Voltron-Evo; jonescg's new electric race bike

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
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Post by bga » Mon, 13 Oct 2014, 18:22

Hi Chris,

I was thinking of a direct parallel connection (same open circuit voltage?)
with a controlled power supply in series with the source batter, say 0-30V/0-20Amps to supply the differential needed to make electrons flow to the receiver battery.
20 amps makes it a 1/2 hour flat to full charge on the 10AH battery.
It's not the end of the world, but I can see it from here.

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Post by jonescg » Tue, 14 Oct 2014, 00:30

GRMarks wrote: with the bike being tuned (supension wise) for the 6wkh pack, would you ever put the 9kwh pack back in?


Yeah, when Mike wants his battery back Image

It's true, the 6 kWh pack is much nicer to ride with, but should the format change and we're asked to do say, 8 laps of Winton or 12 laps of Wakefield Park, the 9 kWh pack would be essential.

The battery is soldered together, so no, can't pull the other pack down.

Bruce - I was thinking along the same lines. A fully charged 9 kWh pack at 700 V and a depleted 6 kWh pack at 610 V. Direct parallel connection would result in some considerable current flow, and not to mention sparks. After a while the pair would settle at about ~670 V, and from here a regular charge to top off would work.
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Post by jonescg » Sat, 01 Nov 2014, 02:00



Today's tuning Image
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Post by GRMarks » Sat, 01 Nov 2014, 04:17

Fantastic, she's not slow through the corners any more! And fast out of them to!
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Post by pottz » Mon, 24 Nov 2014, 18:12

Chris your amazing. You actually did it. You built a bike from scratch and out of the box in its first year it won the championship.
Well done and what an amazing bike you have built.
Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

The last round went like clockwork for us. Out of the box the bike was running pretty well. We had issues of it cutting out in t1 every couple laps but surprisingly I got good at doing a one hand reset whilst still cranked over in the turn doing some ridiculous speed and not loosing too much time. By the last race it seemed to be sorted anyway.

Having ridden this track once before and now having a bike that I can turn corners on we were straight on the pace in first practice and immediately feeling confident. Later in the afternoon we fitted new tyres and with the extra grip and feel confidence grew.

There is nothing harder to beat than a rider feeling good and confident in the bike. Qualifying was a one lap only dash as the batteries were getting warm and we broke the track record of 1:48.Something and dipped into the 1:47's and put it on pole.

From there on it was a one horse race and we wrapped up the championship with one race to go. The lap record was continuing to fall and in the last race I had a last lap crack at it and did a 1:42.80 giving the record a fair nudge and finally showing some of the bikes true potential.

Again thanks to O'HANLON ELECTRIC MOTORSPORT, KANEG, PANIC, TRAKDAYZ and absolutely everyone who helped on the bike, it's been great to meet a heap of good people this year and one final thing......
Yeehah!! We did it.

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Post by weber » Mon, 24 Nov 2014, 18:25

Congratulations guys! So what finally made it able to go around corners? Or was it just lots of little changes finally adding up to enough? Of course I'll understand if you don't want to give away your secrets.
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Post by bga » Mon, 24 Nov 2014, 18:46

Congratulations all, a great end to the season.
It's not the end of the world, but I can see it from here.

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Post by pottz » Mon, 24 Nov 2014, 19:00

Cheers, no big secrets, as per any bike it was mainly a combination of having it at a track I know and the time to test things.
We had the forks re-valved and some preload taken out. Some pretty huge ride height changes were also made to lower the whole bike. We basicly had time to just try ridiculous changes and see what worked and what didn't.

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Post by jonescg » Wed, 26 Nov 2014, 00:05

There are a stack of good photos out there, including one of Pottz cranked over in turn 5, but here's a couple from the day anyway:

Image

Image

http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1658 ... ts/3597213

And if you skip to about 6 hours and 39 minutes you can see the last race of the weekend. Pottz had already stitched up the championship so he was just messing around for the first half of the race. He put in a fast effort for the last lap, setting the track record. Watch at 6 h, 42 min 10 sec for a little wheel stand and laying black lines at 6 h, 43 min, 50 sec Image
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Post by pottz » Thu, 04 Dec 2014, 04:02


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Post by weber » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 01:35

In my very enjoyable 3 days spent at Queensland raceway with the eBikes last year, I saw some practices that gave me the heebie-jeebies (technical term) and I heard some stories of past disasters involving arcing started by accidental shorts and then unable to be stopped.

