Silly Charging Idea No2

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Paul9
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Paul9 » Thu, 28 May 2009, 17:58

Hi People,

This one is not so much a charging idea as a reduction in current drawn by my accessories. My silly question is would it be possible to use 12V Dc Compact Flouro's as headlights? When I asked my mate (the car mechanic) his immediate reaction was that headlights need a high and a low beam. I said we would just need 2 CFL's on each side of the car - one pointing high and one pointing low. A normal headlight, I believe, draws about 35watts(?) whereas a CFL would draw about 7watts for the same illumination therefore we end up with same illumination but lower wattage draw from auxillary battery?

By concentrating on low wattage auxillaries I hope to be able to combine "silly charging idea No1" with "silly charging idea no2" and up with the silliest electric conversion possible! I only got 4 out of ten for idea no1 so I was hoping this idea might be even stupider than the last one. Both ideas were the result of the consumption of too much red wine!

What do you reckon?
Thanks in advance
Paul

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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Johny » Thu, 28 May 2009, 18:06

IMO One problem is focus. Compact Flouro's have, by nature, a large emitting surface which would make it very difficult to focus the beam and not blind other motorists. Regulations may be a problem too. The idea has merit but has a few mechanical hurdles to jump. Next you'll be suggesting a custom transformerless inverter to drive them. Image

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Post by acmotor » Thu, 28 May 2009, 18:24

Johny got there first !

Paul,
The idea is fine in terms of light production efficiency for electrical power input. CFL ~ x5 better than incandecent globe.
The challenge comes in the design of the reflector (and front lense) of the headlight.
For a headlight to function well it must direct / focus / beam most of its light well forward and with width, not height in the beam. Also in low beam it must not direct any light at oncoming vehicles.
This is done with the reflector (parabolic behind the globe) and the lense in front. For these two to work well within the given size for a headlight the light source needs to be as close to a point source as possible. The larger the source, the larger the reflector and lense size to create the required beam.
A CFL is typically quite a large light source for a reflector to collect into a beam of light. You would perhaps need a reflector 500mm or more across to use a typical CFL as a headlight.

Headlights cause wind drag as they increase in size and the larger they are the more prone they are to damage e.g. by stones. (and the more they cost to manufacture)

The answer is that the best? solution so far has been HID headlights. These are high intensity gas discharge tubes of small dimension, only tens of mm in size, so they are close to a point source.
Wattages are around 1/5 that of normal headlights and a stronger whiter light. (personally I think they also have more glare for on coming traffic as well).
HIDs require voltage inverters and starting circuits but this is reasonably refined now.

LED headlights will probably be the final answer with even higher efficiency (point source and already directed light beam), although there is still some work to do with refining the technology.
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Gow864 » Thu, 28 May 2009, 19:26

What about luxeon led's, you can buy an MR16 12V 3W luxeon light off of ebay for 20ish bucks, they only give off about the same as a 20w halogen though.
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by fuzzy-hair-man » Thu, 28 May 2009, 20:20

Gow864 wrote: What about luxeon led's, you can buy an MR16 12V 3W luxeon light off of ebay for 20ish bucks, they only give off about the same as a 20w halogen though.
Look for Luxeon Rebel LEDs or Cree or Seoul LEDs these should be much more efficient than the older Luxeons, LED technology has been moving faster than LiIon batteries tech and only the high end torch and light manufacturers seem to have kept up with the latest offerings.

If you wanted to make your own LED headlights there are a lot of the electronic components, reflectors, heatsinks around to do it as there seems to be a pretty big enthusiast market for torch and bike light modifications.

I think HID is just about at the point of being passed by LEDs at the moment.

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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Electrocycle » Thu, 28 May 2009, 20:42

Yep, it won't be long before we see HID replaced by LED.

I've done a bit of testing with the Seoul P7 LEDs (12w) in 50mm aluminium reflectors.
4 of them compare pretty well with normal car high beams (about $150 worth from dealextreme.com)

Some photos here:
http://enginewhisperer.com/wp/?p=324
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Thalass » Fri, 29 May 2009, 02:52

Wow that's pretty good, Electrocycle.

I have a LEDLenser P14 torch and it is insanely bright (it comes with a laser-style warning sticker!).

The led lensers have a combined lense/reflector which is nifty and works quite well. I think they also have a $800 torch with seven of the units in my torch that would be just about weapons grade brightness. haha.

Unfortunately it would still be crazy expensive to have led headlights, I think.
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by acmotor » Fri, 29 May 2009, 03:01

I just hope the LED headlight manufacturers do a better job at reducing glare to oncoming vehicles than HID does ! And then there are the selfish people who drive around with their fog lights on as well ! Image

On that point, a useful ADR would be one than required an interlock so fog lights and headlights could not be turned on at the same time !
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Tritium_James » Fri, 29 May 2009, 03:56

Well there's certainly enough ADRs on headlight beam shape, colour and brightness. It's a pretty carefully chosen beam shape too, it would not be a simple job to do LED headlights at home, they would almost certainly end up with light shining where's it's not allowed.

LEDs will be better than the HID type soon I would think. No startup delay issues either, the HIDs take a small amount of time to get the arc going, it's a bit of a problem for being able to flash the high-beams, and not good for the HID bulb either.

