How to convert a hybrid

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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acmotor
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How to convert a hybrid

Post by acmotor » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 06:25

Remember to also compare the production cost (emissions), selling cost, as well as finished weight and towbar option !

I follow the desire for PHEV from the environmental principle point of view, but is it of any real advantage if the battery packs are so small ?
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Post by coulomb » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 06:50

acmotor wrote: I follow the desire for PHEV from the environmental principle point of view, but is it of any real advantage if the battery packs are so small ?

Well, yes, actually! If it means doing 80% of your commutes in pure electric, and the other 20% as a quite efficient hybrid... why not? The PHEV Prius somehow manages up to about 100 km/h in pure electric mode, despite using more or less a standard Gen 3 Prius drivetrain.

The 20 km (13 maaahles) of EV range is begging for extending with more batteries. Imagine the after market modifications of PHEV Priuses...

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How to convert a hybrid

Post by Mr. Mik » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 10:41

I have a 20km commute with half of it at 80+ km/h.

Some parts of it ar uphill at 80+km/h, that will be a problem for pure EV mode; but a lot of the downhill parts could be done with the ICE off.

If I could achieve 20km BEV range, that would reduce my petrol consumption to next to nothing!

Another consideration is this: Can a Prius MK1 be converted to run on LPG?

I think Australia might have a much more secure LPG supply than petrol or diesel supply, correct?
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Post by woody » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 15:23

coulomb wrote:
woody wrote: You could just treat the two existing motors as a particularly lossy CVT transmission.

Would it be all that lossy in comparison? With 90%+ inverters and 90%+ motors, verses a (guessing) 80% transmission?
Estimates:
Small motor 90%
Large motor 95%
Inverters 97%

90% * 95% * 97% * 97% = 80.44%

Compare Manual transmission maybe 90%, Auto 80%, so not too bad.

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Post by Mr. Mik » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 18:15

I just had one of them delivered to my door: 1998 NHW10.

The traction battery has been dismantled and put together incorrectly, lots of leftover parts in the boot....

An interesting project!
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Post by woody » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 18:27

Mr. Mik wrote: I just had one of them delivered to my door: 1998 NHW10.

The traction battery has been dismantled and put together incorrectly, lots of leftover parts in the boot....

An interesting project!
Sounds like good fun. Is the ebay one where the traction pack "was working"?

Lots of photos please :-)
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How to convert a hybrid

Post by coulomb » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 19:09

Since we've been discussing the Prius transmission, I found a picture of Prius 2009 transmission verses 2010:

Image

So it still has one layshaft, but it loses the chain and the second layshaft.
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Post by Mr. Mik » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 19:48

It's the blue one, sold for 2125.- few days ago.

I had a look at it before bidding, found cooling impellers and BMS and a heap of screws in the boot.

A peep through the ventilation air inlet behind the passenger seat revealed that the right and left half-pack had been re-installed on the wrong sides, no wonder the rest of the parts would not fit back in the battery!

Today I emptied out the boot and cleaned it into the last corner, finding many screws and other parts that had been dropped carelessly. It might be a bit of a puzzle getting it back together.


But, I have a freshly charged traction battery ready to be dropped in once it stops raining.

Charging up the 12V lead acid battery now, seems to be serviceable.
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How to convert a hybrid

Post by acmotor » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 19:48

coulomb wrote:
acmotor wrote: I follow the desire for PHEV from the environmental principle point of view, but is it of any real advantage if the battery packs are so small ?

Well, yes, actually! If it means doing 80% of your commutes in pure electric, and the other 20% as a quite efficient hybrid... why not? The PHEV Prius somehow manages up to about 100 km/h in pure electric mode, despite using more or less a standard Gen 3 Prius drivetrain.

The 20 km (13 maaahles) of EV range is begging for extending with more batteries. Imagine the after market modifications of PHEV Priuses...



