Honda Insight - advice wanted

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JulianEdgar
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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by JulianEdgar » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 00:00

I'd like some advice please.

I have a 2000 model Honda Insight hybrid.

I have turbocharged the engine and am running it with MoTeC programmable management. The hybrid components have been removed from the car.

The results are very good in terms of both performance and economy - mid threes in open road fuel economy and 0-100 in the low eights.

The next step is reintroduce the electric motor into the system. The Honda's electric motor is a 10kW perm mag DC brushless motor. Battery voltage is 144V nominal.

I'd like to use a completely new electric motor controller, battery pack and battery management system. Note that as it's a hybrid, battery capacity can be vastly less than would be required for a pure electric vehicle.

At this stage I am looking at what is available in terms of batteries, battery management and motor controllers.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to those companies that might be most expert in terms of supplying these parts? Any suggested actual parts - eg the motor controller?

I am budgeting a max of around $10,000 for the complete system - controller, battery pack and battery management system.

Thanks for any thoughts you can offer.

(Some pics of car below)

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reecho
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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by reecho » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 03:46

G'Day Mr Autospeed ..!!

Have you got any tech info on the DC drive motor?




antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 05:22

so first question - do you still have the original DC motor and hybrid setup somewhere?

If so, you will likely get the biggest bang for your buck by putting that back in and say a 50 cell 40Ah pack, with the original BMS (it's actually already been done before - I'll try to find the link in a moment)

I've been looking for a 2000 honda insight for years - they're rare as hens teeth

is yours a manual? or the auto?

out of curiosity, do you still have your turbo nhw10?

anyway, if you keep it original, it will mean you are still using some petrol, but really only while accelerating, while the DC motor can d
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by mjcrow » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 05:26

Hi Julian,

What you probably need is to keep the current controller and install a MIMA (Manual Integrated Motor Assist) system (or similar) MIMA Info. You would find more information over on the 1st gen Honda Insight forum, Insight Forums, not that you aren't welcome here of course.

There is a guy in the UK called Peter Perkins, his website has a huge amount of info regarding the first gen Insights, especially upgrading to modern lithium batteries. What he doesn't know about 1st generation Insights probably isn't worth knowing.

They are a great car, best of luck with it.
Mike

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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by 7circle » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 05:56

The Honda's electric motor is a 10kW perm mag DC brushless motor. Battery voltage is 144V nominal.
Have you changed the transmision??
Is now Auto or Manual?

Do you want the DIY hybrid to auto stop start the ice?

...Capture lots of regen' braking?

Wondering if it would be easier to drive a new rear axle setup?

As you have stated the original hybrid gear is removed.. so no 3phase 10kW motor controller.

I'm stumped on how to squeeze a new motor into the drive train with a small front wheel drive. And keep the 1L turbo motor.

It serious fine machine shop skills to fiddle with drive train gearbox stuff.

Let us know more how you have it setup?

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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by JulianEdgar » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 12:17

Thanks for the inputs.

Reecho: I will try to get some tech info on the motor. All I have at the moment is what the workshop manual says.

Antiscab: I am aware of the use of the modified original hybrid electronics and controllers. I think I will get much better results with a new controller, new battery pack and new battery management system. For example, through programming outputs of the MoTeC that operate the controller, I can get whatever regen and assist strategies I want, but only if the ECU can talk directly to a controller that does exactly what is asked of it. I have also fitted an alternator - so there's no need for any of the factory HV electronics to stay. The DC electric motor and its associated HV cabling are intact - that is the motor I will be driving. My car is a manual. I sold the turbo Prius about 5 years ago.

Mjcrow: Yes Peter and I have been in contact lots. My project is rather different to that which anyone else has attempted. I am on the Insight forums.

7circle: The original electric motor is retained and the standard 5 speed is in place. I am after a controller that can drive the original motor. At this stage I am not going to have an auto stop function.

Perhaps my original explanation was not well worded. I want a controller that can drive and regen the original 10kW BLDC motor, and some leads on good battery and battery management suppliers.
Last edited by JulianEdgar on Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 01:18, edited 1 time in total.

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 16:46

JulianEdgar wrote: Perhaps my original explanation was not well worded. I want a controller that can drive and regen the original 10kW BLDC motor, and some leads on good battery and battery management suppliers.


for the controller, you could have a look at the tritium one:

the 22kVA will likely drive the motor similarly to the original controller:
http://tritium.com.au/products/wavescul ... -inverter/

the 165kVA will allow you to substantially increase the power of the motor at higher rpm:
http://tritium.com.au/products/wavescul ... -inverter/

Any controller you use will have to support field weakening (the tritium does)

you could also look at sevcon:
http://www.evpower.com.au/-SEVCON-Motor ... lers-.html

for BMS, how much information do you want to see?
you could use CAN based units such as the tritium or ZEVA offerings



Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by JulianEdgar » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 22:45

I have talked to Tritium about both their controllers. They will sell me one (they recommend the larger of the two) but they're clearly not much interested in the project. Since the software interface isn't in a form I can understand (they suggested I'd need to be able to write code in 'C'), and with them being clear that any support would be limited, I was somewhat put off that option.

