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Just charge it and use it. There is little point to trying to come up with your own way of using the cells.
The big problems with Li ion especially as they age is that the voltage at which the fast and high voltage rise happens at the end of the charge, shifts as the cell capacity changes. Ie to a slightly lower voltage. Many conversions try and get the last ah out of the pack and charge to the max voltage the cells can go to. Result is they soon get unbalanced and the charge will finish early. A similar situation takes place at the end of the discharge curve where the voltage drops off a cliff. OEMS dont actually use the pack in this way , keeping away from the end and start of the curves, result is that capacity appears to stay un changing for longer. Eventually the pack will get to the point where the curves will start to impact on capacity. But many years down the line. The biggest cause of faults I see is where people have let the pack get too discharged, this causes the cells to swell, that causes separation of the plates and reduced capacity you cant recover from. Same but worse damage takes place by over charging. Here the cells wont just swell, but if severe will go into thermal runaway and either get hot,vent and fume very heavily (Lifepo4 variants) or go to high heat and flames (Seen with Li Ion with high cobalt) .
Makers of cells tend to give life in full charge cycles, Lifepo4 is around 3 to 4000 depending on make. I have supported vehicles converted 10 years ago for the last 7 years, these used Lifepo4. Most failures are unexpected and tend to be isolated. Most mass pack failure is cuased by excess discharge and the cells often being un recoverable. More and regular partial charging (to full, but not to pack absolute max) seems to be best for long life. Dont get stressed by only charging to 80%. I doubt you will actually be aware of what 80% in terms of ah actually is. Most balancing only takes place after a full charge, and takes care of minor cell imbalance. If you stop the charge early that sequence is often not started. Result is the pack will get more and more unbalanced. Then when you do a full charge the high volt cell will shut down the charge early. Leaving a Li ion plugged in and charging, doesnt mean its charging. (unless you are using a no li ion charge and no BMS) Thats good and bad. Most chargers stop once they reach the end of charge sequence and dont restart just because the voltage has gone down. Not like any form of simple lead charger. The charge has to be turned off and back on to start the cycle. On my UK Li ion conversions, I have to provide a separate 12v supply with a new 12v battery to supply the Pack Monitoring Unit (BMS) that is powered by the DC to DC converter in use, and by a small 12v charger when charging. So if left for a long period unused, the users should leave these connected to the mains. The Pack charger wont kick in, but 12v is maintained.
In short dont try and come up with your own solution to best use, talk to the system makers and do as they suggest. If they use every last ah in the pack, then early stop of charge may give longer life. If they dont use every last ah, then its unlikely to be of value.
If its a self conversion, just be conscious that others who may end up with the vehicle may not understand that you didnt use a BMS or a properly configured charger, but charged manually.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I agree - wb tough to remember to unplug at 80% esp if you charge overnight and the whole reason for the upgrade for me was the extra range. The BMS probably manages the charging to slow it past 80 anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Just charge it and use it. There is little point to trying to come up with your own way of using the cells.
The big problems with Li ion especially as they age is that the voltage at which the fast and high voltage rise happens at the end of the charge, shifts as the cell capacity changes. Ie to a slightly lower voltage. Many conversions try and get the last ah out of the pack and charge to the max voltage the cells can go to. Result is they soon get unbalanced and the charge will finish early. A similar situation takes place at the end of the discharge curve where the voltage drops off a cliff. OEMS dont actually use the pack in this way , keeping away from the end and start of the curves, result is that capacity appears to stay un changing for longer. Eventually the pack will get to the point where the curves will start to impact on capacity. But many years down the line. The biggest cause of faults I see is where people have let the pack get too discharged, this causes the cells to swell, that causes separation of the plates and reduced capacity you cant recover from. Same but worse damage takes place by over charging. Here the cells wont just swell, but if severe will go into thermal runaway and either get hot,vent and fume very heavily (Lifepo4 variants) or go to high heat and flames (Seen with Li Ion with high cobalt) .
Makers of cells tend to give life in full charge cycles, Lifepo4 is around 3 to 4000 depending on make. I have supported vehicles converted 10 years ago for the last 7 years, these used Lifepo4. Most failures are unexpected and tend to be isolated. Most mass pack failure is cuased by excess discharge and the cells often being un recoverable. More and regular partial charging (to full, but not to pack absolute max) seems to be best for long life. Dont get stressed by only charging to 80%. I doubt you will actually be aware of what 80% in terms of ah actually is. Most balancing only takes place after a full charge, and takes care of minor cell imbalance. If you stop the charge early that sequence is often not started. Result is the pack will get more and more unbalanced. Then when you do a full charge the high volt cell will shut down the charge early. Leaving a Li ion plugged in and charging, doesnt mean its charging. (unless you are using a no li ion charge and no BMS) Thats good and bad. Most chargers stop once they reach the end of charge sequence and dont restart just because the voltage has gone down. Not like any form of simple lead charger. The charge has to be turned off and back on to start the cycle. On my UK Li ion conversions, I have to provide a separate 12v supply with a new 12v battery to supply the Pack Monitoring Unit (BMS) that is powered by the DC to DC converter in use, and by a small 12v charger when charging. So if left for a long period unused, the users should leave these connected to the mains. The Pack charger wont kick in, but 12v is maintained.
In short dont try and come up with your own solution to best use, talk to the system makers and do as they suggest. If they use every last ah in the pack, then early stop of charge may give longer life. If they dont use every last ah, then its unlikely to be of value.
If its a self conversion, just be conscious that others who may end up with the vehicle may not understand that you didnt use a BMS or a properly configured charger, but charged manually.
Great info, thanks! I did receive the info sheet on charging and care and its agreeing w everything said here - use it and dont go below 10% (I usually try to stay about 20) but it doesn't mention not charging to 100 so I wont worry about it. I know in iOS they added a battery health app that slows down the charge after 80% and does some other functions so maybe the BMS does something similar. Thanks for the info.
 

