TheMechwarrior's - Road Motorcycle EV Project

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
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TheMechwarrior
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Post by TheMechwarrior » Wed, 03 Oct 2012, 22:00

Hi all,

I'm currently searching for a suitable rolling chassis for my build and hope to acquire something soon.

I'm leaning towards a Kawasaki ZX-10R or ZZR1100 or larger. Looking for a big bike to accomodate the weight and volume of the EV conversion without it being cramped and difficult to work on.

I still have a lot of work to do but I thought I'd start the thread now and update it as I gather more intel and secure the bike.

Nothing is set in concrete at this stage and I'm very open to suggestions for products, suppliers, design - everything!

Design Specs:
Range = 64km+ (40miles) at mostly highway speeds with some hills
Equates to 5.6kWh(nom) and 6.3kWh(peak) of battery pack

Max Speed = 110km/h+ (70mph), more like 130kmh
Equates to around 100Volts

Design guides:
Sizing your battery pack

I'm using the specs of bikes I've seen on the web as a real world guide for battery pack and motor specs/performance:
Paul's 1999 Yamaha FZS 600 “3Fazer”
Brammo - Empulse
Zero - Streetfighter 2013

1. Motor = supplier...???
40kW (54HP) peak, brushless, water cooled
AC-20 Motor = $2700, Controller = $800, Throttle = $90, Freight = $600

2. Battery pack = supplier...???
I had considered the A123 prismatic pouch as it was the most energy dense solution around but it looked very fiddly and labour intensive.
Does anyone have experience/contacts with building packs of these?
Perhaps 32S6P for the A123 module?

Winston/Thunder Sky
Cycles 3000 @80% DOD, 5000@ 70%DOD
10kWh (32 x LFP100AH 3.2v 100Ah) ~$4,000
12kWh (38 x LFP100AH 3.2v 100Ah) ~$5,000 if I need/want the extra range
Need to consider the housing of these within an IP2x enclosure, possibly 8 cells per enclosure.
Depending on the battery supplier I've seen them come in packs, with BMS, charger, controller etc.

12kWh A123 cells (192 of them) fully assembled and tested including BMS $7,000 excl freight...

3. BMS = supplier...???
4. Controller= Kelly I guess
5. DC/DC converter
6. Drivetrain
7. Estimated project cost...$10k
Motor Kit: $4,200
Battery Kit: $7,000

8. Other gear and instrumentation
Inertia Switch
9. Other documents
Application to modify a vehicle - Tasmania.pdf
National Guidelines for Electric Drive.pdf

Recycling a written off vehicle? Read the following before you buy:
I have written to the authorities for some clarification on SWO, I'll report back with the response.
Written off vehicles
Write off definitions

Cheers,

Mech.
Last edited by TheMechwarrior on Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 19:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Taxman » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 01:22

Hey man!

Smooth moves dude, those are the right goals to have, I reckon! I get kind of annoyed when people skimp out and build a conversion that can't hold it's own in the real world.

I had the same ideas with my bike, it's on evalbum if you wanna check out the specs. http://evalbum.com/4388

I got my batteries, charger and BMS from Jon Eggenhuizen who runs the catavolt electric racing team. He's at jon@catavolt.com.au. He gets cheap BMS units and chargers custom made. And he hooked me up with those A123 20Ah prismatic pouch cells that all the race teams use. I haven't stuck them all together and tested anything yet, so I don't want to make comment on how good this stuff is yet, but I'll no doubt blab about it when I have wired the thing up.

I ended up paying 35 per cell after GST. I have heard of people getting them cheaper, but I don't mind - I figure this way I have someone to hassle if something goes wrong rather than trying to deal with a chinese factory. And the pack ended up costing only slightly more than thunderskys. And 2/3 the weight.

Anyway, that's my two cents, good project, dude! Milk the forums for info, this one and elmoto.net are the business.

Sam

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Post by jonescg » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 05:26

I had the A123 pouches in my bike, Voltron, and Jon had them in the 2012 reincarnation of Catavolt. We can certainly attest to their quality. Of all of the cells out there these ones seem to offer the best bang for buck, and last really well too. The energy density is about 130 Wh/kg, which is pretty goo but could be higher on a bike.

