New EV in Gowrie Junction

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gregted
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New EV in Gowrie Junction

Post by gregted » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 03:16

Hi all,

I've been reading this forum for a while and can now post so thought I'd say hello.

My name is Greg, I live in Gowrie Junction, near Toowoomba, Qld, and have been interested in ev and em ( electric motorbikes ) for a while and have decided the fuel I am pouring into my everyday runner must come to an end.

We have just signed up for a 5kva inverter and 16 cells so seems like the right time to take the plunge.

I am looking at a Ford Capri or something stylish?? and too old to restore as an ice powered vehicle but ideal as an ev.

I will probably go the way of the restored forklift motor and a Curtis controller and 6 volt golf cart batteries. I may have a motor for free (48 volt) and a car for very little so off to a good start.

The controller is the dearest part at maybe $1500 but wouldn't mind looking at building my own. I have done some electronic projects in the past. Does anyone have any first hand info on the australian designed type I have seen on Wiki and here.....

http://www.paulandsabrinasevstuff.com/e ... llers.html

I have a 1980 Ford Courier trayback ute in the paddock ( less tray ) and think this will be too heavy as an ev. Am I right or can I add more batteries or a larger forklift motor?

I would like to catch up with any ev owners in the Toowoomba area for a chat and a look at their conversions.

Greg.
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Post by woody » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 04:09

Hi and welcome Greg,

~1990 or ~1970 Capri?

I think 3 ~1990 capris have been done in the last few years, one in northern NSW (Christie?), one in Sydney (Kearon - see www.evcapri.com), one in QLD (Richard).

Christie's replaced the back seat with Lithium cells.
Kearon did almost the same, but mounted them a touch lower and put the seat back on top.
I'm not sure what Richard did.
You can probably see details of each on EV Album.

A few on the forum have tried the controller kit - try advanced search to search beyond the last 6 months for this.
There are alternatives to Curtis, e.g. Soliton Jr, Zilla

70s Capri would be cool, but if you have a good rust-free one they are worth about 10 times more than the 90s ones.

Do your sums with lead acid vs lithium - lithium should be cheaper in the long run through longer life. Lead acid is really heavy for the range and power - most recent lead-acid conversions (in Sydney at least) have been commercial vehicles - rodeos, hiluxes, Holden combo, but I think a mondeo or similar was quite recently done.

Evalbum has a "search by area" feature - you should be able to find the most local EVs.
Last edited by woody on Sat, 14 Jul 2012, 18:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jonescg » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 04:20

Hi Greg, welcome to the communication side of the forum! I will be over at Queensland Raceway to watch round 2 of the eFX/TTXPG series, so you should come down and say hi. Petrol just seems like such a waste of resources once you do the maths eh? I have decided I'll never race a petrol bike again. They just don't do it for me any more.

The following is my opinion, so disagree as you see fit Image
As for your conversion; if you have the chassis already and you are happy with it, then go with it. Not much point spending a fortune on a chassis you will convert if you don't really need to.

If you do need to find a more appropriate chassis, aim for something cheap, light and reasonably aerodynamic, in that order. As the big automakers start to produce electrics, there will still be a market for conversions as we represent the most efficient use of resources - if the ICE engine is clapped out but the chassis is solid, why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

On the electrics, be prepared to spend a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things it's not as bad as you think. If you happen to have the lead acid lying around, then sure go for it. But even garden variety lithium batteries are a much better investment than buying lead upfront. If your funds permit, buy the best quality you can afford. If you have the funds for A123 cells, but not EIG cells, then go for the A123. Don't get the Thunderskys if you know you can afford better. As with all rapidly developing technologies, these cells will be obsolete soon enough. Controllers are relatively cheap, especially if you are going for DC. DC motors are pretty affordable too, although a big forklift motor will probably set you back more than a Warp or equivalent.

Good luck with it!

Chris

PS I'm from Warwick originally, so I'll be back in my old stompen grounds next weekend Image
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Post by Nevilleh » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 14:53

Hi Greg,
I built the controller based on Paul and Sabrina's design, although I got most of the parts from Ian Bartie at digitalhometech.com.au. He was selling a kit for the Australian modified version.
I bought the pcbs from Paul, the bits from Ian and made my own case with a lump of finned heatsink and some 2mm Al sheet. I think I may have described it on my own "Members Machines" forum (Nevilleh's BMW).
It performs adequately well although the original design is limited to 512A. I upped the current in mine to 625A by modifying the firmware that reads the Hall Effect current sensor and it hasn't blown up after several thousand kms in the car! I'd recommend it if you are at all handy with a soldering iron as it is about the lowest cost controller you'll find anywhere - and it works well.
If you have to buy batteries, DON'T waste your money on PbA!

