One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by cwah » Aug 22 2012 4:15am

oh.. ok, sorry misunderstanding now. I'm putting resistor on the wire in order to limit current.

But on the description it seems that the current range is adjustable: from "0-8.3A" and it has over current limitation:
"3.PROTECTION
Over Load 105%~135%
Protection type: Fold back current limiting, recovers automatically after fault condition is removed.
Over Voltage 115%~135%
Protection type: hiccup mode, recovers automatically after fault condition is removed.
Over Temp. RT3≥55°C FAN ON,≤45°C FAN OFF,≥80°C output shutdown (5~7.5V)
RT3≥65°C FAN ON,≤55°C FAN OFF,≥80°C output shutdown (12~15V)
RT3≥70°C FAN ON,≤60°C FAN OFF,≥85°C output shutdown (24~48V)"
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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by Alan B » Aug 22 2012 8:47am

Foldback current limiting means the current drops to a lower value, which is undesirable for battery charging since it slows the charging way down.

Hiccup mode current limiting means the current pulses on for a moment and then is off for awhile which won't charge the battery in a reasonable time.

What battery chargers need is constant current limiting which continues to put out the set (safe) value when the load is heavy. This is the same thing some LED lights need.

Battery charging power supplies need to be designed to run at full power constantly which is not normal for most electronic loads. Power supplies designed for occasional peak loads and lower average loads may not have the thermal capacity to handle battery charging without stress.

LED lighting power supplies need to be designed for continuous loads since light fixtures may be used for extended periods. So thermal management at full load is a design requirement.

It is interesting that the requirements for LED lighting and battery charging turn out to be very similar.

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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by cwah » Aug 22 2012 9:55am

yes but for 2-3 times cheaper, I would just get a chinese power supply and run it at 80% of its maximum rating.

This one for example has 600W output max with adjustable current, is lighter at 1.3kg and is 2 times cheaper:
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/61 ... alers.html

I would run it at 80% rating and it should be quite reliable.
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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by Alan B » Aug 22 2012 11:26am

cwah wrote:yes but for 2-3 times cheaper, I would just get a chinese power supply and run it at 80% of its maximum rating.

This one for example has 600W output max with adjustable current, is lighter at 1.3kg and is 2 times cheaper:
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/61 ... alers.html

I would run it at 80% rating and it should be quite reliable.
Go for it! I don't see adjustable current limiting (current range is not a limit), looks like hiccup mode self protection (like the similar Meanwells). You'll probably have to add a separate control system for current limiting like the Fetchter board and hack the power supply to make it suitable for battery charging.

That's a reasonable approach, though reliability is dependent on many factors only some of which are improved by derating. Lots of folks at ES do precisely what you are proposing. Or just buy a pile of cheap alloy chargers and when one blows up, change to the next. It pays to have spares either way as the quality of many of them is quite low and failures in heavy battery charging use are common. Hopefully a failure doesn't cause battery destruction or a damaging fire.

Potted supplies are not lightweight. The potting compound is heavy and to operate without fans it needs to be a bit larger with more surface area. They are moisture and vibration resistant. The potting compound keeps the components at the same temperature.

I'm sitting here listening to the noisy fan on my alloy charger wondering if or when it might blow up as so many have. I would like something quiet, and totally trustworthy. Something that our workplace Electrical Safety Committee would approve. Hacking a commercial supply is not acceptable. So that's my goal in this thread. I'm exploring the slightly more expensive region to see what that buys me. Each of these LED supplies costs less than a tankful of fuel in my truck (which I don't drive often, it is reserved primarily for towing the trailer). Eventually I'd like to be using chargers that were able to be used by my wife and kids without pushing buttons or understanding what's going on. Plug and play. With several independent layers of protection. There are lots of threads about Meanwell and clone supplies on this forum already, but not many about using these supplies. Perhaps none. What would be nice is if better pricing on these supplies was found, which might happen as LED lighting becomes more mainstream.

