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Has anyone upgraded their Commander E to Lithium Ion batteries?

I believe there was a Commander owner that documented this upgrade a year or two ago but I'm now unable to locate that posting.

Also, if an Admin could please go through all the messages on this Commander E Electric forum and delete or move all the messages that don't relate to the Commander E. It is very frustrating for E owners to have to wade through irrelevant messages that relate to the gas cars.

Thanks,
Richard
 

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Has anyone upgraded their Commander E to Lithium Ion batteries?

I believe there was a Commander owner that documented this upgrade a year or two ago but I'm now unable to locate that posting.

Also, if an Admin could please go through all the messages on this Commander E Electric forum and delete or move all the messages that don't relate to the Commander E. It is very frustrating for E owners to have to wade through irrelevant messages that relate to the gas cars.

Thanks,
Richard
I'm curious as well if anyone has upgraded.

And also, if they could be moved, that'd be huge... it is annoying.
 

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It seems Commander EV uses pretty much all the same components as Ranger EV. In such case this is what needs to happen :

1) Use the appropriate 14s LiPo or 16s LFP battery pack. Main concern is at least 150A continuous and at least 450A peak current. Capacity is secondary,
but with a pack of ~14kW you will get about 50 miles of range. Weight of the vehicle will be significantly reduced, 14kW will be easily under 300lb.
Same capacity in lead is about 800lb.

2) Make adjustments on Sevcon motor controller... discharge curves are different between SLA, LiPo and LFP batteries. Need to make sure
Sevcon doesn't cut the power too early. BMS, if one is used, should take care of undercharge and overcharge protections. Otherwise need
to ensure that Sevcon also doesn't try to regen into already full pack.

3) Ensure the charger uses correct algorithm / voltage. I don't know if Commander is equipped with a DeltaQ, Rangers use them. Most of them
can be programmed to support Lithium at various voltages.

That's the bare minimum. Not super complicated, but not straightforward either. Can be done for little $$ using cells salvaged from
electric cars :)
 

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It seems Commander EV uses pretty much all the same components as Ranger EV. In such case this is what needs to happen :

1) Use the appropriate 14s LiPo or 16s LFP battery pack. Main concern is at least 150A continuous and at least 450A peak current. Capacity is secondary,
but with a pack of ~14kW you will get about 50 miles of range. Weight of the vehicle will be significantly reduced, 14kW will be easily under 300lb.
Same capacity in lead is about 800lb.

2) Make adjustments on Sevcon motor controller... discharge curves are different between SLA, LiPo and LFP batteries. Need to make sure
Sevcon doesn't cut the power too early. BMS, if one is used, should take care of undercharge and overcharge protections. Otherwise need
to ensure that Sevcon also doesn't try to regen into already full pack.

3) Ensure the charger uses correct algorithm / voltage. I don't know if Commander is equipped with a DeltaQ, Rangers use them. Most of them
can be programmed to support Lithium at various voltages.

That's the bare minimum. Not super complicated, but not straightforward either. Can be done for little $$ using cells salvaged from
electric cars :)

Great info, thanks for sharing.

It is equipped with a DeltaQ. Mine has instructions on how to reprogram it as well I believe.



Any salvaged cells better than others? Or what to look for?
 

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Aha. Well, DeltaQ chargers can hold 10 charging profiles, but they're typically related - i.e. all 10 will be for lead-acid batteries of various kinds and manufacturers, instead of some being lead and some Lithium. In addition, Lithium profiles are typically temperature compensated, and lead-acid ones are often not. Either way, you can switch charging profiles within those 10 by tap method (disconnecting / connecting positive terminal during charger startup), but to make the charger properly charge Lithium batteries you need to have it reprogrammed using a special programming kit. A bit more on this below.

When it comes to cell selection, I think Nissan Leaf modules is the easiest way to go. They can be found for under $80 on Ebay each. They're 2s2p configuration, so you need 7 of them in series to achieve 48v configuration. One advantage of cells that came from EVs, they're typically rated for high current from the start. Just 7 modules may be sufficient for you to try this out, but I heard from another Ranger EV user that in such configuration there are power drops when vehicle is pushed hard, or cells are nearing the depletion. So I think the way to go is 14 modules - 2 in parallel, 7 in series. That simplifies BMS setup as well.

