Coulomb's White Suzi (not converted)

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 25 May 2009, 02:26

This is not yet a conversion page; it's a potential conversion. I have a white Suzuki Swift 'Cino that is 10 years old:



Image



It needs the timing belt replaced, the exhaust is still a bit noisy after several fixes, but generally is in reasonable shape otherwise. It looks like there will be a looong delay with the MX-5 motor, so there could be time to do a quick DC conversion.



I considered Goombi's 8.5 kW kit, as featured in a recent Renew article, but decided it wasn't powerful enough, and I'd really like regen. Well, now there is an 11 kW option, and a sepex option with regen as well. So I hunted for some info on the motors, which appear to be the Zibo Super Motor company. Kim Rynan has a Zibo motor in his Proton Satira conversion, though it's a nominally 7.5 kW version, and doesn't seem to be part of Goombi's kit. In his evalbum page, Kim describes the resultant acceleration as "moderate". (That's with a 400 A Curtis controller).



Other hints, particularly this thread on diyelectriccar.com, lead me to believe that for a moderate performance conversion (>100 km/h top speed, comparable acceleration to original ICE), the controller that comes as part of Goombi's kit (at 300 A, now 350 A) maximum, would not be adequate, at least for me.



However, separately excited DC seems to have a lot of advantages to me, at least compared to series DC. The controllers aren't insanely more expensive; basically they replace a big diode with a bank of mosfet transistors, and possibly add a small switching controller for the field winding. The field winding seems to be about a tenth of the armature current or a little less, looking at Goombi's recent post on regen, so even if they have to chop the field winding, it would be only 10% of the power electronics of the main controller. Any pointers to separately excited theory would be welcome.



Another thing that I like about sepex is the possibility of using field weakening as a kind of 2- (or 3-) speed gearbox. You don't need a honking great contactor to switch the field to lower current, thus making the motor higher speed and lower torque (like a taller gear). Then I could ditch the gearbox and either attempt to use the original diff, or add a diff from a rear-wheel drive vehicle, as with Kim Ryan's Proton Satira.



I'd prefer to keep this to a reasonably low cost conversion, even though I'm leaning towards lithium (for long term lower cost and lower labour of battery replacement). So I'll likely be on the scrounge for low cost motors and controllers, off Ebay or the like. But I suspect that series wound motors and controllers will be far more common than their separately excited cousins. So now I'm wondering if I can get regen and field weakening from a series wound motor.



Field weakening seems pretty easy, if inconvenient: you need a honking great contactor to switch a honking great resistor across the field winding. It should be pretty safe, since if the contactor fails, you still have field current, so the armature current doesn't go to infinity. (Of course, if the resistor shorts, the car will try to draw a lot of current and go very fast, but that seems unlikely).



I'm vaguely aware that regen on a series wound motor is possible, but tricky. But it seems to me that it should be possible with a smaller DC controller for the field winding only; it will see a lot of current, but not much voltage. So maybe a 24 V 500 A controller would work with say a 144 V, 500 A main controller. That would allow regen (with suitable trickery driving the field controller) and field weakening, but sadly not reversing (so I still need a honking, noisy double pole not-quite-double-throw reversing contactor, though I suppose it doesn't have to switch under load).



With regen, the armature current can reverse without the field current reversing, so that removes the main problem with



Can anyone see anything wrong with this idea?



Maybe both DC controllers will expect to be connected to B+? But they would.



Maybe the field controller won't like the lack of inductance of the field winding?



Ah, the two controllers won't be synchronised. So I'll possibly need honking capacitors to smooth out the armature and/or field currents... but wouldn't the inductance of the windings smooth out the current enough? I'd possibly need a delay to make sure that the armature current never starts without any field current.



I realise that the logic needed to control all this sanely will be complex, and unless care is taken, expensive to debug. But I think I can take it one step at a time, e.g. starting with just a constant field current, then the same current in the field winding as the armature, then field weakening (fixed fraction of armature current in the field windings), then regen.



