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post #1 of 21 Old 09-26-2019, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ranger EV Lithium conversion (with pics)

Hi all,

Read a bunch on here over the years so I'm going to contribute for once. I had a 2012 that I converted to lithium and last week someone stole it. I hate humans sometimes!! So now I'm starting from scratch. Iv'e located a 2014 (want to keep the center seat and shorter wheelbase) with lead batteries and I'm going to do a first class lithium conversion. My last one had about 12KWh total, limited to 10.5KWh for long life. That was real world available power, not theoretical. I never did a mileage test but the longest use between charges was about half a day of riding and got me down to 40%. I have not decided how big of a battery I plan to install, but I do have the battery from which I will harvest the cells.

2018 nissan leaf 40KWh pack:
I have done about a dozen lithium conversions now. Mostly RV's. But also a houseboat and my prior ranger. I have tried multiple different donor cars for cells. Mini cooper, Ford Energi, Hyundai Kona EV and Nissan leaf. By all accounts Leaf cells are the best.
  • High capacity per cell (fewer busbars)
  • good format
  • not welded together
  • easy to reconfigure voltage

So I'll end this first post with pics of the battery itself. My initial thought is to use 7 out of the available 24 modules. That offers me about 10KWh (1.66KWh per module). You can see the cells are by default set up as 4S modules. I need 14S for the Ranger so I dissembled and configured one as a 2S module to see if it's possible. Took about 5 minutes to separate the glue in there.

The Ranger is at a dealer out of state and I hope to have it in two weeks so I can begin fab on the battery box.

Stay tuned!
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-26-2019, 08:57 PM
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You could have gone with 16S, since you want to reprogram motor controller and charger anyway. If you drop in 14S without reprogramming motor controller it will work, but you won't be able to cycle the cells within their proper working range - regen won't kick in right away, and power will be cut out somewhat early. For example, a fully depleted LA configuration would be somewhere around 46-47 volts. Those NMC cells can be discharged down to 2.8-2.9, which for 14s makes it 39.2-40.6 volts.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-27-2019, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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I have considered higher cell counts but I have ruled it out for a couple reasons. I limit cell voltage to 3.0v-4.1v. With that the controller needs no reprogramming. In theory the factory charger needs no reprogramming either. But I have two other 14S devices on my property so I am going to remove the charger all together. Then I can use the much faster charger I have in the shop and connect with an Anderson SB175 connector and charge at 60A/57.4V. And the same charger charges the other devices too with no adjustment. I really hate the closed-source settings of the DeltaQ chargers.

I am curious if anyone knows the low voltage setting of the controller. I have to think its somewhere down at 40v given the sag of 250+amps.

Last edited by Partspat; 09-27-2019 at 11:52 AM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-27-2019, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Partspat View Post
I am curious if anyone knows the low voltage setting of the controller. I have to think its somewhere down at 40v given the sag of 250+amps.
I have the DCF files somewhere exported from my controller prior to reprogramming it, but I believe my Ranger was monkeyed with before I acquired it, so may not be accurate. Will check tonight. As for 40 volts... that implies basically no undervoltage protection, as 10 volts for a Lead-Acid battery means certain death It is certainly a low (or no) risk for you to try out what you're saying, I am just skeptical you will be satisfied with the results. There is another member here who tried drop-in 14s without reprogramming, and he was saying performance wasn't satisfactory.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-27-2019, 08:50 PM
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Couldn't find the DCF file before new settings, but found a screenshot. Basically before my custom settings controller seemed to have no meaningful undervoltage or overvoltage protection.
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-28-2019, 02:44 AM
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The Sevcon official voltages are 19.3 to 69.6v
I too do not like taking cells down to their minimum voltage, or for that matter near to their max voltages. As they age both thresholds tend to drift and so you get more chance that over time they will start to go over voltage , as the capacity loses some consistency. I use 30ah LG blocks, 16serial, and I start cutback in the sevcon at 46v, with a graduated cut back each, 0.5v drop These cells have a hugely wide working voltage envelope, but a practical low voltage for total cutback is around 2.5v.Still above the makers max discharge, but not an area below which I am happy to take them. By starting cut back at about 20% charge that gives users a bit of a wake up that they need to get back and get charged.