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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by spinningmagnets » Aug 22 2012 3:16pm

I am weak on electronics, so I apologize if my question is newbish. Since these power supplies are fully potted, would that mean that they can be carried on the bike on occasion? I prefer to have a balance-capable charger at home, and a bulk charger at work, but there have been several posts where someone wanted to carry a charger on the bike with them. The response has usually been that when its been tried, the charger usually dies an early death due to vibrations and bumps.

I suppose that even with the potting, there may be bits inside of parts that may be cracked by a hard bump in spite of the potting, so...I was just curious. Thanks in advance.

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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by Alan B » Aug 22 2012 3:32pm

I would expect these supplies would be excellent onboard from the standpoint of being vibration resistant. Their size and weight would make it difficult to fit three of them on my bicycles, but if one had a 48V system it would only require one supply (which would be 300 watts) and that would be about like a controller in size, though the weight is greater.

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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by cwah » Aug 22 2012 6:31pm

spinningmagnets wrote:I am weak on electronics, so I apologize if my question is newbish. Since these power supplies are fully potted, would that mean that they can be carried on the bike on occasion? I prefer to have a balance-capable charger at home, and a bulk charger at work, but there have been several posts where someone wanted to carry a charger on the bike with them. The response has usually been that when its been tried, the charger usually dies an early death due to vibrations and bumps.

I suppose that even with the potting, there may be bits inside of parts that may be cracked by a hard bump in spite of the potting, so...I was just curious. Thanks in advance.

I'm not expert at all, but vibrations issue happen for any electronic component. Power supply are most likely to fail because they are heavier so vibrations and shock are harder on components.

I've seen here that you can use neutral cure silicone rubber as the long term anti-vibration and sealing agent (http://electronics.stackexchange.com/qu ... vibrations).
Then you can complete the power supply protection with shock absorption and vibration isolation material (http://www.sorbothane.com/custom-parts3.php).

And potentially you can keep using your actual power supply on your bike when you added these layer of protections :)

ps: Just seen alan post on the potting compound. Is it the neutral cure silicone rubber?
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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by cwah » Aug 22 2012 6:39pm

Alan B wrote:Go for it! I don't see adjustable current limiting (current range is not a limit), looks like hiccup mode self protection (like the similar Meanwells). You'll probably have to add a separate control system for current limiting like the Fetchter board and hack the power supply to make it suitable for battery charging.

That's a reasonable approach, though reliability is dependent on many factors only some of which are improved by derating. Lots of folks at ES do precisely what you are proposing. Or just buy a pile of cheap alloy chargers and when one blows up, change to the next. It pays to have spares either way as the quality of many of them is quite low and failures in heavy battery charging use are common. Hopefully a failure doesn't cause battery destruction or a damaging fire.

Potted supplies are not lightweight. The potting compound is heavy and to operate without fans it needs to be a bit larger with more surface area. They are moisture and vibration resistant. The potting compound keeps the components at the same temperature.

I'm sitting here listening to the noisy fan on my alloy charger wondering if or when it might blow up as so many have. I would like something quiet, and totally trustworthy. Something that our workplace Electrical Safety Committee would approve. Hacking a commercial supply is not acceptable. So that's my goal in this thread. I'm exploring the slightly more expensive region to see what that buys me. Each of these LED supplies costs less than a tankful of fuel in my truck (which I don't drive often, it is reserved primarily for towing the trailer). Eventually I'd like to be using chargers that were able to be used by my wife and kids without pushing buttons or understanding what's going on. Plug and play. With several independent layers of protection. There are lots of threads about Meanwell and clone supplies on this forum already, but not many about using these supplies. Perhaps none. What would be nice is if better pricing on these supplies was found, which might happen as LED lighting becomes more mainstream.
Yes, what you say makes completely sense. I'm thinking about getting a cheap power supply and protect it somehow with potting compound or neutral cure silicone rubber (not sure if it's the same thing). I'd like to have a small and lightweight power supply I can carry with me sometime when required. And a bigger one at home. And a silent and safe one at work :lol:
Help me find my stolen electric brompton: http://bit.ly/1a0vbBC and Bosch Sinus B3 http://bit.ly/1eV0WQz

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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by Alan B » Aug 22 2012 7:33pm

There are many potting compounds, I am not familiar with them in detail. From epoxy to silicone rubber, they differ in many ways. Adding a potting compound to an existing design may not work, the thermal and dielectric properties change the circuit. For example a fan cooled supply may not cool adequately when potted as some components are depending on the airflow and would overheat when surrounded by silicone rubber. Designing for potting changes the rules.

