Friday, December 19, 2008

What I Learned Today...

Was the following:
1- I hate politics
2- I need new headlights
3- I need to install my blower
4- I really hate politics

Well this is how my day went. First I wake up to find my finals are postponed till next week due to weather, so I get out and throw the chargers on the EV for a freshen up charge. Then after 2 hours, I pulled the plug on the chargers and plugged in a ceramic heater to preheat/defrost the EV. It worked wonderfully. I had the car defrosted and heated in 15 minutes and then I went off to the inspection station.

I first took my time getting there. I choose the roads that were the most flat and kept to the speed limit of 25 MPH. Then was the stretch of 40 MPH state road that I feared, and actually forgot about (I was going to avoid it, but forgot until I got there) and decided, what the hell, I floored it down the hill and the EV got up to 32 MPH, I wanted more juice, so I threw it into third gear and it went up to 35 MPH, I went back to 2nd gear and it held there. After 2,000 ft of this 35 MPH stretch was a hill that the speed limit drops to 30 MPH and the EV dropped down to 30 MPH going up.

So I finally get to the station and I check the battery levels and motor temp. Now the batteries read 104.1 volts surface charge when I left (they were definitely not fully charged)and read 97.4 volts when I got there. Now, you are supposed to wait an hour before measuring the voltage to determine the actual capacity left. The motor itself was barely warm, due to the high RPM and the internal fan actually working at 30-35 MPH.

I go up to the inspection guy and tell him about my EV and I need an inspection. He right away tells me that I will not pass because of the glazed headlights. Great, just another $150 expense. Then he goes on to tell me that he can't inspect it without a special form from the EPA or the RMV stating the conversion is inspection-worthy. So now I have to hunt down this mystical form and who ever needs to sign it.

Then I made my trek home. I decided to take the back roads to limit the AMP draw. That was a mistake. The back roads are really hilly and the low speeds mean low RPM, which means the internal motor fan is pretty useless. When I got home, that motor was hot and smelled funny. While I stayed in the motors temperature range, performance dropped like crazy once the motor got hot. My AMP draw went from 180 AMPS of accelerating to 120 AMPs and it was awful.

My total travel for this trip was 6.2 miles, in 20F weather and my batteries read 97.9 after I let them sit for an hour. So I had 63% power left in the pack, but it is my guess that the pack itself was really only 80-85% capacity to start with due to the cold and that I didn't let the chargers fully charge the pack.


John said...

Maybe you can buff out the headlight lenses and save some cash? Or spray some clear over them?

David Harrington said...

The glazing seems to be both internal and external. I did try to buff them out earlier this summer and it did a good job, but it still far from safety standards. I think there are new regulations in MA about safety and headlights are one of them. I am just going to search eBay for a good quality set of headlights.

Justin Sawell said...

Bummer about the hoops you need to jump through, but don't let em get you down!

Great work so far and keep it up!

Can't wait for the news that it's legal...