Connecting A123 20ah lithium prismatic cells

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by ericbecky, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Some people on this forum have previously purchased A123 lithium pouch cells and used them for their PHEV projects.

    I know that others are considering purchasing these cells for their own PHEV projects but are unsure of how to connect the cells since they have tabs rather than regular battery post terminals.

    I wanted to start this thread so we could specifically talk about the connections.

    Hopefully some of our experienced members will chime in and possibly share the pros and cons of how they did it. I'll also see about throwing in some info I've seen posted elsewhere on the web. No need to recreate the wheel.
     
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  2. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Here is one example of connections done by member planetaire Can | PriusChat
    His cells were a bit different only because they did not have full tabs to work with.
    But you can still get a general idea of the connections.

    He, and almost everyone I talk to, says buying cells with full tabs is recommended.
    It is too much of a pain to work with the short/cutoff tabbed cells.
     
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  3. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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  4. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    10... yes sure 700 dollars just for the connectings...
    what you call useless...
     
  5. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Exactly.

    Another guy down at our shop is considering using an accordion fold to connect the tabs and then crimping a piece of metal over top of the accordion fold. Seems reasonable. Lots of surface area touching, reversible if necessary.

    Other person here at the shop put holes through the tabs and bolted together.

    I also have some specialty connectors I have been researching. Unfortunately they are a custom order item with a minimum order and they only make a run of them periodically. 6 week lead time. I have some samples and they look promising. I'm waiting to get some other engineering opinions on them before ordering any.
     
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  6. NortTexSalv04Prius

    NortTexSalv04Prius Active Member

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    I want to make my own 8 cell with 3.2v 10ah tenergy(24v80ah) from allbattery(cali) however I neither have talent or shop tools to make these connections for the tabs to have decent connections or leads.
     
  7. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I have been researching some options for a while.

    Here is a pre-made crimp connector for foil tabs
    51943 Product Details - TE

    It seems like a very easy solution for most of the needed connections for foil packs.
    The current would be carried between the tabs by the crimp connection.
    The spade connector could be used for balancing & monitoring.

    Here is a link to the technical specs pdf I downloaded.
    EV_Powers_Termifoil_51943_Connector.pdf - Google Docs

    I still want some confirmation that they can handle the current that we will be drawing. Any engineers want to weigh in?

    Downside is that there is a (6-week) lead time on ordering these plus a minimum order.

    Depending on cost I'll probably be putting in a group buy/large order for these as well. That way we can get them into the hands of people who need them.
     
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  8. NortTexSalv04Prius

    NortTexSalv04Prius Active Member

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    what would be min qty purchase and how many should I get for 8qty 3.2v 10ah in series?
     
  9. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    These are not a stocked item anywhere. The factory makes them only when there are orders for them. Minimum quantity I must order is 2,000.
    They would probably cost something like $1.25.
    Now they are saying 12-14 lead time.
     
  10. chenyj

    chenyj Member

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    Yes, that works. We are doing that as well. It is very inexpensive, taking little space, reliable and never get loose under vibration like screws. The same way that people crimp Anderson connector pins.

    We roll the tabs three full cycles or more tightly, then slide a 1/4 copper tube which is cut open loop into the tab. Crimp the copper tube, tabs and BMS harness wire at least three spots using the Anderson cable crimping tool. Tape the terminal with electrical tape and use isolation material to separate each terminal from each other.
     
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  11. NortTexSalv04Prius

    NortTexSalv04Prius Active Member

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    Can you share images that would be nice you know too share...
     
  12. chenyj

    chenyj Member

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    Here are some pictures. The more times you roll the tab the better.
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Great pictures!!
    How thick is the copper you are using to crimp around the tabs?
     
  14. lopezjm2001

    lopezjm2001 Senior Member

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    How easy would it be to replace a bad cell?
     
  15. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    With the crimping method it is not too bad to replace a cell.

    Just wanted to note that the hole in the pouch cells Jack showed is there from a previous connection method. The hols is not needed for the crimping method.
    The old method involved a three nut/bolt combo. Plates on either side of the tabs, a nut/bolt combo through the center of the tabs, and two nut/bolt combos just past the edges of the tab.
     
  16. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    I have a question for the better informed users of this Real Force batteries assemblies..
    Is the phenolic board above the cells a "jig" for the alignment/isolation of the tabs while making the connections or part of the finish product.
    Also I noticed that there is some sort of dark gray foam/sponge in between the cells. Maybe an isolator/cushion?
     
  17. chenyj

    chenyj Member

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    The board is not required. But it does align the tab battery and isolation the tabs from touching each other. It also put even pressure on the cells for supporting force.

    The foam is used as isolator so that the tabs do not touch each other and the cover.
     
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  18. chenyj

    chenyj Member

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    1/16 in or 1.5mm
     
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  19. chenyj

    chenyj Member

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    It is relatively easy. You can use a flat screw driver to open it from the outside edge inward.
     
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  20. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    chenyj, thank you for the detailed information...(y)
     
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