They look good, sure people will love them.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:43

Thanks, Yes I am starting to agree on the 3rd pic. If I can hold out on submitting until text week. I will try a more wide angle lenses and quickly park the car on the grass in the afternoon. When it's in full sun (and the sun behind me) Try for a much better version of the one you voted for. Remove red container on the ground, get the car at a better angle. I might even clean the PV and car first to Image

I had the presser of my wife asking "What are you doing? Come on charge the car we need to go soon and where did you put my two green compost bins. Ugly plastic things I didn't want in frame Image

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 10:36, edited 1 time in total.

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offgridQLD
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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:50

"I took a few photos of my Leaf at the Mary Cairncross lookout a few weeks ago, it is just the most scenic place for car photos"

I have some old pics from up the road (car was washed that day) near that area.

Image

Image

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Post by weber » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:54

Good plan. It would be good if we could see the whole house and a little sky/trees/grass to the right of it.
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Post by EmpowerRepower » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 18:54

Gorgeous!
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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 19:06

"Good plan. It would be good if we could see the whole house and a little sky/trees/grass to the right of it."

I could do that. I was worried the little Imiev would get lost in the picture (particualy if they end up being smaller or even thumb style pics) I was worried the house would end up becoming the main subject. Again wide angle lens (even slight fish eye ) would solve that I guess.

EmpowerRepower,
               Thanks. I did take about 30 pics. So if the going vote is for one of the house PV array with car in front. I have a few to pick from in that orientation. I can send a few of them and the hinterland pics and or take more this Saturday.

Kurt




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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 20:29

Ok we settled on this one for now given the time restraint on the draft submission. Showing more of the tree's and sky and a bit more of the house as suggested by Webber.

Number plate removed to

Image

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Post by weber » Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 21:05

Although it's an OK photo, it wasn't what I suggested at all. I still prefer the third photo of your first post today, since the car takes up more of the frame, and the house and car don't have the details of their white parts washed out by overexposure.
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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 21 Apr 2015, 00:56

Ok good points,
               I couldn't pick the over exposure on my phone but I see it now on my laptop. Yes I agree larger dominance of the car is the look I was after. I sent a copy of the original pic as well for consideration Image

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 14:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 07 May 2015, 20:16

I just clocked 20,000km today in our 2012 Imiev. Purchased new late July 2013.

So I have had the car 1 year 9 months and 24 days or 659 days total.

Works out at 30.34km pr day or 212km pr week.

The ICE car our Imiev replaced used 10lt/100km so at $1.30lt it's about $2600 in fuel savings. (actually had to go to Google and look up unleaded petrol prices as it's been so long. I had no idea what the price is) Image)

Roughly 2700kwh of Electricity to make that happen. More than 1/2 of that supply offgrid from solar.

To date I haven't spent a cent on the car and it's never been serviced.(well I top the window washer bottle up now and then Image )

Kurt



   
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Post by carnut1100 » Sun, 10 May 2015, 04:27

Over 40,000km on electric between my wife and I now....saving 20c per km compared to previous vehicles.

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Post by Riddick » Thu, 14 May 2015, 00:05

Hi everyone, first post...

Since I was mentioned in this thread in regards to OpenEVSE, I thought I will contribute my current experience for those EV users who are more adventurous.

I can vouch for OpenEVSE. I have been using it for almost a year now and it has been working fine. I would not spend thousands on a fixed EVSE when you can have one much cheaper.

As far as the features go, the main thing is the adjustable current. It can be stepped up from 10A to 80A for L2 charging. This is great as normally I let our Leaf charge at 10A to be easy on the battery but then clock it up to 16A when more urgent.

New firmware can also be loaded if new features/changes come out.

As far as the hardware goes the parts supplied can easily do 32A as well, however, my house wiring is set up for a 15A connection only. So when considering the price, one has to note that OpenEVSE comes with much higher spec'd parts than a lot of other EVSE packages including the Holden one. You can be assured that it will last longer and that you can crank it up if you need it for a higher consumption future EV.

You can have it cheaper as well if you are prepared to do some assembly.