If you want to pack 12 kWh on board, and you don't want to use a custom frame, then EIG cells might be worth considering. They pack 175 Wh/kg and for a road going bike, can put out enough amps to get you moving. These are more expensive, but it's the only way to pack them Whs in.

Motors. Well, where to start? First up, I tend to disregard most motor 'peak' ratings. They can all put out an amazing figure for a very short time, before overheating. Try it again and you have smoke. So my advice is to find a motor with a continuous power rating you are happy with. Peak is just a nice surprise every now and again. I had a pair of Agnis which had a peak power output close to 55 kW, but I averaged 30 kW drawn from the battery on the race track. In future I'll be going to AC.

Oh, and money - $10k won't get you far. Budget for $20k and you won't be disappointed. $10k just won't do it if you want it to be a quality build. I spent 18,000 on Voltron and I still managed to cook it several times. Smashed 180 km/h though.
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Post by TheMechwarrior » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 05:32

Thanks jonescg!

I loved your bike.

The budget is really "I wish it would only cost this"/"This is what I'll tell the wife it cost" kind of figure.
I know I will spend more because it's something I'm passionate about.

I'll check out those EIG cells for sure.

Why AC? Something like this?: AC20

Cheers,
Mech.
Last edited by TheMechwarrior on Wed, 03 Oct 2012, 20:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by 4Springs » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 16:27

Hello Mech,
As far a BMSs go, I've been interested in the DIY one here: Nevilleh's BMS. Not sure if it would suit you or not? Looks like his latest project is to fit the BMS to his bike.
Do you have experience with electronics? I'd be happy to help you build one, it would be good practice for when I get around to doing my own. We could buy one of the ovens that he talks about and have a go at reflow soldering...

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Post by TheMechwarrior » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 18:18

@4Springs,

I have some basic electronics and electrical experience.
I did see that post, thanks for reminding me. Image
Would love to have a crack at building these with you.

It does highlight something I hadn't previously considered and that is if I go for the ~200 cell A123 battery pack...that's a hell of a lot of BMS modules compared to a 32 cell pack option!

And at around $15AUS per module it adds up. Clearly taking more time to pre plan details like this could save money later on.

The only other BMS that has been recommended to me was:This one

Cheers,

Mech.
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Post by Johny » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 18:22

TheMechwarrior wrote:It does highlight something I hadn't previously considered and that is if I go for the ~200 cell A123 battery pack...that's a hell of a lot of BMS modules compared to a 32 cell pack option!
That would be true if they were all in series but I assume you would be using many A123 cells in parallel to get the same pack voltage as a 32 cell pack - say 32 sets of 6 paralled cells (for 192 cells).
Anyway - the number of BMS modules would be the same - 32.

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Post by TheMechwarrior » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 18:41

Johny wrote: That would be true if they were all in series but I assume you would be using many A123 cells in parallel to get the same pack voltage as a 32 cell pack - say 32 sets of 6 paralled cells (for 192 cells).
Anyway - the number of BMS modules would be the same - 32.


Thanks Johny!
Spot on. OK, back to an even playing field then.

Looks like 4Springs and I may have a project coming up Image
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Post by Nevilleh » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 18:42

Couldn't help noticing your comments about my BMS and I thought I would point out that the cost of the cell modules, if you source the parts and build them yourself, is about $US6 each. The $15 is what I charge to supply fully assembled, programmed and tested ones.
I have it installed on my electric scooter now, as well as my BMW.

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Post by Richo » Thu, 04 Oct 2012, 20:45

jonescg wrote: Oh, and money - $10k won't get you far.


I agree.
Even the motor AC-20 and 10kWh SE cells that's approx $10k landed.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by TheMechwarrior » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 19:31

Thanks for the feedback. My budget sounds like it's vastly out of touch with reality.

I'm waiting on confirmation prices for items and shipping, I'll add a cost breakdown to my OP just as soon as these come through.
I need to go through this exercise for my own piece of mind.

Some may be interested to know I found a few commercial powertrains available to the public I'll add some details on, including an offer by one manufacturer to supply a 23kWh module for my Prius! - Hmm...

I've also been asked about my methods for sourcing a suitable bike, so I'll post that in the next day or two.

Cheers,
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Post by Richo » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 21:15

I don't think the budget is too unrealistic.

