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”


  1. Walter Koeller said,

    October 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Mark, sorry to hear about your Zivan, hopefully it gets sorted.
    With regard to your bottom balancer, well done. Hopefully you didn’t have to spend too much on the 500W resistor. A very cheap and effective load is a 15Amp flex extension cord of about 10meters long. Join all three wires together at both ends and connect across your battery like the 500W reistor. It should give you about 45 amps. Just make sure you can touch the flex without it getting too hot to hold. The only downer is that it needs a bit of space on your concrete floor.

  2. Administrator said,

    November 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Hey Walter,
    I finally got through to Elcon and they said to send it in and they will fix it. In the meantime I drove my car from Delhi in the Valley to Jamestown in the foot hills… a 60mi drive with a change in elevation of about 1400ft. These motors may not be fast but they can sure climb.
    10 meters seems like a very long resister. If I can’t stuff it in a 50CAL ammo can, its no good for what i’m doing.

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