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SecondHandPower Cell tester build
#1
Before taking on the DIY Powerwall, I have to build up my test process to characterize all the cells. 

After a couple of weeks getting to know cell behaviors and setting up a basic test station to start practicing my test process, I have realized it is time to move up from my 4 cell Opus to something that will be able to keep up with my "pack whacking" skills.

Have you taken the 10 pack challenge for fun yet ?  See the videos and go have some fun.
I can whack the packs and clean a stack of 60 cells in about 15 minutes. I use an 8 oz rubber mallet and it really makes the plastic fly, spreading the impact to a larger area of the case while minimizing collateral damage to the cells.

Considering my current setup, I can clean 60 cells in 15 minutes then load up my 4 banger Opus tester. Those 60 cells would take about 6.25 days to test if I were to feed it every 10 hours. The maths are ( 60 cells / 4 slots * 10 hours ea). I can add some bulk charging to help speed this up, so that is a baby step I plan to take when my batch of cell holders and TP4065's come in.

While I am waiting for these parts, I have been checking out different designs I could follow to build a more scalable tester and have decided to use MrConstatin's design as a pattern with some small changes to the layout to fit an easy to obtain computer case.

The reference builds:
** Edit**
I have been considering MrConstantin's and Mr Fercsa's builds, and removed those links, as both are easily found on the forum here. This is an area where you need to do your own shopping and evaluation, and there are many excellent tester builds on this site that I have reviewed and many more that I have missed. I will keep looking and comparing the parts cost as I go.

Basically I want to test with 32 cell holders and want to have scalability, temperature monitoring and data logging plus the "standard" feature of charging and discharging. If it is possible for the micro controller to connect out to the web or to my smart phone for reporting, thats a bonus. Having a hook to share cell_serial_number with a cell handling system (tracking outside the tester) would be a bonus.
**End edit**

My starting point:
I chose a sturdy tower computer case (a 2007 era Dell Optiplex 745) because it has a nice latch that allows one side of the case to open like a big door. There is ample cooling already in place and space inside for a bigger power supply, the charging board, discharging board, relay boards and Arduino control boards inside, and I did a quick layout with 32 18560's to see how it structure of the case would allow me to add the display and keypad as well.




Also collected a few cables from the computer that I may be able to use later in the build.


Now, lets build something....
Korishan and hbpowerwall like this post
Regards,
Gary G.

Working on a 32 port #FCDS
Testing on 8 ports now... logging to Influx/Grafana

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#2
Reusing an old computer tower is a great idea! I have several around here. Hrmm......

Taking a lot of the "junk" out of the tower will give you plenty of room. You might be able to repurpose a power supply shell and use the connector as your means of connecting the batter to everything else (possibly putting the same plug on the other end as well so as to not accidentally connect to the mains outlet). Then you could have several towers sitting next to each other and that gives you the look of a computer warehouse or something, but the power of lithium! Wink

How many cells max do you think you can store in the tower? If you could have each tower be like 5KW or something, that'd be pretty neat.
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking!
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#3
Reusing the case ... Brilliant!
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#4
Assuming your cells aren’t discharged completely , your time using your opus will most likely be less how much less is anyones guess.
assuming 2.8 volts at start of charge, a1000 ma charge rate, 2000-3400mah = 2-3.4 hours
2-3.4 hours x 3 charge/discharge/charge 6-10.2 hours a perfect world test cycle
if you precharge the cells on another device , do a discharge only test on the opus, do your recharge on the other device. cuts the turnaround to approx 2-3.4 hrs


like mike does in this video. wish my setup was as good.
https://youtu.be/GBma4RCyblU
MrConstantin's tester is nice. I am afraid I would mess up the construction of it. easier for to use off the shelf units.

later floyd
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#5
(12-09-2017, 09:19 PM)Korishan Wrote: ...
How many cells max do you think you can store in the tower? If you could have each tower be like 5KW or something, that'd be pretty neat.
@Korishan, the outer dimensions of this tower is 6.5" w 16.5" d and 15.5" h. I have not built any packs so I am not sure about the fit if you were to use them as a new kind of "cell tower" . There are some some odd compartments welded in here and there, so all the space is not easily accessable on the interior.

