4Springs' Brumby

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3737
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Richo »

So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!

Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Nevilleh »

Ian Bartie of digitalhometech.com.au was selling kits. I bought the electronic parts from him, although I made my own case - and Paul Holmes still sells pcbs, I think.

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

I received a quick reply from Kelly, asking me to measure some resistances on the controller. I'll have to take it out first, so I'll do this tomorrow. I really don't know what happened. I must have had it hooked up right to go as long as it did (only 3 connections, not rocket science). It's like it overloaded - but this is an 800A controller with over current and over temperature cut-outs (according to the manual), and I just drove it slowly around the house! I had set the current limit in the software to 500A so that I'd be less likely to cook anything on my first couple of tests. I was driving in 1st gear, so I shouldn't have been pulling too much current. Really wish I had had the current sensor hooked up now...
Nothing else was hot - I checked the motor and all the accessible power leads & battery terminals. The controller was very hot though.

That Cougar controller looks really good. I like the idea of assembling one myself. Pity it wasn't around (or I didn't see it) when I was looking at controllers.


User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3737
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Richo »

It's nice that Kelly let the end user diagnose thier problems for them.
I hope you charge them $60/hour...

Please take photo's once you pull it apart for evidence.

I doubt the controller would have to work hard going around the house.
Even if the current limit was the problem you would have breifly shot off.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!

User avatar
Sheany
Noobie
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue, 15 Feb 2011, 16:39
Real Name: Brad Shean
Location: Warragul, Victoria
Contact:

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Sheany »

Not to steer the topic too far off course:

I just got in touch with Ian at Digital Home Tech, he tells me he hasn't got any of the power or control boards in stock currently, so there could be a wait for Open Revolt controllers.

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

Even if the current limit was the problem you would have breifly shot off.
Indeed, although "shot off" is sort of what it did.

Kelly replied today to my email with the resistances, saying that I should send it back. They will repair or replace it.

So far so good!

User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3737
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Richo »

::Fingers crossed::
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

Kelly have kept me well informed, and have now sent me a replacement controller. Should be here this week. They decided that mine was "completely burnt", and so built me a new one. I'll be interested to see if this one has the chasis connected to the B+ terminal. I do wonder if that was a symptom of the fault that caused its demise, although Matt seemed to think that some Kelly controllers are designed that way...
I think this time I'll do a fair bit of testing before I go for an acutal drive. I bought myself one of those non-contact thermometers, so I'll run the motor with the car in neutral for a while and monitor the temperature of the controller & leads. I have my Zeva gauge hooked up now too, so I'll be able to keep an eye on the current.

Fingers are still definately crossed.

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

The replacement controller arrived on Thursday. A slight change, I ordered a "waterproof" one this time. The new controller looks exactly the same as the old one, so much so that I got out my photos to make sure they hadn't just sent me mine back! Different serial number though, and no sign of the thermistor I had glued to the side of it. No sign of smoke damage either.
So I installed it yesterday, and the Brumby drives like a dream. At least around the house. My wife is away this weekend, so I haven't been game to take it out onto the road (no-one to tow me back home!). I did take it out into a paddock though, and got it up to about 35 km/h. Acceleration is very good. At one point I thought something had broken, until I realised that I was spinning the wheels under acceleration. So I put it into 4WD, and spun all four of them! Max current I got up to was about 250A (battery current). I periodically got out and checked the temperature of various components. The controller was the only thing to warm up at all, it reached 30° (on a 20° day).

Oh, and this controller does not have the case connected to B-. So either that problem was a symptom of the fault that caused it to die, or this model is an improved design. Matt's post did suggest that the problem may only be with "early" Kelly controllers. I'm much happier with this situation, don't know how I'd go protecting the whole controller and heatsink to IP22...

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

Engineer came around last night, seemed happy with all that he saw. He would like a certificate from an Electrician to confirm that my 240V(AC) wiring is up to scratch. Apparently there is a similar requirement for caravans, ambulances etc.
I then need to take it into the Engineer's workshop in Launceston to get it officially inspected. I also need to get it weighed. I am legally allowed to drive it into the inspection, but not otherwise (the vehicle is still registered, I have not let it lapse).

