Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pushing toward completion

I've been very busy the past few days, doing instead of blogging. So, here is a day-by-day summary. Not quite road-enabled yet, but getting close...

Feb 10, 2010 - Regulator Covers

A while ago, I cut plexiglass covers for the regulator boxes. Today, I finally got around to drilling the holes and installing them. Here is an example. The covers will keep rainwater out, as well as curious fingers. They also clamp the 10 gauge input lines in place:

Feb 11, 2010 - Regulator Boxes Attached

Attaching the regulators to the battery box covers was pretty straightforward. First, I found the ideal placement - close enough to attach the wires, spaced well enough to allow access to plug in the RJ11 RegBus. With the regulators attached, simply mark and drill holes. I then put bolts through and clamped them in with nuts, leaving a forest of bolts. This makes it easy to do final attachment of the regulator boxes.

And here they are, all attached. I brought them inside to work on the RegBus RJ11 interconnects.

Here is the front box with RegBux interconnects. If you have the proper crimping tool, building these interconnects is a breeze. The Rudman Regulator manual is very clear on how to build the cables.

Here is the rear box with the RegBus cables attached and the Metric Pak 480 connectors connected:

Feb 13 2010 - Push Toward 216V Completion

Today I focused on getting the 216V system ready to charge. I did some modifications to the original VoltsPorsche instructions. First, I wrapped most of the HV cable with FlexGuard, in red, to highlight that they are high-voltage cables. I also put an Anderson 350A connector in so the controller would not be plugged in while working on the high voltage system:

Here is more FlexGuard. This will not only alert hypothetical emergency responders to the presence of high voltage, but it will also protect the cables from abrasion from whatever might abrade them:

Still more FlexGard. In addition, I moved the CamLok connector from the middle compartment to here. Much easier to reach, and plenty of room. This makes it very easy to disconnect the 216V circuit:

Since I removed the CamLok, I redid the fuse mounting. I cut a notch in a conduit box so the fuse would fit, and bolted cable to it:

Moving back to the rear trunk, I added vent holes so that later fans could bring cooling air in - both the controller and the charger are happier when they are cool:

More vent holes, on the right:

A 12V fan installed on the left. This faces up, so it pulls cool air in from outside:

And the other 12V fan. This faces down, so it blows warm air out:

The fans are not yet hooked up, that will wait for another day.

14 Feb 2010 - Charger Attached, Configured

After getting all the 216V system hooked up, it was time to focus on the charger. I moved my kWh meter to the rear compartment, and attached twist-lok AC connectors to the charger input:

With the charger hooked up, and the RegBus hooked up, I flipped a dip switch on the charger. This lit up the yellow LEDs on the regulators to verify the RegBus was correctly attached. And it is. Here are the yellow LEDs glowing in the front compartment:

I also kept an eye on the voltage levels - the voltmeter is reading the voltage from the Anderson 350 connectors. The voltage I'm aiming for is 14.30 volts per battery, or 257 volts:

And also on the amperage - I got a new clamp-on DC ammeter just for this purpose. Later, after a test drive, I'll use the clamp-on DC ammeter to make sure the constant voltage timer is set correctly:

Finally, I worked on the 12V system in the front compartment. I drilled a new hole to accept the HV input and heater output lines:

Not shown - I crimped WeatherPak connectors on a variety of wires and hooked things up. This is a picture of the middle of the process as I tried to debug what all the wires did on the original AC VoltsPorsche:

Unfortunately, something is wrong with the 12V system. In the summer, when I started this project, the exact same something was wrong - the speedometer does not work, and the green oil pressure light only comes on when the heater is turned on (!?!?!?). The 12V voltmeter reads zero. Back then, I thought all of those problems were from the isolation failure caused by leaking battery acid. Now, it looks like there is something deeper.

Tomorrow, more debugging, and, hopefully, a road test!

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