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Fast-charging 6831+ cells

Discussion in 'Battery Discussion' started by raymond, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. raymond

    raymond Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Does anybody here have any idea how to fast-charge thousands of Li+ batteries efficiently? All cells having a slightly different capacity do you need to charge each cell individually? Does each cell need its own (tiny) controller?

    Fast-charging also needs to work when one cell breaks down (or has a significantly lower capacity because it has partially broken down).

    Charging at 1C is easy for one 2.4Ah 1.35V cell. But for thousand of them I think you need some clever trickery. I'm wondering just how much trickery would actually be needed.
  2. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Aug 17, 2006
    Slovenia, Europe
    No trickery. Fast charging is no rocket science, it is dead simple.

    Fast charging = high power charging
    High power charging = high current
    high current = high thermal losses
    hot cells = short lifetame

    So, all you need for fast charging is:
    - fat cables (all the way from power source to the cell)
    - high-power power source
    - powerful electronics cooling
    - powerful battery cooling

    Problems are:
    - there are no power sources with enough power for fast charging (half hour charge => 200kW, 20 minute charge => 400kW)
    - fat cables are heavy and really dificult to handle
    - batteries really don't like to charge fast => their lifetime shortens considerably

    Whats is wrong with overnight charging?

    But you're having problems seeing fast charging is no different from ordinary charging. All the problems you mentioned are there with slow charging.
  3. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    The problem you are talking about is cell balancing, which is an issue even in normal charging (but rapid charging makes it worst since it's more stressful on the batteries).

    Here's a link with a decent explaination of how they deal with it specifically with li-ion cells:
    Cell Balancing and Battery Equalisation
  4. raymond

    raymond Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Great link, thanks! Indeed the problems for fast charging are no different than for normal charging. (I mistakenly though you could trickle-charge a Li+ pack, but it seems Li+ doesn't like that.)

    So it seems there are 6831 tiny controllers somewhere in the PEM or thereabouts. 83 (or so) kW input (assuming a 45 min charge on a 56kWh pack at 90% efficiency) from one cable to be spread out into 6831 12W charge cables does not look like an attractive wiring scheme. I can come up with alternative wiring schemes but am curious about how Tesla does this.

    But then again, this may be part of the secret sauce.

    PS: 83kW at 400V gives 200+ Amps requiring at least two 12mm (.46") wires between the car and the wall. Two meters of said cable weighs 3951 grams (8.7 lbs) in copper alone! "Hey guys, wanna help me hook up my Tesla Roadster charger cable, please?"
  5. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Central New York
    I don't think so. Remember a lot of those cells are connected in parallel, which should all self balance. So I think all the paralleled sections can be treated as a single cell when charging, though each individual cell may have a protection circuit on it in case there is a problem that takes it out of spec.

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