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Old 06-11-2008, 11:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EV Plans (Might end up being dreams *shrug*)

Ok, so with a wedding, honeymoon and hopefully house on the horizon within the next 2 years this may or may not be something that happens anytime soon but I had some ideas for an EV I'd like to share/get critiqued.

First question, anybody live in the city without a garage/driveway to work on their vehicle? Where do you do your work? I go up the hill to my former colleges parking lot and tinker in there but they might get tired of that eventually.

Ideas!

1. Follow basic principles of EV (light as possible, small hp 48v motor)
2. Complete all possible aero mods that will not add significant weight (smooth front bumper, underpan, wheel skirts, mirror delete etc.)
3. Figure battery bank size.
4. install solar panels on any flat surface available (roof, hood) for charging batteries while working 8ish hours. I understand this will not do the full trick but the calcs on how much juice is used and how much sunlight you need to recharge can be done later.
5. Take a small ICE possibly from a small push mower attach it to an alternator add gear ratio as necessary now you have a small gas generator for emergency use. For situations such as had to stop on the way to work for something and won't have enough juice to get home.
6. Figure at regenerative breaking setup.

I was thinking something in the range of 60 miles on a charge, I would want roundtrip to work and back distance while using the solar as a little insurance and the generator as a lot of extra insurance for desperate situations.

What does everyone think?

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Old 06-11-2008, 11:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am a rookie so i can't post any helpful information, but i must complement you on the interesting hybrid of solar, batt and ICE. If you start a build thread then i will follow it intently.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you use a small Permanent magnet motor (like an Etek or the new replacements) like I am doing on my motorcycle regen is pretty easy with the right controller. I'm looking at getting 19kW peak with my 72V conversion. Google kelly controllers for more info, my motor controller, contactor, two throttles and a DC-DC converter were $1450 all up. Then its just 72V worth of batteries and a charger basically.

Solar panels are pretty expensive and might extend the range a little bit ~10% or so. If you leave it in the sun to charge while at work it will do better. I don't know how much power you will get out of a single alternator... if you are doing 48V then you could string 4 together pretty easy without having to rewire them and hook them to the individual batteries.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Excellent! Thanks for the advice, I am doing some research right now on batteries and run time, I did a 10hp motor which ends up being 7.5kw at 48v which is 156amps. Tell me if I'm doing this wrong as I'm rusty on my power math but that would mean if I had a battery setup (48v) rated at 156amp-hours I would get 1 hours worth of life out of my motor before running out of juice?

Another question can solar panels be placed in series? 12->12->12->12 = 48v or does that cause problems with solar? if placing them in series would work 8-14watt panels would put two 4 panels sets in parallel creating a 9.333 amp charger and if it's 9.3333 amps it would be putting 9.333amp-hours back into the batteries after 8hours you would be approximately 50% charge. That's all pending my googling and what little I remember from college holds true.

That being said if any of the above is true it would be a miracle but I believe you could get enough solar on the car to increase the range by 50% of just pure batteries.

With the addition of a lightweight small ICE you would have a vehicle that was limitless if you stopped to let it charge :-).

Also, I was guessing a 10hp motor would be sufficient for in-town speeds 40mph or so, what specs would be used to size a motor, say the weight of the vehicle was 2000lbs (907kgs) how would a 8hp, 10hp, etc move that amount of weight? (I'm a little more electrical then mechanical).
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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this link: http://www.partsonsale.com/learnwiring.htm
shows solar panels wired in a variety of ways. It looks alright to
wire solar panels in series, but it may also depend on the individual
brand and construction of the solar panels.
(don't some contain capacitors and such?)
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've written a wiki article about sizing your battery pack here, If i remember correctly I think the forkenswift gets about 200Wh/mile. I would go for as high a voltage as you can afford, higher voltage means less amps, higher efficiency, more power and higher top speed. I am sure Darin can testify as to the performance of a 48V motor, it might meet your needs but it doesn't do EV PR much good to have a car that slow. Its a bit more expensive but if you use golf cart parts and voltages you are just going to get a heavy golf cart.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Scour the EVDL.

1.) 60mph won't happen with a 48v motor and a car chassis. If you want that speed, you'll need to be more ambitious.

2.) 156AH in batteries won't equal 156AH in motor performance. Lead acid batteries (the only type you are likely to use) suffer horribly from something called the Peukert Effect. The faster you draw energy, the less energy becomes available.

3.) Motors and controllers aren't 100% efficient. At most, an 80% efficient driveline can only turn 156AH into 125AH of work. Combine this with point 2 and things get depressing.

4.) Solar cells don't ouput in fixed voltages. Their voltages generally vary according to the strength of the sun. Solar cars use MPPT to convert these varying voltages to the system or battery voltage.

5.) At most, you'll be able to shoehorn ~300Wh with the most advanced consumer terrestrial solar cells. It will probably cost ~$2k for low end cells and ~$4-6k for high end models. If your car runs 200Wh/mi, an 8 hour charge time will net 12 miles. In reality it'll be less as 300Wh assumes perfect conditions.

Out of long range, cheap, and reliable, pick two. I don't mean to sound overly negative, but the dreaming stage is termed that for a reason. Many of my wild ideas of been knocked down by reality. An EV is doable, but you have to have a healthy understanding of what you're likely to get in return for your effort.

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Old 06-12-2008, 08:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Haha, I definitely appreciate your honesty and it's exactly what I'm looking for, I am just dreaming up ideas and looking for advice on whether it is useable or not. I am not looking for speed, 45mph would be fine, if that's not possible with a 48v upgrading to a 72 is not a problem again this is all in the dreaming stage no purchases have been made. I would rather plan plan plan and have it work when I do start then to start and try to piece together stuff that won't work and let the project fall apart.

That being said I appreciate the advice, I would be looking to move a small car (probably just a drivers seat and gut everything else) I would like to have 60 miles range (30 miles to work, 30 miles back) even gaining 8-10 miles during the day of solar charging (8 -14 watt solar panels is do-able but they wouldn't be a full 14w all the time). Solar may or may not be feasible I haven't done enough research but it would be nice. What is your opinion on carrying a small "generator" with a gallon or so of gas for emergency charging?

I welcome input you don't have to apologize if it's negative lol, I'd rather be realistic and plan correctly then to be dreaming and have it flop.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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For solar charging of your car you need to look at how many sun hours per day you get, then look at what angle your panels are at and what you are loosing because of that less then ideal angle, the weight they are going to add to the vehicle, the cost, the damage from vibration, minor accidents and the complexity of wiring them in to the body of the car, you would be better off telling your job that you want to install solar there, I have yet to hear of someone who wasn't allowed to plug their car in at work I figure it costs as much as 35 cents for mine to be plugged in for 8 hours so my boss doesn't mind.
Instead of building a generator why not buy one? it often ends up being cheaper, they work better and take up less space.

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