Thanks to Benjamin Nelson (who was also giving a workshop at the fair), we don't just have the slide presentation (which was pretty boring anyway)...we have the whole workshop on video!
When Ben first posted the video on his YouTube channel, we had a couple questions from viewers, and thought it best to answer them here as well.
"you don't program the IGBTs" - What we should have said is "programming for the IGBTs". You have to program the controller to control the IGBTs and control the switching times.
"probably not entirely true that AC lends itself less to regen than DC" - What's coming back from regen is AC and then you have to convert it back to DC to charge batteries, so there is an extra step involved.
Additionally, we wanted to make another correction: when looking at "savings", we had said that is costs "39 cents more" to drive gas than electric. We had meant to express it as a percentage (39%) instead...but as it turns out, our numbers were turned around. It's actually more significant - it costs us 61% more to drive gas than electric (and that is considering a much lower gas price than what we have today).
In the video below, we've edited in some of the slide presentation (any sections that we felt added to the video). Now...on to the workshop video:
Thanks to Mother Earth News Fair for hosting the fantastic event, and thanks again to Ben Nelson for offering to film the workshop. For those of you who don't know Ben, he has built his own electric motorcycle, and blogs regularly about various eco projects. You can follow him at EcoProjecteer:
and on his YouTube Channel:
Once we have the "Groups" feature ready on Earthineer, Ben has agreed to be an admin for an "Electric Vehicle" group.
As promised, we're compiling all of the links and photos on this page. Once the EV Group is ready, we'll post photos of our next electric vehicle project as well.
"An automotive community where performance is judged by fuel economy rather than power and speed. EcoModders employ a combination of vehicle mods, driving techniques, and common sense to squeeze every penny out of the pumps."
"The Electric Auto Association is an organization that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of Electric Vehicles."
We used the PowerStar batteries. Specifically, we used the PK55-12 model. 12 volts at 55Ah Weight: 45 lbs each. We could have gone bigger on the Ah, but didn't bother.
We had used an off-the-shelf alltrax controller:
As we had mentioned in the workshop, you can also get one from Paul & Sabrina (who ran a workshop at the 2011 Mother Earth News fair in Puyallup, WA:
We've ordered one ourselves.
Next EV Project:
For our next electric vehicle, it will likely be a farm vehicle using an AC induction motor: