Escalade Cooling System

Not a lot going on this week. We reinstalled the Soliton1’s in the Cadillace Elescalade EXT, installed a cooling system for these controllers, and began reassembly
of the front end.

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We are getting closer to the Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention (EVCCON) scheduled for September 26-30 of this year. We’ve lost a few friends from last year who won’t be
with us do to wife issues, and picked up many new faces coming for the first time.

We’ve picked up a couple of speakers this week. John Metric of DC Plasma drag race team has been elected president of NEDRA. He’ll be joining us to share data he had derived in
some very high power runs on the drag strip in his nine-second car. Ron Adamowicz is already bringing his new Camarro with twin 11 inch motors and a Shiva so it should be
a very interesting meeting.

Steve Woodruff heads AutoBeYours in Indianna. Last year he brought the Prius Limo. AutoBeYours has led the conversion of Prius hybrid vehicles to plug-in capability and traded
in damaged Prius cars and components. More recently they have begun working with the Leaf. Steve represents the ultimate scrounger of hybrid and e-car parts from insurance companies, junkyards etc.
He’ll be talking on “mining the junkyard” to get OEM electric car components you can use for your electric car conversion.

We added a bit of whimsey with our copper foil helmet, a concerned woman’s observation that rainbows in lawn sprinklers are actually part of a vast and evil government conspiracy, and a repeat run of the Turbo Entrabulator – one of the most significant innovations in automatic transmissions of the last century – we think. From what we understand of what he said.

Anne Kloppenberg gives us a run in the New Electric Glastron and provides some very interesting data on current and rpm and voltage in reaching 47 km/hour on the water. And he graphically illustrates why NOT to have an Anderson connector laying in the bottom of a boat.

Jack Rickard

37 thoughts on “Escalade Cooling System”

  1. I absolutely love Anne’s boat. It does my heart good to see a electric boat that can fully get on plane. He has done an incredible job with it. When I built my little electric outboards back in 2000 it was not possible to plane a boat. The lead acid batteries were simply too heavy. Making my Little Bass Cat Phelix plane on electric Calb 100 power just might have to be project #2 (I can always tell the wife it is Anne’s fault….:0)

    I am looking so forward to EVCCON I got all of the rust repaired in the EVThing today. I NOW OFFICIALLY HATE RUST! I have rebuilt cars before, but never on a dead line. It is going to take me a day just to clean the grinding dust and grime off the car (and the garage for that matter..)

    I also got the motor assembled. I found 0.005″ of run out in the flywheel. It is new. I checked in on my lathe and sure enough it is machined crooked. It would probably be ok, but being a machinist, I am going to have to fix it.

    I also decided on battery locations. 10 In front box, 20 in rear with ten on each side of the motor and 6 under the rear seat three on each side. The pans I put in have an indention for the battery. It turns out that three CALB 180 fit perfectly on their side in these indention. I figure it is fate telling me where to put the six orphaned batteries.

    I hope to have the rear battery boxes done some time this week now that I can focus on EV stuff vs. Rust….

    The EVThing might make it to EVCCon, but I’ll have to have it painted after the show, I just do not have enough time to do that and get it running…

    I’ll try to get a video up this week, but I have a three day trade show that I have to work this week. My boss seems to think that this is more importiant???

    P.S. Jack, may dad always said that just because you are paranoid, it does not mean that they are not out to get you….

  2. Jack:
    I noted with amusement how your experiments with A123 cells have helped us all understand the difficulty in DIY battery modules.

    The question I always wanted to ask is “Why A123 never build contained cells like CALB? Is it because they were building only for OEMs to Specs or are is it because “They did not know they did not know?…Wait!, they are now offering starter battery modules for the Military and start/stop technology for ICEs.

    I have a great deal of interest in their cells because the 23C discharge rates would work well in a short distance road race car.

    Also, do you think the Chinese company that is buying them out will offer to sell directly to the Great Unwashed, like me?

  3. I’ve hated rusty cars for a long as I can remember living in the rust belt. It’s destroyed more of my cars than I care to think about. The car manufacturers seem to be okay with it though.

    On the JLD404, I wonder about its ability to survive the vibration environment of a vehicle? Popping it out of its box I see smaller boards mounted perpendicular to larger boards held in place only by their solder connections. I also see radial lead components mounted without the traditional glop commonly found in other electronic devices to keep them from flexing due to vibration.

  4. Jack,

    Great show as usual, but I have a couple of questions about the Elescalade cooling arrangement. What do you predict to be the temperature of the coolant coming out of the first Soliton 1, and will it be too high for the second controller? I realize I may be typing myself smart here, but would it not be better to have two parallel pumps that are each in series with a controller and pushing fluid through the same heat exchanger and fluid bottle? The only downside I see other than added complexity (and this doesn’t seem to be a problem here) is that if one pump looses its priming, then that Soliton 1 would stay dramatically warmer than its twin. This in turn would probably require a second temperature sensor for the second controller. And finally, where is the exhaust air routed after it moves through the heat exchanger under the car? From what I could see in the video, it has nowhere to go after the fan pushes it through because the assembly is bolted to the bottom of the car.


