Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Single Cell Charger
After the initial charge to the TS cells and they rested the voltages were all between 3.32V and 3.36, which is pretty good. I bought a single cell LiFePo4 6A charger to manually balance the cells in the interim before I can find an inexpensive and adequate BMS. The single charger has a 3.8V cut-off and each cell charged for 1-2 hours then after rest the cells are all at 3.50V. The weather was a little colder the past few days, -5F and the garage was cold too and each cell appeared to dip a little to 3.48V. I expect when they warm up they might come back to 3.5V.
According to the ThunderSky charging curve 3.8V is 75% charged and the remaining part of the charge curve is at 4.2V with a tapering current for about 30-90 minutes. So, I'm not sure that shunt style BMS that limits part of the current to 3.8V is appropriate unless it can "release" all the cells once they are balanced to finish the charging cycle.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
- "The range of an EV isn't enough for most people." An LEED builder
- "The electric grid can't handle electric vehicles." A mechanic
- "Electricity generated from coal pollutes as much as gasoline." A british friend
- "Ethanol is the worst environmentally." A energy think tank "expert"
- "We won't have electric cars anytime soon." The same think tank guy
- "We don't all need an electric car like Al Gore says." A Montana house representative
- "If we don't use gas then we won't have taxes for roads." A local builder
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This is a GPS touchscreen from dealextreme.com. Notice the catchy phrase on the side. It also says "Very Good Very Powerful" across the top.
After finding the time over a couple weeks to connect the Paktrakr up to the TS cells I was able to get the EV Dashboard connected. There were only a few differences between my test data and the live data from the Paktrakr so I only had a few tweaks to the display. I'll mount it in the car next.
It is pretty easy to see that cell 7 on Remote 4 is under charged. (I haven't activated the cells yet). There are 45 cells (20 in the trunk and 25 up front) and Remote 3 has only 5 cells on it and is split with 4 in the back and 1 under the hood. This required a single wire strung back to the remote in the trunk. Also, the remote's lead is not quite long enough so Ken Hall from Paktrakr is making an extension.
Here is the setup tab. You can select the battery type, select logging to the SD card and run back your data in simulation mode.
Contact me if you are interested in using the EV Dashboard. I'll can just send you the beta bits. Also let me know if you can build a low power bluetooth serial cable for the Paktrakr. That would save some power and $ for the IOGEAR Serial to Bluetooth adapter and DC adapter and it would be a more elegant solution. This previous post has some setup details.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Thundersky "quality certificate" says:
"The electricity is half loaded when the batery produced, the battery cannot be discharged directly under any condition, and must be charged before first use. Please check and if the voltage is 4.2v means the battery is fully charged. If the battery is used in series there must be professional technicians to handle and required charger and BMS must be attached in use."
Then in a separate print out it says:
Before first discharge the battery, please charge it to 4.2V with the constant current of 0.1CA~0.5CA and stop until the charging current falls to 1% of the original."
So, I have the Manzanita Charger set to 191V as the cutoff for 45 cells at 4.25 each. Below is a graph of the paktrakr data from the charging cycle for 8+ hours. The amps are X10 to fit on the same scale as volts. The small blip before the "hockey stick" is when I turned off the charger to go to bed and restarted it in the morning. The charger started tapering the amps at 191V and then the voltage dropped. I set the amps to 10A manually and then adjusted again at the end to 1A.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It took 5 attempts to get up the drive way between the choppy startup and the summer tires on the slick snow. Since the car came with studded snow tires I'll have to put them on soon.
After contacting Kelly Controlls customer service they said the KDH14401A (144V/400A w/ Regen) was underpowered for the vehicle. They recommended an upgrade to the KDH15600B (156V/600A). The A models are 7" while the B models are 11" and the web site says the B's are a newer design. I'm hoping that will take care of this problem.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I've decided to get the original Tachometer in the dashboard working. I've saved the blue (BLU) wire on the wiring harness, that ran from the distributor to the junction connector C415, to connect to a hall-effect sensor and 2 magnets on the motor auxiliary shaft. Thanks to Brian's work at S2KEV the tach signal should need 2 12v pulses per revolution of the motor. This coincides with 2 spark plug ignitions per revolution for a 4 cylinder car.
The gauge goes to 8000 RPM so the FB1-4001A should register on the gauge well. I've got 2 magnets to JB weld to a 3/4" shaft collar for the auxilliary end of the motor, a bolt to mount the Melexis sensor, 2 nuts to adjust the sensor and an angle bracket to mount the bolt on the motor mount instead of on the motor directly. They told me I was reinventing the wheel at Ace. We'll see.