Are you sure you need a battery pack that large?
Will it even fit on a bike?
The 3Fazor has 7.3kWh and claims a range of 93km?
Empulse has 10kW and claims 100km+

For the price of those AC motors even the 6.75" DC motors look good value.
That'll cut $2k right there.
I'm still wondering why they would make a water cooled a 40kW AC motor.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by Adverse Effects » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 21:23

Richo wrote: I'm still wondering why they would make a water cooled a 40kW AC motor.


the smaller you can make it the more cooling it needs for the same KW output

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Post by Nevilleh » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 21:42

I've recently imported an eRider motorcycle from China and it has a 72V @ 50 AHr battery pack with a brushless hub motor of around 4 kW. They claim a top speed of 100 kph with a 75 kg rider, but with me on board (92 kg) it will only do 90 kph Accelerates to 80 kph quite nicely and has regen braking. Claimed range at 50 - 60 kph is up to 150 kms but I find I ride it at more like 60 -70 and it used about half its battery capacity in a bit over 50 kms, so range is probably 100 kms or so. Quite a nice machine to ride, good suspension and brakes and can carry two people.
Supplied charger does 10 A, so about 5 hours for a full charge and it has a bms (so they say) that cuts off the power if any cell gets too high or too low. Price is a little over $US4000 including freight, but add on duty and gst.
I mention all this to give a bit of a comparison.
I would think a single Advanced DC Motors L91 (OK, it has brushes) would give you all the power you need and a 72V supply would give enough revs to easily exceed 110 kph. 40 AHr would do a lot better than 64 kms range, although if you want 100 kms at 100 kph you'll need at least 60 A Hr.

L91 (6.75 inch) motor about $1000.
22 x CALB 60 AHr cells giving 70-odd volts, about $1500.
DIY 500A controller, about $600. (same as the one I built)
10A Charger, about $400
Contactors, throttle, wires , BMS - all up about $500

Total $4000.

Plus whatever you spend on a bike!

Can you find somewhere to put 22 x 60 A Hr Calb cells?

Refute me if you can.
Last edited by Nevilleh on Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 11:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by zeva » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 22:38

Yeah, don't listen to the racing guys, $10K is plenty to do a motorbike conversion Image

I think the trick with range will be achieving it at highway speed. Motorbikes are relatively poor aerodynamically, so whilst 5kWh might get you 100km at city speed, you'd need 10kWh to go 100km at highway speed.

At any rate 10kWh is certainly a big pack for a motorbike. If using large format prismatics like Winston or CALB, you'd be looking at about 80L of space (i.e consider fitting 40x 2L milk cartons into a bike cowling) and 110kg of weight. It'd probably be easier (and of course cheaper) to go with say 5-7kWh, which will only cost you $2-3K. Though, power may be a bit lackluster with a pack of Winston/CALB that size, so for decent power density you may want to look at Headway (decent power) or A123 (great.. if you find a quality supplier).

Regarding motors, have you looked at the Motenergy ME0913? Couple it with a 96V BLDC Kelly controller and you'll have a comparable system to an AC20 for half the price, and smaller size/weight. AFAIK the AC20s are induction motors which tend to be bigger & heavier than permanent magnet motors of equivalent power.
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Post by Nevilleh » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 23:05

I think you'll need about 6 kW to do 100 kph, maybe a bit more if you are heavy, but if you lie flat on the tank, maybe .....

So, 100 kms is an hour and 6 kW means 6 kW Hrs of capacity.

24 CALB 60 A Hr cells is 24 x 3.2v x 60 = 4600 A Hrs - a bit short, but you are limited by what you can get into the available space.

Cells with a higher power density make life easier.

As always, the more money you spend, the better it goes!

Remember that to double your speed needs an eightfold power increase, so if you are not happy with 90 kph you'll need 80% more power to go to 110 kph.

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Post by jonescg » Fri, 05 Oct 2012, 23:54

I have 6.2 kWh of A123 cells built into a 100 V, 60 Ah pack. Will sell the lot, BMS included for $4000. Hell, you can have the chargers and controller too for another $2000. At least I know they will fit inside an RG250.

