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[Help] Changing Charge Controller Parameters for Lithium-ion Battery
#1
Hi. guys newbie here i just converted to a MPPT Charge Controller(Tracer1210AN) that supports Lithium-Ion batteries but i don't know how to configure it to be used on lithium-ion battery. I built a 4S10P Pack = 16.8V. Can you help me what changes do i need to change in this settings, specially Equalisation Charging Voltage,Boost Charging Voltage,Float Charging Voltage,Boost Recon Charging Voltage, Boost Duration and Equalisation Duration. Because i read that float charging lithium is bad for the battery and also doesn't need a equalisation.


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#2
What charge controller is this? Make/Model and/or link to it would help.

Usually you put the Bulk charge just a few tenths below full charge or at full charge (if possible, some devices won't allow this)

What options are under Battery Type drop down? Also under Charging Mode. And same goes for Rated Voltage Level.

If it can charge up to 16.8V, then you set charge voltage to that, this would also be your overvoltage limit, too. Then put Boost Voltage and Float Voltage seem to be almost the same thing, though I would gather Float Voltage starts at a higher amp charge than Boost, which seems little backwards to me.
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#3
It seems the Tracer AN chargers are primarily lead acid oriented units but can be made to do Lithium.
It looks like it only does Gel, Sealed, Flooded or User modes - unless maybe your model has a built in lithium-ion mode (different to LiFePo4 mode)?
I'd suggest battery type = "user" is likely the one you'll need.

So assuming Li-ion (not LiFePo4) & you want longer life settings for your cells, you'd be targetting 4.1V/cell (16.4V for the pack) top of charge full setting.
I'd suggest you should set all these to 16.4V: Charging Limit Voltage (ie CV value), Equalisation Charging Voltage, Boost Charging Voltage, Boost Recon Charging Voltage
(ie you don't ever want the voltage higher than this, but you do want a charge current tail-off)

Like Korishan said, float should be ~0.1V/cell under that ie 16.0V for the pack & I'd suggest you should set Float Charging Voltage to that.
Re settings for Boost Duration and Equalisation Duration, these would sort of mimic charge current tail-off, ie "cut off CV charge when current drops to small value". So you'd set these to maybe 30-60 mins - this would hold the "CV voltage" at 16.4V for a while.
Maybe set it up & watch it in action & see how long it takes before the current has dropped off at 16.4V & trim back the Boost Duration and Equalisation Duration times to that. This one's not critical.

Hopefully you also have a BMS doing balancing for you too?
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Running off solar, DIY & electronics fan :-)
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#4
(01-28-2019, 02:15 AM)Redpacket Wrote: It seems the Tracer AN chargers are primarily lead acid oriented units but can be made to do Lithium.
It looks like it only does Gel, Sealed, Flooded or User modes - unless maybe your model has a built in lithium-ion mode (different to LiFePo4 mode)?
I'd suggest battery type = "user" is likely the one you'll need.

So assuming Li-ion (not LiFePo4) & you want longer life settings for your cells, you'd be targetting 4.1V/cell (16.4V for the pack) top of charge full setting.
I'd suggest you should set all these to 16.4V: Charging Limit Voltage (ie CV value), Equalisation Charging Voltage, Boost Charging Voltage, Boost Recon Charging Voltage
(ie you don't ever want the voltage higher than this, but you do want a charge current tail-off)

Like Korishan said, float should be ~0.1V/cell under that ie 16.0V for the pack & I'd suggest you should set Float Charging Voltage to that.
Re settings for Boost Duration and Equalisation Duration, these would sort of mimic charge current tail-off, ie "cut off CV charge when current drops to small value".  So you'd set these to maybe 30-60 mins - this would hold the "CV voltage" at 16.4V for a while.
Maybe set it up & watch it in action & see how long it takes before the current has dropped off at 16.4V & trim back the Boost Duration and Equalisation Duration times to that.  This one's not critical.

Hopefully you also have a BMS doing balancing for you too?

Actually the cells are from salvaged laptop batteries and i want to charge it to 16.0V(4.0V/cell) for longer life, so if the Boost voltage is 16.0V then my Float Voltage is 15.6V? correct?. I will try the new settings tomorrow and observe, and yes i do have a BMS that do balancing Thanks for the help Big Grin . .
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#5
Yes if you wanted 4.0V/cell then float =15.6
My understanding is 4.1V/cell is already "longer life", it's charging to 4.2V cell that's shortening it some.
There's some useful capacity between 4.0 & 4.1V/cell...
Running off solar, DIY & electronics fan :-)
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#6
Most bms only start to balance your cells when they reach 4.2 volts, so if you only charging to 4.1 volts the bms won't balance it. All battery packs will drift out of balance when fast charged, I would connect some sort of device so you can monitor the cells voltage while charging.

I charge my battery packs with solar and notice that if you set the voltage near the top end, the battery will charge very slowly, the controller will think the battery is almost full and will lower the amps. On my 3s li-ion pack, the max bulk setting should be 12.6 volts, but my controller lowest bulk setting was 13.1 volts and when set to that I was only getting 4 to 5 amps, when I set the bulk to 14.4 volts, I was able to get 15 amps from my 240 watt panel and it charged at 15 amps untill it was full. The higher the voltage the more amps you will get. By adjusting the voltage you can slow or fast charge your battery.

The only safe way to charge with solar is to use a overvoltage protection relay as a "deadman switch", this way if the battery voltage ever goes too high, the relay will disconnect the solar panel. I wouldnt trust the BMS to be 100 percent all the time, I had problems where the BMS didnt stop charging when it was suppose too. I always have something backing up the BMS just in case. Also when the BMS does stop the charging it will cause the charge controller to produce voltage surges, those are very bad.

It might take you some time to find the sweetspot where bulk voltage setting will get you the best results, you just have to monitor the setting that gives the best amps. The perfect setting is to fast charge to 90 percent, then when it switches to float where the setting is so low that it only charges at 1 amp for the remainder of the day. Its how I got mine setup. 

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#7
Good points there - re BMS & 4.2V, it depends on the BMS - yes the cheaper ones have fixed voltages, but some have adjustable voltages.
Running off solar, DIY & electronics fan :-)
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#8
So far there is no problem with the new settings of the controller but.....
is it ok to charge my 4s pack with this current curve? i am using a 50W Solar Panel To charge my 4S pack but the charge current are not constant because clouds are passing and reduces the output current of solar panel, as the clouds clears the sunlight the output current goes up again it is like a sinusoidal curve see pic below. 

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#9
That's 100% normal & clouds will be clouds so little you can do about it!
Mine jumps around too (5.2kW array with 2x MPPTs).
 

Your current (Amps) levels are fine for 10p.
Running off solar, DIY & electronics fan :-)
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#10
(01-31-2019, 12:47 PM)Redpacket Wrote: That's 100% normal & clouds will be clouds so little you can do about it!
Mine jumps around too (5.2kW array with 2x MPPTs).
 

Your current (Amps) levels are fine for 10p.

WOW!   Cool that is a real power you have there Big Grin . ok mate thanks for helping. im just gonna observe the performance of the battery for now.
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