Mmmmm, extend with more batteries means more weight and this 'make do for now' hybrid idea just means more cost. (how much is a gen III ? let alone a PHEV)

I do think that you are countering your own promotion of the hybrid by recognising that what it really needs is more battery. Take out the ICE and complex drive train and you will have space/weight saving to put more batteries in !
It is a vicious circle but I really dont't see that you can just have both without one penalising the other. (fuel consumption rates also show this)

IMHO One thing is for certain.... hybrids will fade into history faster than any other vehicle fad as the real EVs hit the market. Image
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How to convert a hybrid

Post by acmotor » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 19:56

Mr Mik,
Just ignoring you. Image

Actually quite jealous of your Christmas project ! Well done on the purchase.

Hey, start a member's machines thread and post pics and progress info. There will be plenty of interest !
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How to convert a hybrid

Post by Squiggles » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 20:46

acmotor wrote:
IMHO One thing is for certain.... hybrids will fade into history faster than any other vehicle fad as the real EVs hit the market. Image


What about fins?......Or four wheel steering.....

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How to convert a hybrid

Post by juk » Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 23:28

Does anyone know how much all that copper weighs? it looks a lot.

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How to convert a hybrid

Post by Mr. Mik » Wed, 23 Dec 2009, 00:28

The Prius MK1 is running again!
Just need to wait for the silicone to dry on an indicator repair job, and get new windscreen wipers, and it should get a Safety Certificate without problems.

Maybe not a x-mas project.....?
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How to convert a hybrid

Post by acmotor » Wed, 23 Dec 2009, 01:00

Good news !!!!
What a bargain.
Makes you feel sorry for the poor soul who did their money on it before !

Fill us in on the repair job !
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Post by Squiggles » Wed, 23 Dec 2009, 01:50

coulomb wrote: Since we've been discussing the Prius transmission, I found a picture of Prius 2009 transmission verses 2010:

Image

So it still has one layshaft, but it loses the chain and the second layshaft.


Are they the two electric motors? Look like toys...in fact they look like alternators on steroids!

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Post by Mr. Mik » Wed, 23 Dec 2009, 10:50

acmotor wrote: Good news !!!!
What a bargain.
Makes you feel sorry for the poor soul who did their money on it before !

Fill us in on the repair job !


It sound easier than it was, because a lot of preparation had been done beforehand. Particularly having a fully charged replacement traction battery ready for swap-over!

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Post by coulomb » Wed, 23 Dec 2009, 14:58

Squiggles wrote: Are they the two electric motors? Look like toys...in fact they look like alternators on steroids!

Heh, yes, they are (edit: the motors. Though also yes, they do look a bit like toy aircraft motors). The one on the far right is capable of 60 kW peak, about 60x more than a 70A alternator. Part of the reason is that they are water cooled. And of course the stator is very similar to the stator of an alternator.

The 60 kW motor works on a DC voltage of some 650 V; I believe the RMS AC voltage is quite close (so they work largely on square waves, at least when run at peak voltage).

Plus, there has been well over 10 years of development where size and weight are a consideration (as opposed to industrial induction motors, where those factors are not much of a consideration at all). The first Prius was sold in Japan in 1997 or so (early prototypes in about 1995), but there was a lot of development before that as well.
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Post by Johny » Wed, 23 Dec 2009, 15:45

Mr. Mik wrote:It sound easier than it was, because a lot of preparation had been done beforehand. Particularly having a fully charged replacement traction battery ready for swap-over!
Yes, you mentioned that you had a pack ready to go. Well done!
Are you going to sell it again? It will be interesting to see what it will bring (to see what part perception plays on buying a rebuilt-pack Prius). Unless you sell it to a friend who knows you and your work.

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How to convert a hybrid

Post by Thalass » Thu, 24 Dec 2009, 04:29

Honestly, I think the Prius is mostly wank-factor. Especially when you take into consideration the Rav4EV they used to sell. The Prius is a step backwards!
I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

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Post by Mr. Mik » Thu, 24 Dec 2009, 23:56

Squiggles wrote: ...
...

That said just the whole business of 2 electric motors and one ICE added to a ridiculously complex transmission all to get the equivalent economy of a good diesel with half the performance has to be someone's little joke on the world!
...
...


