Monday, 27 January 2014

Fitting the EMW Charger into the “ElectroBeat”

So finally this weekend I found the time (Stole the time from my family more like!) to get the charger fitted into my EV.

I began by using a MiniCraft drill (Dremel in the US) with several cutting discs to cut the holes for the two fans, as I began I intended to cut circles and bolt the fans to the car but it soon became apparent that it would be much simpler to cut a single large rectangular hole and leave the fans bolted to the charger case.

After this I moved onto re-orientating the J1772 socket so that the plug would point down and not up (my mechanic had fitted it this way round to avoid the socket cap fouling the ex-petrol filler cap), I discovered that a little minor bending of the ex-petrol filler cap’s closure clip was all that was required to fix this. Checked it all fitted by plugging the J1772 plug into the socket it looks so sweet, massive EV grin :-)

Once this was done I ripped the lid of the charger disconnected the control board and attempted to fit the charger case into the mini boot, it again became apparent that in order to do this I would have to strip the fans off the case and refit them once the charger case was fitted, all in all this was a complete bitch to fit partly due to the addition of a couple of M8 bolts to hole the massive capacitor bracket in place, this needed another hole to be drilled in the cars boot to accommodate the extra bolt length.

Once this was all done I discovered that access to the Bolt holes that I had drilled to hold the charger firmly fixed into the car boot was severely limited by the fact that the bolt hole on the underside of the boot was behind a bulkhead pressed panel, luckily there was a hole in it just large enough for me to get my fingers into and hold the bolt in place whilst I did a little contortion-ism to get the nut on the other end, damn I hate working on cars but heck at least with EV’s there is no bloody oil and s#!t to get covered in, road dirt is about the worst you will encounter (which reminds me I must get my water-pump fixed so I can use my jet-washer again!)

Once the charger was securely bolted into the car I refitted the controller (just 4 nuts as it only needs moving about an inch to the left to allow the charger to be squeezed in place) and drove the car back into the barn as the light was beginning to fade at this point (damn I hate British winters! Oh and if you are wondering why my tone has changed to the decidedly miserable I have just given up smoking again! Whoopeee!)
Once back in the barn lights on (short break for  a cup of tea) and continued onto wiring in the J1772 socket wires to the charger.
When this was done I reworked the charge cables so that they would connect with the new charger permanently (no crappy Anderson connectors here) unfortunately the 50A cable I had was too short so I have had to temporarily extend it with a lower 16A cable for the time being (fused of course, 30A fuse).

I had previously checked to see if it was safe to have the charger permanently connected without the controller damaging the charger when driving and according to Steve (Jozztek) this should be fine (well at least according to his experience of doing this several times before) but he did mention that someone on the diyelectriccar forum had suggested that the charger may be damaged by the Soliton over a long period of time, we shall see as I would rather not fit yet another HV contactor, and I feel that the output diode should be beefy enough to handle it as this charger is seriously over specked for what I actually need in this EV.

So for now I will have to stick to 16A charges (better than 12A which was the max I could do up till now) until I can get a longer 50A welders cable fitted (I do actually have a bit of cable that would extend the existing cable but it needs two crimps to be fitted and I don’t have a crimp tools that is up to the job (borrowed this from Steve when I was wiring up my EV) I will have to get a longer cable from Steve or crimp the bit I have next time I am round his way.

Once this was all done I refitted the fans I had previously stripped and wired them up (a total bitch as I needed to pull the wires through a hole that was fairly inaccessible, but got there in the end.

After this I decided that it was about time I extended all the wires from my driver board to the control board (on the lid of the charger case) so that I can remove the lid without disconnecting all the cables (which has been a pain in the arse since I first put the charger inside its case) this took a fair while as there is around 11 wires to extend each one needed to be Cut/Stripped/Tinned & Hooked, then the extension wires also needed the same at both ends so this was 44 x Cut/Strip/Tin/Hook/Solder/Heat-shrink!

Whilst doing this job I realized that I was talking to myself and was starting to sound like the geek kid out of “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs”, “CUT/STRIP/TIN/HOOK/SOLDER/SHRINK”, man I really need a break from the EV!

Anyway 44 renditions of that mantra later and voila I had a lid that could be removed without breaking the charger.

As I was seriously running out of time (it was pushing 11:00PM at this point) and my partner was threatening to leave me forever (again) unless I left that other bitch alone and came in for some dinner!
I thought it best to stop for another cup of tea and then get back wire up the J1772 ASAP (basically because I have to use this as my commuter car I have no choice but to get the EV charged every weekday night and Sundays ready for the following Monday)

So refreshed (well sort of) I got back to wiring up the 8 meter J1772 cable and plug up to a fuse box I have spare in the workshop, the only disadvantage of this setup is that I have to charge the car outside (in the rain!) The big advantage is faster charging.

So about another 30 minutes or so later the J1772 was wired and ready to go.

Plugged it in and bam (no it did not blow up!) the charger whirred into life, stepped through the motions and began charging the car, MASSIVE EV GRIN! :-))

Finished charging the car at around 1:00AM (16A charge) and it pissed down so I call that a successful full weather test.

And the Beat does look sweet with a proper charge cable hanging out the ex-petrol filler cap.
Might need to earth the car to the mains earth though as I do get a nice tingle off the chassis now :-$ 

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