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Voltronix uses the Orion BMS Jr to monitor and control current flow into and out of the Li pack.
23337
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Great News - Everything arrived this week so we are getting started - it was all packed really well, Ill attach a couple pics - we've been over the manual alot and we will just go slow - they gave us an email for support as well. I think Im using the updated install instructions and there are just a few diffs between the 2016 EV and the one they use in the pics. Yesterday we got the charger and controller remounted and the holes drilled in battery trays and those installed. The only issue there was the center bolt on both packs sticks out a good bit and where we had to put the holes it would hit the seat frame - I think the 2016 changed the seats maybe, not sure - we hacksawed off just the very end and it fits now. Today is supposed to rain most of the day so not sure how much we'll get done, starting on the connections I see locking nuts on only the red cable so I emailed about that - we can make the connection but it seems dirt would get in there - maybe they can send some if we are supposed to have those. Will keep y'all posted, getting excited! IMG_5451.jpg IMG_5465.jpg IMG_5469.jpg
 

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Dang bucket seats makes everything thing harder.


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Discussion Starter #27
I was thinking it would be a 2 day ordeal but we are back in business - the rain held off and we are able to finish it all. Its a great feeling when you turn the key and hear that click - LOL.. once we get the locking nuts for the jumper we can open it back up and put those on, but I am very happy to report that I am getting at least double the range I was getting w the original lead acid pack - today was chilly ~45 degrees F and we were able to take it all the way up to the top of the mountain, which is about 3000', from 1200' and back down and still had 50% left. Could've never done that w the other batteries. Very pleased so far and the service from Advanced Power/Voltronix has been superb as well.
 

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About how many hours of actual hands on time did it take to make the conversion?
 

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Yeah I was just going to ask the same. Glad to hear it worked out well for you too.


