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iCharger X8 Died - Took it apart
#1
My iCharger X8 died today - cell 1 voltage sense wires started reading 2v when pack was 4v  AND the sense wires started heating....  as if it was shorting somehow.   Could not recalibrate, fix,  bang it, or get it to work at all - so I took it apart.     Have no idea what caused this unit to fail!   Expensive.  

 

Here's some pics.  The key is that under the top panel there are 4 screws holding the top (screen) panel on that you can't see from outside - but once you know they are there, one could punch thru with a small phillips head and probably remove it nicer than I did.




 



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#2
Ouch, I am always afraid of something like this happening. usually in my case is I didn't read that part of the manual or couldn't comprehend the poorly translated manual.

later floyd
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#3
(05-05-2020, 09:09 PM)floydR Wrote: Ouch, I am always afraid of something like this happening. usually in my case  is I didn't read that part of the manual or couldn't comprehend the poorly translated  manual.

later floyd

I've been using their 4 button chargers for like 10 years... and their manuals are done quite well.  That said there is a ton of information in them regarding operation.

I don't own one of the x6 or x8 models., but I own have like $500 worth of stuff from them, and id be pretty pissed if any of them died on me.

Do you know what the cause might have been?  How have you been using that unit?  Over current for input voltage, pushing it a lot, lots of discharging?

Thanks for opening it up, I haven't seen inside before.
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#4
(05-06-2020, 10:01 PM)Crimp Daddy Wrote:
(05-05-2020, 09:09 PM)floydR Wrote: Ouch, I am always afraid of something like this happening. usually in my case  is I didn't read that part of the manual or couldn't comprehend the poorly translated  manual.

later floyd

I've been using their 4 button chargers for like 10 years... and their manuals are done quite well.  That said there is a ton of information in them regarding operation.

I don't own one of the x6 or x8 models., but I own have like $500 worth of stuff from them, and id be pretty pissed if any of them died on me.

Do you know what the cause might have been?  How have you been using that unit?  Over current for input voltage, pushing it a lot, lots of discharging?

Thanks for opening it up, I haven't seen inside before.
Been using the X8 for about 6 months.  Specifically, discharging new 1s50p packs down to "Storage" at 3.6v with max amps (50w) so they're ready for hookup into the powerwall.   So I've discharged 20 of them so far for a total of 40 * 80ah = 3200ah of discharge. Fan running full bore - hot air coming out Smile

Somehow, I shorted the cell 1 sense leads at some point.   I had a 8 pin connector in with 'dangling wires' but only using 2 wires for each pack/discharge (1 cell)... but crossed wires at some point.  But it seemed to continue to work for another 8 packs.   

I took it apart looking for something 'burnt' on the circuit board etc...  but nothing was visible at all.    And the symptom of cell 1 pins reporting 2v *and getting hot* like a short where as cell 2 pins reported correct 4v.   But of course it won't discharge a 1s pack unless cell 1 sense leads are hooked up.  

I've heard nothing but good things.     So it's probably my fault.   New one arrived today - and I'm taking much better care... so we'll see.
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#5
Thanks for the update.  Sounds like you have been putting it through its' paces haha.

I'll make a video on this in the future, its been on my list of things to do... but I highly recommend you setup the "external discharge" feature.

You can use a resistor bank or some other supported load (RTFM) and do two very useful things.  You can increase the discharge wattage capacity of the unit so what you are doing will go MUCH faster, and you will put less stress on the unit as it wont be having to dissipate all that energy as heat.

While this works a bit better on the larger iChargers like the 4010, the other option that is supported is "regenerative discharge" where you move the power from one battery to another.  So instead of dumping the power out as heat, you can just move it somewhere else.  Its literally the equivalent of pouring water from one cup to another, vs down the drain.

Because you only have one channel, you have to regen back to your source, and your source needs to be a battery.