I used an old 4 wire plug from an old computer and only used 3 of the sockets. The parallax site has recommended cables and magnets to go with the sensor. Another option for the hall-effect sensor is this Honeywell SR13C-A1 which is pre-mounted and wired in a plastic snap case. I ended up using this one with a metal strap bent into position.
Well, my first try didn't work. There was almost no voltage on the output when a magnet passed by the sensor. But after I dug a little bit into it the wiring diagram they recommended sensor circuit have a pull-up resistor between the Supply (12v) and Output (tach wire). I tried out the resistor with my son's Circuit Jr. kit and it worked so after putting in a 4k ohm resistor the tach works. With the car on jacks and in 1st gear I was getting about 2000 RPMs for 10 MPH.
Here is the sensor mounted to an L bracket on the motor mount on the auxilliary end of the motor. I've re-crimped the ends with the resistor and wrapped it in heat shrink to keep it clean.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The noise might be a big problem. This pump is rated at 72 db. There is a pump at metricmind.com that is rated at 50db, which might be the ticket.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Straps will hold them in place.
Monday, September 28, 2009
- Prep 35 hours (30)
- Motor Mount 18 hours (50)
- Low voltage Wiring 30 hours est. (20)
- Cables and racks 41 hours (30)
- Misc. Paint & Clean-up 10 hours est. (20)
- Total 135 hours (150)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I've ordered 45 Thundersky 100 Ah cells from Dave at evcomponents in Issaquah, WA. They are supposed to be here any day so I've got to get the racks installed. The cells are 145mm X 220mm X 68mm or 5.7" X 8.66" X 2.6". The are already prestrapped in groups of 5 (5.7" X 13.85" X 8.66"). I'll put 2 in the front rack, 3 in the firewall rack and 4 in the trunk. They are 7.7 lbs. each so the weights should be similar to the ICE parts removed from the car. I cut the pieces and had a friend weld them together. I'll follow the installation advice and instructions from Tim Kutscha, with a few changes. I'm not bolting the racks but welding them at 45 degree angles. Since the dimensions of my batteries are thinner the racks will be narrower. Also, the del Sol trunk appears to be a different shape than the Civic. I'll just prime and paint the racks instead of powdercoating them. Here is a picture of the welded racks.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
So, I had the throttle wires connected to the micro switch on the front of the potbox. As you can see from the picture (I got lucky) and there is a 3rd post on the throttle. With some internet reading I connected the 5V input to the unused 3rd wire and grounded the 1st wire (white) and the middle (wiper or black wire) is the throttle input. Now the throttle and gas pedal work correctly.
Note: At this point in the conversion I cannot recommend a Kelly KDH for the simple reason they don't support 0-5K throttle input.
Perhaps the biggest indicator is that LG Chem and its US division, Compact Power Inc (CPI), will supply the batteries for the Chevy Volt. They plan to spend $800M on a Korean factory. Also, A123 will supply the batteries for Chrysler and Kia and Nissan Leaf (with NEC) have announced EVs.
A quote from an article about the Leaf:
"However, the battery, the most expensive component on the car, will only be leased to customers.
The Leaf is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90 kW, while its electric motor delivers 80 kW/280 Nm."
Friday, July 24, 2009
With a couple batteries tied to the radiator mounts I was able to drive up and down the driveway a few times before the batteries got weak. Like I said, the throttle is really jumpy and there is a wobble in the motor front plate, which I'm affraid might be serious. The next step is to get the battery racks built and installed and string some cables to the trunk.
Later: It turns out I had the potentiometer wired wrong. The 5v goes to the COM (left), Ground to the N.O. (middle), and the 0-5V throttle to N.C. (right). It works now. The throttle is very quick and the car lurches forward or back, not sure what that is.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
With the control box in place and the low voltage wiring ready, now time for the high voltage cables. The orange ultraflex cable is much easier to work with in tight spaces, like the control box, than the black but it is twice as expensive. In this picture is the Noalox anticorrosion gel and the hammer crimper. I've found pounding with a hammer on the cement floor give the best results.
Friday, July 17, 2009
This is the original temp sender from the engine. It is a thermistor or temperature resistor connected to the temp gauge on the dashboard. When the temp goes up the resistance goes down. I'm mounting it to the controller to monitor the temp from the drivers seat. The controller operates up to 90C (195F) and will shutdown at 100C (212F). This corresponds to a typical 195F thermostat in a car so the gauge should read about halfway when the controller gets hot.
