Sunday, April 15, 2007

What We Now Know - Impossible Became Possible




Gearing Experiments cause Curtis controller failure. I took "FreeB" (Free Batteries - nickname for our electric pickup truck) to the Step It Up Canada rally, for action on climate change, at the Art Gallery and chatted with Dr. Bass (Vancouver's own Al Gore, a former city councillor, and perhaps next mayor) and former Vancouver councillor Ellen Woodsworth and other acquaintances. CTV shot an news interview on FreeB. Two other TV crews asked for interviews, but I couldn't wait up for them.

Then, went over to the Sustainable Building Centre on Granville Island, and showed FreeB to staff, who requested to see it.

Later, did some interesting gearing/RPM experiments, after which the truck suddenly stopped moving. Waited several hours for two of Vancouver's most experienced electronics and EV gearheads with test equipment. In the meantime, took measurements of the batteries, before and while charging at the Canadian Tire's rooftop parking lot. The cavalry arrived. By a process of elimination, they concluded that the Curtis controller was fried and/or died, likely from the severe workout I was giving it, from the gearing experiment.

So, in my view, the Curtis controller in FreeB was much more fragile than the bullet-proof ones in our Ego-II electric scooters. There seem, to me, a too many failed Curtis controllers out there, and one EV site calls it "low end." However, we have a circuit diagram, and should be able to repair this controller.

Frustrating experience, but highly educational, because while waiting, I observed that our seemingly-crazy 3-node battery voltage-clamper system was working, and that the Zivan NG3 charger (imho a battery-killer) was effectively defanged. Also observed that our assymetrical battery mix of different sizes/types/brands was working as expected, although I came up with a minor tweak idea that should improve power and range slightly.

A thought came to me that, with pack architecture alone, perhaps we may be able to get by without a Battery Balancer actively working during discharge conditions.

Learning a lot that isn't widely known, but I've blown some change on parts, gear, and test equipment, already, on this EV. It's quite an expensive hobby. Today's lessons, for me, included: One cause of a Curtis controller's premature death; and, one situation where the EV's ammeter doesn't show the actual current draw.

My Forest-and-Trees view: The electric vehicle option will be difficult for many people, unless you ruggedize the EV's components like we did. Even at VEVA, the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, most of its officers either don't own an electric car, or have EV's that aren't working, or have EV's that they are going to sell due to frustration with parts and components. In another example, Bayla at Flora Health in Burnaby alleged that his company gave up on an electric minivan (that was made in California and later re-done by CANEV in BC) because its Trojan batteries only provided usable range for a short while. Their female staff were scared to drive Flora's e-minivan because they didn't know how far it would go. At times, even after a full charge, it lost power after just going around the block. (My group knows why Flora's batteries didn't work properly.) So, Bayla says Flora traded in their electric minivan for a Prius hybrid, losing thousands of dollars on their EV project. This isn't the only EV problem story in BC. For example, Spencer Baird of Tofino says he had three Curtis controller failures in five years. My group learned from each story and located the "permanent fix" for each of these problems.

Thankfully, my group was determined to find every solution to make EV's work reliably, for everyday use. It took me two years to solve the six major hurdles to electric biking. We were determined to win, in the electric 4-wheel game, too. And, we did! Now, we've got the world's cheapest vehicle to operate, in daily use! It's on the evening news!

We also figured out how to increase this EV's driving distance by 50% without any hardware changes! Video here.


Rob Matthies

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Click below to view
Revived Battery Pickup Truck videos on YouTube:
Stanley Park/Lions Gate Bridge
Crest of Lions Gate Bridge
Ammeter and Speedometer on bridge run
Global TV evening news coverage
Pre-evening news announcement by Global TV



EV Album entry - lists battery breakthroughs
http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/1091

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Click here for my EV Diary Part Six

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Controller Repair Post-Mortem: After the controller was repaired, and we made some wiring tweaks, the pickup ran smoother and faster. We learned (modified) the following ..
  • Why an electric vehicle with a Curtis controller will seem to lose some speediness after a few months' use, for no other apparent reason. (i.e. a new set of batteries does not improve performance of the electric car or truck.)
  • Why, after several weeks/months of idle, an electric vehicle may not start.
  • Why a Curtis controller may suddenly fail in a humid area.
  • Why novice electric vehicle drivers tend to wreck their electric vehicle's controller.
  • Why a voltage clamper (disspative voltage regulator) may actually weaken a battery.
  • Why controllers are damaged or destroyed during take-off, after a full stop, despite the low current draw showing on the ammeter.
  • How to repair the Curtis controller relatively inexpensively.
  • How to prevent the Curtis controller from getting too much current that it destroys itself.

