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Designing Of Cars: An Electric Or Battery Powered Car
The Motor Batteries Frame And Body

The Motor Needs Of A Battery Powered Car

I had the book the Should We Have A New Engine it says that if the motor is rated at X at continuous duty. Then for less than 6 seconds an electric motor could be run at 3.5 times the normal or continuous duty output. This is for fan cooled motors. This can be done from doubling the voltage, twice the voltage would allow twice the amps to flow through the motor or 4 time the total power flow. It is hard to find a d.c. motor rated above 10 horsepower. Peak the motor output though is just going to be used for getting up to speed or to pass someone. In the book the Vega is said to require 14 horsepower to go 70 M.P.H.. Most of the power requirement at that speed is due to wind resistance and wind resistance goes up with the square of the velocity. So 50 M.H.P. would be attainable from roughly 10 horsepower.
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Of the small inexpensive none sports cars of the time the Vega aerodynamically some of the best lines, this is compared to the Pinto, Volkswagen Super Beetle, Mustang II. Even with these pictures that do not preserve scale it is easy to see the difference.
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After the fact in the later 1970 my choice was the sport car the 1972 Opel GT. The car make listed with the best aerodynamic rating at that time was the French Citroen with .24 for total frontal area, these though a some what large car. The motor used in the Citroen was a 1600 cc 4 cylinder, this is a smaller engine than most of that group.

The Opel Gt as it was, had no room in the front for 10 car batteries but the deck area in the rear could hold more than enough. The with enough cable this would not be a problem. The amount of batteries could be adjusted to so that there was balance load at the front and rear wheels, as a true sports car should. With this new light weight it could be quite surprise at a stop light. The Citroen has a some what tall silhouette, 4 doors, and a very long wheel base for it's size and weight. There is one other feature that is good on a light car capable of carrying a large load. Citroen had a set of 2 dials on the dash that could raise the front and rear end of the car via original equipment air shocks. The other use part of this feature would be bringing the car up for passenger to get in and out of the car. In 10 inches of snow it would still be clearing the snow, too.

What you want or what you are selling it as effects the motor power needs. Most of the "New" designs today have similar lines although they are larger cars. Some just a Citroen shape on top of a box it's sold as an SUV.

I favor the use of D.C. motors because of the simpleness of the possible designs and the ease of repair.

The design of the 24 Volt 400 Amp Aircraft Starter Generator would be the best design for the for a startup design for an electric car. The design would be important even on a higher voltage motor. The parts are made to be hand assembled, using simple machining, and stamped out parts. Below is a picture of the parts of the commutator. This allows starting without as high an initial overhead. If the body is made in the same style and as many off the shelf parts it would be possible to put out enough unit to be seen as viable car.

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This would allow commutator parts to be replaced . The tall single orange bar is the end view. The black dot is a hole where the wires from the armature are soldiered to. This keeps the amount of flexible wire unsupported to a minimum. The dark gray rectangle is the nut that will hold the commutator bars in place. The 2 tone piece is the ring that is holding the bars in place in the last picture. They set with insulative material around the shaft and between each bar as in the second picture. The ring is then placed around them and the nut tightened down and the commutator must be put on a lathe to make sure that it is round or true. This is now ready for use. This is a very good rebuildable design. The fourth picture is of the drive shaft that runs through the center of the armature and the commutator. This shaft bears the load of the motor, if the engine stops suddenly because of a rearend or transmission failure the thin shaft will be snapped. Not pictured is a mounting bracket that is held to the motor by a ring holding the 4 feet in the notches cut in the motor. The thin shaft and the mounting bracket will be broken if the car is impacted heavily but the motor will probably survive. The motor is now also easy to remove for service.

Regenerative Braking

The method for handling Regenerative Braking depends on the transmission involved. The use of a manual transmission is more efficient than a automatic. The problem is there should be shifting done to make it work better. Down shift when the driver want to slow down whether the driver wants to touch the brakes or not.

I drove the first of the cars with EGR valve, that Recycles Exhaust back through the intake when the intake is at high vacuum. After being told why my exhaust did not make any back off noise. I disconnected the EGR valve. Then there was a marked increase in deceleration.

This step short of full braking would allow for staged braking. When the gas petal is not held down at all the motor would provide a small load. If the car is down shifted the load or braking would be increased. When the brakes are pushed the amount would increase through the travel where it normally feels like there is no brake action. From there the braking and the feel of the brakes would be normal. This would mean only planned braking would be Regenerative Braking. If one just slammed on the brakes it would be the same action every time. The foot pedal would most likely stay at the edge of the braking action till the last less then 5 miles per hour. This letting off of the gas braking will also tell the driver how much braking power there is. The amount will vary depending on how charged up the batteries are. This why I said that where the actual brakes are used no regenerative braking.

The amount of charging batteries that will happen during regenerative braking should be spread over the as many batteries as possible. The slower the charging the less wasted energy. The amount of energy saved in city driving would make this worth while.

The Charger, Charging And Testing The Charge Batteries Or Cells

The charging with a charger could take place an where if the charger were built into the car. The type of charger needed should have different cycles and test the batteries or cells regularly. There must in Gel Cells two reasons for the cells to go bad. The on being similar to that of a Nicad battery, where the cell shorts it self out from taking a charge. For testing a standard load put to the battery and then checking the effect it had on the charge of the battery. The tester had been a piece of equipment 30 years ago when the battery was not connected. But doing it with batteries still in an electric car would be the only way to test them over 5 years. The cable connections should be arranged in the car to allow this. Any electric car made should be considered a test in progress. Charger and charging and testing were not enough in depth.

