Electric Torana

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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Benonymous
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Electric Torana

Post by Benonymous » Tue, 25 Mar 2008, 22:14

My boss at work, has got a plan to build a conversion in a UC Torana or similar vehicle. I have appraised him of the likely problems with this (or any conversion) but he's keen to build this for promotional work. I've suggested the easiest way to do a conversion would be with a DC motor (Advanced) and a Curtis controller. The vehicle weighs around the 1100kg mark. The range we'd need would be under 60km. While this is far from the ideal EV I'd like to make, it would be a good first project. I want to throw it out to the members, what would you see as a useful spec for the conversion. I'm thinking an Advanced 203-06-4001 run at 120V with a Curtis controller. I'd have a vacuum pump for the brake booster and a 120 to 12 DC-DC converter for the accessories. I'm unsure of how to deal with the power steering if anyone's got any suggestions.

Ideally, I'd like to do this with an AC induction motor and a three phase controller. Any ideas on suppliers for the controller? IF I could convince him to go AC I'd do it that way.

All replies gratefully received.

zeva
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Electric Torana

Post by zeva » Tue, 25 Mar 2008, 23:11

Hi Benonymous (& boss),

I think a Torana would be a great vehicle to convert, though you'd want it live up to its image and have a bit of pep - as such I'd recommend looking at a 9" motor instead of the 8" 203. AdvancedDC do the 9" FB1 but the NetGain WarP 9 is probably the best 9" around (in my humble, possibly biased opinion!)

Similarly you might as well run at 144V for the extra performance. 120V-144V is the most common system voltage range for conversions so components to suit are the most economical/abundant.

Regarding controllers, I've got some Kelly controllers coming (http://www.kellycontroller.com/) which are much better value than the Curtis.. somewhere around half the price for the equivalent 144V 500A model!

60km range should be feasible enough with lead acid batteries, that's probably the best bet unless you're feeling rich enough to go for lithiums. The downside is lead acids are very heavy, so you might want to consider removing the rear seats and relicensing as a 2-seater, so you don't have to allow so much of the GVM for passengers.

Power steering.. Several ways of doing this: 1) Use a separate motor to constantly drive the old power steering pump, or 2) salvage an electric power steering unit from a Toyota MR2, or 3) go without power steering and give those arms some exercise ;)

As for AC gear.. while I do agree it is superior and definitely the way of the future, it is still very expensive - at least twice the price of DC gear for equivalent power. Hard to justify. For example, http://www.electroauto.com carry the Azure Dynamics AC24 kit, but it's only 45kW peak and would end up costing about AU$10K once you factor in shipping/customs/GST!
Ian Hooper
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"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
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Benonymous
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Electric Torana

Post by Benonymous » Tue, 01 Apr 2008, 23:01

Thanks for the reply Ian. Have you seen the locally made AC controllers from Tritium? http://tritium.com.au/
I know they'll only run 20KW but it's good to see we have a local manufacturer. I should have a budget for the boss done soon and I'll include the Warp motor in the price. Thanks for the lead on the controller. Image

AdelaideSparky
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Electric Torana

Post by AdelaideSparky » Sat, 12 Apr 2008, 20:48

Hi Ben. I would say forego the power steering. I used to own a LH Torana ICE and that did quite well without it.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?"

jpcw
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Electric Torana

Post by jpcw » Thu, 01 May 2008, 04:14

A good friend who is helping with my conversion is also planning on doing a torana, most likely going to be AC with direct drive.

Would love to here how your boss gets along with his.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

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