Manual 
https://www.progressiverc.com/media/iCha...Manual.pdf

1100W (regenerative)
1000W (external / extra)

Since you are doing a 1s pack, you will likely hit your current limit (30A) before getting to that power, but its still more than the 50W internal.  I also set my current limit in software, lower than its max just to be nice to my charger...  I would probably do a 20-25A max on the x8 just to keep the heat down, but that's just me being extra careful.
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#6
(05-07-2020, 05:55 AM)Crimp Daddy Wrote: Thanks for the update.  Sounds like you have been putting it through its' paces haha.

I'll make a video on this in the future, its been on my list of things to do... but I highly recommend you setup the "external discharge" feature.

You can use a resistor bank or some other supported load (RTFM) and do two very useful things.  You can increase the discharge wattage capacity of the unit so what you are doing will go MUCH faster, and you will put less stress on the unit as it wont be having to dissipate all that energy as heat.

While this works a bit better on the larger iChargers like the 4010, the other option that is supported is "regenerative discharge" where you move the power from one battery to another.  So instead of dumping the power out as heat, you can just move it somewhere else.  Its literally the equivalent of pouring water from one cup to another, vs down the drain.

Because you only have one channel, you have to regen back to your source, and your source needs to be a battery.

Manual 
https://www.progressiverc.com/media/iCha...Manual.pdf

1100W (regenerative)
1000W (external / extra)

Since you are doing a 1s pack, you will likely hit your current limit (30A) before getting to that power, but its still more than the 50W internal.  I also set my current limit in software, lower than its max just to be nice to my charger...  I would probably do a 20-25A max on the x8 just to keep the heat down, but that's just me being extra careful.

Regenerative -  I've used this with 7s7p in an APC...  where I tap into the 24v for the X8 and run a power load on the APC to keep the battery from charging up too fast.  Have done it but it's noisy as APC beeps running load/pulling down the battery and I have to fiddle the load (variable halogen light) to keep the battery in line Smile So I started using the X8 directly even though it takes much longer (6-7hrs for each pack) as I can set it and walk away.

External - Didn't know about this.  I have the math right... at 20a discharge.... then 4v(pack)/20a = 0.2Ohm resistor @  4v*20a = 80watts.

SO, a .2 Ohm reistor @ 100w should work for 20amp discharge?  - Like this on ebay?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/100W-Watt-Shell-Power-Aluminum-Housed-Case-Wirewound-Resistor-1-2-4-8-1000-Ohm-/192401667448?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10&var=492385156663



And all I have to do is hook it up on the + side of the power wires and set discharge to 20amps?
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#7
That is what I have, but I can't recommend them.  You have to buy a ton of them and set up a fan or cooling system... At 100 watts they get really got real fast.  Its more like a 25 watt resistor with how it handles heat.

I haven't built a new setup yet, but I have been looking at wind and solar dump load resistors.  This is a vendor I am looking at, they seem to have some nice stuff at a fair price.  They offer resistor in different values in their store and also sell them in pre-packaged saftey cages that will make it WAY easier to setup and use.

Its been a while since I set mine up and I haven't had my morning coffee so i'm not doing any MATH right now lol.  Consult the manual, I think its detailed enough.  It put in series with the positive line.  Resistance you need will be dependent on pack voltage.

Check these out...
https://www.ebay.com/str/Missouri-Wind-a...2014760011


[Image: s-l1600.jpg]
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#8
I bought this 1000 Watt / 24 Volt / Dump load heating element "TOUCH SAFE" type - Radial Fins  https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000-Watt-24-Vo...%7Ciid%3A1
to discharge my byd batteries but found regen worked better.


 later floyd
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#9
It doesn't list the resistance value... do you know what it is?
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#10
sorry I don't, and at the moment I can't find it. so I can't even measure the ohms.
Email sent to the seller. When I  hear back or find it and measure I will post what I find out

later floyd
found the element 1- 1.2  1.0-.80 ohms 
I got it because it was for 24 volt.
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