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Old 05-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Well, I feel like the first phase of this project is nearly done!
A few weeks ago I looked at my bank account and realized that I had saved up enough to order the last of the lithium batteries, battery charger, battery management system, LDC screen that plugs in to the battery management systems CPU box and an amp meter shunt, all of the parts are designed to work together and communicate via a CAN BUS network, so as the CPU hub sees a cell or two in the pack reach full charge it can tell the charger to slow the charge rate and the BMS can start bleeding off power from cells that are done charging, the CPU hub can also connect to the half speed pin on the speed controller so if the battery pack gets discharged to low it can put it in a "limp home" mode.

The battery pack is a GBS brand ~48v 100 amp hour pack, the batteries are stamped as being 320 watt hours each because the voltage is really slightly higher then 48v, I bought the rest of the parts from www.ElitePowerSolutions.com and was pretty pleased with them, not a lot of interactions with anyone from the company, but they did double check the specs on my order because I already had some of my batteries so my order looked a little odd, they did charge $25 extra for shipping the lithium batteries but that seems pretty standard and everything showed up looking great!

Next step is to finish designing the battery box, I wanted to wait till I had all my parts before designing a box around them, as it turns out there is space inside the battery box for the charger, so that will be on board and fully enclosed.

I plan to have my electric motorcycle finished and on display at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Custer WI June 21-23rd if anyone would like to check it out in person, I already told Ben Nelson that he can take it for a ride, so I hope he has nice things to say about it!

After I have the bugs worked out of it the plan is to get bids on building a kit to sell.

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Old 05-01-2013, 11:21 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Ive always wondered about this for Jessie James and the other motorcycle builders you see on tv. I can imagine a guy in his garage building something, then getting this problem trying to tag, insure and ride it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I knew one guy who built an electric motorcycle from scratch. He made the frame and EVERYTHING. However, he thus didn't have a VIN, and it would have been a fair amount of work and expense to get it titled and registered. Even then, it wouldn't have a made and model for the insurance company. He ended up simply dismantling it and using the parts in other projects.
Lithium batteries? So much for seeing how you were going to balance 4 deep cycles on the frame.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:28 PM   #83 (permalink)
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I've heard great things about GBS. They are nice because you can buy them as a package deal with matching BMS and charger included.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:08 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
Ive always wondered about this for Jessie James and the other motorcycle builders you see on tv. I can imagine a guy in his garage building something, then getting this problem trying to tag, insure and ride it.
If you have a frame welder certificate then you can sign off and say the frame you built is safe and can provide a point of origin for your motorcycle frame and use that to get a vin number and title that was built from scratch.

Quote:

Lithium batteries? So much for seeing how you were going to balance 4 deep cycles on the frame.
After fitting 6 deep cycle batteries that each weighed 67 pounds in to the frame and ridding that down the road with 400 pounds of batteries I realized that I wanted to skip ahead of my self and ride it with just over 100 pounds of lithium batteries, I also got a great deal on some awesome lithium batteries that were part of a bulk buy.
At some point I still want to try it out with 4 12v deep cycle lead acid batteries, but I don't have any right now so it would be hard to test.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:56 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Getting closer to that finished point so I thought I'd update my costs.

$1,215 for 3/4 of the GBS lithium battery pack.

$1,536 for the last pack ($620) plus battery management boards, CPU, LCD screen, charger, shunt, low voltage cut off board.

$59.14 for shipping from ElitePowerSolutions.com there was a surcharge because of the lithium batteries being a hazard.

$144.08 for a 10amp 48v to 12v SurePower DC to DC converter, there are cheaper options but this one is automotive grade and sealed.

$44.02 for Stainless steel bolts and washers for the lithium batteries (they came with cheap SS bolts with heads that strip out) I ended up paying extra on shipping because I miscounted how many I needed the first order.

I currently have all of the parts spread out and connected on my desk, I've had one small set back, I found one of the cell BMS boards is bad, it's voltage reading is off so it's telling the BMS CPU that the battery is full/over charged, but I have a RMA number so I just have to mail it back, in the mean time I have that board disconnected and the charger on, a separate volt meter on that one cell so I can keep an eye on it while charging.
The cells showed up out of balance so I need to do a full charge and let the BMS balance the cells with their built in restive load, the charger also has a high voltage cut off in case voltage of any one cell gets to high.

