Motor controller blowed, warning.

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hybride
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I looked at a Li+ VX-1 that had a sudden dead while driving. Nothing worked, no charging, nothing, dead. The scooter was parked then for over 2 months. All Li+ batterie cells where empty 0,0 volt. What a sin.

Further investigation learned that the motorcontroller was broken. The 4 capacitor fuses (30A) where blown and the other 3 fuses had melted cap's! Holy crap, what could happened? Also the DC/DC converter turns out to be broken. I wondered how this could happen. I have a hypotheses and i want to share it with a warning. When a batterie or cell fails when driving, a regen action will generate a unlimited high voltage/power to the motorcontroller. That's a reason i can think off what blowe dthe MC. Any other idea's?

It's a precaution better not use the regen to brake when the batterie should fail while driving.

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zwrtw
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

I assume that when this is the case, it could happen when the main fuse blows during regen braking?!

hybride
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Yes possible but imo not likely, because the 'regen' current is limited by the MC. It could happen in every case the batterie voltage chain is interrupted. A cell fail, loose contact or main fuse break by high current (full acceleration?). But, it is a hypothesis. I don't know if the 'regen' voltage is limited in the wheel itself.

R
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Wow...
can you post pictures?
It is quite strange that the main fuse didn't melt.

antiscab
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

hybride wrote:

The 4 capacitor fuses (30A) where blown and the other 3 fuses had melted cap's! Holy crap, what could happened? Also the DC/DC converter turns out to be broken.

melted caps is certainly impressive

when you say 4 cap fuses were blown and the other 3 had melted caps, are you talking about the same 4 fuses? or 7 fuses?

the other 3 fuses at the top left are for the plug that goes to the charger
if they are blown, then the charger may be dead too - although for those fuses to blow the charger would have to have died first.....

hybride wrote:

I don't know if the 'regen' voltage is limited in the wheel itself.

regen is achieved by shorting the motor phases to use the motor inductance to boost the motor voltage to the battery voltage
in a fault situation the voltage at the caps could get too high - but it would take several switching cycles to achieve
I know regen stops working at around 150V, but I suspect that limit is in software, which takes several switching cycles to cut in
The caps are rated to 200V

If the caps were overcharged and subsequently shorted, they could blow the cap fuses
but that would not explain the charger fuses

Are the body diodes in the IGBT module intact? (should measure 0.35v between each phase and positive/negative)

certainly an interesting failure

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $3000
Cost to do it again: $1000 + $3800 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $1500 (lasts longer)
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $7560 + $1000 + $1600 + $4000 servicing
Total spent: $20405
Total to do again: $10905
Total to have used a petrol bike: $21600
Total distance travelled so far: 102'120km

Other vehicles:
2008 Mazda 2 conversion
2009 Blade Electron
1997 Prius - plugin hybrid mod

JanSarel
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Hi Reikiman

Firstly you mention a DC/DC converter - this would only be correct if the motor you have has brushes and a commutator on the rotor, otherwise it is a synchronous motor and then you have a DC/AC converter (be careful, some synchronous motors also have brushes on the rotor but not a commutator).

Not easy to determine what the cause of failure was without a thorough investigation but what you describe sounds like a component failed that caused a short circuit or overload, that's the only way you get fuses to blow. For fuse endcaps to melt this is very rare and can only happen if the fuses are sized incorrectly or they were not rated for the short circuit current

Your hunch might be correct because if you have an electric current flowing into an inductor and the current is interrupted you will get quite a high voltage rise which could have exceeded the capacitor voltage rating causing one or more to fail which will lead to a short circuit (which is what happens to a cap when its dielectric brakes down). There should be surge protection on your circuit that would clamp down any voltage spike coming from either inside your controller or via the power supply when you are charging the batteries

hybride
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Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

The MC board with blown fuses had a defect DC/DC converter too. I replaced it and used cheap car fuses 40 Ampere for testing. The board is now functional again. Still a mystery to me why the 4 fuses blown. It's a guess that the DC/DC converter failed while driving and the unlimited regenerated power of the motor blowed the fuses.