I ran a pair of Agni motors and had no trouble smashing 160 km/h, maintaining an average power demand of about 30 kW. I think cruising used about 70 Wh/km, and racing was more like 170 Wh/km. So range was probably somewhere between 40 and 100 km.
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Post by TheMechwarrior » Sat, 06 Oct 2012, 01:20

Looking at the powertrain used on the following:
(Highway range)
ZeroMotorcycles
2012 ZF6 = 69km with 5.3kWh(nom)/6.0kWh(peak)
2012 ZF9 = 101km with 7.9kWh(nom)/9.0kWh(peak)
2013 ZF8.5 = 85km with ~7.5kWh(nom)/8.5kWh(peak)
2013 ZF11.4 = 113km with ~10kWh(nom)/11.4kWh(peak)

Brammo
2012 Empulse = 90km with 9.3kWh(nom)/10.2kWh(peak)

Based on this we can use 114Wh/km(nom)/102Wh/km(peak) as a pretty reasonable guide for powertrains used in these builds.

Since I originally only needed to travel 64km to get me to work that equates to 5.6kWh(nom) and 6.3kWh(peak) of battery pack...BUT I don't want to run out 90% of the way on an icy cold day...so I'd like some pack insurance.
The question is...how much extra to be 100% sure regardless of the weather conditions I'll make it to work each morning.

My gut feel was saying go for ~10kWh and you will be fine.
I then look at that number and thought, you know for just 2kWh more...I could make it all the way to Launceston from my place!

I may have drifted off on a nice to have tangent there really.

@jonescg I'd love to see the configuration of your pack to see how easy it might be to add some range to that pack.
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Post by jonescg » Sat, 06 Oct 2012, 17:23


I've put some pictures up.
Cheers,
Chris
Voltron sale thread
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Post by Richo » Mon, 08 Oct 2012, 21:04

Adverse Effects wrote:
Richo wrote: I'm still wondering why they would make a water cooled a 40kW AC motor.


the smaller you can make it the more cooling it needs for the same KW output


No it just needs to spin faster. Image
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by Nevilleh » Mon, 08 Oct 2012, 22:29

If you use prismatic LiFePO4 cells, you'll need nearly 120 kg for 10 units of electricity.
A123s?
Someone work out the weight!

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Post by TheMechwarrior » Wed, 10 Oct 2012, 15:31

My plans have just been kiboshed a little.
Work have decided not to install a power point for me to recharge.

So that means I now need a range of ~150km (130km+15% pack insurance)in my battery pack to be able to get home again.

Question:
This may be covering ground already dealt with elsewhere...but:
Is it viable/worthwhile adding a generator(s) to the build to capture energy from the wheels/powertrain? To increase the range of my batter pack.

The other thing I could consider would be to leave a solar panel at work and trickle charge for 8hrs? I'm guessing I'd be lucky to get a kWh out of this but it all helps.

I have 2 fall-back options in the event the build plans fall through:
Option 1
Buy a ZeroMotorcycles Zero S ZF11.4 - with a reported range of 150km combined riding.

Option 2
Return to jailbreaking the Prius
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Post by jonescg » Wed, 10 Oct 2012, 18:09

That's an expensive outcome for the sake of a 10 A GPO...

150 km range can be had, provided you never exceed 50 km/h, and have at least 10 kWh on board. 10 kWh of the best cells money can buy would still weigh in at 60 kg, but finding a place for all of them is going to be tough.

Option 1 looks pretty good, I have to say.
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Post by Nevilleh » Wed, 10 Oct 2012, 18:54

I see the Zero S ZF9 still only goes 100 kms at 100 kph with 7.9 units available, so you still can't do what you want and you're $15,000 out of pocket. Better go back to the Prius!
I don't think you can carry enough cells even with the best/most expensive battery technology available to do 150 kms at 100 kph.
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Post by TheMechwarrior » Wed, 10 Oct 2012, 19:31

Thanks lads,

Nevilleh, the Zero bike is the 2013 model ZF11.4, it has a bigger battery pack and longer range.

The Prius is not out of the question.

I'm still keen to do bike though :(
I can't get enough gains out of strapping a generator(s) to the wheel(s)/powertrain?

I couldn't attach the 2013 media release from Zero, but here's some of it:
And the link to the 2013 range is here:
Zero 2013 range

Note that the Australian prices have not been released as yet.
Zero S
• MSRP: (ZF8.5) $13,995* | €13,995** | £11,695**
• MSRP: (ZF11.4) $15,995* | €15,995** | £13,495**
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