Power of One in Wenatchee, WA

Posted: under BSD General, On Road EV.

I emailed work last night to say I was going to Wenatchee with Marcelo in Wenatchee by Kelly GillinMarcelo da Luz to be his support driver.

Here is another picture, by Kelly Gillin of the Wenatchee World, of Mercelo talking to some of the students of Wenatchee High School.

Marcelo and I spent Monday night installing a BatMan3EV-100 so he can keep track of what he is doing to his batteries while he is driving. He started out with a neat battery management system that included speed, and high and low cell, but it broke in about two weeks. Here is a picture of the BatMan as installed:BatMan3EV in the Power of One.

More pictures can be found on the Wenatchee World website.

Comments (0) Dec 04 2008

The Power of One

Posted: under BSD General, On Road EV.

The Power of One Solar car project is in town!

What is the Power of One? Nine years ago, Marcelo de Luz from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was inspired when he read about the World Solar Challenge, a solar race across Australia. He decided one person could make a difference, and the Xof1 project was born. Here is a picture of Marcelo and the car, trying to catch a few feeble rays yesterday:The Power of One at 60 Acres park

In June of 2008, Marcelo left Buffalo, New York, has driven across most of Canada, up into Alaska, past the arctic circle, and back down to the Seattle area, entirely on the power of the sun. The energy is stored in 26 KoKam Lithium Ion Polymer cells weighing 60 pounds, and storing 4KWH. His solar array can produce just under 1KW in full sun, and a full charge can take him about 120 miles. The car can accelerate to 50MPH in a little over 6 seconds, and has a top speed of about 75MPH, driven by one hub motor in the rear.

He has driven over 10,000 miles since leaving Buffalo, and now every mile he drives extends the world solar mileage record.

About two weeks after departing Buffalo, his battery management system gave up the ghost. All he has had to help him keep track of the battery pack, is a volt meter. I decided he needed something better, so I spent a while yesterday modifying and installing a BatMan3EV-100 in the solar car.

Marcelo is running out of money, and currently plans to end his tour in Wenatchee in a few day, unless he gets some donations, so please donate on his website: www.xof1.com If you can spare a few bucks, it will help a lot. I have put my money where my mouth is, besides the BatMan3, I have donated $300Cn, so please help.

Go Marcelo, show the world what can be done with only Solar Power!

Comments (0) Dec 01 2008

MK3 Reg Scanner Software page is up!

Posted: under BSD General, On Road EV.

It is here at last: now you can download the latest version of BSDs MK3 Reg Scaner software!

When you unzip it, you will get a brief manual, and the setup files. By running the “setup.exe” file, the Reg Scanner software will be installed on your computer. The default directory is: “C:\MK3 Reg Scanner”. You can find it at: MK3 Reg Scanner V1.1 (1.92MB).

If you bught a RegBus to USB or Evil to USB adapter, and your copy of Windows doesn’t know how to install it, (most do), you can download a version of it here: RegBus to USB driver (2.16MB).

Comments (0) Nov 02 2008

Lithium Reg Pictures

Posted: under BSD General, On Road EV.

OK, I promised, so here we are:This is what turns out to be the bottom of the board where the interesting bits live. Reg BottomThis is the top of the board with the load resistors sticking up in the breese. Reg Top And how it looks mounted to a “Ligntning Bolt”Reg Mounted to “Lightning Bolt”

The stuff at the right end of the top picture, is the communication bits. The board will come in three flavors: 1. Basic, which just adds a 1 ohm load when the voltage goes above its set point, 2&3: Right and Left hand versions with the ability to talk to a charger, and tell it to back off on the current, when the voltage gets too high.

Why right and left hand versions you might ask? When you assemble a pack, you will have some cells with their positive terminal on the right, and some with the negative terminal on the right. This way, the communication bus runs across one end of the cells, so I need to stuff the comm hardware on one end or the other.

In the future, I might write software to allow them to talk using the comm bus, which is EVIL bus hardware compliant, but for now, we will use it to just tell the charger to back off when charge is completing, or to tell the driver or controller to back off when the cells are getting too low.

The three white blobs at the top of the first picture are LEDs that shine through the holes you can see at the bottom of the other pictures. You can’t see it in the bottom picture, but the right one is blinking green to say that the voltage on this cell is in the top 0.12V of the charge, before completion at 3.8V.

Comments (0) Oct 18 2008

BSD Lithium Iron Phosphate regulator.

Posted: under BSD General, On Road EV.

Are you thinking of using Lithium batteries in your next EV conversion? At around $200 per cell, you probably want to protect that investment. To help you, I just got the first pass of my Lithium Iron Phosphate battery regulator working! It is a 1 ohm load, that switches on at 3.8V. That is a similar amount of load to the Rudman MK3 regs that Manzanita sells for me.

They mount right to the top of a 100AH “Lightning Bolt” cell, and daisy chain to gether. When they are all hooked together, we should be able to control a Manzanita PFC charger with them.

The prototype draws around 1mA if it has a light blinking, which it does below 2.7V and above 3.68V, and about 3.8A if the voltage is above 3.8V. Between 2.7 and 3.68V it draws about 0.7mA (0.0007A). In a year, it will use less that 10% of the capacity of these batteries. I am pretty sure that is less than the self discharge rage of these things. I will get some pictures up soon.

To start with, I will be selling them through Cloud Electric Vehicles because they asked for them. I will also make a version for the ThunderSky cells too, probably through Manzanita but give me a little time on that.

Comments (0) Oct 17 2008

Jeffs Zenn #2

Posted: under BSD General, On Road EV.

Jeff has been driving his Zenn for 10 months now. He found that his batteries had about twice the capacity that the in-dash “Fuel Gauge” indicated, and that the BatMan3-EV was much more useful than what Zenn provides.

