Dyslexics – UNTIE!

We’re getting a bit sloppy around here. Part of it is reality intervention in our normal reality distortion field. Last week everything we touched turned to a mess. And I’m struggling here. The Ford Edge battery pack we just reconfigured we rather didn’t bottom balance. This is kind of
interesting in that we have 28 90AH cells now in series with 74 100Ah cells – not good from the get go conceptually. But it was a lot of work to attempt a bottom balance as well. We drove teh vehicle a bit too far, very short range anyway. And we have lost a couple of cells irretrievably.

That’s not TOO much of a disaster. Recall we had to cut our pack by a couple of cells to get down to the 342 volts that the Soliton would allow anyway. So we have replacements right in the box. But it kind of drives home the point of bottom balancing. So we are going to have to perform this.

With the cells all fully enclosed in battery boxes, it is kind of interesting in making the discovery before there was further damage. We don’t have a cell level BMS of course for infamous reasons. So this serves as an interesting illustration of failure discovery. It’s just not that hard.

Even with little experience with this new pack configuration, we had charged it several times to set the charge level to 366 volts on the Manzanita Charger. WIth 102 cells this works out to about 3.6v per cell. High by CALB standards, recall these are very old Thundersky cells gleaned from the upgrade of the original Speedster from Thundersky 100Ah cells to CALB SE180AH cells. So we charge them to 3.6v x the number of cells or 367.2 volts. Actually we set the Manzanita for 366 volts. Close enough for government work and erring on the undercharge side.

After charging, these cells typically return to an open circuit voltage of 3.34v per cell – a pack voltage of 341 volts. And so if you plug in at night, by the next morning you typically see 341v. One morning I saw 331 volts instead. This is all the indication in the world. You don’t just ignore it. Things happen for a reason. If you normally get 341 volts, you should ALWAYS get 341 volts. I recharged the car on the off chance that it just had not fully charged for some reason. A few hours later, we were back to 331. Not good.

Drove the car up to the shop and began disassembly. We found 3 cells in the main pack at less than a volt. Two of them were pretty much 0 v. We put a charger on them to see if we could get them back. No dice.

The failure mode here comes from cell reversal – the other cells driving current through a fully discharged cell. I’ve never found a way to bring one back. If the cell is simply low, you can put a low level 5Amp charge on it and the voltage will slowly climb. If it is a fatality, it will climb up to about a volt and a half, and then it reverses and begins to fall again – even while putting current. if the reversal is clear, disconnect the charge. It is a goner.

So we replaced two cells and nursed one back to life.

So why the failure. Well first we are mixing and matching cells and in this case of this not very valued vehicle, mixing and matching even cell capacities. Don’t try this at home. In a series string you obviously want all cells to be as nearly the SAME capacity as possible. But in the case of the FOrd Edge, we’re kind of junking around anyway. But in this case, for obvious reasons bottom balancing becomes critical. You do want your 90Ah cells to reach full discharge at the same time as your 100Ah cells. And so bottom balancing is the only way to really do that. We rather failed to attempt it. Yes, it’s a lot of work. BUt it just has to be. So we are working at it at the moment.

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The Cadillac Escalade is another story. We blew up our whole house tankless water heater. The element simply failed for unknown reasons leaving us without heat. We have a solution I’m quite pleased with. More on THAT next week. But we developed a pronounced stutter at 2950 rpm in the cold. If it was above 65 degrees, the thing ran smooth as glass. At 45 degrees F, anytime we hit exactly 2950 rpm, it bucked a bit. I played with our Mass Air Flow sensor simulator and even swapped it out several times with an improved model Ed Clausen had built me. Oddly mine worked a iittle better, but still had the stutter.

As it seemed to be temperature dependent, I decided it must be the IAT – intake air temperature probe. We had retained this from the origianl MAF sensor so the ECU would have an ambient temperature. The only other temperature input it has is the Engine Coolant Temperature. This is mounted
on the front motor and gives us a temperature indication on the instrument panel when we reach a hot motor situation. I had kind of ruled this out for a couple of reasons. First, in these temperatures, we are not really getting a hot temperature on the motor. But it does warm from operation, and if it was the ECT input, the stutter at 2950 rpm would improve during continued operation. It does not. So I replaced the IAT with a simple 20 turn trim pot of 5 ohms. And adjusted for a temperature of 80F.

