Luxo Sequential Hybrid Project

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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MikeG
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Post by MikeG » Thu, 08 Oct 2009, 01:27

I've been on the sidelines for a while, watching, learning, listening & thinking about what conversion would be best for me.

I'd like to build something akin to a Tesla (based on a late model RX-7 or Nissan Sports Car) but without a huge bank balance, that doesn't seem overly practical.

I've also looked at the Audi A8's with interest given their affordability once they hit 6-7 years old.

Given that my family do alot of k's and often travel interstate, it would NEED to be a Hybrid. But I don't like Parallel Hybrids... I want something even cheaper to run.

So I was thinking of a BIG family sedan, high quality (probably European), AWD, with a lightweight chassis. The Audi fits the bill on all counts. Aluminium chassis, Quattro AWD system, the A8 even comes with double glazed windows as an option.

OK, and 150kW AC should me ample in terms of a motor/controller...

I'd probably go enough batteries for 70kW power max and range of 20km, the rest would be in the form of a 90kW gen-set - probably running diesel or LPG.

Charging the batteries with the gen-set, and powering the motor from the gen-set would be easily engineered, but I'd want to be able to:

1. Run just from batteries, and limit the discharge rate
2. Run just from gen-set if the batteries are below a certain charge level.
3. Run from BOTH at full power (150kW) for short periods if running under gen-set power, if the batteries are up to the task.
4. and perhaps override the battery protection in an emergency, for a short burst of acceleration.

The motor would mate to the existing gearbox (I'm yet to investigate sizing and location).

The gen-set would sit in the engine bay (naturally).

The batteries would sit in front of the rear axle behind the back seat, or in the space surrounding the Electric Motor. I would probably use Li-Po or Li-Fe batteries - perhaps looking into A123 batteries (a la Tesla) which are freely available in De Walt rechargeable battery packs.

Can anyone advise if the AC Propulsion 150kW kit is up to the task of managing all of the gen-set, battery stuff, or if I'd need to go custom software... Is there a local dealer who returns emails?

I want to try and keep the cockpit looking std, so I'll hope to reprogram the on-board computer to display voltages and support the new locomotion types.

The Audi's come with a boot mounted HUGE 12V accessories battery which should be OK for most things, but for the climate control and heating, I will probably retain the A/C and run it off the gen-set - as for the heating, I think I'll need to learn more (it could already be electric).

Can any Audi owners out there provide advice?

Mike.
Last edited by MikeG on Wed, 07 Oct 2009, 14:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 08 Oct 2009, 06:27

MikeG wrote: ... looking into A123 batteries (a la Tesla) which are freely available in De Walt rechargeable battery packs.
Freely? As in buy battery packs at inflated prices and throw away a lot of plastic?

You may soon be able to get them from EV components in the USA as part of a bulk buy.
Can anyone advise if the AC Propulsion 150kW kit is up to the task of managing all of the gen-set, battery stuff, or if I'd need to go custom software... Is there a local dealer who returns emails?
I have heard that AC Propulsion the company is quite enthusiast hostile, but the hardware itself is all analogue and through-hole components, so it may be hackable by someone with the right skills and tools and a fair bit of time.
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Post by Tritium_James » Thu, 08 Oct 2009, 16:17

The ACP system would need a further reduction gearbox in there, as it gets 150kW by virtue of spinning the motor up to 12000rpm.

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Post by woody » Thu, 08 Oct 2009, 16:52

Hi Mike, Great job with the EV festival BTW, sorry I didn't get to meet you.

I have heard murmurings of A123s for ~US$4/cell in bulk (~10000 cells).

Even at that price headway 38120S (~US$15 for 10Ah) look more suitable to me for a non-drag car.

A123 has tabs, not screw terminals
You need 4-5 * as many A123s for the same range I.E. 4-5* as many connections, BMS nightmares, battery holders etc. For 100km range, 10kWh, you'd need 1300+ 2300mAh cells.

There is a new A123 AHR32157M1HD 10Ah cell which is unobtainium as far as I can tell.

If you only want 70kW, / 20km 200 optimum or headway cells would do that nicely.

