Friday, October 31, 2008

Battery Self Discharge Monitoring

For the last couple weeks, I have had the car charged, and then parked it, monitoring the battery voltages by logging the current voltages after charging, (and making a note in my notebook log, as well as using the SD Card Data Logging function of the enhanced display), and then checking it and logging a few minutes every few days.

Today I moved the car back to the building for a while, to nake a parking spot avaialble while I was working on my aerocap project on the Dodge Dakota Pickup. The pack was showing 100% before moving, and dropped to 95% from the move, so it shows there is some power loss to self distribution over the last couple weeks, because the move was only about 50 feet.

Now that might just be the effect of Battery Number 2, which goes dead first on a driving run, or the cold weather, or both, or the actuall battery state of health. As of yet, State of Health (SOH) is something I don't have and hard monitoring on, just inference from the total or part pack State of Charge (SOC), and individual Battery Voltages at rest or under load, in comparison to the others.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Heater Contactor Relay - Step 1

Today I finally got back to the electricfly's heater relay mounting setup! I cleaned up the bump in the bottom of the box so that the Contator Relay could be mounted, and drilled in 4 holes for power wires. Have to drill in 2 more for the contactor solenoid power wires to operate the pull down / power on to heating element functions.

Also took a moment to see the fit of the box + contactor in it's intended postion, in the right front corner inside the fender, beside the custom charger, and as a support for the PakTrakr front remote.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Still not Started Wiring Heater in!

Been busy with my Dodge Aerocap project, and have been logging data on my batteries and doing other things - so - have not got back to the heater wiring install part of that project.

Between either being tired from work, or having crappy weather to work in, or working on the aerocap - I have not got back to it, but hope to get something done on it by the end of the weekend coming!

Battery #2 must be really sick, today - on the way home from the bank and shopping - the Woodward Display showed battery #2 dipped down below 9 Volts, then a feww seconds later - it went down to about 4.5 Volts!! (Pretty Sad for a 12V Battery) So - when I got home - I put the pack on the chargers right away, even though most of the pack was at 12.6 - 12.8 or 12.9 Volts in one case.

A Few Days back - I did get one of the new Equalizers installed - to switch the one I had in the rear, attached to the hold-down for Battery Number 6, and instead - put the Equalizer on the rear 4 battery hold down on the left side, so as to be able to shorten the wires, and still reach all the last 4 batteries. (Hoping this will improve it's efficency some!)

Still have not installed the third and (as planned) final BattEQ Equalizer, to cover the split btween battery #4 - #5. It has pre-run wires from the back to the front - so as to be able to pick up Battery #3 in the front, and then to Battery #4, #5, & #6 in the rear of the pack, with short wires. I plan to mount it also on the main rear battery hold-down bar, with a polycarbonate plastic plate, the same as the current rear-mounted BattEQ.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Got a box for the Heater Contactor

I got a box to put the Heater Contactor and Fuse inside of to kep them out of the Elements today at Home Depot, nearby.

It was a Plastic Junction Box, 4" X 4" X 4" - with a gasket sealed, screw down lid, and 4 legs with screw holes to mount it at the base.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Family Day - Still trying to get it done - Made it to the show - by 11 AM

I woke up to a Rainy day first thing today! Still did not have the Instruments in and wired up - and was concerned as to how to reach the gauges with the short Voltmeter wires, so - I made up a set of extensions for the lead to the voltmeter as well - about 14" - just enough to cover the needed reach!

Then I got the New EV Cluster inserted into place on the console cluster, and went to work getting the PakTrakr wired and Mounted. Got all my Remotes plugged in to the display, and the Serial interface as well, then connected the Amp sensor connector into the serial connector, and got the Amp Settings re-set and confirmed.

Powered up the Woodward Display, secured the PakTrakr - and placed the Blue Power indicator LED into a hole for the screws where will be secured the heater selector, and so I can see it!

