EV conversion kit

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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coulomb
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 01:22

I recently won this Ebay item:

Electric Car Component Kit 15kW motor LiFePo Batteries, controller, charger etc

Image

Description: "Electric car conversion kit including the latest technology LiFePo batteries, 144V electric motor, water cooled power controller, fly-by-wire accelerator, Charging modules, mains charger. All items are new."

I asked the following question and received the following answer:
"Q: Hi, What's the capacity of the CALB cells? What brand of motor controller is it? What brand of motor is it? Thanks.
A: Dear Vanemmerik The capacity of the LiFePo batteries is 45 units at 3.2V/160AH. Motor controller and motor supplied by Green Auto Industries in China. Photo available later today."

The photo unfortunately didn't make it to the auction before it ended. The only Green Auto company I could find was some motorcycle shop in India.

But I was on the scrounge for ~ 200 Ah @ 48 V nominal (16 cells) of ex-EV batteries for a solar energy system upgrade. Weber was also looking for a set of about 100 Ah, also 48 V nominal. The rest of the kit was very vague, but had to be worth something. We worked out that the 45 cells would be worth about $2000 to $3000 to us, taking into account that I'd need to buy an extra 3 cells at 160 or 180 Ah to make up a second set.

To cut a long story short (I've already typed it and lost it, grrr), I won it with seconds to go at just under $2114. Weber and I picked up the kit this morning, and were surprised to find that the motor and controller were AC. The batteries were out of their cases, but still strapped; this was a little surprising but convenient as we wanted to check the cell voltages before taking them away. The ones we measured were all over 3.28 V.
Last edited by coulomb on Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 18:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:06

The kit includes:

* 45 x 160 Ah CALB SE series cells, date code September 2009 if I read it correctly. They make 180 Ah in the same size now, if they still make the CA series at all)
* All battery straps and bolts (the straps cost $6 each new!)
* Clamps for 3 x 12 cells and 1 x 9 cells.
* Thin black coated battery boxes, though I somehow only ended up with 2 boxes (for 12 and 9 cells), and 3 lids (of 4 boxes and lids).
* A battery management system, though it may be a monitor-only system. It is CAN based. There are cables and monitoring modules for 45 cells. It comes with a ~ 120 mm colour screen. There are many cables. Some end up in pigtails; possibly these are for connection to other parts of your system (so you could talk to the BMS over CAN, for example).
* Hall sensor for BMS.
* AC motor controller; the only clue to the size is the "15kW" in the title. Upon opening the controller, I see three sets of 300 A IGBTs. So that would be roughly 43 kW peak.
* Induction motor, water cooled (Jeff, I didn't see the water inlet and outlet that were buried at an odd angle.) My guess from the size and the fact that it is water cooled is that it would be 15 kW continuous, and very roughly 50 kW peak.
* Pot box with accelerator pedal; marked Hella and 6PV 312 006-00 and "Diesel MT". 6 pin connector; I haven't seen a cable for that yet. The controller has a 6-pin connector with a different layout.
* Vacuum pump and reservoir. No vacuum pipes that I could see. The rubber boots over the ends of the vacuum pump (to keep the pipe clean) were badly perished.
* A mystery device that looks like it might be a tiny dc-dc (about 75 x 65 x 32 mm). It has four wires: red, green, black, and blue. It is completely potted.
* A TC Charger, 170 V @ 30 A. The mains cord goes to a large plug with three round pins; I don't recognise it. There is a "put this in your fuel tank inlet" recepticle that is similar.
* A car fuse box with two connectors on it. So far, nothing on the fuse box seems to match with anything else.
* Some manuals: a ~ 18 page manual for the BMS (in English and another copy in Chinese), two slips of paper with Chinese characters, but some RS232 pinouts readable in English, and a mini-CD Rom. The CD-Rom seems to have one executable program and PDFs for the BMS manuals.

While the BMS master has a 7-pin connector marked "charger", and the TC Charger has a 7-pin connector, it doesn't look like these connect together. (The manual says this connector is for "disuse".) It may be that the system merely monitors voltages and issues an alarm. There is a large hall sensor that connects to the BMS, so maybe this is used to prevent nuisance alarms from battery sag under current. Hall sensor seems to be 300 A nominal (but some of these measure up to two times nominal current with reduced accuracy).

So there doesn't seem to be any documentation for the business end - how to connect the potbox to the controller, what to connect the 15 pin connector from the controller to, and so on. The high power connections are pretty obvious. There is no contactor, fuse, or any high current cable apart from the three heavy wires to the motor.

Photos soon.
Last edited by coulomb on Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 16:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Adverse Effects » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:29

that seems to be a good score and you didnt have to pay $1000's in shipping

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:33

Photos as promised.

Image    Image

Image    Image

Image    Image

Image    Image

Image   Image
The spiky thing is the mystery box that I suspect is a small DC-DC.

Image    Image

Image    Image
The sky blue thing is the large hall effect sensor.

Image    Image
I didn't discover the motor water inlet and outlet until transporting it. The inlet and outlet are blocked with something to keep them clean.
The inside of the controller seems well made. I would say about Elcon charger quality.

Image    Image

The straps of hopefully tinned copper connecting the IGBTs to the output terminals are impressively chunky. [ Edit: I found out later, by scratching, that they are aluminium. Oh well. ] The IGBSs are 300 A and 600 V.

There isn't any water pump, radiator, or piping. But PC cooling gear is readily available.
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 18 Apr 2014, 15:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:39

Now the big question is: what do I do with all this?