The Electrical Needs on a battery powered car: Lights, Horn, And Air conditioning Fan

The cars normal electrical needs from lights, horn, air conditioner and fan where also tested. I did many tests on different lights due to my work. The problem is that lights are standard and if output is below normal that can be looked on as the fault of an accident. So the lights must be fairly standard. The horn really not a problem. The tests on air conditioning was the testing a Evaporative Cooling unit to use instead of a standard air conditioner. The design was different then the old hook in the window design. One tested was one that set floor in the back seat. There were two different designs I worked from there. One was a add on to set on top of the dash. It would hook into the defrost vents and front of the dash. The other design was to be built in and the car would look like it had normal air conditioning.

Odd Gel Cell Battery From My Opel GT

The battery in the Opel GT was different, it was a Gel Cell. Even after that difference it was still very different. The battery was 13 years old and still starting a car. The was another difference. If the Battery ran down the to dead flooding and then using the starter or leaving the headlights on. A charger from charger would start the car. Later though the battery would be dead again. This could be after up to 24 hours of charging with a standard charger. In trying make it though work I kept it running, it was at 30 Amps for 2 1/2 hours. It would then go back to starting like new again. Gel Cell batteries have one advantage they can output the same amount of amps whether the temperature is 60 degrees F or 0 degrees F. There was the possibility of a electric or battery powered car in Colorado.

The age of my Gel Cell battery was determined by the fact that it was a 850 amp battery had not been made in over 13 years. The normal warranty on that battery was 5 years some lasted longer than that. The battery in question though will last past 15 years and still be going strong unless drained. That same method of high charging would than needed to be applied and it would be as good as new. The Opel Gt had 157,000 miles and lost a lot of compression in the form of blow by on the rings. It was therefore a hard start, requiring 5 to 10 seconds of cranking before pumping the gas pedal. If the pedal was pumped early it would flood and if I did not figure out it was flooded fast enough I run close to draining the battery trying to clear the cylinders. It is easy from this to see how I gained knowledge of the batteries with charging by charger.

Bob L. Petersen

Past member of the Society Of Automotive Engineers (around 1974-1975). To order the book Should We Have A New Engine I became a member. That does not mean I am an engineer by their standard. There were conversations with the author at JPL. Never saw any other books I wanted so I let my membership expire.

Designing Of Cars: An Electric Or Battery Powered Car Design Battery tests, motor and frame.

Bob Petersen

This Is My Standard Car Frame Design Built For Strength.

The overhead and side view of frame for an electric or battery powered car

The 2 beams in the middle of the overhead view is where I would put the batteries. This position in the side view is the upper beams passing through the passenger compartment. These beams in a normal car would be just a 1 foot higher than the hump would be in the middle of the car. The idea behind this design is the weight should be even with the bumper or not far below the bumper line. To far below and impact will push the this car down the other car will be pushed up and maybe onto the top of your car. This central placement of the batteries offers protection against impact. (See picture below it shows the 2 factors that stopped the truck from entering the passenger compartment. Strength of the frame and the fact that the car moved is why the truck did not enter the passenger compartment. Light weight does not always have to mean a loss of safety.)

These door beams are interlock with the frame when the door is closed. The Bricklin doors didn't interlock. This is from a sports car design in the 1970. (See the designing of cars page.) The door and the frame should stay interlocked but it should still be possible to crawl out the window I accidents of 25 m.p.h.. This would more protection then on any of the present passenger cars have from impact that might penetrate the car. The height and width should be such that the bumps of cars, SUV, trucks would impact the beam in the door. With this the protect should be 360 degrees. A car went under the rear bumper of my jeep. The impact broke the rear spring. So I do not want that to happen again either.

The seats would not be as low as in the sports car design. It should surround the driver on the sides up to just below the elbow and then out to just wider then the shoulders. This with belt and bags would be as safe as it could get. Beyond that I would advise consulting other sources for information on frame and welding. The right parts are the one designed for car of roughly the same weight or slightly heavier. On the page the Design of cars is a reference to door that uses a beam running from front to back. I consider that to be the safest door design.

See picture at bottom of page and read what happened. Then think some more. My neck should have broken.

Gel Cell Batteries for a battery powered car?

I will purchase 1 new Gel Cell battery for another car at a cost of $110 dollars and 3 different scrapped (The reason for buying scrapped Gel Cells will explained later in the odd battery section.) I wanted the scrapped Gel Cells batteries to run tests on. I offered $5 dollars for them to a car mechanic. He said he could get me more. I had a 1500 Watt Power Inverter I was testing. The tests on Inverter could act as a source of current draw to test the batteries. The tests were to see how the loads would drain the batteries. One test would be with the Inverter to powering a refrigerator to see how long it would take to drain a battery. Another test would be with the refrigerator, microwave, some lights and my computer. An electric mower was the single heaviest electrical device used to provide a load.

I had been told by two sources a possible reason that Nicad Batteries can no longer be charged. I had tried to fix a couple and it seemed to be true and I was able to fix one of the Batteries. This would be a part of what I would be trying on the Gel Cells. Ideally I would like to be able to use single cells to make up the battery system. Then a cell could be pulled out when it goes bad not the whole battery. This would be like a fork lift, only the cells would be smaller. The cells that make up a fork lift battery weight over 50 pounds the cells of a standard car battery size about 8 pounds. This small cells makes for easier packing of the batteries.

The best system for using the batteries in a battery powered car is multiple banks of batteries. With different banks being used to keep the amount of draw down on some of the sets batteries. Then switching to using one set of batteries down. By measuring the amount of power left in the battery the batteries with only a little charge left could be used for light load or just above coasting. This will allow the motor and the batteries to give near 100% output while the batteries are overall 75% drained.

Bov L. Petersen

Bob Petersen