Thursday, March 31, 2016

Gotta big new Green Box, but where should I stick it?

Ten years after getting my first Zilla (John Wayland's old Godzilla 1800, S/N 003), and then a Z1k, I've finally graduated to a Z2k for the Karmann Eclectric!  

Mounting this 2000 amp monster poses a quandary.  Do we saddle it directly to the 9" motor case?  My first controller endured some fairly violent clutch chatter before I got that all sorted out, and it died mysteriously while the car was tied down in a trailer, but with the telltale smell of popped capacitors.  Otmar had warned that extra vibration is something to avoid.   So- I seek consensus.  Is the eye candy of a color-matched controller riding atop its motor-mate with very short input cables worthwhile, or should the controller sit a foot away mounted vertically on the firewall, possibly even on rubber isolators for maximum vibration dampening?  In the past decade, many other motors have been ridden by their controllers- any regrets out there?  The other option is to mount it to the firewall, where there's plenty of space and probably enough structure to support that 24 lb chunk of copper.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sylvester Lives!

On this sunniest and warmest day yet of 2016, we made the final wiring connections, and after a couple of minor hiccups, Sylvester took his first drive on Lithium with Zilla Power!
Only for a few blocks, as the pack needs to be recharged and there remains a lot of wiring clean-up and adjustments to be done, but we DIDN'T BLOW ANYTHING UP.

Must be just a little luck o' the Irish in there, if I don't say so myself.

And it just so happened that I found a couple other ice cream trucks to park next to too!
(Yes, generic white trucklets in front of generic white houselets, Sumner really is more interesting that it looks!)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A month is a long time

So, we have much progress to report on the Grumman Kurbwatt!
Installation of the following components has been accomplished.

  • Manzanita Micro PFC-20 battery charger with J1772 compatibility upgrade, along with an external dc-rated input circuit breaker and output fusing that bypasses the 'Run' contactor.  
  • Zilla 1k motor controller, coolant pump, radiator, reservoir, and fan.
  • 53 amp 13.8 Volt output DC-DC converter and 'house battery' using a spare Valence XP-27
  • Two Kilovac contactors, one for "Run" and one for safety.
  • A Gigavac manual disconnect, essentially a rotary version of their vacuum-sealed contactors
  • An LED dome light with red "night vision" auxiliary function.
We re-energized the 12V system yesterday to re-verify function of all original components and begin the commissioning of the 12V control and instrumentation wiring.  

After that comes the first high-voltage tests; first of the charging system and then propulsion.  Having a rear-mounted pack with a rear disconnect has been a blessing, in that we can work freely without any high voltage present in the motor bay.