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My Revived Battery Electric Pickup Truck costs only 30 cents per day to operate, including the cost of battery replacement!


After our repairs, fixes, and workarounds:
This vehicle is now in use regularly, almost daily.

Click below to see Shared Vision magazine's photo and description

of the low cost of running this world's first licensed pickup
that runs off discarded (dead) batteries:
http://vancouver-face-painter.blogspot.com/

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See City-TV BreakfastTelevision's
chippy host Tasha Chiu with wind turnbine
and this electric vehicle:
http://tinyurl.com/23zfzu

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For you to be able to use Revived batteries for an electric car or truck, you'll need more than just the Revival technique. Battery Revival is just one "link" in the "information chain". If you miss just one link, it won't work for more than two years, at the most, if it works at all.

We want to release the complete "information chain" as Open Source. to the pubic.

This information would be really valuable to the EV builders (also called "converters" or "conversion shops") in Mexico, India, Philippines and Europe, including Italy and France.

Personally, I feel that the Breakthrough that allows us to go up hills on only a 50A draw, and, also, the Breakthrough that allows this pickup to run on only 900lbs. of batteries (versus the 1800 lbs. that it is supposed to be carrying) are more important than the Battery Revival Breakthrough.


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video

10 comments:

jhjessup said...

So, any chance of telling us what you learned? It sounds like you've developed some custom controller circuitry - are schematics available? Could you do a follow-up post spelling out what you learned about the curtis controller, or how you "de-fanged" the Zivan chargers?

Fred said...

I'm also curious about what you found and how to 'revive' dead batteries and a 'better' recharger and controller.

Any chance of schematics or selling versions of your battery reviver, charger and/or controller?

Rob Mat said...

Yup, we'd be willing to share the fixes and workarounds and how to defang the Zivan NG3 charger to anyone who is willing to share in the expenses of our costly experiments. Contact us offline or by email.

heyduke said...

Sounds fishy to me! Magazines , late nite TV and emails are full of easy money ads and "zero point energy" claims.. "to learn the secrets of making tons of money easily just send me money!" "those willing to share in the expenses of ...." ie Send me your money.

not likely

heyduke said...

It is a well known fact that batteries short out when old due to an accumulation of plate debris in the bottom of the casing.
Industrial Fork lift batteries and other deep cycle batteries can be "revived" by opening up the bottom and draining/cleaning out this debris then refiling w/electrolite and re-charging. Old News

Rob Mat said...

Reply to Heyduke:

For you to be able to use Revived batteries for an electric car or truck, you'll need more than just the Revival technique. Battery Revival is just one "link" in the "information chain". If you miss just one link, it won't work for more than two years, at the most, if it works at all.

We want to release the complete "information chain" as Open Source. to the pubic.

This information would be really valuable to the EV builders in Mexico, India, Philippines and Europe.

Personally, I feel that the Breakthrough that allows us to go up hills on only a 50A draw, and, also, the Breakthrough that allows this pickup to run on only 900lbs. of batteries (versus the 1800 lbs. that it is supposed to be carrying) are more important than the Battery Revival Breakthrough.

Ray said...

Yes please share. This day-in-age has no time to waste. Like nanosolar example, just get it done, without the marketing stuff, because it works, please share.

Tee said...

Congratulations on your work. I hope that the right group comes along so that eventually more people can benefit from your technology. In the meantime, I will continue to drive my own electric "Bike" :) (motorino XPi and before that an XPe - they're fantastic for getting about the city!)

Mr No GAS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob Mat said...