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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 29 May 2015, 15:27

Thanks Riddick,
               I have been putting of purchasing a 2nd EVSE for a few years now. For the most part it was because I couldn't justify the ridiculous cost $400 - $800 just for the privilege not to have to pack the stock 10A EVSE into the car when shifting between charge locations. Given the lower end of that price range is just a dumb cable with no adjust ability or data - control features like the stock unit.

It would be nice to have a semi fixed EVSE in my workshop more so I could offer a charge to other EV drivers. The open EVSE 30A looks like a good option.The price is a little easier to swallow than the EOM units considering the features it offers. I like the charge output adjust ability from 6 - 30A in 2A increments and could put that feature to good use. Keeping track of my recharge history, timer and a much longer main J1772 charge cable with dock are all nice features of the Open EVSE.

I have a 32A 3 pin industrial socket in the workshop that isn't being used (I some times use it with a dual outlet 15A adapter but not often. So I think If a wired a 32A plug to the open evse and kept it semi portable that wold be perfect. (even though the Imiev is limited to 15A 3200w it might be handy for other EV's that find there way to the offgrid house that want a good 20A or so charge from solar.

I'm going to be in the US in August so I might try and pick one up when I'm over there. Though looking at the postage it looks reasonable $30 US so might not be worth my trouble lugging it around.

This is the one I'm thinking would be the best for me. + the 20 foot J1772 cable. Comes in at $400US - $480 Au about the same as a basic featureless OEM 10A EVSE.

http://store.openevse.com/products/open ... tion-combo

http://store.openevse.com/products/j177 ... le-us-only

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Fri, 29 May 2015, 05:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Johny » Fri, 29 May 2015, 15:43

The open EVSE charge station looks like a really good kit Kurt. If I ever go J1772 I've bookmarked it. The only thing is it could do with a timer so charging could be moved to the wee small hours for those of us on the grid with off-peak tariffs.

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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 29 May 2015, 15:52

They mention "Real Time Clock and Current Measurement coil " I assume the 2nd feature is so it can display how many whr/kwh the unit has output. The clock though? perhaps there is or is going to be options for time based features? Firmware can be updated as new features come out. Assuming the hardware can trigger the relay based on time in it's current form.

Edit: More info on timers and clock feature is in the forum https://groups.google.com/forum/#!categ ... time-clock

Kurt
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Post by reecho » Sat, 30 May 2015, 17:26

For the OpenEVSE units there is a new firmware called NoSpark. Some great features have been integrated!!

NoSpark on OpenEVSE V3

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 01 Jun 2015, 20:27

Thanks for the link on the new firmware. The open EVSE is defiantly on the shopping list for the US trip in a few months. The postage was $70 US once I included the 20 foot long cable. so I'm tossing up between saving the $70 postage and lugging it back and risking the AU dollar dropping to much more in the next 10 weeks and just buying it now Image


On another another subject. I picked up the 32 x 40Ah calb cells to day along with EVworks 16 cell BMS and 240v charger and a few other bits. So in the pic below is what I have to play with for a potential range extender for the Imiev (simply plug in using a 48v - 240v inverter (PIP4048) and charge the car when away from mains power to extend the range. roughly (4kwh)

Or put the cells to use in other projects. I started another thread about a potential electric motorbike but looked like the consensuses was it wasn't enough cells - capacity to have a workable outcome at 100v - 40ah ...so not to sure on that idea.

My thinking is to try and some how keep the package modular in banks of 80Ah - 12v. So 4 lots of 2p x 4s then keep it going in series as it's set up now (2p x 16s) but have breaks (Anderson and BMS terminal plugs) every 2p x 4s. That way when the cells are not being used for a range extender at (48v- 80ah) They have more versatility to be reconfigured.

It sure would give my electric recumbent trike a crazy range with them in the little trailer I have for it. Camping power pack comes to mind among other things like putting it to use in my Electric kayak.

Over all a handy size cell / format with lots of applications.

