What kind of charger?

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
David LaFerney   10 mW

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What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 27 2017 10:19am

I'm having to replace my charger - what do you recommend? I need to be able to set to a specific custom voltage for my home built 18650 pack. Links or specific model numbers to search for would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by Jon NCal » Jun 27 2017 10:29am


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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by cal3thousand » Jun 27 2017 10:54am

David LaFerney wrote:I'm having to replace my charger - what do you recommend? I need to be able to set to a specific custom voltage for my home built 18650 pack. Links or specific model numbers to search for would be greatly appreciated.

What's the specific voltage?
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

Planning on posting questions or buying anything on this site? Put up your country (at minimum) on your profile. This is a worldwide forum and we haven't reached clairvoyance.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 27 2017 1:41pm

cal3thousand wrote:
David LaFerney wrote:I'm having to replace my charger - what do you recommend? I need to be able to set to a specific custom voltage for my home built 18650 pack. Links or specific model numbers to search for would be greatly appreciated.

What's the specific voltage?
25.2 maximum but I usually charge to 24.6 - I have 4 6s4p packs that I parallel charge and then connect 2 in series to use - 2 bikes.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by amberwolf » Jun 27 2017 2:32pm

David LaFerney wrote:I'm having to replace my charger - what do you recommend? I need to be able to set to a specific custom voltage for my home built 18650 pack. Links or specific model numbers to search for would be greatly appreciated.
http://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/cycle-satiator.html
http://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bicy ... iator.html

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 27 2017 3:12pm

I actually tried to buy a Satiator to begin with, but the appropriate model was out of stock. That might be what I end up getting, but they sure are expensive. I'd like to consider other options before I jump. I actually have a cheesy imax charger that I can use for a little while. As long as I start charging long enough in advance.

It looks like the Icharger only has presets for the type and number of cells in series. Can you use it to charge to less than maximum?

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by hemo » Jun 27 2017 4:06pm

Meanwell HLG60/80/1OOH A series. 24V adjustable 22 - 27v and adj amps 2.5 -4.0. A bulk charger not a balance charger unless you run a BMS.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by Jon NCal » Jun 27 2017 4:20pm

David LaFerney wrote:I actually tried to buy a Satiator to begin with, but the appropriate model was out of stock. That might be what I end up getting, but they sure are expensive. I'd like to consider other options before I jump. I actually have a cheesy imax charger that I can use for a little while. As long as I start charging long enough in advance.

It looks like the Icharger only has presets for the type and number of cells in series. Can you use it to charge to less than maximum?
You can set the termination voltage to what you want. And it will balance charge continously, without cutting out the charging.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 27 2017 4:41pm

hemo wrote:Meanwell HLG60/80/1OOH A series. 24V adjustable 22 - 27v and adj amps 2.5 -4.0. A bulk charger not a balance charger unless you run a BMS.
So these LED drivers Are safe and reliable? The price is certainly right. The charge starts out CC then transitions to CV as the current tapers down to almost nothing? I didn't know that LEDs had such complicated needs. I guess these are made for grow lights or something like that?

I've been using a bulk charger while simultaneously using a battery medic to balance - no BMS. Works great - batteries end up perfectly balanced, within the limitations of the battery medic +-.015v or so.
Last edited by David LaFerney on Jun 27 2017 4:45pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 27 2017 4:42pm

Jon NCal wrote:
David LaFerney wrote:I actually tried to buy a Satiator to begin with, but the appropriate model was out of stock. That might be what I end up getting, but they sure are expensive. I'd like to consider other options before I jump. I actually have a cheesy imax charger that I can use for a little while. As long as I start charging long enough in advance.

It looks like the Icharger only has presets for the type and number of cells in series. Can you use it to charge to less than maximum?
You can set the termination voltage to what you want. And it will balance charge continously, without cutting out the charging.
Yeah, that sounds like a good contender.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by cal3thousand » Jun 27 2017 5:05pm

David LaFerney wrote:
hemo wrote:Meanwell HLG60/80/1OOH A series. 24V adjustable 22 - 27v and adj amps 2.5 -4.0. A bulk charger not a balance charger unless you run a BMS.
So these LED drivers Are safe and reliable? The price is certainly right. The charge starts out CC then transitions to CV as the current tapers down to almost nothing? I didn't know that LEDs had such complicated needs. I guess these are made for grow lights or something like that?

