Saturday, June 30, 2007

Don't let those batteries just sit around

I'm a bit wiped from the initial burst of installing all the battery racks, so I took it a bit easier on Friday and Saturday to do some of the smaller installation steps.

Here is the starter block-off plate to cover the hole left from the removed starter motor. Like the previous day, I was a bit surprised that the holes in the plate didn't match the spacing of the bolts on the transmission. Fortunately, the plate is just aluminum and a few minutes with a drill to move the holes closer together allowed me to slide the plate on easily.

This is inside the driver-side fuel compartment looking forward. The two one-inch holes will get grommets for the high-current battery cables connecting the front batteries with the middle pack.

The 8-volt golf cart batteries arrived over 24 days ago and have just been sitting on the garage floor, discharging. I didn't want to let them sit for much longer, so spent $10 on 12-gauge wire and 3/8" crimp lugs to create a charging harness for the batteries.

Here's the 12-gauge wire and several crimp lugs. I used the tape-measure to cut all the cables to the same 7-inch length.

Here are the completed charging cables. I have 16 7-inch long cables, one 18-inch cable and two long wires crimped into one of the Anderson connectors I got from a big, dead UPS at FreeGeek. This Anderson connector matches the connector on the Zivan charger.

Here's the final charging setup. Since I'm dumping a maximum of 10 amps (typically much less) into these batteries during their maintenance charge, I thought the 12-gauge wires would be adequate. The 16 7-inch cables connect adjacent batteries. The 18-inch cable connects the two batteries on the end.

I used a simple drywall screw into a stud to hold the Zivan charger lightly against the wall in the proper orientation (fans up) for maintaining the batteries while I wire up the rest of the car.

I paid Zivan for a switch and special firmware to allow two different charge rates. The higher charge rate consumes a full dedicated 20-amp circuit breaker. The lower charge rate can be plugged into a 15-amp outlet that has a few other light loads attached. This will allow me to charge at work or a guest's house without overloading their circuits.

I ran out to Parkrose hardware again this morning to pick up some high-quality 10-gauge wire to start some of the internal EV wiring listed in the instructions. I'm also going to replace the #2 gauge wire that came in the crate with 2/0 cable from United Welding Supply to help carry supply current more efficiently.

Next up: Tapping into the 914 fuse block

No comments: