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Sid Battery Balancers.


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Size of the wire is up to you, though I will recommend something bigger than 16AWG...especially if you plan on having the balancers mounted several feet from the batteries.  I personally used 10AWG wire (partly 'cause that's what I had, lol), and that's what I recommended Sean to use.  Heavier wire has the advantage of lower voltage drop, which becomes quite important especially when millivolts are very important, and multiple amps are involved.

The balancers themselves have a soldering pad roughly 3/8" x 3/16" in size, the positive to the left of the main transistor, and the negative to the right of the main transistor.  This is a surface-mount pad, not a through-hole connection (to prevent accidental short circuits to the heatsink).

I do have to remember that written descriptions are very handy for someone who is visually impaired...

The balancers (LCD version) are very small, only 1 inch wide, 1.5 inches tall, and 3/8" thick, each unit.  Of course, they must be mounted to a SUBSTANTIAL heatsink in order to handle the full rated 5A balance current without tripping.  Sean used 6 balancers apiece on a Power Jack large heatsink (10.5 inches wide, 3 inches tall, 1 inch thick), and they overheated very easily without a fan on them.

I will plan to order these as soon as I get enough other things off my plate, then it's going to be at least 2 weeks manufacture/shipping.  Currently trying to bang out code for the GS inverters--first shipment should arrive in Michigan this week after many frustrating months of delays, and I have to have as many of the promised features ready as possible. 

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Yes.  That's what I need to order.  Just need to over the design with a fine toothed comb, then order them.

Also planning to order 2 different kinds: one with LCD display, and the other with just an "active" LED.  If I ever get past working on code for the GS inverters 😉

Obviously, the LCD unit will be the fancier one, with serial communications, allowing connecting an entire string together for a BMS readout, and automatic overheat restart.

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Thanks Sid for describing the layout.  Well at lest soldering the wire will not be a issue, though with that soldering point, if its not pure copper, I can spot weld a tab of nickel witha bulk connector to save the headache of soldering, I can do it, since I got a soldering gun with trigger to push out the solder to the tip, but geesh, if its a small spot, try doing it blind folded lol.  I don't solder on batteries any more, I just spot weld a nickle strip and attach the wire to it with a bulk connecotr, works fine, then I take a hot glue gun and coat the cell with the wire in it to keep it from moving at all.

 

Not had any issue doing it that way while pulling over 100 amp at 12v , I have up to 5 10 awg wire running to the batttery.

 

Only having a issue with soldering the main on these stupid bms that come with no main wire, found out had to get a real thick 8 awg wire almost to fill in the hole then solder from behind to lock it in place. 

 

Oh, hey sid, do they make  nickel wire connector tab by chance?  I got a 48v bms here that has these real neat small half inch tabs holding both main wires  to it,  I can not seem to find such a thing.

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Oh, on that note. is there any instruction's on how to use the wifi?  I still not seen the web site nor a pp.  I hope its a wifi you connect to on yoru phone or pc and then you go through a setup wizard or something.  sort of like my brother printers.  Maybe make them connect to smart things? 

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I have to admit that the Genetry Solar inverters are probably the most unfriendly inverters on the market for visually impaired persons ;-).  Most other inverters have knobs, buttons, switches (DIP or otherwise), etc. for the very few settings they have...while the GS inverter has a completely LCD-central setup for the bazillion settings provided.  There are NO settings apart from what is on the LCD...unless you count the on/off of the RGB power button.  Easiest for us would be if you could have a friend help set it up the first time...or tell us exactly how you need it set up, and we can set it up before shipping it to you.

The WiFi connection is set up by connecting your phone to the WiFi network generated...though getting to the WiFi setup page requires use of the LCD screen to enter that mode.  Currently, the WiFi setup page does not contain any inverter configuration options, though I can potentially add that.

This may take a bit of software redesigning on our side...and I sure hope you have a friend you can call on to help you set it up and/or install updates while we work to make this inverter do what you need.

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Yeah, I got somebody I can call to help set it up.  I just want both of them to work together to power my house.  I would ask what OS you running on the gs, but that might not be given out.  If its linux, thenall linux can ouput speech,, heck had a mobo that had a talking bios.  Too bad it don't have a usb port, plug in a usb drive, with the new firmware, hold down the power button for 10 seconds and it bep and then boots up with update 😛  Then I can edit the ini file and flash it to the inverter lol.

