A ONE, and a TWO and a THREE.

This week, we were contacted by Tom Brunka of Hellwig notifying us that we had the WRONG brushes in our Jim Husted build of the twin Netgain WarP11 motors.

Recall that Mr. Brunka BROUGHT DOWN THE HOUSE at EVCCON during what was supposed to be a Saturday norming dozer/sleeper session at the Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention. A session on the most boring
topic we could conceive – BRUSHES. Brunka went over 30 minutes as we sat enthralled. Fascinating session and a LOT we didn’t know.

He contacted us to alert us that we had H49 drag racing brushes and he would be much more comfortable if we changed the brushes to his H60 model. These are stronger, harder brushes with a much longer life and that put down a better film while working better for light current loads.

That may be counterintuitive on a motor pair that will likely suffer the indignities of 1000 amps EACH during acceleration.

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Apparently the H60’s are well able to handle that 1000 amps, but also carry light loads of 20 or 30 amps when idling/coasting. In truth, that’s what the Escalade will be doing 99% of the time.

And so he actually supplied us with 16 new brushes at no charge to ensure success with the Cadillac build. Thank you Mr. Brunka.

In every bit of good news, there is a downside. First, we had already done three days of running the motor with the brushes we had. But about that time we received an e-mail from a viewer who had a catastrophic brush failure of the H49 brushes after a total of 120 miles on his car.

Because of the torque converter and mounting, installing the motor on this vehicle will be non-trivial. Worse, our usual technique of putting the motor and other components in where we can easily “drop” a motor on this build is simply not feasible. Once it is in, it would be DAYS of work to paw it back out.

And so we did the change.

I also have a disassembled Netgain WarP9 laying around that we used to discuss motor dynamics and the inter poles of the 11HV. We wanted to put this motor back together with some of the newer Helwig Split red top split brushes that Netgain is now equipping new Netgain WarP9’s with now.

So we did a demonstration on the disassembled motor.

As usual, I have a lot of groundless opinions on motors and brushes in my own version of armchair quarterbacking. The reason everyone does this is that it is irresistible. I rankle when our viewers do it, but in truth, I am subject to it myself.

One of the issues is the reversibility of the Netgain motors. If the brushes are offset from center, and if they are radiuses to a round commutator, how could you possibly simply wire the motor backwards to reverse rotation for vehicles such as the Honda, which normally use a clockwise from drive end CWDE rotation when the Netgain is built for a CCWDE rotation?

In any event, a couple of interesting reactions to the show. First an e-mail from Brunka:

Hello Jack and Brian

Very nice presentation on brushes, thank you.

I also liked the way you emphasized that the direction of rotation during brush seating is very important that it matches the direction of rotation when driving the vehicle forward.

Another important point that you made is that it is very important that the brush angle is in the proper direction for your direction of rotation. Yes you are correct we do not want the comm surface rotating into the long side of the brush, instead it should be rotating away from the long side of the brush.

Yes, I did change the brush terminal from a fork lug to a ring lug, we had a couple of reasons for this. Typically an EV application will have the highest value and the most number of overloads per hour.

So in an effort to improve the connection (More contact area and to prevent the spread of the fork when tightened) and to make an easily identifiable difference between the NetGain brushes that are intended for EV applications and those that intended for other applications, we have made the EV brush a ring and kept the fork for the other brushes.

Yes, you have also sold me on the Nord Locks.

Thanks for your help and continued support

Tom

Annoyingly, the new brushes had a full hole connection electrically. The earlier brushes had a forked terminal and you could simply loosen the screw a turn or two and slip ti out. The full hole terminals required you to completely remove the screw, put it through the terminal, and reinstall the screw – kind of significantly complicating the procedure if you are trying to do it on an installed motor and of course at the risk of dropping a screw into the motor.

This has been done to improve the surface area of the connection. Well, ok. Who can be against that at 1000 amps.

I DID notice that they added a mylar sheath insulation to the connecting wires. Gotta love that. And the wires themselves seemed of better material and more flexible. More strands, finer wire. Maybe my imagination.

In any event, we suffered the change on the twin 11’s on the bench. Brain was even able to do the bottom ones without dismounting the motors.

George Hamstra of Netgain also followed up with the information that they were absolutely going to the H60 brushes for all new motor builds, though it would take some months to work through current stock which have the H49’s. It might be pointed out that there have been THREE total failures noted out of many hundreds of motors sold over the past few years. But in any event, they are going to standardize on the H60’s and you will be able to special order the H49’s for drag racing purposes.