Finally - got the Drivers and Passenger Seats installed - and took the shop cover off the Drivers Seat. We were already to go - when wee discovered - I had missed re-attaching the Seat Belts - so had to go and grap my ratchet and 14 mm socket and get that done!

Ok - It's time - off we went to the Site at Downsview - got set up - and were there for at least 4 hours.

The crowds at times were 10 - 15 people around the car, and the usual questions of range, speed, charging time were asked.

A few asked to be included in getting some more information and to be kept up to date!, and I handed out a few business cards where suitable.

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Instrument Pod for Dash Mounting

Today I left work at Noon to continue to get the electricfly ready for Bombardier's Family Day - tomorrow - Saturday - September 6th!

As I now had the dash installed - I figured I needed to get a new setup created to mount the basic Voltmeter & Ammeter, as well as my new Gauges - the PakTrakr and the Woodward Enhanced display.

It took until night - and a lot of trial fits, angle measurements, and cutting pf parts, drilling of instrument and bold holes, and dragging of misalligned bolts holes, but I essentially got a piece together to hold the three primary intruments - the Voltmeter, Ammeter, and the Woodward Enhanced PakTrakr Display!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Install Wires, Rear Seats, Heater, and Dash!

Today - I took the day of work - as I am trying to get the car ready for Bombardier's Family Day to show it there - lots of work left to do!

I started the day with the car striped of seats, and decided first to get wired up the New Kill switch (the old one broke when I too out the Dash last fall - it was hard soldered to its wires with no removable connectors).

After that - I got the AC power cord covered with the 1/2" split-loom harness cover and tucked under the seat rails (had to remove the end plug, tuck it though, then re-attach the plug), and over the rear wheel wells (tucked it between the wheel well outside and inside skin & structure).

After that - I covered the PakTrakr Lead that ran to the location on the Front PakTrakr Remote - but was now connected to the PakTrakr Display, with 1/4" Split-Loom Harness.

Next - I cut to length 2 wires for the Third BattEQ - yet to be installed, to run from the battery #3 at the front, back to the first position of the Equalizer in the rear - wrapped them at intervals with tape, and the wrapped them with tape to the 4th battery lead running from the Front Equalizer - back to Battery #4, then covered those three wires with 1/2" Split-Loom harness cover for the full length.

All these three groups were now covered - from front to back - and through the firewall for better protection from abrasion, and other attack. this covered the Right Hand side, now on to the left.

Next - I fully wrapped the Red-Green & Black wires for the Extension on the PakTraker Remote that lead from the front remote - to the connection at the rear remote, with spiral wrap, after which it also was covered in Split-Loom Harness covering, right up through the firewall and up to the remote.

This was followed by securing the carpet back in place and reworking the nylon anchor strips attached to the floor carpeting by re-stapling and tidying up the edges, and vacuuming again!

Next came the Re-Installation and securing of the panels on the inside - rear, Left & Right, and tailgate, and making sure the wires had the length to reach as needed.

Then - it was on to the Rear Seat Re-Installation! Got the Bottom In and the back secured, and it was starting to look good again!

This was followed by the loosening of the Dash Lower Cross-member support and installation of the Heater Assembly. The throttle pedal needed to be partially un-bolted and loosened up to tuck one leg of the Heater Assembly under it and then get it's nut on and snugged up a bit - and then the throttle could be re-secured! Then the other side lower stud location had it's nut spun up and the top two screws installed and everything tightened up. Of course - the lead wires for the new heating element were run thought the dash - and also - covered in 3/8" Split-Loom Harness covering for protection.

It was late afternoon by this time and I was just beginning to get the Dash Installed, when I remembered - as I was installing a dash from the Wrecking Yard - from a sued car - I needed to switch the VIN Tags. After getting this done - I stuck the Voltmeter and Ammeter Gauge Wires (Analog) and the LXT Monitor wires up on the windshield Glass with Tape to hold them - and proceeded to get the dash installed!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Strip the Car - Prepare to Hide all Long Open Wire runs

Today was the Day I spend from After work until near Mid-Night , stripping out all the EV gauges, Instrument Cluster, Driver & Rear seats, steering Wheel, and so on - getting the car ready to tuck all the wires in under the carpet, and under the seat supports! Long Day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First 2 BattEQ's Wired up!

Today - I got the first two Battery Eqaualizers wired up to the Batteries! The Long Leads on the Front BattEQ were first connected using Crimp-Type Butt connectors and then covered with Heat Shrink tubing to make the reach from the Firewall mounted BattEQ location to the batteries.

After that - the 5/16" Ring Terminals were crimped and sealed with Heat shrink Tubing, colored the same as the lead wires, whenever possible, and finally - the Ring Terminals were secured to the relevant batteries.

Now to watch and see when and if (or how well) they perform - by watching the results on the Woodward Enhanced PakTrakr Display - and - to log the events with the SD Data Logging option!

Monday, September 1, 2008

PakTrakr Remote Lead Extention, BattEQ Rear Started

I spent a lengthy period of time today - tracking down the wires on the second remote I wanted to extend the leads to the Blue Plug End, because - this one did not have the normal Black, Red, and Green - wire colors! Instead - the green lead (Data) - was replaced with a Black Insulated Lead, and the Red Lead (Power) was replaced with a wire with a clear covering insulation, and - the normal Black or Ground lead - was a bare wire! That made it a bit of a concern that I get the leads wired right - as I was going to cut the line back from the plug by about a foot, and add-in a number of feet of my own Red-Green-Black wire to extend the leads so as to properly wire my remotes so that the serial data stream going to the Woodard Enhanced Display contains the battery data in the right order to my liking!

I unreeled from spools - the number of feet I wanted in Red, Green, and Black; then tied them together with small wraps of electrical tape, then twisted and soldered the joints together, and covered them with relevant colored Heat shrink tubing.

Finally - I fished the wires from the front remote (that I was extending the leads on) back to the rear pack remote, re-installed the wires in sequence, and confirmed it was blinking - then connected it to the rear remote - confirmed that one was still blinking - then - hooked up the rear remote to the PakTrakr Display - Voila! Success!!

Now - the display shows the Battery Voltages (& Temps) from Batteries #1, #2, and #3 - in the front of the car - as on Remote A, and the Voltages (& Temps) from the batteries in the back of the Car - #'s 4 - 8, as on Remote B, so - I got it!!

Also - Spent some time to get the Second Battery Equalizer Mounted in the rear Battery Pack Area. I chose to mount it on a piece of Polycarbonate Plastic that I screwed to the Hold Down for Battery #6.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

BattEQ LA-4-100, First one Mounted, Extra Wires Mounted

The Mounting Location...

The first BattEQ Module has been mounted on the Firewall with two screws. I figured - to put it there, as the most distant place from any intrusion, accidental contact, or other event. It also makes for a reasonable place to see it, while protecting it from a lot of finger poking by onlookers, etc.

First Module Installation...
The existing wires (14 Gauge) have had extended wire lengths added so as to reach the battery posts from the mounting location in the center on the firewall. The pieces have simply been overlapped with the existing wires, and taped together so as to get a working length, and to prepare them for splicing or joining - and the adding of ring connectors later.

Extended Wire Runs....

As the Equalizer module serves four batteries, there are five wires in all - one for the first batteries negative post, and one for each positive post on battery #1 - battery #4.
As the run from the BattEQ Module to Battery #4 is a long distance - I have chosen to run 12 Gauge wire for the extension length (about 8-9 feet with the run through the firewall, along the door sill, and back to the rear battery pack.

Tie-Wrap Mounts...

A number of Tie-Wrap Anchors have been pop-riveted around the edge so as to secure the leads from the BattEQ with Tie-wraps. Aluminum pop-rivets were used so as not to crush the Nylon Mounts. They were place along the firewall, along the inner fender edges, and - where possible, along the front rad mount frame.