I am not sure what all draws current from the MC DC/DC controller. The scooter had a TomTom navigator installed. Maybe it was a coincident, but maybe the total current (BMS+navigation+headlight? etc). was too much...

antiscab
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

hybride wrote:

The MC board with blown fuses had a defect DC/DC converter too. I replaced it

Can you open up the dc-dc and take a picture?

you will need to scrape the potting compound off to do that

I have only seen one other dc-dc fail, but that one I could not find a cause

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $3000
Cost to do it again: $1000 + $3800 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $1500 (lasts longer)
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $7560 + $1000 + $1600 + $4000 servicing
Total spent: $20405
Total to do again: $10905
Total to have used a petrol bike: $21600
Total distance travelled so far: 102'120km

Other vehicles:
2008 Mazda 2 conversion
2009 Blade Electron
1997 Prius - plugin hybrid mod

Mik
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Points: 3739
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

hybride wrote:

The MC board with blown fuses had a defect DC/DC converter too. I replaced it and used cheap car fuses 40 Ampere for testing. The board is now functional again. Still a mystery to me why the 4 fuses blown. It's a guess that the DC/DC converter failed while driving and the unlimited regenerated power of the motor blowed the fuses.

I am not sure what all draws current from the MC DC/DC controller. The scooter had a TomTom navigator installed. Maybe it was a coincident, but maybe the total current (BMS+navigation+headlight? etc). was too much...

Photo of the year! I love it!

__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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hybride
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Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Matt, do you mean like this?

antiscab
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Points: 1686
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

yes - though you will need to separate the black plasic cover from the aluminium heat sink
the terminals/studs embedded in the black plastic will likely break (but the unit is dead so no real loss there)

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $3000
Cost to do it again: $1000 + $3800 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $1500 (lasts longer)
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $7560 + $1000 + $1600 + $4000 servicing
Total spent: $20405
Total to do again: $10905
Total to have used a petrol bike: $21600
Total distance travelled so far: 102'120km

Other vehicles:
2008 Mazda 2 conversion
2009 Blade Electron
1997 Prius - plugin hybrid mod

hybride
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Joined: 08/01/2014
Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Without words...

MEroller
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Joined: 09/26/2011
Points: 837
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

What a mess!

__________________

My rides:
QvR vR one: a Swiss package of pure understatement - innocent and to some eyes (from some angles) exceedingly ugly looks, but with raw and hardly containable electron power up to real 95 to 100km/h! And a literally rock-hard suspension due to a carrying capacity of twice it's unladen weight... Now converted to more controllable and efficient brushless motor and vector-contoller.

E-Sprit Fury (basis is the Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Highly moded - but now in active retirement

hybride
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Joined: 08/01/2014
Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Drived about 500km with the repaired MC board. Yesterday after 10 minutes on 100km/u a sudden dead appears. At home i checked things. All fuses are ok. No 12V. Pretty sure it's the DC/DC converter again, blowed.

I wonder why this happen. A coincidence twice on the same board?

The most obvious reason i can think of now are high voltage spikes on the bus killed the DC/DC by exceeding it's max input Voltage. Possibly caused by weak Murata Cap's or encoder issues?

Any thoughts?

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1686
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

My last dead dc-dc was due to one of the phase terminals coming in contact with the frame.

Testing the caps should be easy enough, and can be done without removing them.

I wonder if there is some other fault in the board or rest of the bike

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $3000
Cost to do it again: $1000 + $3800 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $1500 (lasts longer)
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $7560 + $1000 + $1600 + $4000 servicing
Total spent: $20405
Total to do again: $10905
Total to have used a petrol bike: $21600
Total distance travelled so far: 102'120km

Other vehicles:
2008 Mazda 2 conversion
2009 Blade Electron
1997 Prius - plugin hybrid mod

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1686
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

A bad encoder I would expect other components to have failed, or the board to have just not worked.

Are you using an original charger?

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $3000
Cost to do it again: $1000 + $3800 + $2040 + $1200 + $425 + $800 + $140 + $1500 (lasts longer)
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $7560 + $1000 + $1600 + $4000 servicing
Total spent: $20405
Total to do again: $10905
Total to have used a petrol bike: $21600
Total distance travelled so far: 102'120km

Other vehicles:
2008 Mazda 2 conversion
2009 Blade Electron
1997 Prius - plugin hybrid mod

hybride
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Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Update:

The problem lies in the enable circuit.