He also alluded to looking at a neutral bias on the brush mountings. And both he and Brunka thought our idea of putting a nord-lock on the terminal screws was uptown. He alluded that he might get a fight from Warfield but he was going to carry the torch.

We also heard from a little bird in Azure Dynamics commenting on our coverage of their bankruptcy. No leak of company private information actually. They are trying to dispose of their stock of Siemens motors and the controllers they built for them. I won’t quote the prices but they are VERY attractive. Downside, 300v of course and the controllers are CANbus controlled. ANd it was unclear if there was any documentation, and probably no support of any kind. Also Brusa chargers at VERY attractive prices, but 300-520v models which we cannot use.

The most significant notice in this weeks show is the news of A123’s actually horrifying boo boo with regards to their 20Ah pouch cell. According to CEO David Vieau, in a letter to everyone, one of four tab welding machines in Livonia was miscalibrated, resulting in a hard to detect defect in the cells that could cause premature failure. The wording of this seemed to allude to a failure of the packs they assemble there, which do indeed use “tab welders” to assemble them. But it has been commonly accepted that he was alluding to the cells themselves.

One of the problems we have with the cells from China is that our sources are not very transparent with regards to the source of the cells. Ours are marked MADE IN USA and Vieau’s letter would seem to imply that indeed cells are manufactured in Livonia. We had also heard that cells made in Korea were often labelled MADE IN USA. So we just don’t know at this point. And we don’t know if our MADE IN USA cells are subject to the recall or are even part of the bad cell output.

The problem does seem to arise from the “compression” of the cells together in their packs. We don’t compress cells ourselves. Some weight of cells on top of others in Flatten-em series but we only stack them three high. So I don’t expect it to be an issue. If it is, at this price I can live with it.

But A123 may not be able to. After suffering the indignity of Fisker’s failure to produce cars after gearing up for batteries for 15000 cars a year – what HAS to be 7 million cells, Fisker has sold a TOTAL of 600 cars we’re gold. To pile on, A123 had already done a recall on packs to fix a liquid coolant leak. NOW they will have to recall all 600 Fiskers, along with some other vehicle installations, and extend the warranty on the car from 50 months and 50K miles to 60 months and 60k miles. Vieau’s probably worst case projection – $55 million. It’s a blow that would take many companies to the mat. ANd possibly this one. It will certainly cause any potential OEM buyers to look askance of a company that had TWO recalls on their batteries in the only significant OEM automobile build they had landed. Never mind that A123 had made a $30 million dollar investment in Fisker stock.

BMW, purportedly an A123 customer, announced this same week that they were going to work closely with Toyota on battery technology.

Virtually all the other battery companies selling cells to OEM’s are using Lithium Manganese Spinel or the new Lithium Manganese Cobalt Nickel hybrid cathodes. As you know, I think the LiFePo4 are much better with regards to cycle life and safety. A123 was really the only American battery company sporting LiFePo4.

Hopefully the WAS in my was wasn’t really a literal WAS. We’re kind of warming up to the concept of the A123 cells now that we can obtain them at a competitive price.

With all these failures, Tesla continues on the march to an on-time July delivery date. One stock analyst, after a visit to the factory and seeing the aluminum stamping forms and presses already mostly in operation, reversed their call on the stock and raised their rating to $49. Tesla’s stock, TSLA on the Nasdaq, remains at a 45% of float short sale. That means that 45% of the total available trading stock in this company has been sold short, and with every increase in price, the pressure to bail on this trade increases. Noting that his stock is now the third most shorted stock on the NASDAQ, Musk has vowed to “make it sting – a lot.”

As we have a deposit down on an S model, we wish him every good fortune and hope he makes that stick. Our position in Tesla stock pretty much assures us at this point of a FREE Tesla Model S, but we would graciously accept a bonus for loyalty and long term prediction. eBay once bought me NINE collectible MG automobiles when I was just testing if you WOULD actually receive a good car bought on eBay back in 2000. ONE of the nine was outright fraud. Most EXCEEDED my expectations from photos and descriptions.

So we will be delighted to take delivery of our Tesla Model S, paid for by Tesla stock. If it moves a little higher, I may upgrade to the Signature series.

Currently at around $37. We’ve actually piled on some September CALLS at $40. We’ll see how THAT turns out – very risky actually. I still don’t like their battery program.

Jack Rickard

http://EVTV.me

87 thoughts on “A ONE, and a TWO and a THREE.”

  1. Watching you change brushes, I was reminded of one of my favorite tricks for recurring situations like this where dropping a screw can be a disaster.