The Data Logging Display...
This is a preliminary mounting - just to secure the wires, set the wire lengths and attachments, add the ring connectors, and do a balance connection test - while logging the data with the enhanced Data Logging display. I hope to log the before connection and after connection battery voltages and observe if there is a noticable change in the current condition of the Unbalanced batteries.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Firewal Fuse Removed, Amp Sensor & Bussbar Relocated

Well, after fretting about the amount of rust on the bolts to the fuse on the firewall that carries the connection between the rear Battery #4 and the front Battery #3 - I thought of something at work today - use some CLR on Cotton Swabs (Q-Tips) to clean the threads and the nut itself!

That seemed to work just fine, and the wrench hardley had to work to get the nut started loosening! So then I applied some spark-plug grease (supposed to be Di-electric Grease) on the threads and finished removing the nuts! No problem!

So - I removed the cables from the fuse - removed the fuse, and then removed the Amp Sensor BussBar from the Neg post of Battery #1 that leads to the controller by way of the Shunt Current Sensor for my Analog Ammeter, and re-located it up on the firewall where the fuse was on one end, and connected that end to the cable from Battery #4, with the sensor in place, I connected the cable from Battery #3.

It was hard to hold the bolt and tighten it in that space - so I remove the other end of the post bolt - and tightened up the cable from battery #3 to the BussBar and re-installed it on the one Side of the Fuse Holder, and secured it.

Afte that - I took it our for a short test drive to make sure I got those connection done right! - So far - so good!

Now - to start with setting up the BattEQ Battery Equalizers...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Quick sample of my Logging Display's Data

I decided to just put a small clip or two of the data I capture on my batteries while driving - to show how having the data on each battery can help make planning and operating factors available for safer battery usage and life - or - to give you some clues as to which battery will die first!! (Click on the Pictures to see larger, Full Size Views)

The first picture is showing the drive (discharge) condition as I was climbing a long hill (Jane Street to Keele Street, along Wilson Avenue, Toronto) - and the second picture is a clip from the charge cycle that followed that drive.

It is not the whole data string - that was a 4 hour, 35 minute charge cycle - and this clip is just a few seconds worth of that data. Same for the Discharge sample.

Please note - the Battery Volts when shown as whole numbers with no decimal (like 145, 139, 650, etc., - are really 14.5, 13.9, 65.0 as the values are multiplied by 10, so to read them (If I have not already massaged the values - as I have done with Pack Volts - (112.7) - you need to divide the values by 10 for the actual Voltage or Amperage Value. The Minus sign is just the indication that it is measuring the values as Discharging the Batteries. (It depends on which way the Hall Effect Amp Sensor is installed).

At some point I will find a way to get a video of the logging display while running - you will be able to see the flashing 'Equalize' and other warnings!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Throttle Location - Finally Completed

Finally got the New Throttle Location Brackets completed as planned!!
This has been started last year - but interupted by the custom charger installation, as I went looking for flush metric screws - and discovered Rogue Robotics - where I did the Charger installation in the car.

I made a Gasket to go between the two plates to serve as a cushion to absorb any abnormalities and surface intrustions from screw heads and such, and to make sure the two plates had both mechanical stability and limited flexibility to absorb any remaining alignement issues from the rod end bearing and clevis designed throttle arm connections.

In any case - I finally got it like I want it - plate mounted to Throttle, Plate mounted to Steering Colum Supports, and the ability to easily, or at least - easier access the bolts holding on the throttle, bay accessing the bolts that hold the plate that is flush mounted to the throttle control box!

In the End...

The Final Mounting between the two plates is bolted in from the middle or center of the car, between the trottle location and the (soon to be installed) heater location. This should give decent access, far better than coming in behind the large Angle braket from between the steering column and it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Woodward Enhanced PakTrakr Logging Display Now in for Testing

Got the display last week, before the big Propane Explosion in the area near Downsview, caused a mess in any kind of regular plans! Have got the PakTrakr now installed, the Serial Interface installed, and the Woodward enhanced Display installed in a test position also (like the PakTrakr Display!).