Now show me how you can buy a late model diesel with 4L/100km fuel efficiency, with only 41000km on the clock, for $2125.- and get it on the road, registered etc, without much added cost within 4 days?

I paid AU$ 100.- for the battery that I dropped in the car. All it needed was a nice long equalization charge, and I have another 3 just like it waiting for the next opportunity!

Oh wait, that's another 4 batteries, because the one from this vehicle is more than likely in tip-top shape once I had a good go at it!

The only thing not running in the car, yet, is the air conditioning, and if it was not for the winding down towards the public holidays coming up, that would have been sorted out today, too!

I think a diesel with comparable fuel economy would have cost me AU$ 20000.- to 30000.- , but I might be wrong. I never even looked at it, this is sooo much more fun!

Edit: Typo fixed.
Last edited by Mr. Mik on Thu, 24 Dec 2009, 12:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Mr. Mik » Fri, 25 Dec 2009, 00:04

Johny wrote: ...
...
Are you going to sell it again? It will be interesting to see what it will bring (to see what part perception plays on buying a rebuilt-pack Prius). Unless you sell it to a friend who knows you and your work.
Most likely I will not sell it in a rush!

Only once I have another one to replace it, anyway. I would have preferred a white car, because of the heat issues affecting NiMH batteries.

This car might serve as a real world test vehicle for reconditioned batteries!

The owners of NHW10 Prius cars seem to fall into two categories: Those that absolutely love the vehicle, and those who have come to hate it because of the nightmare repair issues that can emerge.

Both would love to have a supply of replacement batteries!
Last edited by Mr. Mik on Thu, 24 Dec 2009, 13:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by T2 » Sat, 08 May 2010, 07:54

Congrats Mr Mik,
                 You lucky bleeder !!
Hoping that is the correct Australian parlance.

I've just registered with AEVA but not to discuss the Prius specifically. I would like to add some Canadian perspective. Over here on this continent we now have a population of around million Prius. You see them on every street. I am sure that many in the Australian audience are not strangers to North American EV forums either. But from reading this thread there still appear to be some misconceptions.
Regarding Prius ownership some things are coming to light.

First thing we are finding is that more complexity = more reliability. No-one saw that coming. Forget the 200k miles "never lifted the head" legacy of V8 powered mid-size sedans. You can expect 500k miles same thing with the Prius. Complex yes, but with fewer wearout mechanisms, and that is coming home to roost.

   Second thing is the battery issue. Expect the battery packs to degrade over ten years but in real terms this will just mean the reduction of EV only operation. There will always be that 76Hp motor under the hood that has done but half the revolutions that an equivalent engine in the Yaris would have done. As long as the battery has enough energy to spin MG1 to start the engine that is the only consideration. Eventually when shorted cells require replacement it's likely there will still be enough useable 273v packs up to the 2003 model year from traffic casualties as you have indeed found, Mr Mik.

The market for the NHW11 is going to be smaller however as most informed buyers will opt for the 2004 and up. The NHW20 vehicle performance is much stronger while the financial risk of repairs will be somewhat lower. Of course any car, and this goes double for the Prius, that has been repaired following a fender bender should be avoided. It will rack up a litany of further problems in the coming years.

I don't know why diesel proponents are on here. Cough, cough. The thing is that you get equal quantities of diesel and gasoline as byproducts when refining a barrel of oil. In Europe where rail predominates for transporting goods - and much of it on electrified lines - there is a surfeit of diesel fuel so the fuel tax is adjusted to encourage its use in passenger cars. In North America we have a huge trucking industry to soak up that diesel, we don't get the tax break. In fact oil companies charge more for diesel because of its higher energy content.

Finally re Prius EV conversions. I looked at this long and hard about 5 years ago when information from the first american teardowns was being released on ANLs website. My conclusion is that the Prius has no significant advantage as a candidate (donor) vehicle. Mainly that three stage final reducer with its estimated 18% torque loss providing an unsuitable 4.113:1 low ratio giving 3000rpm = 50mph as others have pointed out.