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Post by gregted » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 18:43

Hello to all and thanks for the welcome.

The Capri I am looking at is the 90s version I think. It is under a tarp behind a local business but the headlights and front end look like a capri.

I have seen Kearons videos. That is where I got the idea from. Before that for some reason, I thought all evs had to be a super economical concept bubble car with carbon fibre chassis.

This has opened a whole new area of possibilities for me and the first ev for me might be my old ford courier ute that was going to cost me money to get taken away. The curb weight still concerns me but the solution to this may be as simple as adding more batteries????

I think I will go with the lead acid batteries for my first ev solely for the low cost just to prove the concept. I assume I can just add better quality power later.

I may also go for the home made controller more for the " You made it yourself ??? " look on others faces when I drive this to work and also to keep the price down.

Is there a link to the requirments regarding registration of a converted ev in Qld? Do I need an engineers mod plate? I imagine I can't take it in for a normal road worthy.

Thanks for all the advice. As I am just starting out down this road, any information is usefull.

Greg
Last edited by gregted on Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 08:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by evric » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 19:06

Greg, One of the biggest jobs in an EV conversion is creating the battery boxes. If you start with Lead Acid and then (you will within 18months) change to Lithium, you will have to redo all that framework. Think about this and it will save you a lot of work later. Don't forget if you want to put Lead acid inside the cabin you have to have sealed boxes with forced air in and out vents.
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Post by weber » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 20:23

evric wrote:Don't forget if you want to put Lead acid inside the cabin you have to have sealed boxes with forced air in and out vents.

Even though Lithium cells don't produce toxic or flammable gasses in normal operation (and neither do sealed lead-acid cells), the fact that they will vent flammable vapours (dimethyl carbonate and/or diethyl carbonate) on overheating, and toxic/corrosive gas (hydrogen fluoride) on rupturing and absorbing moisture from the air, means that they too should be sealed off from the cabin and their boxes should be at least passively vented to the outside air.
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Post by Jeff Owen » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 20:28

Greg
I suggest you attend the AEVA Brisbane branch meeting on Wednesday night. There are usually some members who have built the controller you mentioned, and also examples of Pb and Li powered cars. I believe the information you will gather will make the trip worthwhile.

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Post by gregted » Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 17:00

Once again thanks all for the great advice,

I contacted Ian Bartie and he doesn't sell the kits anymore so I will just source the parts myself and order the pcbs from Paul and Sabrina.

I have searched youtube but can't seem to find a build from start to finish yet but will look again today.

Do I need to source any special motor to use this design. As in ac or dc?

I am looking at getting a used forklift motor but don't know what the type is yet. I assume it is dc running on rechargable batteries currently.

The capri insn't available so the roller might be my old ford courier ute. I am looking at a 1984 Honda City but they want $300 for it.

So I guess I have to decide if the extra cost to the build will be worth the gain of the lighter roller as in more usable distance. I still only need 40 kms for the round trip to and from work initially so if the courier will get me that, it will do.

The advantage of the greater gvm might be a deciding factor also. Lots of choices to weigh up.

Still very excited about the project.

More to come.

Greg
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Post by Nevilleh » Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 17:58

You can get a kit from Paul these days, for $600.
http://www.paulandsabrinasevstuff.com/store/page3.html

Somewhere on his site is a link to a detailed assembly manual as well. It covers building the thing in quite some detail.

This controller is specifically for dc motors! It is rated at 144V, 500A which means it can run from 12 x 12V batteries and will push 500A through a motor. Actually 512A in standard form and you can run it up to 180V safely, ie 12 batteries charging at up to 15V.

You could buy a Zilla if you want more performance, but that's a couple of grand.

If you want to use an ac motor, you're up for maybe $1500 - $2000 for a motor and then a very nice WaveSculptor controller will set you back another $6000.

If you can get an old forklift motor for nothing, by all means have a go at destroying it! I think most of them were 48V motors, so putting 144V across one will make it rotate quite rapidly. If you have to pay money for one you'd be better putting it towards a NetGain or ADC motor. Same with batteries, if you have to buy them put the money towards Lithium, not PbA. If you only need 40 kms range, you could get 45 x 40 AHr CALB SE40AHA cells for about $2200 if you try hard, whereas 12 big PbA batteries will cost you $1800 to $2400. With the Li cells, you can add more later by paralleling them up to get increased range.
Last edited by Nevilleh on Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 08:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by gregted » Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 19:34

Thanks Neville,

I did get onto their site and saw the kit for $600 and that may be the way to go.

