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The OEM target is around $1.5 / Kwh, currently retail they go for about $1.2 / ah so about 3x the OEM price.

The issue with going the drop in route is that each battery replacement has to have an inbuilt BMS stystem, Unless they also communicate with others in the string, then they really are not a good solution.

If you simply put a naked Li Ion pack into a Ranger, the over charge would severly damage the cells, and could lead to cells going high voltage.

A safe system has not only a charger designed/ programmed to charge in the correct way (CC going to CV or even just CC) and to the correct voltage, but has a way of shutting down the charger if any cell is detected as going high voltage during charge.
The best a drop in can do is to somehow break the power feed,either by an electronic switch or a contactor, in each unit. That may well be enough, but it cant help but be a costly option. Over time Lithium cells will become the norm and the vehicles will be designed to use them right from the start. At that point costs will come down.
But what isnt taken into account is the life span of a Lithium solution. Lead may last less than 2 years, Li Ion should last 5 to 10 years, but generally 4 to 8 times the number of charge discharge cycles.
 

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Well I have another 2015 Ranger in my shop in need of batteries. The customer owns 5. One w the early voltronixs kit and 4 w LA. I’ve changed out one of the LA last week. He wants to try the Allied lithium 60AH. We will install 8 12.8V 60AH batteries. They also come in 50, 80, and 100AH. The requested algorithm is 42.
 

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Yes great. Still going strong. Planted at deer camp last two weekends and still had 50% charge after spreading seed and running in deep tilled ground totaling 14 miles. Didn’t overheat either temps were in the 90’s. I recommend them to anyone this guy has 5 and one has voltronixs kit in a 2012. He just doesn’t want to spend 7000.00. It’s a big invest in something you use 4 months out of the year.
 

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The use , is the real key. If you use these vehicles on a regular basis and plan on long term ownership, then Lithium is a financially good step. You will save money over the life of the vehicle.

One of my customers who uses his Ranger EV daily for 1 to 3 hrs, has had to replace his pack between 15 months and 18 months, so over 7 years he has had 4 changes of pack at about £2k / pack thats £8k, he has now had one of my Conversions installed (14kwh)that has cost him around £4.5k (all figures exclude VAT , us sales tax) . So in two + cycles of normally replacing cells, he will be heading to cost savings. He also no longer has to water the pack, and has greater usable range and a noticeable improvement in performance. But if he could get his Lead to last 3 to 4 years, then it probably wouldnt stack up. Another customer, uses his less and went for a smaller (10kwh) pack . His main consideration was the weight saving, the increased performance, and greater range. On the performance issue, the voltage drop in use is not so great especially with my slightly higher pack voltage, this reduces current draw,and thats what gets the Sevcon heating up. We dragged a 6ft wide multi tyne rake over a paddock, with two up it coped significantly easier than it ever did before.
So for him and his worker who will use it, he has gained all round.

The decision to go the lithium route is really down to use, and the earlier its done in the life of the vehicle the greater the savings over the life of the vehicle. I have only converted one brand new vehicle, and took the owners Trojans as part of the deal (10 cycles of charge). These are now powering the power supply on a large bus based camper van conversion. In this case as the vehicle was part of his new business, he will be able to capitalise on the investment, rather than being a repair cost.
Each use / decision to convert to Lithium is different and has different drivers for the change.
Here in the UK, most of my customers had previously discounted the cost of importing a conversion from the US, partly on cost (Shipping and import costs add a lot) but also on the support issue. Even Lithium cells go wrong.
 

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Allied Cost

Well I have another 2015 Ranger in my shop in need of batteries. The customer owns 5. One w the early voltronixs kit and 4 w LA. I’ve changed out one of the LA last week. He wants to try the Allied lithium 60AH. We will install 8 12.8V 60AH batteries. They also come in 50, 80, and 100AH. The requested algorithm is 42.

Have you calculated the cost of these batteries? what did you find?
 

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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?
Seems you are a bit side-tracked. I'm curious what you got the LG packs from? I have seen some LG packs from large UPS systems that are 16S, but I didn't guess they had controllers within them. I'm guessing you hacked the canbus protocol and figured out the hardware addressing scheme? sounds like massive work, but amazing if it does work.
 