Ooh, it's just occurred to me that perhaps I don't need "fixed gears" with field weakening; I can have a sort of CVT, where the field current is progressively and automatically weakened at high speeds, (when the car "runs out of battery volts"), so the whole thing is really smooth. Maybe I'd want a switch ("low range gear") which gives extra field current for steep driveways or stump pulling.



Ladies and gentlemen, ready your brickbats! Image



(Though I warn that I have this in my back pocket:

http://eprints.usq.edu.au/501/1/DeanTHOMPSON-2005.pdf.) I haven't had a chance to read it yet though.
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 25 May 2009, 03:05

Sigh. It looks like Otmar has shot most of this down in flames:

http://evcl.com/regen/

Edit: The reason is that the armature and field currents have to be the same for a series motor, or serious arcing will occur.

That means you need a contactor for regen, which is a real shame.

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 25 May 2009, 06:24

Oops, pardon my bad manners Image

Here are the specs for the original ICE (from Carsales Australia; I hope the link works.

Peak power: 50 kW @ 6000 RPM
Peak Torque: 101 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Kerb weight: 795 kg
GVM: 1250 kg

Taffy reminded me that the Chinese also make permanent magnet synchronous (brushless DC) motors at EV power levels. These or other PM synch motors are another option.

Weber also pointed out in email that a 240 V AC controller with a 415 V motor hacked for quarter voltage operation could be another possibility. Those I should be able to scrounge. Control Techniques have a 45/55 (67 peak) kW controller that I could just buy off the shelf. AC has the advantage of more overlap with the MX-5 project, and hence more cross-experience (if that makes any sense).
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Post by juk » Mon, 25 May 2009, 15:08

I know it's not quite the objective, but you could take the old ICE from the MX5 and pop it in. Be a quick little swift.

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Post by coulomb » Tue, 26 May 2009, 01:52

Uh, it wouldn't fit. I was thinking of using the diff, though, if I could convince myself I could get rid of the gearbox.

With respect to regen on series DC motors, I believe that this is the best, if not the cheapest, solution:

Image
From "A Four Quadrant Adjustable Speed Drive for Series Wound DC Motors", Dean Thompson, University of Southern Queensland, 2005. Undergraduate thesis.

The switch is needed only for reversing; personally, I'd call that "two quadrant with manual reverse" rather than "four quadrant". The top transistor and bottom diode form the usual buck converter for drive mode. In regenerative mode, the bottom transistor and top diode form a boost converter that allows motor current to be boosted and pushed into the battery.

The author seems to have overlooked (at least from my brief perusal) the fact that the transistors are in fact synchronous rectifiers doing a more efficient job than the diodes do. To initiate regenerative braking, the duty cycle of the top transistor is reduced (increasing the duty cycle of the bottom transistor). The bottom transistor in effect shorts out the back EMF of the armature, and the inductance of the motor causes a spike of voltage in an attempt to keep the armature current going, so it flows via the top transistor (or diode) to the battery.

Sigh. I've just realised that if this is done smoothly, the armature current falls to zero and then changes sign. Since the field is in series with the armature, its current changes sign as well, which it seems to me will cause the armature's back EMF to also fall to zero and change sign.

It's a pity, because Otmar's proposed solution requires the field connections to be reversed before regeneration begins, and there is a need for a "ticking" (field excitation) relay to kickstart field current after the reversal:

Image

Apparently, during this exception to the rule of equal current through field and armature, some arcing of the commutator will occur. (Otmar Ebenhoch is designer of the legendary Zilla 1000 A and 2000 A controllers.)

I guess it's back to the paper to see whether I'm wrong, or the paper is junk.
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 25 May 2009, 15:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Tue, 26 May 2009, 02:40

Well, that's faintly irritating. The USQ project was never completed; the author apparently believes that his circuit would work, but that he just ran out of time. I strongly suspect it simply would not have worked.

