Peter Campbell's Charade

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
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Peter C in Canberra
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Tue, 07 Apr 2009, 14:47

I have an evalbum page now.
http://www.evalbum.com/2468
I will update more later.
Peter C.
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Peter C in Canberra
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Fri, 15 May 2009, 17:40

It's with the engineer now. It's like I have left my baby at the hospital! Will it be pronounced healthy (roadworthy) or will there be a bombshell?

He is also going to fit some new rear springs and shock absorbers since the car is clearly down a bit at the back (3-4cm from when I started) with probably about 100Kg extra on the rear wheels and up a bit at the front (~2cm) with probably about 50Kg less than when I started. I had a permit to drive it unregistered on the roads for the last few days to take it to a few places and I am generally very happy with how it went. I think the 3C current limit from the TS LiFePO4 90AH cells is noticeable. The BMS makes a beep when I put my foot down too hard and push the current up too high (around 300Amps or just over the rated 3C). Then even with a nearly full charge I can drop the voltage to about 125V at which point one of my 45 cells must have dropped to 2.5V and caused the 'lead-foot alarm' on the EV power BMS to go off. If the car comes back with the all clear I'll experiment with the Curtis controller's current limit to have it limit just short of this point. Anyway I'm EV grinning a little nervously just now.
Peter C.
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Post by Johny » Fri, 15 May 2009, 17:44

Great work Peter. We all expect cigars when it's born (actually just a post will do). Image

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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Mon, 25 May 2009, 04:08

I've got the tick of approval from the engineer. With the 45 TS 90s behind the back seat, mostly in the spare wheel well, I had added weight to the rear and it was obvious that the rear was heavier and the front lighter than original. The engineer's report says the car now has a 50/50 weight distribution front and back and is closer to level with heavier duty, standard length springs in the rear. Ideally I would put in some shorter springs in the front with new shocks but the car passed swerve tests and the engineer was happy to say that the car is as good as new (or no worse than new) for handling. The new weight of the car is 940kg which is more than I expected. The original weight is listed as 790kg but I didn't weight it before starting. I am surprised that it is 150kg heavier. My guestimates were that I might be 50-100kg more. Mk I of my 12V heater didn't behave well but the engineer was prepared to pass it for defogging because I could use the aircon while the motor is turning, and supplement with two of those cheap, dodgy heaters intended to go in the cigar lighter socket but hard-wired in and attached to the dash with velcro. He understood that I would later do a better heater inside the original heater box.
I'm taking it to the motor registry on Wednesday.
Peter.
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Post by Johny » Mon, 25 May 2009, 15:53

Congratulations Peter.

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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Wed, 27 May 2009, 23:32

Registered today. Yeah!
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Post by acmotor » Wed, 27 May 2009, 23:35

Great !
When you flattened your battery driving around, how about telling more about registration experience ! Image
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Post by a4x4kiwi » Thu, 28 May 2009, 00:03

Congratulations!
Silicon is just sand with attitude.

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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Fri, 29 May 2009, 02:03