It's quite likely that these could have been stopped, and future accidents recovered from, if a certain low cost, low tech, arc and fire fighting measure was available (perhaps even mandatory). Namely plastic bags full of dry sand or rock dust. That's quartz or silica sand, not coral (calcium carbonate) sand.

I suggest every eBike should have, readily available near it in the pits (between the bike and the doorway), say four plastic bags containing 2 to 3 kg of sand each (about 10 kg total). The bags would be mostly clear so everyone can see what's in them, and would have the word "FIRE" written on both sides in big letters (e.g. with a permanent marker, perhaps red). They could be in a box (e.g. cardboard) for protection against tearing, provided you can still see the bags without having to open a lid. Such a box should have "FIRE" written on all sides too.

The bags should be the resealable type (zip loc, snap lock) so they can be opened and poured if necessary. Otherwise they should be able to be easily torn open by hand. However an advantage of bags over say a sand bucket is that they may simply be dropped unopened on top of an arc, or single-cell fire, and the arc will melt the plastic on the underside while the rest of the bag helps retain the sand in place. There would need to be some education on this latter point (possibly on stickers on the bags themselves).

Clean dry sand is available in 20 kg bags at many hardware stores. e.g. $9 from Bunnings.
http://www.bunnings.com.au/easy-mix-20k ... -_p0760254

These Glad brand snap lock bags in the medium storage size (220 x 250 mm) are quite suitable.
http://www.glad.com.au/glad-products/fo ... index.html

The radio controlled model community appears to have adopted these voluntarily, for protection against LiPo battery fires, and there is so much more stored energy involved in the case of a full sized ebike.

Image

For more, google:

"plastic bag of sand" battery

with the quotes.

What do you think?
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Post by jonescg » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 02:48

Some photos/video of how a lithium battery fire might be extinguished or at least managed might be handy. Our strategy has always been to push the bike away from trouble and lay it over, reefing the pack out if possible. Otherwise lots of water would make things messy, but cool it down enough.
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Post by weber » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 04:52

That's a very sensible strategy, particularly as an immediate response. But if there's an arc, the water will make little difference to it, so it amounts to a watch-it-burn strategy. Sand has the potential to extinguish an arc, which is why high current fuses are filled with it. But in some cases, getting the sand to the arc and having it stay there may be difficult. But it would be an extra line of defence that would cost very little to have available.

A video would be great, but it's not something I plan to make.
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Post by weber » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 19:35

I hasten to add that the Voltron Evo team is the least likely to ever need an arc extinguisher, because of the safe design of your battery packs. But you may be able to set a useful example for other teams, and even if they don't follow it, you may be a hero for saving one of their bikes with a few bags of sand one day.

One story I was told was of a bike with two stacks of pouch cells with no barrier between the stacks, which shorted between the stacks and continued to arc, and then burn, destroying the bike. The owner ended the story by saying something like, "Who could have predicted that?". I bit my tongue.

It's possible that, after that bike was dragged away from anything else it could set fire to, sand may have been able to extinguish the arc, followed by water to control the fire.

On observing another team's bike with exposed fuses and contactors while visitors milled about it, I asked a team member, "So if I touched the wrong two points there, would I be dead." He replied jokingly, "Sure. Would you like me to show you which two points. Is that your aim in life".

He showed them to me. They were bare bolts only about 50 mm apart, with unfused 400 V coming straight from the battery. I said, "You wouldn't want to drop a spanner across there." He reached into a toolbox and pulled out a spanner with one crescent blown away.

I said, "You didn't do that across those two points. If you had, the arc wouldn't have stopped until the battery went flat and the bike would be a charred mess. He stopped smiling and put the cover back on.

Again, if such an arc had started between those two points, it's likely that a single unopened bag of sand dropped on top of it, would have extinguished it. Of course you won't be able to see anything for the blinding light, but after a few bag lobbing attempts, one bag might succeed.

Few people seem to appreciate the difficulty of extinguishing a DC arc from a battery, because most of their experience has been with 24 volt batteries or less, and there is a threshold for maintaining an arc, in air, that is just above that voltage.

And few seem to understand the difference between an arc and a fire.

A fire needs fuel, heat and oxygen (or other oxidising agent). An arc needs none of those. It just needs volts, amps, proximity and any kind of gas at all (which it proceeds to ionise, i.e. turn into plasma).

I hope everyone has read How Plasma Boy got his name

If he'd dumped dry sand on it instead of baking soda, it would have been a very different outcome. Baking soda is good for fires, because when heated it generates carbon dioxide which excludes oxygen.

But the arc just thinks, "Carbon dioxide, yum. That's as good as any other gas to me. Just watch me turn it to plasma."

