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:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fourth Drive - Proving the Battery Pack

It was always on my radar that I had to test the battery packs beyond the 10AH mark before "trusting" the dashboard range estimation - why? My pack essentially consists of 384 cells arranges as 192 in series and 2 parallel. That means it's a 20AH pack. For the purposes of range estimation I assume a 16AH pack - 80% DOD (Depth of Discharge). If I have any "dud" cells then the packs will only be good for 10AH.
So this Sunday morning I set out to drive the pack to the 12AH mark.

Ready to go - it gets hubcaps and wheel trim when I get the new tyres.

Around and around the big block I went - about a 7 to 7.5km trip per loop - I did 40km starting at 10:30AM and finishing around 11:40AM. The "big block" is a drive I can do that is only ever about 2.5 minutes from home so if a battey alarm goes off I can safely get home without damaging the pack. A couple of times I got brave and went a few km right up to the next major intersection. I passsed guys cutting a slot in the road 5 times.

The result:

After arriving back home I reversed up the drive then opened the bonnet to check temperatures etc. Since I haven't mounted the Lenze LCD/keypad in the cabin yet, I have to use it directly on the controller under the bonnet to check motor temperature and controller heatsink temperature - silly me had turned the car off. I re-started it and to my surprise a battery alert started. There were two subpacks that were alerting - subpack #2 in the boot and subpack #10 UNDER the controller tray! Drat!

I haven't pulled either out yet but I'm hoping it's just dud cells and not an overall metering problem (where I think it's 12AH but it's actually 18 or 20AH).

Other issues:
1. I think I have a tailshaft wobble. It's noticable above 70km/h. That's an axle stand check (initially).
2. Laurel didn't like the driver seat upholstery crinkling. I have pulled the the driver seat out and have stripped back the upholstery to glue it down to the foam a lot more (I was a bit skummy with the glue).

The good? It's a real pleasure to drive. I am absolutely amazed that no-one notices the noise - none. This a 1965 Humber Vogue - it should be noisy! I went within a meter of folk waiting to cross the road several times - and I was the only car for a few tens of meters - and it was pretty quiet - people don't notice.

Another good part is the ventilation in the Vogue is way better than the Super Snipe - it's going to be a better summer car for me (no aircon in either - I haven't driven with aircon for years). The Vogue can direct a huge volume of air into the cabin from the behind-the-bonnet scoop (see first picture in this post).
I had also backed off regen braking to a maximum of about 9kw (15 Amps battery current) and it's probably easier to drive. I'd like a cabin regen-trim control I think.

I'll pull battery pack #2 out tonight and do some tests. That will dictate whether I remove the controller tray to get at pack #10. I've begun re-gluing the driver seat.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations John! It's looking brilliant, and I'm sure you will get to the bottom of the battery issues... I can't wait to see the car! Perrin

Johny said...

Thanks for the positive comments Perrin. I have updated with a few posts to indicate progress - all good.