ZEVA controller?

AC, DC, amps, volts and kilowatt. It's all discussed in here
Post Reply
hyper24
Groupie
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri, 18 Jul 2008, 20:51

ZEVA controller?

Post by hyper24 » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 19:55

Ive read that zeva is in the middle of making a controller for the market. How far off is this? also where do you buy a zilla from, ive been looking for a little while now and havnt come across a website or so, just many forum posts talking about it.
I dont want a kelly as I heard they have recalled them, and I've heard of curtis controllers failling so I think ill shell out the cash up front for the zilla.

Striker
Groupie
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat, 28 Jun 2008, 20:03
Real Name: Striker
Location: Sydney
MSN: passport2@evilhouse.net
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by Striker » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 19:58

The zilla is purchasable from Cafe Electric.
Bring a chair, you'll be in for a bit of a wait.

--Striker.
"Remember, remember the eleventh of September,
the government treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the government treason
should ever be forgot."

hyper24
Groupie
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri, 18 Jul 2008, 20:51

ZEVA controller?

Post by hyper24 » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 20:12

Thats the name, cafe electric. Thanks.
Are there any distributors of controllers in Oz, of do people just ship from US?

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by zeva » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 21:03

Hi hyper24,

Yep, the ZEVA controller is currently my #1 priority. I'm building the "production prototype" right now i.e physically and electrically identical to the intended production design, which will be going in the MX5 later this week for field testing. If all goes well, I'll get on with arranging all those things which bridge the gap between prototype and production!

Spec-wise it's pretty similar to the Curtis 1231C (a little bit more efficient, and fewer annoying quirks), so not intended to be a competitor with the Zillas. If you're building a high performance EV, the Zillas will still be the way to go - but as Striker says they have a long waiting list, something like 5 months last I heard!
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

hyper24
Groupie
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri, 18 Jul 2008, 20:51

ZEVA controller?

Post by hyper24 » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 21:18

Well realistically my car wont be completed till end of next year. So if I have to wait that long it wont be a problem. Problem is price though. And since my system will be just over 100V I think I can get by with the 1221C which can be picked up in the states for $1200.

Zeva do you mind posting how much you think your controller will be worth? If not maybe a PM? As I would be intrested, and since I wont be purchasing my controller till next year hopefully you might be out with some for sale by then.

Striker
Groupie
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat, 28 Jun 2008, 20:03
Real Name: Striker
Location: Sydney
MSN: passport2@evilhouse.net
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by Striker » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 21:26

zeva wrote:5 months last I heard!


I read somewhere that it's closer to nine months..

Either way, if you're building a high power car, the zilla is the way to go (until Ian starts building performance units). :P

Order it before you start pulling the old stuff out of your donor car, and things should go a lot more comfortably time-wise.

--Striker.
"Remember, remember the eleventh of September,
the government treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the government treason
should ever be forgot."

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by zeva » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 21:41

Not 100% sure on pricing yet, but I'm confident it will come in under AU$1500. And I promise it will be better than anything from Curtis Image Here's some specs:

- 144V 500A power rating (up to 750A to the motor)
- Microprocessor controlled (with a bunch of safety mechanisms built in plus separate watchdog)
- Adjustable current limiting (useful if your batteries aren't very powerful and you don't want to hurt them)
- Adjustable minimum battery voltage (useful to prevent over-discharging your pack)
- Built in status LED, plus connection for remote status LED (for quick visual feedback on error conditions such as overheating, current limiting, over- and under-voltage, throttle faults, etc)

It will require a 0-5V (3-wire) type throttle, I've gone for this type because it allows for the use of non-contact (e.g hall effect) type throttles, which last longer than potentiometer-based throttles. (I'm also working on a throttle box based around US Digital's MA3-A hall effect rotary encoder, which should be available at the same time.)
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by zeva » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 21:51

Regarding the Zillas.. 9 MONTHS WAIT?! Damn. I actually have one on order myself, one of the Z2K-EHV models.

You might wonder why I don't just build one myself? The Zillas are based around IGBTs instead of MOSFETs, and without going into too much detail, MOSFETs tend to be more efficient for low voltage designs (up to about 200V) but IGBTs are the way to go for higher voltages.