    I put a tiny neodymium magnet or two (I buy these in many sizes, from small cylinders you can stack up in the clearance hole of a nut driver to a 1″ cube, which is downright dangerous…) into the nut driver and epoxy it in with JB Weld.

    It renders the tool useless on nuts that have an exposed thread coming through that normally drops into the rifled hole in the nut driver, but so what. Now I have a nut driver that will securely hold a hex screw and washer stack at all angles while I blindly try to get it in somewhere without losing anything, like in the dashboard, or in your case, the comm end of motor.

    A hot-rodded tool like that would certainly make brush replacement in the field a more comfortable operation, and you seem to need the same size driver from all of your motors. You could get the perfect cylindrical magnet here:

    http://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=13

    Seems like a lot of work to make this ideal brush screw driver, but its really not compared to trying to fish a washer out of a motor already mounted in the drive train. Might make a nice product for you, too, made up in quantity.

    Hope that helps,

    TomA

  2. Andy:

    I have these, several sets of them I’ve gotten over the years actually. I rarely, really never, use them. For this application, moreover, they aren’t what you want.

    First, the nut driver isn’t deep enough to make room for them, (usually, especially if the magnets are big,) although the ones you linked to are the thinnest set I’ve ever seen. Second, they just aren’t secure enough. Not as much holding power for a given size as a magnet the fits in the available space and is epoxied in. You need “Lotta Gauss” to hold onto those washers. Third, I’ve had those magnet things pull out of the socket once its pulled off the tightened fastener. Not so cool.

    Nice things, and no harm done for $18 plus shipping for the set, but not a substitute for what I suggested…

  3. Jack,
    I just saw your last show, changing the brushes. As you now perhaps from my WarP9 assambly and disassamply videos, I know a little bit about the motor. The CE-End is turning CW while the DE-End is turning CCW, as you also know.
    At the end your CE-End is blocking in “right” direction(CCW) and turns in the “wrong”(CW) on.
    Have double checked your brush direction..?

    Mathieu.)

  4. Jack,
    My curiosity has gotten the better of me. I am wondering if I could find a stand alone programmable controller for the 6L80E that you have in the Escalade. After surfing a couple of hours I came back to this only source that reprograms their reworked performance 6l80E. The following articles definitely points out that one has to get the shifting correct to make these transmissions last. This transmission is a whole new architecture in comparison to transmissions that preceded it.
    http://www.gmhightechperformance.com/tech/transmission/1103gmhtp_circle_d_6l80e_transmission_upgrades/index.html
    If you have not found a source, I think Circle D would be a good place to start.

  5. Pure typing myself smart here but something just seems right about the bias on the brush mounts. Seems like it’s less jamming on the edges of the brushes than it would be were they perpendicular to the commutator. I think he’d do well to simply make the mounts reversible, so it can be swapped to reverse the motor.

    – Doc

  6. Mark:

    Thanks for the link. I’ll certainly have a look. I’m sure you are correct that it will destroy the transmission. The Paul Liddle build Ford Edge was very hard shifting and the transmission didn’t last six months.

    That said, we have a package from HPTuners that purports to let us set many things in the ECU and specifically the shift points on the transmission.
    I’m hoping that does it. But if not, our transmission has a manual shift mode we can use anyway.

    Still, I’ll have a look at the link.

    Thanks

    Jack.

    PS. Aren’t you the same guy that said I would need vacuum for the environmentals?

    1. Jack,
      That was not me who made mention about needing a vacuum for the environmental s.
      Although, I am am the guy who was told by a company that re-flashes Engine Control Modules that one needed input from both the cam position sensor and the crankshaft position sensor to make the cruise control work.
      Some how I lost my bookmark for the ECM reflashing company since then, but here is another and I also noticed they can change shifting parameters of the transmission.
      http://www.pcmperformance.com/flashkit.html
      Good luck,
      Mark

  7. Jack, how about takin the Hellwig brushes into your store?
    If not, could you recommend where to buy these brushes easily with f.ex. PayPal and international shipping without paying half of the motor price? πŸ™‚
    Michael

    1. Michael:

      I don’t know of a Chinese supplier for Hellwig brushes. I would say you can pick from Hellwig and Netgain Motors. And oddly, to my knowledge Netgain doesn’t sell to end users on their web site.

      I’ll ask Tom

      Jack Rickard

    2. Oh, and international shipping has been a problem for us as well.. It can be QUITE expensive. We’re learning to deal with USPS on this but I hate USPS.

      Have ever since my magazine days….