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So today's update: Finally got a chance to do a capacity test on these cells. See the image. Odd that it has those knee points in there?? I can confirm the load never changed except for near the end I reduced it a tad. But 104AH per cell is fine by me! I'm leaning toward an aluminum enclosure with 1" of PU foam around the battery. Built tight I'll need 21" X 11" X 14.5". Inside the enclosure will also be the BMS, contactor, and current shunt for external monitor.

On BMS, any thoughts? Iv'e looked at TinyBMS (low balance current and no display for SOC), Batrium (very nice but expensive and no dedicated display) and chargery (good features but probably cheap chinese junk)

Any others I'm missing?
 

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Seems you are a bit side-tracked. I'm curious what you got the LG packs from? I have seen some LG packs from large UPS systems that are 16S, but I didn't guess they had controllers within them. I'm guessing you hacked the canbus protocol and figured out the hardware addressing scheme? sounds like massive work, but amazing if it does work.

This was merely a comment to follow on from one before that was disparaging.


These LG blocks are from a UK OEM, the vehicles they are from are a Specialised but production vehicle, and these are from test vehicles (not crash tests). I recently disposed of one vehicle that had only completed 2000km, its job was done , and other tests couldnt be done as the original test might influence the outcomes. The vehicle that did the water soak test did less than 100miles

No they dont use Can bus, and yes its been a lot of work and investment. But we end up with a very cost effective and flexible system.
These cell blocks are related to the slightly larger non liquid cooled LG blocks from The Chrysler Pacifica, but those dont have the built in cell monitoring, so still need a BMS.
The great thing is that there are no cell level voltage cables outside the block, and there are no wires to the cells in the block, all tiny copper busbars.
 

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Discussion Starter #110 (Edited)
On BMS, any thoughts? Iv'e looked at TinyBMS (low balance current and no display for SOC), Batrium (very nice but expensive and no dedicated display) and chargery (good features but probably cheap chinese junk)

Any others I'm missing?
Zeva is decent and has great support.

I'm using TinyBMS in multiple projects - you can get SOC either by using their display module, or by enabling communication to an Android device and using CA-compatible application such as E-Bike Analyzer. It also supports MODBUS and CANBUS, so lots of options to figure out SOC, especially if you're engineering inclined. Customer service is virtually non-existent.

Batrium is primarily intended for stationary storage, but given its master-slave architecture offers great flexibility in pack configuration - basically it supports unlimited number of cells organized in any topology. So like 14 series, then two or three in parallel is very easy to setup with Batrium, but not with the other options (Zeva also has one master-slave offering).

Chargery is controversial. There were people on endless-sphere ranting over their bad experience with their products. Jason Wang is the main contact for them, and seems to be helpful. I had their charger that got fried, Jason repaired it for me free of charge, I had to pay $80 to ship it to China though. I have BMS16T incoming too, that I bought to try in an electric ATV conversion. Will see.

Obviously you can consider Orion as well, which is what Voltronix is using. It is a high grade, but expensive option. In the end I guess all depends on how much you like to monkey around with this stuff :)

Regarding balancing... You're pulling modules from the same vehicle pack, so cells were matched up by the manufacturer and should stay closely matched up. So balancing current isn't super critical in your case.
 

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Zeva is decent and has great support.

I'm using TinyBMS in multiple projects - you can get SOC either by using their display module, or by enabling communication to an Android device and using CA-compatible application such as E-Bike Analyzer. It also supports MODBUS and CANBUS, so lots of options to figure out SOC, especially if you're engineering inclined. Customer service is virtually non-existent.

Batrium is primarily intended for stationary storage, but given its master-slave architecture offers great flexibility in pack configuration - basically it supports unlimited number of cells organized in any topology. So like 14 series, then two or three in parallel is very easy to setup with Batrium, but not with the other options (Zeva also has one master-slave offering).

Chargery is controversial. There were people on endless-sphere ranting over their bad experience with their products. Jason Wang is the main contact for them, and seems to be helpful. I had their charger that got fried, Jason repaired it for me free of charge, I had to pay $80 to ship it to China though. I have BMS16T incoming too, that I bought to try in an electric ATV conversion. Will see.

Obviously you can consider Orion as well, which is what Voltronix is using. It is a high grade, but expensive option. In the end I guess all depends on how much you like to monkey around with this stuff :)

Regarding balancing... You're pulling modules from the same vehicle pack, so cells were matched up by the manufacturer and should stay closely matched up. So balancing current isn't super critical in your case.
Yes they are closely matched. Initial reads show +/- 1mv differential over the whole pack, which amazes me.