    1. Brian:

      Yes, you’re kind of typing yourself smart here. The cooling requirements are pretty modest. At full power, 1000 amps, you might get 1500 watts. Liquid cooling is very good at transferring this heat. It’s not that it is such a great amount, but it is concentrated/focused on the IGBT junction. There is actually some fascinating work going on with IGBT’s actually formed on a heat sink as an integral part of the semiconductor. So it is a matter of MOVING it, not that it is such a great amount.

      On a small system like this, the entire system rapidly heats to whatever level both SOlitons will bring it, minus what is lost in the heat exchanger. The rate of cooling becomes a function of flow. Without the heat exchanger, the temperature going IN to the Soliton 1 would be the same as that coming OUT of Soliton2 within a minute – really almost immediately. If we had a 30 quart tank, it would be different. But we don’t.

      So I don’t think there will be much of an effect there. The Derali is designed to cool transmissions, which generate 10x the heat. That fan, while annoyingly loud, moves 650cfm.

      Where does it go?

      Well first, it is mounted to a heat shield under the vehicle. But the only time it is going to be in play is when the vehicle is moving anyway. The exhaust will be moved rather rapidly by the slipstream.

      In truth, we could probably do away with the fan. I may do some testing with and without.

      2000 amps at 180volts is just new territory for us, and Overkill is always appropriate.

      Jack Rickard

  5. I hope the fan is pushing the air down to the road. I’ve had countless problems with fans drawing road air, debris and moisture up into the motor bay!

    1. fullThe fan isn’t IN the motor bay. It’s under the passenger seat under the car.

      It actually pushes the air up through the radiator where it bounces off the heat shield and moves downward from there – not that it matters. But either way, I trust your “hopes” have been thoroughly fulfilled.

      1. Jack, pulling the air up off the road will suck lots of rubbish up, plastic bags being the worst. Small pebbles etc. will erode the heat exchanger, mixed the moistuire pulled up and you will have a corrossion issue. If you could get clean(er) air drawn down from above it will help.

      2. Jack,

        I just purchased a similar Derale fan/rad kit for a work project. Those fans are easily reversible. If you removed just the fan, there is a single nut to turn the blade around, and then just switch the polarity of the wires.

        1. Most cars have their radiators very low, hence the real grille is below the bumper.
          However, having owned a Hillman Imp I reluctantly have to agree with Julian but don’t think Jacks “Chelsea tractor” will be too much of an issue.

    1. Doubling your speed quadruples the power or capacity required.
      This scenario is where electric will really shine. Like in this video.

      An Agni motor is good for 30 tons, (4mph, <3KW?):-

      My Dad hired a narrow boat in 1996, it was new with a four cylinder Kutoba diesel on hydraulic transmission. I'd of avoided it like the plague for one of the older boats that went phut, phut or much better still, silence.

  6. I’m going to go out on a limb and test an idea here. It’s for a Cell Fault Indication System (CellFIS, get it?). The idea is to monitor all individual cell voltages while carefully protecting them from uneven load using the method Mr. Hardy used in his experiment. This information would used so that if one or two cells would different significantly from the voltages of all the other cells (or average of all cells) a MIL light could be turned on and perhaps a daughter mode as well if the voltage difference was big enough. There would be no need for set voltage limits which are hard or impossible to define (well, maybe below 2 volts on a cell can be determined to be universally bad) yet the system could detect a problem in a cell which may be about to fail or a broken connection which may be causing heat while operating normally (this is based on a true life case where a loose connection caused extreme heat and a bigger voltage sag was the only indication other than actually inspecting the cells). This is all type-to-smart so please let me know why it won’t work. 😉

    1. Jarkko,

      It will work but there are downsides to doing this and a much simpler way to accomplish the same thing. The downside of the normal BMS approach is you need to hook a wire to every terminal post. And if you have something connected to a battery terminal post you really should have a fuse at the terminal post end of the wire. So you end up at the very least with a lot of fuses and wires that you don’t need and really don’t want very much.

      The easy way to do the same thing is a half pack monitor. You compare the voltage of the upper half of the pack with the lower half and if the difference is too great you signal a fault. This will find a single cell fault anywhere in the pack. And you only need to run three wires from the battery pack instead of N+1 (where N is the number of cells). It won’t tell you which cell is the problem but this can probably be found pretty easily with a DVM. The only failure mode that I can see would be if you somehow managed to brick two cells at the same time where one is in the upper half of the pack and the other is in the lower half and the bricked cells have fairly equal resistance. But you would probably notice the 6+ volt drop in pack voltage.

