AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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baron.vb
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by baron.vb » Mon, 02 May 2016, 03:21

Hi guys,

First time I'm posting, but have been lurking for a while.

I've recently bought a gorgeous 64 Beetle, with the sole purpose of converting it to an EV. It has been something on my mind for some years, and as an Electrical Engineer it takes my interest.

The build will be AC-50 based with a Curtis Controller. Many of the parts are being sourced from the USA, predominately from Michael at EV West in California.

I'd like your opinions about charging options; specifically if there is a plug type I should be looking at (such as the J1772), or if the Australian 10A 230Vac GPO is generally enough.

FYI, battery capacity will likely be 180Ah @ 96V; which makes me estimate about 10 hours charge time from completely flat using full 10A draw as a worst case scenario.

I'll be sure to keep you all updated on how I am going. If you have any other pointers or feedback to give, I'm all ears.

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reecho
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Post by reecho » Mon, 02 May 2016, 04:43

J1772 socket is a must with a good conversion. More and more charging stations are popping up all the time like in shopping centres and car parks etc.

Depending on the charger used it may have pilot signal drive built in or you can use a standalone J1772 module such as the one EV West uses.

Would love to do a Beetle or Kombi conversion.....some day.... :-)

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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by jonescg » Mon, 02 May 2016, 04:44

Very cool! Always good to see new conversion projects, and the Beetle is a great candidate.

Honestly, a 15 amp GPO is perfectly fine. However if you want to get technical you can install a J1772 charge port on the car. This means more official EV charge points are available to you, usually with free parking.

The best advice I can offer on a conversion project is to sort the drive train first, then batteries. Don't settle on a brand, format or chemistry until you've settled on a final pack volume and maximum battery mass. You can always upgrade later on, but if you go putting cells in wheel-wells you might struggle to make it work. It's also much harder to do maintenance when they are in odd spots.

Plenty of helpful folks in the Brisbane area too - get in touch with Les and the Qld AEVA branch if you haven't already.

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baron.vb
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by baron.vb » Wed, 08 Jun 2016, 18:33

Just providing an update guys. All of the gear that I need, other than batteries, are on a ship from the USA.

I'll be removing the ICE from my Beetle in just a few weeks time. Can't wait to get started.

Will provide updates here and there, hopefully with a few pictures too!
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Peter C in Canberra
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by Peter C in Canberra » Sat, 10 Sep 2016, 03:07

I don't think a J1772 port is all that important. Icing on the cake if you want it. It works just fine to build it to charge from any 10Amp power point. 99% of charging will be at home. If you are keen you can make it take the maximum from a 15A outlet and have one of those at home but able to be switched to be very 10A-friendly. One way to do that would be to have two chargers with their outputs paralleled. Switch one of them off if you are not confident that you can take close to 15A safely.
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by baron.vb » Sun, 09 Oct 2016, 12:43

Hi all,

Was going to post an update with pictures, but this forum seems to keep rejecting my posts. I'm about 70% of the way through the build.

Any ideas? Not even sure if this one will work

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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by baron.vb » Sun, 09 Oct 2016, 13:49

Here's an update guys. I can only hope that a Moderator will approve this post sometime soon, as it never happened last time. No idea why I'm 'moderated'.

Now about 70% of the way through the conversion process. Have installed AC motor, run 96V cabling through the former heater ducts, completely gutted and rewired 12V system, and currently finalising the control box (96V contactor, 12V contactor, shunt, etc). I have also wired a pressure sensor into the brake system so as to be able to use regen braking with the brake pedal itself.

My biggest challenge so far has been a lack of designs to go off for a Right Hand Drive LiFePO4 battery box for the front batteries. I have settled on the CALB CA180 batteries, that I will be ordering imminently for early 2017 delivery.

Have been intentionally taking my time with the build, learning about everything I put in. Some aspects of the kit I have (EV West) are a little frustrating; particularly that it doesn't define the best layouts/routes for cables. But, I'm an Engineer and have slowly worked it out for myself. But, its all round a really fun hobby and it has been attracting a lot of interest already.