I communicated with the local agent for Sevcon. I heard nothing after my email enquiry and so chased it up. He said he'd deleted my original email without even bothering to fully read it because of "excessive overwork and underpay syndrome". That didn't give me a lot of confidence that any help would be forthcoming if I did in fact purchase from him.

Since no one in the world has run a new electric motor controller with an Insight, I think it would be wise to either select a controller that has a plain language interface, or select a controller that has really excellent back-up and support for my project.

Further suggestions?

The Tritium BMS is very expensive - even they themselves said it would be overkill for my situation. I basically want from the BMS: cell charge equalisation during regen, minimum and maximum level cut-offs, temperature monitoring. There may be other aspects I'd really also want but that's one reason I am here... to find out.

What is field weakening and why is it needed?


antiscab
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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by antiscab » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 23:13

JulianEdgar wrote:
Since no one in the world has run a new electric motor controller with an Insight, I think it would be wise to either select a controller that has a plain language interface, or select a controller that has really excellent back-up and support for my project.

Further suggestions?


Such a controller basically doesn't exist - if you do find such a unicorn do let me know though (I need an alternative for the Vectrix motor controller)

basically you are asking for a not trivial amount of code for reading the information the car is giving, deciding on what to do, then outputting instructions to the controller.

from a hardware perspective, its cleaner to have all that done inside the controller, but from a writing the software perspective, it makes it no easier (not impossible, just not a trivial amount of work)

JulianEdgar wrote:
The Tritium BMS is very expensive - even they themselves said it would be overkill for my situation. I basically want from the BMS: cell charge equalisation during regen, minimum and maximum level cut-offs, temperature monitoring. There may be other aspects I'd really also want but that's one reason I am here... to find out.


This may or may not be tricky depending upon what other bits you use.

you won't be able to find a BMS that can do balancing during regen - the current is too high.
The good news is the battery really only needs to be balanced once, as long as you top balance, you won't be able to overcharge during regen.

If using the original motor controller, I would do this:

use the EVPower cell top BMS, with the 1-wire loop
basically this loop goes open circuit if any cell goes below 2.5v or above 4.0v

you could wire an elcon charger directly to this, both for balancing and charge termination.

embed the temp sensors from the original battery into the lithium battery, as well as all the voltage sense wires from the original battery ECU.

I know someone made a gizmo at some point that allowed you to continuously reset the car's assumed SOC to 90% (to still allow regen) until some flag as set (either by over temp as reported by the battery ECU, measured from the original temp sensors) or input from the BMS that a cell voltage is out of bounds (most likely too low while driving)

Going to a completely different motor controller gives other options though.

since the power needed is likely under 40kVA, you could look at industrial motor controllers - these are nearly endlessly configurable and some do support field weakening on permanent magnet synchronous motors (which is what at BLDC motor really is).

JulianEdgar wrote:
What is field weakening and why is it needed?


A BLDC motor develops max power when motor back emf comes close to the battery voltage. IIRC (and I could be wrong as to what rpm max power is developed), this happens at 1500rpm for the Insight

If the field isn't weakened after this point, two things happen.

1. the controller can't spin the motor up faster as the battery voltage isn't high enough to put current through the motor

2. if the motor is spun faster than the rpm at which back emf equals battery voltage, the motor voltage is rectified by the body diodes inside the controller and you get uncontrolled regen (read very strong) as the voltage difference causes large currents to flow.


Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by JulianEdgar » Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 23:28

OK thanks for that.

Re the point that "basically you are asking for a not trivial amount of code for reading the information the car is giving, deciding on what to do, then outputting instructions to the controller", that is not the case.

All I need are two 0-5V inputs on the electric motor controller to control regen and assist respectively, and a motor controller that can run the Insight's motor.

All the logic of when to provide assist or regen, and by how much, can be handled by maps written by me in the MoTeC software. These can easily output 0-5V signals and can be configured to take into account HV battery level, throttle position, etc.

So for example would the Kelly controller http://kellycontroller.com/khb1460124-1 ... p-459.html be able to do this with the Insight motor?