      Jack Rickard

    1. who in their right mind invests 130million dollar in a company that has spent 900m$ and sold a couple hundred of a plagued product that’s very overweight when they said they would sell thousands..
      just before christmas they said it would be 1500 by years end but in reality it was less than 200… how do you then in march invest 130m… boggles the mind that they get that rich yet are that clueless

    2. So Dan, I want to know. How DO you make a large sporty well equipped car complete with an engine, generator, motor, fuel tank, battery pack and all the required electronics as lightweight as you think can be done? I await your physical proof.

      Investors know full well from the grapevine when, (not if) the Gov’t sabre rattles with Iran. The worlds oil supply will be interrupted and send prices rocketing. No oil tanker will dare travel the straits of Hormuz.
      The mid ’70’s saw a huge interest in EV’s, same again in ’88. When fuel becomes scarce. People start to reconsider.
      Don’t forget, all these oil wars are not because there’s a glut.

    3. Fiskar announced the “Fiskar Atlantic” on Tuesday in New York.
      In competition to the Tesla Model S, the price is valued to ~50.000 USD.

      It’s a 50km / 30ml electric drive with range extender (from BMW).
      Perhaps thats a reason.
      Michael

    4. Dan:

      If only they were brilliant and penniless such as yourself?

      Now an investment guru?

      Weren’t you the guy IMPLORING me to SELL SELL SELL Tesla at $24?

      Whatever drugs you are on Dan, I’d like to try some – just a little bit of course – experimentally.

    5. “I don’t believe EVs can succeed as heavy cars. that many batteries hurt the value proposition and that is very important to most people.”

      Only you, Dan, out of all the fully skilled design and structural engineers in this world are you the one who can make it lightweight. Call you crazy?

      ok. You are Crazy.

  8. Jack,

    Since most of the public level 2 chargers are usually not being used. Set up a secondary “portable” charger system with a J1772 port feeding the EMW 10kw charger with Anderson or alternative output to the battery pack. Pull the car up between two charge ports and use both for much faster recharge for traveling.

  9. I instantly spotted a nice new looking milling machine in the background at about hour 2 of your latest video. Looks like it’s a real brute. I’m not jealous, but I did drool a little bit.

    Also, it is good to hear your original theme music again in the GE ad. It’s a lovely piece.

  10. Blow In:

    You’ve been with us awhile then… Yes, I love it and still miss the old opening frankly. But everyone liked the new one from Andrew Mcclary so well we kept it. That’s Basil Pouledoris with the Theme from Lonesome Dove. An 8 hour long movie originally aired in 1985 as a five part miniseries based on a novel by Larry McMurtry. My favorite movie and Robert Duval’s greatest role.

    The vertical mill is a ShopFox 1004 model. We bought it on Amazon.com believe it or not – just under $7000. It is 2400 lbs crated and our first one arrived broken with the crate smashed every which way. It took them a week or two, but they actually delivered a second one at no charge and removed the first.

    It has a digital readout and the x axis turned out to be broken on THAT one. They finally replaced that and sent us the entire unit – with a different length on it. But brain was able to take parts from the new one and fix the original DRO sensor.

    It is not CNC, but with the digital readout, you can place it where you want it rather precisely. It’s been a big aid in doing the flatten ’em series battery module and some mounting bracket work on the Escalade. But in reality, we mostly use it as a kind of super drill press. We haven’t done much milling.

    We can do slotted holes quite accurately now, which comes up now and again.

    It’s a bit much for a three axis drill press, but hopefully we’ll learn to use it better as we go along.

    Note that a vertical mill is nearly useless as delivered. There is no end to the “accessories” you have to have to get it to do anything. End mills, collets, drill chucks, vises, all extra.

    All that said, I do truly love it. I like tools and this one is very nice. Made in China but of course…

    Jack

    1. I’m a great believer in the centre lathe as the most versatile tool. They can do most milling machine work within their range but the job must be affixed to the tool post.

      For my HNC in engineering from an idea I coined up we co-designed and made a 6 way tool post to fit a #3 morse on a centre lathe. So centres, drills, reamers, thread boxes etc. can be indexed from the tail-stock turning it into a part time turret lathe. It worked well and we priced it up complete as Β£124 in 1980 as a one-off and a top team score towards our HND.

      Them were the days :))

  11. Jack,
    This is a simple, and perhaps stupid, question, but it has been bugging me. The cells you have been talking about have their capacity rated in amp hours. The question is under a load of more than 1C, when there is significant voltage sag, does the number of amp hours actually increase to keep the number of watt hours constant or is the amp hour rating truly only amp hours irrespective of voltage. Stated another way is the true capacity of the cell a number of amp hours or watt hours?