I'd post pictures, but apparently this forum won't let me do that or doesn't have the option. If you are on Instagram, you can look up #Blitzkäfer for all the photos.

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Post by evric » Sun, 09 Oct 2016, 13:54

baron.vb wrote: Hi all,

Was going to post an update with pictures, but this forum seems to keep rejecting my posts. I'm about 70% of the way through the build.

Any ideas? Not even sure if this one will work


Hi Baron.vb,
Because you are new to the Forum each Post has to be moderated.
In this initial stage I and other admin will do this for you, which will allow your Posts through.
Eric
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Richo
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by Richo » Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 20:28

baron.vb wrote:Have installed ... 96V cabling through the former heater ducts


So where do the heater ducts go now (for the heater)?
Last edited by Richo on Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 09:28, edited 1 time in total.
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by woody » Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 20:35

Richo wrote: So where do the heater ducts go now (for the heater)?
VW's being air-cooled have a system to blow air through heat-exchangers with the exhaust (carbon monoxide anyone?) into the cabin at the front instead of the usual water cooled solution of blowing air through a secondary radiator. In an EV these ducts are not useful, I guess a heater of some type behind the console would be the go.
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by Peter C in Canberra » Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 20:51

woody wrote: ... I guess a heater of some type behind the console would be the go.

Get a 12V electric seat heater kit. For a fraction of the energy required for a space heater you apply the heat where you want it. De-fogging the windscreen remains a problem to solve for which you might need heated air. In my conversion I reinstated the original air conditioning which dries the air and defogs more effectively than 900W of resistance heated air. In an uninsulated metal and glass box moving at speed through sub-zero Canberra winter nights, 900W is not enough heating and slow to defog but having a 45W heated bum and back makes it more bearable.
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by baron.vb » Wed, 12 Oct 2016, 12:46

Hi guys. I live in Brisbane, so a heater is not something on my list of concerns :-) perhaps it would have been useful for a few days this winter just passed, but for those days we have a regular car :-)

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Post by baron.vb » Wed, 12 Oct 2016, 12:47

I'll try to work out how to get a few build pictures up for you guys. Stay posted!

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Post by evric » Wed, 12 Oct 2016, 12:54

baron.vb wrote: Hi guys. I live in Brisbane, so a heater is not something on my list of concerns :-) perhaps it would have been useful for a few days this winter just passed, but for those days we have a regular car :-)


Check the regulations for your state. If you want to get it registered, you may have to have an effective demister installed. This is the case in SA, and we are not allowed to just place a heater blower on the top of the dash.
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Post by Richo » Wed, 12 Oct 2016, 20:55

Seems odd but:
NCOP14 wrote:Modified vehicles must continue to comply with the applicable ADRs according to each vehicle’s ADR category and date of manufacture and also to the applicable AVSR.
ADR15 (window demisting) didn't come in until the 70's well after this Beetle was made.

SO it really would be up to the transport ppl doing the inspection weather they accept it without a heater.
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by Peter C in Canberra » Wed, 12 Oct 2016, 21:09

Richo wrote: SO it really would be up to the transport ppl doing the inspection weather they accept it without a heater.

If the inspection weather (sic) is warm, they might not notice.
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AC-50 based 64 Beetle build

Post by baron.vb » Thu, 13 Oct 2016, 11:14

Thanks for advice RE: heater. I'm not aware of that being an issue with a 64 beetle, but I'll check.

Now with pictures - Hopefully this works. This is just a few random pictures from various stages of the build to date.



Baron.vB's 64 beetle build pics
Last edited by baron.vb on Thu, 13 Oct 2016, 00:20, edited 1 time in total.

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evric
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Post by evric » Thu, 13 Oct 2016, 13:18

Very nice.
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Richo
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Post by Richo » Thu, 13 Oct 2016, 20:25

Yes very neat.
I see someone has done quite a bit of wiring in the past. Image
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Post by Adverse Effects » Fri, 14 Oct 2016, 07:10

yep that is looking good

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