Adding a second OEM charger for 6.6kW charging - CANBUS hacking
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  1. #1
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    Default Adding a second OEM charger for 6.6kW charging - CANBUS hacking

    Howdy,
    I am interested in adding a second OEM charger to a first-generation Volt to double the charging power from 3.3kW to 6.6kW. This is theoretically possible, according to work by EV developer mauswerkz, by creating a separate CANBUS network for the second charger. The CANBUS module would need to send info to the second charger based on what the car is telling the first charger to do.

    Of course, there would be HVDC and AC wiring work to do: possible replacement of the J1772 inlet and AC wiring with higher-current-capacity hardware, and duplicate or replacement wiring for the HVDC charger output. Also, it'd be necessary to sniff the J1772 communication to see if there is adequate current from the EVSE to drive the second charger at full or partial power, or at all.

    I could see this being pretty useful for me and others that want to minimize gas use during trips that go beyond EV range. I tend to stay close to my rural home most of the time, but regularly take longer errand-running trips that would benefit from higher-power opportunity charging. It's not necessary or beneficial for most, but it would be a nice option for some.

    Does anyone know of any existing work on adding a second charger, OEM or otherwise?

    Here are some more links from mauswerkz' project, which uses a number of Volt parts:
    https://hackaday.io/project/4649/logs/sort/newest
    http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...er-133857.html
    http://forums.evtv.me/?forum=403618
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-12958.html
    https://hackaday.io/project/4649/log...he-small-stuff
    https://hackaday.io/project/4649/log...-front-battery
    https://hackaday.io/project/4649/log...ing-components

  2. #2
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    There have been several "tuners" on this board claiming that they can modify a Volt. Every one of them only talks about improving acceleration, particularly 0-60 time.

    No "tuner" has even claimed to use more of the battery's total capacity, improve the charging rate, or do anything else involving the battery. Either they have no idea why people buy Volts in the first place or they only know how to change some tables, not code, through the bus.

    I wonder if these guys offer Corvette tunes that just improve the mpg.

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    Although this doesn't answer the OP's question, I disagree with Mike's comment.
    • A lot of "tuners" in this forum have modified their vehicles.
    • The most common modification is to make the accelerator pedal more sport like by default.
    • A few of us altered the ICE for better mileage.
    • One improved his 0-60 time, but required the ICE to be running and got a CEL during the process.
    Regarding using a Corvette tune, that's not going to work. Our Volts are heavy and the ICE doesn't really idle since it's always maintaining the HV battery so a better tune would come from a high compression flex fuel V8 pickup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colchiro View Post
    Although this doesn't answer the OP's question, I disagree with Mike's comment.
    • A lot of "tuners" in this forum have modified their vehicles.
    • The most common modification is to make the accelerator pedal more sport like by default.
    • A few of us altered the ICE for better mileage.
    • One improved his 0-60 time, but required the ICE to be running and got a CEL during the process.
    Regarding using a Corvette tune, that's not going to work. Our Volts are heavy and the ICE doesn't really idle since it's always maintaining the HV battery so a better tune would come from a high compression flex fuel V8 pickup.
    Are you personally aware of the engine MPG mods for better mileage? I'd love to hear more about how well that may have worked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colchiro View Post
    Although this doesn't answer the OP's question, I disagree with Mike's comment.

    • A lot of "tuners" in this forum have modified their vehicles.
    • The most common modification is to make the accelerator pedal more sport like by default.
    • A few of us altered the ICE for better mileage.
    • One improved his 0-60 time, but required the ICE to be running and got a CEL during the process.

    Regarding using a Corvette tune, that's not going to work. Our Volts are heavy and the ICE doesn't really idle since it's always maintaining the HV battery so a better tune would come from a high compression flex fuel V8 pickup.
    Define "a lot". 3? 6? 24? 10,000?
    None of the "modified" examples involve what the OP is asking about. All involve the ICE. 2 out of 3 seem suspiciously similar to what MikeG said: acceleration. The third kicks on the ICE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colchiro View Post
    Although this doesn't answer the OP's question, I disagree with Mike's comment.
    • A lot of "tuners" in this forum have modified their vehicles.
    • The most common modification is to make the accelerator pedal more sport like by default.
    • A few of us altered the ICE for better mileage.
    • One improved his 0-60 time, but required the ICE to be running and got a CEL during the process.
    Regarding using a Corvette tune, that's not going to work. Our Volts are heavy and the ICE doesn't really idle since it's always maintaining the HV battery so a better tune would come from a high compression flex fuel V8 pickup.
    You're basically agreeing with me.

    None of the tunes affect the battery in any way.

    While the tuners have not disclosed their methods, other posters have strongly suggested that the tunes only involve table changes. I assume that GM has a standard format for these tables, so finding the right cells sounds doable. Decompiling the actual code has not been demonstrated.

    My Corvette comment was meant as sarcasm - you don't buy a Corvette for superior mpg and you don't buy a Volt for red hot acceleration.

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    OK, thanks for the threadjacking guys. I was hoping to discuss the addition of a second 3.3kW OEM charger to a Gen 1 Volt. Any comments on that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nedfunnell View Post
    OK, thanks for the threadjacking guys. I was hoping to discuss the addition of a second 3.3kW OEM charger to a Gen 1 Volt. Any comments on that?
    You have to tell the Volt to use the second charger. That means understanding and changing the computer programs that monitor and control the Volt HV battery. No one outside of GM has ever demonstrated that capability. I hope that this answers your question.

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    I don't have a Volt but, as an EE, I see that a second charger will not work because the onboard battery monitor communicates with the EVSE to determine the charging current. 3.3 kW is about 15 A for a Level 2 EVSE and that is set at the code level. A second charger, if setup to supply the same charge current of 15 A (for a possible total of 30 A), will be working against the first EVSE. The monitor circuit will detect the higher current and tell the EVSE to drop the current, so at the end, the two EVSE and chargers will reduce their outputs to be just 15 A together (or 7.5 A each).

    Someone has to break into the Volt battery monitor code to allow higher currents to charge the battery. And someone here mentioned that the regenerative braking does supply higher currents, but that is from the motor/generator. If there were a way to "spoof" the monitor to believe that the Volt is in regeneration, maybe the higher charge current can be possible.

    I once thought of a third path: a direct battery attachment, bypassing the internal monitor. But that is dangerous if the new external monitor cannot measure the exact current entering the battery and its thermal conitions. This is all dangerous due to the high amounts of energy involved. No layperson, or even an EE with little knowledge or training, can do any type of external modification to increase the Volt battery charging input over the coded 3.3 kW without getting some information or help from LG Chamical of any specialized GM engineer. The gain cannot compensate the risks involved.
    Last edited by Raymondjram; 03-19-2017 at 10:37 PM.
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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedfunnell View Post
    OK, thanks for the threadjacking guys. I was hoping to discuss the addition of a second 3.3kW OEM charger to a Gen 1 Volt. Any comments on that?
    Agreed - don't you just love the internet
    It does sound interesting, however it's way above my paygrade. Hopefully this becomes a useful discussion.
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