      I would love to know the voltage and temperature of every cell in the pack in real time. But it has no use in the normal operation of a car and is a big expense that I can live without. By the time you see something the cell is already bad so all it can do it tell you there is a problem which is information you can obtain in a simpler way.


      1. Yes, I’m aware of the messy wiring and the possibility of dividing the pack into subsections which could be compared. It wouldn’t be for me, but if’d sell conversions I’d kinda like to have a MIL light to alert the user to stop and give me a call.

        1. Having the commutator turned at a local engineering works or college shouldn’t be too hard, expensive or difficult. Probably cheaper than the return postage.

          1. Another issue is the intense heat coming from the motor. Does the out of roundness explain that as well or can there be other problems as well? I had the motor running overnight to try to seat the brushes if it would make a difference, but even running at just 2 A 80 V it gets quite hot with no load whatsoever.

  7. Jack;

    Would like to purchase one of your Blow Me kits, but I would need one change. I have an older 11″ Siemens motor built for drag racing.
    Would it be possible to get the kit with an 11″ shroud with connection port, but no openings for motor terminals. I will locate and drill those myself.

    Elsberry, MO

    1. Dannis:

      Actually I can’t be of much help. Netgain makes our shrouds for the Warp 9, I actually don’t even have them for the 11’s. We fabricated for the Elescalade and it wasn’t terribly difficult, but it’s not the kind of thing we would be tempted to do in quantity. So we actually do not have an 11 inch solution unless you can fabricate your own shroud.

      Jack RIckard

  8. Jarkko

    At low RPM you can see the brush moving in and out of the holder (left and Right. At high RPM this will cause the brush to bounce off of the armature this cause arcing which will lead to heating of the armature. Check the bearings for runout and or have the armature turned to eliminate the runout.


  9. Jack,
    I thoroughly enjoyed EVCCON last year and I am completely bummed that I will not be able to attend this year! Would you be willing to either stream or video tape the speakers and technical sessions and make them available online for a fee? I would think that this could provide a reasonable additional source of revenue as well as provide useful information to the EV universe.


    1. Larry:

      No, this is not happening for a host of reasons. Not the least of which is Brain and I will be far to busy with attendees to even supervise a video team. We did take some video of last years event and it quickly became too vast to even VIEW much less edit.

      A guy from PBS was there shooting as well and it took him SIX MONTHS of editing to put together a 30 minute piece. I don’t think anyone who did not attend has any idea of what goes on at this event. And so the world, as far as I’m concerned, is neatly divided right down the middle between those who have been to EVCCCON and those who have not.

      Obviously, it will forever be true that a very tiny slice of our viewership will attend EVCCON. I kind of like that exclusivity and that the group is a manageable size where we can actually usefully interact with each that attends. By far the most valuable part is their interaction between each other, and that is “compressed” or “enhanced” by having a high price, difficult logistics, and NOT making it easy to go to EVCCON. We’ll wind up this year with several hundred people there who are truly passionate about electric cars and building them, and basically willing to give up a week of their lives, thousands of dollars and daunting logistics to be there and show their cars. Unfortunately, that IS where the magic comes from. It raises the intensity to almost unbearable levels and camaraderie evolves just from surviving it.

      You don’t go “shopping” at EVCCON, you don’t “spend time with the wife” (unless she’s a builder too and we have a few), you don’t “go out to eat”, you spend every waking moment talking electric cars with people who DO know what you’re talking about, and if you’ll just “come over here” can show you yet ANOTHER little trick you won’t see anywhere else – because they innovated it themselves. Our vendors last year were nearly speechless in awe of the attendees – the attendees were overwhelmed being there drinking a beer with Sebastien Bourgois, Jeff Jenkins, George Hamstra, and trying to get them to own up to the “sekert stuff” they’d heard rumor of. It’s just a different thing.

      Capture that on video and stream it? How am I going to do that? It’s a preposterous notion. Beyond my skill set and beyond my pay grade all at the same time.

      Jack Rickard

      1. Jack,
        I understand your reticense and your motives. My suggestion was not that a video would in any way convey the essence of what it means to attend EVCCON. Having attended last year, I understand what you are describing.
        I look forward to attending future EVCCON events.


  10. Anne Kloppenborg

    ging fast in a boot does require lots of juice, but then you don’t need to cool your motor longer then you charge lasts..for us it seems this is almost 20 min @ 50kph and maybe 45 min @35..
    BIG advantage of a boot is that out of all vehicles (planes, trains & automobiles) it is the Only one that spends lots of time at 5 – 10 kph. our cells last for 2 Days of continuous canal cruising 🙂 So short range racer, long range cruiser.

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