Enginer Plan B

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by cproaudio, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    I still have great confidence that whatever Jack is doing in China will remedy the current Enginer's short comings. As any Enginer owners know by now that the current kits with realforce batteries and BMS16D have problems with the BMS shortening the usable capacity and in some cases, prematurely failing cells which in turn, making the whole battery packs failing. Among other things, component failures is giving Enginer a bad reputation. Further more, because Jack is meeting the new suppliers and monitoring productions in China, almost all communications with Enginer regarding warranty matters have been ceased. There's panic brewing among owners that what if Enginer's in financial trouble dues to many warranty problems.

    The purpose of this thread is to cover the worst case scenario. What if Enginer has pulled its plugs. I didn't want to post this in the Enginer forum and start a panic amongst the owners. Many Enginer forum members have access to PC so they can be directed here.

    Enginer's system is pretty basic. The system is based on
    - 48v 80Ah 16S LiFePo4 battery pack
    - A BMS to monitor the charging, discharging and balancing of the pack. Due to the nature of the LiFePo4 chemistry, it operates at its optimum level if it's balanced amongst all the cells.
    - A 900w 48v 15 amp LiFePo4 charger
    - The heart of the system is the 48V to 240V DC to DC converter.
    - Other minor components are a 48v resettable circuit breaker, 2X 48v cooling fans, 4AWG power wires with Anderson quick disconnect plugs and a nickle plated steal enclosure with a stainless steel lid.

    The main components are the ones us owners worry about failing. There are a few owners that have taken matters into their own hands to remedy the failing components problems. I want this thread to be the information central for the out of warranty Enginer kits. In this thread you will find places to purchase components similar to the ones used in the Enginer kits and places that repair Enginer components.

    If you have any information regarding outside repairs, suppliers of components used in Enginer kits, I ask that you kindly share with us what you know and what you've found on the internet. Thank you


    I'll start with what I've found
    Battery
    RFE-48V 80AH lithium battery for EV - Detailed info for RFE-48V 80AH lithium battery for EV,lithium ion battery for EV,RFE-48V 80AH lithium battery for EV,RFE-16F80 on Alibaba.com Updated July 12th, 2011

    RFE-48V 80AH lithium battery for EV - Detailed info for RFE-48V 80AH lithium battery for EV,lithium ion battery for EV,RFE-48V 80AH lithium battery for EV,RFE-48V80AH on Alibaba.com Updated July 12th, 2011

    48V 80Ah

    48V 80Ah

    prismatic cells - RFE (China Manufacturer) - Battery, Storage Battery & Charger - Electronics & Electricity Products - DIYTrade China individual cells
    You may also contact Wendy Peng at [email protected]


    Charger

    http://www.ebike-bmsbattery.com/
    900W LiFePo4 Charger
    They are in China. I can't locate any US based dealer. Also note that the Enginer BMS can accept up to 25amps for charge current. That's 1500w. That's about the top limit for level 1 charger. If you want a fast charging system at home, you can extend the 48v charger wires from the kit to the outside of the vehicle with Anderson plugs and plug in the Andersons instead of the NEMA15 plug. Be aware that the BMS must be able to turn off the external charger once HVC occurs.

    Added on June 13th, 2011
    DC Power Supply - Switching Power Supply - Mastech Power Supply HY6020EX 60V 20A Over Voltage Over Current Protection (Powered by CubeCart)
    DC Power Supply - Switching Power Supply - Mastech Power Supply HY7530EX 75V 30A Over Voltage Over Current Protection 110V Input (Powered by CubeCart)
    DC Power Supply - Switching Power Supply - Mastech Power Supply HY7530EX 75V 30A Over Voltage Over Current Protection 220V Input (Powered by CubeCart)
    These power supplies will charge faster than the Enginer charger. The HY7530EX is borderline level 2 charger. Since these power supply are fully adjustable, they can charge any type of batteries including LiFePo4.
    HVC for these power supplies must isolate the output on the safe side, not just cutting power to the power supply..

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    BMS
    MiniBMS 16 cell Master Board - CleanPowerAuto LLC - Not a direct replacement but others have made it work withe Enginer kit.
    Added on May 11th, 2011 - Pacific EV has a direct replacement BMS for the Enginer BMS16D. You can contact Cory at [email protected] More information on post # 66

    Added on July 12th, 2011 - JST-HX 8S M-F extensions needed for wiring up the MiniBMS ProgressiveRC - Balance Lead Extensions

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    DC-DC converter
    Added on August 5th, 2011
    Finally a source for a 48v to 240v converter thanks to lopezjm2001 Details at http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-phev-plug-in-modifications/92414-enginer-plan-b-3.html#post1361069
    Contact Mr.Fang at Shanghai Fountainhead Electronics Co.,Ltd http://www.21ftd.com/ to purchase the converter.
    A word of caution. Fountainhead Electronics was the ODM for Enginer's older kits. Enginer has since switched to another supplier probably because of poor QC. Fountainhead Electronics continues to manufacture replicas PHEVs based on Enginer's design. They do sell all the components necessary to assemble a complete kit. Fountainhead Electronics is another but not recommended alternative to purchase all the parts necessary to get your Enginer kit up and running.

