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Old 08-22-2020, 04:44 PM   #1
simicrintz
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Default Chevy Volt Lithium

I usually post in the regular CC section, but last night I made a decision that also jumps me into here-I went ahead and ordered some new Lithium Ion Chevy Volt 48vdc 2kwh 50ah batteries (big thanks to Left Coast Kiteboarding!!).

While I am not quite yet 100% sure how all this works, I am sure that I can learn and appreciate any input. I am a contractor and am pretty handy, but electrical is my weakest link.

One question that I have is BMS-I am hearing that is is required and I am hearing that it is suggested. The guy I bought the batteries from has the correct BMS unit for a couple hundred bucks; am I foolish not to get it?

Thanks guys and gals! I recognize some of your names from the regular CC forum and look forward to "meeting" more of you here!
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:29 PM   #2
WalterM6
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

A BMS is required. It will work w/o one but you would be foolish to do so.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:05 PM   #3
ACCLR8N
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

Sergio has a thread detailing how to use an inexpensive BMS to balance the batteries during charging and shut things down if something goes wrong without having to flow the cart amperage through it. Unfortunately Sergio's detailed recipe is for the Nissan battery modules.

You need to understand how many amps the BMS your supplier is selling can flow to decide if it is a value.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

Thanks fellas! The battery vendor has a BMS but they are pretty pricey (and since I will have 2 packs it sound like I will need 2 BMS units). I understand that I would be foolish not to use a BMS so will definitely go that route. I'm gonna do a bit more research before I grab the vendor BMS and will look at Sergio's info as well.

Thank you again! I am a bit intimidated but excited at the same time; don't want to make any stupid mistakes!
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:54 AM   #5
DaveTM
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

The less expensive BMS (or Chinese) units will work when properly setup. OTOH, a ZEVA BMS cost about $500. I always look at it that if I'm buying a "lesser" unit for say $200....then the better unit will only cost $300. ($200+$300=$500)

And the ZEVA is (IMHO) an easier setup than the lesser units. OTOH, if you follow the experts on the install, the less expensive units will do what is needed done. I'm an amateur and just feel better that I understand the ZEVA unit.

I've been running my ZEVA BMS for a little over 2 years now. It's been "banging" around on my hunting cart in hot weather (95+) cold weather (20) and everything in between. My rides in the wooded areas are not "gentle". Also, it's survived pouring down rain, albeit I do have a rubber "shade" to help keep the rain out of the monitor.

I've had two instances where water had permeated the monitor connection. The monitor went "blank" but after drying out, it worked fine again. I have applied a liberal amount of a clear latex type sealer on the connection. Been out at least once in the pouring rain and it worked fine to keep the rain out.

FWIW
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

My BMS with Bluetooth was only $30 delivered by slow-boat from China.

My entire 7 module G2 Leaf pack including charger was under $800.

I like the Zeva BMS, specially for a EV conversion, but for a Golf Cart application that just needs cell protection there are a lot of other effective options.

if the Chevy Volt pack has the BMS tap harness installed, you can tap the existing connector for installing a BMS, the photo below shows the B- and each cell tap available on that connector:

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Old 08-27-2020, 01:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

Thank you both!

Dave-I follow your thought process to a tee! If what I need is $300 but for and extra $200 I get the best, the real cost is $200. I like to try and do things once (as much as possible) and saving a few bucks sometimes just creates more work sooner. I'm going to go look at the ZEVA unit (if it handles both batteries and is easier, it would cost about what the battery supplier wants for the units he sells).

Sergio-I would be very interested in the unit you purchased (If you can PM me I would be grateful). If Dave's suggestion is better that is the route I will go, but to be able to handle what I need for $30 and with your strong recommendation this makes me consider going this route.

I have read enough of both of your posts and respect both of your opinions! I will post up pics of the batteries once they arrive (were supposed to be here yesterday but looks like today now).

Thank you both again: much appreciated!!
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

You've got my #. When we talk I can explain how I did mine. Super easy and only about $100. Programable to proved over-current, and under-voltage. If you didn't order the basic BMS with those packs you'll have to go a little more elaborate as they only balance. I have them and combined with my custom stuff I have what I need. If you did not order the BMS, the cell tap connectors are available elsewhere for cheap so you can easily use those for another system.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

No single BMS can handle two separate packs.

If the BMS available and integrated with the pack You are looking at handles the current as Left Coast Kiteboarding said then that is likely your best solution.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:59 PM   #10
Left Coast Kiteboarding
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Default Re: Chevy Volt Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio View Post
No single BMS can handle two separate packs.

If the BMS available and integrated with the pack You are looking at handles the current as Left Coast Kiteboarding said then that is likely your best solution.
True.

The "BMS" that the battery seller has is really just a balancer. Not really a true BMS. And he wants a lot of kopecks for it. However it worked for my setup as I have added other components to my system. That said, my setup does NOT have a readout for imbalanced conditions and such. It's something I'm willing to live with but not as bullet proof as some of the more elaborate systems.

The issue I ran into and wasn't smart enough to solve is that the Volt batteries are a 12p3s setup on each pack. I have 2. I just didn't know how to tie all that into a BMS. Instead I have the balancers on each pack and then an under-voltage cutoff. I also have an over-current cutoff, but given that the batteries are rated for 7c continuous and 10c burst my 100Ah pack can deliver 700a continuous. Not really gonna hurt it at the 200-300a my Navitas pulls.
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