This blog documents the restoration, and conversion, of a 1965 Humber (Singer) Vogue to a fully electric vehicle. The Vogue will be powered by an 11kW(modified), 3 phase industrial AC motor, controlled by an industry standard Variable Speed Drive (VSD) or Inverter. To be able to produce the 400 volts phase to phase the VSD will need about 600 VDC of batteries. A big thanks to the contributors on the AEVA forum:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Commissioning Woes

Well the Engine Bay wiring was pretty much completed by Monday at about 4PM. Everyone stood back at a safe distance and we turned the key to 'Start' - nothing happened. A quick think and I realised that the Charger inhibit wire to the boot (so the car will not go if the charger is connected) was not connected to anything. I clipped it to vehicle ground and turning the key to 'Start' resulted in a satisfying clunk as all the contactors closed. The 12 V battery now read 13.7 volts - good.

The completed engine bay.

Now the problems.
The controller has 4 digital outputs and 6 digital inputs. I need 4 of each. One digital output is used as a 24 VDC source for the 24 V logic on the digital inputs to the controller. This output appears to be 'fried'. No matter what I do it stays at 0 V. It turns out that digital input 4 is the culprit. For some reason it draws enourmous amounts of current and destroyed the output I was using for 24 Volts. I had assumed (when you assume you make an Ass out of U and Me) that the outputs would be current limited - not so - they just blow up. Anyway, I stopped using that particular input and swapped to another output for 24V and got a bit closer to everything working.

Once the above was sorted out we broke for dinner and afterwards I downloaded the prepared configuration into the controller. This is the first time I have run the controller in Torque mode and - IT WORKED!

Next problem - it would not make the motor go in reverse. I left that until I had time to think about it and review the configuration.

One final issue is that when I selected forward or reverse, both of which enable the motor outputs of the controller, I get a warning from the low 3 battery pack opto bus - the packs UNDER the controller tray. (Couldn't it have been any of the other seven battery packs?) Crawling under the car showed the the indicator light for pack #10 (the rearmost of the three packs under the trays), was going out when the alert sounded. Strangely, measuring the voltage of the pack when the problem happened showed 52.7 VDC - the same as the rest of the packs.
So 2 hours later with pack #10 removed for examination, I took this picture.

Pack #10 is now on my bench inside with the lid off. According to my modification notes (when I modified the packs), pack #10 was the only one that had clear signs of a short when it was being made. A flat washer had a quarter blown off and there was black residue on the top of the cell it was attached to (no, I didn't do it).

Now where do I get a 5 Ohm, 200 Watt resistor to use as a test load? Counting portable electric heaters now - each one is good for about 2 Amps at 50 Volts...

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