At first glance - it seems like it would help reduce the abuse on the batteries, and - using the logging function - of the Woodward Display - gives a record of the trip or day or month - depending on the duration I leave the SD card in and it's size! currently - I have been pulling the card after each trip to grab the data and save it as a different file so as to work with it.

Tonight I put in a clean 256 MB SD Card, while charging up the batteries, for an all night run. It will be a big file (since - it logs a line of data each second, which - I understand - is a fixed rate, and that is 60 x 60 x ~ 6-8 Hours overnight, so a lot of lines to look at!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Electricfly's Heater/Defroster Gets Made!

August 8th - The day the Heater Moves Forward again....Finally!

Made it up to Ottawa to connect with Rick Lane of REV Consulting, to get my Electric Heater Made, and to learn how that's done! (And to Pick up the required contactor, and get instructions on how to wire it into the cars heater/fan systems as an interconnect, so the heater only is powered when the fan is blowing air over it (Keeps it from melting things!).

Got Back from Ottawa, Saturday, August 9th, about 10 PM. About to finally go to bed at about 3:30 AM - heading for the shower when the whole building shook, from what I thought was a large truck hitting it, but was the now famous Sunrise Propane Blast and Explosion(s) beginning and wrecking what sleep I might get for some 36 hours straight!!!

You Tube - Huge Explosion

Google - Sunrise Propane Explosion
Propane Explosion Lawsuit
Google Map [Sattelite View is best] of 54 Murray (B4 Explosion!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The BattEQ's have arrived!

They're Here!

All 4 of them arrived today - Delivered by UPS, I picked them up but will not get a chance to install them for a few days as I am working on some other projects just now that will likely take up this week!

Besides the news link on the blog - I just added Amazon Links - hopefull they will get good links to books, DVD's and such of relavance!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Equalisers Almost Here - Enhanced PakTrakr Display ordered

Just checked with UPS Tracking - The BattEQ LA-100-12V Equalisers order from Grants Pass EV are almost here!! (Passed over the border already and on their way to Toronto, to get sorted for local delivery tomorrow!!)

One thing I have been noticing - is that even though I have individual Smart Chargers - the Finising voltages on the batteries is not always the same - but - after some time they level off at 13.2 Volts.

Also - for my PakTrakr, have ordered the logging version of the Enhanced Display - and the current sensor - so I can record the battery conditions (Pre-Equalizer Install) for the purposes of a possible battery warranty replacement on Battery #2 and #6 - as they are going through an initial voltage increase under load (compared to the packs other batteries) and then doing a major sag, with #2 worse, but #6 not far behind, both going under 12V while the others are about 12.5!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

BattEQ Battery Equalizers Ordered!

I ordered 4 BattEQ 12Vx100A Equalizers on July 9, 2008 from Grants Pass Electric Vehicles, Oregon! Got a great price at $595 + $20 Shipping. (usual cost - list @ $199 ea. = $792.00)
Should be here shortly - coming by UPS!

I have been driving the car as usual and at my last charge-up noticed that Battery #2 again is low - this time at about 20% while most were at 80 - 85% and one was at 65%, so there may be some issues regarding replacement before equalizing is installed!

Having received the PakTrakr (Basic), and considering this issue - it is suggestive of the need or value of the PakTrakr Accessory: Add-on Display + Data Logger, then we can analyse the battery and determine it's issues compared to the others in the pack much easier.

I spoke last Thursday to Paul Olsen at Ontario Battery Services, and described this issue and he suggested - with some testing we might be able to verify it is indeed a bad battery and be able to go for a warranty replacement! (That should give me a better pack to work with the Equalizers too!)

Summer Break (Vacation?) Plant Shutdown! (July 18th ... can I get the car stuff all done and still have some time to get away???) [3 weeks off]

Saturday, July 5, 2008

MyElectricfly's Energy Use

From May 5th to July 5th, I have charged the 'electricfly' 12 times, driven just 140 Kms (kilometers), use 30.72 kWh, for a total cost of $3.69, with an average distance per charge of 11.73 Km, and average energy use of 2.56 kWh per charge, 218.18 Watt Hours per Km. (21.8 kWh per 100 Km)

My two best energy use figures - however accurate they are - 66.67 Wh/Km, and 100 Wh/Km.