It seems to me that a reversing contactor is pretty much unavoidable with a series DC motor, since the field current direction has to be opposite to the armature current direction during regen and drive. I suppose the field could be driven with a complete H-bridge, and the armature from a half bridge. Close to equal current through the armature and field can be obtained by driving the field bridges with a fixed fraction of the pulse width of the armature, according to the relative resistance of the windings. But this triples the cost of the power stage, for a relatively small benefit.

Separately excited motors obviously overcome the problem of requiring equal magnitudes field excitation and armature current. Shunt motors, where the field winding is usually connected across the armature, will have field strength proportional to the armature voltage, not current, so they must also overcome this problem.

Otmar states:
Note: By comparison, shunt wound motors have a separate
miniature field winding called a compensation winding that
creates a dead spot for good commutation. This mitigates the
need for equal current balance.
He also states, at the top of the article:
I do not recommend doing this conversion, it tends to blow up controllers and also can overheat motor brushes if not additionally regulated. I am posting it here just for the educational value of it.
I'm inclined to agree with him.
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Post by Taffy » Tue, 26 May 2009, 03:02

That was a fairly interesting read, thanks for posting.
I am stuck on the converting a alternator to 144V and just adding a pressure switch + contactor for regen... Its a mechanical add on which in my mechanically driven head makes sense lol.

I had heard those conclusions before about the damage to controllers, though was nice to see someone try it and document tests. I have a 48V forklift controller sitting in the garage for initial testing once i get the thing rolling so maybe an option for someone to use once i am done in about 10months.

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Post by coulomb » Tue, 26 May 2009, 04:02

Taffy wrote: I am stuck on the converting a alternator to 144V and just adding a pressure switch + contactor for regen... Its a mechanical add on which in my mechanically driven head makes sense lol.
You're not the only one to want to keep the alternator:

Image
(Click image for original photo).

From ev-blue.com's photo page (it has some nice pictures).

Though I assume that they use it mainly as a replacement for the DC/DC converter. Of course, if you time the charging of the auxilliary battery with the pressing of the brakes, it's much the same thing...

Edit: fixed some fat fingering of URLs
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Post by acmotor » Tue, 26 May 2009, 04:26

Apart from the cringe factor of non IP55 wiring and installation, I wonder if the power extractable by the alternator (500W?) would exceed the losses of the alternator , belt and pullies. Image

No wonder people are afraid of anything more than 12V with wiring like that ! Sorry, cold hard fact.
Don't get me wrong, I support any EV conversion but we must raise the bar on safety standards.Image

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Post by Taffy » Tue, 26 May 2009, 04:42

Forgot to say Coulomb that i sat in on a RMIT e-racing design review a few weeks back and they are looking at running twin motors with twin controllers. Series wound DC motors from scooters.
They were looking at 5 controllers (some very simple but separate so labeled as a new controller) in order to keep things in sync, i thought there idea was nuts but will let you know if they pull it off.

I really wonder how much losses you would get with no circuit connected on the alternator, will have to go in search and find out that answer.

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Post by Squiggles » Tue, 26 May 2009, 14:08

coulomb wrote: You're not the only one to want to keep the alternator:



From ev-blue.com's photo page (it has some nice pictures).

Though I assume that they use it mainly as a replacement for the DC/DC converter. Of course, if you time the charging of the auxilliary battery with the pressing of the brakes, it's much the same thing...

Edit: fixed some fat fingering of URLs


Had a look at their site, the word cowboys came to mind. At least it is not Aussies they are going to kill.

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Post by Taffy » Tue, 26 May 2009, 17:38


Here are is another guy who rewound there alternator to regen braking, 169V @ 10A.
http://www.northrim.net/wyanders/ev/ev_wiring_dia.html

http://www.northrim.net/wyanders/ev/

Last edited by Taffy on Tue, 26 May 2009, 07:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Tue, 26 May 2009, 18:23

Taffy wrote: Here are is another guy who rewound there alternator to regen braking, 169V @ 10A.