But IGBTs are much harder to work with - e.g they don't play well in parallel. Otmar at CafeElectric orders the IGBTs in bulk and manually tests & sorts them into matched sets for each controller. Which also partially explains why the Zillas need water cooling - to ensure the IGBTs don't get too hot.

Zillas are great controllers, I have huge respect for them. But for 90% of EVs they are overkill, so I don't think they're worth the extra money, waiting time or effort (of installing water cooling)!
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

hyper24
Groupie
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri, 18 Jul 2008, 20:51

ZEVA controller?

Post by hyper24 » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 22:11

Sounds good, plus im sure we will get GREAT customer service right zeva? Image haha
Anyways it does sound good, how long do you think till we could buy one? Also will it come with any type of warranty?

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by zeva » Tue, 22 Jul 2008, 22:41

They'll be covered by the usual 12 month warranty. Realistically they're unlikely to be available until early Spring, despite the high priority on getting it done!

Once the prototype has proven itself (so assuming nothing goes wrong!) I should be able to confirm pricing and start taking backorders. The first ones off the line will be going to those who purchased the Kelly KDH14500 controllers, since they're kind of in a lurch right now, but that shouldn't take long to sort out.
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

Jens
Noobie
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue, 15 Jan 2008, 01:40
Real Name: Jens Rekker
Location: Dunedin, NZ
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by Jens » Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 00:47

Ian

What happened to those 144V 500A Kelly controllers that were initially offered at ZEVA? I see that they are discontinued in the online store now. Supply problems? Did they not measure up?

Just interested. Reply to my home email if you would prefer not to broadcast ...

Jens

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by zeva » Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 01:31

Oh it's no secret.. Basically they turned out to be rubbish (power output way below spec) so I had to offer a recall on them all. Better that than unsatisfied customers..!
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

User avatar
commanda
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Jul 2008, 20:21
Real Name: Amanda Wynne
Location: Roselands Sydne

ZEVA controller?

Post by commanda » Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 13:52

Is there an e-brake input? ie: hitting the brake pedal kills the throttle, ala electric assist pushbikes and electric scooters.

Reason I ask. The low voltage cutoff on my BMS for my ThunderSky batteries going into my scooter operates the brake line. Would like to use this same BMS on any future car conversion.

Amanda
Evt-4000 (Big Lithium grin)
Chopper pushbike 180 watt Cyclone

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by zeva » Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 15:44

If you can't use the brakes at the same time as the accelerator, how will you do static burnouts?

Er I'm just joking of course...

I'm a little confused how you have it set up though.. so when the batteries are flat, it turns off the motor controller? If so have something better for you: Adjustable battery voltage sag limiting.

So you can dial up a voltage, and the controller won't let the pack voltage go below this under any circumstances. The advantage is it gives you some warning - as the batteries approach flat, you will get less power out of the batteries, instead of it suddenly just cutting off. Once the no-load pack voltage has hit this limit, the controller won't let you flow any power to the motor. (Though you can temporarily reduce this limit in an emergency, e.g just so you have enough juice to get the car off the road, if you weren't paying attention!)

The feature also means it will "play nice" with BMS systems which do cut off the pack if any cells go below their minimum. With other controllers a sudden pack cutoff can occur if you simply accelerate too hard!
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

User avatar
juk
Groupie
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun, 02 Mar 2008, 02:53
Real Name: Craig
Location: Perth

ZEVA controller?

Post by juk » Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 18:05

"With other controllers a sudden pack cutoff can occur if you simply accelerate too hard!"

My scooter did that, it made it virtually unusable. Since then i've popped the A123 batteries into it and upped the voltage a little. Now i need overcurrent protection!!! But it's heaps faster and keeps on going and going.

Striker
Groupie
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat, 28 Jun 2008, 20:03
Real Name: Striker
Location: Sydney
MSN: passport2@evilhouse.net
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by Striker » Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 18:15

zeva wrote: If you can't use the brakes at the same time as the accelerator, how will you do static burnouts?
Er I'm just joking of course...
I happen to think that this is a very important question to be asking..
How else are you going to warm your tyres for dragracing?

--Striker.
"Remember, remember the eleventh of September,
the government treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the government treason
should ever be forgot."

User avatar
Thalass
Senior Member
Posts: 741
Joined: Sun, 12 Aug 2007, 07:29
Real Name: Ben Rypstra
Location: Perth, WA, AU

ZEVA controller?

