We have power, well almost

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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jpcw
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We have power, well almost

Post by jpcw » Mon, 21 Apr 2008, 05:57

I finally got the wiring done and tried powering up the car today. Couple of couple of minor hiccups which result in 2 warnings.

1) I found out that the ignition switch was connected to earth, The ZAPI controller puts 120V through it's power switch which I connected to the old ignition. I then lent over to connect the last battery terminal and boooot, I got a zap and a half. Measured between the terminal and earth - 120V. Warning, check that the ignition switch isn't earthing the main DC supply.

2)I got contactors with a 12V winding, when I fired it up all looked good, switched the direction switch to forward and click, smoke. The ZAPI powers the contactors with 120V. Fortunately I didn't let enough smoke escape and the contactor seems to be ok. Second Warning, double check the winding voltage for the contactors. I'm getting a couple of 120V relays to connect to the contactors and will see how that turns out.

So I didn't get any movement but at least I have most of the wiring done and a controler that is not reporting any diagnostic errors, and I survived a 120V boot. With any luck I should have the relays in tomorrow and will give it another go.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

jpcw
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Post by jpcw » Thu, 24 Apr 2008, 15:30

Just had another rather major setback. Looks like the problem with the contactor has caused a major fault on the ZAPI's logic board. So far I have found a burnt out track, 3 dead diodes and a dead power transistor. I'm going to try and do a repair on it tonight if Altronics stock the transistor. I might be up for a new logic board or controller :(
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

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acmotor
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Post by acmotor » Thu, 24 Apr 2008, 17:27

Zapi is an unfortunate name for the controller.

Seriously though, I do understand the disappointment when the expensive, bullet proof electronics fail. I hope Zapi supplied full service manulas with the unit ! I guess warranty is long gone ?
It sound like there should have been a fuse in the control line to the contactor... Either built in to the Zapi or fitted just outside the terminals. A S/C fault should have been anticipated by the manufacturer and protection fitted.

Good luck with the repairs. We all want to see your EV on the road !

iMiEV MY12     110,230km in pure Electric and loving it !

jpcw
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Post by jpcw » Fri, 25 Apr 2008, 17:08

YESSSSSS it Works!!!!

Replaced 3 diodes and a power mosfet all up totaling $5 and it WORKS....

I went for a short drive last night and it WORKS!!! Considering that there are 550kg of batteries it has great pickup to although I have a bit more work to do on engine mounts as it almost tried to put the motor through the front batteries when I tried accelerating a little to hard.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

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Post by zeva » Fri, 25 Apr 2008, 20:01

Congratulations John, that's fantastic news Image

I can't wait to get a ride in it - you'll have to bring it down to the next WAEVA meeting (BBQ Lunch 11am Sunday, 18th May at Patterson Park Burswood) to show it off!
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
http://www.zeva.com.au

jpcw
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Post by jpcw » Mon, 28 Apr 2008, 15:32

Don't know if I'll have it inspected by then but I'll give it a go.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

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Thalass
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Post by Thalass » Mon, 28 Apr 2008, 17:54

Awesome! Good to see one more EV nearing completion!

I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

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Post by jpcw » Sat, 03 May 2008, 23:24

Thanks Thalass,

I took it for a real test drive today. Got it up to 80kmh without any problems at all. Acceleration from 0 - 40 was excellent, 40 - 60 was reasonable, 60 - 80 was a little slow but acceptable. Didn't want to push it past 80 as I still have suspension work to do and didn't want to attract too much attention. All in all not bad for a car lugging 550kg of batteries around.

Checked all the components after and I think I need to do something more about the cooling, the controller got fairly warm but not unacceptably so but the motor got rather hot, too hot to put your hand on it for more than a couple of seconds. I think the problem is that the front batteries are blocking all the airflow.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

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Post by jpcw » Tue, 13 May 2008, 17:48

Took it for another test drive on the weekend. Did 26km with a top speed of 100kmh. it could have done more quite easily but I didn't want to get done for speeding. I've gotten used to the gears now and acceleration is actually very good across the entire speed range if I use 3rd to start and move to 4th at about 50-60kmh. After the trip it took about 4 hours to charge with the charger set up for a 175AH pack (mine is actually 185AH). I think it was charging at a little less than a 10% rate so that would make it about 40% discharged. Not too bad considering I was accelerating hard and running at speeds higher than I would normally. I really do need to get myself a good set of instruments though to work it out properly.

I’ve order a set of custom springs for the back end which should be ready in 2 – 3 weeks. Once I get them in I’ll be done and ready for inspection.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

TasyMoke
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Post by TasyMoke » Sat, 24 May 2008, 20:48

I am a newbie here, I am not technically very competent so I am very impressed with your success, Congratulations. Do you have pictures posted anywhere?
The idea of converting my Moke to an EV is very seductive, so I will be interested in any future kits that may forward that ambition.
I am in southern Tasmania, Cheers

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Post by moemoke » Tue, 27 May 2008, 04:54

Hi Tasymoke, back in the early 80's John's & Waygood (the lift company)made a few electic Mokes (the Moke Owners Association in Vic. have one) it used 2 big motors with a chain drive to each front wheel, It used 11 or 14 batteries that were in a box in the back they used contactors from a forklift to provide the speed control (not very good) the story goes that when they got one going it took off at a great rate and wouln't stop because the contactor welded shut but after a few seconds of panic the driver managed to shut it down.
I have quite a few photos of it but not sure how to post them on here, I guess I could do it through a hosting site so I might try that tommorrow. Have you seen the electic mini on 'ausmini' forum, seems like a good job, using a suzuki swift gearbox as it is aesier than trying to mount elec motor on mini gearbox.
cheers

TasyMoke
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Post by TasyMoke » Tue, 27 May 2008, 05:20

Thanks for the info, I guess its early days and we can expect solutions of a less adventurous nature before too long! I did look at the ausmini mini conversion and it sure looks promising.
cheers
Last edited by TasyMoke on Mon, 26 May 2008, 19:54, edited 1 time in total.

jpcw
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Post by jpcw » Tue, 27 May 2008, 15:44

Hi TasyMoke,
Yep have some pictures up on my website. http://www.evaustralia.com.au Go to the Photoalbum and then select one of the two galleries shown. They need updating but at least you can see something.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Alan Kay 1971

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