Actually, 8 A @ 169 V, for almost 1.4 kW of regen; the 10 A seems to have been for a lower voltage (part of the pack?). It was a 140 A @ nominal 12 V (13.8 V? So ~1.9 kW) alternator. So maybe there is more to be had.

Still, if you are cruising at 100 km/hr using say 14 kW (small car) of power to maintain that speed, I imagine 10% regen would be noticeable. At 60 km/h using say 5 kW, 1.4 kW would presumably be quite noticeable.
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Post by moemoke » Tue, 26 May 2009, 18:58

coulomb wrote:
Image
(Click image for original photo).

From ev-blue.com's photo page (it has some nice pictures).




I was wondering is it wise to use copper leads (are they called bus bars?) that these guys have used to connect the various components together or is thick wire better? I know little about electrickery
but it has to do with current flow and mm² I think, would you be able to connect batterys with bars instead of wires?
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Post by woody » Tue, 26 May 2009, 19:12

You can connect batteries with bus bars (e.g. a4x4kiwi does this) but I think the issues are:

1) You should put a Z bend in them to absorb any movement (see above image)
2) DC packs have high current that needs bus bars which are quite thick and may not be flexible enough even with the Z bend, or it's easier to just use welding cable.
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Post by coulomb » Tue, 26 May 2009, 20:53

Yes, they look pretty with the shrink wrap on them, but I think they aren't really practical.

The whole ev-blue.com site seems to be more about prettiness and less about safety, durability, practicality, and so on.

God bless America; the world would be so boring without them.
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Post by Squiggles » Tue, 26 May 2009, 23:08

Bus bar is a good idea where movement of terminals with relation to each other is firmly restricted & vibration can be eliminated or allowed for (don't let them flap in the breeze).
There are a few advantages including;
Cost, can work out cheaper.
Less crimp on lugs, cheaper, higher reliability.
With care can be made compact and neat, presentation is oh so important.

Having less crimp lugs also reduces potential failure points. Two things can happen with crimp lugs, corrosion of the joint and fatigue fracturing of the lug. I have seen the result of a fatigue failure in a 415V 60kW star/delta starter, not pretty, unless your thing is smoke, soot and melted copper.

I have also seen bus bars insulated with a material that is applied in powdered form and then cooked, not sure of the rating but it looked good.

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Post by Johny » Wed, 27 May 2009, 01:01

We used to use a plastic coating product called "redskin" for Induction heater copper busbar strips. I think it is still available. Just dip and let dry.

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Post by acmotor » Wed, 27 May 2009, 04:58

Take care of what you call regen.Image
Regen via an alternator is more like drag i.e. losses rather than recovery of energy.
Regen needs to be operative down to stop, not just at 60 or 100kmph. An alternator rated at 1kW will be at at least 6000RPM on the shaft and pretty well zip at 1000RPM.

Regen capacity should be at least 50% of motoring capacity to be meaningful from my experience. The limit being which wheels are being braked and the recharge current limit on the battery pack.
There should be plenty of (actual) regen in the city speeds 40 to 0 kmph.



Crimp lugs don't corrode if they don't get wet and all crimp lugs are in waterproof enclosures in Australian EV conversions Image(according to NCOP14 that is !) They also only fatigue if the wiring is not properly restrained against mechanical movement or fine stranded cable not used where it should be.
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Post by Squiggles » Wed, 27 May 2009, 06:14

acmotor wrote:


Crimp lugs don't corrode if they don't get wet and all crimp lugs are in waterproof enclosures in Australian EV conversions Image(according to NCOP14 that is !) They also only fatigue if the wiring is not properly restrained against mechanical movement or fine stranded cable not used where it should be.


There are also compounds that can be used to seal the joints to prevent problems, even special ones for use in joints between different cable types (aluminium to copper). Had to fix a friends MIG welder once, the transformer had an aluminium winding and the welding lead was copper, failed at the joint after years of service.