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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by cwah » Aug 22 2012 8:09pm

Thanks Alan. Adding a compounds isn't as easy as it seems. I have to check the different existing compound to see which one I could use for my DC-DC converter and power supply.
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Re: 1,000 Watt 18S Bulk Charger (650W 12S)

Post by Alan B » Aug 22 2012 9:46pm

We have Boards

The PC boards showed up a day early.

Image

I wish these were the boards for this Charge Controller, but in any case I am learning the new toolset and the new manufacturer. These boards are for another project. It should help pay for something though, which is always nice.

The boards look good but only testing will reveal the whole story, and I'm short a few parts yet. I put the silkscreen on the bottom of this board which makes it more visible, on top the components will cover most of the board.

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Kin » Sep 04 2012 12:57pm

I thought you might find these two pages interesting. It's off topic from your meanwell LED drivers project, but it goes back to the earlier ideas of the ESP120 HP server supply.

http://www.lifepohandel.de/epages/63129 ... %20V2.2%22
and
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... md%3Dimvns

I'm still trying to mine some info from them, but it's grating to try the google translate and then the regular german and realizing I don't understand either quite well enough.
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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Doctorbass » Sep 04 2012 1:39pm

Allan,

Did you considered using one of these great cheap meter that do the same as cycle analyst but just for the electrical parameters.. ( btw they are programmable with a triger output that ca be activated depending on alot of programmable factors!

I talked with teh guy frmo ebay and he said they can calibrate or modify them to allow the voltage and current max we want for free. it's just a matter of replacinga resistor and recalibrating them.. but we already know how to recalibrate them :wink:

http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... 14&t=40434

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Alan B » Sep 04 2012 5:58pm

Hi Doc.

I think those are a great low cost way to go. They don't do everything I would like, but they are incredibly low cost!

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by deVries » Aug 20 2013 1:19pm

Hi Alan, thought I'd bump this tread to see if you made any further progress or found a different solution??? I think you were planning to dev some add-on for these.

Thanks.

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Alan B » Aug 20 2013 3:11pm

I'm using this charger almost daily, it is stationed at work. Using three each 24V 320W Meanwell LED supplies has worked out nicely for 18S. I stopped work on the fancy display that I was doing and just hooked up one of those cheap voltage/current/integrated current and use that too see when the charge is done. I check balance periodically with a battery medic type unit, 6S at a time.

It is working really well, putting 13 amp hours back, most in the first hour, then tapering off for another hour until I turn it off. The current drops down to around 60 mA on this 20 amp hour pack.

I do notice that the barrel crimped connections are getting hot at this current level, so I'm going to have to upgrade them. The wiring is also getting warm but this may be mostly from the barrel connector heat propagating.

Edit - upgraded the connections and wires to 12 gauge and heating issues are solved, runs cool now.

I'm considering going to 24S on my CroBorg in which case I'll probably put two of the 48V 320 Watt Meanwell LED supplies onboard and have built in charging. That would be nice, just have a 120VAC connector on the bike.
Last edited by Alan B on Apr 08 2015 11:29am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Alan B » Sep 24 2013 11:55am

deVries wrote:Hi Alan, thought I'd bump this tread to see if you made any further progress or found a different solution??? I think you were planning to dev some add-on for these.