So far, I'm inclined to use the batteries as originally intended: 16 for Weber, the remaining 29 to me, and I add 3 CA-180 cells to make 48 V at 320 Ah for my solar energy system. The rest I sell to whoever wants it. The charger alone is worth at least $500. The BMS would be useful to someone with a 45 cell lithium system. The motor and controller could go into a budget conversion. Maybe I could donate it to the AEVA Brisbane branch or to Suzi Auto.

Or I could convert White Suzi. But then I have to buy batteries new, and I can't justify that at present. Maybe when batteries improve or come down in price.
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Post by Adverse Effects » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:40

by the way if you think you are going to write big posts like the ones above on a forum i do it in "word" or "notepad" then copy past it to the forum that way you wont lose it

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Post by weber » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 03:20

Adverse Effects wrote: by the way if you think you are going to write big posts like the ones above on a forum i do it in "word" or "notepad" then copy past it to the forum that way you wont lose it

Or install the Lazarus Add-on for Firefox. It's miraculous. Image
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 05:05

Or just use ^A (select All) and ^C (Copy to clipboard), which I do before 99% of all posts. I forgot this time, and it got me.

BTW, the photo on Ebay must have been from some web page, since when I got to the battery straps, they are brand spanking new and still grouped into sets of twenty with nylon twine. I might use a Google image search to find other copies of it on the web. Low and behold it finds this site. The seller mentioned that he had a prototype of a three-wheeled car, that he was also interested in selling. So it is presumably like this one. The BMS screen looks the same, and of course the battery image is the same.

Image

[ Edit: removed indirect sales information for the vehicle ]
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 16:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by BigMouse » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 05:07

I'm pretty sure that's a "greatland" motor and controller kit. Are you sure it's an induction motor? From their website, all the water-cooled motors they carry are PMAC.

http://www.glelec.com/en/product_category.asp?id=3

I contacted them about purchasing a motor a while back, but they refused to sell me one without the controller, saying that they were a matched set. Of course I was interested in getting a hold of the motor to see how much I could overclock it on my own controller.

I think EV Power sell these components, so if you're looking for documentation or guidance, they probably know about it. It's probably a safe bet those components were all ordered from Rod originally anyway.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 06:15

i like that trike wish i had that kind of cash

would it be registrable in QLD?

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 14:03

Adverse Effects wrote: i like that trike wish i had that kind of cash

would it be registrable in QLD?


I don't know.

[ Edit: removed indirect sales information for the vehicle ]
BigMouse wrote:Are you sure it's an induction motor?
We found out later that it's PMAC (a little cogging; shorting leads locks rotor).
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Post by Adverse Effects » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 15:54

it would seem the makers have gone broke

Triac ev experience
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Post by weber » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 16:17

I find it very unlikely that this trike would be registerable for road use in Australia.

When I asked him how long those cells had been on the shelf he said 2 years. We have since learnt that Sky Energy stopped selling 160 Ah cells in 2009 and the box some of the stuff was in is dated 2009. That's 4 years.

He's a charming fellow, but he is involved in selling so-called "solar hybrid" air conditioning which involves plumbing a solar thermal panel into the refrigerant circuit between the compressor and the condenser. Choice magazine tested one of these and found no benefit from the solar thermal panel, which is no surprise to anyone who understands the theory. Solar thermal air-conditioning is possible, but not like this.
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 19:35

It slowly dawned on me that I had seen one of these before somewhere; in fact, it was the same place I first saw the Tritium Civic:

GreenHeart Fair - EVs on display . This was back in November 2009. I note that it didn't have number plates at the time. I recall that at the time I thought it was odd that there was no-one around to talk about the vehicle, just the sticker on the side. The URL on that sticker seems to be obsolete, but a bit of a search led back to the seller's web page.

This one seems to have a quite different motor as the kit I bought, though the controller looks similar (with a large heatsink underneath, so possibly an air cooled version).

[ Edit: removing quote of removed comment ]
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Post by Johny » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 19:50

The single rear wheel drive looks very efficient.
(That's coming from someone who listens to his 48 year old hypoid diff. every morning because that't the only thing on the car that makes a noise any more - soon fix - after house reno.)

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Post by weber » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 21:58

Johny wrote: The single rear wheel drive looks very efficient.
(That's coming from someone who listens to his 48 year old hypoid diff. every morning because that't the only thing on the car that makes a noise any more - soon fix - after house reno.)

What makes you think the single rear wheel is driving? The photos show what looks like motor and transaxle in the front.
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Post by Adverse Effects » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 22:42

its front wheel drive

the single wheel is just a coster

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Post by Johny » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 22:42

weber wrote:What makes you think the single rear wheel is driving? The photos show what looks like motor and transaxle in the front.
Well there you go... When you ASSume you make.....
Hmmm. I would have driven the single rear wheel - it just seems logical. You avoid CVs, diffs.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 22:43

Johny wrote:Hmmm. I would have driven the single rear wheel - it just seems logical. You avoid CVs, diffs.


same here

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Post by Johny » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 22:45

I guess shouldn't have expected too much from someone who named a vehicle after a component used in light dimmers.

Edit: drat - light
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Post by Vectrix150V » Mon, 09 Sep 2013, 19:52

Wow - looks like a nice score!

I had planned a solar backup setup myself (I got a set of 12 X 12V 150AH Ritars that I received for payment from someone who abandoned an EV project) but finding a decent inverter proved difficult.

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