 

Either way, yeah when sean setups my two inverters, when he calls me, I can give him the info he needs, just if its not a feature, have the wifi enabled all the time.  Was hopeing it be like Make Sky blue app, you can go and change any of the settings and upload to it, thats how I also do my bms's with the bluetooth.  

 

Either way Keep up the great works Sid, I know I might be the odd ball of the bunch, and frankly there isn't going to be many blind folks like me fooling around with high voltage and building batteries and everything else in between.

 

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GS Control board is an 8-bit MCU with no operating system whatsoever.  GS WiFi board is a 32-bit CPU running an RTOS, but not Linux or anything like it--heck, the whole processor has to live on less than 2MB of memory ;-).  I'm not quite up to the embedded Linux systems, maybe that's why the inverter "boots" in less than a second.

WiFi is enabled by default, but it needs to be connected to your local network with the help of a smartphone.  I could conceivably add a feature where if you hold the rightmost button down for 10 seconds (there's 3 buttons under the LCD, "Up", "Down", "Enter"), the inverter will automatically enter WiFi Setup mode...you'll connect your phone to the WiFi hotspot that's generated, and then can configure it.  Making an inverter setup page for configuring the inverter will take me a good week or so, but it's not impossible. 

Once it's connected to the network, it is completely possible (but not easy!) to connect the inverter control to Amazon Alexa, Google Home or other devices.  Ask the Internet device what the inverter load is, what the battery voltage is, what is it doing, etc., etc.

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Heck yes, that would work perfect, is it physical's buttons or touch screen buttons?  My pj has the lcd screen.

 

So you saying will take a few weeks, means I'll have to update it down the road once you imploment those features.  I could live with that just as long as I can have both set as master and slave  out of the box then once the update comes out, get somebody to come over and help me push the update to it for that, unless you get the setup part done before it gets shipped out.

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It is physical buttons, identical to the PJ.  The WiFi board started out as a replacement for the PJ LCD screen, and now I'm stuck in "compatableville" without completely redesigning it (which I don't feel like doing just yet.)

Yes, if I work on the code, the features might be available in a couple weeks, and yes, you would need someone to help you get the update for the features (after I get 'em done.)

We should most definitely be able to set the inverters up for you (and briefly test them on the bench!) before they ship.

Please note that if you ordered the 2 inverters several months apart, the first one will ship with the first batch (due at the warehouse this week), and the 2nd one will ship with the second batch (arriving hopefully by early April).  Also...the 2nd one is a slightly newer design, with a few tweaks to the connectors and internal design.  (They'll still work together perfectly fine.)

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Hmmm. well when I text Sean he said I'm getting both together.   I got a hunch he order a extra one cause I said I was going to order two, as soon as I got the money up for the second one, which I already place.  Beats me, still waiting for a respons from him.  I know he a busy man :P.    And oh sean I looked up your water heater and they make a duct kit for it to vent outside, in the atic and what not, so you don't have to be a polar bear year round in the basement. . . *laughs*

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14 hours ago, Sid Genetry Solar said:

-heck, the whole processor has to live on less than 2MB of memory ;-).

 

You must not have been around in the glory days of computing. When you soldered a socket onto a board and when done, inserted a chip in each socket. For a total of 48KB of RAM on the main board and a 16KB add on card so the CP/M could address 64KB of memory.

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Hey, I started out on a pocket RadioShack TRS-80 handheld computer--saving programs on a cassette tape.  Then to an Apple //e with the dual disk drive (and the 64kb expansion card).  Never managed to get the 3.5" floppy drive working, and never bothered with the cheekily named Apple Sider (hard drive).  After the //e went kaput (literally instantly--one moment it was working, then suddenly the monitor went blank as the computer died on the spot), my programming endeavours went to the Windoze systems.

Been through the Basic Stamp (2P40 to be specific), wore the memory out with so many write cycles, and found that it was a bit too slow.  From there found a PIC16F872 amongst multiple boxes of stuff we'd gotten at a yardsale (longtime tinkerer passed away)...so yes, I am very much aware of "tiny" memory systems.  Technically I'm a millennial...so by the time I got the aforementioned stuff to play with, it was 'hand-me-downs' from Grandpa.

Hey, if you want the complete source code to "Brick-Out" written by Bruce Tognazzini in 1981(?) for Applesoft Basic...umm...I have it ;-).  Printed it out with an Apple ImageWriter about 18 years ago.

My comment about 2MB of memory was in reference to the question asking about whether I was using a Linux OS--nope, not enough memory for that.