Appropriately rural shot of my agricultural conversion:
Image

And under the bonnet, before and after:

ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Johny »

Looking very tidy. Well done.
I have minor concern about the DC-DC (or whatever that open slotted silver device is) mounted near the centre of the firewall at the back of the engine bay. I can't tell (because it's red) but is there a rubber seal that goes across under the rear of the bonnet to stop water getting down there?

User avatar
evric
Site Admin
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun, 20 Jul 2008, 01:57
Real Name: Eric
Location: Adelaide SA
Contact:

4Springs' Brumby

Post by evric »

That red emergency stop button will be hard to reach in an emergency!
Very neat.
Prius Plug-in Conversion: http://www.evplus.com.au ...Holden Barina EV: http://www.evric.kestar.com.au

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

1st long trip:
37km
Approx 1 hr.
I was driving up and down our road (2 km), and stopping frequently to check temperatures. The voltage of the pack after this time was:
143.5VDC after approx 2 mins.
145V after approx 7 mins
145.8 after approx 15 mins

It took 12 hrs to charge. I had a meter on the 240VAC plug measuring current used, it was 13.3 kWh in total.
Since my setup also uses power to keep the battery warmers going, we need a calculation to see how much power the charger used:
13.6 - (12 hrs x 0.12 kW) = 11.8 kWh into the charger.

11.8 kWh / 37 km = 319 W/km
or 32 kWh/100 km

Edit: corrected maths!
Last edited by 4Springs on Thu, 17 May 2012, 08:28, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

The silver thing is the DC-DC converter. There is no rubber seal under the bonnet. It is a bit hard to see, but the bit above it is actually a gutter. Water runs down from the bonnet to the left or right.
I have nervously driven through light rain, and watched carefully where the water went. I then took out a hose and washed the car with the bonnet closed. So far so good, but I will keep a careful eye on things.

I have been calling that button an "isolation switch" Image. The idea is that you push that one in before you work on anything. There is another inside the cabin which is my "emergency stop".

Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Nevilleh »

Did that include towing the giant pumpkin? Image
My BMW uses about 186 whrs/km.

User avatar
weber
Site Admin
Posts: 2643
Joined: Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 17:27
Real Name: Dave Keenan
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

4Springs' Brumby

Post by weber »

Well done.

BTW, you mean 32 kWh/100 km.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

18.6! That would be nice.
No, the pumpkin was not attached, but it was far from typical driving conditions. I was stopping every 2km or so to turn around and go back. It will be very interesting to see how different it is once I'm allowed to take it for a "normal" drive.

32 kWh x $0.25 = $8 per 100 km at our electricity prices.
18.6 kWh x $0.25 = $4.65 per 100 km
Our brand new (diesel) car is 4.7 L per 100 km x $1.54 = $7.24 per 100 km
Petrol Brumby was 10 L per 100 km x $1.52 = $15.20 per 100 km

So its first drive was much better than it has ever been as a petrol vehicle, even though it had a 500 kg payload (the batteries, not the pumpkin). It will hopefully get better than our other cars, and it would be fantastic if it got anywhere near Nevilleh's BMW!

Edit: corrected maths on this one too!
Last edited by 4Springs on Thu, 17 May 2012, 08:49, edited 1 time in total.

Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Nevilleh »

Um, I think there's a decimal point misplaced there somewhere. I use 18.6 units of electricity to travel 100 kms. We are currently paying 20 cents per unit, so that's $3.72 or 3.72 cents per km.
The old ice did about 12 kms per litre and we pay about $2.10 per litre, so that was 210/12 = 17.5 cents per km and I am saving nearly 13.8 cents per km. I spent 20 grand doing it, so it'll take about 145,000 kms to break even! That's going to be a few years..... But hey, what a lot of fun I had doing it. Priceless!