My two worst energy use figures - 284.68 Wh/Km and 276.47 Wh/Km.

At todays Gas price at the pumps for Regular of $1.365 per Litre (Shell at 909 Wilson Ave) - and my average actual price usage of $2.62 per 100 Km, equals an equivalent of:
1.91 L/100 Km fuel consumption rate (123.15 MPG), while my worst case of 284.68 Wh/Km works out to $3.70 per 100 Km or:
2.71 L/100 Km. (86.80 MPG).

For reference - 1 l/100 km = 235.214583 miles per gallon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Busy EV Day!

Had a couple trips to work and back on this last charge on the car already today, and I came home from work, dropped off my Lunch Bag, picked up Bank materials, and went to the bank to do my deposit, came back home and took wife to a business appointment down Dufferin Street (Beside Red Lobster - but we did not have time to go for lunch there, oh well - maybe next time!).

After that - we came back up Dufferin to Wilson and over to Keele to do some Grocery shopping, then back home. I dropped of the groceries and the wife, and ran back to work to get some documents dealt with at Benefits, and had to make a quick run back home to get some original documents for photocopying for their file, then drove it back to work to deliver them. On the way home from the parking lot - I saw a fellow work I knew and caught up to him in the car, then beeped the horn to get his attention. He said he did not hear my car - so there is another example of the quiet EV power!

I popped the hood and gave him a quick look see and a couple minutes explanation of the facts on the car, and then he wanted to hear me drive away (if he could!), so I drove home.

At that point we had put about 18 Kms on the car since last charge, so I thought - well, I might as well set it up for a topping up charge of the batteries!

When I set up the car - this time I first took a notepad and wrote down the batteries (by number) plus the Accessory battery, then measured the volts at no load - with the Multimeter, and recorded that besides each battery respectively. Then I plugged in the chargers, and read their voltmeter initial value and percentage and recorded that. Interesting - most of the batteries were at about 80% full, but one was only at 60% and one was at 45%! This is more evidence I need to get the Battery Balancing products selected, and purchased and installed!!

So then I set the chargers up for charging (deep cycle battery mode for all the the AGM accessory battery), and set 8 or 12 amps setting for the batteries (12 Amps for the more Drained ones!), and recorded that per each battery.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Larger Format PakTrakr Add-on Displays

I have had somebody ask me about this and just today I found some good links on it!

It connects to the serial interface - either the simple one or the data-logging one, (ES1 or ES1R) and gives a larger screen, with multiple, simultaneous readouts, both graphic and numerical of up to 8 battery packs.

Here is a youtube video of the prototype on test data, and - you wanted to know - were to buy it? Woodward Aftermarket Components is one place.

I have my paktrakr and extra remote - picked it up just after my last post, and now I think I should get the amp sensor and the ES1R along with this new display!

A good plan when using the paktrakr - control the data noise! Using Noise Supressors for a couple bucks cleans things up greatly!

Friday, June 13, 2008

PakTrakr On it's way! (Part 1)

The PakTrakr that I order from Battery Powered Systems is On it's way!

It was shipped out on the 9th of June, and should be here today!

The Tacking information say's it left the Warehouse in Concord at 07:53 today, If I read it right! (And at 10:32 they got the corrected payment info for the UPS Border Fees to the system/driver!)

Unfortunatly - the Border Crossing Costs (UPS: $64.07) added up to almost as much as the PakTrakr extra Remote!

After I get this installed, and mounted - I will be able to see which of my 8 batteries is going low on volts first, and second, etc., so that I can avoid draining the weak battery beyond limits, and so I can plan my charges better! Also - when I get some history on the batteries with the paktrakr - I will be able to compare the changes when I install the Battery Equalizers!

