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Old 03-27-2009, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Have I found my forkencycle motor?

Forklift, Stock Picker rare item

Couple of questions on this:

Any estimates on what the kW rating/HP of that motor is if it can lift 3000#? Should I bother asking the seller?
What kind of lift rating should I be looking for for a motorcycle that can achieve a top speed of oh... 50-55 (JUST hwy legal)?
(There are plenty of other stock pickers/forklifts on CL, so I don't mind if someone nabs this, btw.)

I know I've looked up similar info on my own before, and master google typically has most of the answers, but today I'm feeling motivated for information and lazy about getting it :P

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Old 03-27-2009, 08:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 1/2hp winch motor that can lift over 3000 lbs, its all in how fast and what gearing, so you should probably either ask what model and year that is or take a look at the forklift in question, 36 and 48volt forklifts are generally a better choice for power but sometimes you get lucky, some of the lower voltage units are built to withstand more amps and thus are can be made much more powerfull.

Some forklift motors will be rather cumbersome on a motorcycle as they are actually too big, it just depends on the type of forklift.

Good Luck
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You probably already saw the 24v motor used in the ForkenCycle: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...sion-1683.html

Agree with rmay: the lifting capability isn't really the thing to look at. You could get a better idea by seeing the physical size of the motor. Heavy and overbuilt for the job is what you'll get in a forklift motor that can power a motorcycle to 55 mph.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've found more motors:
I went to a local junkyard and opened a junked forklift to find 2 motors:

a GE 2.3HP 91 amp 24V 2400RPM
and an Advanced DC Motors 24V. The only other useful markings on this one was a box labeled "rating", which said "AU2500 9-4-94"

They were both about the same size (pretty sizable, but could fit on a motorcycle) at about a foot and a half long, 6-8" diameter, probably 30-40lbs. The GE is an "outy" and the other is an "inny".

Is the only reason higher voltage is more pervasive in EVs is that they typically yield greater speed and power, and that 24V would be fine if it ever does provide enough torque/speed?

What are the pros/cons of using a lower (24v) voltage motor in EVs, but more specifically electric motorcycles. Is there an RPM range to look for? Is there an amperage range to look for?

If one or both of these motors I found (they might not work, but I doubt that and could bring some batteries to test them out - that's all I have to do, right? just batteries and jumper cables?) could propel a cycle to 45 as opposed to 55, I'd definitely be willing to compromise, because that junkyard's prices are extremely reasonable. Price will be king over my speed desires.

These motors were just sitting in the forklift "hood" loose, so someone was either looking for something else and set them aside, or someone tried them and they didn't work. I hope it was the former.

I'd be pretty excited if one of these motors were suitable.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderboy View Post
I've found more motors:
I went to a local junkyard and opened a junked forklift to find 2 motors:

a GE 2.3HP 91 amp 24V 2400RPM
and an Advanced DC Motors 24V. The only other useful markings on this one was a box labeled "rating", which said "AU2500 9-4-94"

Is the only reason higher voltage is more pervasive in EVs is that they typically yield greater speed and power, and that 24V would be fine if it ever does provide enough torque/speed?

What are the pros/cons of using a lower (24v) voltage motor in EVs, but more specifically electric motorcycles. Is there an RPM range to look for? Is there an amperage range to look for?

If one or both of these motors I found (they might not work, but I doubt that and could bring some batteries to test them out - that's all I have to do, right? just batteries and jumper cables?) could propel a cycle to 45 as opposed to 55, I'd definitely be willing to compromise, because that junkyard's prices are extremely reasonable. Price will be king over my speed desires.

I'd be pretty excited if one of these motors were suitable.
To test bring a 12v car battery and 2 sets of jumper cables (how you wire depends on wether shunt would or series)
http://www.electricvehiclesusa.com/p...40-07-4001.htm

Hmm better make sure the motors have 4 terminals AKA series wound, shunt wound non reversables can be tough to get cheap controller for.

They probably are both suitable, 2.5hp may not sound like much but you can get much more peak power than that from the motor anyway (especially if you up voltage). ALso having a motor repaired or rewound isn't always the end of the world, there are several local places that do it quite reasonably (actually downright cheap)

As for why you would want more than 24 volt the answer is simple 2400rpm, figure it out and you need lots of gearing to get speed and that gearing will likely cause more amp draw than you would want should you gear up. Higher voltage = higher top rpm, better acceleration, lower amp draw.

HOWEVER, my comutacar was originally 12v/24v/48v powered and would go about 22mph @ 24 volts. My car weighed roughly 1200lbs, so a motorcycle would likely go just fine at 24volts but I would not expect speeds beyond 45mph as you likely don't have enough gears and you would need to verify your amp draw as you up shift.