I touched the probe of my voltmeter to measure the voltage on GI (pin2) and GO (pin3) on the DC/DC converter with the key turned on and the system started!? Now i turned the key several times and all is operational???

Heavendenied
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Points: 85
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

So, yesterday it Happend to my vectrix. ..Drove AT about 80 km/h and started regen braking and in this moment the wrench lighted up and capcur appeared in the Display. As i had to go to to work i continued driving but a few kilometers later the vectrix spopped working. A few hours ago i got the vectrix home by trailer. Hopefully tomorrow i can disamble the vectrix and habe a look if only the fuses are blown or if there is more damaged. ..

hybride
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Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

Also check if the nuts at the fase wires are well fastened.

Let us know your findings..

Heavendenied
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Points: 85
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

So, i've now dissemled my Vectrix as far as i could. Batteries seems to be OK, and the two main fuses too, but i think all the four black fuses are melted. The nuts from the fase connectors were OK, but the "PINS" itself seems to me to are extremly loose. Is this normal or could this be the reason for the blown fuses? I've made a video of the pins: http://youtu.be/Ne3n2CQOTpc Maybe someone can say if this is OK.
But now my two problems:
1. I don't know how to get the motorcontroller of the Vectrix? Seems to me i have to dissemble the helmet case and rear wheel to reach the screws from outside? Is this right?
2. Where could i get new fuses? I looked here in germany in the online stores but could't find more then 250V/30A and they are not the same design... Does anybody have these fuses or a spare Controller? If not i think my only chance is to order it at vectrixparts, but the 600€ is very much money for me...

Thanks!

Here are two pictures of the Controller and the fuses:

BLUESTREAK
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Points: 272
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

There are photos on here somwhere that I saw where the guy took all the rear plastic covering off and removed the (2) bottom bolts on the steel framework and just loosened the top(2) bolts and tilted it up out of the way and I dont think he removed the rear wheel.and took the controller off.

hybride
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Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

This seems exactly like my situation. 4 fuses burned.

Look at this topic, message #6. You easily can replace these fuses with cheap car 40A fuses (for trying). Repair the fuses and look if the MC is starting up again. If not, the 12V DC/DC module is properly defect too.

I repaired the board, but got new problems afterwards. The enable circuit and the 8mA stopper where damaged too. I am still not sure what caused this heavy damage.

The PINS are ok, they lock when tightening the nuts.

Removing the MC PCB is easy. Just remove all (10-12) bolts from the front and take it off.

I have a spare MC board if you should need. PM me. Vectrixparts also sells them.

Heavendenied
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Points: 85
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

So, motor controller ist out of the vectrix. I'd forgotten two srews in the right side of the controller which are hidden little bit from the front layer of the MC...
I've againd messured the fuses and definitly all 4 250V/40A fuses are blown. Additionaly one 250V/6A Fuse is blown... I've marked all blown fuses in the following Picture.
Unfurtunatly I still did,'t found any source for these fuses... Maximum i found is 250V/30A but i think this is to low...
Is it OK to use 12V car fuses? I would think that they are much to weak for these high voltages, aren't they? But at the Moment the max. car fuses i have is 30A, so for testing i would have to buy some 40A fuses tomorrow (we have a holiday here in germany today...).

Kocho
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Points: 488
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

I looked online for various fuses recently, and noticed that some 40A 32V "scooter fuses" are marketed as replacing the equivalent 250V fuses. These were the round type, 1-1/4". On the same site I saw 40A ATO blade fuses that were also rated at 32V. I think it should be OK to use something like that instead. See for example here: http://www.electricscooterparts.com/fuses.html

The problem with using low voltage fuses of the same current rating as a high-voltage ones comes when they blow. They will blow at the same rated amps, but what happens after they blow is interesting. When the fuse blows it creates an open circuit. If there is high voltage on the ends of the blown fuse now, if that fuse (or its fuse holder) are rated significantly below that rated voltage, a spark may form across the terminals and create a "problem". You don't want that!