No change to the problem.

Recall that we do have an rpm sensor that uses the original engine reluctor ring. This ring is normally mounted on the drive shaft INTERNAL to the engine. A small plastic sensor plugs into a socket in the engine block. What is amazing about this is that this sensor has to be EXTREMELY close
to the reluctor ring to pick up RPM. ANd of course the signal is a little bizarre. 58 teeth with a single gap in the teeth give us 58 pulses and blank pulse for RPM.

We had mounted this ring to the FRONT of the assembly on a pulley used to drive the air conditioning compressor and power steering/brake pump. So we had the sensor mounted on a thin aluminum tab. We could bend this tab a bit to align it but it was very tricky.

After a couple of glasses of whiskey, I decided this must be the culprit. It’s kind of hard to reach with all the front end on the truck now. But I reached up and tweaked it a bit. The truck then quit idling or even running really. It was just a jerky mess trying to run it at all.

And so we embarked on a mission to see how many times we could raise and lower the Escalade at 7777 lbs up and down on the lift. Adjusting the tab, and then lowering the truck and trying to start it and idle smoothly. Then raise the truck and adjust it again. This went on for some time.

We finally got it smoothed out. And on test drive – we have a stutter at 2950 rpm. Worse, after driving it a bit, the sensor slipped again. SO we are going to have to re-engineer a mounting system for the sensor – with very limited access this time.

Meanwhile, we received two kind of special motors from Netgain. Technically, these were custom motors I ordered last November. They’ve been awhile in coming. They have all the new features of the latest run of Warp 11 motors. BUt they have some additional tweaks. Most obviously an EVTV green powdercoat paint job. But more importantly, a 1.375 32 spline shaft.

This is the normal output shaft of the Transwarp 11. But in this case, they made us a Transwarp with the 1.375 splined shaft going all the way through. And they made us a second motor with a 1.375 splined output shaft, and 1.125 keyed aux shaft for accessories.

The concept always was to use Wayne Alexander’s billet aluminum adapter to mate two motors siamese fashion. This is SIMILAR to what we have in the Escalade. Not precisely the same. But we waited six and a half months for a motor Jim Husted had promised in six weeks. It actually marries two motors somewhat more closely and with an end designed for a GM flex plate. He even removed the internal fans to reduce the overall length.

But using Wayne’s adapter, we could marry these two motors together. We bought a standard Dana Spicer yoke off of eBay and sawed off the Yoke part to a length just shorter than the adapter. In this way, we could mate the two shafts with about a 4.5 inch coupling of 32 spline material. This would make a very stroung coupling that would be very removable as well.

Richard and I embarked on an assembly procedure that was actually quite comical. We did everything we could think of to get these two motors to got together over the course of about two hours. I finally put a caliper on the motor shafts. One shaft was very nearly 3 inches long and the other about 2.6 inches. That’s 5.6 inches. Unfortunately, the adapter is 4.85 inches long. We had spent a couple of hours trying to get about 0.75 inches of 1.375 splined shaft to occupy the same space at the same time. Hard work even for a couple of hefties.

As the entire project was based on this premise from the beginning, I don’t really understand why the shafts weren’t cut to proper length at Warfield. But according to George, it was no problem. I just had to cut off the shaft ends and it would be fine.

So we did.

And at that we installed our Garret Turbochargers repurposed to be auxilliary cooling fans. Netgain actually provides replacement “shrouds” for their Warp 9 motors and I had happened to notice that the outlets of these Garrett’s that have been redone with electric motors to serve as an electric supercharger, would fit right over the round port on those shrouds. So we made similar shrouds for the 11 inch mmotors on the Escalade out of aluminum. Netgain liked the idea well enough that George’s son Hunter had engineered similar shrouds for their Netgain 11 series. They come in two pieces, and we ordered 10 sets as we offer them now with the Garret blowers we call the BlowMe. We pulled a couple of sets and attempted to mount the blowers.

Unfortunately, Hunter’s design winds up with the blowers mounted at a very odd angle mostly DOWN below the motors. I cannot really picture a motor mount scenario for a Netgain 11 where this would work at all. We called this to George’s attention and again there wasn’t much of an explanation beyond Hunter had consulted with a shop that does conversions and that’s how they thought it should work.

