Nevilleh's BMW

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
Michael
Noobie
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu, 11 Mar 2010, 23:52
Real Name: Michael Gooi
Location: Malaysia
MSN: micchuan981@hotmail.com
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Michael »

I will try to show you my electric vehicle conversion with some photos
m82
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

Still waiting for my LogiSystems controller. While waiting, I've been thinking of alternatives and I came across an open source thing called ReVolt Cougar and I see bits are available in Australia. Has anyone any experience with this thing?
User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3732
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Johny »

Yes, here is the link:
viewtopic.php?t=1160&start=1

Edit: Updated link for new forum address. 17th July 2012
Last edited by Johny on Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 06:43, edited 1 time in total.
Michael
Noobie
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu, 11 Mar 2010, 23:52
Real Name: Michael Gooi
Location: Malaysia
MSN: micchuan981@hotmail.com
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Michael »

I m useing a Curtis Controller now it have not give me any problems.
i think is the bast controller for any one to convert your car.
HeadsUp
Groupie
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat, 28 Feb 2009, 09:13
Real Name: Mark W
Location: Sydney

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by HeadsUp »

Michael wrote: I m useing a Curtis Controller now it have not give me any problems.
i think is the bast controller for any one to convert your car.



red smarties are always the fastest
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

My "red smarty" - I mean my LogiSystems controller arrived back yesterday. Held up by Customs who wanted to charge me another good dollop of duty and gst, but fortunately I had an invoice showing "Repaired under Warranty, No Charge" so they reluctantly let me have it for free.
It is the same Al housing that I sent (I had drilled extra mounting holes in it) but who knows what is inside? There was no note or letter as to what the fault was. Hope to refit it to the car today and then see what happens! Might have to wait until I can find someone to follow me in the ute before I give it a good test - in case it goes bang again.
Watch this space!
User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3732
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Johny »

Based on what I read around about LogiSystems when you had this problem I am optimistic that they really did have a bad bunch and have attended to the problem. On the other hand I am never happy when there is no explanation. Surely someone adept enough to get an EV on the road deserves some vaguely semi-technical report.
It's good that it came back - you were dubious...
I'm holding my breath Image
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

Me too!
I even rang them up, but was told "no engineer is available to speak with you at present".
I did ask the receptionist how many complaints she had received in the last month and she said "None". But then she would, wouldn't she?
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

Well, the controller has been re-installed and it works with the wheels up in the air! That's positive. Now for a decent road test, but I am reluctant to do that until I can get a mate to follow me in a towing vehicle, just in case.

My big charger is not quite ready to go, they have been having some software problems I believe, but they reckon they are all sorted now.
In the meantime, I bought five supplies from PowerBox. These are nominally 27V but I found I could adjust them up to 32V so 5 in series gives me 160V. Could have used six of them to get the 162V I want for the SE cells, but why spend an extra $100?
They are current limited at about 6A, so I have made a 160V 6A charger for about $500. Plus a bit of metalwork to hold them together and two computer fans on the end sucking hot air out. They run all day now at full load whereas without the fans they started to go into thermal shutdown after about an hour.
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

Big day today! Road tested the car with the re-vitalised LogiSystems controller and it went OK. Did 20-odd kms at all sorts of speeds and it all worked fine. When I got it back to the workshop I found that my mounting screws (a couple of big self-tappers!) had worked loose and the thing was nearly falling off, so I removed it, drilled a few more holes and re-installed it with proper nuts and bolts. Then I thought I would just try it again and when I turned the key there was a bang and a huge cloud of smoke! Oh no, not again. But when I gritted my teeth and went to look I found the case very hot and a strong smell of capacitor juice. Nothing for it but to remove it again. And then I discovered the problem: Smart Ass (me) had connected the B+ and B- back to front. Can anyone believe that? I almost can't and I did it! They say familiarity breeds contempt and I guess that is true as I have had the thing on and off so many times I just got a bit careless. This is 70 sq mm cable we are talking about with a big red bit of heat shrink on the B+ and a big black bit on the B-, so how on Earth can anyone get them swapped around?
The pre-charge works on a timer and maybe it should work on voltage instead so the main contactor can't close until the volts come up - if I'd done it that way it would have saved me from my own stupidity.

Can't very well send it back to LogiSystems (how could I ever admit to connecting it backwards?), so I have dismantled it to survey the damage. It has 31 220u/250 electros that all look very sad. It has 26 IR IGBTs that look similarly sad, many of them with the legs blown completely off. The IGBTs are 600v, 50A devices and this surprised me as I thought the thing used MOSFETs. Maybe the old ones did and they re-designed it, but the power stage is now rated at 600V and 1300A! (Abs Max)

So I guess I will replace all the caps and the IGBTs and see how we go.
The circuit boards all look OK and I haven't checked the diodes yet, but no signs of melting there.

One good thing: my 600A, $150 fuse didn't blow!

PS Anyone know what capacitor juice is? It made my fingers tingle even after lots of washing.
User avatar
EV2Go
Senior Member
Posts: 2059
Joined: Wed, 16 Jul 2008, 00:21
Real Name: Paul
Location: Brisbane 1963

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by EV2Go »

I'd say that's bad luck, but as say it wasn't luck it was your own doing, sucks big time none the less Image I was seriously hoping the revamped controller was going to work for you, and am sorry to hear about your missfortune.