They had drained their batteries a bit more than they should have a few times. The problem would occur when they had been on a long trip, and they arrived at the bottom of the hill they live on with the batteries pretty tired. They had one case where passengers had to get out, in order for the car to make it up the hill. This probably is the reason that recently Jeff found that the capacity of his pack seemed to be falling. He brought his car over to my place, and over the course of a Sunday, I charged and discharged each battery individually to find the capacity of each battery.

My method was to use a power supply set to 14.76V to charge up each battery, just before I discharged it. I discharged the battery using a BatMan3-EL in drain mode, with a contactor connecting and disconnecting the 0.25 Ohm 1000W resistor, ending the test when the voltage comes down to 10.5V. This starts out at a bit over 40A, and as the battery gets tired, it comes down to around 33A. The BatMan3-EL records how long the load was connected, and how many Amp/Hours the battery produced in the process.

Here are the results, with battery, starting voltage, drain time, Amp/Hours:

1. 13.302V, 99:17, 58.46A/H
2. 13.298V, 91:15, 52.44A/H
3. 13.333V, 109:21, 63.09A/H
4. 13.328V, 101:19, 58.52A/H
5. 13.303V, 96:49, 56.49A/H
6. 13.260V, 95:20, 55.10A/H

Now we didn’t have the opportunity to do this test when the batteries were new, but we can see that battery 2 now has only 83% of the capacity of battery 3. After this test we adjusted the BatMan3-EV capacity in Jeffs Zenn to 45A/H to make sure they didn’t damage the batteries any more that they already had.

Comments (0) Oct 11 2008

Another Electrathon Record!

Posted: under BSD General, Electrathon.

Dave Cloud called today at lunch from Lewiston, Idaho. There is good news, bad news, and good news. The old Electrathon record was 53MPH, which Shannon beat. The bad news is that She didn’t win. The other good news is that Michael Lewis beat us AGAIN, while breaking his record by 5MPH, up to 58MPH! So that is going 58 miles in one hour on less power than a hair dryer!

That makes about 17W/H per mile. I call that efficient!

Comments (0) Oct 08 2008

Spirit of DC &

Posted: under BSD General.

Today was a busy day! It started out getting a couple of BatMan3-EV’s ready to ship. The problem was one of them was a new version with the DC to DC converter inside the unit. I suppose that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, all except for the manual.
I had to rewrite the manual, because the connections changed. Then I had to get some of them reproduced.

I also spent some time working on EVIL-USB adapters for Rich Rudman. The new versions seem to work really well, but the MK3 regs weren’t receiving from them very well. I also found that the new Reg Scanner software I had built wouldn’t talk to com ports above 9. This was a problem because the 5 EVIL-USB’s I had just finished building, ended up being com14-com18 on my laptop. So I fired up another project with my East Indian programmer to fix it, but he had the audacity to be asleep!

By then, it was time to wander into Seattle to meet with some SEVA folks, and meet EVJerry Asher who has been driving “The Spirit of DC” all around the country. The Spirit is a plug in hybrid Prius, and so far he has hit around 30 states, and a whole bunch of EV clubs. When I started this entry, he had moved on, and was just south of Tacoma, and now he appears to be visiting the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. You can see where he is by visiting his site:http://www.spiritofdc.com/ then going to MAP, and then following the big link “Click here to see the Spirit of DC’s current Location”.

Comments (0) Oct 04 2008

Jeff’s Zenn #1.

Posted: under BSD General, On Road EV.

My friend Jeff drives a Zenn. It has a 72V pack of 6 Discovery batteries. The Zenns “fuel gauge” has about 4 segments, which doesn’t give a lot of Information. Dave Cloud installed a BatMan4-EV100, and battery heaters. The next day, Jeff called me to tell me the BatMan had quit.

It turned out that Jeff lives on a hill, and after charging overnight, he left home the steep way. His Zenn has been modified by MC-EV to have an AC drive system. When going down the hill, the BatMan said “OverLD”, then blinked and went out. I found that one of the power supplies died, so I repaired it. I modified a unit to be able to go to higher voltages, and sample faster. We popped Jeffs repaired unit out of the car, and plugged in this special unit. We recorded the data with my laptop, and here is some of the data, showing the first time we went down the hill.
Jeffs Voltage and Current Chart

Now remember that this is a 72V pack, and that it was already down by about 10% from a trip into Woodinville and back. Near the middle of the graph, you can see the pack voltage going over 100V as the controller put over 150A into a nearly full pack! Now the 100V BatMan can measure 100V, but the power supply is only designed to handle 90V. So even though this is a 72V system, which shouldnt go over 90V even under charge, we saw enough voltage to blow the power supply in the BatMan. What we did was add a zener diode between the measurement pin, and the power supply pin to drop some of the voltage. The problem with this, is that if Jeff takes the pack too low, the BatMan drops out, forgetting what it had collected since reset. He currently has a 27V diode, which we may change for an 18V one.

Comments (0) Sep 30 2008

Hello world!

Posted: under Electrathon.

I got a message from C. Michael Lewis about the Utah Salt Flats Speed Trials. There were 4 cars that he mentioned in his email. The first was a high school car from Salt Lake City, over 50MPH.
Then there was Shane, or maybe Daniel, I guess he wasn’t sure which one was driving…93MPH!
They got up 93MPH in the standing mile.
Michael of Team ElectroLite, who beat us at New Hampshire International Speedway two years ago: over 100MPH.Michael did 100MPH!
And the New World Electrathon one mile standing start record holder, Shannon Cloud of Cloud Electric Racing: Over 110MPH!NEW Record: 110MPH on 67 pounds of lead-acid battery!

Comments (1) Sep 26 2008