There was a mounting bracket already in the engine bay and a 6" angle bracket from Ace fit perfectly to one of the screw holes for the clutch, which is gone. The mount is bomber and the hood even closes, which is a plus. Also, there is room for battery racks in front and behind. The controller is Kelly 144v with regen from cloudelectric for $875.
The Kelly KDH requires a 5V input instead of just the 5ohm input from the existing potbox wires. So, wiring the 5V output from the controller into the potbox, plus the ground and the 5V output of the potbox.
Sorry I'm so color blind with my wiring. The yellow-black wire should be black (gnd) and the blue wire (from the throttle's black wire "signal") should be green. I've used yellow for 5V from the controller to the throttle.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The control box is starting to take shape. I picked up a wiring box at home depot and have been drilling holes in it for 2 days. I've found a good place to mount it just above the transmission. The controller will mount off of the side of it. Once I get everything bolted down I can start wiring it.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Last week I drove Steve Titus' Solar Bug , which has a solar panel on the top. It was a sunny day and the 48v panel was producing 3amps, which should recharge the batteries in a few hours after driving a few miles.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
This manual has good wiring diagrams of the '93 del Sol. Along with tips from this blog Open Source Civic EV Kit: Figuring out the wiring harness I was able to get the backup lights working. Testing the speedometer will have to wait until it is drivable. Ironically, the "check engine" light is now on. So, I'll have to remove fuse #15.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Since the coupler and single plate setup is so simple the installation was really easy. I had to cut 1/4" off the motor shaft with a hack saw and I used a grinder to cut 1" off the drive shaft. Tony warned me about going really slow so the shaft didn't heat up and damage the bearings. It took about 2 hours. But, I got a lot of work done on the motor mount waiting for the shaft to cool.
Zach and I slide the motor under the frame with the front end on jack stands. We used a cable hoist suspended from the garage rafters to lift the motor into place once the coupler and plate were mounted. Because the transmission only has 2 mounts we put the jack under the adapter plate to level the motor for a test spin. I expected that wiring the motor for CCW would be correct... but I was wrong. The wheels spun backwards in first gear. The FB1-4001A can be wired for either direction so the jumper can just be switched.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The coupler and adapter plate are done and ready to be installed. I'll have to cut the drive shaft and maybe the motor shaft to get them to fit together. Tony Smith did the machine work and I would highly recommend him again. The plate is 1" to get around any future movement from spacer rings and the clutch splines have been welded on to a keyed coupler that fits the motor. This will eliminate almost all the weight from the flywheel, clutch and pressure plate of the original setup. According to EV America, every 7 lbs taken off the flywheel equals 100 lbs. of vehicle weight. So, that should be about equal to 600 lbs. Nice!
Friday, June 26, 2009
The information I have wrestled with the most is from the evparts.com site, http://www.evparts.com/img/mt2114peakmotoroutput.PDF
This basically shows that at 120v and 400 amps, which is low for racing but high for a range minded vehicle:
Motor size T HP
X-91 6" 87 36
L-91 6" 60 42
203-06 8" 63 47
FB1 9" 80 50
The first thing I noted was the torque to hp ratio is highest in the X-91. If I understand torque vs. hp (which I might not) a high torque would provide acceleration but not a great top speed or hill climbing capacity. The next thing to note is that the FB1 has larger torque and hp for the same voltage and amperage. Even without looking at the torque curve, this indicates the FB1 is more efficient. I would like to see this same chart at a more realistic current like 100 amps or 80 amps.
Since the del Sol has these original values:
Torque 98(s) 106(Si) 111(VTEC)
HP 102(S) 125(Si) 160(VTEC)
At 144v and 400 amps (max.) I calculated the torque at 111 ft.lbs. and hp at 68, which actually comes pretty close to the original, only a little shy on the HP. So, the FB1-4001A at $1450 from cloudelectric was a pretty good fit. Also, there were a few folks who have already done this, mitigating the risk factor.
68.72 HP = (400a * 144v * .89 Eff) / 746
111.6 ft.lbs. = (5252 * 68.72 hp) / 3282 rpm (back calculated from the evparts chart above)
Adapter Plate Mock-up
I had a local machine shop laser cut a mock-up of the adapter plate in acrylic from a design on the net. It took about 10 minutes and cost $32. There are 2 holes off and the basic outside template shape is way off, but with a little cutting it fits. I'll use the outside shape of the old template and the holes of the new one to build the adapter plate from a 1" alum. plate of 6061, which should eliminate the need for spacers.