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My first experience in computers was my dad's TRS 80 Model 1. When I was 3 years old he got one that was fully decked out for around 700 bucks. I remember that number because my mom said they could make 1 and a half house payments. At the time I think the model 2 or 3 was out but he wanted a fully loaded model 1 for some reason.

 

I remember loading cassette tapes and running games on it. I was so confused that I put my teddy rupskin music tape in it and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't play. Good memories.  Then around 1986 he sold it because we ended up getting a Nintendo and he seemed to enjoy that more.

We wouldn't get another computer till 1992. We got a lucky hell of a deal because Michigan State University was doing a sell off of computer equipment.  We found out through my uncle who was a student at the time and MSU forgot to put the add in the paper for it. We pretty much had the run of thr place with a few other people who knew. Keep in mind students rarely showed to these things because they couldn't afford the gear.

We picked up a 486dx2-66 which we later found out was actually stolen from a chemist lab that another studen and staff member had worked to buy real cheap. It was labeled as a 386SX33 for 300 dollars. 

The computer had 32MB of ram, an Adaptec (2940 or 1 gen older) card and 4 Seagate drives running in raid 0. It was a super micro motherboard. Need less to say it was loaded. My uncle later found out about thr planned theft and we contacted the university and offered to return it but they never got back to us. So we kept it.

 

Thing is it didn't come with a power cable, keyboard, and monitor. So over the next month we added parts to get it running. It had a beautiful viewsonic 17 monitor which was cutting edge at the time.

 

It had a turbo button which my dad spent 2 hours getting the pinouts right to read 66 when the turbo button was pushed and 8 when it wasn't pushed. Thing is the turbo button didn't do anything. But we didn't care. 

Many years we had that computer but computers were getting so fast that it was practically useless after just a few years. Eventually we then upgraded to a pentium 133.

So there is my early story. 

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Oy, Mine was useing a commador 64, then a Adam Computer, then a Packer Hell, then we modded the packard hell to its max memory I think it was 32meg had a 1g hard drive, two video cards voodoo, a cpu that was modded to fit in the socket was a amd K6, a evergreen brand 😛  running win 95.

 

Oh those were the good old days, and not to mention had a system with dual pent 3 slot 1 water cooled from a 55gal tank with two video cards  water cooled as well, 

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:50 PM, Sid Genetry Solar said:

Hey, I started out on a pocket RadioShack TRS-80 handheld computer--saving programs on a cassette tape.  Then to an Apple //e with the dual disk drive (and the 64kb expansion card).  Never managed to get the 3.5" floppy drive working, and never bothered with the cheekily named Apple Sider (hard drive).  After the //e went kaput (literally instantly--one moment it was working, then suddenly the monitor went blank as the computer died on the spot), my programming endeavours went to the Windoze systems.

Been through the Basic Stamp (2P40 to be specific), wore the memory out with so many write cycles, and found that it was a bit too slow.  From there found a PIC16F872 amongst multiple boxes of stuff we'd gotten at a yardsale (longtime tinkerer passed away)...so yes, I am very much aware of "tiny" memory systems.  Technically I'm a millennial...so by the time I got the aforementioned stuff to play with, it was 'hand-me-downs' from Grandpa.

Hey, if you want the complete source code to "Brick-Out" written by Bruce Tognazzini in 1981(?) for Applesoft Basic...umm...I have it ;-).  Printed it out with an Apple ImageWriter about 18 years ago.

My comment about 2MB of memory was in reference to the question asking about whether I was using a Linux OS--nope, not enough memory for that.

If you had that, you were a late comer. 🙂 The computer I was taking about was already gone by the time that unit came out. It was a Heathkit H-8. It was replaced by an Osborne 1. We still have it. The next one as a Tandy 1000 SX. It had a big hard drive. All of 20 MB. That drive was replaced with a 40 MB WD unit that I still have. It was replaced by a 340MB HDD. Then I bought my first real one for myself ( already had an Atari 800 ), a US Logic 486DX2 ( Computer City  brand ) with a 340MB HDD and an IBM G-20 CRT monitor.  The HDD soon needed a twin.  I had learned computer programing in 1973 on an IBM360/370. Dad had taken an Army computer course in 1966 for his work in the Navy. Tiny Core Linux is about as small as you can get and it is 11MB. Whereas CP/M ran on 64KB. Funny thing about the Z-80 chip used in the H-8, it also was used in one of my HP printers.