I've been using a bulk charger while simultaneously using a battery medic to balance - no BMS. Works great - batteries end up perfectly balanced, within the limitations of the battery medic +-.015v or so.

Very safe. I just rigged up some for 'redistribution' and I'll put them up in the FS sale soon. (Mod, feel free to delete/edit if you think I'm selling here)

They are UL rated, potted, isolated and IP65. I like the CLGs a little better than the HLGs (I use both) since they generally have a wider voltage adjustment window.

If you are running the bike at 12S, get a CLG unit that ends in 48A. Those will adjust from around 38 V up to around 52V, with variation from unit to unit. Then, you won't have to bother with pulling your packs apart down to 6S blocks to charge. If you had 2 chargers you could easily stick one on each 12S2P section. I would expect output of around 175W from a CLG-150-48A

Lastly, if you do not want to charge at the 12S pack level, you can get a unit ending in 24A and that will work at 6S very well.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by Jon NCal » Jun 27 2017 5:07pm

I most of the time bulk charge with a Meanwell, set to the equivalent of 4.15v per cell.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 27 2017 6:50pm

cal3thousand wrote:[ you won't have to bother with pulling your packs apart down to 6S blocks to charge. If you had 2 chargers you could easily stick one on each 12S2P section. I would expect output of around 175W from a CLG-150-48A
I don't have to tear them down at all. It's one battery pack but it has a power and balance lead for each internal 6S block. When I charge I use a parallel harness, and then a series harness for use on the bike. So far it's actually a pretty good alternative to a BMS, because I can use a 6s hobby charger, or (normally) a battery medic when I charge to keep it all balanced.

How do you know if a BMS is even working? This way you can use a voltmeter after you balance to see what is really going on. Anyway, I never could get the BMS I ordered to work.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by amberwolf » Jun 28 2017 1:14am

David LaFerney wrote:So these LED drivers Are safe and reliable?
I use a pair of HLG-600-54As in parallel to charge a 14s 40Ah pack at 24A directly thru the SB50 Andersons when I need a fast charge. They came from someone who used them plus another pair in series to fast charge a motorcycle's pack.

I use the Satiator at it's max (8A?) thru the XLR for normal charging of that pack, and also for charging a 4s 20Ah lighting pack.

The charge starts out CC then transitions to CV as the current tapers down to almost nothing? I didn't know that LEDs had such complicated needs. I guess these are made for grow lights or something like that?
Actually they're for things like those big LED billboards, overhead lights, etc. That's why they're weatherproof. ;)

They're also not lightweight or small, since they're sealed, potted, and fanless.

LEDs are constant-current devices, so PSUs meant to power htem are current sources.

I've been using a bulk charger while simultaneously using a battery medic to balance - no BMS. Works great - batteries end up perfectly balanced, within the limitations of the battery medic +-.015v or so.
As long as you note that Battery Medics are not known for their accuracy, and verify balancing is really happening via multimeter, before you trust the BM's readings. ;)
Last edited by amberwolf on Jun 29 2017 1:45pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 28 2017 9:10am

cal3thousand wrote: like the CLGs a little better than the HLGs (I use both) since they generally have a wider voltage adjustment window.

If you are running the bike at 12S, get a CLG unit that ends in 48A. Those will adjust from around 38 V up to around 52V, with variation from unit to unit. Then, you won't have to bother with pulling your packs apart down to 6S blocks to charge. If you had 2 chargers you could easily stick one on each 12S2P section. I would expect output of around 175W from a CLG-150-48A

Lastly, if you do not want to charge at the 12S pack level, you can get a unit ending in 24A and that will work at 6S very well.
So just to be sure - you are saying that despite the CC voltage max rating being 24 volts a CLG-100-24 http://www.trcelectronics.com/View/Mean ... 0-24.shtml will actually charge to at least 25.2v - and would be a good choice for me to charge 6S at 4 amps?

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 28 2017 9:26am

amberwolf wrote: As long as you note that Battery Medics are not known for their accuracy, and verify balancing is really happening via multimeter, before you trust the BM's readings. ;)
Absolutely agree - Battery medics are cheap and kind of cheesy - I keep at least one spare on hand because they do fail. I wish there was a high quality, adjustable (but reasonably affordable) equivalent. Especially one that could handle more discharge current / dissapate heat better. Anybody know of one?