As requested some comments on the registration process:
I am in the ACT where is only one other home modified EV registered that I am aware of (Sacha's Hilux). At least one other EV-Charade was on the road for a while in the early 90s however. There are 4 engineers in ACT accredited to provide reports on light vehicle modifications. I went the same engineer as Sascha hoping that would mean a less steep learning curve for the engineer and perhaps a quicker/easier/cheaper result for me. It was not cheaper. I was charged for an initial interview when I had some questions about battery restraint a few months before I finished and then for the engineer's report. For the first interview I was charged 0.5 hours at $250/hr+GST. For the report I was charged 5 hours. Then he added a charge for the weighbridge certificate and a charge for a brake dyno hire. All up that came to $1592.50. To the motor registry I had to pay several lots of $18 or $36 for several day permits to drive the car unregistered to get it to and from the engineer and registry. Add another $52 for the motor registry inspection fee and let's call it $1600 to get the car to the point of being able to pay a normal registration. I did save the princely sum of $40 from my registration because my car is electric, a concessional category the ACT had in place already.
The engineer was generally very supportive of the project. At all times I had the impression he was quite prepared to interpret guidelines liberally if he felt I had something that was within the spirit of the rules. I don't think he was being slack but was indicating a preparedness to pass a vehicle if he felt is was sufficiently safe. As it happened I had payed attention on this forum and elsewhere and I don't think he had a lot of work to do. I pretty well ran though pointing out all the various features that would allow him to tick off all he needed to. An example of flexibility was his attitude to my heater which is not ideal. My first attempt at a 12V element in the original enclosure under the dash did not work well and I intend to do better. I have reinstated the air-con and the engineer was prepared to pass the combination of air con working only when the car is moving with the back-up of two dodgy little 12V heaters velcroed to the dash, each of which blows out barely warm air.
The engineer had the car for a week but I also had him fit new springs and shocks to the rear of the car. The originals were too saggy with an extra 150Kg or so in the hatch behind the back seat. The process with the engineer was pretty smooth really but I was probably telling him his job rather than the other way around. The motor registry just took a copy of the engineer's report, tested brakes again, all the lights, horn, steering for slackness and a general look over; again no problems or impediments. The engineer reported that my car now weighs 940Kg, up from 790Kg (from specs, not a pre-weighing). The weight distribution is now 50/50 front and back. He did a swerve test which it passed and the handling seems fine to me, not that I am familiar with any cars that would have performance claims.
In retrospect the only problem was my anxiety that the engineer or registry might find something they didn't like or understand.
I'm still feeling a little stunned that this has all worked out without falling in a heap at some point!
I'm yet to test the range but so far I seem to be getting somewhat less than one km for each amp hour from the 90Ah battery. Put another way I think I will probably have the range I anticipated of about 75km. A lot of that is on a road with significant hills and 80km/h limit. I have no trouble keeping up with traffic, so far on roads with limits up to 90km/h. Performance is entirely ordinary/adequate but it is not a racing car.
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Post by paulsEV » Tue, 16 Jun 2009, 03:39

Hi Peter, just wondering what company supplied your motor and controller? Im particularly interested in your setup and I think it would be suitable for my Daewoo Matiz. I would be grateful if you could supply some feedback on your experience with them and how long it took to ship etc. Thanks
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Tue, 16 Jun 2009, 14:28

paulsEV wrote:.... Hi Peter, just wondering what company supplied your motor and controller?....

I was originally planning to get the controller that Ian Hooper (ZEVA, now part of EV Works) was developing but it was not ready. I was also planning to get an Impulse 9" motor. The latter appealed because it was similar in specs to the ADC 8" except that it was rated for higher voltages. It seemed that it would leave the option open to later increase range by adding a few cells in series with the ones I was planning on getting (144V of TS90s). I was also put off the ADC8" initially because of its 120V rather than 144V rating. However, all subsequent advice was to ignore that and all would be well. The 144V was driven by it being an easier voltage for a DC/DC converter that was really expecting US AC mains and 144V of 90AH being a more convenient combination of total amphours, size, shape and price than other configurations. [If I were to do anything further now I would be tempted by the idea of putting a second string of higher current, smaller capacity cells in parallel. The current limits of the battery in cold weather seems so far to be the performance limit, rather than motor power or the controller's current limits.]
However, Ian was also having trouble with supply of the Warp motors so I changed plans and got on the waiting list for the ADC 8" motor with the Symons (EVmotors.com.au). They said I would be able to get one from the next shipment that was a month away. So, I went ahead with getting the adaptor and coupler made by Geoff O'Toole in Sydney (who was prompt and did a good job). He had just got started when he got in touch to say he had been offered a set of parts from an electric vehicle that was dismantled but had not been used much, and did I want the motor (ADC8") and Curtis controller from it? We negotiated a price and I picked up those parts along with the adaptor parts. Meanwhile, the Symons' shipment had arrived and they were unconcerned by my cancelled order as they had plenty of takers.
I had made an enquiry with Bylong Industries about a Curtis controller. I had not contacted them earlier in my planning because they didn't seem to have much about their EV stuff on the web. Also, I had seen negative comments about Curtis and the ZEVA controller seemed imminent and possibly superior, cheaper and local. When I did get in touch Bylong were good with email communication but I can't comment on how quickly they might have supplied parts. In spite of the negative comments about Curtis, this controller was the only one I could get quickly and easily that seemed a good match to my requirements. I wonder if they sell so many that there are bound to be some that have failed. I have made a point of giving it lots of air and good heatsinking.
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Post by drowe67 » Tue, 16 Jun 2009, 15:48