    1. Andy,

      Thank you! What an amazing lecture. It answered almost all of my questions. Jay presents this material in such a clear and coherent way and covers so many issues. It also implies that an A123 pack with the same “capacity” as a CALB pack at 1C will in fact have a higher energy capacity (in WH) than the CALB at higher C rates.

    2. David, at 1C it won’t be much of a difference worth noting. Someone, somewhere posted a graph with V/C’s using different types of cells.

      Most people want at least a 2 hour drive with their vehicle so makes the hassles and pain of boxing A123’s for many, almost pointless.

    3. Being about halfway through the build on the flattenem pack, I can heartily concur. This is kind of a loser. My second layer indicates 55.2 Ah, less than the 58.2 of the first layer. That means max 50 Ah real use. At 120 volts, that is a 6000 wH pack probably good for 25-30 miles. Very discouraging.

      I may try to bump it to 4 cells. Just to have a pack worth driving.

      Jack Rickard

    4. Jack

      40 * 100 amphour Calbs would produce a ~130 volt, and a ~13 000 wH, and the pack might come in at 6 000 dollars (6 000 is pretty much a guess though.
      Would this work OK with a Soliton jr (600 amps), and a ~1000 Kg vehicle. The Toyota Celica is reasonably light (and pretty, and inexpensive), and has useless back seats in the middle of the car that would make room for a battery box. The pack would be lacking in power, but what good is power with a short range pack, if using that power is going to drain it even faster?
      Financially I’m doing OK, but, I haven’t the money for such a project at the moment. However, it’s defiantly attainable for me in the future, particularly when the battery pack comes in at halfish price. Will it work?

      P.S. sorry to hear the your A123 pack isn’t working out as you hoped.

      Padraic

    5. Padraic:

      The 100Ah cells are good for 700-800 amps so your Soliton Jr. should work to capacity. I think you kind of stress the cells this way and I would be more comfortable with the 180’s for my own builds. But it would work. ANd you would NOT be lacking in power. IT would do everything the Jr can put out.

      A lot of what we try doesn’t work. That’s pretty normal. I guess it’s a bit abnormal to present it on video because it offers less opportunity for self aggrandizement. But I’m generally pretty grand anyway so we think it’s important to share.

      Jack

      Jack Rickard

  12. Indeed, the more these or any battery packaging are explored, the more wise the Chinese Lego brick proves to be. Ultimately I hope the Lego block factories take some notes so we can get the high performance out of the inherently more economic package.

    Still, I’m keenly interested in the stepping stone that a 10kWh pack can present. Autocross events would be a perfect environment. Also, a 10k pack could likely be packaged into a bolt-in swap for a gas tank. Additional range later achievable by sacrificing trunk space.

  13. Jack.
    Above, AndyJ posted the following video..
    http://www.ri.cmu.edu/video_view.html?menu_id=387&video_id=60
    In particular of interest to you is starting @ 20 minutes into the presentation, Professor Jay Whitacre explains the POROUS SEPARATOR FILM used between anode and cathode of a lithium-ion battery that when heated up melts together the porosity of the film so that the electrolyte does not flow between the anode and cathode. This happens for a safety feature for preventing thermo runaway.
    This film is about 1 mil in thickness made of poly olefin, (melt temperature of 248 degrees F), or polyethylene, (melt temperature of 212 degrees F)
    I am thinking that the exothermic heat from castng Polyurethane is higher than that.

    1. Mark:

      Too much thinking, not enough facts. You’ve introduced a kind of ongoing negative element here that is unpleasant. The exotherm on the resin is about 140F. It is doubtful that the A123 cells use that type of separator..\

      And by the way, I have no need to review Professor Whitacre’s comments at all. We introduce this video to the community over a year ago right here in this blog.

      I find his presentation quite knowledgeable, and the ongoing misrepresentations and misunderstandings of what he said inexplicable. I thought he was quite clear.

      Jack Rickard

    2. Jack,
      All that I stated were facts. I am sorry you saw it as negative. I do not have the resin so I personally can not test it for its exothermic temperature when casting. I am glad to see you have measured the temperature of 140 degrees F. You have not posted this temperature before in your blogs or videos. I am on your side Jack. I do not want you to fail. My hope is that you considered everything.
      Mark Yormark

    3. Mark:

      FACTS are things known to be true that can be reproduced by anyone at will. You stated you thought the resin temperature exceeded the safety temperature of the separator with no knowledge whatsoever of what the temperature was, or what kind of separator was used. What FACTS did you state? Kind of like the camshaft FACT you stated earlier.