Not to be argumentative at all - a GOOD BMS should clearly be the way to go for all kinds of reasons - but how do you know if they are working accurately? As far as I know, you don't. Am I wrong - is there some way to measure BMS performance once a battery pack is in use that I just don't know about?

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by cal3thousand » Jun 28 2017 12:53pm

David LaFerney wrote:
cal3thousand wrote: like the CLGs a little better than the HLGs (I use both) since they generally have a wider voltage adjustment window.

If you are running the bike at 12S, get a CLG unit that ends in 48A. Those will adjust from around 38 V up to around 52V, with variation from unit to unit. Then, you won't have to bother with pulling your packs apart down to 6S blocks to charge. If you had 2 chargers you could easily stick one on each 12S2P section. I would expect output of around 175W from a CLG-150-48A

Lastly, if you do not want to charge at the 12S pack level, you can get a unit ending in 24A and that will work at 6S very well.
So just to be sure - you are saying that despite the CC voltage max rating being 24 volts a CLG-100-24 http://www.trcelectronics.com/View/Mean ... 0-24.shtml will actually charge to at least 25.2v - and would be a good choice for me to charge 6S at 4 amps?
Not 100% sure on the CLG-100-24 , but the for the CLG-150-24, yes. 24 V is the rated voltage for the top of the CC area with actual voltage up to 27 V.

100 series datasheet: http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/260/CLG-100-spec-1109506.pdf

150 series datasheet: http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/260/Mean%20w ... 109585.pdf
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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by amberwolf » Jun 29 2017 2:36am

David LaFerney wrote:Not to be argumentative at all - a GOOD BMS should clearly be the way to go for all kinds of reasons
That kinda also depends on the cells you use, and how close to their specs you use them.


For instance, my main packs don't use a BMS; they're made from EIG NMC 20Ah cells, and I'm generally not using them at even 1/10 of their capability for more than a few seconds at a time; even at max I'm not pushing them near their limits. I also rarely use their capacity up, mostly using a bit more than a tenth to a fifth of it before recharging.

I was harder on the smaller pack of them on the bike than I am on the bigger one on the trike, but even so it's still performing well after a few years of that (and the Phoenix heat).

Between the consistent high quality of the cells and me not using them near their limits, they stay balanced without outside interference.

I have had cells age enough to begin being out of balance, but the one that became a problem was obviously causing one; easy to find with a voltage check on the balance taps, on the smaller pack being pushed harder.


But I've also had packs where the pack's rated abilities were at or even above the cell's actual abilities...and the only way to know that was by how the cells reacted to being used that way; the BMS cutting off discharge, or having to balance them every usage (no matter how shallow). Without a BMS to monitor them in use and durign charging, they would be a nightmare to do manually, or asking for an eventual disaster. :/


So...it depends on how much you trust the cells in a pack, and how hard you use them relative to their abilities, as to whether a BMS is required.

Age of a pack also makes a difference--as it gets older the cells will diverge differently from their as-manufactured abilities, and it might become necessary to use a BMS on them or manually monitor them more closely.



- but how do you know if they are working accurately? As far as I know, you don't. Am I wrong - is there some way to measure BMS performance once a battery pack is in use that I just don't know about?
If you have (or add) taps, like for the Battery medics, you can use a voltmeter (or any other tested-good multicell volt-measuring device) and check the cells just as if there weren't a BMS, at various levels of discharge, and various stages of recharging, to be sure LVC and HVC and balancing are working as they should.

Once you know it's working, then you can always test it now and then just to see if it's still doing what it's supposed to.

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by TheBeastie » Jun 29 2017 2:59am

If you don't like BMS's because your afraid they could fail in some way you can do what I do and
charge your battery pack directly via balance taps with a pure parallel balance charger like the UNA9 balance charger.
I charge my 18650 ebike pack up only via pure parallel balance charger
Just putting that out there as an option..
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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by David LaFerney » Jun 29 2017 1:36pm

cal3thousand wrote:150 series datasheet: http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/260/Mean%20w ... 109585.pdf
Alright then - I'm sold. I ordered one of these this morning. I'm going to pair it with one of these - xh-m602 http://www.ebay.com/itm/XH-M602-Lithium ... Sw4A5Y2Sr6 - as a failsafe in case the voltage goes too high.

