Saturday, March 1, 2014

Battery Pack Containment System 3D Model

Now I have just burned about 30 hours of my life to design a battery containment system for the 24 LiFePO4 cells that will power it. Here is the 3D model:

It will bolt in on the same mounts that used to attach the engine. This will be laser cut and tab together with a little bit of TIG welding. The transparent end caps are polycarbonate. The rest of the structure will be aluminum. I should have the parts back in hand in about 2 weeks to TIG together.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

No Load Speed

Last night I was able to finally measure speed of the rear wheel with a laser tach. I got 1194 rpm which equates to 85 mph. My targeted speed range is 60-70 mph. It will be interesting to see what I really get with the significant aerodynamic loading.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

E-Bomb Comes Alive! Electric Motorcycle First Run

Yesterday I was finally able to get the controller programmed. I used the Alltrax software and had no problems whatsoever. It was very simple to use. I then spent most of the day wiring with 4 gauge cable. I custom built all the wires because I could not buy the right lengths. I crimped all the ends and then soldered them for a really low resistance connection.
It actually runs pretty good and the speed looks pretty good. Check out the video

I am planning to get a laser tach and calculate speed in the next several days. I was targeting 60-70mph. I think maybe we are seeing a it more than that at no load. I will measure and see. Now I just need to package the batteries and attach to the bike and we are ready to rip.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Connecting Up The Batteries For The First Time

Last weekend I connected up the batteries all in series and measured voltage at 80 volts (24 LiFePO4 Cells).
I then put then on the charger for the first time and that brought them up to 86 volts in about 15 minutes. I then connected the high voltage battery pack to my DC-DC down converter that provides 12VDC and connected it to all of my low voltage electronics. That all worked well with no mishaps. Notice the rubber gloves just in case I do something stupid. 90 VDC will shock and it hurts.

The goal today is to program the controller (offline from the bike) and then re-install it, run all of the 4 gauge cable (custom build) and if time permits attempt to run the motor through the controller on full voltage on jack stands.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

LiFePO4 Battery Conditioning and Prep

The plan is to connect the cells in parallel and let them equalize and balance. I also measured the cell voltages and then averaged and that is exactly the voltage I get when I have connected the cells in parallel. It turns out it is 3.344 volts. Once they have had some time to equalize, I will put them in a big serial chain and then charge them all and ultimately connect them to the controller and run the bike on jack stands. 
That's 24 batteries.
I link all of these batteries today so they start out balanced at the same voltage. I am not currently running a BMS so it is extra important that I start out with balanced cells.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's Been Awhile- Time to make E-Bomb Roll

It's been a long while.
Can you identify what is missing in this picture?
If you guessed batteries and a charger, then you are correct? Do I sound a little sore? Oh yeah!This hiatus wasn't intended. It really started when I had everything ready on the E-Bomb for batteries.
Since I didn't want to wait for them to ship from China, I shopped around and compared battery options and found a local supplier that had US stock(?) to hopefully save on schedule and shipping costs....
After placing my order on their website, I didn't get  a response for a couple of days. That should have been a cue to cancel.
About a week after I had placed the order and paid, they contacted me for another $200 shipping. That was after I had already paid shipping at purchase. I was assured this shipping was to expedite the charger (which apparently was being programmed in China. I thought it was US stock). The $200 was so that it would get DHL shipped and I would have it in a couple days. Hah! I got it about 4-6 weeks later...

     Now to the batteries. Turns out the company I ordered from was in dispute with the battery distributor (on the East coast no less) and so my batteries got shipped after about a 6-8 week delay. Shipping took a long time. I suspect they shipped from China anyway judging from the wooden crates the smell of China.
    In the frustration of the delay, I moved to another project and now am wrapping that one up and am rolling up my sleeves to make this baby run. Too bad we are experiencing freezing temperatures every morning. I might not get too much use out of it for a few more months.
The charger is very big and a lot heavier than I expected. Hopefully that equates to rugged Chinese durability... Hey, they built that big heavy wall and it is still around after a few millennia. So this thing should be good for a few decades as least :-) I will have to get creative on an installation location or just opt to leave it at home or work.                                                                     The next step is to make a 3d model of the batteries and figure how to package them on the bike so as to be the least obtrusive. I have looked at a few options and no matter how you cut it, 120 lb of batteries is hard to package. Things should be moving next week on this. Forgive me for this delay as I forgive this deadbeat supplier.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

E-Bomb Gets Brighter

I know I have mentioned the headlight several times. I have had a pair of headlights from a 1938 Chevy that I have been saving for something cool. I was originally thinking I would put them on my street rod, but it turned out one was pretty rusty and so what do you do with only one old headlight? You put it on a motorcycle of course.

The headlight had apparently been mounted to a lot of things in a number of different orientations as evidenced by the number of broken out holes on the bottom of it. I actually harvested it from a Model A Ford 1 ton truck. It is pretty cool and has a brass g-682 tag.
Here's what it looked like at first:

I added a piece of 18 gauge steel to fix the holes and reinforce it for a mount.

 I then ground it off.
 After fabricating the mount and painting, it looks like this:


 I am pretty happy with it so far. It is fixed to the frame so it looks a bit odd when turning as it stays pointed straight ahead. I kinda like that. It is also just strange enough looking on this bike that it begs a second look.

The LED lights look pretty bright. We will see how they do on the road soon. My sense is that they will be OK for daytime running lights, but would need some focusing optics to be useful at night.

Side View

View with Tank Installed