Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Grumman Gets Gutted...

Though we were able to get the Grumman Kurbwatt running in very short order, it was due for an all-around update, so as soon as all systems were go and the brakes were road-tested, it was time to take the electric parts apart.

The battery pack is being replaced with donated set of used first generation Valence U-Charge Lithium Ion modules, which match the outgoing Group 27 lead acid batteries.  Our plans are to replace the controller with a Zilla 1k, and the Lester "boat anchor" battery charger with a Manzanita Micro PFC20, complete with full J1772 interoperability for public charging stations.

The Valence cells are probably a half-measure, being of uncertain capacity and remaining life, but will enable extensive road testing and tuning of all the other upgrades before building the ultimate battery pack.

Sure enough, once we managed to pull the control board (with the controller, main contactor and auxiliary relays mounted) it became apparent that there were about twice as many wires as necessary, and every time we opened up a bundle of electrical tape, we found either an ugly splice or abandoned, dead-end wires.  Plan A is to use a multi-pin Amphenol connector to have a single disconnect point on the new board for all small-gauge wiring, enabling easy removal of the board, along with a couple of Anderson connectors for the big stuff.

Charge On!

2 comments:

Ross said...

Is this going to be a competitor for the Going Postal van?

Jay Donnaway said...

No competition for Gone Postal, even though that mailbox is now in a Museum. This one will stay mild by comparison, with a 1000 amp controller and a single motor. But the GE motor in there is a monster, and it should be somewhat protected by the front-wheel drive setup, with traction being the weakest link in the system, rather than more expensive components than tire tread...