It says the same about water, because any water that hits it turns into that gas called steam, which it happily ionises too. In fact an arc can continue while completely submerged under water. It just forms a bubble of ionised steam around the arc.

To put out an arc, carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide Image are no use at all, you need silicon dioxide (silica or quartz). "There, try ionising that ya bastard!", you say as you toss the sand at the arc. Silica doesn't turn into a gas until it gets to 2,230°C. But indeed arcs are hotter than that, and some of it will vapourise, but more of it will melt and fill the space, excluding all gasses.

10 kg of sand (in four 2.5 kg bags) may not be enough in some cases, but the idea is that 10 kg is small enough not to be too annoying for any one team to lug around, and if someone's bike goes up, everyone comes out with their 10 kg. And in fact, you wouldn't have to lug them around at all if you could leave them at the venue for next time.

And heck at $2.50 a bag you could hand them out for free with your team logo on them. Image

But of course there is no substitute for proper design and insulated tools.

[Edit: Replaced "or if not, it may have extinguished the subsequent fire where water could not, because of extreme temperatures." with "followed by water to control the fire."]
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Post by pottz » Tue, 21 Apr 2015, 02:40

With only a couple of weeks to go I just thought I'd throw this video here of the last testing day.
The bike is running well and we are getting ready to put it in a Crete to ship to Mallala for the first round of the 2015 season.


https://youtu.be/lDHSeqxQ84g



[ Edited Coulomb: added [ tube ] tags, for easy clicking and a preview. ]
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Post by coulomb » Tue, 21 Apr 2015, 14:55

How often do you need to replace those kneepads?

Seems like they're more like consumables than part of the uniform Image

Great video. Thanks for posting.
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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 21 Apr 2015, 15:31

That's awesome!

The telemetry in the top left of the screen sure paints the full picture. I like how little throttle you need to still be accelerating crazy fast. At full throttle it Sure accelerated quicker from 100 - 200kph than most cars do from 0 -100kph Image

Best of luck for the upcoming event.

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Post by Kieran » Tue, 21 Apr 2015, 19:23

I like the overtake of the petrol bike in the last few seconds of the clip.

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Post by pottz » Wed, 22 Apr 2015, 02:18

Thanks for the edit.
The sliders sure are a consumable, they last me a fair while however on account of my rather short legs(they made me measure my leg length twice when I got the good suit made, they didn't believe it the first time haha). I let them touch but don't put weight on the knees as its just weight off the tyres and therefore less grip if you push down too much.

I'd like to be able to take the throttle position and input that on the data but at the moment its only acceleration G forces and in the video its just a guide, trust me I had it pinned! There is no real reason we couldn't do it except my GPS logger wont recognise the input, there are many that do. What I have gives us enough lap data that we can analyse and see where (I am being a pussy) the bike is loosing time.

That last bike was cool, It was a BMW S1000rr and you could hear it screaming as I rode straight past it on the straight.

The other green Kawasaki was one of WA's fastest Superbike riders and with corner speed and later braking that guy would likely pass me no matter what he was riding. I was actually surprised I stayed in front of him for that long.

[ Edited Coulomb: Repaired bad Unicode chars in preparation for conversion to phpBB ]
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Post by GRMarks » Mon, 27 Apr 2015, 02:05

Hi guys, how are things looking for this season? Found any more speed/cornering?

Chris I have a question for you. There is an article on the front page of the AEVA web site about a zero SR electric bike. How happy is the owner with it now he has had it a while? I am thinking of buying one too. Does it feel heavy with the optional power tank battery added?

Glenn.

PS looking forward to seeing how this season goes - hopefully there will be more competitive bikes this year (from a spectators point of view). I love watching the voltron run.
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Post by jonescg » Mon, 27 Apr 2015, 04:37

Hey Glenn!

Sam's Zero is still serving him very well. He got the extra battery but in hindsight found it somewhat unnecessary. It barely gets used that much, so its a lot of extra weight for limited gain. After all, the charger is still quite low powered. I can put him in touch with you if you like.

Things are looking good for Voltron Evo this year. Danny found a couple of seconds at Wanneroo, putting us somewhere mid pack with the Club 1000 racers (high 63s). The new tank cover is far more comfortable which means getting around on the bike is easier. I know the Varley guys are going to be quicker this year, and Ripperton is still as competitive as ever on the tighter circuits. I'm confident of some good results, but anything can happen.

First race is on the 16th and 17th of May at Mallala, and we'd love to see all the Adelaide AEVA folks come out and show some support!