Congratulations Peter - good too see another Electric Charade on the road!   Your experience with the engneer and rego sounded familiar to me, I also hit a few similar issues with the whole rego process.

I found the whole thing highly subjective, every engineer and inspector will have a different opinion, so you just need to wade through it all. It was quite stressful the first time but having been through it once I am now very confident about doing another EV.

We now have 6000km on our Charade EV, and have just converted another Charade using Goombi's Chinese kit in only 3 days and for less than $8,000. Has a surprisingly good range for lead acid, nearly 60km.
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Wed, 21 Oct 2009, 19:34

5 months on the road now. Still goin well. No problems. Through the Canberra winter in an open sided carport with frosty nights the max. current before the BMS alarm (2.5V on at least one cell) would sound was ~200Amps (cells in the 0-10oC range). Now it is warming up the car is decidedly zippier with the BMS alarm rarely going off. Peak currents for a few seconds are around 250Amps for most driving but occasionally I am enjoying the faster chemistry and pushing past 300A. At this rate it will be a rocket by mid-summer.
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Post by Johny » Wed, 21 Oct 2009, 19:40

Sounds good Peter. What sort of distance have you travelled and roughly how many charge cycles? Do you get to part in the shade once we hit summer?

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Post by drowe67 » Wed, 21 Oct 2009, 20:52

################
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Wed, 21 Oct 2009, 21:56

No idea if this is the safe limit. I wish I knew. On one hand I would like to be kind to my cells. On the other hand, if it doesn't do any harm, I might put my foot down a little harder in winter. The EV Power BMS alarm is intended to warn if any cell has hit 2.5V through discharge and warn you to stop driving even if the others are still more charged. However, the alarm goes off as you say, with charged cells, just because of higher internal resistance when they are cold.
Does anyone know if it does any harm to non-discharged thundersky cells to pull sufficient current from them to the point of dropping their voltage below 2.5V? I'd like to be gentle to them and have them last for years.
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Post by drowe67 » Fri, 23 Oct 2009, 16:32

Hi Peter,

I am in the process of converting my Charade from Lead Acid to Lithium. I was wondering:

1/ What is the split of batteries between the front and rear?

2/ Could you please post some close up photos of your battery racks? I am not sure whats required for Lithiums, I am used to "heavy metal" for lead acid racks.

3/ How are your batteries secured from a roll over, e.g. if the car is inverted. For lead acid there is plenty of room for a bar over the top or frame around the edges but with Lithiums the BMS and terminals take up a lot of the top surface.

Thanks,

David
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Sat, 24 Oct 2009, 13:49

drowe67 wrote:1/ What is the split of batteries between the front and rear?