So we had to hack up a couple of sets of these. They weren’t simply reversible. In order to get the Blow Me’s and the motor terminals to be more or less “up” on this motor assembly. You can see the result HERE IN THE ONLINE STORE.

I suspect demand for such a device to be a little thin. It’s a bit longer than most of the cars you guys are building and weighs over 400 lbs. But for some racing or larger vehicle applications, it offers a lot of power. If it doesn’t sell, I’ve kind of got plans for a 2014 Ford F150 project. But the important part is that it is in stock. No six month delay. No six week delay. We can ship it tomorrow morning. It would drive a pretty good size boat for that matter.

We also continued work on the test bench. We have our battery pack assembled, a 12v DC-DC converter, and both a disconnect switch and an emergency slap switch. Using Collin Kidder’s software and some coaching from Ed Clausen, we managed to get the DMOC645 and Siemens 1PV5135 motor to spin for the first time using the RechargeCar MACCHINA as a controller. This was kind of a big deal for me as we had no way to control this setup. It kind of proves you CAN develop a CANbus controller to drive the DMOC645 and hence the motor. At this point, much further development is called for, but the basic premise is kind of a done thing.

We did not really intend to be in product development. But this may well be worthwhile. This motor will do 297 Nm or 221 ft-lbs at 300v and 400 amps – 120kW which is just about what the DMOC645 will do. It’s a liquid cooled package in AC induction format and gives you regenerative braking and the advantages of lower maintenance – no brushes to deal with. At $5000, we think it’s a breakthrough for DIY EV builds. That’s about the price of a Soliton1 and Netgain Warp9. Actually, we set that price to BE about the price of a SOliton1 and Warp9.

If we sell enough of them, I’m pretty confident we can get an unlimited number of these motors from Siemens. There should be additional DMOC’s come to us through salvage from decommissioned trucks. And we’re working hard on some other realistically priced controllers from Scott Drive and Rinehart.The key is to to establish tje fact that there IS indeed a DIY market for these devices and that they can be SUPPORTED in kind of a crowd source fashion so that the developers don’t have to walk each person through the basics over the phone. We hope to accomplish this with documentation and user forums where we can share information.

If you want OEM quality components, this is the path. We have talked with developers with promising products for four years now. The mantra is always the same. We only sell to OEMs. Why do you only sell to OEMs? (I happen to know why they DON’T want to and now A123, Enerdel, and Siemens know this as well). But it is very simple. If they think they can sell 100 of them and have to provide 40 hours of product support, that’s cool. If they only sell one of them and have to provide 40 hours of product support, that isn’t cool. Hopefully, along the way they can persuade an OEM
noto to do something stupid with their product and wind up in the New York Times with a disaster. They do not have this control with you.

The reality of marketing in developing technical areas is you cannot predict the winners and losers. We now know, and the previous shareholders painfully so, that General Motors can indeed go bankrupt, and lacking an $80 billion handout from us, leave ALL their suppliers holding a lot of bad debt and unused parts. We also know that a 14 year old can dig a golf cart out of a junkyard and restore it to operation. If he’s lucky, he winds up as the Chief Technical Officer at Tesla Motors – JB Straubel. I would strongly advise all vendors to note that selling to the 14 year old, might long term be in their best interest. And a contract with General Motors, or Fisker, or Azure Dynamics, Coda, Think, Aptera, et al is not necessarily a guarantee of success. I learned this on the INternet. The three happy yokels who founded Cisco Systems would not likely find a good reception from Siemens. Nor the Yahoo or Google founders. Steve Jobs of course would have convinced them he WAS a major OEM, standing dead broke and with no furniture.

Our strategy is pretty simple. IF we can form a nexus, a kind of buyers coop, that focuses the buying power of the DIY community into one identifiable entity they can deal with, with some indication of at least modest sales, and we can get YOU to support each other in ways that limit their product support costs, we can gain access to these components ongoing. We have to have a nexus they can sell to in promising quantities, and a way to limit their product support costs. We do now have a relationship with both Borg Warner on the eGearDrive and Siemens USA on these motors to provide product ongoing. I’m working on Rinehart and Scott Drive to add these inverters to the line. And with GEVCU and stallions like Ed Clausen and Collin Kidder, i hope to get us set for a cornucopia of very reasonably priced salvage parts from Nissan Leaf’s Tesla Motors, Toyoto Prius, and Chevy Volts that will rather inevitably become available in the future. With just a little bit of cooperation, we can form an entity where we can deal with all of that and vastly improve the tools available to DIY conversion builds of the future.

