All Bottom Balanced… mmmmm

Posted in Batteries, High Voltage System at 9:38 pm by Administrator

My 50 CAL Bottom Balancer worked quite well. I could take a 3V 180Ah LiFePo4 cell and bottom balance it in about 1 hr. I used all of the components I ordered and laid them out on a table. After I determined that the logic was good I mounted everything in a wooden box (one of EV1E’s old battery boxes) I tried to arrange the components to provide the best cooling scenario for the 0.1 Ohm, 500 Watt power resister. The 50 CAL BBM successfully put a load of 20 Amps on the battery and the JLD404 meter successfully activated the relays to stop the depletion at 2.6 volts shutting off the load until the battery “grew volts” and reached 2.8 volts then activated the load, repeating the process until the bouncing stopped and settled at about 2.78 volts. After I did this with all 42 Cells I went back and did a final check. The highest cell I found was 2.98 volts. When all of the batteries were finely tuned (bottom balanced once more) I put them back in the vehicle and charged them up. I got my Zivon NG3 charger from Elcon. I brought it to them to re-program for LiFePo4 cells. They said they had a better Zivon charger which will give me 15 Amps charge and would I like to trade for the charger which I had brought in. I said yes as long as it works better then the one I brought in. They assured me it would when they reprogrammed it for LiFePo4. I have been trying to get a hold of them by phone and email. The one time I got through by phone I was told by Mark that I needed to email my concerns and the service dept will get back to me. I have done so 3 times since Aug 21 2012 and as of this posting I have not heard squat from them. The charger they traded me only charges at a max of 10 Amps, NOT the 15 Amps they said it would. I am using a 20 amp outlet. So much for integrity. It takes 8 min/1 Ah to charge my car now that it has been bottom balanced. That is 20 hrs to go from 2.78 V – 3.35 V. “Wait a minute! 3.35V? Shouldn’t it be 3.50V? Lets see 42 X 3.35V = 140.7V aren’t these batteries supposed to have more voltage then that?” “Shouldn’t your charger be charging at 147V?” you ask. And my answer, “Why yes they can hold 3.50V and still only be at 80% capacity.” “So why”; you say, “are they only charging to 3.35?” The answer is simple when Elcon “traded me” their “15 Amp” charger for the one I brought them they set the voltage at it’s max (which is 142V) Not enough to gain the 147 Volts I need for this car. Is there a decent company out there which doesn’t take advantage of the up and coming tinkerers and innovators? Are we stuck having to depend on companies like this one to do a simple thing like change a charge curve? We entrust them with the responsibility to be fair and honest and this is how they treat the future of electric transportation. Shame on you Elcon!!! Enough of this…
I made some movies and took some pictures of the bottom balancer in action. To an EV guy this is better then “the game”… If your not into EV’s this’ll be a lot like watching paint dry… enjoy
“Keep On Pluggin”


The 50 CAL Bottom Balancing Machine

Posted in Batteries, High Voltage System, Lets All Plug In, Tuning at 12:17 pm by Administrator

After frying my Revolectrix Cellpro PL6 twice, trying to bottom balance my 42 cell 180Ah pack (one battery at a time on the second go round) I have come to the conclusion that there is a need for a heavy duty bottom balancer. The first time I Fried it Revoelectrix sent me an RA (return authorization) and I paid the shipping to send it back for repair, they paid the shipping to return it to me. the second time Revoelectix quit answering my emails and won’t return my calls. So I am stuck with another piece of $250.00 junk which I have to replace some MOSFET’s on someday. That being the case and me not being one to give up easily, I seem to be in the unique place of having to come up with a tool which will bottom balance higher Ah LiFePo4 cells, and since no tool seems to be available, I am also in the precarious place of having to build one, which I have done and am testing it as I write this. So far it works quite well discharging one 180Ah cell (CALB SE) at a time. I am starting at 3.28Volts and it takes about 4 hours per cell. If the batteries were discharged down to 3 Volts ea it would only take about 45min per cell. I plan to make this bullet proof and send it to the master of product testing, Jack Rickard at EVTV (if he’ll have it) to see if he can fry it. If it passes the test and gets the EVTV stamp of approval, I will build and sell these. But not until the prototypes have been thoroughly tested. Who knows, I may even get these confounded batteries fully bottom balanced. I know I have been living on the razors edge and taking a real chance with my pack by not having the whole thing bottom balanced. I bottom balanced some and top balanced the rest to make the charges equal right before Laguna Seca. This is the wrong way to go about it. Fortunately these batteries are amazingly resilient and I have not observed that any damage was done. But now that I have a proper heavy duty bottom balancer I am confident that this pack will be balanced well.


Posted in Lets All Plug In at 9:39 am by Administrator

I went to Cape Guirardeau MO last week for the 2nd annual Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention, hosted by Jack Rickard and EVTV. This was an eye opening experience. From the time we arrived we walked, talked, lived, and breathed electric cars. There is something refreshing about breathing electric cars… NO EXHAUST! There were about 200 people in attendance and 40 converted cars. The builds were nothing short of fantastic as you will observe in these pictures. The presenters were from the top agencies in the business. Representatives from Evnetics, Net Gain Motors, Recharge Car, Shift Electric, NEDRA, Rebirth Auto, EV West, Red Point Engineering, to name a few. You can see highlights by following this link EVCCON 2012 In the meantime check out some of these cars…