Batteries


The 312v (405v max) AC motor control system in my truck is very energy
efficient. It’s only 70kw right now. But it will be 90kw here shortly. It has
the capacity to handle way over 100kw.

I don’t have to cram very much of a pack into this vehicle to get excellent
range. If I put in a 160ah set of Thundersky cells, my range would be 256 miles.
But then I have to put up with all of the cold voltage sag as well as the sheer
volume that this pack would take up. Works for some, just not for me.

Speed is electronically limited to 72mph. That also assumes I leave the
transmission locked in 2nd gear. It’s a 5 speed manual with overdrive. Adding a
shifter makes the top speed math go to some insane top speed. Or as ACP does,
remove all of the unused spinning mass in the form of gears and syncros for yet
more of an increase in efficiency.

Something I keep forgetting to explain. The cells themselves will only weight
154lbs. They completely fit in well under 1/2 the battery box.

The 7.36 kwh pack I’m building will take my truck 36 miles at it’s current
efficiency of 200wh/mi at 4000lbs. My estimate of a 15% increase in efficiency
from losing 600 lbs, will put the range at 42 miles at 175wh/mi at 3400lbs. On
only 50 amps the truck goes 60mph. There is an owner of a truck just like mine
with a 19.2kwh Thundersky pack. He went 112 miles on a charge. That’s about 171
wh/mi. But his cells weigh 550 lbs. That’s 400 lbs more than my A123 cells. It’s
feasible that my truck could end up with a 50 miles range off of the tiny A123
pack. Since the camber on the front end was finally just now set to zero, there
could be some additional increase in efficiency. I have yet to block the grille
and add the coroplast to the chassis underside to clean up some of the
aerodynamics. Those are standard features on all ACP vehicles, old and new. All
I need for my driving requirements is 15 miles of range. With 36+ miles of range
my cycle life will be close to forever.

I will pick up some cobalt 18650 cells for spot welding and testing. After all,
since the safest chemistry available can currently be set on fire so easily, it
just makes sense to try them. Their smaller size would make for an even lighter
pack. It’s just takes some mechanical and thermal engineering to make this work.
It’s just not that difficult.

I wonder if the laser welder I used back in 80’s is available surplus somewhere?
I use to spot weld nickel ‘flags’ to stainless wire. Not unlike materials for
cell module construction.

Starting last night I drove the pack down until it was only around 200v. Then pulled it into the garage for discharge maintenance. I made up a system using six 2000w, 120vac water heater elements to discharge the pack in large groups rather than just two groups.

Here is the pack attached to all of the water heater elements. A 5 gallon bucket of water was used for cooling since an experiment with air cooling caused the elements to glow red, which is an ignition source. The water level dropped about 3/4″ when the pack was done discharging.

I used my cnc to machine 6 holes in these two pieces of 3/8″ thick plywood. They held the heater elements 3″ apart and 3″ from the sides of the plastic bucket.

After the overnight discharge was complete, I put some jumpers across about 5 cells that were still showing some voltage (not shown). Shown here is the 240vac variac and a bridge rectifier mounted to it’s heat sink. It takes me about 45 minutes raising the voltage by hand, to about 320vdc. After that, the on board charger is used to finish up the charging.

11jan2011 22648 miles, recharged pack, +4.98kwh, 11.88kwh total, no o/c time. Refilled bearing reservoir with Mobile1.
10jan2011 Flattened entire pack. Jumpered redtop cells.
10jan2011 drove deep discharge, -6.90kwh.

Watered entire pack, 22627 miles, many cells very low. 3.7 gallons H20.

Set charger to 2 minutes of constant voltage time.

10jan2011 22627 miles, watered entire pack. Many cells very low. 3.7 gallons H20.

09jan2011 Drove, deep discharge, -6.93kwh, recharged 2.77kwh, 9.70kwh total. Pack was very stiff during charging and driving.
09jan2011 Recharged flattened pack, +5.88kwh, 11.18kwh total. 20 cells appeared shorted. After 30 minutes of charging they all appeared normal. Cells are marked with a red circle on their cap.
08jan2011 Flattened entire pack, -5.30kwh, 18.9ah, 19.1miles, 11:35pm.

07jan2011 Recharge.+2.94kwh, 8.73kwh total.
06jan2011 Drove deep discharge,-5.79kwh

06jan2011 Recharge, +2.18kwh, 6.53kwh total.
05jan2011 Drove deep discharge, -4.35kwh

27dec2010 Added 10 used and tested nicad cells to pack. 251 total. Set charge voltage to 400vdc.

16dec2010 +3.86kwh (8.3ah) on recharge. 11.19kwh (35.7ah) total recharge.

15dec2010 +4.55kwh on recharge. 11.59kwh total recharge.

15dec2010 -7.33kwh (27.4ah) @ 30.1 miles, 244.3wh/mi, dry, sunny, warm. Errands, highway and city driving. Heater. SJ loop.

14dec2010 -7.04kwh @ 27.7 miles, 254wh/mi, raining, cold, dark, no no heater. SJ loop.

241 cells installed. 2 shorted green top cells removed. 24 Redtops watered. 3 clear tops watered.

27nov2010 -4.55kwh, 20.3 miles, 243wh/mi

26nov2010 -4.13kwh, 15.55 miles, 265wh/mi

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