Nevilleh's BMW

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
Nevilleh
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Post by Nevilleh »

Thanks to everyone for the advice on odo repairs. I searched a number of sites on the 'net and discovered a very helpful article that explained how to fix it using plastic gears from Jaycar that just happen to be the exact right size! So now my odo is working again.
You'd think they would use an electronic display in keeping with the rest of the speedo, but no, its purely mechanical, being driven through these gears by a tiny electric motor which is in turn driven by the electronics!
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Post by EV2Go »

Might be some kind of regulation that requires it to be mechanical.
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Post by Nevilleh »

No, I think its just because its old and BMW are a bit conservative. I have later model cars (not BMW) with LCD odometers.
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Post by coulomb »

They possibly reasoned that mechanical meters "never forget" their reading. While basically true, because the mechanical gears wore out, you'll have to repair it, and it likely *will* lose its remembered distance. Or at the very least, it will have lost an unknown distance while "offline".

Ironically if it was LCD, it probably would not have stopped working (impossible to know of course), so the LCD may well have been the more "conservative" or at least the best choice after all.
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Post by rhills »

Nevilleh wrote:... and discovered a very helpful article that explained how to fix it using plastic gears from Jaycar that just happen to be the exact right size! So now my odo is working again...
Is it worthwhile posting the link to the useful article for future reference while it's fresh in your memory.

It can be very frustrating, Googling away and coming across a discussion like this one that refers to a "perfect" answer but no link to the necessary resource.
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Post by Nevilleh »

Quite right!
Here's the link:
http://forums.eurocca.net/showthread.ph ... ometer-Fix

I also made myself a couple of "Electric" signs.
I used Word to find a font and size that seemed appropriate, then saved it as a pdf file, opened that in Photoshop Elements so I could mirror image reverse it and then printed it on a sheet of overhead transparency film. The reversing was necessary so as to put the ink on the back side of the film thus having the print protected by the film thickness. Then I stuck several strips of double sided adhesive sponge foam onto the back surface, trimmed it to size and Voila! Here's a picture: ( I made two).

Image

May not be everlasting, but they will do until something better comes along.
Actual dimensions are 120 x 30 and the edges are straight, its just the parallax error from my WA lens that makes them look curved.
Last edited by Nevilleh on Mon, 20 Sep 2010, 05:02, edited 1 time in total.
Nevilleh
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Post by Nevilleh »

Been a while, but my car is running quite well and getting used a bit even though its still not certified! Or legal. But that is coming soon and in the meantime I figure to say I am on my way to the testing station if I get stopped - which I am, its just taking a while to get there!
I rewired the motors to be in series to improve the starting torque as the Cougar controller is limited to 500A.
Here's a few numbers that may be of interest:
Top speed = 96 -97 kph. Might sneak 100 with a tail wind!
Battery current at top speed = 170A
Battery volts at top speed = 140V so Pin = 23.8 kW
Acceleration from 0 - 80 kph = 12 secs
Vehicle weight with driver = 1335 kg (fat bugger!)
Torque for 2 motors at 170A (from Advanced curves) = 50 Nm which works out to give a force at the road surface of 650 N assuming 98% efficiency in the diff, universals, etc.
Drag force (at 96 kph) calculated from Cd, Crr, etc = 620 N
So it does correlate fairly closely.
Running around at 50 - 60 kph, I am getting about 120 kms before the battery voltage drops below 135V (3.0v/cell) with no load.
My BMS is only connected to 8 cells so far, so I am just using the voltmeter to indicate the state of charge and not worrying about cell balancing. My charging voltage is 3.60 x 45 = 162 volts and I re-charge at 3.0 x 45 = 135V. The CALB cells are spec'd down to 2.0v as fully discharged, but the curve is very steep from 2.8 down which is why I stop at 3v/cell. The BMS connected cells are in agreement.
I am using a Protech NZ charger throttled back to run off a single phase, 10A wall socket and it charges at 14.3A. (Hey Matt, did you get yours yet?) If and when I get 3-phase installed, I'll be able to up it to the max of about 32A.
Further down the track I want to investigate switching the motors from series to parallel above about 80 kph which will improve the top speed quite a bit, but I may be overstressing them a bit at that. They get fairly warm as they are - case temp about 58 deg C after a 20 km trip.
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Post by antiscab »

Nevilleh wrote:
I am using a Protech NZ charger throttled back to run off a single phase, 10A wall socket and it charges at 14.3A. (Hey Matt, did you get yours yet?) If and when I get 3-phase installed, I'll be able to up it to the max of about 32A.


