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Siemens motors and rotary engined donors

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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coulomb
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Post by coulomb »

I've recently come to possess a motor cheaply:

Image

It's a 1PV5135-4WS14, which there happens to be a worldwide glut of, thanks to the Azure Dynamics bankruptcy and subsequent (very recent) fire sale. It would probably cost me more to ship it somewhere than people are prepared to pay now, so I think I should just use it in a conversion.

It's a little smaller and lighter than the ABB 131-008 motor we're using in the MX-5, and it's nominally designed for 215 VDC, so 150 VAC. I think a Tritium 450 V controller would drive it rather nicely, or possibly a DMOC-645 inverter, which should be available at fire sale prices soon.

So I'm thinking about possible AC conversion candidates. This motor spins out to 10,000 RPM, and has a peak power of some 105 kW @ 350 VDC, suggesting direct drive, but it still needs a pretty high overall reduction to get decent low speed torque, say 8:1, or about twice what a typical differential would provide.

This suggests retaining the original gearbox, but with most of the gears removed. Second gear of a typical manual transmission would have a ratio of some 2:1, which seems ideal.

My reservations are these:

* One hears about the idea of using the transmission with most gears removed, but I never seem to see one actually used. Is there a gotcha there? I suppose you still end up with all the space that the full transission took up; you can't really use the space vacated by first and reverse gears for cells, can you?   Image

* Will the gearbox last long, if it is subjected to frequent high speed sessions (e.g. highway driving)?

On this last point, I thought of donors (hosts?) that had rotary engines. Some rotary engines red-line at say 8000 RPM, which may mean that their transmissions are more suited for high speed operation. But will they last with sustained 8-10 kRPM operation?

Some racing rotaries run at 10 kRPM, so that may suggest a suitable gearbox, but it sounds expensive.

One problem with rotary engines is that they are said to be light weight for their power. So you don't get the advantage of a heavy engine being removed, to balance against the weight of a battery pack and motor. Ideally, the engine you are taking out should be as heavy as possible, you you can cram in more weight in battery and motor, and still stay under the gross vehicle mass limit for the donor. But maybe the lightness of a rotary engine is really only a small consideration.

Another problem with choosing a rotary donor is that there is a quite limited set of choices. Most of them are Mazdas, which is fine. Also, Mazda typically make strong transmissions, so that's a plus.

Another consideration: I believe that old rotary engines are always wearing out their wipers (equivalent of rings in a piston engine). Is this so? If so, it may mean that there are some cheap donors out there that haven't replaced their wipers yet, and want to get rid of them cheap before the engine starts blowing smoke. Or of course, I don't care if it's already blowing smoke; I don't think a second hand rotary engine would be worth much anyway.

[ Edit: changed topic subject to reflect content ]

Comments are welcome.

[ Edit: incomplete motor model number ]
Last edited by coulomb on Sat, 17 Nov 2012, 15:58, edited 1 time in total.
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1.4 kW solar with 1.2 kW Latronics inverter and FIT.
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Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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acmotor
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Post by acmotor »

Does the emotor have an ISO standard mounting face ? A planetary 3:1 reduction box off an industrial motor could be selected to fit. They may last longer from the high revs ? Contact SEW or similar.
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Post by cts_casemod »

coulomb wrote: I've recently come to possess a motor cheaply:

Image

It's a 1PV5135-4WS14, which there happens to be a worldwide glut of, thanks to the Azure Dynamics bankruptcy and subsequent (very recent) fire sale. It would probably cost me more to ship it somewhere than people are prepared to pay now, so I think I should just use it in a conversion.

It's a little smaller and lighter than the ABB 131-008 motor we're using in the MX-5, and it's nominally designed for 215 VDC, so 150 VAC. I think a Tritium 450 V controller would drive it rather nicely, or possibly a DMOC-645 inverter, which should be available at fire sale prices soon.

So I'm thinking about possible AC conversion candidates. This motor spins out to 10,000 RPM, and has a peak power of some 105 kW @ 350 VDC, suggesting direct drive, but it still needs a pretty high overall reduction to get decent low speed torque, say 8:1, or about twice what a typical differential would provide.

This suggests retaining the original gearbox, but with most of the gears removed. Second gear of a typical manual transmission would have a ratio of some 2:1, which seems ideal.

My reservations are these:

* One hears about the idea of using the transmission with most gears removed, but I never seem to see one actually used. Is there a gotcha there? I suppose you still end up with all the space that the full transission took up; you can't really use the space vacated by first and reverse gears for cells, can you?   Image

* Will the gearbox last long, if it is subjected to frequent high speed sessions (e.g. highway driving)?