What I don't know is what the open voltages for these fuses are where they are installed in the MC board. If the open voltages are indeed above 100V, I'd make sure I pick a high voltage rated fuse. If that means soldering an appropriately high rated fuse holder, then do it.

All that said, if you look-up what voltage is needed to create an electrical arc over a given air gap distance, you need in excess of 1,000V to create an arc over a distance of like 1mm. Your fuse will have more than 1mm gap when it melts, so I *think* (but don't know for sure, so don't take me up on this) you should be OK with a 32V rated fuse if the controller doesn't generate in excess of 1,000V (which I hope it doesn't!). See this calculator for instance: https://www.cirris.com/learning-center/calculators/50-high-voltage-arc-gap-calculator

I too remember the photo of a controller mentioned above with blade fuses soldered to it. It looked kind of cool too. Might even take the opportunity and install fuse holders :).

I'd be interested to hear from folks who actually know about fuses (unlike me) - the above that I wrote is conjecture based on a quick research I did and I don't know if it is correct or not for sure.

MEroller
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning. Low-voltage fuses?!

EV-West "playing" with 12V fuses at higher voltages:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzIvgC09ji8

No further comment needed...

__________________

My rides:
QvR vR one: a Swiss package of pure understatement - innocent and to some eyes (from some angles) exceedingly ugly looks, but with raw and hardly containable electron power up to real 95 to 100km/h! And a literally rock-hard suspension due to a carrying capacity of twice it's unladen weight... Now converted to more controllable and efficient brushless motor and vector-contoller.

E-Sprit Fury (basis is the Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Highly moded - but now in active retirement

BLUESTREAK
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Points: 272
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning.

That photo was worth (5,000) words.

Kocho
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning. Low-voltage fuses?!

Very interesting... Thanks for posting the link!

MEroller wrote:

EV-West "playing" with 12V fuses at higher voltages:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzIvgC09ji8

No further comment needed...

And here is one of many similar discussions about low vs. high voltage fuses (it concludes one should use appropriately rated fuses :)): http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,34160.10/wap2.html

Heavendenied
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Re: Motor controller blowed, warning. Low-voltage fuses?!

So, my new motor controller arrived today and it was really factory new (there was kind of extra PCB around the original PCB, maybe you can see it on the photos). Unfortunately my vectrix still do not work. If i turn on the ignition the instrumenst light up, but the ready sign does not come up. In Vectrix DIAG it shows no firmware for MC and BMS... Trying to flash new firmware to MC ends up in a failure message "Download to VX1Li Motor Controller Failed"...
Can anyone help me? Is it possible that there is no firmware on the Controller or is there anything else i could have done wrong?

Thanks very much!




Bikemad
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Re: CANBUS Communication Problem

If it is possible to easily disconnect the Battery's BMS from the CANBUS system try disconnecting it to see if the controller becomes accessible from the diagnostic program.

I had a similar problem with a charging fault on my NiMH version where the faulty temperature boards prevented the charger from communicating:

With the temperature boards disconnected, the charger instantly began to communicate via the CANBUS and also began to charge correctly and the instrument panel also began displaying the correct information (charging current, battery gauge and estimated range etc.):

The faulty temperature boards must have been shorting out (or overloading) the CANBUS communication system on the charger.

I have now installed the Laird's charger firmware which has completely cured the continually flashing temperature and battery warning lamps caused by the temperature boards being permanently disconnected.

Alan

hybride
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Points: 145
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning. Low-voltage fuses?!

What a BAD luck!

The fact that the MC board didn't start the first time suggests that it was possible already fault?

Flashed several MC boards many times, without any problem.

Hope you can return and change the board if it's broken.

Heavendenied
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Points: 85
Re: Motor controller blowed, warning. Low-voltage fuses?!

So, i have some good and some bad news (for me)...

today i "repaired" my old MC by bypass the blown fuses with coper wire. I know this is not very professinal but back in the scooter this old controller works! I know i can not drive with this bypassed fuses but i think this proofs that the new MC must have any failure... (and thats the bad news)
Hopefully vectrixparts will replace this faulty controller as soon as possible and i will have my vectrix back on the street!

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