Plankton's current specs

Plankton's Current Specs:

Motor: 9" Series DC, refurbished by Jim Husted in Redmond, OR.
Controller: Synkromotive
Batteries: 35 CALB LiFePo4 cells (115.5V nominal pack voltage)
Charger: Elcon PFC1500, so far only charging from house mains 110-120 AC.
Pedal: Ford Ranger TPS

-No clutch
-12V Pb-Acid auxiliary battery for car electrical (blinkers, lights, etc.)
-Generic (??) vacuum pump for brake assist (no power steering)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A milestone- 300 miles!

So yesterday I went past 300 miles running on lithium batteries, not bad! With the old Pb-Acid, I probably drove the car a  total of maybe 60 miles.

Things are going well, I upped the amp-limit on the Synkro to 500 this morning. I didn't really push it too hard on the way to work, I think I only got up to 350 amps. It scoots along well. One problem though- the motor coupling is starting to grind a bit. I used a lovejoy coupling, and I'm afraid the plastic 'spider' is wearing out. I had this happen a while ago (when I had the lead-acid batteries), the spider was too soft so I replaced it with a hard nylon spider. Maybe not hard enough??

So to follow up on my last post... I drove 22 miles, then put the car on the charger, and I plugged in my watt-meter so that I could see how much juice went back in. It took about 7kWh to fill up. I'm not sure, but I think our cost per kWh is right around $.08. So, $.56 to fill back up. Or about 2-1/2 cents per mile!

Last note- I'm thinking of transferring the electric components to my '64 Bug this winter. The bug is in alot better shape, I love driving it around, it's the ultimate people's car, and I can buy a reliable coupling that will retain the clutch. I've found that I really wish I had a clutch! Poor Plankton.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Longest commute on a single charge today...

Today I decided not to charge at work and thus put a few more miles on than usual before recharging. I think I did at least 20 miles, but I'll add another post after I charge it tonight. I have my Watt-Meter hooked up to see how much juice I put back in. I'll include that info.

But hey, I saw no degradation of performance from the CALB cells. I continue to be amazed at how usable the car is now! Just drive and charge, keeps up with traffice NO PROBLEM, it's just great. Lead acid was garbage compared to this luxury, I tell 'ya.

Stay tuned for more info. I plan to post my commuting log sometime soon too.


Monday, July 18, 2011

First commute with LiFePo4 batteries!!

Alot of changes I haven't posted about:
- Synkromotive controller installed
- 35 CALB LiFePo4 cells installed

Today was my first day commuting with the CALB cells. Granted, it's only a 14-mile round-trip commute, but I was still pretty excited about doing it! And- it was uneventful. The car kept up with traffic no problem (old Pb-Acid cells were lethargic), I had plenty of reserve range to make it to work, and it rained (this is July in Oregon... yay).

I set my Elcon charger to charge to approximately 3.54 V/cell and it worked great, finished the charge. I had balanced the cells the previous weekend so that was as expected. I plan to balance again this weekend just to make sure things are leveled out. My cells were not equal as-delivered. But CALB was great to work with other than that, answered all my questions promptly and delivered promptly too. I had to wire transfer in order to save a CC surcharge, but that was fine with me.

The Synkromotive has been just awesome so far. One problem I have though, is that the CAT5 communications with it seem to drop out when I accelerate the car. This is probably due to some issues with EMF, there is no way to avoid going past some HV cables with the CAT5. Still trying to iron that out with ferrite filters and such.

That's all for now. Stay posted for more boring commute logs. Feel free to ask questions!!