On this last point, I thought of donors (hosts?) that had rotary engines. Some rotary engines red-line at say 8000 RPM, which may mean that their transmissions are more suited for high speed operation. But will they last with sustained 8-10 kRPM operation?

Some racing rotaries run at 10 kRPM, so that may suggest a suitable gearbox, but it sounds expensive.

One problem with rotary engines is that they are said to be light weight for their power. So you don't get the advantage of a heavy engine being removed, to balance against the weight of a battery pack and motor. Ideally, the engine you are taking out should be as heavy as possible, you you can cram in more weight in battery and motor, and still stay under the gross vehicle mass limit for the donor. But maybe the lightness of a rotary engine is really only a small consideration.

Another problem with choosing a rotary donor is that there is a quite limited set of choices. Most of them are Mazdas, which is fine. Also, Mazda typically make strong transmissions, so that's a plus.

Another consideration: I believe that old rotary engines are always wearing out their wipers (equivalent of rings in a piston engine). Is this so? If so, it may mean that there are some cheap donors out there that haven't replaced their wipers yet, and want to get rid of them cheap before the engine starts blowing smoke. Or of course, I don't care if it's already blowing smoke; I don't think a second hand rotary engine would be worth much anyway.

Comments are welcome.

[ Edit: incomplete motor model number ]


Great find, looks like Erics's VW Passat motor.

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Post by Tritium_James »

Coulomb, our client's EV Porsche from a few years ago ran an AC Propulsion drivetrain into the existing gearbox. That spun out to 12000rpm, and he had it fixed in *first* gear = about 120km/h top speed. He did about 50000km on it as far as I'm aware, including a lot of highway driving.

I'm amazed it got the life it did, most vehicle gearboxes are designed for something like 20 hours total operation in first gear during their lifetime - much less than the higher gears. But maybe Porsche boxes are special...

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Post by BigMouse »

coulomb wrote: I've recently come to possess a motor cheaply:

Image

It's a 1PV5135-4WS14, which there happens to be a worldwide glut of, thanks to the Azure Dynamics bankruptcy and subsequent (very recent) fire sale.


Those are great motors. Even better that you already have a shaft coupler to use/adapt. Does this motor have the helical splined shaft?

I'm sure the question on everyone's mind is: "Where do I get one, and how much!?"

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Post by PlanB »

Do you know what Azure dynamics were doing with them? Maybe their choice of transmission might be available?

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Post by coulomb »

BigMouse wrote: Does this motor have the helical splined shaft?
No, those were the ones for the Ford Rangers. They had about 3 problems that had to be fixed, e.g. replacing the bearings. This one is longer and more powerful than the Ford Ranger motors, I believe.
I'm sure the question on everyone's mind is: "Where do I get one, and how much!?"

There was only the one; it came from some QUT electric van. Somehow the motor never got an asset number, and the due process of asking for interest from staff etc ended up with no other interest.

I haven't thought about a price for it; I'll do some research soon.
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Post by coulomb »

PlanB wrote: Do you know what Azure dynamics were doing with them? Maybe their choice of transmission might be available?

They were using them in some electric vans, with an Azure Dynamics DMOC-645 controller, and some custom mechanicals, which some DIYelectriccar members have won at auction.

So there should be some motors, controllers, and transmissions available soon. I suspect that the mechanicals would be particular to the type of van that they were using, and freight from the USA would be high.

Watch Jack Rickard's store for some 60 motors and 66 controllers soon, along with 48 3.3 kW Brusa chargers. He isn't the only one to have won motors and other things, but he invested some US$ 100k into these. I think he'd be pleased to see some of that move fairly quickly, so he'll likely put keen prices on it.

One member was complaining about the US$5000 it cost to transport 10 motors from Missouri (?) to California. I think he got ripped off.

[ Edit: It's 48 Brusa chargers. ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 16 Nov 2012, 15:57, edited 1 time in total.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
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1.4 kW solar with 1.2 kW Latronics inverter and FIT.
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Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by BigMouse »

coulomb wrote:I haven't thought about a price for it; I'll do some research soon.
If you did decide to sell it, I imagine it'd be a fight between myself and Stiive for it ;-)

Does it have an encoder built-in?

I already have my brand-new custom wound 4p 48vac 132 frame motor, but something with a bit higher voltage might be better to keep the current down. I asked for ~90v with 6-terminal junction box for star/delta configurability, but received 48v hard-wired in delta. Should have made more of a stink about it on delivery, but I was too tempted by the promise of high performance due to constant V/Hz to 250Hz. I'm sure a Tritium, or even a Kelly KIM would drive it nicely.

Maybe a trade?

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Post by a4x4kiwi »

Add me to the fight.
If anyone gets any leads on where to get these when they become available, I would be keen to share import costs.

