DC/DC Converters

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4Springs
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DC/DC Converters

Post by 4Springs »

I had two Chennic DC/DC converters in my car, but both have died!
What is available these days, and what is good? The input voltage gets up to 180VDC and the output needs to be perhaps 700W. 1000W would be better.
Here are some links I found, but I have no idea which are good:

Thunderstruck Motors TSMDCDC
This one is 600W, so i'd need two.
Also sold by EVolution in Australia, but out of stock right now.

Elcon, available from Evolve Electrics
This is 1000W and looks very nice.

Ovartech
Also looks nice, although quite large. 1000W.

Mean Well HLG-600H from EV Works
600W, quite large, not specifically intended for cars although they do give a vibration specification.


Anyone know of others? Especially if they are available in Australia?
Last edited by 4Springs on Sun, 29 May 2022, 06:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by Paul9 »

Hi Christopher,

You have a pretty good list of converters. I have both the TSM144-12 and the MeanWell 600w converters. I don't run them in parallel, the Meanwell sits in the boot as a substitute in case the TSM has problems when I am driving at night. My major problem with both of them is that neither of them produce any where near their advertised current. The small advantage the MeanWell has is that it's output voltage and current are adjustable. However the trimpots to adjust the voltage and current are deep in the converter and very tiny. The trimpots are recessed so you need a long thin phillips head screwdriver and even then it is hard to know if you have turned the trimpot or just turned the screwdriver (if that makes sense).

I bought the MeanWell first before I realised it's low voltage cut out is 127v dc. My car battery pack ranges from 110v to 140v dc so only when my foot is off the accelerator will the Meanwell charge it. This probably won't worry you as I think you run a higher voltage than I do. I then bought the TSM as it's low voltage cut out is down near 80v dc.

The above probably doesn't help you much but if you have any questions just ask.
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Paul
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by 4Springs »

Paul9 wrote: Mon, 30 May 2022, 15:55 I bought the MeanWell first before I realised it's low voltage cut out is 127v dc.
That is a good point. My latest battery pack is NMC chemistry, which has a wider range of voltage than the previous, LFP pack. Normal operating voltage is 180 V (absolute maximum, charged to 100% SOC) down to 133 V (0% SOC, alarm bells ringing). But in theory it could go as low as 108 V (2.5 V per cell). So the Mean Well would work in most situations, but if my main battery pack was seriously low it would add another level of misery by having the 12 V system fail.

I hadn't paid much attention to the lower end of the input voltage range, just the high end. Checking now, the Ovar is 108-420 V, and the Elcon is 103-227 V.

I'm leaning towards the Elcon. The size fits the available space quite nicely, and the rating of 1000 W (1200 W peak) should give me plenty of power. It doesn't require CAN bus to operate (although it is available) and it appears to be in stock.
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by Paul9 »

I'd be very interested to hear how the Elcon performs Christopher.

If you remember let me know.

Thanks
Paul
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by Paul9 »

Hi Christopher

I am just wondering if you decided on a DCDC converter? If so which one?

I seem like I might be in the market for a new one also.

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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by 4Springs »

Paul9 wrote: Wed, 24 Aug 2022, 13:34 I am just wondering if you decided on a DCDC converter? If so which one?
I bought the Elcon mentioned in the post above. It cost me US$618.33 including shipping.
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Seems to be very robust. The heatsink is large and strong, and has a wide base amenable to having extra holes drilled in it for mounting. The connectors look quite good, although the large orange one (DC input) is large, which is a bit annoying if you want to fit the unit in a snug place.
I have not measured the output current, but it runs everything in the Brumby with aplomb. I have a readout of the system voltage in the cabin, and with my previous DC/DC converters it would dip well below 12 V under load. Not any more, it stays above 13 V most of the time, only dipping below 13 V with all my accessories on.
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I took some video of installing this. I haven't spliced it together yet though - watch this space!
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by Paul9 »

It looks good Christopher! How long between ordering it and receiving it?
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Re: DC/DC Converters

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Paul9 wrote: Thu, 25 Aug 2022, 12:47 It looks good Christopher! How long between ordering it and receiving it?
Ordered 31/5
Shipped 3/6
I don't know exactly when it arrived, but the first photo I have is dated 11/6 (a Saturday). So not long!
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by T1 Terry »

I've been trying to get an engineer's reply from Victron in regards to using a 250/100 MPPT controller to use between my solar and Prius to charge a 48v house battery. Besides needing a fan to cool it because it would be working hard, I can't see why it couldn't do the job.
We use quite a few of these now for big RV solar systems as well as off grid house systems and they are incredibly reliable and talk to your phone via bluetooth. The also have an on/off port that a BMS can control if a cell goes over 3.6v.