I still don't have the battery box built for the lithium batteries but I'm almost done with the design along with an alternate design that is going to be easier to build if the steal fabrication shop doesn't charge me to much for bending steel plate.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:54 PM   #86 (permalink)
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It's together!
I got it all together and went to switch it on and there was a battery error... the battery management system showed a fault and shut everything down, I don't have a lot of time this week but I have it with me to show at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair that is happening in 3 days! the battery fault is an issue with the battery management system and something coming disconnected, I figure I need 2-4 hours to fix it and I have all the tools with me to do so!

I ended up finding someone who was willing to bend the steel to make the battery box for me for free, the steel to build the battery box ended up costing about $35 and another $10 or so in misc steel and $6 in fasteners that I used less then half of, I have battery cable ends on order but nothing has shown up yet so I spent $10 on a coil of soft copper tubing and flattened it to make my own ends, not tinned electrical grade copper but it will work for now.

I also weighed the engine in at 140 pounds, 5.5 gallon gas tank would hold 40 pounds of fuel, coolant and oil would add another 8-10 pounds, exhaust I'm guessing at 30 pounds or more, starter battery guessing at 10 pounds.

So about 230 pounds removed.

I then added 112 pounds of lithium batteries, 35 pounds of motor, 20 pounds of battery box and adapter and about 20 pounds of dc to dc converter, speed controller battery cable, misc wire and so on.

About 187 pounds of electronics added.

Having an empty gas tank makes the bike feel light! all of the weight is very low and to the center, the battery box is 12" wide while the gas engine was around 20" wide.

Everything also fits inside of the battery box, battery management system, speed controller, charger, it all fits inside this box that has sides that bolt on so it's all enclosed and protected, right now I have a plexi glass side on one side so you can see everything, I might try to get some lexan or something durable that can also take the stress, but I did make a steel cover for that side as well.
The only thing that comes out of the battery box is the wiring for the key switch, the throttle, the battery management system display and the 12v power to run the lights, so just a small bundle of wires, then on the side of the battery box there is a 110v AC power inlet with a weather proof cover.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:10 AM   #87 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The cost is high because the steel that is being used is really tough and a carbide cutter had to be used instead of a high speed steel cutter, with that a single cutter can only make two shafts before it wears out, it also takes 3 hours to make each shaft on a CNC machine due to the splines, if the shaft was longer and there was more room to over run the cutter then it could be done differently and quicker.
What if you made the splines longer, over-ran the cutter, and then cut the spline to the proper length?
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:44 AM   #88 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see it this weekend! I'll bring my helmet!
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:57 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What if you made the splines longer, over-ran the cutter, and then cut the spline to the proper length?
The shaft is smooth on the center for 1.5" where bearings seat, I'd need to over run the splines in to where the bearings get pressed on to the center of the shaft, I only have so much room for the bearings, but I suspect I'll end up just pressing bearings on to splines half way and hope that it doesn't screw up the bearing.

Ben, bring that helmet! I don't have any working lights (yet) but I did manage to bypass the low battery safety cut off, seems that the CPU thinks the battery pack has a bad cell, but the total pack voltage is perfect! the CPU has one other issue where it doesn't let me shift from display screen to display screen, so no state of charge just amp meter and volt meter... but it works! it's alive! I took it for a few mile ride and it's so much fun and quite, much quiter then those EV motorcycles with chains on them, rear tire is an old, free used tire that seems to be a little out of round tho and the front brake sticks if you use it until you smack it with a hammer, lucky for me I have a hammer! I also need to borrow a GPS to see my top speed.

When I get home and catch up on other stuff, I plan to swap everything over to a motorcycle frame with a title that I paid $250 for that is in awesome shape but has a bad water pump.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:16 AM   #90 (permalink)
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...that is in awesome shape but has a bad water pump.
Water pumps! Ba! Who needs water pumps!

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