Maybe this is not all bad news as it isn't the first time I have heard of someone wiring up the motor wrong. Small concelation but hopefully it serves a reminder to others to never take these things for granted, who knows maybe that extra bit of caution could one day save a life...
User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3732
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Johny »

Really sorry to hear that Neville. That really stinks (no pun).
I hope it helps you to know that admitting it here has reinforced that ANY of us can get a little careless.
I know it's will provide me some incentive to take more care. I'm fiddling with live packs all the time at the moment and I know I'm getting a tad too familiar with them...
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

Yes, you can't be too careful with this stuff. I'm still kicking myself.
Ordered 26 new IGBTs from IR for $NZ170, so that's not too bad. Now to find some caps at a reasonable price.


Here's a photo of some blown IGBTs and an "expanded" capacitor!

Image

Image
User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3732
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Johny »

The cap. reminds me of Gumby.
User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3732
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Johny »

Note lots of extra holes for extra devices.
HeadsUp
Groupie
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat, 28 Feb 2009, 09:13
Real Name: Mark W
Location: Sydney

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by HeadsUp »

what a bitchin @&%$*#^!%#@ experience

Image
a4x4kiwi
Senior Member
Posts: 772
Joined: Thu, 03 Jan 2008, 19:04
Real Name: Malcolm Faed
Location: Australia
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by a4x4kiwi »

Bugger!

Sorry to hear that Neville.

I am in the midst of repairing a Curtis. You will probably need to replace the power supply components for the logic circuits as well. If you can, disconnect the logic from the power electronics to test the logic power supply.

Mal.
Silicon is just sand with attitude.

Blog: http://malfunction.faed.name
HeadsUp
Groupie
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat, 28 Feb 2009, 09:13
Real Name: Mark W
Location: Sydney

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by HeadsUp »

what are the IGBT part numbers Nev ?

User avatar
weber
Site Admin
Posts: 2784
Joined: Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 17:27
Real Name: Dave Keenan
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by weber »

Nevilleh wrote:PS Anyone know what capacitor juice is? It made my fingers tingle even after lots of washing.
I think you will live a long life, and are unlikely to have mutant offspring. Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolyt ... lectrolyte

My commiserations re your disaster Neville. Any of us could make a mistake like that.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

Yeah, thanks Mal. Really nice to go for a ride in your ute the other night!

I was surprised to find IGBTs inside this thing. (They are IRGB30B60K) Does the controller you are working on use these? I thought Curtis used MOSFETs.

Found capacitors at DigiKey - exact same part for about $NZ150 for 31 of them.

I'll definitely check the logic board, thanks for pointing that out and maybe I'll have it running again fairly soon, once the parts arrive.

Thanks weber, I figured the electrolyte was almost certainly a weak acid, so I washed my hands with a bit of dishwasher powder and that fixed it pretyt quick!
Last edited by Nevilleh on Mon, 29 Mar 2010, 08:32, edited 1 time in total.
a4x4kiwi
Senior Member
Posts: 772
Joined: Thu, 03 Jan 2008, 19:04
Real Name: Malcolm Faed
Location: Australia
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by a4x4kiwi »

Yes, Curtis uses MOSFETS. Look up http://www.rockby.com.au, http://www.wagner.net.au and futurlec.com.au in case they also have what you need. There is also a good place in Wellington but there name escapes me. They are renound for hard to find components.
Silicon is just sand with attitude.

Blog: http://malfunction.faed.name
Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Nevilleh »

The LogiSystems is/was supposed to be a copy of the Curtis. I wonder if they re-designed the power section after so many failures and changed it to IGBTs?
I have now pulled the controller board off and there are 3 obviously blown ic s there and I can't tell what they are, so it might be a bit harder to fix than I first thought.
a4x4kiwi
Senior Member
Posts: 772
Joined: Thu, 03 Jan 2008, 19:04
Real Name: Malcolm Faed
Location: Australia
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by a4x4kiwi »

Can you post a pic of the logic board? I will compare it to the one I am working on. I might be able to make some suggestions if the layout is at all similar. From memory they are ALL LM339 quad op amps in the Curtis.
Silicon is just sand with attitude.

Blog: http://malfunction.faed.name
Digger11
Groupie
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 19:55
Real Name: Digger Jones
Location: Melbourne

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by Digger11 »

On a brighter note, LA from $1,429 return is a good deal.
User avatar
evric
Site Admin
Posts: 503
Joined: Sun, 20 Jul 2008, 01:57
Real Name: Eric
Location: Adelaide SA
Contact:

Nevilleh's BMW

Post by evric »

Nevilleh wrote: The LogiSystems is/was supposed to be a copy of the Curtis. I wonder if they re-designed the power section after so many failures and changed it to IGBTs?
I have now pulled the controller board off and there are 3 obviously blown ic s there and I can't tell what they are, so it might be a bit harder to fix than I first thought.

Curtis controllers whine at low speed... do LogiSystems controllers whine?
Prius Plug-in Conversion: http://www.evplus.com.au ...Holden Barina EV: http://www.evric.kestar.com.au
Post Reply