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Old 06-02-2017, 10:50 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Oh yeah it will be a wound armature.
Depends on how many kw you want, I don't know the price but it could be up there.
Looks like weight is going to be a factor. A 23kW generator weighs +300lbs without the engine. I'm estimating that the Honda CBR300 engine weighs around 120lbs. 450lbs would be a bit much in the car or on the tail off the trailer hitch. There's a 20kW motor sold by http://www.goldenmotor.com/ that weighs 39kg and is setup for up to 120V. If I rewound it with thinner wire with about 4 times the windings it should produce 400V and 50A at around 4,500 RPM.

If I go the in-the-car route I think I'd rewind this motor as a 400V generator. If I went with a trailer I'd be better off financially just making it a pusher trailer.

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Originally Posted by Astro View Post
Or if you have a trailer hitch (sounds like you do) then make a small platform/cage/box to bolt onto the trailer hitch to carry the small engine and generator. I think that would make it a bit easier as you wouldn't have to route the exhaust out of the car. Also the motor heat would be dissipated outside the car rather than in it (thinking of summer temperatures). As long as the set up was secure enough, so you don't lose anything on the road or whilst parked unattended.
I've definitely thought about this route. The pros would be what you mentioned plus the ability to easily take it off when not needed and at the same time but have to register it as a trailer. The pro of putting it inside the car is that it would be inconspicuous and would allow me to still hook up a trailer for other purposes. Also inside the car I could hook up the water lines for cabin heat. If I make a trailer I could make the trailer multipurpose with both a range extending engine and space for hauling other things. This could be less noticeable than a trailer hitch mounted engine. Hopefully I'll be able to decide one of these days which route is best for my application.

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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Have you figured out a way to charge while driving?
Or will this be only for when stopped?
Yes. Everything I've researched indicates that if you hook up to the main bus coming out of the traction battery you can do it. One guy hooked up a trailer with a 30kW microturbine engine running a 480V alternator on a trailer hooked directly up to this bus. Another company called Engineer makes a second battery that also hooks up the same way. One guy did a YouTube video of his own DIY extended battery. The only potential problem so far is that you cannot have voltage applied to the buss if the traction battery's contactors open when you turn off the car. A simple fix might be as easy as hooking up contactors to the output of the generator that are operated by the same 12V wire that operates the traction battery contactors. That way when the 400V battery is disconnected all 400V sources will be disconnected.


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Old 06-02-2017, 11:23 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Check your local laws a lot of states don't require towed equipment be registered if it's under a certain size, weight and doesn't obstruct view of the the tow vehicle tail lights.

Maybe if more people do this the OEMs will catch on and start producing vehicles people actuall need instead of vehicles the OEMs want.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:53 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Ok. So I thought I'd do some more armchair engineering today.

I've been looking at motorcycle engines as pushers lately. The Honda CBR300 seems to have about the right amount of power for what I need. If I get a wrecked one for less than $1,000 from an auction that would be ideal. Then to make the trailer. One problem would be getting the power to the wheels. I've found some trike axles on eBay for $1,700. A single wheeled trailer would be cheaper, just attach the front wheel to a trailer hitch on the Leaf. But if done with two wheels the trailer could fulfill two purposes: 1) as a pusher to help extend range and 2) as a way to carry more stuff for those long trips.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:08 PM   #84 (permalink)
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You could get a light duty truck rear axle, a 3rd member, have it shortened by a machine shop.
The total cost would depend a lot on if the axles could be shortened down as far as needed. Some axles have a shank that is thinner than the splines. Most are the same diameter as the splines.
Total coat of machine work should be well under $1,000.

Also last year I bought a 21kw peak, 17.5kw run generator for $1100. Normal retail is around $3,600.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:48 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
You could get a light duty truck rear axle, a 3rd member, have it shortened by a machine shop.
The total cost would depend a lot on if the axles could be shortened down as far as needed. Some axles have a shank that is thinner than the splines. Most are the same diameter as the splines.
Total coat of machine work should be well under $1,000.

Also last year I bought a 21kw peak, 17.5kw run generator for $1100. Normal retail is around $3,600.
Nice ideas!
If I used a truck rear axle I probably wouldn't even go through getting it shortened. But the question would be, how would I get a motorcycle engine with a chain sprocket to work with a driveshaft on a truck differential? It might be possible.

I could use any AC generator as long as I had the money for a battery charger to go along with it since I can't use the Leaf's own battery charger. They are quite expensive. But if I did do that I would have the benefit of being able to charge not only on the road, but charge faster at charging stations. Otherwise I'd have to stop to charge.

Example: Upgrade My Leaf | Upgrade charging system in Your Nissan Leaf and slash 0-80% recharging time down to 90 minutes !

But then again the idea of stopping to charge appeals to me. Recently someone on the MyNissanLeaf forum actually was able to charge a Leaf fairly well from a standard portable generator. But most people seem to have lots of problems with using a standard generator on a Leaf, and no problems with the pure sine wave inverter generators.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:07 PM   #86 (permalink)
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  • A motorcycle with a side mount for the front wheel, and a bar on the car that holds the front fork.
  • Else a Vespa motor scooter with a long hitch at the end of a boat tail.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:47 PM   #87 (permalink)
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The generator will need to have auto voltage regulation, electronic generator frequency control, low total harmonic distortion and neutral ground bond 240v output.

I'm also turning that 17.5kw in an on road trailer since it's too heavy to load on a a trailer every time I want to move it.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:36 PM   #88 (permalink)
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I'm armchair (actually lawn-chair) engineering again. Here's something that turned my head today. There's a CNG station in town that I hadn't noticed before. Say I turned my 1985 VW non-turbo diesel into a pusher trailer for my Leaf and ran CNG fumigation with diesel as the ignitor?

Thoughts???

I understand that CNG has an octane rating of 130(R+M)/2 which is better than propane, so that ought to help keep detonation down with the 23:1 CR. It's also supposedly less noisy. I'd need a big expensive tank I'm guessing. I didn't check the price for CNG, but I'm paying $15 per month in electricity vs. $200 per month when I drove the Astro, so a bit on the expensive side once every month isn't going to kill me. This week I'm borrowing a car to go to Denver.

...My diesel has just been sitting there, waiting for attention. And with a good set of rims with all seasons and another good set of rims with winter tires...

Also, any suggestions on how to do the fumigation? This thing has a weird plenum/air filter unit with individual intake runners going straight from the air filter to the engine. Should I tap a fumigation orifice in each one or design another intake? Obviously adding a turbo would answer a lot but would be more expensive.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:07 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Quote:
and another good set of rims with winter tires...
Any chance those are 4x130mm? Steelies?
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:21 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Any chance those are 4x130mm? Steelies?
I do believe so. I have a total of 10 rims. 6 that are 5-1/2J 13" ET38 with 4 good and 2 fair 175/70/13 all-seasons and 4 that are the narrower 5J 13" ET45 with not studded (wish I had) narrower 155/80/13 winter tires.

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