The 2010 transaxle doesn't appear any more inspiring. On one hand they have replaced that sprocket drive saving a 6% loss but nullified some of the advantage by interposing a second 2.6:1 planetary reducer between MG2 and the take off shaft incurring a 7% loss there. Admittedly that MG2 can now be pushed to 14krpms which accounts for its smaller frame size but of course the mechanical path of 19% (est) is now too lossy for a continuous drive IMHO.     


T2

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Post by Mr. Mik » Sat, 08 May 2010, 12:48

Thanks for your comments, T2, and welcome to the forum!

Could it be you missed that we are talking (among other things) about a NHW10 Prius?

The main difference to the later NHW11 etc models is the battery. It has 40 modules of 6 cylindrical cells, making a 240s NiMH battery. The main design fault is the arrangement of the modules in a way that makes temperature gradients almost unavoidable, causing differential self discharge rates and imbalance.
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Post by T2 » Fri, 14 May 2010, 12:28

Could it be you missed that we are talking (among other things) about a NHW10 Prius?
Sure did ! My mistake. I was looking back and saw you got it powered up the next day.
And reason left me ! Neither the inverter nor ECU was fried, and no shorted windings in MG1,MG2 ? In North America these usually are the end of life showstoppers since the previous owners , who may not hold an extended care warranty, can't always be assured that even diagnosing and replacing one of the above can guarantee that the vehicle will then be good to go.

In what I think of as the early days of the Prius (2004) there was the fear cultivated in the press- actually they cultivated a lot of fears about the Prius, before we knew better - that John Q. Public could pull up at a stop light in an older Prius worth $7-8K, for example, and then when the lights change and the vehicle failed to start, that he may inadvertantly find himself sitting in a vehicle with an appraised net worth of ZERO.

Critics would say, in not so many words, that that sort of abrupt devaluation could never occur with a normal petrol driven car unless, of course, it happened to be located within a kilometer of the epicenter of a hydrogen bomb. And while you gotta' admire that style of thinking, I would say that it is reasonable to assume that no reputable repair garage would want to precipitate writing up a repair bill so large that their client is put into negative territory on the asset.

But we are not in Kansas anymore and it's now 2010. I am surprised that any Toyota dealership today, could have such an unskilled mechanic to let this one escape. Phew !

Specific to your vehicle, Mr. Mik, I wasn't aware that the initial 1997 version was made available outside of Japan. Although it does seem perfectly plausible that some units would make an unofficial appearance at the Pacific rim countries since their rarity would no doubt muster premium prices.

Digging around in my files I found the following: It gives a picture of Toyota's progression in electrical storage. What you notice first is a trend to fewer cells. The Prius model now seems to be standardising on 28 cells @ 201v, for logistical purposes no doubt. They use an upconverter to provide 500v for the High Voltage inverter bus when needed. (selectable with sport mode to 650Vdc on the 2010 Prius).

The upconverter is perhaps something that some would like to see on constructors' cars. I agree - if it can get pack voltages back into the safer 96v to 144v range with lower cell counts. If EVers see the light and have AC motors rewound for lower terminal voltages or ordered ex factory I see this as a good trend.

Why so many industrial machines require drives of only 15Hp to be running at 415Vac still surprises me. Of course back in the day, it used to be that 415Vac was even used for control purposes with a one amp fuse provided for safety. Yes friends, it must have been comforting to know that the capability for a 10,000amp fault current was only a one amp fuse away. Take the lid off that Estop/Run/jog box placed conveniently near you. Just remember, when you go to replace that 6volt pilot bulb mounted on its own miniature stepdown transformer, that the terminals behind carry 415Vac.

I may be accused of overstating the case as that one amp control fuse rarely blew. However when it did there was never a spare but always a dozen reasons for why there was no spare. Creativity creeps in, as it will, and generally a TEN amp slo blo or the blown fuse wrapped in cigarette foil was the temporary or permanent replacement - whichever was longer. Sometime later the fault re-occurs .. and this time things are a lot more dangerous or fun even, the operator control pod explodes.

