Plug In 2008

Plug In Partners

T he Plug in 2008 National PHEV Conference in San Jose by most accounts was a big success. million into electric-vehicle maker Aptera and battery start-up ActaCell. aims to develop long-lasting lithium-ion batteries. Tags: manufacturers batteries utilities

2008 130

Battery Racks, Continued

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I did some more work on the battery racks over the past few days. Here is a closeup of the front battery rack on the driver side. Here's the front battery rack again, but on the passenger side of the vehicle. Moving onto the firewall battery rack.

2008 173

Trending Sources

Rear Trunk Battery Rack

Open Source Civic EV Kit

This first one is all the work I did installing the rear trunk battery rack base. After installing the two square pipes, I installed the two pieces of 1.5" (1/8" thick) angle iron to support the front and rear edges of the batteries. Next up: The firewall battery rack

2008 164

Batteries are Here!

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I ordered the batteries on Monday and the delivery guy showed up on Wednesday! I wasn't here, but he came back on Thursday and dropped off the LifeLine group-31 batteries. The battery packaging came in very good condition on a pallet. Here's what one battery looks like.

2008 130

Crimping the Battery Cables

Open Source Civic EV Kit

One of the major tasks during construction of an EV is properly crimping all the heavy duty battery cables together. On my previous electric vehicle, I missed putting Noalox on four battery cable connections.

2008 130

Battery Monitoring Parts

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Here are several components from the Belktronix battery monitoring system. In the upper left is the "batmon" unit (one for each battery) that monitors each battery. The green LED turns on when the resistive shunt (lower left in the photo) kicks in to balance out the batteries.

2008 130

Conundrums over Batteries

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Ever since I heard the not-so-great cycle lifetime of the Deka 9A31 batteries, I've been scouring the internet to try and find a replacement group-31 AGM battery. They're quite a bit more expensive than the other choices, but that cost will be made up for in the lifetime of the battery.

2008 130

Making Fake Batteries

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I did spend a few hours ordering battery lugs and terminal covers as well as the vacuum pump for the power brake assist. I'm lucky in that with the 22"x28" sheet, I can just fit all the faces for one battery with just a little left over. Here's one complete foam-core fake battery.

2008 130

Considering Different Batteries

Open Source Civic EV Kit

The original CivicWithACord design used 18 8-volt golf cart batteries. After some debate on the Google Group and dealing with clutch-link interference issues, I'm tending towards 12-volt group-31 AGM batteries for the initial design.

2008 130

Fixing the Aux Battery Killer

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

It's important to protect both ends because one is tied directly to the 12V battery through a fuse and the other gets 12V when you turn the tail lights on. I really hope I'll never kill my 12V battery again by leaving on the turn signal.

2008 130

Testing Clearance on the Front Battery Racks

Open Source Civic EV Kit

With the motor and transmission in, I started to re-install the firewall battery rack to see if there were any clearance issues. There is also very little clearance between the top of the batteries and the underside of the hood.

2008 130

Rob Connelly's Front Battery Racks

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I'd like to thank Rob Connelly for providing 3D drawings of his front battery racks so people can see different ways of doing things. Here is a picture of the front battery rack support that Rob C.

2008 130

Cutting the Battery Hold-downs for the Rear Rack

Open Source Civic EV Kit

The upper edge of the LifeLine batteries has some protrusions that the battery hold downs must fit around. I'm using 3/4" angle iron to hold down the batteries in the rear trunk.

2008 130

Modifying the Hood and Continuing the Rear Battery Rack

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Back in this post , the second picture from the bottom shows where the group-31 batteries interfere with the support strut on the front hood. To help even out the support under the batteries in the rear trunk rack , I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood 13" x 36" to sit under the batteries.

2008 130

Bolting Together the Front Battery Rack

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Most folks weld together battery racks and then bolt them into the car (or sometimes weld them in). Here are the main supports for the front battery rack and the rear trunk battery rack. The foam-core batteries fit well and give good clearance to the clutch slave cylinder.