Anyways, that is off the beaten path. Any Idea when I can buy 8 of the balancers?

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42 minutes ago, Waterman said:

Anyways, that is off the beaten path. Any Idea when I can buy 8 of the balancers?

Sean has all of the remaining prototype balancer units.  If they trip due to overload/overheat, they will not auto reset--you have to discharge the battery below the balance threshold voltage.  There's also a few minor code bugs (i.e. display indicating "BAL" while they're actually still in idle mode), however these do not affect the actual functionality.

I still haven't ordered a production run of balancers...the 1st shipment of GS inverters is hopefully going to be delivered in a few days, and I have to get firmware v1.1 ready...with all the features that customers are going to expect.  Lots of stuff on my plate, and I can only do so much.

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19 minutes ago, Sid Genetry Solar said:

Sean has all of the remaining prototype balancer units.  If they trip due to overload/overheat, they will not auto reset--you have to discharge the battery below the balance threshold voltage.  There's also a few minor code bugs (i.e. display indicating "BAL" while they're actually still in idle mode), however these do not affect the actual functionality.

I still haven't ordered a production run of balancers...the 1st shipment of GS inverters is hopefully going to be delivered in a few days, and I have to get firmware v1.1 ready...with all the features that customers are going to expect.  Lots of stuff on my plate, and I can only do so much.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSG6WDT853kRRXm0tvcBPL

 

🤣 Just poking at you.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/18/2021 at 4:01 PM, Sid Genetry Solar said:

Ask Sean, I don't know if he's sold any.  'Course it's after business hours now...oh, and let's not forget that I forgot to ship him the (required) mica insulators...nor that we do not have source for heatsinks.  Very crude start, but that's what we have.

Well, I've try calling Sean to see about getting at least 7 of them.  Its a no go for me.  I need them to do the 18650 so I can use the two packs in my system, otherwise I'm not useing them until I have them balance correctly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ordered a small production run of 400pcs "fancy" balance shunts with the MCU + LCD + serial comm functionality.  Let's say 2 weeks before I get 'em.

Haven't looked to source heatsinks yet, but most people making their own batteries can come up with something 😉.  Will provide some mica insulators with 'em (though no heatsink compound yet...so many things to find suppliers for...!)

So far it appears that that the price will be ~$12/ea (for single-cell unit)...for a 16S system, you'll need 16 units.

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Good to hear they are ordered.  Thanks

I want 16 as soon as you get them.  I sent a message to Sean here on the forum.  Guess that was a poor choice as he hasn't read it.  Sent one to Ben (about transformer winding) also. same results.  Notification of messages received must not be turned on here.

Anyway, I'm hoping to remove the heatsinks from the byd battery modules (if they ever get here!).  One or two of those large heatsinks should work well for mounting balancers with fans.  I have some others if that doesn't work out, so one way or another...

Currently not charging above 54.4v (3.4v/cell) but figure after balancers installed and settled in, I should be able to bump the charging setpoint up gradually, letting the balancers smooth cells out.  That's assuming they will stay in balance once I get them there.  They aren't new modules after all...

Might have to stick with 54.4v, but would like to get to 56v.  Guess we'll see.

 

 

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9 hours ago, dochubert said:

Sent one to Ben (about transformer winding) also. same results.  Notification of messages received must not be turned on here.

I'll buzz Ben and let him know.  Oh, and Sean too 😉

9 hours ago, dochubert said:

Currently not charging above 54.4v (3.4v/cell) but figure after balancers installed and settled in, I should be able to bump the charging setpoint up gradually, letting the balancers smooth cells out.  That's assuming they will stay in balance once I get them there.  They aren't new modules after all...

Might have to stick with 54.4v, but would like to get to 56v.  Guess we'll see.

Yeah, 3.4vpc is kinda low...barely over the nominal 3.3v voltage, so it will be extremely difficult to get any charge into the cells--not to mention a very low charge current.  With the balancers installed, if you're connected to solar (i.e. >5A), gently bumping the charging setpoint up is a good idea.  You should easily get to 56v; the balancers are pre-configured for 3.55v (+/-0.02v, thanks a lot resistor tolerances!)  I run my MPPT "absorp" setpoint at 56.5v, and the "float" setpoint at 56.0v.  (Much more voltage difference results in the batteries discharging for several minutes to the lower voltage.)

LiFePo4 seem to hold balance quite well once initially balanced.  Its Li-Ion that seems to be a bit more of a difficult creature.

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