As for the genset, have you considered a bit more battery and a genset trailer for the long trips?
e.g. 400 headways for 150kW / 150km range (How big is canberra anyway?) and a smaller ~20kW genset on a trailer drawbar for the continuous long distance driving. If you're going away with the family, a trailer is handy for all the bikes etc.
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Post by MikeG » Sat, 10 Oct 2009, 22:10

Thanks guys. The advice is great, and I had a sanity-check with a good mate of mine, and he's talked me toward a smaller genset and more batteries. Also the ACP iZero is actually a 200kW motor from what I've read on the website.

I'll look into the headways.

By the way, the Festival was more work than I could ever do by myself, and I'd like to thank all the others who made this possible...

Mike
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Post by MikeG » Sat, 10 Oct 2009, 23:37

I'm noting that a 1997 Audi A8 with double glased windows goes for around $16000... I've also estimated the cost of headways (500 batteries) to be around US$7500 which would be capable of bursts of up to 170kW - not bad... I've also seen a 65kW genset for around $11K which would fit nicely onto a trailer (sideways)...

The big question is the motor and controller. I'd only really consider AC, so that limits my options.

Does anyone knoe of any converters who have done something like this before? I don't think there have been any heavy duty conversions done before (only little cars, hatchbacks, sporty numbers).

ACP are fairly expensive right? I heard rumours of $35K for the kit.

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Post by Tritium_James » Sun, 11 Oct 2009, 01:17

ACP probably won't sell you one. I think they're flat out making them for the BMW electric mini trial in California, and not interested in individual sales at the moment. Our client with the Porsche paid US$25k for his ACP controller + motor around 7 years ago.

We might be able to sell you something, our new controller will do 200kVA and will be ready for sale towards the end of the year. It only runs 3-phase BLDC motors at this point though, the induction motor software isn't up and running yet.

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Post by HeadsUp » Fri, 30 Oct 2009, 23:53


you mentioned bursts of 170 kW , or did you mean 170 km range ?

wasnt sure how many bursts of 170 kW you would be doing if you are towing 1500 kg of genset behind you ?   Image

it was a typo waznit ?

cant see you doing burnouts at the traffic lights with a heavy trailer on the back. :)

my personal preference is for long range and grandmother performance , if we are serious about the environmental aspect of vehicle use , then i dont need a car that will do 0 - 60 in under 4 seconds when a 15 second quarter mile time will still get me to and from late night shopping.

did you look at the larger Azure controllers and motors ?

Coped from Blade Electric Vehicles pricing

........Indeed we do handle Azure products in Australia.
We sell the AC24LS for US$2895, the DMOC445 for US$3495 and the AT1200
for US$1695. For larger applications, we also sell the AC55 for US
$3495 and the AC90 for US$4695

cheers and good lukc :)

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Post by Richo » Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 00:30

170kW is not a typo.
Obviously he could take the trailer off for the burnouts Image
The largest Azure AC90 is still sub 100kW.
AND it costs $2000 more than my ABB motor which is 100+kW Image
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by MikeG » Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 01:14

Trick is which has more area under the power curve.

I've been modifying performance cars for a while now, and although people toss on about peak power, it's really the area under the curve that makes a car drivable...

They have a name for a car with huge peak power and most of it in a tight power band - a "dyno queen" - and that's what most DC motors are to a certain extent IMHO, as they drop off substantially once the revs get up.

Back on topic, If you've got 2-tonnes of car, passengers and luggage, 170kW will be needed for this funny thing called ACCELLERATION - although cruising along the freeway will use fairly little power (20kW?)
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Post by MikeG » Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 01:27

How did the ABB motor price? Finish stuff usually isn't cheap.
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Post by woody » Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 05:33

Hi Mike,

have you considered an industrial drive?
New Telemecanique 110kW Drive ATV71 HC11N4 US$11002

An ABB 3GAA 182 033-HSG motor (page 28,29) would peak at about 160kW - 3.2 * 194 Nm = 621Nm @ about 2550rpm. (170kg though). A 15 kW 4 pole is about AU$1000, maybe a 30 would be $2K ?

cheers,
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Post by Electrocycle » Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 05:46

I can get you a 30kw motor for ~$150 - but it's 180kg :)
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Post by woody » Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 05:53

4 pole? The ABB 4 pole Ali is a 180 frame 177kg beastie.
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Post by Electrocycle » Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 05:55

it's a 2 pole unfortunately.
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