T1 Terry

EDIT: Just checked the price difference and .... ah .... about 3 times the price of the Elcon DC to DC, pity they only do 12v and 24v output

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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by antiscab »

T1 Terry wrote: Fri, 26 Aug 2022, 12:01 about 3 times the price of the Elcon DC to DC, pity they only do 12v and 24v output
The Elcon chargers can take a DC input, as long as it's above 110Vdc (at least their old ones do, I've been meaning to try it out on their new ones)
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Re: DC/DC Converters

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T1 Terry wrote: Fri, 26 Aug 2022, 12:01 I've been trying to get an engineer's reply from Victron in regards to using a 250/100 MPPT controller to use between my solar and Prius to charge a 48v house battery.
....Just checked the price difference and .... ah .... about 3 times the price of the Elcon DC to DC, pity they only do 12v and 24v output
So would two of the 24 V ones in series work out to your advantage?
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by T1 Terry »

4Springs wrote: Tue, 30 Aug 2022, 06:10
T1 Terry wrote: Fri, 26 Aug 2022, 12:01 I've been trying to get an engineer's reply from Victron in regards to using a 250/100 MPPT controller to use between my solar and Prius to charge a 48v house battery.
....Just checked the price difference and .... ah .... about 3 times the price of the Elcon DC to DC, pity they only do 12v and 24v output
So would two of the 24 V ones in series work out to your advantage?
I have since discovered the Victron MPPT controller is limited to 70 amps on the input side, so maybe 2 x Elcon DC320-12 https://evolveelectrics.com/collections ... -converter because they mention they can also output 24v from each unit.

I looked at the V2H units, but they are very expensive at the moment and still in their early stages, but at least it's a fall back plan.

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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by T1 Terry »

I just had another moment of inspiration .... or a brain fart, not sure which yet. If the Victron MPPT controller is limited to a 70 amp input, seems it does have a short input function as part of its control system, if I add a Noark 40 amp DC circuit breaker on the battery output, if the Victron does do the input short cuircuit, the Noark should save if from being damaged.
That would give me a 100 amp capable 48v charger for my house battery that can also utilise the energy stored in the Prius 55Ah battery if required.

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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by antiscab »

Generally with power electronics, the fuse or circuit breaker trips long after the smoke has been let out. To trip the magnetics on a 40A breaker you're looking at 250A or so.
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by Paul9 »

Hi Christopher
4Springs wrote: Thu, 25 Aug 2022, 07:27 The connectors look quite good, although the large orange one (DC input) is large,
From your photos Christopher it appears the large orange connector is a male connector? I assume you have a corresponding large orange female connector to fit it as per the other photo?

Where did you buy the female connector or did it come with the unit? I have googled the part number listed in the "manual" for the unit and cannot seem to find an Aussie distributor.

Thanks
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by 4Springs »

Paul9 wrote: Wed, 31 Aug 2022, 08:31 Where did you buy the female connector or did it come with the unit? I have googled the part number listed in the "manual" for the unit and cannot seem to find an Aussie distributor.
The unit came with all connectors.
I bought it from Evolve Electrics, via their website which is linked in the first post.
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by Paul9 »

Thanks Christopher
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Re: DC/DC Converters

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antiscab wrote: Tue, 30 Aug 2022, 16:00 Generally with power electronics, the fuse or circuit breaker trips long after the smoke has been let out. To trip the magnetics on a 40A breaker you're looking at 250A or so.
The Noark DC circuit breakers are good gear as far as that sort of thing goes, these ones trip just over the rated current, we use them on the solar and when we were building the solar in parallel and the smallest cable in the solar array was 4mm² so we needed to be confident the current wouldn't exceed the carrying capacity of the cable.
Mid summer on a cold wet day and the sun would peak out from behind the clouds, the circuit breakers would trip, yet fine normally with no false tripping. The fuses on the outgoing side of the 100 amp solid state relays were rated at 60 amps and they didn't fail, so the 70 amp short circuit capability of the Victron MPPT controller should have enough overhead to cope ........ I hope :?

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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by antiscab »

T1 Terry wrote: Wed, 31 Aug 2022, 14:21
antiscab wrote: Tue, 30 Aug 2022, 16:00 Generally with power electronics, the fuse or circuit breaker trips long after the smoke has been let out. To trip the magnetics on a 40A breaker you're looking at 250A or so.
The Noark DC circuit breakers are good gear as far as that sort of thing goes, these ones trip just over the rated current, we use them on the solar and when we were building the solar in parallel and the smallest cable in the solar array was 4mm² so we needed to be confident the current wouldn't exceed the carrying capacity of the cable.
Mid summer on a cold wet day and the sun would peak out from behind the clouds, the circuit breakers would trip, yet fine normally with no false tripping.
That would be tripping on thermal (I^2T). Trip time would probably be fast enough on thermal if loaded most of the time near 40A, and then the current is exceeded.

If hooking up to a battery from a cold start, I suspect the thermal trip time won't be fast enough (always happy to be proven wrong though :) )
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Re: DC/DC Converters

Post by T1 Terry »

antiscab wrote: Fri, 02 Sep 2022, 08:36
T1 Terry wrote: Wed, 31 Aug 2022, 14:21
antiscab wrote: Tue, 30 Aug 2022, 16:00 Generally with power electronics, the fuse or circuit breaker trips long after the smoke has been let out. To trip the magnetics on a 40A breaker you're looking at 250A or so.
The Noark DC circuit breakers are good gear as far as that sort of thing goes, these ones trip just over the rated current, we use them on the solar and when we were building the solar in parallel and the smallest cable in the solar array was 4mm² so we needed to be confident the current wouldn't exceed the carrying capacity of the cable.
Mid summer on a cold wet day and the sun would peak out from behind the clouds, the circuit breakers would trip, yet fine normally with no false tripping.
That would be tripping on thermal (I^2T). Trip time would probably be fast enough on thermal if loaded most of the time near 40A, and then the current is exceeded.

If hooking up to a battery from a cold start, I suspect the thermal trip time won't be fast enough (always happy to be proven wrong though :) )
Ummm...... so as a safety back up when first trying it out, a 40 amp fuse as well in the circuit, that should blow at lower than 70 amps wouldn't it?

T1 Terry
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