Also, I am not sure what you mean by the charger. I didn't intend to use one - just use regen statically for charge balancing if required.
Last edited by JulianEdgar on Sat, 18 Oct 2014, 12:30, edited 1 time in total.

antiscab
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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by antiscab » Sun, 19 Oct 2014, 00:29

JulianEdgar wrote: All I need are two 0-5V inputs on the electric motor controller to control regen and assist respectively, and a motor controller that can run the Insight's motor.

All the logic of when to provide assist or regen, and by how much, can be handled by maps written by me in the MoTeC software. These can easily output 0-5V signals and can be configured to take into account HV battery level, throttle position, etc.


That simplifies things greatly - if that's all that's needed than either the tritium or the sevcon should be fine. (though the sevcon is somewhat harder to setup, where as the tritium has auto tune if I'm not mistaken)

It really only gets hard if you are trying to integrate the motor controller with the CAN-Bus
JulianEdgar wrote: So for example would the Kelly controller http://kellycontroller.com/khb1460124-1 ... p-459.html be able to do this with the Insight motor?

Also, I am not sure what you mean by the charger. I didn't intend to use one - just use regen statically for charge balancing if required.


The kelly controllers are square wave and don't support field weakening.
the square wave aspect means the motor may not be as efficient and may require derating from a power point of view (that would need testing as to how much)

but the real killjoy would be the lack of field weakening
I tracked down the peak motor power as at 2000rpm, so you would be functionally limiting engine speed to 2500rpm with the kelly controller

I had assumed you were planning on making it a plug in hybrid as well, since you were installing a better battery.

balancing will be far harder if you are just using regen (or even using the engine and motor as a generator). you would far better off using a single cell charger on each cell every so often.

generally to balance you would charge until the first cell reaches full charge, then have the BMS (or you manually) discharge the fullest cell for a while, then repeat.

that will be very difficult using regen, and probably a major hassle using the engine and motor as a generator
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

JulianEdgar
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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by JulianEdgar » Sun, 19 Oct 2014, 00:50

Thank you for that.

Some of the assumptions you are making are because I haven't said otherwise - I didn't want to overload the initial discussion.

I think that the best results for the car would be to use the electric motor only to provide short-term power boosts.

The top-end power is excellent from the turbo (and MoTeC, and water/air intercooling, and new exhaust, and new intake) - probably 60 per cent more power than standard.

However, the car is so high geared that in 5th gear at 100-110 km/h, it is revving at only about 2500 rpm. That's where I need most electric boost - from 1200 - 3000 rpm. (That said, I'd still like the option of having the electric motor working well to 6500 rpm.)

Because of the manual trans, it's nothing like a Prius to drive - you can trickle along at 1200 rpm in 5th gear at around 60 km/h, and having electric assist down there (as the standard car has) would give fantastic urban fuel economy.

Dropping back a few gears and flooring it gives plenty of performance. But then fuel consumption suffers. So keeping engine revs low and using the electric assist to climb freeway hills (etc) in 5th gear is the way to go.

So on the basis that I think full power electric assist might be needed for a normal length of time of under 15 seconds, I am expecting to spec the battery as small and light weight and relatively low in capacity. (But higher than standard voltage.)

I can do external charge balancing as a once-per-month (or whatever) maintenance procedure if required.

I like the guys at Tritium (I have been conversing with them for years) and if their controller proves to be the best, I will go with them.


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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by ohmboy » Sun, 19 Oct 2014, 01:42

I have heard a lot of good reports from people using Batrium BMS.
www.evalbum.com/1608
Headway, Soliton, Advanced DC, Batrium BMS

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Post by antiscab » Sun, 19 Oct 2014, 01:59

JulianEdgar wrote: However, the car is so high geared that in 5th gear at 100-110 km/h, it is revving at only about 2500 rpm. That's where I need most electric boost - from 1200 - 3000 rpm. (That said, I'd still like the option of having the electric motor working well to 6500 rpm.)


If you go the tritium route for a motor controller - I highly recommend getting the highest voltage battery you can

with field strengthening (to raise back-emf and torque per amp) and a higher voltage battery you should be able to get to 25-30kw at 3000 - 4000rpm

now for batteries

you're after high rate, light smalls cells

have a look at K2 cells ev works (or maybe it's ZEVA) has on hand
they would be good to make a small, low capacity high power pack

headway is another option, but may be marginal in this application

if you can get them, the 20Ah A123 cells would probably be the best.

100 of them in series (~35-40kg) would give you 40kw easily (actually they could do closer to 130kw, but you would be motor limited), reliably and as a side benefit give enough capacity to make it plug in later :p
Matt
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2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

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Honda Insight - advice wanted

Post by JulianEdgar » Sun, 19 Oct 2014, 22:06

I can't find K2 cells at either of those vendors. This one? http://www.master-instruments.com.au/pr ... 8650E.html

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