Any tips?

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by cal3thousand » Jun 29 2017 3:36pm

I don't like BMS' either, so I act as my own. But I don't trust Battery Medics (they are usually off between their cells).

Again, take a look at the Cell Log. They are WELL trusted on this site and have been used as a basis for homemade cell monitoring systems. This is a GREAT topic on using them and even hacking them: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 14&t=12815
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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by fourbanger » Jul 17 2017 9:35am

It would be nice if there were a simple BMS out there that would allow for cell balancing at say 4.1 or 4.15 to extend battery life.

@Cal the CLG series do indeed seem to allow for more leeway in adjusting voltage output. Still, it'd be really spiffy to have a charger that would allow for a +/- 1S pack range, ie. 12s/13s/14s.

I'm eyeing up the HEP-600 right now, but to be honest I don't actually have any experience with the meanwell solution as of yet.

Not to get you in any hot water, but just out of curiosity when do you think your modded CLGs will be ready to go?

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by skeetab5780 » Jul 17 2017 9:52am

Amberwolf do you actually use a satiator?

Does it get hot enough to fry eggs like mine? It is a very nice charger you can tell because its so heavy(all potting and heat sink)

I bought mine off Amazon instead of the ebike.ca website to save money on shipping. Even though I had to make a stupid Amazon account to buy it (first order)

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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by cal3thousand » Jul 17 2017 1:22pm

fourbanger wrote:It would be nice if there were a simple BMS out there that would allow for cell balancing at say 4.1 or 4.15 to extend battery life.

@Cal the CLG series do indeed seem to allow for more leeway in adjusting voltage output. Still, it'd be really spiffy to have a charger that would allow for a +/- 1S pack range, ie. 12s/13s/14s.

I'm eyeing up the HEP-600 right now, but to be honest I don't actually have any experience with the meanwell solution as of yet.

Not to get you in any hot water, but just out of curiosity when do you think your modded CLGs will be ready to go?
I have a couple ready. Will post today. PM me if you like.
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Re: What kind of charger?

Post by amberwolf » Jul 17 2017 4:25pm

skeetab5780 wrote:Amberwolf do you actually use a satiator?

Does it get hot enough to fry eggs like mine? It is a very nice charger you can tell because its so heavy(all potting and heat sink)
Well, weight doesn't necessarily indicate quality (I have transformer-based supplies that are VERY heavy, used to have one that took two people to lift), but yes, it is a nice one. :)

What temperatures does yours read out on the display when it's that hot?


Mine can get pretty hot when charging the trike's lighting pack at it's max power output, outside in 100F-110F+ heat, but it auto-dials-back it's power output as it heats up, to prevent meltdown, so it doesn't get too hot to hold in my hands. (uncomfortable, to be sure).

I don't recall the internal temperatures I've seen on it's display, but you can look thru my posts with the word "satiator" if you're interested. https://endless-sphere.com/forums/searc ... mit=Search

Note that for a while (few months?) I've been using the HLGs to charge the traction pack, so that I can just plug in the chargers and go do stuff, and not have to remember to go and switch the charger from one pack to the other in the middle of the night.

But before that I'd been charging the lighting pack first (shortest time) via the andersons on the adapter cable, and then the traction pack via the XLR on the main cable.

EDIT: I found one post
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... r#p1054296
that does actually say it got hot enough I couldn't hold it in my hand...but I don't remember that. :/ Guess I'm getting old. :( But I don't know the actual temperature it was at, until it cooled off some and began to read out at 114F. I vaguely recall a firmware update after that sometime, that may have changed things? Havent' read thru the rest of the posts to check.

I'll have to do an experiment and charge with the Satiator for the traction pack and see how what temperature it actually reads nowadays.

The HLG's get hotter than the Satiator does (since they're twice the wattage output, that's not surprising, especially since I have two stacked together and paralleled), but even those I can pickup, and though it's too uncomfortable to hold for very long I don't think I could cook things on them (well, maybe I could slow-cook some chili or stew ;) if I had a load big enough to run them at max power for a few hours).

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