Haven't got mine yet, still a work in progress.

are you able to change the line current at all on yours?
and pull 20A on single phase if you wanted to?
or 16A (since thats how big the breakers usually are on 10A GPOs)?

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Post by Nevilleh »

Yes, you can just dial in whatever line current you want, or so Cam at Protech tells me. He came and set it up for me and left a serial interface adapter that allows you to talk to the thing, but I haven't tried it myself yet. I just got him to set it for 10A as that is the wall socket rating.
I note that circuit has a 20A breaker on it so I might try screwing it up to 15 or 16 A and see what happens, but for the moment I have plenty of other things to do - building more BMS boards for one! And I don't mind a 10 hour charge time at present as I'm not using the car every day. That may change once I get it legal which should be next week if the certifier is (finally!) happy.
They really are nitpickers!
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Post by PlanB »

Just had a few weeks holiday in NZ squire. Up one side of each mountain pass in a little hire Corolla & then down the other, usually trying to get away from the big diesel Maui camper behind me. I think I might have worn out a set of brake pads? I was dreamin' of an EV with extra good regen the whole time!
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Post by Nevilleh »

Yes, its definitely "No Country for Old Cars".

I was away down in the South Island a couple of weeks ago in a Maui camper with a big diesel engine and I can't remember just how many Corollas I crushed! I guess yours wasn't one of them.

One reason why I want to change my car to ac later on is to implement regen as there are just so many energy sapping hills here and it would be good to get a little of it back.
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Post by Nevilleh »

Just a brief update. The car has been certified now and I've been driving it on and off. Done over 800 kms now. I fitted new tyres (185/70/14) and I can get it up to 110 kph now. Maybe its a 'running in' thing. Reliably does 100 kms with the battery voltage dropping down to 130-135 (no load). I took it down to 2.0V per cell once, just to see and that gave me 130 kms. All in all, not too bad. I reckon it goes as well as the Mitsubishi imev although not as fast, but for a whole lot less money!
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Post by Johny »

That's great progress Neville. Roughly what speeds do you get your 100 km range?
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Post by seligtype3 »

Johny wrote: That's great progress Neville. Roughly what speeds do you get your 100 km range?


I too would like to know what sort of average speeds you're getting 100km range with? And how many kWhours is your pack??

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Post by Nevilleh »

I haven't looked at this for quite a while and the system decided to stop emailing me when replies are posted, so I haven't seen these questions until now. But I am getting 120 - 130 kms around town where the highest speed zone I travel through is 60 kph and 90% of it is 50 kph. That's discharging the battery down to 126V or 2.8V per cell which is probably a bit too far, but I make sure I am heading home once it hits 135V or 3V/cell. Its only good for about 5 kms at that point.
Driving in 1he 100 kph zone, I really only get about 80 kms. I did take it to a panelbeater for some minor work after doing 85kms at 100 kph and it died the following day when he decided to drop it off at home for me rather than ringing to say it was ready. I should've warned him it needed charging! The battery dropped to 90V and the low voltage cutout in the controller stopped everything. That was with just 100 kms on the odo. My charger wouldn't start up at that low voltage and I had to resort to my old, 5-Meanwell-supplies-in-series setup to get a few amps into the battery to get its voltage up enough to start the main charger. It doesn't seem to have done any damage as I am still getting similar range figures. Now I have my cell module bms installed and running, I can monitor everything much more closely. I'll give a report on that when I get some useful data.
The battery is 135 x CALB 40 AH cells, 3P 45S. The cells actually deliver 46AH if you take them down to 2.5V so the max capacity is 3.2V x 46 AH x 135 = 19.872 kw-hrs. If you allow 80% DOD, that's about 16 usable units of electricity. If that gives me 100 kms, then its 160 watt-hrs per km rising to 200 watt-hrs/km at 100 kph. Not as good as some vehicles, but the BMW is not exactly "low drag".
Last edited by Nevilleh on Sat, 08 Oct 2011, 04:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Nevilleh »

Doesn't time fly when you are having fun?
Anyway, with everything working, new brakes and the bms doing its job, I find I am getting just on 18.6 kWh per 100 kms which stacks up fairly well with the figures I have seen for other EVs.