Jack Rickard

70 thoughts on “Dyslexics – UNTIE!”

  1. Jack and Richard,

    A comment if I may. You don’t know how reassuring it is to see you two go through the same perils and frustration we have. All to common in the media you see “how to” video’s of quick cut shots that are spliced together to make a task seem seamless, it rarely is. I give you two a lot of credit for being real word about working on things. What you see is what you get. It’s not the moments of triumph but rather the fight to get there that I appreciate greatly. In fact, the quickest was to bother me is if someone DOESN’T explain the difficulties involved!

    All the best,
    Aaron Lephart

  2. NYT article…

    I would like to believe that Mr. Broder did not write his story with negative intent, but it’s hard to believe there wasn’t, at least a little bit of intent, when you read over his response to the logs Elon provided. This makes one question all aspects of his report.

    For example: He says, when the logs showed him doing around 54, “I recall driving about 45 M.P.H., but it may be the result of the car being delivered with 19-inch wheels and all-season tires”. Although he is correct that different sized tires (If not calibrated) would affect the accuracy of the displayed speed, but unless Tesla’s recording in the logs for speed are calculated by satellite (Which I can’t imagine, because I don’t believe they would be as accurate as other means already built into the car.) or by some other means independent of the speedometer, wouldn’t the display in the dash match that of the logs? I assume the display and the logs are both shown and record by the same signals/sensors? If true then there is no way the logs would have shown one speed while he was reading another on the dash.

    In regards to the temperature, and the logs showing it being set a lot higher than he reported (The car turning “off” the heat, feet freezing and white knuckles), unless the graph cut off temperatures lower than 64 degrees, he never had it set lower than 64 degrees, nor did the car ever turn the heater “off”. 64 degrees is neither a freezing or white knuckling temperature by any means.

    At around 250 miles the logs show the CTS (Cabin Temperature Setpoint) setting did drop, that is about where he said “the car informed me it was shutting off the heater”. But again, unless the logs are just cutting off at around 64 degrees, I would not consider 64 degrees being “off”. And maybe the graphs are not entirely consistent between one another, but if they are, then it seems fairly strange that the car would choose to shut “off” the heater at around 250 miles traveled, and then turn it on again roughly 40 miles later at around 290 miles. Roughly about 15-20 miles before the logs show it was recharged after around 310 miles traveled.
    Another oddity is that at around 10 miles of estimated range (around 20 miles outside of Milford.) he says “the car informed me it was shutting off the heater”. If that is true then the next day when he claims the “car made good on its threat” to shut its self down, why didn’t it also turn “off” the heater again? If it shuts down the heater with around 10 miles of charge remaining on the first day, I would certainly think it would shut it off again on the 2nd day with an estimated range of 0 miles remaining. At that time it looks like the temperature, again, went lower, but this time to only around 66 degrees. That is certainly not “off”. On the first day the CTS never drop as low as it did on the 2nd day when the RRR (Rated Range Remaining) fell to zero. Why wouldn’t it drop as low if on the previous day it automatically turned the heat off with RRR still showing miles available. Looks to me that he was turning the CTS lower in an attempt to save energy, but never did the car automatically turn it “off” as he claims. There is a big difference between a CTS of 64-66 and OFF.

    It’s inconsistencies in his story like these, not to mention others, which make me question his entire article, as well as his motives and integrity.

      1. After watching the 787 battery debacle, I’ve come to the conclusion that reporters are idiots. I watched one reporter do a report and she obviously had no idea that there is more than 1 chemistry of lithium ion battery. She implied that all Li-ion batteries were dangerous. They do not do sufficient research to even ask an intelligent question like “Have you considered using a different battery like lithium iron phosphate?”

