Saturday, April 26, 2014

WOW! (04/26/2014)
Time flies.  I haven't posted for quite some time as there hasn't been much to say.  I'm still driving my wonderful 914EV.  I commute to work most days with it.  I now have over 33,300 trouble free EV miles driven.  It's been almost 4 years now and the car still puts a hugh smile on my face whenever I drive it.

After 33,300+ miles, my batteries have lost approximately 7% capacity.  In the beginning after a bottom balance, I was getting 194Ah out of my slightly undercharged pack.  Last month 03/01/2014,  after my bottom balancing, I only got 180Ah.  14/194=.072  I went 120 miles on this trip.

At this rate I should reach my goal of getting 100,000 miles out of my pack.  Stay tuned.

Last year I purchased a Rav4EV 2012 model new from Toyota.  This is a California zero emission compliance car from Toyota and they don't promote it.  2014 will be the last year they produce it.  It is the result of a collaboration between Tesla motors and Toyota.  It's a great car for rainy days and trips to the beach and to Haul my Bike to go Bike riding.  I have a tow bar on the back so I can attach a bike rack.  This car has the 40Kwh pack from Tesla and will go 140 miles if I drive it conservatively.  If not, it goes zero to 60 in 7 seconds.  This car does great burnouts.  Not bad for a soccer mom looking car.  Now if only I could get the wife to drive it.  My daughter loves it though.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Water cooling the controller

After 2 years and 22 thousand miles, I finally decided to add a chill plate to my controller and use water cooling.  This makes the controller run much cooler. :-)  I had been using a large heat sink with a fan to cool the controller but there were times when the controller got up to 70C.   I used a small radiator with fan used on computers to cool the controller and it works great.  You don't need an automotive grade radiator to water cool your controller.  We'll see how things work out in the summer months.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

REFUEL 2012 @ Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway

Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway REFUEL 2012 (July 1, 2012)
This year Electric car conversions were a small portion of the Electric cars at Laguna Seca.
Production cars dominated the Track with 5 Tesla Model S cars, several Tesla Roadsters, several Coda cars, Nissan Leafs, and BMW ActiveE cars. They also had electric motor cycles Production and conversion or prototypes.  This year they allowed GoCart conversions as well.

According to this I came in first in my class although I thought there were conversions faster than me.  I believe they had mechanical problems before the time trials.

I almost didn't go this year as I had to work on Saturday the day before.  But at the last minute,  I decided to go for it.  So I towed my car to work and left straight from work to make the 8 hour trip.
Last year they had plenty of room for cars.  This year it was a bit over crowded.  Unfortunately I had E-Mailed the Refuel guys telling them to cancel my registration and then changed it back to yes I was going to go.  Also requested them to call me if there was going to be a problem but I guess they were a little too busy getting the event off the ground and so they missed my message.  As a result, I was not able to drive in the practice runs but did get to participate in the time trials.
It was great fun to drive on this race track again.  Next time I hope to have wide tires and a chance to practice.

Here's a shot of Steven's car.  He's from Washington and when he gets the lead out of his car he will be really fast!!

Here's one of the 5 Tesla S models that were at REFUEL 2012.  These cars did exceptionally well.  The 5 Model S cars came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th. (a Roadster came in 5th).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

140 miles on a charge!

Wow.  It's been nearly a year since my last post.  My car has been running relatively trouble free so not much to say.  I have purchased a new Elcon 4000 charger that pushes 31amps @ 220v AC.  I like it much better than my old Elcon3000 charger as it has two fans and does not get hot at all.  It barely gets warm.  If you have the room for this, it is a much better choice.  With my old Elcon3000 I was always nervous about closing my fiberglass trunk lid over the charger as it got very hot.  Now no worries

I also made a J1772 adapter for my car (which I never use). 
Here's a shot of my trunk with its new add ons.           

I had to run a few errands on Saturday and I noticed I was running very efficiently at about 1.3 Ah/mile. So... I decided to do a long distance maximum range test.