Post by Thalass » Sat, 26 Jul 2008, 00:07

Hey Ian, do you have any plans for an AC controller?
I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

User avatar
commanda
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Jul 2008, 20:21
Real Name: Amanda Wynne
Location: Roselands Sydne

ZEVA controller?

Post by commanda » Sat, 26 Jul 2008, 00:25

zeva wrote: If so have something better for you: Adjustable battery voltage sag limiting.

So you can dial up a voltage, and the controller won't let the pack voltage go below this under any circumstances. The advantage is it gives you some warning - as the batteries approach flat, you will get less power out of the batteries, instead of it suddenly just cutting off. Once the no-load pack voltage has hit this limit, the controller won't let you flow any power to the motor. (Though you can temporarily reduce this limit in an emergency, e.g just so you have enough juice to get the car off the road, if you weren't paying attention!)

The feature also means it will "play nice" with BMS systems which do cut off the pack if any cells go below their minimum. With other controllers a sudden pack cutoff can occur if you simply accelerate too hard!


This won't protect the batteries (LiFePO4) in the case where one cell is markedly weaker than the rest.

Maybe an LVC input rather than e-brake input; then you can still do your burnouts.

Amanda
Evt-4000 (Big Lithium grin)
Chopper pushbike 180 watt Cyclone

User avatar
acmotor
Senior Member
Posts: 3593
Joined: Thu, 26 Apr 2007, 03:30
Real Name: Tuarn
Location: Perth,Australia

ZEVA controller?

Post by acmotor » Sat, 26 Jul 2008, 01:01

A battery pack is always only as good as the weakest cell.

The Zeva controller with Hoops's logic will protect the weakest cell as the BMS (e.g. Rod Dilkes system) will tell the controller that any one cell has gone below 2.5V, so time to back off. Controller will continue with reduced current if this clears the BMS's LV indication.

Am I correct in this thinking ?



iMiEV MY12     105,131km in pure Electric and loving it !

User avatar
zeva
Senior Member
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat, 15 Dec 2007, 05:09
Real Name: Ian Hooper
Location: Australia
MSN: sigmunky@hotmail.com
Contact:

ZEVA controller?

Post by zeva » Sat, 26 Jul 2008, 01:06

commanda wrote:
This won't protect the batteries (LiFePO4) in the case where one cell is markedly weaker than the rest.

Maybe an LVC input rather than e-brake input; then you can still do your burnouts.

This is true, though it's the responsibility of the BMS to keep cells balanced (not the controller). I'd still advise having the BMS able to open the main contactor if any individual cells go below their minimum, but this should be an error condition, not something that happens during regular use. Then you can use the controller's voltage sag limit (set to a few volts above pack's rated minimum) to prevent false dropouts under acceleration.
Thalass wrote:
Hey Ian, do you have any plans for an AC controller?
Yeah for sure, but one project at a time! Image I actually started researching VFD design about 6 months ago, but I think to do it well you really need to custom design the AC motor as well. There's a lot of scope for optimising induction motors for traction use, as well as optimising a controller for a specific motor. I've been discussing ideas with a few well-resourced people here in Perth, maybe it's something we could all collaborate on in 2009!

Last edited by zeva on Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 15:08, edited 1 time in total.
Ian Hooper
--
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
http://www.zeva.com.au

User avatar
Thalass
Senior Member
Posts: 741
Joined: Sun, 12 Aug 2007, 07:29
Real Name: Ben Rypstra
Location: Perth, WA, AU

ZEVA controller?

Post by Thalass » Sat, 26 Jul 2008, 11:37

Heh. I'd be up for that, not that I'd be able to contribute much in the maths department.

I've done a bit of reading lately. I'm fairly sure you could do a bare-bones open-loop controller for an induction machine without much fuss. But to get the best performance you want some fancy closed loop vector controller of some kind - which is where the expense comes in :p
I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

User avatar
commanda
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Jul 2008, 20:21
Real Name: Amanda Wynne
Location: Roselands Sydne

ZEVA controller?

Post by commanda » Sat, 26 Jul 2008, 13:37

zeva wrote: I'd still advise having the BMS able to open the main contactor if any individual cells go below their minimum.....


Of course. Not sure what I was thinking, but it's so obvious when somebody else points it out. Forget I spoke.

Amanda
Evt-4000 (Big Lithium grin)
Chopper pushbike 180 watt Cyclone

Post Reply