    1. Lots of stuff about this. Here is a 33 second video to the Supercharger Broder couldn’t find.
      http://youtu.be/-3fO_OHpyYw

      Broder has a right to his opinion. The facts belong to Elon.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/files/2013/02/broder.jpg

      Broder whined about the fancy tyres on the car affecting numbers (which would of reversed his complaint.)
      The Tesla website shows the “19” – inch standard wheel has:
      Goodyear Eagle RS-A2 245/45R19 tyres. The optional “21”-inch wheel has Continental Extreme Contact DW 245/35R21 tyres.
      19 inch wheels + 4.34inch(top sidewall) + 4.34inch(bottom sidewall) = 27.68
      21 inch wheels + 3.38inch(top sidewall) + 3.38inch(bottom sidewall) = 27.76
      27.76/27.68 = 1.00289.
      Total difference = .00289 * 100 = 0.289% in reported tyre diameter.

      Cars don’t “run out of gas”. People do.
      Since then, Teslas have done this trip at least half a dozen times; including a snowstorm… No problems. Broder is an arse. NYT are supporting him. Proving they are knob heads.
      People, take your money and advertising elsewhere.

        1. Apart from technical issues and obvious lies there are some interesting points in Broder’s self-defence post.
          That points are connected to the lack of understanding how electric car should be used.
          Examples:
          – “alternately slow down and speed up to take advantage of regenerative braking” – advice reportedly coming from Tesla contact center ??? It’s like earning money by buying unnecessary stuff counting on cashback.
          – “They told me that the loss of battery power when parked overnight could be restored by properly “conditioning” the battery, a half-hour process, which I undertook by sitting in the car with the heat on low, as they instructed.” – that process could change the meter reading but how could it add more energy to the battery??
          – The fact that Broder didn’t try to plug his Tesla during hotel stay. I think “when I’m sleeping my car is connected” should be a mantra to all EV owners. Tesla was struggling in single-digit temperature, depleting its battery while heating the battery.

          How long does it take to learn tens of millions of drivers some simple truths? Many years IMO.

          1. “They told me that the loss of battery power when parked overnight could be restored by properly “conditioning” the battery,…”
            They told Broder to warm and condition the pack.. They must of thought the witless sod had it connected to the supply!
            .
            Not only over his first night before driving off he did not bother to plug in the car, he also had to face driving off in a cold one… For no other reason than the man wanted to make an idiot of himself.
            .
            Six Tesla model S owners had no issues. One in a snowstorm! CNN had no problems doing it. Video here:-
            http://money.cnn.com/video/pf/2013/02/15/w-tesla-model-s-test-drive-dc-boston.cnnmoney
            Broder doesn’t have an barrel to stand on.

  3. Interesting show again – watching it is always one of the high points of the week. Many thanks guys. I’m looking forward to the piece on heaters next week as I’m also attempting to roll my own rather than but a finished unit

  4. Thanks for another good show. You know that reporter really disappoints me, but that is exactly why i watch programs like EVTV rather than the daily national news. And thanks for showing the daily tribulations of assembling the components in the shop like the big green pickle. I wonder if the big green pickle setup would fit into a 1986 IROC Camaro ? 🙂

  5. If the big green pickle setup will fit into a 1986 IROC, that would be a great showpiece for the Street Machine Nationals at Du Quoin in June!
    Here is a favorite clip of mine from you tube, its a 1969 Camaro. I know you will turn your nose up because this car has the ICE. Please look past that and admire the workmanship on the car. Most of us car-guys really would never want own one of these, its all about the ‘wow’ factor for us.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3EaCnDCsslM
    And honestly, I think the Jack’s Escalade could have the same appeal !

  6. Seems like Bob Lutz has come around to your side of the coin and shares your view. They should have built an EV Escalade.

    “If I had my time again at GM then I would have started with the Cadillac Escalade for the range-extender technology, and brought the Volt in later. The more gas-guzzling the vehicle, the more economic sense of electrifying it. ”

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/detroit-motor-show-2013/electric-tech-small-cars-nonsensical

    Perhaps you can contact Bob and arrange for a test drive of your car. It would create some news for sure. Bob loves getting press (good and bad) and it would certainly lift the profile of our EV conversion movement.