The advantage of keeping a nominal 48v is to keep the original charge gauge giving a sort of usable output, and no need to change the DC to DC. But thats outweighed by the improvement in operating performance that 60+v gives.
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-28-2019, 10:08 AM
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There are a number of Delta Q algorithms that are available from Delta Q. My UK delta Q support has supplied a few, and I have the Delta Q box of tricks that enables upload of the new algorithm to the charger. Its not expensive. The charger can only hold 10 algorithms, and they always seem to have 10 in them, and so you have to delete one before you can upload a new one. The advantage of either their Lifepo4 or Li Ion curves, is that they dont cook the cells once the end of cc stages is reached. Some algorithms just stop, others go to CV and that tails off really quickly. Some algorithms also have the requirement for the temp sensor leads (Not normally used in the ranger) to be shorted to start, so I add two pins to the Polaris loom and thats linked to my Pack Monitoring unit so it can turn off the charger off it sees a cell going high voltage simply by operating a nc relay. That was an unexpected plus.

But you cant set your own parameters, and have to find an ALgorithm that suits your purpose from their existing sets. You can commission your own, but I have been told its seriously expensive, and can take a while, so you get encouraged to take whats already available.
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-28-2019, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpyb View Post
I too do not like taking cells down to their minimum voltage, or for that matter near to their max voltages. As they age both thresholds tend to drift and so you get more chance that over time they will start to go over voltage , as the capacity loses some consistency.
You always have something hilarious to post. So what happened to the BMS that your LG "bricks" have had ? Doesn't protect you from overvoltages ?
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-28-2019, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpyb View Post
The Sevcon official voltages are 19.3 to 69.6v
I too do not like taking cells down to their minimum voltage, or for that matter near to their max voltages. As they age both thresholds tend to drift and so you get more chance that over time they will start to go over voltage , as the capacity loses some consistency.
Admittedly I know almost nothing of the Sevcon software. In my prior 14S install, I never got into that current limited region of pack voltage. At least not that I noticed.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-29-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cricketo View Post
You always have something hilarious to post. So what happened to the BMS that your LG "bricks" have had ? Doesn't protect you from overvoltages ?

As you are aware from reading my past posts and making pointless comments.

The LG Cell blocks I use have an onboard circuit that measures 16 cell voltages, two temps and can bleed each cell to balance. To operate those you have to access the data and give the correct codes to each cell block to utilise that circuit board.
We have developed a device that connects to the string of cell blocks (Simple 4 wire data connection between blocks) on first connection it auto configures each cell block with a unique sequential address,then as they are designed to function, we send a wake up call to each block, ask it for its data, store the data, then do the same with the next cell block etc. After all the string has been polled, the data is looked at and if any of the cells are outside the parameters that we have set, one or more (4 options) change of state relay is operated. In addition a small two line display , scrolls through showing if any of the 4 conditions are causing a relay to be operated, average cell high and low for the pack, and then repeats for each block. This data is also output onto a serial output and all cell voltages can be read using a PC.
In addition when charging and a pre set voltage is reached, we invoke the balancing routine, picking the highest two cells in each block and turn on the bleed. That repeats until they are all withing certain fixed limits. It rarely actually functions as the cells are very close in voltage, and we dont tend to drive them towards their highest potential voltage.
Only two cells at a time are balanced, as we have found that more causes the circuit board to get too hot. Two only does not cause a significant temp rise.

So we use the onboard cell block board in its oem state by using our own Pack Monitoring unit. No cell level cabling at all.



Now what was your point?

Last edited by Grumpyb; 09-29-2019 at 10:15 AM.
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