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    Added on June 13th, 2011

    Top balancing
    If you're using alternative BMS that utilize top balancing, you can use Mastech adjustable power supply to top balance your battery pack.
    The power supply that I'm using is DC Power Supply - Linear Power Supply - MASTECH VARIABLE REGULATED LINEAR DC POWER SUPPLY 60V 3A HY6003D (Powered by CubeCart)
    First, start with manually balance the pack by draining the high cells. You can do this with a 10watt 1to10ohm cement resister. It is possible to drain up to 3 cells at once using 1 resister as long as you don't exceed the balance wires' current capacity (9pin balance wires). They must be cells next to eachother. If you need to drain C1 and C3, you have drain each separately or else you will drain C2 as well. Each cell is drain at the same current regardless of draining 1 cell at a time or 3 cells. For example, drain 1 cell at .6 amps, drain 2 cells at 1.2 amps, drain 3 cells at 1.8 amps. If you have 2 low cells you can charge them up with the Mastech power supply instead of spending days to drain 14 cells.
    Once you've balanced the pack to accept 4+KW, you can further top balance by using the Mastech variable power supply. You can set the voltage to 55V constant voltage and work your way up. Due to the battery being a load, the voltage drop will match the battery pack's voltage. Depending on the shunting capacity of your BMS, you can set the current to match the BMS's shunting current. Any high cells will have its charge current shunted by the BMS. Any low cells, will accept the charge without shunting. As each cells are being charged and balanced, the charge current will decrease.
    Once fully balanced, a healthy 4KW RFE pack can accept 5KW +/- 0.2kw on the kill-a-watt meter using the Enginer charger.
     
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  2. SFGiant-and-Plugin-Fan

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    Nice info cpro, only I think the latest kits are shipping with four cooling fans, 2 above the converter, one on the converter and one on the charger.
     
  3. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    I didn't list the fans inside the converter and the charger because they are part of the converter and the charger so they don't count as independent fans.
     
  4. dan2l

    dan2l 2014 Prius v wagon

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    Hi CPR,
    Yes, I agree that it is prudent to be prepaired for what will come in the future.

    I do feel that it is important to reallize that none of these are direct replacements for commponents in all the Enginer systems. In fact the Enginer system has changed many times and even Enginer supplied parts many times are not backward compatable. It is very important for the user to understand his system and the interaction between the commponents.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  5. SFGiant-and-Plugin-Fan

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    Ah yes. However, it might be worth noting that non-Enginer, after market converters and chargers might not come with built in fans.
     
  6. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    Hi Dan, most of the problems discussed in the Enginer forum are from people with RealForce battery packs. The battery packs and the charger I've found are direct replacement. The only one that's not a direct replacement is the BMS and have noted that in the BMS information. Older models use either Mottcell or Thundersky cells. Those are easier to find than the preassembled RealForce packs. Since my kit uses the RF packs, I can't comment on the kits that uses Mottcell or Thundersky cells.

    SFG, high power chargers do come with cooling fans. Any chargers without fans, are not going to powerful enough to charge 4kw in a timely matter. The original Enginer charger is 900w. Any LiFePo4 charger greater than 900w will have built in fans. The only charger I've found that doesn't have a fan is the ElCon 1500w charger. It has big nice person heatsinks and will not fit in the enclosure. I can't comment on the DC converter cause I have not found any aftermarket replacements.
     
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  7. electric1

    electric1 Junior Member

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    48V-240V 5kW DC booster is the heart of Enginer kit, you don't just stumble on such device elsewhere, its custom designed for the job. Without DC booster the rest of the system is worthless, everything is built around DC booster.

    Anyone peeked inside their Enginer DC booster? I wonder about the parts and assembly quality, since to keep the price so low, Jack had to cut all corners he could find.
     
  8. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    I can comment that I purchased a similar DC-AC converter from eBay 18 months ago at under $200. The only modification required is a conversion of the 240AC output to DC by means of a large diode and a filter capacitor.
    I purchase such a device to obtain free electricity to recharge my PHEV conversion through a solar panels system.
     
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  9. electric1

    electric1 Junior Member

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    I seriously doubt you can get 5kW inverter for $200. Perhaps 500Watt unit, but not 5000Watt unit. Also, its not ideal to use rectified AC for PHEV application due to poor power factor correction and ripple currents. It would be horribly inefficient and get too hot as a result, both are serious issues in a car application.

    It would work well enough for solar trickle charge, since wattage and currents are low, but in drivetrain application where all 5kW are needed, AC inverter is not the answer.
     