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Post by T1 Terry »

What about a turbine step down transmission? They are designed for high revs. An easier to find unit would be an auto transmission. With a specially built high stall torque converter, say 5,000rpm stall to ensure you were right up in the motors torque range off the mark, a 2 speed transmission for hill climbing and cruising and a reverse. These transmissions can be built very strong by the right people, a very popular drag race transmission so plenty of knowledge about.
Then you have a choice of any vehicle you want as long as it’s rear wheel drive.

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Post by Stiive »

BigMouse wrote:
coulomb wrote:I haven't thought about a price for it; I'll do some research soon.
If you did decide to sell it, I imagine it'd be a fight between myself and Stiive for it ;-)


Haha, Coulomb said he was gonna sell it to me and ask the owner for a price, and now it seems he wants to keep it!! naughty... lol


We should get a bunch of people from Aus together and put in an order for ~10 motors from the US/UK and share shipping charges.
Rgds,
Stiive

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Post by Stiive »

Sent Jack an email. Lets see what he says
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Post by coulomb »

T1 Terry wrote: What about a turbine step down transmission?
Turbine as in wind turbine? But surely they would be low speed. So a gas turbine, possibly for aircraft? Sounds expensive and difficult to obtain.
An easier to find unit would be an auto transmission.
What turned me off automatic transmissions is the fact that RX-7s and RX-8s that come with an automatic transmission have a lower power spec than the manual versions, since they have to limit the revs to what the auto transmission can safely handle.

From Wikipedia RX-8 first generation page:

"Automatic versions all had lower output/lower rpm engines due to the lack of availability of a transmission that would be able to reliably cope with the engine's high rpm limits."

[ Edit: for][matting ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 16 Nov 2012, 15:16, edited 1 time in total.
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160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by coulomb »

Stiive wrote: Haha, Coulomb said he was gonna sell it to me and ask the owner for a price, and now it seems he wants to keep it!! naughty... lol

Sorry, Stiive, miscommunication. You seemed to go quiet on the motor; I didn't realise that you were waiting for me to get back to you.

Well, it looks like it will get used one way or another, and I won't have to find the money for a conversion just yet.

[ Edit: spiiling ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 16 Nov 2012, 15:23, edited 1 time in total.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
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160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by unheardofinstruments »

I got my series 5 rx7 roller for 1200 with no motor or box but I have seen earlier ones (series 12&3) for around 5-800. They tend to be rusty around the rear hatch and roof area though but are substantially lighter. 1000kg vs 1324kg. I suspect a reduction drive using toothed belts would be the lightest option. Gates have all sorts. 2 gear custom boxes I found were hideously expensive. Craig from turquoise energy in Vancouver is building a promising torque converter from 3d printed plastic. I like this one;
http://www.rexresearch.com/constran/1constran.htm
seems perfect for an ac motor, one could just keep it at optimal revs all the time.
I think a group import could be great, count me in, curious how much it is worth, how much was it coulomb?

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Post by T1 Terry »

coulomb wrote:"Automatic versions all had lower output/lower rpm engines due to the lack of availability of a transmission that would be able to reliably cope with the engine's high rpm limits."
Hi rev torque converters are not factory stuff, specially built with welded internal blades and finely balanced, the higher stall speed is obtained by reducing the diameter but the coupling point needs to be controlled by limiting the clearance between the two sets of blades, one attached to the cover, the other drives the output shaft. An exacting science but GM 2 spd Powerglide transmissions are extremely popular wit the drag racing community so there are specialists out there who how already done the ground work. This would make torque converter and transmission selection virtually an off the shelf type of thing.
Forget about the Mazda transmission, too many gears ratios anyway but not near strong enough for that motors available torque.

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Last edited by T1 Terry on Sat, 17 Nov 2012, 02:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Stiive »

Group buy EOI thread here
viewtopic.php?p=39954&t=3294#p39954
Rgds,
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Post by coulomb »

BigMouse wrote: Does it have an encoder built-in?

I believe that it does, but it's on one of those round aircraft / military style connectors, and I don't know the pinout, how to power it, or other details.
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Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by BigMouse »

coulomb wrote:
BigMouse wrote: Does it have an encoder built-in?

I believe that it does, but it's on one of those round aircraft / military style connectors, and I don't know the pinout, how to power it, or other details.


Ah, a "canon" plug. Pricey plugs, those. If it's anything like the encoder arrangement in the Ranger EV motors, it shouldn't be too complex. Toothed wheel and hall pickups. The thermistor probably breaks out in to that plug too. There is a cover on the ranger motors that can be removed to follow the wiring. There's probably details on the specs online, but I would expect 12v to work.

(EDIT: I see you've covered this more in another thread)
Last edited by BigMouse on Sat, 17 Nov 2012, 11:27, edited 1 time in total.

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