It might help for me to get the Data Logging Interface also, and then maybe at the same time - the Current Sensor while I am at it, for better traking of the performance.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wall Mart Shopping Trip

Sunday, June 8, 2008 - I drove the 'electricfly' to the Mall at Keele & Lawrence to do some shopping, and while there spoke with one of the managers about who best to discuss the idea of Wall Mart & a Charging Network at the stores. Got a tip as to where to begin that pathway!

Also - finished the trip with powere to spare, but - since it is easier to charge on Sunday Nights with my parking issues - I put the car on a charge, left it overnight, and that night I walked to work (which I can do easy enough!)

The charge put in, worked out to about 285 Wh / Km on that cycle of about 12.4 Kms, so obviously I was a bit heavy on the throttle in that drive, as many times I have gotten aobut 200 Wh / Km!

Also on Sunday - June 8, I finally ordered my PakTrakr Battery Gauges! This is a pic of the Order page:
I needed the extra remote because I have 8 Batteries, and the basic set with 1 remote only covers 6!

I have driven the car to work a couple times already this week, since I was a bit late leaving the house!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gas Station Charging - Another Test

Besides the times when I had to limp into a gas station, and ask for a charge, I felt it was time to start going to gas stations while I have a good charge, and find a plug, and ask if it is OK to plug in and put some charge in my electric vehicle.

So - today - I went up the street to my nearby Sunoco Station, and asked the attendant if I could test out the charging of my electric car in the 'abandened' plugs where they used to have a Large Vacuum for Cars (part of their car wash service - but one had been removed, and the power plugs were still there in a covered, or weatherproof, Duplex plug).

I was told - sure - check it out!

Sure enough, when I plugged in I found it was a live plug, and so I set up the chargers to give a a charge at 12A, and went back in to the attendant to let him know it was working! I bought a pop, and drank that while I charged the car for a bit, then disconnected, and thanked him after about 30 minutes, and drove back home.

Some other time I will go back with my energy meter, and a camera for the pics of it in action.

Safety Improvement

My Custom Charger has a 110V, 3-Prong plug on a cord of about ten feet in length that I had looped left and right behind the bumper but in front of the battery box at the front of the car. I just pop open the hood, pull out the cord, and plug it in - it was great!

The problem was - there was daylight - a space - between the top, and the road, so the cord could wiggle its way out of the space and sag down until it touched the road. I noticed this had happened one time a few weeks back so made a quick fix with foam and tape to keep it up where it belongs.

Unfortunately - the tape did not Stay stuck and the foam fell out, so I had decided to do a better fix.

So - this morning I got two aluminum plates, fitted them and drilled and pop-rivetted them in place under the steel support of the bumper. Voila! Success! The cord now can't drop out and it will always stay up in the gap!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some Electric Vehicle News

While working on my own Electric Vehicle - I also like to keep an eye on other EV Developments in the news. If you don't mine - I would like to share a few headlines from time to time!

This week - for instance: May 28, 2008

The Star (Toronto Star)
Sanyo, VW to develop lithium-ion batteries

Japanese electronics maker Sanyo Electric Co. said Wednesday it will invest 80 billion yen ($769 million) to expand production by 2015 of such batteries, with plans to start mass producing them in a Japanese plant by next year, making 15,000 to 20,000 batteries a year. (Ireland)
Plug-in vehicles to drive change on nation's roads

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are powered by batteries which are recharged by plugging into the mains. More expensive to buy and tax than conventional cars, they have a limited range and are only suitable for urban areas.

And - just for a point of reference - I like this note from November 2000:
A funny thing happened on the way to the demise of the plug-in car

NOT long ago electric cars were going to save the world. Every major automaker was developing a battery-driven vehicle that would offer both freedom from petroleum and zero emissions....

General Motors got there first, in 1996, with the EV1, a Jetsons-style plug-in coupe that was just the ticket for guilt-free commuting....(Now they are teasing us with the 'Volt' - supposed to be here in 2010!)