  10. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    5kw inverter for $200 is possible but it's 12v input. 5kw inverter with 48v input are usually found in industrial UPS. Not sure if you can find one for $200 though. using high current high voltage diode would turn the AC current into rippled DC current. Will a high voltage, multi-farad capacitor filter the rippled DC voltage to true DC voltage?
     
  11. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    When some "electrical1" typed his opinion, showed a complete lack of basic knowledge and since I don't feed to the trolls........
    A simple rectification of a sinusoidal waveform is accomplish by a suitable diode and a electrolytic capacitor and a choke coil.
    I never mentioned a 5Kw number; what I have in my hands and using is a 2.5KW continuous (5kw burst) inverter for the stated price.
    This particular model is stackable, meaning that more that 2 can be connected with their logic circuit in parallel to work in their synchronism signal bus. It's being distributed by accuratetools dot com.
    Solutions an compatible equipment to the Enginer Kit do exist, it is only mater to know what to look for.
     
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  12. electric1

    electric1 Junior Member

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    Oh boy, this is exactly why I don't post in this forum, since people like mrbigh think their post count equals their knowledge and that gives them right to shit on everyone else.

    I happen to have multiple EV conversions under my belt, over 20,000 electric miles on my EVs, 07 Prius with self-installed 10kWh PIS kit with over 100mpg regular mileage, etc etc.

    You have correctly described AC rectification when applied to passive load, but it doesn't work like this at all when applied to a battery as a load, since only during peaks of the sinusoid wave it will overcome battery voltage and push the current into it, but during valleys it will not. As a result, current into the battery will flow in sharp spikes, resulting in horrible power factor and sharp ripples.

    I have such "bad boy" charger for my 16kWh EV battery and it works well enough for stationary application in the garage, but it would be unacceptable for Prius DC booster since in Prius efficiency is the key.

    BTW, adding caps to smooth the ripple won't do any good at such low frequency, since battery load already acts as a huge cap, and adding more caps is pointless.

    The point I am trying to make here is not that it won't work, of course it will, but that it would be too inefficient to be considered useful. For PHEV application we need true DC-DC booster with high frequency switching and without AC generating final stage.

    As for $200 Ebay deal, was it one time lucky purchase or something that can be had regularly? It doesn't help anyone if you got lucky once on Ebay. Can you post make/model of your 2.5kW inverter?

    I mentioned 5kW to compare with Enginer unit, which is not even enough for any serious EV driving. My PIS system normally runs at 10kW power. A 2.5kW booster is all but useless for this application.
     
  13. Simtronic

    Simtronic Member

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    OK forget the "point scoring" we are all on the same side here, you are both right, an inefficient home based charger is better than no charger but ideally we want comparable or better than original enginer solutions.
    My system is in warranty but I would be happy to save my battery packs with a decent balancer or balancer-charger. Any suggestions are welcome.
     
  14. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    i wholeheartedly reccomend miniBMS, simple, effective, inexpensive. I'm at the first stages of another project (pure EV) and miniBMS along with miniGAUGE would now be my no1 choice.
     
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  15. Simtronic

    Simtronic Member

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    Thanks, did you get it direct from their website or do we have a dealer here in the UK?
     
  16. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Direct from the website. I emailed the creator (a chap named Dimitri) first, and he was not 100% that it would be ok in this application, but it's working fine.

    My wife was moaning this morning because we "only" got about 55 miles of range on the kit yesterday (small extra charge in the evening) and "only" got 97mpg.
     
  17. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    I think I'm going to get the miniBMS with my tax return. I'll install the MiniBMS and send my 16D in to get the 3.2 firmware. This 20 mile range is ridiculous. It took me over a month and a half to burn a tank of gas. How well does it balance the battery pack? Does it operate the same as the BMS16D when it charges and toggle on and off to keep the pack fully charged? How many charges does it take to let the pack top balanced?
     
  18. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    I was fortunate in that i was able to get a bench power supply which would output 0-64V at 0-3A. So i set it for 55.5V and 0.75A and left it for 48 hours (broken up by a bit of normal driving with the kit switched off.) which gave me a good enough balance for the Enginer charger to shut down (55.7V) without any one cell going over the 3.8V cutoff. a few normal cycles later and i'm up to a ~45 mile range on a charge.

    If you completely replace the 16D with the miniBMS then you will either get a natural charger shutdown at ~55.5V, or if a HVC (high voltage cell) occurrs then the miniBMS will turn off the charger, and it will stay off until you cycle the ingnition.
     
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  19. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    Flamin.. yours is a very elegant way to overcome the Enginer illness afaik of the additional expense.
     
  20. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Yeah, i have access to some good equipment and people through work (RS components/Allied Electronics).

    If i was an installer i would be looking to purchase the kits without the 16D and fitting miniBMS instead. Your customers can still tell you what's going on by looking at the LED's (or taking a picture) and it will look after the pack nicely.
     
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