Next as to why you would want a lower voltage the answer is again simple, the lower the voltage the fewer batteries and thus larger amphour/ better reliability along with lower costs on the battery front. Also lower voltages have lower costs all the way around, cheaper charger, cheaper controller, less wiring, cheaper dc-dc.

My recommendation would be to start simple with a controller & charger solution that will allow you to up the voltage later.

That way if you can complete the important machining aspects of the conversion then the more simplistic battery voltage aspects can be played with later.

You will however have to base how cheap you go on what expectations you have, if you just want it to move and don't care about top speed or accelleration get a golfcart 24v-48v controller cheap, use car battery chargers to start and test it out to see if its acceptable, you can always upgrade as you go. I do however believe that you will probably want at least 36 volts but you can test you may find 24volts is just fine for in town commuting.

Also something I think is workable is to use simple contactor controls on a motorcycle, since you likely have 6 gears you could have 6 or 12 speeds without a speed controller. And your acceleration would be jaw dropping to say the least.

Good Luck
Ryan

Last edited by rmay635703; 04-02-2009 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There are a number of lower voltage motorcycles on the evalbum. Here is a random 36v setup:

Troy Scherer's 1986 Puch Cobra

It may do 40 MPH, and is a 36v system.

While you're looking at forklifts, you might get lucky and nab a controller...

Tom
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I went in with my battery and jumper cable and walked away with the non-GE motor (Advanced DC motors). I submitted an information request to the company for information about the motor (if this yields no dice, the company is luckily situated an hour away for a personal visit). I'm pretty sure this motor has only two leads. There are two more less prominent bolts, but I didn't fool around with them because hooking the battery up to the only two big ones made it run. When testing the GE motor, which had 4 leads, I tried every combination possible with ONE set of jumper cables. I'm not quite sure how else it could've been rigged up, or if it somehow absolutely needs all 24V to work. That motor is still at the junkyard, and I wish it would work. Was I doing it wrong? As for a controller, I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. This forklift has only been moderately pillaged, and many of the electronics seem to be intact. I could spend time tracing wires in there, because I'm sure I could figure it out. I didn't even think of getting the controller - I wouldn't need one intended more for EV applications instead of a lifting or driving motor for a slow forklift?

At any rate, I'm really excited about this motor, and made a little video of it with the webcam on my laptop (poor quality, and dark).


I decided I don't really care if it can go highway speeds or not, and I'm more focused instead on using what happens to be available, which is this 60.6 lb. forklift motor.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The GE motor with four bolts sounds like a series motor. The way a series motor works looks somewhat like this:

Battery (+) >>> Brush (A1) -- Brush (A2) >>> Field (S1) -- Field (S2) >>> Battery (-)

The jumper cables connect where the >>> symbols are. The -- symbols are internal to the motor.

Connecting a 12v car battery to the motor (as above) will make a mid-size motor (60 lbs) turn, but not too fast so it will not overspeed when the shaft is not connected to anything.

If you connect a battery directly to A1 and A2, it is just shorted (powers the armature). Same with connecting to only the S1 and S2 (only powers the field). In the series motor, the armature is connected to the field in series, and thus both receive equal amounts of power.

(odd fact - it doesn't matter which end you connect to + and - on diagram above, the series motor will turn the same direction...)

Congratulations on your find!

Tom
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomEV View Post
While you're looking at forklifts, you might get lucky and nab a controller...

Tom
I agree strongly with Tom, get that nasty controller business out of the way because a controller bought "off the market" for shunt motors are usually not as cheap as their series wound counterparts.

If the forklift you got the motor out of is somewhat intact find out if you can remove the controller and pot box so they match up nicely to your motor, so long as they are CHEAP you can always sell them off if they are too small.

A little urging with the they are untested might get you them well into the sub $100 area.

Good Luck
Ryan
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If the Advanced DC brand motor is an "innie" with only two power connections, chances are that it's a pump motor.

It would be a series-wound motor, but the spare two connections just go to each other inside. It's only designed to run one direction. It is possible to make it run the other direction, but you would have to open it up and re-wire it.

You could easily get a 24-48 volt PWM golf cart controller for fairly inexpensive. ($100 or so?) Stock ones are on Ebay all the time.

You could then run the motor at 24, 36, or 48 volts. I would expect that the motor probably runs fine at higher voltages. Forklift motors can take some over-volting. They are designed to be abused.

If you make it back to that junk yard, you might want to see if there is a volt gauge or other items of interest in the dashboard you could remove and use.

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