      I don’t know that the temperature is 140F. That’s what the product literature claims it is. I didn’t see it as important, largely because it is not.

      I appreciate your interest and you’re following the build. But we have a differing view of facts…

      I can assure you we have NOT considered “everything”. We announced a strategy for mounting the motors and this week we have changed that strategy radically. Next week we’ll run into something else.

      This is NOT a canned presentation of what geniuses we are. This is two guys working in a garage, and you get to watch – while it happens.

      And frankly, my mechanical abilities and product packaging abilities have never been a strong claim. We do the best we can to muddle through.

      Jack Rickard

    4. The facts on resins are temperatures that *can* be obtained.
      I’ve worked with resins that can catch fire if left in a paper cup more than an inch full. The jobs it was used on were very small so needed to create more heat to guarantee it sets.

      On voluminous jobs you simply mix in less accelerator.

    5. Jack,
      I never did profess to have personal knowledge about the camshaft position sensor and its related function, instead I stated what I was told by a technician by the name of JR, (just refound information from last August), who reprograms Chevrolet ECM’s for a living.
      http://teamzr1.com/fstore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2

      Regarding the concept of casting A123 cells in polyurethane resin I liked the concept from the beginning, but now feel uneasy about doing the process myself because your first cast unit “blew-up”. I follow your posts and videos and to my knowledge you never presented why it happened or at least a “theory” of why it happened. Therefore I can only wonder.
      Regards,
      Mark Yormark

    6. What has this to do with our discussion of facts. Somebody told you and then of course you thought.

      There is a VERY good reason we did not present why it happened or a theory of why it happened. I don’t know. And just making up shit to be in the discussion isn’t our way.

      In the episode I’m working on, we had a shorted cell. That MIGHT be causal in the earlier models. The cell was good one day, and the next morning shorted. THere was no activity AT ALL in between.

      I said I didn’t know what caused the original blowups. And that is because I didn’t know. You would prefer I throw some “theories ” up in the air anyway – with no information to base them on?

      I’m beginning to see our disconnect here…

      Jack Rickard

    7. Hey Jack,
      It all starts from a thought…
      Definition of SCIENTIFIC METHOD
      : principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses
      Respectively,
      Mark Yormark

  14. Jack,
    During professor Whitacre’s talk he mentioned a company that sorted cells into like capacity groups. If you first measure and mark the capacity of each individual A123 cell you have for assembling a pack. Wouldn’t you want to match the highest capacity cell with the lowest capacity cell in parallel pairs as you fit them into the pack?

    1. Testing each cell individually would entail an extraordinary amount of time and effort. You would get a slightly better representation than a random sort. And the cells are reasonably consistent as they are.

      Some manufacturers provide more consistency than others. Professor Whitacre rather held A123 out as the gold standard, a view I did not share. I’m warming to them, but still do not share his high opinion.

      Jack

  15. I see a useful tool coming along. A fixed voltage charger (per cell) stops when it hits a particular current then count the AH down to say 2.7V with a fixed load.. Mark cell with capacity… Then sort cells.

    Hmmm, how would we do that automatically…..

    1. Hi Mathieu,
      If the resistance at the poles go up, it will be measurable as more heat under a particular load.

      All I can testify to is general practice. Clean the aluminium, apply Alodyne. This is a chromic fluid that is *supposed* to leave an anti oxidising but conductive layer. Wash that off and thoroughly dry.

      Bolt on your cleaned straps or whatever. After that, completely seal the joints with a suitable polymer sealant to keep anything that carries oxygen off the parts.

      Or if you are in the army, dip your paw in a gallon tin of grease and daub it on the connection. Vaseline with zinc powder that Jack mentioned sounds good. O3 will be attracted to and attack that instead.

    1. I wish Dan’s comment was readable to me. I can only reiterate what is done on aircraft and military applications.

      If this practice is incorrect after being proven in the field for decades upon decades, please make haste and inform these aerospace companies they have got at all wrong.

  16. Putting the pouches in the plastic cases like is done with the TS, CALB and others is the way to go. A similar technique will do just fine. The Chinese have done an excellent job and it is a proven method. It would be easy to put the pouches in a package like that if we could get the plastic boxes. So we attempt to design something good since we do not have a box. Make a box and a lid and seal up the post and be done with the whole affair. Mount them like another and with the pouch cells you can install them any way you want, even upside down. Nothing complex but yet simple and elegant.