In the late sixties a little sanity prevailed and sadly the Dickensian view regarding safety was abandonned and the happy days were over. Only 110Vac could now be sanctioned for control purposes - you could no longer run 415Vac anywhere and everywhere just to save a buck. Then we come to the eighties when even safety authorities had to admit that 110Vac could still kill you, if you cared enough. Today, 24Vdc relay switching logic is now the norm. A little more trouble sometimes, but now no-one is likely to get a shock treatment they didn't need in the first place. Although with some people, that too can be a matter of opinion.

The point I am trying to make is one of design culture. That we might rethink the old adage that electronic drives are costed by the amp. A thinking that has pack voltages into the 500 volt region requiring a large number of smaller cells in series rather than the fewer but larger scenario. It is however, hard to support this idea when you encounter the following crap from established drive manufacturers :

The other day I had reason to take a closer look at acmotors design (red suzie) which employs a drive offering the latest technology. I noticed that the drive, a Danfoss VLT5042 380-440Vac 40 Hp High Overload version, is also manufactured in a version for 200-240Vac usage. As you'd expect the higher voltage version (380-440Vac) has the lower current (61 to 97.6Amps) draw which is compensated in the lower voltage version (200-240Vac) by a higher current (104 to 156Amps) draw.
In which case it is hard to explain why the chassis weight blooms from 106lbs to 198lbs with two drives that deliver essentially the same horsepower. Hasn't our understanding always been that power electronics systems scale exceptionally well compared to mechanical systems ?

More introspection of the catalog shows that the same 106lbs chassis will also support a similarly specified 60Hp. So if I've got this right, for the same voltage a 50% power increase nets zero weight gain, whereas to exact the same power through a doubling up of the amps merits almost a 90 % gain in weight !! How ?
Drives of the same power usually require about the same energy storage in the bus capacitors and therefore equal volume. It is reasonable to assume that these components will all be wired in parallel in the low voltage configuration but reconfigured for the high voltage by taking pairs of capacitors in turn and reconnecting them in series across the voltage bus. Is that going to halve their mass ?

The semiconductors would be reasonably spec'd at 150A and 200A. Insignificant weight gain there. Perhaps the heatsink hardware is significantly beefed up. At 92lbs that sure must be a chunk of aluminum ! For the H.O. version running losses are 1089/1065 watts so no significant (34W) heatsink cooling loss increase there for that 50% more current draw. Makes you wonder what the 92 lbs of weight gain is doing towards the higher current capability of the lower voltage drive. Maybe the hightech is misplaced in the drive. Maybe we need more advanced packaging and cooling of the drive itself. Just sayin'

BTW, if there are people who would like to know more tech on the Prius then register on Yahoo Group below. Post # 12022 has a link to a pdf from a US govt site that I can recommend.
For MY1997-2000 NHW-10 Prius, 7.2V X 40 modules (cylindrical)
<http://www.peve.panasonic.co.jp/catalog/e_maru.html>

For MY2000-2003 NHW-11 Prius, 7.2V X 38 modules (old prismatic)
(They used to have a comparison page, but now gone.)

For MY2003-2009 NHW-20 Prius, 7.2V X 28 modules (new prismatic)
<http://www.peve.panasonic.co.jp/catalog/e_kaku.html>

For MY2005 HH/RX400h, 9.6V X 30 modules (metal prismatic)
<http://www.peve.panasonic.co.jp/catalog/e_kinnzoku.html>
Good temperature / power graphs

Cylindrical Module Spec:
Nominal Voltage:   7.2V
Nominal Capacity: 6.0Ah
Specific Power:    800W/kg
Specific Energy:   40Wh/kg
Weight:            1090g

Prismatic Module Spec:
Nominal Voltage:    7.2V
Nominal Capacity:   6.5Ah
Specific Power:   1300W/kg
Specific Energy:    46Wh/kg
Weight:            1040g
This battery is rated to exceed 10,000 cycles before its capacity drops to 80%