  7. Your plan is likely a good one and the only way in which these vendors will deal with us small timers. I’ve experienced this myself many times. I’m not exactly dumb or totally green when it comes to electric cars but I still can’t convince the likes of Siemens or LG Chem to sell me anything. LG Chem is a really interesting story. They’ve got a battery plant about 30 miles away from me. It cost $150 million dollars which they, of course, apparently borrowed from the government.They have yet to produce a battery. Instead employees sit around twiddling their thumbs. They say that there just isn’t a market for batteries like they thought there’d be. You could have fooled me. I begged to buy batteries from them. I could drive to their facility and pick them up. I’d help sell them to other DIY people. I want to buy batteries. They won’t sell batteries. It’s the stupidest thing. Here is a local story about how bad it is: http://hollandzeeland.wzzm13.com/news/news/77104-feds-no-product-show-150m-lg-chem-grants

          1. It looks VERY very good Jeff. Very professional.

            Ours is lagging a bit. I got a new transaxle but the drive shafts do not fit. They are like 4 inch couplers and the transmission I got is like 3.75 inch hole pattern. What am I doing wrong. And where do I go to for new shafts and boots?

            Jack Rickard

          2. Jeff,
            Your conversion looks great!! At the end of your blog you discuss cooling the controller. What operating temperature do you feel is appropriate for the Curtis controller?

            Regards,
            Larry

          3. Jack I got my drive shafts and new CV joints from TheThingshop.com. However, I had them build me a 3:44 Thing transmission. As you found out that Thing has a unique transaxle and drive shafts . Also be very careful with the CV joints as they are thicker and allow for a sharper drive angle. The ones from a beetle or buss will work but wear out very quickly.

            I suspect that you may need special flanges to work with the transmission. I can probably machine you a set….

            Larry, by my calculation (more of a guess) I want to keep the temp of the plate in the controller to under 140 F. I have a thermocouple attached to the heat sink. I will turn the fan on at 100F from my little PLC controller.

    1. I’ve seen CD burners create amazing pictures on the disc itself and wondered how good they could be at etching a pair of tracks for capacitance. More than that, how thin can they become?
      Not sure if 1sq.inch running 0.02W for a minute breaks any records though.

  8. Hi Jack: I know that your aware of the problem I had with one of my GBS Cells. Discovered it swollen and reading 125.4 mV. I thought it read 125.4 v and had kind of freeked out. After getting the BMS sense board off, it climbed to 321.9 mV. I was advise by the manufacturer rep to try to restore it being sure it was banded up. I have done that and so far the battery seems to have come back from the dead. I’m really really glad I had previously followed your advice and did a full bottom balance on each cell around Christmas time. It may have save my ass on this cell. I have to figure out for sure the issue with the sense board though. Another great show. love seeing the progress on the motor/controler combo. By the way the Seimens manual gives me the impression it would be a good idea to manually rotate the motor every so often while in storage so as not to have to replace berrings

    1. You can’t fix it by banding it. It still has gas in the cell. Just now compressed. Check the capacity before returning it to service. If the capacity is still the same as the others then I’d say your good to go. If not you will need to replace it.

      1. Hey Peter,
        Have you tried to freeze and bandied a swollen cell to see if the evaporated fluid will return to liquid and normality?
        Just a thought because I’ve no idea.

  9. Sounds like the fix the electric power adoption for autos if a person can fully recharge in just a few minutes. If it is possible though, think of the charger load to put between 30kw and 85kw into a car quickly. Wow!

  10. I agree with you. Today, for about 9 hours i completely cycled the offending cell using the revoletrix multi-charger unit that Jack sells and as of now it charges and discharges the correct 60amh readings and is also holding a 3.362v reading. Just hoping now that there will not be diminished life.

  11. Hi Jack, Richard and everyone else.

    I have read what I think is an interesting article about cold and hot weather testing of range in a Nissan Leaf, done by Argonne National Laboratory:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6759/tesla-model-s-effects-of-temperature-on-ev-efficiency-and-range

    I would really like to hear you thoughts on this Jack, maybe this could be something for the friday show, maybe today? 🙂

    The new model year Leaf should have a more efficient heater build form heatpump tech, it supposedly halves the energy used for heating, but if the real problem is the cooling of the batteries, then that will not do much.