However, I am going to use the open space where the motherboard was... that area is 5"x10"x11" and should be enough room to put all the tester boards inside and use cell holders outside.

(12-09-2017, 09:58 PM)floydR Wrote: Assuming your cells aren’t discharged completely , your time using your opus will most likely be less how much less is anyones guess.
assuming 2.8 volts at start of charge, a1000 ma charge rate, 2000-3400mah = 2-3.4 hours
2-3.4 hours x 3 charge/discharge/charge 6-10.2 hours a perfect world test cycle
if you precharge the cells on another device , do a discharge only test on the opus, do your recharge on the other device. cuts the turnaround to approx 2-3.4 hrs


like mike does in this video.  wish my setup was as good.
https://youtu.be/GBma4RCyblU
MrConstantin's tester is nice. I am afraid I would mess up the construction of it. easier for to use off the shelf units.

later floyd

@floydR,
The power supply in the tower is rated for 22A at 3.3v . I have seen some folks using the 3.3v leg of the PC power supply to do bulk charging (I would assume they match the number of cells to the number of amps to get 1000ma per cell). I was thinking to try it once I get more than 20 cell holders. I would also put the Opus on the PC 5V supply because it is available.

I started going through all MrC's videos and notes and schematics to make an updated list  for all the parts... having ot shop in three different carts online and it got late on me. Will show the list once I get it all together. Hopefully I wont mess it up too bad !
Regards,
Gary G.

Working on a 32 port #FCDS
Testing on 8 ports now... logging to Influx/Grafana

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#6
(12-10-2017, 06:55 AM)SecondHandPowr Wrote:
 I would also put the Opus on the PC 5V supply because it is available.

The Opus uses +12v  power. 


later floyd
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#7
Just a quick update on the project. I had ordered some charger and discharger modules a couple of weeks ago when I first started thinking about scaling up, and in the same time I decided to go a slightly different route with my build, at least on the discharging side. 

Now I have a pile (20) of these HW-586 capacity tester modules (ZB2L3 design?) to sell or trade if anyone is interested. PM or e-mail me if interested in a fair trade at cost of what I paid... you can get these quicker from me than you can from China! 



I like these modules because they are programmable, and that makes them flexible for whatever parameters you want to use for testing. I will probably use a couple of these to do bulk discharge for 4-pack or 8-pack strings of cells to drain them to a specific voltage for longer term storage since I am not sure how long it will take me to collect enough cells for my 80P packs (a long time, at the rate I can test them on one Opus !) 

FYI...BU-808 says that research indicates the capacity of LI-Ion cells is better maintained at a voltage of 3.92v because storing at higher voltages (and in higher heat) can actually decrease capacity.  

I am interested in some TP4056 chargers with protection if you have some to trade. I need about a dozen more of those.
Regards,
Gary G.

Working on a 32 port #FCDS
Testing on 8 ports now... logging to Influx/Grafana

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#8
The cell holders came in today.... I decided to go with a  horizontal layout because that is the most natural way to write the mAh on the cells. There are 4 banks of 8 cells, and all the cells in a bank will be individually controlled by a FCSA slave module. Inside the case, there will be 4 slave modules, the master module and a 40A power supply. Parts are on order...
   
hbpowerwall likes this post
Regards,
Gary G.

Working on a 32 port #FCDS
Testing on 8 ports now... logging to Influx/Grafana

Reply
#9
Looking good!

I have the reverse problem on my FCDS build, all my cell holders never showed up but have the rest of the parts!

Cheers!
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#10
(12-27-2017, 06:42 AM)neurocis Wrote: Looking good!
....
Thanks!!

I added some plastic covering for the cell holder screws.  I Plan to mount the cell modules and slave modules to these plastic rails somehow. I hope the spacing available works out with the i2c connectors on the slaves.... I have 8-3/4 inches for the length of the slave modules and connectors .

Regards,
Gary G.

Working on a 32 port #FCDS
Testing on 8 ports now... logging to Influx/Grafana

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