Llecentaur
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am

Range extender !

Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:39 am

I did share this idea within another post, but either it got lost within the other topics or other forum members do not consider it as pertinent.

In short, the biggest drawback of electric cars is their range and the time necessary to recharge the battery.

Thus the idea one can read in several forums about hooking a generator placed in a trailer

My thougt goes along that line but not to be placed in a trailor but on the roof in one of these aerodynamic boxes.

The idea would be to only have a few liters of fuel to run a generator, one day a turbine and hook it directly to the batteries the same way those battery uogrades are done by the website called i think enginner.us.

If such units where availabke, i woul certainly rent them for the cases i need to make very long trips. It would be much cheaper that loading the car on a truck, one could even imagine car rentals renting them with a similar system of conveying them from one town to the other in other to match demand.

Obviously it is too early to even expect a standard high voltage DC plug, but I thought of sharing the idea maybe some people grab it to make a prototype, then it might go further, as it is outside my expertise.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

peterdambier
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:26 am
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany

Re: Range extender !

Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:04 am

Charging is a problem. J1772 prevents you from charging while driving.

The other problem is our builtin charger. It wont charge with less than 8 amperes.

So we would have to find a place in DC land where to plug in. We would have to talk canbus to the battery management unit. We might end up with something as complicated as CHAdeMO and add a gas burning engine and tank and all that above our head.

Have a look at third world flea markets and try finding a used RTG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisoto ... _generator

They fit nicely on our roof and get good cooling while driving. :lol:

This might be a nice gadget for April 1st. A fake one of coarse. I would not like a real RTG close to me.


I have been thinking about adding another battery pack in the trunk. Again, how do I tell the turtle that she has got two batteries now to take care off. First step will be canbus hacking. I have unpacked my arduino yesterday and I am trying to get hold of a machina (ardunio with canbus) because ELM and OBD-2 will not be fast enough to watch what is going on.

Please feel not offended. Some ICE on the roof looks tempting at first sight but it is not that easy. Some ICE in a trailer pushing the i-MiEV might make the turtle thinking she is driving downhill and work without a lot of trouble.
Peter and Karin Dambier, DL2FBA, www.piraten-fraktion-bergstrasse.de

Llecentaur
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am

Re: Range extender !

Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:53 am

Hi Peter,

The RTG would definitely be unrealistic :). I see your reserves for an ICE on the roof but somewhere in the back of my head I was thinking of a small turbine. There is a company in california (I do not remember their name) which actually was started for applications of turbines in cars then went to energy production and I think has made a powerfull prototype with full electric propulsion but instead of hudreds of kilos of batteries like in the Tesla, they have opted for the turbine to extend the range. The performance is stellar and fuel economy is similar to a Polo.

Now if one day such small turbine could fit, only for special occasions outside the living space of the EVs, I think we might actually get ride of range anxiety...

Thanks

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2876
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Range extender !

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:15 am

Llecentaur wrote:Looking forward to your thoughts.
The car is very well engineered for what it was designed to do - A mostly urban commuter car with a 60 to 80 mile range. If that suits your needs, then buying an iMiEV is an excellent choice, IMO

If you need to go farther or faster, you should look into buying a car which has those capabilities, rather than trying to redesign something that was never intended for such use - A Chevy Volt sounds like the perfect car for what you want to do . . . . or maybe a plug in Prius

The iMiEV requires about 20 amps from it's battery to do a steady 40 mph on level ground - Faster would require even more. You need about twice that (40 amps) to maintain 55 or 60 MPH. 20 amps from a 330 volt battery is 6600 watts, so your 'roof generator' would need to be a 10 to 12 HP unit capable of at least 7500 watts and those all weigh lots more than the roof could support . . . . and they wouldn't fit in your luggage carrier anyway. Any attempt to connect something directly to the batteries would void any warranty and it would also be dangerous. The little 3300 watt charger built into the car has many computerized protections for the battery pack built into it and one of those is to make sure you cannot drive the car while you are charging it - Charging the car in any other manner would be ill advised

My thoughts are . . . . you're looking at the wrong car

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Llecentaur
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am

Re: Range extender !

Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:38 am

Hi Don,

Thank you for those power requirement information. I understand that to provide 5000 to 7000 watts the equipment would be much too heavy, I had in mind more like 2000 W but clearly that is well below the requirements.

Thank you for the feedback.

peterdambier
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:26 am
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany

Re: Range extender !

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:28 am

When Karin and me decided now is the time, our thinking was in 5 years double as much battery for half the price.

Today we read no longer science fiction, silicon is going to replace carbon. Batteries 5 times the capacity have been shown in prototypes, lasting only 30 recharge cycles but promissing. It is realistic to think we can replace our LiPo with something silicon giving us a range of 750 kilometers in a few years only and a range of 2500 kilometers in 10 years.

How about range anxiety? Those poor gas guzzlers are going to fill up their cars about twice per week and we are going to charge only once per month.

In Germany we are facing 35 cents per kilowatt hour and rising. Your own solar panels on your own roof are already cheaper. With our main fuse of 35 amperes those batteries will be the end of the grid. People will either drive to the power plant and get their electricity for 1/3 of the price or they'll make their own power. What looks funny right now gets more serious when you look at petrol prices.