BMS is a hot topic when it comes to Lithium. Cells can't be overcharged or undercharged, or they can be damaged, sometimes catastrophically. If you just want to try this whole thing out, BMS is not super critical if you put a bit of diligence into it. Biggest thing is balancing, especially if you're not using a pack that had cells matched at the factory. So when connecting 7 Leaf modules in series, need to ensure their individual voltages are really close. That way when the pack is fully charged, or deeply discharged, there won't be some cells that are pushed beyond their operational parameters. There is plenty of info about this on specialized forums such as endless-sphere and secondlifestorage. You can find methods of equalizing the cells manually there. Also tons of info on various BMS systems. From my research Orion (expensive), TinyBMS (decent) and Chargery (cheap) are some of the vendors to look into for this conversion.

You can get about 12 miles of range out of 7 Leaf modules. Actual mileage will slightly vary depending on the module - Nissan had different versions with different capacity in different years.
You can charge this setup without changing the algorithm on your charger, but it's not ideal. For the test, have a voltmeter connected and displaying voltage while driving, not letting the voltage to drop below 42v or so. Your fully charged pack shouldn't be above 58v, and even better to keep it around 57v.

Btw, I run a slightly different configuration in Ranger EV, with 16s packs. With 5kW capacity I range-tested it to about 15 miles. But 16s is a more significant change than 14s due to nominal voltage being closer to 60v than 48v, so I don't recommend that unless you have a good reason :)
 

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Aha. Well, DeltaQ chargers can hold 10 charging profiles, but they're typically related - i.e. all 10 will be for lead-acid batteries of various kinds and manufacturers, instead of some being lead and some Lithium. In addition, Lithium profiles are typically temperature compensated, and lead-acid ones are often not. Either way, you can switch charging profiles within those 10 by tap method (disconnecting / connecting positive terminal during charger startup), but to make the charger properly charge Lithium batteries you need to have it reprogrammed using a special programming kit. A bit more on this below.

When it comes to cell selection, I think Nissan Leaf modules is the easiest way to go. They can be found for under $80 on Ebay each. They're 2s2p configuration, so you need 7 of them in series to achieve 48v configuration. One advantage of cells that came from EVs, they're typically rated for high current from the start. Just 7 modules may be sufficient for you to try this out, but I heard from another Ranger EV user that in such configuration there are power drops when vehicle is pushed hard, or cells are nearing the depletion. So I think the way to go is 14 modules - 2 in parallel, 7 in series. That simplifies BMS setup as well.

BMS is a hot topic when it comes to Lithium. Cells can't be overcharged or undercharged, or they can be damaged, sometimes catastrophically. If you just want to try this whole thing out, BMS is not super critical if you put a bit of diligence into it. Biggest thing is balancing, especially if you're not using a pack that had cells matched at the factory. So when connecting 7 Leaf modules in series, need to ensure their individual voltages are really close. That way when the pack is fully charged, or deeply discharged, there won't be some cells that are pushed beyond their operational parameters. There is plenty of info about this on specialized forums such as endless-sphere and secondlifestorage. You can find methods of equalizing the cells manually there. Also tons of info on various BMS systems. From my research Orion (expensive), TinyBMS (decent) and Chargery (cheap) are some of the vendors to look into for this conversion.

You can get about 12 miles of range out of 7 Leaf modules. Actual mileage will slightly vary depending on the module - Nissan had different versions with different capacity in different years.
You can charge this setup without changing the algorithm on your charger, but it's not ideal. For the test, have a voltmeter connected and displaying voltage while driving, not letting the voltage to drop below 42v or so. Your fully charged pack shouldn't be above 58v, and even better to keep it around 57v.

Btw, I run a slightly different configuration in Ranger EV, with 16s packs. With 5kW capacity I range-tested it to about 15 miles. But 16s is a more significant change than 14s due to nominal voltage being closer to 60v than 48v, so I don't recommend that unless you have a good reason :)


All great info, thank you very much.

Is there a Ranger EV forum you spend most your time at?
 
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