I have all my cells in the rear. 45xTS90AH. These are 4 rows of 8 in the spare wheel well and a row of 6 and a row of 7 sitting up to either side. Everything else in the front. The result is that the front of the car is marginally lighter than original and the back is heavier. Overall the weight is 940kg, up 150kg on what the specs say (790kg), with the distribution 50/50 front and back-the engineer who signed off on the car seemed to like that.
drowe67 wrote: 2/ Could you please post some close up photos of your battery racks? I am not sure whats required for Lithiums, I am used to "heavy metal" for lead acid racks.
I welded a frame from slotted angle steel. It helped to be able to build it up gradually with bits bolted together, then weld, then remove the bolts.
drowe67 wrote: 3/ How are your batteries secured from a roll over, e.g. if the car is inverted. For lead acid there is plenty of room for a bar over the top or frame around the edges but with Lithiums the BMS and terminals take up a lot of the top surface.
I have the cells held in with blue pallet hand strap. This is rated over 100kg. Each cell has two straps over it in each direction. Where the strap passes through the slotted steel under the cells I have a bit of tough plastic tubing over the edge to prevent chaffing. There is a perspex cover and for the lower wider section a wooden cover that slides in so it can take the weight of shopping bags.

I tried to upload some images but got an access denied message.
Send me an email and I'll post them to you.

Peter.



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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Sat, 24 Oct 2009, 14:11

Johny wrote: Sounds good Peter. What sort of distance have you travelled and roughly how many charge cycles? Do you get to part in the shade once we hit summer?

An early calculation in autumn when I had only done 700km was 250Wh/km. Just after that it got cold. At 1400km the calculation came out at 265Wh/km. Now it has been warming up for a while and the total is 896KWhs for 3581km which is 250Wh/km again, the average over 5months, later autumn, winter and the first half of spring. I have driven and topped up the charge most days, typically after 15-25km and only having used about 30%. Perhaps half of the weekends have had one day of 60-70% discharge.
Peter
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Post by drowe67 » Sat, 24 Oct 2009, 15:11

Hi Peter,

Thanks for answering those questions and the pictures. You know I hadn't thought of putting all of the batteries in the back but I guess that would make life simpler for me, too. Only problem is with my 6.7 inch motor the front of the car would be 50 kg lighter than original ICE.

Here is my weight distribution spreadsheet as a Google Doc.

I have some power consumption figures for my Charade. Cruising at 60 km/hr we use around 5kW. I have tried several battery voltages (between 96 and 144V) and the 5kW figure is fairly constant. This translates to 80Wh/km. However in real world metro driving (stop-start traffic) my best estimate is 120Wh/km. This is the energy from the battery pack.

From the wall I measured 250Wh/km, based on a 15km test drive. Although I suspect my power meter (cheap Jaycar unit) and the chargers I am using in lead-acid mode are not that great. I will test again with the Lithium pack installed.

Cheers,

David


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Post by Johny » Sat, 24 Oct 2009, 20:07

I have been wondering about low priced mains power measuring devices since I saw this thread on the CR4 engineering forum. Someone pointed out that their name-brand inexpensive power measurement device was reading about 200% current when used with switch mode power supply appliances. They had compared it with a more expensive DVM measuring mains current. They both read the same with a resistive load.

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Post by Electrocycle » Sat, 24 Oct 2009, 23:13

I have a Jaycar power meter and it's completely useless on anything that's hot a heater or large motor.

The maximum reading I could get on it running my 1500wrms amplifier flat out was under 200w!

The chargers for my bike (320w total) would only ever register about 70w.

The fan heater and clothes drier both read spot on their rated wattage.

The other day I tried it on my air compressor and it was reading about 50%, but it also reported 50% power factor (first time I've seen it not say 100% for that).
Looking at the amps reading rather than the watts seemed to be about right (7A 245v)
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Post by antiscab » Sun, 25 Oct 2009, 00:51

yup,
the MS-6115 meter is absolute rubbish.
corrects fine for displacement powerfactor, but gets completely flumoxed by harmonics (of which the vast majority of devices have).

i use one of these meters for single phase measuring:
single phase 5(32)A kwh meter

i packaged mine in the middle of an extension lead in a IP68 rated enclosure.

i actually just bought a whole lot of those meters, and plan on selling them for around AUS$100/ea (packaged in an IP68 enclosure in and extension lead).

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