I am running around my county convincing people we need open power sockets. I have seen it is almost impossible to plant an electric socket near a place selling gas. Security regulations. I have had a look under the hood of a Chevy Volt with gas and electricity side by side :shock:

I am sure the i-MiEV is the right choice for most of us. Sometimes needing more range I still think hybrids are a bad choice. I can feel the need sometimes to show we can go everywhere in an electric car - that hits me too and I am willing to do funny things including putting an RTG made of styro foam on the roof :mrgreen:
Peter and Karin Dambier, DL2FBA, www.piraten-fraktion-bergstrasse.de

Llecentaur
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am

Re: Range extender !

Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:18 am

Hi Peter,

I hope your numbers come through. My aim was to replace the original batteries in 5 to 7 years (5 year warranty on Citroen czero) with about 3000 USD batteries that would have same longevity and 3 times the capacity.

Do you think it would be a matter of drop in the new batteries assuming same size and voltage just a higher capacity or will we have to reprogram or buy a new battery management system ?

We still have time but there should be a thread exclusively for this purpose.

peterdambier
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:26 am
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany

Re: Range extender !

Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:14 pm

From what I have seen our batteries, lithium iron are the cheapest and most reliable compared to lithium cobalt, the most explosive and most expensive as used in Fisker and Tesla. The lithium manganese are somewhat in the middle. All of these are very much different in charge algorithm and voltage. So we need to replace the battery pack and reprogramme the battery management unit.

If that is not done by Mitsu we still can replace batteries, charger and BMU with something different and most likely at a reasonable price. That is how conversions are done, except the i-MiEV is already electric so very little work is necessary. The i-MiEV has the potential to become a cult car like the Citroen 2CV. I am sure there will come conversion kits as soon as those new batteries arrive.
Peter and Karin Dambier, DL2FBA, www.piraten-fraktion-bergstrasse.de

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2876
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Range extender !

Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:40 pm

Llecentaur wrote:Do you think it would be a matter of drop in the new batteries assuming same size and voltage just a higher capacity or will we have to reprogram or buy a new battery management system ?
You'd need to nearly completely redesign the car, I'm afraid. I doubt we'll ever see any conversion kits for it either . . . . they just didn't sell enough of these to justify the necessary engineering. They sold literally millions of 2CV's but maybe only a thousand or two iMiEV's

Your new battery bank will need to have a new BMS system designed specifically for the battery chemistry and capacity matching your new pack - I'm guessing the BMS alone would run you $1500 to $2k US and then it still wouldn't work with the cars onboard diagnostic systems. Programming the new generic BMS into the cars electronics will be very difficult, if not impossible . . . . well, I guess nothing is impossible - Suffice it to say it would be very difficult

Our current battery pack capacity is 50 AH and we recharge that with a built in 10 amp charger. If your capacity was tripled to say 150 AH, your stock charger would take about 20 hours to do a recharge, so you'd probably want another charger . . . . something on the order of 25 or 30 amps I would guess. The charger alone would probably run you $3500

Assuming your new triple capacity batteries could be had for *only* $5K US, then you'd still have to somehow get them installed in the stainless package which bolts to the underside of the car . . . . or build a brand new one from scratch - You would easily have $10K US or more in this project . . . . and even then, it probably wouldn't be trouble-proof

One day, someone with lots of technical expertise will no doubt do a one off modification of one of our cars with something like you propose, but it will likely take them months and $10K or more to do - I really doubt you'll ever see any 'bolt on' modification packages for sale to DIY'ers to do this themselves. The engineering costs would be prohibitive and the package would be so costly they'd have few if any customers

I *hope* that 7 or 8 years from now when my car needs a new battery pack, I can buy something reasonably priced from Mitsu to replace the OEM pack . . . . or maybe they'll be able to just refurbish my current battery so I can get a few more years of use from it - If a new pack has about the same range and I can replace it for only $5K or so, I'd probably be interested . . . . wishing or hoping for any great advancement in battery technology to be able to bolt into an old car probably isn't going to happen . . . . at any price. I suspect for most of us, when the OEM battery is done, we'll just move on to another car

We bought the car understanding very well all of it's limitations. We knew we wouldn't be taking any long trips in it, but then we rarely have the need to go much farther than 50 miles or so in a single day. It works very well for us because of that. If we needed to go farther or if we could only have just one car, we would have bought something else

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Llecentaur
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am

Re: Range extender !

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:06 pm

Hi Don,

Well I hope we will have some choices...

Are you sure about the number of sales, i am quite sure to have read that the imiev sales would have been around 20'000 or so not a few thousand. Most of them in Japan and south east asia.

I am not an expert, so please correct me if My assumption is inaccurate:

Each battery has a type, voltage and capacity. I understand that the BMS controls the charge state through the voltage of the cell and will charge until a certain voltage will be achieved. now, if in 5 years, we have a battery of the same type with same or smaller size which has the exact same voltage but double the capacity, why would our BMS not be able to charge it up to its max voltage, simply he will need twice the time given same charger is used?

Then if Nowdays, I charge for an average of 8 hours (220V) for my daily driving needs, then why, as long as the average say weekly usage is within the same bracket, the user would not be able to use the same charger, he would just be charging during the night and drive off without a fully charged battery which would even partially charged have a higher range than our present batteries.

You see i am assuming that the average usage would be roughly the same, just marginally higher, but the car/battery combination would be able to comply with some of those heavy days where we would exceed the average battery's range/charge capacity (assuming no fast charging station is used durin the trip.)

Thanks

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