Friday, September 30, 2011

Today's Progress

Our office just got its first parking space for electric vehicles (EV). I should be using it some time next week.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Battery Boxes Ready

Steve's fabricated battery boxes for the front and rear sections. The front will hold 32 and there will be 48 cells in the rear.

The battery package includes the batteries, the charger and a Battery Maintenance System (BMS). The BMS from RCEV is fantastic because it automatically balances all the individual cells so they have the same voltage. This important task would have to be done manually without the BMS.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Speed Controller Mounted

This sends the power from the main battery to the motor according to the signal from the accelerator pedal.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Next, The Real Batteries

This is the battery box for the front. It goes low, behind the air conditioner radiator. There will also be one above it and three boxes in the back. The controller is in place now, too. It's above the motor. We'll get a photo of that tomorrow. This is the first battery box with the 12 cells:

I also rewired a retractable cord reel from Home Depot. It now has beefier wire. It will go where the gas tank used to be and feed the cord out the fuel filler door. That's for plugging into regular 120V outlets. We'll also have a 240V connector in there for faster charging. It's the EV style connector (J1772). Both are available here at the house.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Ride!

Each day gets better and better. Today, we drove the car for a test ride. What a blast! We just had a standard 12V battery and held the wires together. Everything (i.e. motor, transmission, drive shaft) worked perfectly.

< click the photo to watch the video >

Thursday, we'll build boxes and mounts for the batteries and speed controller.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Motor and Tranny In Place

We have the motor and transmission lowered into the engine compartment and Steve has since made a piece to support the motor. The drive shaft is back together, too.

Wednesday will likely be the "first ride." This is really a test of the mechanical stuff just assembled. It uses a plain 12V battery to directly run the motor and move the car around.

Good Progress for the First Day

Every combination of transmission and electric motor is unique in how they bolt together. Steve is seen here Monday finishing the adapter plate he designed that morning.

Tuesday, we'll lift it into the engine compartment and measure for mounting.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Experts Have Arrived!

Steve and Audrey (a.k.a. Green Shed Conversions) arrived this afternoon. What great people! They're settling in and will get started in earnest in the morning. Steve will begin measuring and planning the layout. Audrey will go to Winchester Metals for angle iron and other metal to make the motor mounts and battery boxes. I will learn and try to help. Very exciting!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Batteries Have Arrived!

The Z3 battery pack is 80 cells (LiFePO4) and it all just arrived tonight. The poor driver got stuck in beltway traffic at rush hour.

This new lithium type doesn't have the problems with bulging and overheating that were in the news a while back. Compared to standard lead acid, they hold (I think) 2-3 times the energy and last much longer, too.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Charging Station Wired

OK, a "charging station" is really just an electrical outlet. There is now new conduit running from the back of the garage to a more convenient spot next to the garage door. It's 8 AWG, stranded and will be able to carry 70 amps at 240V.

It will also supply Steve's welder as he fabricates motor mounts, battery boxes, etc.

Next up: get out the old heater and replace it with ceramic.