I dooooo like to monkey with the settings and see data in real time. I'm not comfortable with set and forget BMS, not at the price I paid for cells. That being said I have a 4S pack made from leaf cells back in 2016 and even with daily cycling it has stayed within 8mv with no BMS!

Please give me thoughts on Chargery once you see it. I need to buy one in the next two weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
Please give me thoughts on Chargery once you see it. I need to buy one in the next two weeks.
Will do assuming I will get it before your deadline :) Shipping from China is super slow sometimes. I still think you should go with Zeva though, this is the suitable model:
https://www.zeva.com.au/index.php?product=135

Note the prices are in Australian dollars, much less after conversion to USD.
 

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So did the Voltronixs not do well?


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Just to be clear these Allied batteries were installed in a customers Ranger, not mine. He wanted to try them. We went with the 60AH because the GM I talked to at Allied said these would be equivalent to the set up of the Ranger batteries but i still don't think he understands that even tho its 8 batteries its still 48v he calls them 96V. I drove the cart around in my neighborhood for 25 miles checking the SOC at 5 miles,15 miles, and stopped at 25. which is not accurate until it sits still for at least 5 minutes, really takes longer. That's a pain to not know the remaining charge while moving. The SOC settled on 25%. Maybe another 5 miles left. Recharged in 4.5 hours. The first drive on the Voltronixs Kit I drove 21 miles on a dirt road at camp continuous and got tired of riding at 21 miles and had 70% left. Granted big difference in size of packs, but I know how safe proofed the Voltronixs kit is and if there is a problem they have always been great.
 

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Thanks Boiler, I may suck it up and go Voltronixs just struggling with the price which is really going to set me back. Your feedback is great for all of us.


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You would have no worries if you went w voltronixs kit
 

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By the way your inbox is full. I tried to send you a message but it got kicked back to me.


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Lithium conversion is a viable option and very cost effective/ affordable over the long term.

It is not a comparable cost to Lead replacement, but then its likely to last over 2000+ charge cycles, v Lead around 300 full cycles. 4 to 5 times the working life with better performance, and reduced ground pressure.

Most of my customers are looking at the longer term ownership for their conversions, but above all the delight at not having to water the batteries, and deal with the acid fall out .

Conversion really pays off in the long term and more so if you constantly use the vehicle. So far I have only done one conversion to a new vehicle, but we know that Polaris will sell them in the UK without Lead batteries. A few of the dealers have been looking at the conversion route of new vehicles.

The vehicles come into the UK with out Trojans, and they are sourced separately and added when the are assembled here in the UK. Cost saving is about £1500, a new set will cost about £2k from Polaris dealers.
A few of my customers were getting through a set of Trojans every 18months (1 to 3 hrs almost daily usage), the finances work well for them, Li Ion just over the cost of two Polaris supplied sets of Trojans, and they are in a good financial position. Savings from about the 4th year of ownership. So over 8 years of ownership the cost will be about half that of lead acid.

But this really only works if you constantly use the vehicle. Therefore its not for everybody, unless you want the simplicity as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
It is not a comparable cost to Lead replacement
Perhaps you left out the "here in the UK" part. In the US Lithium cells reclaimed from BEVs sell for "dirt cheap" and conversion (with BMS included) turns out to be less than cost of new Lead-Acid batteries of equivalent capacity.
 

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Perhaps you left out the "here in the UK" part. In the US Lithium cells reclaimed from BEVs sell for "dirt cheap" and conversion (with BMS included) turns out to be less than cost of new Lead-Acid batteries of equivalent capacity.


I think the only issue here on the East coast is its near impossible to find anyone that wants to do a custom setup like what your doing. From what I can tell battery technology is exploding in California and other areas in extreme western USA probably due to environmental reasons etc. But here in the southeast that’s not the case. Battery powered cars and UTV’s etc don’t seem to have near the interest or units sold therefore there are not many that want to experiment with conversion’s for improved technologies etc. The funny part is they will do what ever with wet cell / Agm batteries but as soon as you mention lithium they go quiet. I have several golf cart aftermarket guys around that deal with wet cell carts but none want to touch lithium. So I think you have a great idea going but for those of us that need local support it’s extremely hard to find. I think you should come to the Carolinas or Virginia and open shop.


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