Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Long Weekend Fun

This weekend I got a lot of things done that have been on my list. First I installed a charging port in the old gas cap location. Here it is, and the odd shape is for the special plug already connected to the charger.
I also configured the K&W BC-20 for 96 volts and tried it out. So far so good, but I need to make a water proof box because this charger is setup to be on off board charger. It was setup this way when I bought it, and I decided to keep it that way.

I also installed the PakTrakr into the dash. It previous sat on the passenger's seat, and it was always in the way when I took someone for a ride, or picked up someone.

I redid my battery pack wiring with the new 2/0 gauge cables I got with the lot I purchased that included the charger, motor, meters, etc. I cleaned up the connections and they fit perfectly. The battery pack is much cleaner now and is presentable.

The last thing I did was work on the FB1-4001A. I had to adjust the timing from CCW to CW. I also greased up the bearings and the next thing I need to do is check the brushes and use the brush stone to reseat them.
I haven't driven the EV this past weekend because of all the work I was doing on it. I probably won't be able to work on it until Friday or this weekend, but I intend to contact the machine shop about getting the new plates made for this motor.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's All About Efficiency

Ok, so here are the pics of the blower:
The blower has been working nicely, but I still need the bigger one! Going through the motor data, I have found that the K99-4007 is only 73-78% efficient at the RPMs I am using it at. Pretty dismal, and a good reason why range or power isn't great. The FB1-4001A is 89% efficient at the same RPMs, so it should be giving me about a 16% increase in range, and twice the performance.

My new coupling hub has arrived along with a pulley for the rear shaft. Now I can get to contacting the machine shop about the new plates.

I have also completed an 11.4 mile run on a single charge, but I have discovered two bad batteries. They sag much lower than the others, and also have a lower charge after a full charge cycle. After the run, the PakTrakr read 21% remaining! That is way under my estimates and after checking voltages, 6 of them read 50% or more, and the two bad ones read very low. So now I have to remove the two bad batteries, but first I am going to check the water levels before doing anything drastic. But to get at them, I have to redo all the cabling, so I will install my new cable and try to get the PakTrakr and AMP meter installed properly.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Motor Cooling

Today I finally installed the blower! I will post pictures tomorrow, but it seems to be working really well. I did a 3.7 mile test drive and it was my best run yet, in performance, motor temp, and estimated range. Not only did it yield the best results, it was also my worst EV-style driving yet! Most of it was hard acceleration, 40 MPH and then I did a hill that I have tried to avoid, but sometimes forget. My previous attempts at this hill started out with me putting the pedal to the floor, getting up to 30 MPH, and by the top I was down to 15 MPH. This time I stayed at the 25 MPH speed limit at the beginning, and held it all the way up. And I wasn't flooring it at all. I have done this run a couple of times, and each time the performance is awful and the motor is way to hot to touch. After this run, the motor was warm, but I could hold my hand to it and not get burned. This blower is just a temporary "patch" as it were until I get the FB1-4001A installed.

I did not get to do my 10 mile run because I got too involved with the blower. So hopefully this week I will take a decent joyride and see how the 10 miles goes. I am hoping for a 35 mile range, but my data is everywhere at the moment.

On the DIY Electric Car forums there is talk about LiFePO4 batteries for $0.35/Watt Hour or about $2900 for a 96 volt 90Ah pack, perfect for my EV. The LiFePO4 would weigh less than my deep cycle pack, and yield 2x the range.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Parts Cleanup

I have been busy over the past few weeks, but I have done a few things. I have been working on my K&W BC-20 Charger and have rewired and reprogrammed it. This weekend I have a few things on my list, first I want to get the blower installed so I can attempt a longer run on Sunday. I am also finally bringing the new FB1-4001A in the house to clean it up, adjust the timing and reset the brushes. It's been sitting for 7 years so it needs to be reconditioned, and working on it in 20F weather is pretty bad, so the basement will become it's new home.

I have over 53.9 logged EV miles, with full stats on a XLS file. The farthest I have taken the EV is 7.6 miles, and on Sunday I am going to attempt a 10.5 mile trip. I have done 13 runs, and I have gathered some interesting data. For instance, I saw a 20% increase in estimated range when I increased the tire pressure from 27 PSI to 38 PSI. I am going to bump it up to 40 PSI and see what that does. I am also noticed a very direct link between performance and time off the charger. For instance if I drive right off the charger, acceleration is decent and overall power is much better than if I let the EV sit for a few days. I believe the cold weather is a big power sucker, and this weekend will be a good test about that since it is supposed to be over 50F.

I have ordered up the new hub insert for my coupling that fits the FB1-4001A and I am planning the next stages of the upgrades. Once my insert comes in, I am going to contact the machine shop and find if if they are available to make the new plates for a decent price. I can do them myself, but I don't want the EV off the road for a while.