Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mac returns to the falls

Since I had to go into work in Redmond I decided to go to Snoqualmie falls afterwards, and then back to Monroe. The entire trip was about 70 miles, and I used 72% of my pac.
I am not sure if my range is improving because of the warmer weather, or if the batteries are getting more cycles on them. Every thing I have read about the lithium batteries is that in the beginning the capacity actually increases before they start to loose capacity.
It was a beautifully trip, and Mac preformed wonderful.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Trip to Stanwood

I decided to go on a trip to Stanwood last weekend to visit my sister. The trip was almost all freeway, so it was a good opportunity to see how my range is at freeway speed. I was driving mostly 65-70MPH, and it is a distance of 40 miles from Monroe to Stanwood. When I arrived, I had used 45% of my battery. With 55% still left I would have no problem making it back. I plugged into her 110 outlet while I was visiting to put a little back in while I was there. I figure that one hour using 110 puts 5 miles back into the pack. If I did not plug in my battery would have run down to about 10% when I got home. It is not good to run it down that far. I try to never go less than 20% left, and I usually never get it below 50% with my normal driving.

I am still planning on taking a trip to the ocean soon. I have found an RV park that has 50 AMP service that is about at the 80 mile distance along the trip where I can plug in. It is a 160 mile trip so that is a perfect half way point within my range. I still need to find a place when I get there to plug in though.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mac goes up Stevens Pass

I took Mac almost to the top of Stevens Pass. I turned around about 10 miles from the pass because I was down to 55% left in the Pac. I did not want to run it down to 50%. I always forget that I use way less energy on the way down than on the way up. When I got home, I had gone 80 miles, and used 70% of the Pac. I believe the hot weather is helping the range. I stopped and took this picture on the way back. There are several areas that you can just pull over, and walk down to the river and see some awesome views.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Trip to Snoqualmie Falls and North Bend

On Wednesday I took a trip up to Snoqualmie falls. After the falls I continued to the town of North Bend. I was going to try for the Pass on I-90, but I was not sure if I would make it. I drove around a little in North Bend, and back down to Carnation, and then back to Monroe. I drove just under 70 miles round trip, and still had 30% of my Pac left. Most of my trip was flat accept the last 5-7 miles was kind of steep and winding.
After getting home I wish I would have tried to make it to the top of the pass. I keep forgetting that although it may take a lot of the Pac going up hill, it usually does not use hardly any of the Pac going down (mostly coasting).
It is so amazing having Mac this long, and still not having run it long enough to see what happens when the batteries get run down. The closest I have come to 0% is 11 or 12% with no sign of change in performance. I can not say enough good things about Lithium.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MAC is bac!!!!!!

Mac is back, well he has been back since 5/20.

I have been so busy at work, and home that I have fallen behind on my blog. Mac is back, and better than ever. The acceleration from stop is much better now, and the intermittent electrical problem is fixed.
It has been such a joy to be driving Mac again.
I decided to do a range test on I-5 heading north and turn around when I got to about 60% charge left. I quickly realized that on the freeway, you can not just turn around when you want. You have to wait until the next exit. I was not familiar with that far north, and was getting a little worried that I may hit a spot that was far between exits, and it might put me over the 50% mark, but I decided to go for it anyway. The worst that could happen was if I went to far, and did not have enough to make it home I would just have to plug in and wait a while somewhere on the way home. I chickened out at the next exit and turned around.
I went from Monroe to the Stanwood exit, and back to Monroe. I drove 63 miles, and used 68% of my Pac. I was driving about 65MPH most of the time.
I am very impressed with how the lithium batteries are performing, and the state of charge meter.
I am still planning on putting a trailer hitch on him, and making a small trailer to match the design of the triac.
I allso am planning on taking him on a trip over to West Port on the washington coast. I will have to stop at an RV park along the way to recharge, and then recharge while I am at West Port as well.
RV parks have 220 30Amp outlets so charging will be good. I need to find a place at West Port that is 220. It should not be that hard to do. I just need to get to a slow point at work to take some time off.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rain sucks on a motorcycle

Well I finally broke down and bought a gas vehicle. I would have rather used my tax refund for other things, but riding in the rain on my motorcycle just got too depressing. At least with the bad economy there were a lot of clunkers to choose from.
I am still waiting to here about Mac. I should hear something this week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oh Where Oh Where can my Triac be, Oh Where Oh Where can he be

Well, Still no Triac. It has been a little over 6 weeks. It really sucks being on the cutting edge. I am suppose to get an update today. I sure hope it is good news, and that he will be back soon.
My friends are starting to teas me by saying that they are keeping the car until the warranty expires.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Triac In the movie's

Well, Mac (My Triac) is down in California for some upgrades, and service. While he was down there he had the opertunity to be in a short 15 minute movie. he was used as a police car about 4 minutes into the flic. Here is the link if you want to check it out

I sure miss him. I am hoping to get him back some time this week.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Well it has been a while since I posted. I now have about 2,800 miles on my Triac who I have named Mack.
Mack is performing very well. I am driving him daily, and usually never get below 45% charge. I am going to try and get some video done and put on YouTube as soon as the weather gets better. Somehow video always looks better when it is not pouring down rain.

