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Old 11-26-2013, 09:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Enginer plug in conversion for a C-Max?

Hey Guys,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on an Enginer 8kw plug in system for my C-Max hybrid? I would have bought a Energi plug in. But, they were not available when I bought my car. Plus, I like the tinkering aspect of this.

I was thinking that my C-Max would be the perfect hybrid for one of these systems for a few reasons. For one thing, my car will run 85mph in EV mode. Plus, the electric motor is 40hp. It is actually not hard to drive the car in EV mode when the pack has a relatively high SOC.

My battery is 312 volts, though. So, I would need a different inverter for the Enginer system. I emailed Enginer and asked about a suitable inverter and they have not gotten back to me yet.

What do you guys think?

Matt

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Old 11-26-2013, 10:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The DC-DC converter is adjustable, the same one could be used in a Prius or Escape Hybrid and the Escape is higher voltage. So it might work.
From what I've read, everyone seems to have issues with Enginer kits. It seems like they aren't very good at keeping the cells balanced. You better like the tinkering aspect a lot.
As far as return on investment (I understand hypermiling is partially a labor of love), the number crunching I've done shows that its likely not financially a good idea. Even if you doubled your mileage from 60 to 120MPG with gas at $4 a gallon and $6k for the kit (they don't have prices on their site anymore but I think that was it), it would take 180k miles to break even, without including the cost of electricity. Add in the issues people are having after just months after installing their systems, and it makes for a grim picture. I would try to trade in on an Energi, if anything.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is it possible to convert your C-max to an Energi? Can you buy the battery and associated items from Ford and then 'tinker' with it yourself? I know that is an expensive proposition, but so is an Enginer. If anything, it would at least give you a higher/longer SOC.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I completely agree about return on investment. I did the math myself. This would be more of a fun thing.

That being said, I build electric bicycle systems (high end stuff). It would not be difficult to setup my own supplement pack.

Matt
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Try MD-Techs BMS

MD-Tech were supplying kits to Enginer but are now designing and selling their own, vehicle certified kits in Europe. Take a look at MD-Tech's latest BMS see plughybrid.de Their BMS keeps the cells within a 10mV range and has a measuring accuracy of 2mV. That's pretty tight. After 6 months since the European launch kits are running well and batteries are balanced.

Balancing is triggered if the High cell is 10mV higher than the Low cell. An internal clock checks every 15 days if balancing is needed then runs balancing for 24 hours. It can be forced to stay on with a switch on the side. It has been used on old Enginer battery packs to good effect, getting the packs balanced and keeping it that way.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you check the prius and insight forms you will see projects where folks have make their own phev system using lifepo4 cells from China or even old prius packs. THey use off the shelf bms systems or design their own. Use those mean well power supplies for chargers and use either a direct connection to the pack voltage or buck converters to step down.

Keeping the pack in balance was just one of many issues with the enginer kit. You also got issues with the charger and converter. If the converter didnt burn up under use you would have a cell drop too low due to sag or draw of the converter, trip the bms and turn off the whole setup.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All I really need is the step up inverter. That is less than $1,000 US. I sent them an email for their 320 volt inverter.

I will use Enerdel NMC cells most likely and a Zivan or similar charger to setup my own PHEV kit.

The big question is; will my car computer freak out from the input of the system.

Matt
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Assuming you are in America that converter can be expensive to get through customs, not to mention shipping alone. They run on 48 volts, so you can head to any store and get 4 deep cycle batteries and matching chargers to solve that issue.

The big issue with the converter is thermal. Many do not have enough cooling and either shut down frequently in warm to hot weather or burn up. I couldnt push mines pass 17 amps or I would let the magic smoke out. In 100+ degree days I had to drive 15 minutes without it on to cool down, then when it was on it would cycle off and on as I drove.

Beats me about your car. The prius is know to illuminate the orange triangle and the Insight would generate a p1586 code. Regardless, either are easy to clear with an sg2.
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a SC2. so, I am good there. I have no problem equipping the converter with fans if need be.

Matt
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With the Honda CRZ, the sky is the limit and very few DTCs were encountered. For the Insight it seems you had to turn the converter off and on as you stopped n go below 45 mph. Turn it off and allow the car to regen vs using it with regen. Above 45 mph or when the ELD is engaged it ignored the extra power during regen. When an error was detected the ima system was turned off, lights appeared, but the car kept driving.

Due to the amp output limitation many of us turned up the voltage to get more power out of the system while keeping amps at 17, but the respective vehicles didnt like the soc going too high, so we had to manually cycle the kit off and on at light loads.

You arent by change in Richmond, VA on earth are you?

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