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Old 04-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #702 (permalink)
EV test pilot
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
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Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
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Ok, time for me to start shooting dumb questions out at you....

My friend Tom converted a Dodge Neon to an AC electric car using a standard insdustrial motor and AC variable frequency drive. (I like to call them freaky drives. It's freaky how they work and that it all works at all!)

His drive happened to be able to take DC as a power source, but it had to be somewhere in the range of close to 300 volts. The ENTIRE CAR is loaded up with 12V lead acid batteries to get to that voltage. (Although the original batteries he used were free, which is what inspired the project in the first place!)

I understand DC pretty well, but AC is still just plain witchcraft to me right now.

What changes the voltage requirements for an AC motor and VFD? I know that the Solectria Force ran on 13 12V batteries, or 156V, and that's AC.

Also, the current popular "mainstream" EV AC motor, the AC-50 runs at a nice low 72-108V.

I would love to build an AC powered car (or maybe a plug-in hybrid....hint...hint.... secret project....) but carrying around 300V of lead seems unreasonable. Even that kind of voltage in Lithium is going to be expensive and is venturing into the range of DC electric dragsters.

How do we use affordable AC motors at reasonable voltages? I've heard of custom winding, but have no idea how to do that, and I would imagine it's rather complicated, requires special equipment, etc.

Can anyone help clear all this up for me?
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