Prius_Technical_Stuff   in (Yahoo groups)     #7157 Dec 11 2003
Battery capacity in the 2010       3G     Prius is 6,5Ah @ 201,6V (~15 mOhm)   ZVW30) Gen 3
Battery capacity in the 2004-2009 2G     Prius is 6,5Ah @ 201,6V (~15 mOhm)   NHW20 Gen 2
Battery capacity in the 2000-2003 classic Prius is 6,5Ah @ 273,6V (~20 mOhm)   NHW11 Gen 1
Battery capacity in the 1997-2000 Japan Prius is 6,0Ah @ 288V (25-30 mOhm)   NHW10 Not released into US market
T2

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 14 May 2010, 15:53

T2 wrote: Neither the inverter nor ECU was fried, and no shorted windings in MG1,MG2 ? In North America these usually are the end of life showstoppers since the previous owners ...
Certainly, an inverter failure or shorted turn in a motor would be expensive repairs; I'm guessing these might even amount to the dreaded "transaxle replacement". My understanding from the Prius groups is that this is actually very rare, and has been accomplished at home my one or perhaps two of the more skilled readers.

Are you saying that these failures are common?
I wasn't aware that the initial 1997 version was made available outside of Japan.
They were not officially available outside Japan at all. That's what makes it so interesting; as the batteries are starting to die after 10 years, Toyota rightly (? this is possibly arguable) states that it can't support these vehicles outside Japan - they have no spares. Hence there is an opportunity for people in the know to buy up these vehicles cheaply, repair or replace the battery, and have a ten year old Toyota with good fuel economy, and possibly with plug-in ability, for under $5000. I'm tempted by this opportunity myself; a set of Headway 10 Ah cells might fit the bill rather nicely, if the BCU and a few other issues can be solved.
Although it does seem perfectly plausible that some units would make an unofficial appearance at the Pacific rim countries since their rarity would no doubt muster premium prices.
I think it's more that people in Japan don't tend to keep their cars very long. There was also that rule that you couldn't sell a car with a petrol engine that was more than a certain age in Japan, but I've been told that this is a misunderstanding. Regardless, these vehicles are moderately common in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia as grey market imports. I believe that the attraction at one point was the low Yen; people saw the opportunity to save a few thousands, and at the time the prospects of battery replacement were years away. Well, years have now passed...
The upconverter is perhaps something that some would like to see on constructors' cars. I agree - if it can get pack voltages back into the safer 96v to 144v range with lower cell counts. If EVers see the light and have AC motors rewound for lower terminal voltages or ordered ex factory I see this as a good trend.
The trend seems to be towards the 300-odd volt pack. 144 V in a performance vehicle implies many hundreds of amps, with all the attendant problems (extreme sensitivity to link resistance, thick cables, contactors that have to be able to interrupt hundreds of amps of DC, and so on). I'm amazed that this upconverter doesn't eat a lot of efficiency. Apparently, it can be quite efficient in "straight through" operation, when the pack voltage of ~ 200 VDC is sufficient, which would help.
Why so many industrial machines require drives of only 15Hp to be running at 415Vac still surprises me. Of course back in the day, it used to be that 415Vac was even used for control purposes with a one amp fuse provided for safety.
? 1 amp (per phase) at 415 V is only 720 VA. 15 Hp (presuming that this is mechanical) is around 11 kW mechanical, more electrical, and possibly 13 kVA with a power factor of around 0.85. That would be 18 A per phase at 415 V, or over 54 A from a single phase (240 V).
Yes friends, it must have been comforting to know that the capability for a 10,000amp fault current was only a one amp fuse away.
You do realise, I hope, that 415 V wires are the exact same wires from the exact same transformer that 240 V wires are? 415 is the phase to phase voltage, and 240 is the phase to neutral voltage. So if a site's feed is capable of 10 kA fault current phase to phase, it would be capable of some 5.8 kA phase to neutral. That's still pretty fearsome. It would be similar in North America, except that the two voltages would be 2:1 instead of 1.73:1, as North America uses split phase, and my understanding is that three phase is fairly uncommon there.
