Monday, 5 August 2013

Battery boxes finished and filled

Brent has been chasing me to get whatever I can to him so he can finish off as much of the mechanical build as possible.

When the Ali batt boxes were made the top lips of the boxes that would allow the lids to be bolted on were folded in and not welded in the corners, Brent had asked us to get them welded as the boxes were supposed to be hermetically sealed according to Steve

After we had the corners of the Ali boxes welded up I took them home and spent an evening cleaning them up as they were made from reclaimed Ali and looked a little crusty to say the least.

After delivering them back to Brent, he got busy drilling the holes for the power cables, spraying the boxes silver and packing the batteries with 3mm rigid PVC foam board.

By coincidence I had that day off work and got busy with trying to complete the charger, drilled all the required holes in the heat sink, mounted everything (temporarily) so that I could wire up all the HV cables, ran out of ring spade crimps so ordered another pack, they come in 6’s I had bought 12 and used them all! Another 6 should be enough to finish the HV side.

Valery from EMW had replied to my questioning regarding how to wire the HV side on a Non-PFC single phase 240V version of the charger and this has allowed me to get stuck in with the heat sink layout and HV wire up.

Just the low voltage wiring to do, final heat sink mounting, and charger box drilling to do and then it should be on to testing.

Once I had the layout finalized I dropped the charger down to Brent for a looksee as he wanted to know where to put the bolt holes in the bottom of the charger box for mounting into the car, Brent marked the box and I left the Ali box with him to drill and fit into the car.

By another coincidence when I got there he had just finished the battery stuffing bar the last battery! So I got to slide the last LIPO into the 3rd box, it slid home like a well machined piston! Brent is a bit of a perfectionist which is great 

Brent fitted the lid whilst I waffled about the charger and the Vacuum pump I had just secured from eBay for £35, it was from a Volvo and is required to vacuum assist the brakes, a vacuum would normally have been supplied by the engine (or a mechanical vacuum pump fitted on the engine anyhow) but luckily many cars need extra electric vacuum assistance as their engines cannot provide sufficient vacuum.

By the time I had finished waffling Brent had the last Batt box fitted in the car and I suggested we pushed it back and forth to get a feel for the weight, Shit this thing is seriously light, I mean feather light, I could easily push the whole car back and forth on my own whilst standing and steering from the driver’s side, we even tried it in 4th gear and the extra drag of the gears was hardly noticeable, I was still able to push the car around by myself!

A discussion ensued between me Brent and Luke concerning upgrading the brakes as a likely requirement.

So I left Brent with (a fat EV grin on my face and) just the Vacuum unit and charger box to fit, that is it, the mechanical side of things is done!

Steve gets back to work on the 30th/31st of July and has promised to get straight down to making the buss bars for the batt boxes and wiring up all of the batteries, once this is done it is just the internal wire up to do, fitting the LVC/HVC cut-off boards, dashboard charge/readout LCD meters etc, connecting it all together electrically (Soliton Jr to Motor/ charger to Batt Pack & BMS boards to Soliton Jr) and the 12V electrics to do (this will need a few more LIPO’s I think to replace what would normally be a lead acid battery)

I asked Brent to get me the bill and when I told him what I had left in my budget he flinched (not good). Oh well let’s hope I am not crying when he finally gives me the lowdown, I have not paid him a penny since he started fitting the motor/gearbox, I am guessing the damage is somewhere between 3 ½ days to 5 days full pay for him Plus a few materials, Metal, Rigid PVC, paint, under-seal etc. I had already paid for the strip down separately.

After that I am hoping I may be ready for an MOT, Let’s hope it passes.