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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Gow864 » Fri, 29 May 2009, 04:41

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Taffy » Fri, 29 May 2009, 04:58

I am thinking of going LEDS on all but the headlights in attempt to cut out unneeded power consumption. I seem to be struggling with finding ADR compliant ones that dont cost $10,00000000000. I found a trailer mob that do them but i think there too big for what i want.

Edit: From the link above i love the iron held in the beer bottles.
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Squiggles » Fri, 29 May 2009, 05:18

acmotor wrote: I just hope the LED headlight manufacturers do a better job at reducing glare to oncoming vehicles than HID does ! And then there are the selfish people who drive around with their fog lights on as well ! Image

On that point, a useful ADR would be one than required an interlock so fog lights and headlights could not be turned on at the same time !


The old NSW motor traffic act used to have something like that, not sure but I think it was headlights off and clearance lights on.

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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Squiggles » Fri, 29 May 2009, 05:22

Taffy wrote: I am thinking of going LEDS on all but the headlights in attempt to cut out unneeded power consumption. I seem to be struggling with finding ADR compliant ones that dont cost $10,00000000000. I found a trailer mob that do them but i think there too big for what i want.

Edit: From the link above i love the iron held in the beer bottles.


I've been thinking of this as well, in the end just how many metres extra range are you likely to get by using LEDs? I am not sure it would be all that significant in the overall scheme of things.

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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by acmotor » Fri, 29 May 2009, 05:59

Prius rightly or wrongly uses normal globes all round (at least in 2008 model). I guess they may be saving money for the bits that count.

Lights are not big energy users compared with the emotor.
That's not to put anyone off going upmarket with LEDS. Go for it !
But don't ask me to get excited about DC lead acid and LED lights. Image
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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by Tritium_James » Fri, 29 May 2009, 13:45

Right now until someone does all the really expensive optical engineering design and certification for us and starts selling them commercially I'd say LED headlights are in the 'too hard' basket. Getting one that's bright enough is do-able, but making it pass the ADRs is tough.

LEDs brake lights make a whole lot of sense though. Power consumption isn't really that significant, but they light up faster than bulbs (1/4 to 1/3 of a second) and give the person behind you that much more reaction time. Less chance of bending your EV! You can see the delay easily if someone has bulbs in their brake lights, and LEDs in their spoiler or centre brake light.

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Post by Squiggles » Fri, 29 May 2009, 13:56

I was driving behind a truck recently that had LED brake lights that flashed rapidly. Effective for attracting attention. I did wonder of the legality though.

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Post by Johny » Fri, 29 May 2009, 15:47

Someone was telling me recently that their brake lights flashed if the ABS cut in.

I'm using LED brake/parker lights in the Snipe and the family couldn't tell the difference when I just changed one side.
I'm also using LED lighting in the interior. The front light is embedded behind the rear vision mirror and I already has to get it re-silvered. The LED light is easily as bright and almost no heat.

Now, on holidays, my daughter can sit in the car for hours with the doors open (as she likes to do) and I don't get all concerned that it won't start.

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Silly Charging Idea No2

Post by acmotor » Fri, 29 May 2009, 21:15

Johny wrote: Someone was telling me recently that their brake lights flashed if the ABS cut in.


Was that because of the sag in the 12V system as the brake modulator operated ? Image
No seriously, it may be a good idea.


I'm with you there TJ re the speed of LEDs for the brake lights.

I'll say though that I am in favour of the LED fast flash. Let me elaborate a little.

The human eye is good at picking up changes in the image and particularly effective at noticing repeated change in the peripheral vision. e.g a flashing light.

The problem is when the eyes blink at the exact point of change (an it is short), the change is not seen as a change but as a new steady state and attracts less attention, particularly when the eye blinks as it scans to a new field of view. Try this for yourself.
So when you have brake lights turn on in micro seconds rather than there being a change over a few hundred milli seconds there is potential to reduce the eye attraction.(although the LED light comes on sooner)
Same goes with indicators. The original timing (stated in the ADRs if you need to be particular) was based on the warm up/turn on, cool down/ turn off time for a traditional light bulb. This means that there was no steady state (i.e. always change) and a scan by the eye would always see a changing light intensity. The fast on/off of LEDs defeates this in some ways. (perhaps the flash rate should be faster in the modern world anyway) Or maybe LED indicators should be ramped up/down not on/off.

So perhaps the operation should be flash, flash, full on for brake lights to attract maximum attention ? Image

(and I do agree that regen should operate brake lights as well)
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Post by Tritium_James » Fri, 29 May 2009, 21:43

Flashing brake lights, even only a flash or two at the start, would get annoying pretty fast I reckon. Road rage here we come...

I can't see anything prohibiting it in the ADRs for main brake lights, but the ADR for centre-high-mount-stop-lights (ADR 60/00) says that they must: "60.2.4.4. provide a steady warning light;" so I think that rules out any flashing options.

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Post by Johny » Fri, 29 May 2009, 22:04

acmotor wrote:
Johny wrote: Someone was telling me recently that their brake lights flashed if the ABS cut in.


Was that because of the sag in the 12V system as the brake modulator operated ? Image
No seriously, it may be a good idea.
It was a Holden Astra (AH model 2006/2007) - deliberate apparently.

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Post by antiscab » Sun, 31 May 2009, 00:24

Electrocycle wrote:
I've done a bit of testing with the Seoul P7 LEDs (12w) in 50mm aluminium reflectors.


Theres been a few 50w and 100w luxeon LEDs on ebay recently....
they would be far brighter than a HID id imagine :p

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