As far as fatigue goes I agree proper restraint will prevent the problem, just be careful what you consider proper restraint. It was surprising in the case of the star/delta starter I mentioned. Multistrand cable, nice even bends, well supported to the back plate. We checked all of the similar starters in service and found several other lugs in the process of cracking. There was quite a lot of vibration induced by the contactor operation (CA160 from memory), add 25+ years of service. The cracking occurred where the flat part of the lug turned into the cable receptacle.

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Post by coulomb » Sun, 31 May 2009, 04:51

I'm looking at small AC drives for small AC motors to power things like air conditioners, power steering, etc.

Can anyone tell me what sort of power an air conditioner for the Suzuki Swift or other small cars would need? One, two horsepower, more?

Does anyone power these things from a small 48 V fork lift (etc) motor from a power supply designed for 240 VAC? (For example, if I have a 320 V nominal pack for an AC55). It would need to be modified to gently increase the output voltage from nearly zero to full in a second or two, to reduce the startup current.

I suppose Curtis and other likely suspects would make small controllers, but I doubt that they would take 320 V input.
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 04 Jun 2009, 06:09

A possible motor for White Suzi, if it fits:

Image

It needs some cleaning up, and a new bearing. 7.5 kW induction motor, 415 V delta, 4 pole, 132 frame. Unfortunately cast iron, so it weighs 74 kg, about 24 kg heavier than a new aluminium ABB motor of the same power. 6 terminals, so it can be trivially rewired for 690 V star. Edit: Australian made. I paid $85 on Ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ELECTRIC-MOTOR-7 ... 1|294%3A50

This will be a guinea pig for my idea of "rewiring for 1/3 voltage". Well, it's an idea that's been around for a while, and Weber pointed it out to me, but he thinks it won't be easy to 1/3 voltage, only halve it or something.

Assuming it has the usual 36 slots, I think it will be quite easy, although the detail of all the wires will be rather messy.

Now to scrounge a suitable controller.
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 11 Jun 2009, 02:43

The motor after cleaning up and removing the fan cowling:
Image

After removing the fan and ND (non drive) end plate:
Image
Things are looking a bit rusty here.

A closeup of the bearing, before cleaning:
Image
What a mess. It did clean up rather well, and I repacked it with grease, but it still sounds like a pack of marbles in a tin rubbish bin when it spins. Well, the Ebay seller did admit that it needed new bearings Image

Here are the rotor and stator:
Image   Image

Spraying the motor. Note the use of a great renewable resource: toilet rolls!
Image   Image

The nameplate:
Image

Edit: After cleaning up and painting, trying on the MX-5 engine bay for size:
Image
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 11 Jun 2009, 03:32

The motor spins!

I finally got it to spin off the mains by wiring it in star, connecting 240 VAC via a load across two phases, and a 10uF capacitor from an old washing machine between the third phase and active.

I had to get it up to about 70% of nominal speed; the only way was to wind at least 8 turns of rope around the drive shaft and pull strongly. Running at speed made a fearsome racket; those bearings need replacing urgently!

I started with a single 500 W lamp in series with the mains, then 1000 W, then a 10 A jug, and finally two 10 A jugs in parallel. In the end, it only drew about 7A RMS (hopefully most of that was magnetising current, not real power). It didn't get warm, but I didn't attempt to load it either.

I started with the motor in delta, but that didn't work at all. Maybe I just never spun it up fast enough, but I suspect that delta connection is not good for starting a 3-phase motor from single phase.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, 2xPIP-4048MS inverters, 16 kWh battery.
1.4 kW solar with 1.2 kW Latronics inverter and FIT.
160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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coulomb
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Coulomb's White Suzi (not converted)

Post by coulomb » Tue, 04 Aug 2009, 18:58

On the DC and regen theme: this post

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/sh ... 34283.html

has some information about field maps, how to generate them, and so on. As of early August 2009, the thread isn't complete; hopefully Major will post the final details. There is also a good explanation of the difference between shunt field motors and separately excited (sepex) field motors (top of page 2).
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, 2xPIP-4048MS inverters, 16 kWh battery.
1.4 kW solar with 1.2 kW Latronics inverter and FIT.
160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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