We're also looking for some floorspace style accommodation since all of our money is being spent on race entry fees and transport, so if any Adelaide crew can lend a hand we'd be most appreciative!


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Post by GRMarks » Mon, 27 Apr 2015, 06:15

I think no need to chat with him. It is interesting about the extra battery. I have been trying to decide if I should get it. I think I will get it without and if I run into range issues, I can always order one.

Varley were going to be fast last year, but reliability let them down.
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Post by jonescg » Sat, 16 May 2015, 01:12

Pottz put it on pole - but only just! Going to be some great racing tomorrow, so come up early and watch if you can!
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Post by pottz » Tue, 27 Oct 2015, 16:55

Well what a great round we had at Winton.
That was the only time I can ever remember coming second and being ok with it. Normally I get a little depressed if I don't win but this time its all good.

For a quick roundup we ran just over 6 seconds faster than last year which is proof that the input I give, the changes we make and the hard work the team puts in is really paying off. By race 4 we were beating the old lap record on lap 1 from a standing start!
We had some brilliant racing with the other guys and all weekend the bike ran well. I learnt more about the bike and how it responds. Unfortunately Chris couldn't make this one but as a true testament to his quality bike building and the fact he made everything so simple a 'normal' guy like me was able to simply plug the bike in to charge and race it all weekend without too many dramas at all.

Thanks to team Varley who bought the bike to the track.
Friday practice and qualifying saw all of us make steady improvements. Nothing really exiting happened, I qualified a lowly third which I was a little bummed about. I simply had a bad session, it happens.

Race 1 Stared out hectic Varley, Ripperton and I all had the lead at one stage or another, I got a bit of a rhythm on and unfortunately for Jason he had a minor bike issue which gave me a small gap he couldn't close and we took the win. This straight away made the whole weekend for me, Championship points wise getting that win over Varley was important to us and now we can relax a little and concentrate on finishing the races. The racer in me will always push for the win wherever I am able to but I can now afford to ride a little more conservative if I feel the need.

Race 2 In the afternoon saw Varley take the win with our bike having small motor temp issues. If I used full throttle on one straight, the next it would cut power till it cooled down a bit from the third lap onward so I had to manage where and when I would use full throttle. I couldn't keep pace with Varley and had to defend second which I did.

Race 3 was fantastic, Varley, Ripperton and myself had a brilliant battle with everyone in the lead several times. I thought I had it till the last lap I made a little error in T5 and sure enough Jason came past and masterfully blocked my line for the corner exit costing me a little time and pulling just enough gap that I couldn't catch. It was really well done and the race of the season by far.

Race 4 in the Afternoon Jason on Varley got in front and although I thought I had the pace to catch him Ripperton squeezed in front of me at the hairpin's where he is so strong and cost a little time on laps one and two so I lost the tow from Jason who belted the lap record and pulled a 1:34.9 the (fastest lap of the weekend) and pulled a gap I couldn't close. The overheating issue again started on lap 3 where I had to back off a little for the last two laps and save second place.

The overheating we think was caused by the high gearing and the constant hard acceleration from low speeds. Fitting the other smaller front sprocket we have would more than likely fix the problem at this track. We don't think it will be an issue at the next round where the speeds are higher, the motor will be in its more efficient RPM and the cooling effect will be greater.

Bike wise I know where we are strong and I know where we need to make up time. I must apologize to Chris and the team as I probably never sound happy and always want something changed. The reality is the bike is so much better now than even 6 months ago. It is a good thing that we have a pretty good idea on what to work on to drop lap times and keep progressing. The 6 second lap time drop in one year proved beyond a doubt we are heading in the right direction. There is nothing worse than not knowing how to go faster.

Jason on Varley rode brilliantly all weekend and the bike went well for him, its great to have some hard competition at the pointy end now. It was also great to see David on the Zero making improvements every time he went out.

As always thanks to all our supporters, the many people who have helped get us on track. There are too many people to list who without their help we would not be where we are. Thanks to the race organizers for having us and personally thanks Trakdayz, Kaneg and Panic leathers for the support. Chris has built a beautiful thing that just works and we are continuing to get faster. Go team Voltron Electric Motorcycles!!

Here is a video of race 3 from both Ripperton and our bikes cameras. Its a very interesting watch to see where each of our bikes strengths and weaknesses are and how hard and close we are racing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6I28l7vFns

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Post by Johny » Tue, 27 Oct 2015, 17:02

It sounds like it was a great weekend Danny - well done. I'm impressed that the bike knew how to take care of itself thermally too!
Was it the motor or the controller that caused the back-off.

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