    When you dive into the complex you are going to have trouble. Hands down.

    Dan’s idea is just that, an incomplete idea. I would not say terrible but too complex to bother. If you want complex then it may prove to be reasonable if you can figure out the complexities of the idea. Since the idea was not finished it is nearly moot. What sort of machine will be needed to to the welding properly? It is not an easy task. Even doing the box is not so straight forward for a DIY fix.

    Since we have an elegant and simple way why would you do any thing other than that. Follow what works. I can’t see getting much simpler that what already exists.

    Reinvent the wheel if you must.

    Pete πŸ™‚

    1. I guess I’m coming to the same conclusion Pete. The best we’ve done is the 12v resin pack. I have sent some ruined cells to a guy who owns a plastic extrusion plant and he claims he can do a similar case. We’ll see what he comes up with and how much they cost.

      Jack RIckard

    2. Sweet. I will await the results of what this person can do. I do like the 12 volt pack but I am more inclined to build a single 6 pouch 110 AH cell. Then just externally connecting them. I am not inclined to make an internal series battery. I like the external connections like we already have in our cells.

      I await the results.

      Pete πŸ™‚

    3. Nenad:

      Alibaba exhibits the same unobtainium ratio as the rest of the web. I contacted those people TWICE and never even received an e-mail response.

      When posting such sources, it would be a great assistance if you would contact them yourself and get all the details before announcing their “availability.” I spend a LOT of time chasing down these dead ends.

      Jack Rickard

    4. I’m completely behind you guys. Not sure what the “T” stand is all about though.

      My experiment was to make inner cases using 4mm Correx with every other Correx cell slotted to take an A123 cell. This is amazing. Nearly all cells grip the Correx into a firm box!

      The voltage/current combination along with its length are fully builder configurable, high cell density, cheap and serviceable. The only “but”,,, my idea can only accommodate an odd number of cells to each pack due to the 4x6mm dia conducting steel threaded bar.

      However, when clamped tight for an electrical connection there is some horizontal compression where the Correx has lost its stiffness and wrinkles the case. No big deal if it’s going into a protective insulating box. But..
      There’s little to effectively glue this stuff that I know of so it’s not so easy to affix Correx stiffeners running horizontally. I want this format so still working on it. Getting so close!

      I made a suggestion to Dan. A Rip-Rap or Makerbot — a 3D printer.

      We can make the parts and sides (slides!) out of ABS. This stuff is tough and can easily be worked. The shapes are fairly simple. You set the machine running to make a printer bed full of parts, switch off the lights and come back awake, refreshed and a little richer.

      Once happy with the format, if possible; cast them pieces en masse! πŸ˜‰

      Well anyway, that’s my plan for world domination.

    5. Jack, you are correct, information I provided was not double checked, even more, I never got reply from anybody at Alibaba. The thing is, I thought it only happens to me, since you reportedly make business with their announcers.

      I managed to find URL among my EVfavorites, concerning alibaba.com car-battery-box and product is no longer available.

      I will make sure not to talk in vain again.

  17. Very constructive episode Jack, cheers. Nice opportunity to recapitulate EVCCON findings showcasing and explaining electric motor, with excuse of changing the brushes. I adore this kind of approach and it should eventually help broadening the EVTV viewership.

    1. We learned a fascinating thing in doing the magazine, directory, and trade show in the nineties. BROADENING your subject matter does indeed broaden your readership, and generally makes it less relevant and less engaged.

      If you want MORE readers, you TIGHTEN the focus, not broaden it.

      I was contacted by a viewer this week who complained that three of our episodes in the archives would not download. He was downloading ALL of them. (shudder).

      In any even, I went back and watched the December 6, 2009 episode while repairing the links and glitches, which were quite real. I was chagrined to see that we were talking about EXACTLY the same things then that we do now, right down to A123. Our line hasn’t varied much since the first video A CONVENIENT RESPONSE TO AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.

      We should probably at least vary the message a bit. But apparently it is the only tune I know how to play…

      Jack Rickard

    2. Early micro in hand with magazines. Each subject inside tightly focussing on different subjects, hobbies and interests.
      I wanted to do them all!! But that was me.

      An EV is like an early micro computer but more hardware onto software than vice verca.

      I propose a suggestion.
      Do a film on a simple bench top project that can be bolted into the car another day.
      Everything on a single board. {DC-DC, contactor, controller, charger, shunt, fuses etc.}

      There is a need to remove what the interested public conceive as a scary complexity. The black abyss of doubt. This was the problem of early adoption with micro’s and PC’s in the public eye.

