Sunday, May 16, 2010

Turning Sunlight into Road Miles

Last Saturday, I taught a class in building a solar array. After the class was over I thought, "Why not put that project to good use." Hence: Here is the 875 watt solar array re-charging the batteries in my electric VW. What more can you ask for ... Sunlight to Road miles!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nice Driving Weather ... Finally!

Driving again: Beautiful 70+ weather today. It was a good day to take the "Electric Jet" to the barber shop so the driver could get a "spring trim."

Photo shows recharging on the helicopter landing pad. Whenever possible I open the hood for recharging so as to let the gasses escape. This prevents rust from forming in the battery compartment.

Sadly, due to the big John Deere tractor Upgrade project/business, I never got any of the planned winter-downtime improvements done. Hopefully, I'll get to them soon. ("Soon" being quite undefined.)

Adding to the prior items, I've acquired a LINK-10 ("E-Meter") that needs to be installed. This is a very handy gadget which will monitor and log all battery functions.

FIRST on the list is headlight re-wiring! I drove home last night with headlights about as powerful as a 1950 Schwinn bicycle! The problem is typical undersized VW wiring, plus bad grounds. When I get done, I think it will light up the road like a 747 on short final approach!

The original US Battery battery pack is doing better than expected. I figured I would have to replace the pack first thing this year, since this is the fourth year on the pack. So far, it's still chugging well after 25 miles, which will get me to Pullman, and back, still with a little reserve to run around in town a bit. (Down from the initial 50 mile range) I haven't actually "pushed it" to see what the actual range is, however I have definitely noticed that the range is increasing as I drive it this year.

I plan to add two more 6-volt batteries, using the Electro Automotive under the floor battery box. It looks very well designed, as is all their products.

Rob, another Cabbie Converter ( just installed a lithium-ion pack. I'm watching that carefully and might consider it, if the price is right. Other than being able to extend the vehicle range an amount farther than I usually drive and allow me to spin the wheels and beat most cars to the first stop-light, I really can get along with my faithful non-BMS lead-acid batteries. (Re: Smoking Tires - Pullman is a "Small Town" and too many people know me!)

Stay Tuned ...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Next "Electrifying" Project

How about an Electric, Solar Charged, "Off-Road Monster," Golf Cart?
Yeah ... I think so!

Step 1: Install a 6" Lift Kit and cool-looking wheels and tires.

The future:

  • New Paint Job
  • New upholstery that is appropriate for the new paint.
  • Headlights
  • Add a bunch of chrome
  • Convert from gas power to electric power
  • Install a solar module on top to keep the running batteries fully charged.
  • Oh yes ... Seat Belts!