I have seen a lot of debate going on in the EV community on battery management systems, and I would like to put my comment out there. The biggest issue I have seen is over charging or over discharging. Lithium batteries will be damaged if you charge them to high, or drain them to far. The chargers I have seen appear to do a good job at charging without going to high. The big issue I see is with Battery management systems not allowing the voltage to drop below a certain voltage, and they are doing a bad job. And by bad job I do not mean they are damaging the battery. What they are doing is stopping or limiting the amount of power because of false readings.
Here is my understanding on lithium batteries. I am going to use Mack (my Triac) as an example, but it applies to all Battery management systems I have seen.
My cut off voltage is 2.5V per cell. That means if one of the 45 cells goes to 2.59V it will shut off to protect the batteries from being damaged. The battery can go below 2.59V under load as long as it is still above 2.59V at rest. When you are going up a hill drawing about 150-200 amps the voltage in the batteries will drop. I have seen it drop as much as .3V. If my voltage is at 2.9V, going up a hill could fool my BMS system into thinking my batteries are to low, and shut the car off, when in fact I have almost half a charge left. I have not run into this yet because I usually only drain my pack to 50%, and I do not have any hills at the end of my trip.
There is my long winded two cents on BMS systems. I think they are great used as a visual aid, but I would much rather not have it making the decisions for me until it can do a better job. The big problem is the small range of voltage from full to empty. Mack is usually at 3.3V per cell when charged, and 2.5V when empty. That is only .8V difference.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stats and more info on range

I have put together some statistics that many people have been asking me about. Keep in mind that these are approximate, give or take an inch.

The inside width dimension varies depending on where it is taken. I tried to take it about where the center of the seat is with the seat almost all
the way back.

Length: 125 inches.
Width of body (not including mirrors): 55 inches.
Height: 62 inches.
Clearance under Triac: 6 inches.

Width: 46 1/2 inches.
Height: 45 inches.
Seat to ceiling: 35 1/2 inches.
Back of seat to steering wheel: 23 inches.

The weight of mine is 2,280 LBS. I went to a truck stop and had it weighed. I have been told the batteries weigh 750 LBS, putting the Triac at
1,530 without batteries.

My Tire size is 195/50 R15 (I believe this was an upgrade)

Range: I have done two range tests with great results.

1st was averaging 45-50 MPH with no heater running, level ground with an outside temp of 40: 102 miles with 13% battery left showing on the gauge. This would be around 117 miles if it went to 0%.

2nd was averaging 60 MPH with no heater on, hilly terrain and temp of 40 degrees: I drove 48 miles with 50% charge still left this would estimate to about 96 miles if the batteries were depleted
To 0%.

I would not go much more than 10% left so the batteries would last longer.
I generally only go down to about 45% between charges.

I am very pleased with the results so far. The 100 mile range seems to be as advertised.

I am not sure what affect the colder temps are having on the batteries. I believe lithium is suppose to do well in cold Temps.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Charge times

I love the fact that I can charge the Triac with both 110, and 220. The 110 allows me to plug in anywhere, but the 220 is far better.
With 110 it takes quite a long time. Green Vehicles told me for a full charge it would take about 20 hours. With my driving I have not run mine down much below 50% so charging with 110 was working as long as I plugged in right when I got home. If you do the math that works out to be about 5 miles of charge an hour.
The 220 takes about 4-5 hours. if you figure 5 hours that is 20 miles of charge an hour.
Someone pointed out to me that the best place to find a 220 outlet on the road is at an RV park. It never occurred to me that that would be an easy access point. The plug is probably different so I would have to have a new cord made up for it. The new cord would only need to be about 6 inches long. Just long enough to change from my plug to a different one. I have no idea how much they would charge though. most people think because it is 220 that it uses a lot of electricity. I am guessing it costs me between $2.00 to $2.50 to charge up. I would like to think they would not charge more that $10.00 to let me charge up.
I will try and get the dimensions, tire size, and weight posted soon.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Well I finally got around to doing my first range test. I was told that the Triac should be able to go 100 miles at 45MPH so that is what I was going to attempt. I did not run the heater because I am sure that is how they did there range test to achieve the 100 miles. My speed was between 45 and 50 MPH for the ride. I had a stretch of road that was flat, and a little over 5 miles long. I would drive the 5 miles @ 45-50 MPH, turn around and come back. Because I was only going 5 miles the range test had several stops and starts which does affect range a little. I drove very conservatively. Starting out very slowly, gradually getting up to speed, unless someone was behind me. About 8 miles had gentle rolling hills so some of it was not flat.
All in all I was very impressed. I drove 102 miles, and still had 13% charge left. The state of charge meter seamed to be very accurate with the discharge of the battery. I would have gone farther to see when it would go into limp mode ( this is when the batteries are down low, and it limits the amount of power you can use), but I was very board after driving back and forth for two hours.
A+ to Green Vehicles for there honesty on range. Most EV companies over state what the range will be. I have always told people to take what they claim, and cut it in half, and you should get a little more.