    3. Does this mean that the problems I’ve sent complaints about 3 times in the last 6 months are going to get fixed? I actually have videos titled “gastankbox-1280”, “firechief1080p – Computer”, “thunderskybattery-1280” that don’t appear on the archive list. What are the dates for these videos?

  18. Andyj: “There is a need to remove what the interested public conceive as a scary complexity. The black abyss of doubt. This was the problem of early adoption with micro’s and PC’s in the public eye.”

    Well said!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. And that is precisely the danger we run in talking too much about the hurdles we are running through to the general public. They get the impression that “if it’s tough for my super smart scientist friend, then we really aren’t ready for electric cars”. Plug and play kits will play a significant role in greater acceptance.

    2. Interesting speech, where on 26:37, Carlos Ghosn publicly recognizes EVs are simpler than ICE powered cars, from engineering point of view.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MdhKOr_9Tk

      Steven Wynne speaks clearly of conversion importance to EV presence on the streets, due to their plans of bringing De Lorean electric to the market in 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17428818

      Perhaps DMC will offer kits for existing 7.000 ICE items on the market already. It would be great way for whatever OEM to boost their EV program, offering kits for their own models.

      Just a few EVs are made purposely electric, from the scratch. These kits could be used in house or offered on the market as DIY challenge for their proven clients. A ticket to participate in the history making, jointly.

      The costs would go down more swiftly, and we would continue buying their cars, or become their partners, stating a conversion shop business.

      A part from being costly operations, in Spain, EV conversions are administratively quite demanding endeavors.

  19. Hello Jack,

    I have been very busy trying to finish the race car and battery modules. I have built the Haiyin Cell Packs 10P (4000+amps), 100S for now, may add more in series. I used silver coated copper bus bars for the connections, bought from Storm Copper in Tenn. Each pack module is 4″ by 24″, at 28 volts per module. My two Shiva Destroyer controllers will arrive tomorrow, so the wiring begins. I am waiting for Tom’s brush and holder kit for my two Warp 11″ motors, Tom was a great help along with George Hamstra getting me sponsorship (free brushes) from Helwig. First test run for this new 2012 EV Drag Camaro will be May 5th, 2012 at Lebanon Valley Dragway. Wish me luck!

    1. Good luck Ron with your run. Do you plan on testing some before the actual run? I hope you don’t let it be the real maiden test voyage of the pack.

      Pete πŸ™‚

      We will be awaiting the video of the results. I will be anyway. Been watching from the get go.

  20. Hello Jack,

    I have been very busy trying to finish the race car and battery modules. I have built the Haiyin Cell Packs 10P (4000+amps), 100S for now, may add more in series. I used silver coated copper bus bars for the connections, bought from Storm Copper in Tenn. Each pack module is 4″ by 24″, at 28 volts per module. My two Shiva Destroyer controllers will arrive tomorrow, so the wiring begins. I am waiting for Tom’s brush and holder kit for my two Warp 11″ motors, Tom was a great help along with George Hamstra getting me sponsorship (free brushes) from Helwig. First test run for this new 2012 EV Drag Camaro will be May 5th, 2012 at Lebanon Valley Dragway. Wish me luck!

  21. Well I guess I can stop working on my WordPress version of the EVTV website. I hadn’t gone far with it yet. I was planning to just do it and send it for you guys to play with. But since Chris is working on it, I’ll let him play.

    As a WP site developer I recommend three things:

    Use Studiopress Genesis as the theme framework. It’ll make your lives so much easier when designing the look.

    Use Gravity Forms. It’ll do everything from simple form to mail to surveys to mailing lists and even light e-commerce. Probably the most valuable plugin for WP ever created.

    And if Gravity forms isn’t enough for the store, use Woo Commerce. It works well with Genesis and is IMHO the best e-commerce package for WP.

    – Doc

  22. Jack – just watched the Good Friday show. Many thanks as ever.

    I’m working on automating some long term cycle life battery testing. Over the weekend I managed to get a cell log and arduino streaming test data to Pachuino, and learned more about both devices than I care to know (my knowledge of programming is similar to your knowledge of bodywork restoration).

    If I get it running I’ll send you a clip.

    1. I’ll do that Jack; I’ll drop you an email off list with progress so far in case you want to suggest any mid-course corrections.

      But from 10,000 ft, the idea is to cycle a small test pack for as many hours, days or months as it takes to crater it, and stream the pack current and individual cell voltages to a publically-accessible location.

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