And - Last Summer - on my way to Hybridfest, I visited Talmage Ohio's Myers Motors Facility and tested the NmG as compared to my Electricfly. Interesting car to say the least!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Solar Panel Working...

The Little Solar Panel I installed for the 32 Ah Accessory Battery brought the Battery up from a Post-Charge Voltmeter No-Load Reading of 14.00 volts at 7:30 in the morning of My 24th, up to 14.81 Volts at 9:45 this morning, while the car was sitting in the cloudy weather we have been getting!

So - I turned on the key - switched on the Headlights, and pumped the Brakes to drain the Vacuum and activate the Automatic 12V Electric Vacuum pump, and Tail Lights - so as to drain down some of the extra power in the Accessory Battery.

This brought it back down to a no-load level of 12.79 Volts, but was already starting to go back up while I watched the Voltmeter.
(Remember - this is just a little 1.8 Watt Solar Panel I bought some time ago at Canadian Tire.)

I will check back on it later to see what is the result of today - since it is a Bright Sunny Day!

I also plan on doing a demo charge at a local gas station - I talked with the manager and he would like to see the car, and while it doesn't need a charge right now - I figured that is easiest to do a quick demo for them - using my plug in energy meter to show just how much power I used.

I'd recommend this little energy meter to anyone that wants to know how much power they use for any plug in item.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Electricfly - uses

In normal use - I drive the car to the Bank, the Mall at Yorkdale, to Canadian Tire at Allen & Lawrence, to work, to Sheridan Mall at Jane & Wilson, and other simple local trips that driving a gas hog makes no sense for.

On longer trips - last Summer - I have driven from Wilson and Ancaster Rd, to 2220 Midland Ave. in Scarborough - just under 20 Kms. Or Also last November, from Wilson Ave. & Ancaster Rd. to 3200 14th Avenue, in Unionville - about 20 Km. For reason of Hills, traffic and lights - this last one - I had to charge up at a Gas Station!

That was a cute event! I says to the station attendant, "I see where you fuel up your gas customers - where do you charge up your electric car customers?" He says "2008?", "no - 1989" I say! "This I gotta See" he says! And then after checking it out, he showed where I could plug in and charge it up in back - just over from where I had parked.

Electricfly standard driving profile

I use the car - electricfly - for shopping trips, bank runs, Movie Runs to Yorkdale, bill paying trips, and when I don't want to walk to work - I drive it there (but - that is a whole 1 km - about 5/8ths of a mile)!

In just these things - if not punching it hard - I can get a pretty good range out of it.

I have also driven it to my Welding Shop, to make Battery Box Covers, and a special tray for my new charger, on Streets and Freeway, about 19.4 Km:

( 401 & Kennedy Exit - Progress & 2220 Midland, Scarborough.)

and to Rogue Electrics - - where I worked on it to create a custom charger for the front three traction batteries (flooded) and one sealed AGM Scooter Battery used for my Accessories, using a set of Canadian Tire ' Intelligent Chargers'.

Phil Bouchard & Sons Ltd.
2220 Midland Avenue
Scarborough, ON M1P 3E6
(416) 291-3158

Rogue Electrics
3200 14th Avenue
Unionville, ON L3R
(416) 288-0600

Electricfly - aka NOGAS96V

Welcome to the Blog of my own Electric Vehicle renovation experience!

It is an on going project currently - refining, correcting, and upgrading the items on the electric car. It is my rolling classroom, my test lab, and my sample EV!

There is more info on my other web site at but I will use this space to do my regular updates now.

You can also view some of the specs of the car at

I have added my first mounted solar panel to the car, using it to maintain and keep up the charge on my accessory battery, and although it is just a tiny panel - it almost eleimanates the need to charge the accessory battery at pack charge time: it shows 100% charged in less than 5 minutes when I set up my charger.

My energy on recharge, monitored by an energy monitor, says I use about 200 to 275 Watt Hours per Kilometer (Km) - without excelent battery management. I will be upgrading my controls for the batteries - adding equalizers - and testing to see the difference with them.