Enginer Charger Adjustment

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by Joe R, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Joe R

    Joe R Junior Member

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    Update: Since I couldn't figure out the adjustment to the charger, and also because my cells are in bad shape, I sold the charger and am now charging my pack using a hobby balance charger. I am still in need of Enginer expertise over at my other thread, Enginer 3KW Converter Adjustment | PriusChat as I've progressed further into my project. Thanks!
    _______________________________________
    A quick bit of background- a couple months ago I acquired a non-working 4kwh Enginer kit from a member here. The converter and charger are functional, but the batteries are a mess. After assessing the 32 individual cells in the kit, I was able to piece together a working 2kwh pack (since I only have ~24 viable cells) which is fine for my needs for the moment. It appears as though the batteries were destroyed by the charger, although that is just a wild guess.

    I need to reduce the charger's termination voltage in order to prevent killing the remaining batteries. I opened the charger and I see 5 potentiometers- does anyone know the function of each? I'm reluctant to experiment given how hard it is to find replacement parts. The potentiometers are labeled W4011, W402, W401, W501, W503 (the slot marked W502 is blank). I forgot to take a picture last night but I'll post one up when I get home tonight to help clear it up. I hooked the charger to my battery bank and was seeing voltages in excess of 57 volts, with at least one cell rising to 3.7v, so I disconnected it to avoid doing further damage.

    I tried to get access to the installer forum at Enginer.us but the new owner wasn't able to provide it, and I've searched for a few hours before asking :) Also, huge thanks to JonnyD for his thread (Custom Enginer 5kW 800 miles tank | PriusChat) as it was instrumental in my installation efforts. I plan to reduce the overall output until I can get my hands on more batteries since >2000w is hard on the 2kwh pack.
     
    #1 Joe R, Oct 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  2. Joe R

    Joe R Junior Member

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  3. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    Hi joe,

    I'm not sure how to adjust the charger, but I'm sure on here there is some info, or search Dan lander, he is very knowledgeable with this system. He has helped me greatly when I first had my enginer kit.
    Firstly manually balance all the cells, most sad ice to balance at the bottom, so take each cell down to about 2.6v under load, at this voltage they are considered empty without over discharging them.
    Get all cells at the same resting voltage, then charge the pack up, hopefully they all have similar capacities and get to about 3.6v all at the same time, then cut the charger.
    What I found is that the cells fill gradually up to about 3.5v then climb very quickly, I mean within minutes to the cut off point, 3.6v to 3.8v was less than a minute.
    Try not to go over 3.5v per cell, there's not a lot of capacity left in the cell after this voltage so it's not worth stressing the cell as it not worth it for a few ah.
    I used a simple cell log cut off circuit to cut the charger rather than rely of the dodge enginer bms and I manually balanced the cells.
    Hope this helps.
    Anthony.
     
  4. Joe R

    Joe R Junior Member

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    Thanks Anthony! That's all super helpful, and I'll definitely run a search on Dan Lander :)

    My batteries actually have a mini-saga of their own. When I acquired this kit, it actually had a 4kwh battery that wasn't charging. The batteries were basically free since they weren't taking a charge, but I took a couple months to assess and recondition all the cells that could be salvaged. The balancers were still attached when I received the pack, which was unfortunate because it means that all 32 cells were stored at 0v for quite an extended period of time.

    I bought an iCharger 208b to do my testing- it does automated charge/discharge cycles with computer logging, so I was able to make graphs for each cell. Only about 20 cells registered above 30ah of capacity (from an original 39ah), and among those a couple were self-discharging and discharging at a low voltage (30ah discharge but the whole discharge curve sat at 2.6v instead of ~3.2/3.3v). Anyway, long story short, I was able to find 16 decent cells with at least 30ah capacity, so I now have a 1.5kwh pack (48v * 30ah).

    As far as charging, I tried to charge the pack using the Enginer charger once and managed to kill another 2 cells. It was just too powerful and too "dumb", quickly pushing cells past 4v. So, I sold the Enginer charger to an e-biker and used the proceeds to buy a hobbyking 16s (8s x2) balance charger. It seems to be working well- it never charges any cell over 3.6v. The only drawback is that it is not adjustable below 3.60v, but that's a trade-off that I find to be worth it since it does such a good job of monitoring each cell individually and not overcharging them.

    Regarding discharging- I have a master plan to build a cutoff relay using 8s lifpo4 alarms and relays (I already bought the parts), but in the meantime I'm just planning to rely on the lifepo4 alarms and manually turning the switch off when they are going off. I haven't really had a chance to get there yet since I'm still working on getting the kit up and running.

    If I get everything working really well, I will likely sell my battery bank and spring for some nice 100ah lifepo4 cells, but that's really just a dream at this point :)
     
  5. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    You better get in contact with a PC member called" ERICBECKY". This gentleman from Wisconsin dedicates to PHEV packs troubleshooting, refurbishing and /or repairs and has ample knowledge and experience on this equipment.
    The name spelling may be wrong.
     
  6. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    A 2kwh kit is hardly worth spending any time or effort on.
    Got any pics of the cells?
     
  7. Joe R

    Joe R Junior Member

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    Oh I totally agree- my primary goal is to get the converter interfacing with the car then I will buy new batteries. The batteries were free- I bought a full 4 kWh kit for about as much as the cost of shipping from a member on here with an agreement that the cells were all dead but that I could have them if I wanted them. Of the 32 cells, only about 18-20 were viable (all were stored at literally 0v for a long time). The rest get extremely hot and self discharge back to zero, or have capacities under 20ah (39ah rated). The viable cells all have at least 75% capacity at a 10a discharge, which is the highest discharge my iCharger 208b could graph. I made discharge graphs for most of the cells because I intend to repurpose them for ebike use, either as entire gray cells or by breaking the cases and using the blue cylindrical 13ah sub-cells inside.

    I have a post on endless-sphere detailing my battery saga (no pic except for the discharge curve of one cell), but there isn't much to look at anyway since they are just the gray "40ah" mottcells that have three 13ah cylindrical sub-cells inside them. A couple are visibly deformed from heat but the rest all look boring and gray :)

    Actually they look pretty cool broken open- I started taking one apart this weekend that was really super dead, I'll post a pic soon. I'm hoping that some of the sub-cells might be salvageable inside the dead gray cells.
     
  8. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I replied I the other thread.
    I was just curious which version of cells you had. (real force or Mott cells, etc)
    Once I saw the other thread I saw them.
    You are on the right track.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. Joe R

    Joe R Junior Member

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    I got excited that someone wanted to see my batteries so I found some pics on my phone in the meantime; I'll post them anyway :)

    I'll probably keep the discussion of my progress in the other thread but in case you only see this one- HUGE THANK YOU for your help!!

    First, my initial charge/discharge setup (1s32p setup with light bulbs for discharge)[​IMG]

    And, for the inside of the Mottcells, for those curious:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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