New regulations for the approval of EVs have just come out, effective from May 1, 2012 and I find that my car complies with just about everything. One really stupid piece of bureaucracy says that all the high voltage wiring now has to be orange! Thanks Australia, for that one. (You've always had it). I did all my motor wiring with black cable because that's what was available and I put several cms of red heatshrink on every terminal end, so it's pretty obvious that its wiring that has to be respected. Plus the "High Voltage" signs everywhere should be more than enough. If they think I'm going to replace hundreds of dollars worth of cable with orange stuff, they can think again.
I might go down to the hardware store and see if they have a wee pot of orange paint....
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Post by weber »

Good to hear it's all going well for you Neville. Are you sticking with bottom balancing?

Orange electrical tape is the go. Paint will not stick to glossy PVC, although you could try sanding the gloss off and using acrylic (water-based) paint. But for covering black I think tape will be much easier.

If the cable is in conduit, the conduit has to be orange, but the orange corrugated conduit is thick-walled and inflexible so we use the grey corro and when it's all bent into shape, but before it's finally fitted, we wind orange electrical tape from one end to the other with about a half-width overlap. It looks quite good.

It's not a commonly stocked colour but Haymans Electrical got a 10-pack in for me.
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Post by Nevilleh »

Yeah, sticking with bottom balancing until I get around to adding top balancing to the master firmware. My charger can do it OK.

BTW, gone back to AVRs for future projects, they can STIC the PICS.

Thanks for the tip about electrical tape, I'll see what I can get. I've a good mind to paint all the wiring orange, just for spite. It doesn't say the low volatge stuff can't be orange.
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Post by Johny »

I used grey conduit as well and spray painted it orange. It's flaking off every time I touch it but once the layer of road grime goes on it should be OK. Not recommended though. (The Engineer didn't notice.)
In a pinch (assuming you run into trouble) orange mesh could be used - you would be able to slip it over the lugs as well.
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Post by Nevilleh »

Well, there you go, my cable actually has a rubber outer sheath! Its a core of tin-plated Cu of numerous strands, then a pvc cover, then rubber. Probably because it came from a place that does boats. But paint sticks to it quite fine!
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Post by 4Springs »

I'm not sure if you actually want any flexible orange conduit, but it was mentioned...
The stuff they sell locally is "heavy duty", because it is made to go underground. If you want the more flexible stuff, they only sell it in grey. But EVWorks has flexible orange conduit here: Conduit
The other problem with the orange conduit is that it is not UV stabilised - presumably also because there is not much UV underground. I left mine in the sun for a while, and it has gone brittle. Should be ok if it is out of the light though.

Cheers,
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Post by weber »

What makes you think the EVWorks orange corro is any different from the usual heavy duty stuff?

They say "minimum bending radius [for 40 mm] is about a foot". I'm not sure why they refer to a body part instead of using standard units, but I think this is clearly much greater than the 100 mm radius I just put into a piece of 40 mm medium duty (grey) corro. I overbent it to about 50 mm radius and when it relaxed it was 100 mm radius. (I made a full circle, measured its diameter and divided by 2).
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Post by 4Springs »

weber wrote: What makes you think the EVWorks orange corro is any different from the usual heavy duty stuff?
'cos I bought some!
I bought it before I knew about heavy or medium duty conduit, and used it in my vehicle. When I ran out I went to a local electrical supplies shop and asked for some more. The stuff they sold me was thicker and much more ornery.
weber wrote: I'm not sure why they refer to a body part instead of using standard units

They must have small feet in WA.
I've run out of the stuff I bought from them, so I couldn't experiment with it. I do have some grey stuff though, and it feels about the same. I also have some heavy duty orange. I tried bending the grey stuff, and it easily bent to a 50 mm radius circle. I tried the same with the heavy-duty orange, and made a 100 mm radius circle.
No guarantees that what they sell today is what they sold me last year of course, either type would still meet their description...
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Post by Renard »

Sorry Nevilleh to clutter your thread.

Re orange conduit:

From schnap.com.au I bought 25m of 20mm orange conduit labelled "Tripac" for just over $1 per metre. It bends to a radius of 25mm which is about the same as the bending radius of the 25sqmm cable I'm using. Conduit I.D. = 15mm.
They also sell 40mm conduit. So if 20mm conduit bends to 25mm, I don't see why 40mm shouldn't bend to 50mm.
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Post by evric »

Thanks Renard, I've added this outlet to the Parts page of the Adelaide AEVA website, under Cables, Conduits & Lugs...
here...
Last edited by evric on Sat, 19 May 2012, 07:04, edited 1 time in total.
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