Thanks.
I'm headed a slightly different direction now, rather than put this all in the charger. Progress now is here:

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 14&t=25706

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by madin88 » Mar 07 2014 2:01pm

i have a question:

can i simple connect two or more meanwell chargers in series, or do i need some kind of circuit for this?

cheers
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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Hillhater » Mar 08 2014 8:16pm

madin88 wrote:i have a question:

can i simple connect two or more meanwell chargers in series, or do i need some kind of circuit for this?
The answer you seek is all in the threads !
The issue to beware is "isolation" !
So read and take care !
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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by madin88 » Mar 09 2014 12:40pm

Hillhater wrote: The answer you seek is all in the threads !
The issue to beware is "isolation" !
So read and take care !
THX for your answer. I know the GND outputs have to be isolated due to series connection. Otherwise there will be a short circuit on one supply if i join them.. Its like battery series connection.
On the case there will be earth lug on both - right? so no problem if they touch..

here a copy from the meanwell FAQ board regarding series connection:
question:
If we need a 24V output power supply, but MEANWELL does not have this model, can we use two 12V power supplies connecting in series instead of one 24V power supply?
answer:
YES, basically you can do this to get the right output voltage, but be careful that the rated output current of the series system should be the rating of the minimum one in these series connected power supplies. Furthermore, we like you to parallel a diode at the output of power supply to prevent possible damage of internal capacitors.
- can someone explain how the diode(s) have to be hooked up?
- what about charge cut off current. will it charge "forever" or is there a way to configure the supply to switch off for example at 0,5A CV charge?
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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Alan B » Jun 30 2014 7:48pm

Just thought I'd add that this charging system is still doing the job every day I ride the ebike to work. Even after nearly 2 years of service. :)

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Haohmaru » Aug 20 2014 3:55pm

Thanks for the update AlanB -

Double checking you are using these in series alone, not using the Fetcher limiting board or anything else to adjust current voltage?

The Meanwell HLG-240H power supplies come adjustable?

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Alan B » Aug 20 2014 6:23pm

There are no external electronics. These supplies have built-in adjustable current limiting as well as adjustable voltage output.

Each supply has a two conductor PowerPole 30 connector on its output.

My 18S4P battery pack has three each of the two PowerPole 30 connectors, one from each of the three 6S sections, the wires from which go right to the high current connections of the four paralleled batteries in that bank.

I plug each supply into one of these three 6S banks.

There is no series connection at the supply. They are effectively in series inside the battery pack of course.

Each supply is set for 25.0V 12A, so not quite full current and a little above nominal voltage. There are trimpots on the supply for this, with covered ports to reach the pots buried deep in the potted supplies.

The supplies run warm to the touch with no fan. Never get "hot", just warm.

One supply has a multifunction voltage/current/integrated current meter that shows the progress of charging.

I use a separate meter for checking cell voltages across the balance taps, a Battery Medic type 6S meter.

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by Alan B » Oct 07 2014 9:32pm

Update 10/2014

This KW 18S charger is still going strong on the at-work end of my commute. However the BMSBattery 400W charger I was using at home failed this week. More on the excitement of getting to work on a not-recharged battery in the Borg thread linked in my signature.

Sidebar - at work they recently became interested in UL listings on employee equipment. Luckily these supplies have such a listing (see documents online linked from PowergateLLC website). Otherwise charging at work might have been cut off. Good thing I worried about that ahead of time.

So what to do now at home for a charger? I'm using a BMSBattery 200W unit that I used early on, but with no backup I don't trust that to be adequate for a daily commuter.

I did some analysis of the various Meanwell LED supplies, from 150W to 600W. :shock:

The power density (watts per cubic inch) is highest with the 240 watt model, and the price is lower per watt and with fewer watts there is quite a cost reduction. It will put out about 10 amps at 25 volts so not that much slower than the 13 amps of the 320 model. These are also a bit smaller and lighter, so there is more of a chance they could be mounted on the bike somewhere. So I'm going to build a charger from three of the HLG-240H-24A models. I've got another of those voltage-current-amphour displays that has proven very useful on this setup. This will make a 3/4 KW Charging system.

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Re: One KiloWatt 18S Bulk Charger

Post by dnmun » Oct 08 2014 12:31am

i have the transistors if you wanna replace them, and the base resistors too usually blow. you have to replace them in matched pairs.

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