Image


There is also the custom made box with perspex cover to fit a Toyota Prius plug in hybrid. The box holds - clamps the 32 cells and the 5000w - 48v - 240v DC/Dc converter (powers up and has voltage output but then nothing once its under load)I have opened it up and it looks and smells like new inside so might just be something small and fixable. I have offered it to Weber and Coulomb if they want to play with it or try and get it going. As they both own a Prius.

Image

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Mon, 01 Jun 2015, 15:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 09 Jun 2015, 16:43

On Monday I had a chance to strip down the 32 cell Calb lifepo4 bank and start playing around with ideas for how best to configure them for a few different planed uses.

I temporarily taped them up into 4 cell blocks. Just to make handling them simple. I wanted to see how they would go in the back of the Imiev. With the rear seats fully upright. Actually I had them reclined fully to the rear. To give the least amount of rear trunk storage or worst case space scenario. This would be when you needed to comfortable carry two rear seat passengers.

I then placed the 4kwh - 32 cells in the back. It's a easy fit centered between the two child restraint anchor points in the floor. Or the block of cells could be placed to one side freeing up one section of the split fold seating area. I kind of like the cells centered. I did try two long rows along the back of the seat but I think this shape bank would be difficult to handle as the block shaped back is a nice arms / shoulder width apart for handles vs a long strip of cells.

Image


The inverter (PIP4048) that I can use to extract the 4kwh stored in the 32 cells and feed the AC Imiev charger. Could be located in a number of positions. One being a hinged section that places the inverter at the back flat against with one of the split fold rear seats. Folded down when driving for a lower - safer position while driving. The stood back up more vertical when the inverter is in operation. Other option is to have it lay flat just above the cells (with insulated clearance from the terminalsImage ) then have it hinge up about 45 deg for operation. This would create a very modular box shaped package. The plan would be to have all connections to the inverter in flex cable with plugs so it can be removed easy. I also have another 3000w 48v inverter I can try that is designed to work mounted flat and its around 200mm wide by 600mm long and only 100mm high. So I might dedicate that one to EV range extending and free up the PIP for other things.

Image

I'm also having thoughts of building the cells into two separate 2kwh 48v banks. This would give me more flexibility. If I just want a small safety buffer on my trips that push the Imiev range. The 2kwh (roughly 20km range extension) Could be all I want - need to keep me above the 20% soc rule I impose on the car. It would be a manageable size and weight (20kg) for my wife to lift, place and secure in the trunk. It would also allow the inverter to be placed easily in the trunk along side it low and secure.

It would give me about 1hr worth of charging and I'm thinking this is about as long as I would want to hang about any place charging. There would also be the option of taking the 2nd 2kwh bank along and draining them both one after the other on the odd occasion I need the two. The only disadvantage would be a higher C rate when EV charging from them around 1C VS 0.5C. Though given range extending is a (every now and then) cycle on the cells VS a regular use for them I think that would be Ok.

Image

So to sum up I think I'm sold on the idea to make the 32 cells into two 2kw/48v banks. It also gives me flexibility to use the two smaller banks for other projects (even at the same time rather than dedicating all the cells to one use) like my electric kayak, recumbent trike with trailer and perhaps camping.

Though I am open to other thoughts - ideas.

Kurt


Last edited by offgridQLD on Tue, 09 Jun 2015, 06:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by reecho » Tue, 09 Jun 2015, 19:05

Larry over here in Perth has the same battery arrangement but is using a TDK DC/DC converter.

http://uk.tdk-lambda.com/KB/13071837456 ... asheet.pdf

Actually I think he is using 2 now together for 5000W charging on the go.

It does require integration though but would have less losses....

Quite a clever setup really...

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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 09 Jun 2015, 19:22

The TDK unit looks nice 92% is about the same as the DC-AC inverters I would be using but the losses in the onboard charger would be eliminated with direct DC charging.

I think considering the bank would be charged from offgrid PV I'm not going to loose any money on ineficiancy losses. Though having more of the banks capacity going to actual recharging of the car would be a bonus. Perhaps the cost of the TDK inverter would be more than a few extra Calb cells to compensate for losses?

Kurt


Last edited by offgridQLD on Tue, 09 Jun 2015, 09:23, edited 1 time in total.

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