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VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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kingglade
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Joined: Tue, 03 Sep 2019, 04:51

VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Post by kingglade »

Hi all, I've been snooping around here for a while but don't think I've actually vocalised yet;) Been staying positive in view of the current situation and have moved forward on my 97 Toyota Starlet EV conversion project. Basically, the goal is to have a cheap EV and most materials are second-hand or re-purposed. The car has recently been roadworthied and registered to simplify the transition. Main components are:

-Netgain Impulse 9 motor
-Curtis 1231C controller (500a max, 225a continuous)
-40s 60p reclaimed lithium ion packs with liquid cooling(20kwh)
-5kw balanced charging via 5x ISDT T8 chargers (also to be used as BMS when car is turned on)

I'm looking forward to joining up and attending a meeting when the cages are openend but I thought it may be a good start here to request recommendations for a Melbourne-based engineer who deals with this stuff. Word is I should liase with someone early on so I guess now's the time:)

I have the read the Vehicle Standards Bulletin 14 info on EV conversions (dated 2011??) but any further direction regarding getting my project legal would be very welcome.

Thanks heaps!
Last edited by kingglade on Wed, 20 May 2020, 18:40, edited 1 time in total.

antiscab
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Posts: 2601
Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

Re: VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Post by antiscab »

Welcome Kingglade

Hopefully the local branch can help you in the engineer sign off department

On your proposed components:
the Curtis 1231C is a very old analogue unit. unless you already own it, I would suggest getting something more modern.
The main issue is they're all likely to be close to end of service life (caps dried out), don't do variable current limiting, and aren't as efficient as new controllers (needs more cooling)

Impulse 9" is a solid motor, I imagine you're keeping the gearbox?

I'm curious as to the batteries you have been able to source? what are they out of?

Matt
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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jonescg
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Joined: Thu, 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Re: VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Post by jonescg »

Following NCOP14 to the letter is a good start, and really, it's the only thing the assessing engineer will reference in their final report. Of course the rest of the car should be roadworthy too. My advice is to make everything as rugged as you can - waterproof enclosures, cable-ties everywhere, extra insulation around fret points etc.

I penned a bit of an introduction to conversions here: https://www.aeva.asn.au/articles/conversions/

@Bryce and Costa @CZal as well as @Johnny immediately come to mind as knowledgable folks in the region.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch chair.

kingglade
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Joined: Tue, 03 Sep 2019, 04:51

Re: VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Post by kingglade »

Hey, thanks for your replies and happy to finally be part of this community!

The motor, controller and other bits and pieces came from an EV conversion who's lead acid batteries died very quickly (ie car did less than 1000kms). Therefore I'm treating this project as an experiment to get me started(future projects brewing). Brushed DC/Curtis was never top choice but I'll be happy to get some wheels turning:) And yes, I'll be running the original gearbox as this combination seems a bit light for direct drive.

Batteries are tested 18650s sourced mostly from laptops packed in 40 packs of 60p. I am enclosing them individually in aluminium casing and sandwiching custom liquid-cooled plates between each. Additional parallel packs can be added to share the load/extend range. Currently, max continuous load per cell is 3.75a (1.66C) so I'll monitor it carefully and adjust accordingly.

I've been pretty much glued to NCOP14 and I'm prone to over-engineer my creations (ask my wife!). Keen to get this all happening and I look forward to sharing the progress. I'd love to draw from the big wisdom bank here if anyone has any suggestions:)

Arkips
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Re: VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Post by Arkips »

Hey mate, project sounds good. I think the Starlet would make a great EV chassis.

I am currently in a similar boat to you trying to find an engineer in Vic so I will be following closely!

antiscab
Senior Member
Posts: 2601
Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

Re: VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Post by antiscab »

kingglade wrote:
Thu, 21 May 2020, 04:46
Batteries are tested 18650s sourced mostly from laptops packed in 40 packs of 60p. I am enclosing them individually in aluminium casing and sandwiching custom liquid-cooled plates between each. Additional parallel packs can be added to share the load/extend range. Currently, max continuous load per cell is 3.75a (1.66C) so I'll monitor it carefully and adjust accordingly.
Sounds impressive

just be aware there's no current adjustment on the curtis, and it's low voltage cut out is around 60v

When I ran an impulse 9 in the mazda 2, 500A on the motor would see back emf of 72v at around 3000rpm = 36kw at the motor.
assuming perfect current sharing, 3.75A x 60p x (40s * 3.6v) = 32.4kw

tbh, the curtis will run better with a lower battery voltage, as the switching losses will be lower, and the caps won't be working as hard (important as their esr will likely have risen since new)
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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jonescg
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Joined: Thu, 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Re: VIC engineer for Starlet conversion

Post by jonescg »

kingglade wrote:
Thu, 21 May 2020, 04:46
Batteries are tested 18650s sourced mostly from laptops packed in 40 packs of 60p. I am enclosing them individually in aluminium casing and sandwiching custom liquid-cooled plates between each. Additional parallel packs can be added to share the load/extend range. Currently, max continuous load per cell is 3.75a (1.66C) so I'll monitor it carefully and adjust accordingly.
Keen to see how you've done this - I work in battery thermal management so I have some tips / ideas / traps to share.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch chair.

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