User avatar
woody
Senior Member
Posts: 1715
Joined: Sat, 21 Jun 2008, 02:03
Real Name: Anthony Wood
Location: Mt Colah

4Springs' Brumby

Post by woody »

Also Neville is Pacific Peso = NZ$ =~ AU$0.77, so even cheaper :-)
Planned EV: '63 Cortina using AC and LiFePO4 Battery Pack

User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Johny »

Also keep in mind that Neville is using LiFePO4 whereas Chris' are Lead Acid. There's a 30-40% hit on that alone.
Rob of EV Power swapped Lead Acid for LiFePO4 and published figures on his site. http://www.ev-power.com.au/-TECHNICAL-ARTICLES-.html

LEAD ACID (flooded, 12 x TROJAN SCS225, 312kg, batteries exhausted at end)
time used - 29 months
average speed (estimate) - 65-75kmh
distance travelled - 10741 km
energy consumption - 2811 kW hr
fuel economy 261.71 Whr/km (421.18 Whr/mile)

LITHIUM ION (phosphate, 45 x LFP90AHA, 135kg, batteries still good Jan 09)
time used - 23 months
average speed (estimate) - 70-80kmh
distance travelled - 15151 km
energy consumption - 2843 kW hr
fuel economy - 187.64 Whr/km (301.98 Whr/mile)


User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

Nevilleh wrote: Um, I think there's a decimal point misplaced there somewhere.
Yes, I think I've fixed up all my mistakes now Image

So in NZ electricity is cheaper and petrol is dearer. Presumably everyone is converting to EVs!

I can tell people I have saved X amount per km, but of course there are other factors. The vehicle servicing costs should go down, but I'll have to buy new batteries at some stage...

Nevilleh
Senior Member
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 18:09
Real Name: Neville Harlick
Location: Tauranga NZ

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Nevilleh »

Yes, petrol is around $NZ2.10 to $NZ2.20 per litre which is about $A1.68 per litre. Electricity 20-21 cents per unit or about 15 - 16 cents Australian. (Off-peak is even cheaper). And of course, a very large percentage of NZ's electricity comes from renewable resources - hydro, wind and geothermal. My, aren't we smug?
But I've been trying to sell electric motor scooters here for years with little success and I suspect cars will be the same. The buying mentality here is such that people seem to have no idea of what is good value, they just look at the sticker price.
Not wishing to be unkind to 4Springs, but PbA batteries are false economy and they are the reason why no-one could build a successful EV in the last 100 or more years.
Hopefully, he will change to Li cells once he sees the light!!

User avatar
4Springs
Site Admin
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 01:14
Real Name: Christopher Walkden
Location: Selbourne, TAS

4Springs' Brumby

Post by 4Springs »

Nevilleh wrote: Hopefully, he will change to Li cells once he sees the light!!
Light seen, but it seemed a long way off at the time. Image Costs more money (which means more risk if I damage them), more trouble to set up, not sure if an EV was going to suit us anyway...
My intention is to go to Li cells (or whatever seems best) when this lot gives up the ghost. This is assuming that the Brumby turns out to be a vehicle which we are happy driving. Sounds like any time from 18 months to 5 years away. In that time I can figure out if I need more or less battery capacity, so I can size the more expensive pack more accurately. It also gives me time to build a BMS!

The Brumby was never going to be a miser, because of:
1. Weight (500 kg of PbA)
2. 4WD (an extra diff and plenty of cogs in the gearbox that I don't often use)
3. Wind resistance (if I keep that roo bar on the front anyway!)

It also has wide soft tyres on it, since as a petrol vehicle it was very light, and the wheels would lock up under heavy braking. This should be much better now with the extra weight, and I'll be able to buy some low rolling resistance tyres.

User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Johny »

4Springs wrote:In that time I can figure out if I need more or less battery capacity, so I can size the more expensive pack more accurately. It also gives me time to build a BMS!
Pretty solid thinking IMO Chris. The fact that it's going and just about approved is testimony to the decisions that you have made. Softening the initial financial blow has no doubt been a contributing factor to getting this far so fast (I realise that I am using fast as a relative term).

User avatar
Jeff Owen
Groupie
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu, 13 Nov 2008, 15:53
Real Name: Jeff Owen
Location: Brisbane

4Springs' Brumby

Post by Jeff Owen »

Nevilleh wrote:Not wishing to be unkind to 4Springs, but PbA batteries are false economy and they are the reason why no-one could build a successful EV in the last 100 or more years.
Nevilleh
I would suggest that many highly successful Pb acid EVs have been built in the past 100 years.

Post Reply