    It is a three page article, and I think there are some links to the research data, and other presentations from Argonne in the article, but I have not followed them so…

    Thanks,
    Carsten

    1. Hi Carsten. Speaking theoretically – because it depends if its engineered in appropriately. A standard Carnot cycle heat pump can work either way if the motor is reversed.
      Who can say what they have done until we know. 😉

  12. Interesting business idea and video Ken. After watching it did some youtube surfing and came across this video of a bus using a pentograph at the end of it’s route for a mega quick 5/10 minute charge top up before starting its route again. Definately inspirational, especially the bit from their CEO who says that passengers wait for the electric bus in preference to the diesel ones on that route.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wieMbgEFto

  13. Hi all.

    I hate asking this on the blog but dont know a better place to ask. I been having problems viewing evtv shows of late, and I cant seem to find a solution.
    This recent video would not load in hd at all, it comes up with hd off and loads ok that way. I have also noted on some video’s in the past when running in hd mode that the video would play, and then somewhere in the middle it would suddenly turn green, the progress bar would speed up, and the audio would produce some garbled sounds. I could go back to the progress bar to review previously played segment, but it would do it again same spot.

    I’m running Win7 -64bit, and nothing unusual in my system, and never had any problems viewing any other videos. and been with evtv since the beginning, I have also tried viewing it on my wifes XP machine and this last show also does not load in hd.

    Would apreciate any help.

    Roy

      1. Does anyone have any experience using heat pumps for cabin heat? I’d like to re-use the original heater in my Civic and heating water quickly takes a lot of watts (my first experiments using a mere 2.1 kW produced barely perceptible warming of flowing water)

        1. John,

          Hello again. I am converting a Civic Del Sol to electric. Although I have thought about recirculating the coolant through the heater core as a means of heating the cabin, its really senseless. The amount of time it take to heat the fluid and the volume required to keep it warm enough negate the benefits. I would highly recommend using a cheap PFC heater found at WALMART or SAMS (not sure what they have in the UK) and a contactor for heat. Jack sells a complete setup ready to go.

          John I enjoy reading your book I got at EVCCON!

          All the best,
          Aaron Lephart

          1. Thanks Aaron: it’s mostly to keep the OEM features like individual front occupant heating and combined heat/air con for defrosting. I may still take your suggestion and cut and run to an air heater! And thank you for the kind comment on the book

        2. I rather gather that you all are going to enjoy today’s show. Cadillac Heating issues. In a modern car with environmentals hot water heat is of course the way to go. It IS expensive both in terms of hardware and energy. That expense on both sides becomes easy to pay as the temperature gets down around 20F.

          2 kw just isn’t enough. I’m doing about 3600 watts in the Cadillac and have already made up my mind to do some heating element replacemnts to get that up to 5000w. For most vehicles, about 4000 watts is ideal.

          Jack Rickard

          1. Looking forward to the show hugely. I just ordered a water heating element that does 12 kW at 240 volts AC . I’m hoping it will work with 120 DC to produce up to 6 Kw. I may just end up with either no heat or a puddle of molten metal but it only cost £15

          2. Jack,

            A little pipe insulation around the heating chamber might go a long way to getting it up to temp faster. That housing looks like it would transfer heat to the air pretty well…

    1. Roy, you could try downloading it first before you play it. I have no idea about your codec set but I suggest VLC media player.. It is derived from Linux, is open source so safer and plays just about everything well under the Sun.
      If all fails, search in Youtube for “marion rickard” … My first port of call because it saves Jack money 😉
      .
      Chris,
      Can’t be a fault on your side can it? I’ve had downloads that needed skipping forward a bit at times. I blamed it to being an early downloader off the EU servers.

      1. Andyj,

        It is all the Amazon Cloudfront system. If a person is the first one to download the file then they might experience some issues while the system localizes the file to their region but beyond that I am not sure what it could be. If it is specifically with the HD file and not the SD file then the first thing that comes to mind is the file size and bandwidth of the person downloading the file.

