Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Break-In Period

In an effort to equalize the battery cells, I have taken a few short rides with the car in order to go through a few discharge/charge cycles. I also want to know what my driving range is in order to determine how far I can travel.

The issue with the PakTrakr BMS reporting 'Alerts' on 'Remote A' was resolved. My experienced fellow eProtege5 converter (Dimitri) was most helpful in resolving it. The problem was that the PakTrakr display was set for "Flooded" type batteries instead of "Lithium". The system is now behaving correctly with only one strange incident where the display temporarily experienced a glitch and the characters got scrambled like letters of a foreign language.

The PakTrakr display unit was originally planned to be installed in a triple pillar pod next to the windshield at the driver side but I finally chose to put it just between the radio and the climate control unit.

All the BMS wires were organized nicely and the rear seats were reinstalled. Since the center rear passenger seat belt was no longer needed, I removed it. This will also help in meeting the SAAQ vehicle inspection weight requirements.

Some additional minor work was done like installing a safety spring for the pot box, finishing up the heater wiring connections, reinstalling the plastic splash panels in the wheel wells and under the front motor compartment, reinstalling the radio and weighing the car.

In preparation for the vehicle inspection, I contacted the SAAQ to get more specific details on what required to be done. In the province of Quebec specifically, there is a weight adherence that must be met which is calculated using the following formula:

weight + (70 Kg x number of seat belts) + 30 Kg <= GVWR

Therefore, the weight of the car plus the weight of passengers (70Kg per seat belt or passenger capacity) plus cargo weight (30Kg) should not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is a requirement that most EV converters find fairly difficult to meet especially if lead acid batteries are used.

The equipment requirements and other information for a modified vehicle are described in this french document published by the SAAQ:
Les vehicules modifies ou de fabrication artisanale

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