Tuesday 29 January 2008

Circuit Breaker, Cable and Chargers

Some friends of mine (Thanks Tim and Bruce) were dismantling a 30kVA UPS and scrounged a few parts for me.

Circuit Breakers. The large unit is rated at 250VDC, but has a micro switch that I will use to release the contactors if triggered. This should perform adequately with only a few milliseconds of 300+ volts.
The 50 amp units will be used on my 2 x 25A 12 volt supplies.

16mm2 cable (overkill but will work very well)

I bought 13 x 48 volt / 2.5 amp SLA chargers from e-Crazyman (eBay)
They are fairly large, but quite light. They are fan cooled and are 2 stage.

I also received an RS232 to RS485 adapter, also from ebay, so I can 'talk' to the Danfoss 6042 drive when it arrives on Monday.

Things are progressing, but there is a long way to go.
I am amping to finally get a vehicle.

Heater / Air Conditioning Idea

My friend Iain had an interesting idea that I will pursue.

That is to modify the air conditioning to be reverse cycle.

The idea would be to use the valving and capillary tube from a reverse cycle air conditioner (perhaps an in window unit from the council cleanup) and integrate into the vehicle heat exchangers.

The standard automotive compressor would be driven from a small 3 phase motor. This will need another VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) but on a much smaller scale than the traction unit.

I will be looking out for a jucked aircon unit. I have an old 1/4 hp 3 phase motor from the factory at work that has recently been dismantled.

This will make an interesting side experiment.

If this fails I will use the idea from Trev for a heater and do away with the aircon.

Vehicles - 2 door Extra Cab Hilux.

I have been researching more vehicles in recent weeks as I wait for various parts to arrive.

I have narrowed my search down to a 2 wheel drive 89+ Hilux Extra Cab. The reason for the change from a van is:
a. It is tricky to find a van in good condition from the late 80's
b. My battery budget was underestimated due to peukert effect

I needed to find a vehicle with a higher GVM and still a 4 seater.

After looking at dual cab Hiluxes I found that the tray was too far back and would upset the balance of the vehicle too much. At the yard, I spied an extra cab which is a 2 door but with back seats with minimal leg room. Perfect for the kids.

I will need to swap the power steering box for a manual unit to avoid having to power the PS pump.

Wednesday 16 January 2008

Pot Box arrived

The curtis Pot Box arrived today from Mylong Industries in Sydney.

The good news is that the pot travels 40 degrees and the resistance is 5k across the end terminals of the pot. This means it can be used as per the schematic on the VFD.

This is like Christmas every few days with new parts arriving :)
Unfortunately it didn't have the little brass cable clamp on it. I will check with Bylong.

Tuesday 15 January 2008

Brake booster vacuum Pump ordered.

I have ordered my vacuum pump from eBay $100 + 50 postage. If you are searching, look for the part number 107CDC20 (worldwide and include description). It is also known as 12 VDC Thomas Diaphragm Vacuum Compressor Pump . As a bonus it includes the gauge and in the eBay ad, it pictures a vacuum cylinder. I will need to order the vacuum switch separately.

Thursday 10 January 2008

Schematics - revised 14.Jan.08

Following are the schematics based on the Allen Bradley 1336 Plus Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and the L4 option card.

Other VFDs have similar functionality so the schematic may be adapted as necessary.

The 12 volt power supplies arrived

2 x 12 volt power supplies arrived today from e-crazyman on EBay.

I should have ordered the 15 volt version so it would adjust to 13.8v, however after placing a 10k resistor across R12 (1.5k), I was then able to adjust the PSU to the required 13.8 volts for running the 12 volt systems.

After chatting to the guys at at my ham radio club, the MWRS , regarding how to parallel the power supplies, Russell suggested ruining 2 x 12 volt systems. You can not parallel SMPSUs without having a mechanism to balance the current.
I can power the existing 12v circuits with one SMPSU and the new heaters and vacuum pump with the other. Each system will also have a small 7AH battery for the accessories.
One SMPUs will be powered by the +300 and the other by the -300 battery banks.

Sunday 6 January 2008

Suzuki Carry - not really suitable

My friend Mike and I checked out a Suzuki Carry today.

Unfortunately it is not really suitable. The floor from under the rear seats is raised so can not be used for batteries. At a stretch they could be mounted underneath, but it would require a lot of engineering. Additionally the electric motor may be a bit taller (380mm) than the existing ICE.

This particular vehicle also had a bit much rust and body damage to consider for long term use.

Brake Resistor

Here is a picture of the Brake Resistor.

I bought it as regardless of what controller I end up with, I can probably use it.


Here is a photo of the motor and its name plates. 15KW ASEA.

I replaced the bearings with sealed units so the lubrication information is now irrelevant.
It came with the drive flange so that should help adapt to for the drive shaft.

Name Plate

Maintenance Information.

Friday 4 January 2008

Dynamic Brake Arrived

The Dynamic Brake from eBay (for Allen Bradley Drive) arrived by courier on my birthday. Nice gift!.


I wish people offered slow post. The shipping costs are horrendous from the US.

Motor Purchased

I bought a 2nd hand motor from M&E Equipment. They were very helpful. ($440)

I have replaced the bearings as a preventive maintenance measure. On and old motor with a rusty shaft, this is easier said than done. Lesson Learned: Clean the rust off the shafts with wet and dry sandpaper before trying to remove any of the components! Parts are not available for the old ASEA motors so be careful. The new bearings are sealed units so no no lubrication is required, at least for now.

Joined the AEVA

I joined the AEVA last week to support electric vehicle construction in Australia.


The WA forums are active. I posted a question and had 2 responses within hours!