        Honestly the overall performance shouldn’t vary that much around the world. I only set the system up for streaming and haven’t investigated anything further that might turn performance beyond that. I can add that to my list 😉

        Roy,

        I fixed the e-mail issues so you can e-mail me again if you so chose 🙂

        c.fisher@projectooc.com

        Chris

  14. Let me explain about the use of a heatpump in a vehicle…..

    Heatpumps get heat by reversing the flow of refrigerant in an aircondtioning unit. In a normal ac cooling cycle the refrigerant is pumped to the evaporator through a metering device, this device can be a simple piston device that has a small metering hole, or can be a temperature adjusted device called a TXV. The heat from the interior is now picked up at the evaporator and relased to the outside via a condenser,

    In heat mode the evaporator becomes the condenser and the condenser becomes the evaporator, picking up heat from the outside and releasing it in to the interior. This path also needs to be metered and has a metering device at the condenser, for it now is an evaporator. Since the gas flow is now reversed, the metering device inside is bypassed by either a piston sliding aside, or a valve mechanism blocking with a bypass path around it.

    Also in heatpump mode, the outside coil will frost up in time and needs to be defrosted. The defrost is acomplished by putting the unit in normal cooling mode, picking up heat from the interior and using such heat to defrost the coil. In home heatpump units an electric heat element is activated at defrost time, to offset the cold air from chilling the interior.

    So, if one would want to use such a system in an automobile, you will need a reversing valve to change the refrigerant flow, metering devices that can bypass the refrigerant depending in which mode of operation, and a way to defrost the exterior coil.

    Roy

    1. Sorry Roy,
      It’s easy to get muddled 😉 The the fluid is pumped from the evaporator, absorbing heat, producing the cold side. The pumped fluid goes into the condenser under pressure pushing heat out. The control device on most modern units is merely an adjustable tap to vary the pressure difference.
      .
      Yes, home units can use a heat source as a pump to drive the cooler/heater. The main advantage is silence and the complete removal of the heat source for home heating but cooling creates an additive heat output.
      .
      It’s all theoretical until we get a ganders how the Renault/Nissan system is implemented. Personally, I despise such unreliable units in vehicles.

      1. Andyj.

        The only thing that seems to be muddles is your post. Not sure what the post is even about its so wrong, I have no clue what you mean by “an adjustable tap to vary the pressure difference”. First of all no fluids are pumped from the evaporator, whats is in the evaporator is evaporated fluid (gas), thats why its called an evaporator.

        The only reason I even wrote the post was to give some of those who think that turning an automotive ac unit in to a heatpump, was a bit more complicated, and explained the parts involved to do that, if those parts were even available.

        And btw I do this for a living, its my profession, my business.

        Roy

        1. Roy,
          Sorry, you are right. I got muddled. I must have the condenser and evaporator crossed over. The condenser is hot, under pressure from the pump. Where the gas becomes a fluid when the heat is let out. 😉
          .
          The TXV (Thermostatically controlled Valve… A tap to maintain the pressure difference according to temperature..
          .
          A fancy super efficient system will use a smaller pump to act as a motor in line with the main pump to reduce motor load for a given heat exchange. But this is nearer to the Carnot cycle ideal, which is mostly theory for ordinary consumable items.

  15. On the new eGearDrive-compatible transaxles, how do they stay coupled to the eGearDrive? When Richard connected the example, it just seemed to connect, no force required – how then do you remove it? Thanks for finding these, I am looking forward to seeing your first conversion with the AZD quadruplets!

      1. On the contrary, I think Richard shows exactly how easily it goes together! 🙂
        In one episode, you commented that a Speedster (perhaps Nippon?) was not a candidate for an eGearDrive – why not?
        Would an eGearDrive work in a VW bug chassis?

  16. Jack,

    Back in 2007 I installed a MES-DEA RM 4 in my Ranger conversion. It has been heating my cab ever since. This device was about $800 at the time but now can be purchased for about $450 from a variety of sites (http://evolveelectrics.com/Climate%20Control.html). It has a 4000w heater, integrated pump, high voltage contactor (100v to 400v), 12 volt relay/switch, and thermostat and a built in reservoir. Even if it took 2 of these it seems to me as if this would be a simpler and less expensive solution to the problem.
    Any thoughts or experience with this device different from mine?

    James Edmonson

  17. Jack,
    I was surprised you didn’t provide some means to preheat the environmental system from your charging source. I know you have a 240 line running from the back of the truck to the charger. I would think two additional contactors would accomplish this, one that opens the high voltage DC whenever plugged in, a second that detects the grid and provides 220 volts AC to the heaters and turns on the pump.

    Thanks,

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