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Asking the right questions

December 6, 2008

As problems get exponentially more difficult, the need to ask the right questions increasingly becomes necessary.

The major pursuits seem to revolve around, better batteries, lighter cars, and faster motors.

I think those are great pursuits; but I think that we have largely ignored power generation.

– Is main drive engine the right tool to delegate regeneration?
– Is having the car immediately go to regeneration once there is no input from the throttle immediately taking away the kinetic force built up by the engine?
– How much energy has been “created” once the car is in motion? (lets say at 35mph or 45mph?)
– How much energy can be recaptured without needing the engine to rebuild that force?
– Can the car generate energy while cruising with out consuming the main drives force on the wheels?
– Is passive regeneration possible?

3 Motor mid-sized automobile

December 3, 2008

3 motor mid-size passenger automobile.

Chassis/SubFrame

The chassis is lifted from a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. The roofline has been chopped 2.5 inches and the track width by 2 inches. A lot of carbon fiber has been used and as much weight has been stripped simply because a lot of weight has been added.

Suspension/brakes

GReddy Type-S suspension kit with a large 46mm dia. pistons in a Mono-tube shock, 32-way adjustable damping, adjustable base and spring perches, thick billet upper mounts, and a lightweight coil springs. Instead of the common heavy spring rates, that offer harsh rides and easily loose traction on bumpy American roads, Type-S systems utilize a relatively softer spring with a longer stroke to maximize traction on race tracks or on the street.

Brakes are from Brembo both calipers and rotors on 18 inch BBS alloys

Batteries

The batteries are a mix of 18650 lithium ions, 3-Cell LiPo’s, & optima racing batteries. Crazy? I know! But, you are able to configure the batteries in really effective ways. Place batteries along the frame, body panels and floorboards. (this cost a TON of money)

Recharging

Recharging via braking is primarily done by the two front motors directly & independently attached to each of the two front wheels via drive shafts. This has significantly improved recharging characteristics simply because the setup works as such that the front motors only begin to work at over 25 mph. Below 25 mph, it primarily behaves as brakes and assisted by the brembos in the event of aggressive breaking. At speeds above 25 mph, the front motors assist the rear motor to provide additional power and dynamic recharging takes over. (Dynamic recharging occurs when there are uneven power needs due to imperfections on road surfaces: meaning some motor breaking is applied to maintain maximum grip on the road)

Primary recharging is accomplished via an Air Compressed generator. A 10 gallon tank is in the rear. The benefit of this is a tire inflator at a gas station is always handy. Also, the air being released is also being used for cooling. (im working on a carbon fiber tank)
This generator kicks when the batteries are at 80%. The generator continues to work until it gets the batteries to 100% or runs out of air.

Motor

There are two Modified NetGain 8inch diameter Motors with a direct drive shaft to the wheels producing an estimated 95 hp each at peak.

There is one modified NetGain 11inch diameter motor at the rear.

This is managed by a controller and pc.

Range

500+ Miles on Japanese mountain roads.

I hope to build a 4 motor/AWD on a tesla motor and battery unit around a Mercedes Benz CLS or Mercedes Benz CL

Looking for…

December 3, 2008

Im looking for Telemetry data for a 2009 Porsche Carrerra4s, Subaru WRX, Nissan GTR, as well as a Mitsubishi Lancer.

If anyone can help out with any ECU dumps or anything like that, it would be great!

Dissapointing 6 months

December 3, 2008

In the past 6 months, I’ve gotten a chance to test drive about 20 or so Electric/Alternative energy vehicles. And I must say that I’ve been sorely disappointed.

Most of them I feel are basically doing the same thing as the others and not really trying to understand and solve the problem. Most of them revolve around super lightweight or small cars. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wroth while endeavor but I haven’t really seen any breakthroughs that just make me gasp with a “wow”. Here are a few things I think that need further research.

– Chassis design
o mix and matching technologies such as aluminum and carbon fiber
o incorporating design for battery space
– Battery & Recharging
o Better utilization studies on depletion, recharge, & non contiguous battery design
o Recharging using other than petrol or “regenerative braking” such as compressed air, helium, heat, etc..
o Recharging systems that take a simple “power plug”
– Engine/motor/drive design
o Different types of electric motors outside of the simple rotary design
o Better “in-wheel” motors (highly unlikely)
o Transmission and power utilization
o In-Transmission motor design

Everyone has been so involved in getting the car out to the market and no one has actually created innovation.

If I were the major car companies, I would start rummaging through their motorsport department. There’s a ton of empirical data that can be directly applied to the next generation of automobiles. Porsche and Mercedes have a great program that can now be directly applied. They have done an awesome job on their ECU’s that im currently employing to design my engines.

doollars!

December 3, 2008

I have a little spare cash to buy some differentials. haldex-awd-platform
Im checking out some of the torsen differentials. Im hoping I can score some from a used subaru.
My main objective here is to test it out for my front wheel drive system first. Im hoping that this can give me some data on how to start building the front two motors setup.

Volvo in-wheel electric motor

December 3, 2008

A friend of mine from Mazda took me to check out the Volvo ReCharge Concept Vehicle. Its basically a c30 with weird in-wheel motors.

I gotta tell ya, its pretty crappy.
blog_volvo2

Theres 3 of them in the USA right now and i hear 2 of them are broken. (including the one i checked out)

It sucks because, of the in-wheel motor design. First of all, “in-wheel” motors are probably the most efficient design for electric motor vehicles. But they do not perform well as daily driven passenger cars or high performance cars. The reason is the Weight it places on the loaded wheels! Out of all of the places you need to make light on the car are the wheels. Simply because of the sprung/unsprung weight. Imagine an additional 20 pounds on every wheel, going 60 miles per hour on a semi-old highway! Its probably dangerous and would probably be a horrible ride.

Dont get me wrong, getting the power source as close to the wheels as possible is the way to go. BUT YOU GOTTA DO IT INTELLIGENTLY!

Now, if you put:

2 small 100 horse power motor in the front connected via a carbon fiber half-shafts
2 small 150 horse power motor in the rear connected via a carbon fiber half-shafts
4 traction control sensors (on each wheel)
4 wheel-speed sensor (on each wheel)
4 big-red brembo brakes
1 computer

–now, thats a great idea!

note: the reason you want to separate the front drive from the rear drive is because it gives you a great deal amount of automotive control. with this configuration you can have:

– dynamic four-wheel drive maximizing your power-cell utilization. (it only gives power to the wheels that need it at the most, especially useful during turns)
– you’ll recover more regenerative breaking in the front wheels. and its probably safer and gives you more car control.
– you can recover energy all the time especially on cruising speeds and turning.
– you can remove the transmission all together.
– you have better weight distribution

Toshiba SCIB

December 1, 2008

I saw a demo yesterday of the Toshiba SCIB Lithium Ion Polymer battery. It boast 5min recharge.
The potential is pretty clear. Just gotta say wow!