Lithiumate™ Lite FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Lithiumate Lite.
 
 
 
 
 
 

back to top Can I use the Lithiumate Lite in a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid?

No.

The Lithiumate Lite is intended exclusively for use in an EV.

We can only help you if you use it as intended.

In particular, the Lithiumate Lite is not set-up to keep track of the SOC if the battery is not fully recharged on a regular basis, and therefore it will report the wrong SOC in an HEV, and in a PHEV that is not charged daily.

For HEVs and PHEVs, Elithion offers the Lithiumate Pro.

back to top Why does the Lithiumate Lite have no CAN bus

The goal of the Lithiumate Lite is to be easy to use and install, and to meet the needs of the majority of the EV converters.

A CAN bus would have added a level of complexity that would have been counter to that goal.

For professional applications that require a CAN bus, Elithion offers the Lithiumate Pro.

back to top Can I mount the cell boards off to the side?

No.

The Lithiumate is a distributed BMS: each cell boards MUST be mounted directly on its cell.

Attempt to use it as a centralized BMS will result in improper operation: poor noise immunity, low accuracy, no temperature sensing.

back to top Can I mount the Lithiumate on a battery module?

No.

In pre-made battery modules (such as those sold to model airplane hobbyists, with a pre-made battery module with a small BMS connector), there is no direct physical access to the individual cells.

In a distributed BMS, the cell boards must be physically mounted directly on the cells.

Therefore, a distributed BMS cannot be used on a pre-made battery module. A non-distributed BMS is required instead. Elithion does not make non-distributed BMS.

You may not modify a Lithiumate BMS to work as a non-distributed BMS. It will misbehave and it will not protect the pack from operating outside its safe temperature range.

back to top Can I use a different current sensor?

In general, no.

While you are certainly free to try to use a different current sensor, other than the one that comes with a Lithiumate Lite kit, it is really your responsibility to assure that that sensor is compatible with your application and with the BMS controller, and we are not set-up to offer you any help in that process.

back to top Are my old cell boards compatible?

Most, not all.

All the Elithion cell boards, regardless of PCB layout and wires, are electrically identical and therefore compatible.

Except that the negative end cell boards for the Lithiumate Lite are electrically different from the negative end cell boards for the Lithiumate Pro.

back to top Can I use Balance Boosters with the Lite?

Yes.

However:

  1. You probably don't need them. The the Lithiumate Lite is for EV applications only. We have yet to encounter an EV application that would require maintenance balancing to be faster than what is already provided by the standard cell boards. Please read this white paper to determine whether your application does indeed require fast balancing.
  2. While the Lithiumate Lite is quite easy to install, it takes significant skill to install the Balance Boosters. Someone who is perfectly capable of installing a Lithiumate Lite may not have the skills to install the Balance Boosters safely and without causing any damage.

back to top Why don't you offer cell boards for pouch or cylindrical cells?

When designing the Lithiumate Lite, the goal was to create a simple and cost effective solution for hobbyists. Towards that goal we decided that the most likely cell type that a hobbyist would be using would be prismatic, because of their simplicity and ease of use. So, to not over complicate things, we designed the cell boards for the Lite only for prismatic type cells, and left other more difficult and less common cell geometries to more advanced users using the Lithiumate Pro.

back to top Can I use a digital meter instead of a Westac analog meter?

Yes.

The Lithiumate Lite BMS can drive a variety of analog and digital meters.

The Lithiumate Lite is optimized to work specifically with Westach meter, but not exclusively.

back to top Can I use 1 BMS to manage 2 batteries?

No.

1 BMS = 1 current sensor = 1 SOC value = 1 set of on-of control lines

With two batteries, you have 2 currents, 2 SOC values, and each one needs to be turned on and off independently of the other.

Therefore, 2 batteries = 2 BMSs.

(To manage a small, 12 V, Li-ion battery, use a PCM - analog protector.)

back to top Does the Lithiumate Lite log data?

No.

There is no data logging within the BMS. For that matter, there is no data logging in any controller used in vehicles. Yes, the BMS controller does log events (just a few events) as other vehicle controllers do, but not data.

Data logging is a job best left to data loggers, which are product designed just for that purpose.

For your convenoence, the GUI has a data logging function, which can record data onto the Windows computer running the GUI

back to top Can I use external temperature sensors?

No.

Some have tried, with terrible results.

The temperature sensors on the cell boards work quite well.

While it is physically possible to remove the thermistor from the board and to replace it with leads going to a thermistor mounted on the cell, the functionality of the cell board will be severely compromised:

  • The thermistor acts as an antenna, picking up electrical noise, making the cell board misbehave
  • The cell board measures the thermistor during a very short pulse (~1 µs), which is enough for a board-mounted sensor, but not enough to measure an external sensor, due to the additional capacitance
  • The characteristics of the external thermistor may not match the ones of the on-board thermistor, resulting in reading inaccuracy

back to top Can I mount the Lithiumate on a pre-made battery module with a small BMS connector?

No.

In pre-made battery modules (such as those sold to model airplane hobbyists), there is no direct physical access to the individual cells.

In a distributed BMS, the cell boards must be physically mounted directly on the cells.

Therefore, a distributed BMS cannot be used on a pre-made battery module. A non-distributed BMS is required instead. Elithion does not make non-distributed BMS.

You may not modify a Lithiumate BMS to work as a non-distributed BMS. It will misbehave and it will not protect the pack from operating outside its safe temperature range.

 

In this page:
HEVs - PHEVs
CAN bus
Side mount
Batt. modules
Curr. sensor
Compatible
Balance Boosters
Non-prismatic
Digital meter
Two batteries
Logging
Use ext. thermistors
Use battery modules
 
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