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The blue cells are normally from CALB their se series. These are the for runner of the Thundersky/ Winston/Sino poly, but with a lot more development and of a much higher build quality. They also tend to have higher than stated ah when new, also have a slightly lower rest voltage than the TS at 3.32 rather than 3.33, but also seem to give less voltage drop under load. Physically the 180/ 200 are the same as TS 160s. Good versions of the LIfepo4 cells. I supplied a number of these (used 180s) as a trial for a customer wanting a 12v power pack to initially run a 1400w 12v hydraulic pump used on a camera tilting a towed motorcycle being towed behind the camera vehicle. They really deliver the goods. I also built a 3kw mains inverter into a matching alloy housing. And they run that with no problems.
 

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Why disconnect the sway bar? I have seen two of these snapped through just after the bend before the bushing.
 

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Gives you more suspension articulation to help maintain tire contact on extreme angles. But I’m constantly on severe angles to have been worried it might lessen side hill stability. May try it though someday to see how it compares.


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I’ve had mine completely removed for a long time


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Discussion Starter #35
Yeah I was just going to ask the same. Glad to hear it worked out well for you too.


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There were two of us working on it, one def more mechanically inclined than the other - lol - we just went slow and the first step was getting back the two components we had pulled. We had also removed the batteries beforehand as well, since we were down for awhile. The rain came around 1 pm and we started around 8 am so 5 hours total on the conversion. Voltronix was great about getting us the couple missing parts, just 2 locking nuts, received those in 3 days so we need to open the battery boxes and put those on. Im so impressed w the range diff, in this development we have 40 miles of gravel roads, steep terrain varying from 1000' up to about 3500' and we have yet to run it down below 40%. if its above 50% I usually dont even charge, we can now take several rides wo charging depending on how far we wanna go. All in all I really couldn't be more pleased.
 

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Gives you more suspension articulation to help maintain tire contact on extreme angles. But I’m constantly on severe angles to have been worried it might lessen side hill stability. May try it though someday to see how it compares.


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Oh wow, I've never heard of this - was gonna ask what that gets you - we use this buggy mostly on gravel roads so not sure if we'd see much diff? Is it bad to leave that in there?
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The blue cells are normally from CALB their se series. These are the for runner of the Thundersky/ Winston/Sino poly, but with a lot more development and of a much higher build quality. They also tend to have higher than stated ah when new, also have a slightly lower rest voltage than the TS at 3.32 rather than 3.33, but also seem to give less voltage drop under load. Physically the 180/ 200 are the same as TS 160s. Good versions of the LIfepo4 cells. I supplied a number of these (used 180s) as a trial for a customer wanting a 12v power pack to initially run a 1400w 12v hydraulic pump used on a camera tilting a towed motorcycle being towed behind the camera vehicle. They really deliver the goods. I also built a 3kw mains inverter into a matching alloy housing. And they run that with no problems.
Great info, thanks Grumpy - also if anyone is curious I do not have a Window laptop I have a MacBook and I had no issues whatsoever running the Linux Java exe of the Orion BMS software - man it really gives you alot of data - being an IT guy I appreciate that. The only thing I might like to see in the future if they have a different meter rather than just the 10% marked bar one that comes with it. Wb nice to see the actual percent rather waiting for it to drop 10 and it is kinda tough to see in bright light.
 

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I cut a slot in the dash just in front of the steering wheel and above the indicator panel. Put the original SOC w hour meter back in its place. Better view in bright sun


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Gives you more suspension articulation to help maintain tire contact on extreme angles. But I’m constantly on severe angles to have been worried it might lessen side hill stability. May try it though someday to see how it compares.
Oh wow, I've never heard of this - was gonna ask what that gets you - we use this buggy mostly on gravel roads so not sure if we'd see much diff? Is it bad to leave that in there?
About seven years ago I raised the sway bar and put the nut and washer back on the vertical rod in case it needed to be pushed down and hooked up. The sway bar is still up out of the way:
23404
 

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----------------------------------
The only thing I might like to see in the future if they have a different meter rather than just the 10% marked bar one that comes with it. Wb nice to see the actual percent rather waiting for it to drop 10 and it is kinda tough to see in bright light.
We need a picture of the installed State Of Charge meter please.

This is mine:
23405


23407
 
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