In the late sixties a little sanity prevailed and sadly the Dickensian view regarding safety was abandoned and the happy days were over. Only 110Vac could now be sanctioned for control purposes - you could no longer run 415Vac anywhere and everywhere just to save a buck.
? I assume that you're talking about north America now... but North America doesn't (to my knowledge) have 415 VAC.... though they have 480 VAC. Actually, you might be talking about Australia; I recently inherited a set of industrial relays with 110 VAC coils, and wondered where they came from.
Then we come to the eighties when even safety authorities had to admit that 110Vac could still kill you, if you cared enough.
Exactly. 110 VAC can kill, so can 240 V, so can 415 VAC. You have to be safe with any of them. So why fear 415 V so much? Especially since you have to go to more trouble to find it (have to contact two phases, not the much easier one phase and ground).
Today, 24Vdc relay switching logic is now the norm.
Well, I have to admit that this seems more sensible than 110 VAC. You still need a transformer or power supply - why not make it safe? It's not as if relay coils need a lot of current. 24 VAC would also be sensible.
The point I am trying to make is one of design culture. That we might rethink the old adage that electronic drives are costed by the amp.
Unfortunately, they pretty much are. Well, volts cost as well, but amps are dearer than volts; at the present time, by a fairly wide margin.
The other day I had reason to take a closer look at acmotors design (red Suzie) which employs a drive offering the latest technology. I noticed that the drive, a Danfoss VLT5042 380-440Vac 40 Hp High Overload version, is also manufactured in a version for 200-240Vac usage.
Yes, I've looked at these, and would prefer to use them. There are two problems: 1) they tend to become unavailable above around 50 kW, so they're not quite powerful enough for a performance conversion. 2) The motors are more difficult to obtain. 415 V motors can be had second hand for a few hundred dollars; to then spend another $800 on a rewind seems silly.
In which case it is hard to explain why the chassis weight blooms from 106lbs to 198lbs with two drives that deliver essentially the same horsepower.
I suspect that all that extra weight (pounds are used to measure weight right?) is in the inductors to prevent PWM noise from getting into the mains. Inductor weight and cost is proportional to their current capability. You would probably throw away those inductors in a vehicle situation, so the weight for a 200 V drive would be similar to the weight for a 400 V drive.
Drives of the same power usually require about the same energy storage in the bus capacitors and therefore equal volume. It is reasonable to assume that these components will all be wired in parallel in the low voltage configuration but reconfigured for the high voltage by taking pairs of capacitors in turn and reconnecting them in series across the voltage bus.
Yes, that's a standard thing. I believe that the Tritium Wavesculptor200 drive, configured for 450 VDC now, can be reconfigured to 900 VDC with a few track changes. (There is a lot more to this, plus testing and compliance, so don't go planning on that being available this year). More capacitors may be needed however at the higher voltage, since one might want to take advantage of the more than half current that the double voltage silicon is capable of.
The semiconductors would be reasonably spec'd at 150A and 200A.
I think more margin than that is needed.
For MY2005 HH/RX400h, 9.6V X 30 modules (metal prismatic)
http://www.peve.panasonic.co.jp/catalog/e_kinnzoku.html
Um, 288 V in a 2005 model? 9.6 V modules? Are you sure? I've never heard of this.
Battery capacity in the 1997-2000 Japan Prius is 6,0Ah @ 288V (25-30 mOhm)   NHW10 Not released into US market

There still seems to be debate over the 6.0 verses 6.5 Ah capacity of the NHW10 cells. I've seen datasheets for cells that look identical, and are 6.5 Ah, but maybe they upgraded the capacity since the now 13 to 10 year old vehicles were manufactured. NHW10s were never made in left hand drive configuration, hence the limitation to Japan, UK, NZ, and Aus.

Edit: US -> North America ((T2 is from Canada I see, and I believe that the Canadian power system is similar to that of the USA).
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 14 May 2010, 05:56, edited 1 time in total.
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