This was mostly Freeway driving @ 65mph driving like a granny not 75-80 like I usually drive. At the end of the test, I was driving around my neighborhood with a volt meter attached to my windshield wiper connected to my cell #25. This is my lowest capacity cell from prior tests. I also wanted to see how the voltage sagged on that cell when I was accelerating. Cell #25 sagged to 2.25v under 50amp load at the end of my trip. As soon as I pulled into my garage, I checked cell voltages and #25 was up to 2.41v. This was a little further than I had intended to go but I was so close to my house. :-) 
Cell voltages ranged from 2.71v to 2.41v with an average of 2.62v.
I got exactly 140 miles using 194.2 Ah (Actually it is more like 137 miles as my tachometer is off a little with my smaller diameter Bridgestone Ecopia tires.)
That's 1.387 Ah/mile and 168.4 Wh/mile with a 2,300lb car.

What's really great is in 100 miles I will have 18,000 miles on my battery pack and I still have almost full capacity!

I wanted to see if I could compete in the ENDURO run being planned for EVCCON 2012. However, as it turns out, I will be hiking in the Grand Canyon with my wife in September. The hiking group we belong to has planned a big trip in September and since my kids are both off to college I am trying to find things that my wife and I can do together that we both enjoy.  (The empty nest has its challenges)

So... next year for sure.
Here's proof of my drive (or stupidity)
I have almost 18,000 miles on the car.  I average 1.82Ah/mile = 221 Wh/mile
Highest 2.29Ah/mile = 278Wh/mile
Lowest 1.13Ah/mile = 137.2 Wh/mile
The 914 is a fairly aerodynamic car so I can do a little better than the "Rule of thumb" of
1 Wh/mile for every 100lbs of car but it depends on how I drive.

So as of June 20th, 2012:

Using 38 200Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate Voltronics batteries from Flux Power.
Nominal Pack Voltage of 121.6
Top speed 107mph
Max miles on a charge 140 (137 )
EV miles traveled 18,000 (almost)
Gross weight 2308
Charge time after my 45 mile commute is about 3 hrs. @ 31.1amps

Here's a rear shot of my license plate frame and bumper sticker.  The license number is a forgery. Ha Ha!

Brian Galleger of Andromeda continues to work on his Display I have the first version in my car.  His new display will have more features including touch screen an Ah counter and better graphics. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Recent stats

Here's some of my recent statistics.  On July 10th,  I ended up needing to drive the car a bit farther than usual.  SO I decided to do a bottom balance as recommended by Jack Rickard.   SO I drove the car and checked my cells and drove and checked and drove and checked.  I used up 194 amp hrs on my 200Ah batteries.  At this point I had gone 117.4 miles!  I decided to use my ceramic heater to drain the pack further as that only draws about 13amps.  I got all the cells to balance at 2.96 V each.  This was a big pain in the butt but I did it.
  Now the theory is... if I ever drive the car down to its limits (which I do not plan on doing), all cells will be even and dropping over the discharge curve cliff at the same time and they all will be too weak to push any cell into cell reversal.  The car will just stop.  Not that I would ever want to test this. :-)

Laguna Seca Raceway

On june 26th, 2011 I went out to an event called Refuel at Laguna Seca.  It was an all electric car event.  I came in second in my class of converted cars.  The Tesla cars were wicked fast.  I remembered tailing and passing a blue Nissan Leaf in the event and thinking wow I am faster than a Nissan Leaf!  My garage build car is better than a production car.  However there is a U-Tube video of the tan Leaf in this picture being behind me for about 2 minutes and then passing me.  Hmmm....  
Not sure what happened here.  Possibly a case of thermal cut back?  My controller starts to reduce power when it hits 85C.  Time for liquid cooling and a fan.  Currently I am just using a large heatsink with vertically mounted fins.  Although on the freeway even going 90 it has never been a problem.  But on a race track I was pushing the 550amp controller to it's limits.  It was loads of fun though.  Even if I got my ass kicked by a boxy economy car.  :-)  Speaking of getting my a#* kicked, Here's a shot taken from a Tesla Video camera.  I bet the guy was thinking...Who's the guy in the slow blue car?  
Speaking of getting my a#* kicked, Here's a shot taken from a Tesla Video camera.  I bet the guy was thinking...Who's the guy in the slow blue car?  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Promoting EV awareness 04-17-2011

This Sunday there was an Earth day Fair at Balboa Park.  The Kick Gas Club got some coverage and I was on the news.  Also had an article on my car in the Union Tribune.