I may have a complete forklift with 3 motors, curtis controller and 48 volt 3 phase charger and dead batteries for $1000.

This will be sweet. The scrap metal buyer will pay $180/ ton and the fork should be about 4 ton so all parts should work out to be $200 - $300 after scrap is returned. Can't beat that. I may even have some motors for sale soon.

I am picking up a 48 volt 10 kw motor and controller/charger this afternoon for free. Just got to remove it from the fork. Is this big enough to run a car?

You were saying that I can run 144 volts through a 48 volt motor. Is that correct?

The ev may end up making me money even before I plug it in. Gotta love that!
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Post by Jeff Owen » Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 20:35

Greg
At the Brisbane AEVA meeting tomorrow night there will be a conversion successfully using the homemade controller you are considering, as well as possibly a conversion that has destroyed 2 of them before giving up.

There will also be an excellent Honda City conversion that you can take for a drive if you want to.

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Post by Nevilleh » Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 20:37

Yes, you can really apply any voltage you like - within reason - to a motor. The insulation will withstand a several hundred volts, even in a 48V motor. The voltage controls the speed and hence the power and the current controls the torque.
The controller will supply current up to 500A to the motor when its stationary and that will decide its starting torque. As the speed (rpm) comes up, the motor back emf fights against the supply voltage and so the current falls to zero when that back emf matches the supply voltage. A motor rated for 48V will spin at a certain rpm at that voltage and that may or may not be enough for what you want. If it is, then not much point in having a a higher voltage! If it isn't, increase the voltage until the rpm are enough. Without the motor curves, you are flying blind somewhat. But generally the controller determines the speed, power and torque as long as the motor doesn't burn out and a thing rated for 10 kW ought to be OK.
You can think of the motor as an electrical-to-mechanical transformer.

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Post by Nevilleh » Tue, 17 Jul 2012, 23:10

Jeff Owen wrote: Greg
At the Brisbane AEVA meeting tomorrow night there will be a conversion successfully using the homemade controller you are considering, as well as possibly a conversion that has destroyed 2 of them before giving up.

There will also be an excellent Honda City conversion that you can take for a drive if you want to.


I'd be really interested to know how someone "destroyed two of them before giving up".
First, was it the Cougar/OpenRevolt/PaulandSabrina controller that he destroyed? If so, what were the circumstances?
If I wasn't in NZ, I'd go to the meeting!
I haven't managed to destroy mine in spite of upping the current by 20% and sometimes running the voltage up to more than 160V

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Post by gregted » Wed, 18 Jul 2012, 20:31

I would like to go to the meeting tonight but will be busy pulling out the large drive motor from a forklift this afternoon.
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Post by gregted » Wed, 18 Jul 2012, 20:37

The forklift I might have soon has a 3 phase 48 volt charger. Can this charger work on 240 volt single phase?
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 19 Jul 2012, 17:30

gregted wrote: The forklift I might have soon has a 3 phase 48 volt charger. Can this charger work on 240 volt single phase?

It's possible. You could try applying 240 V to any two of the 3-phase inputs.

The power factor will likely be bad, as you will have 41% ripple instead of 6% ripple (before the filter capacitor), and there will be minimal if any filtering at the line inputs. Maybe you could rearrange three of the line input inductors in series to make the peak currents less fierce. You might get the power factor up to 80 or close to 90% that way (from about 65% now).

The rectified 240 V will give around 370 VDC, when it will be expecting some 590 V. It might just refuse to work, or it might work but need more current for the same output power. So I would not try to get more than about 60% of rated power out of it, at least initially. If things don't seem to be getting too hot, you could try to increase the power and see how it goes. Does there seem to be a way of adjusting the current limit when charging?
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Post by Johny » Thu, 19 Jul 2012, 17:41

I'd be surprized if an oldish fork lift charger was a switch mode. Most use a big transformer and an SCR controlled low voltage rectifier on the low voltage side and not much, if any, smoothing. They're pretty primitive. In a past life I was called out to service them every now and then because the fork's didn't last the day and the cheapest option was to blame the charger.
If it's really heavy, then it's a transformer model.
It then depends on whether the transformer has the neutral bought out.
Just guessing though...

Edit: moved 'much'
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Post by gregted » Mon, 23 Jul 2012, 11:32

Looked at a mighty boy yesterday in great condition but it is an auto.
Can these be used as an ev or should I look for a manual
They are getting hard to find, rust free.
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