RE: Hardware patches on the World's Cheapest Vehicle to Operate (google it!) now for sale

..about the revived battery electric pickup truck which has four battery breakthroughs and at least six hardware "patches" that we figured out.
http://photo.livevideo.com/photo/allsize.aspx?cid=5B4A0960569149F38D0B187356247856&size=o

This electric pickup is the WORLD'S CHEAPEST VEHICLE TO OPERATE:
http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=world%27s+cheapest+vehicle+to+operate&btnG=Google+Search&meta=


I have an expensive hobby: When I read about other people's problems in an device that I'm interested in, I have purposely destroyed my own, in order to find out where the weak component is, and find a "patch" for it. That is how we figured out the patches for the Curtis 12xx controllers, the Zivan NG3 battery charger, and Ego electric scooter issues.

BTW, did you see us on CBC-TV Newsworld? (video clip on the 'net.)

To pay for my hobby, I've listed, on ebay and other online classified sites, these patches. More will be listed in the following weeks.

Whether you are an electric vehicle owner or just an enthusiast, you will likely find one of these of use to you:

Prevent a Zivan from killing batteries"Prevent a Zivan from killing an electric vehicle's batteries prematurely. Old-timers will tell you this much: "Batteries don't die -- they are murdered!" .."

New item Which Battery Capacity Analyzer is really accurate? (ebook)"Item will be delivered by Email Hi Electric Car, EV enthusiast, or future battery expert! Do you suspect that your electric vehicle's batteries have a residual capacity .."

CURTIS CONTROLLER CATASTROPHIC FAILURE PREVENTION INFO"CURTIS CONTROLLER CATASTROPHIC FAILURE PREVENTION INFO You are bidding on several photos (in JPG format, All Rights Reserved) that shows how to prevent catastrophic failure .."

ELECTRIC scooter, bike, car, truck FULL POWER RESTORED"ELECTRIC scooter, bike, car, truck FULL POWER RESTORED R o b M a t t h i e s Please call ( 6 0 4 ) 7 3 9 - 7 7 1 7 This morning's TV newscast warned that all gasoline .."

CURTIS CONTROLLER REPAIR method of opening case INFO"CURTIS CONTROLLER REPAIR method of opening case INFO You don't have to buy this listing! .. because there is "free information" on how to open a Curtis controller .."

KEY TIPS - BUY, BUILD, DRIVE an ELECTIC CAR or PICKUP"KEY TIPS - BUY, BUILD, DRIVE an ELECTIC CAR or PICKUP The Electric Car is 80% Dead! Want one of the 20% of EV's that work? Are you interested in purchasing or building .."

How to RAINPROOF an electric bicycle or electric scooter DVD"How to RAINPROOF an electric bicycle or electric scooter DVD - $35 This is the WET COAST. See anybody riding their electric scooter in the rain? Why not? It is because these .."

CURTIS CONTROLLER - RUGGEDIZE INTERNAL PARTS- INFO ONLY"CURTIS CONTROLLER - RUGGEDIZE INTERNAL PARTS- INFO ONLY You are bidding on several photos (in JPG format, All Rights Reserved) that shows how to internally modify a 1221 (very .."

Plug a Zivan NG3 Battery Charger on a 15 Amp outlet"Use the principles in this listing for six months if it doesn't extend the life of your batteries by at least 50% we'll refund your money! Wouldn't it be great .."

How to Make a 4W "headlight" f"How to Make a 4W "headlight" for an electric car, pickup truck Look at the photo. Which seems more prominent: The standard 55w headlights or the 4W homemade lights .."


You may also be interested in these curious matters..

NEVER BUY ANOTHER BATTERY AGAIN (small household batteries)"A MAN'S PROBLEM: The average person will spend $250,000 of his after-tax dollars on energy. ONE SOLUTION: The Extreme Eccentric's Guide to reviving small household batteries .."

New item exact Stan Meyer pulsed DC elecgronic pulser circuit for HHO"Have you thought about Stan Meyer's (Electrolysis) hydrogen HHO gas patent for energy? You could conduct your own experiments, but unless you build electronics, you won' .."


Cheers,
Rob