2008 130

Battery Woes

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I think my battery pack is dead after 8600 miles and 1.5 Apparently the alarm is indicating a timeout that the charge cycle is taking too long for the capacity of batteries that I have. After doing some analysis yesterday, it looks like the batteries are not getting past the initial "bulk" charging phase. The charge curve in my Zivan dumps maximum current onto the batteries until the voltage reaches 171.6 years.

2008 100

Buying batteries

Open Source Civic EV Kit

With progress moving forward on the motor/transmission, I took the leap and bought twelve Lifeline GPL-31MT batteries. PowerStride battery had the lowest prices online plus free shipping. They were also gracious enough to give me a 3% discount for ordering 12 batteries. Let's see if my estimations on the battery rack dimensions turn out to actually fit the batteries

2008 100

New Tranny Fluid, Battery Filler and EV Toolbox

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I tried using an automatic battery filler from NAPA to fill the batteries, but the nozzle kept jamming and the weight of the water in the tank wore out my arm muscles. I tied up a bunch of loose ends today on the 914EV.

2008 130

Hybrid batteries doing fine

Plugs and Cars

There's good news in Jim Motavalli's Greentech report in the NY Times about NiMH batteries in hybrids. The batteries have gotten cheaper, and they have proven robust and long-lived. Tags: hybrid battery Toyota reports a tiny percentage of replacements - 350 packs out of hundreds of thousands of 2nd generation Priuses. Yellow Cab in Vancouver has about 100 hybrids, some having racked up as many as 300,000 miles.

2008 100

Buying Heavy Battery Cable

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I spent last night visualizing how I could most effectively connect all the traction batteries with the least amount of welding cable and the shortest distance to the controller and motor. This morning I took some thick rope to serve as a fake battery cable and used it to measure the long cable lengths needed to connect the front and rear batteries. I also dropped by Napa Auto parts to pick up all the fuse holders required for the BatMon battery monitors.

2008 100

200AH LiFePo4 Battery Test Results

DIY Electric Car

A DIY Electric Car Member, david85, has been testing a 200 Amp-Hour LiFePo4 Battery for a few weeks now and has been keeping a public journal of the results. If you're not familiar with LifePo4, it's a fairly new battery technology that promises greater safety than Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer while still holding a good energy density and a decent discharge rate. Tags: LiFePo4 Product Reviews batteries

2008 100

Plug-in Manufacturers Grow

Plug In Partners

Senior sources say that trials are currently underway in Japan, with a prototype that uses a rotary engine to charge the battery pack. Company bosses are said to be keen to put this system into production but no firm decisions will be made until the cost of batteries is reduced."

2008 130

Musk v. Fisker

Plugs and Cars

Tags: tesla fisker automotive henrik fisker battery electric car elon musk

2008 130

EV Batteries and Battery Meter Required

Electric Cars are for Girls

Two questions, the first about batteries, the second about the battery meter: (1) How many batteries would you estimate would be required for an

2008 98

Goal!

Plug In Partners

GM Finally Unveils Production Chevy Volt Popular Mechanics By Larry Webster September 16, 2008 After 100 years of making cars, it's party time at the General's house. Credit Amount/Criteria: Plug-in electric drive vehicles with batteries of at least 4 kWh qualify for a $2,500 credit.

2008 130

Toyota Plug In

Plug In Partners

Japan and Europe by 2010 By Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press June 11, 2008 TOKYO -- Toyota is introducing a plug-in hybrid with next-generation lithium-ion batteries in the U.S., T oyota President Katsuaki Watanabe made his company's intentions clear yesterday about PHEVs.

2008 130

Dont get mad, get even!

Plugs and Cars

Tags: conversion electric volkswagen battery electric car

2008 130

PIP Declares Victory

Plug In Partners

The operational technology has been perfected and the battery technology is maturing. The Chevy Volt , a plug-in electric car, will have the battery power to take most American drivers to and from work every day without using any gasoline at all.

2008 130

Routing the Cables Underneath

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Not surprisingly, we need to connect the batteries in back with the batteries in front and also include the main circuit breaker under the parking brake. Many people use pool tubing to protect the battery cables from road dirt.

2008 130

Mounting the Batmon Boards

Open Source Civic EV Kit

The next step involved preparing all the mounting hardware for the BatMon boards that sit on top of each battery. The smaller mounting pads near the top of the pile hold the temperature sensors onto the battery for proper sensing

2008 130

Wiring up and Testing Batmon Boards

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Okay, I've finished wiring up the front set of batteries. The two thinner red/black paired wires in the upper left of the photo are the LVP/OVP signals going to the two front batteries. It's basically a 3V supply with 2 AA batteries and spade terminals on the wires.

2008 130

Christmas Presents

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I received a Link-10 battery monitor from my parents. Santa was good to me this year. I don't think they understand what it does and why it costs so much, but okay, they got it for me anyway. The items on the right came from Belktronix.

2008 130

Fixing the Speedometer, Removing ECU

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Fortunately I hadn't yet wired up all the BatMon boards, so removing the firewall batteries to get at the sensor only took a few minutes. Here's the firewall battery rack with two batteries removed to get at the speed sensor on the transmission.

2008 130

VW Jumps on the Bandwagon

Plug In Partners

Much like GM's system in development for the Volt , the car's lithium ion battery power supply is supplemented by a traditional gasoline engine for long distance travel. But, there's also a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel that makes 122 HP which can take over once the batteries have been drained.

2008 130

Hacking the Final Hold-downs

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I installed the remaining hold-downs for the 12V auxiliary battery and the extra battery in the rear trunk this evening. Here's a picture of the 12V aux battery hold-down. The battery is a smaller motorcycle battery.

2008 130

Making the Battery Hold-Downs

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I cut several pieces of metal for the battery hold-downs. The construction details are as follows: All angle iron and barstock is 1/8" thick and 3/4" wide.

2008 100

Tachometer is Here!

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I hooked the tach up to a small 12V battery to light up the dial. A small can of POR-15 should be arriving tomorrow that I can paint the remaining battery hold-downs with and there's one Batmon board left with a bad zener diode on it that's back at Belktronix for repairs

2008 130

Installing the Batmon Resistors

Open Source Civic EV Kit

In order to shunt current around each fully charged battery, the BatMon boards use an external 3 ohm resistor. The top picture shows two holes just over the large red battery post cover. Here is a view in the engine compartment where the 12V car battery used to be.

2008 130

Documenting the Racks

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Last Saturday, my buddy Ian and I spent the day re-working the firewall battery rack. I wasn't sure on clearance to the hood with the LifeLine batteries and things just didn't seem to fit.

2008 130

Preparing the Engine Wiring Harness

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Before I can put in the firewall batteries and start hooking things up, I need to finish cleaning up the engine wiring harness. Here's what's left of the wiring harness after I removed all the things I didn't need.

2008 130

Fixing up the Rear Suspension

Open Source Civic EV Kit

First up, we need to beef up the rear suspension to handle the extra 420 pounds of batteries in the trunk. Rob used six Optima Yellow Top group-31 batteries in his trunk. I will have to watch this since the extra 840 pounds of batteries will put an extra load on the brakes Whew!

2008 130

Routing the LVP/OVP Cables

Open Source Civic EV Kit

In addition to the thick, high-current battery cables, we need to route the OVP (over-voltage protection) and LVP (low-voltage protection) wires from the rear BatMon boards to the front BatMon boards.

2008 130

Mounting the Zolox Sensor

Open Source Civic EV Kit

My test setup shown here includes a small 12V battery on the right (from an old UPS) and my multimeter. After futzing around awhile, I was able to get the spacer ring for the Zolox tachometer sensor to line up. Here's the bottom of the mounting ring.

2008 130