Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just passed 6000 miles and fixed PakTrakr Issues

Two quick updates for the 914 EV since I've started working on the Civic-EV:

First, I just passed 6000 EV miles and the car is still going strong.

Second, the PakTrakr system has been acting up and reporting battery failures. At first, this really worried me that my battery pack wasn't doing well. Many first-time EV builders burn out their pack early.

Upon further inspection, the PakTrakr was reporting failures on batteries that were adjacent to the fusible links in the rear battery box and the front battery box. I tried an experiment by moving the PakTrakr battery wire from one side of the fusible link to the other. This should have theoretically caused no change because the fusible link should have no resistance. I was a bit amused to find that the "failing" battery jumped to the battery attached to the opposite side of the fusible link.

This experiment tells me that the fusible link has enough resistance to confuse the PakTrakr into thinking that a battery is failing. It shouldn't be too surprising since 200 amps going through 10 milli-ohms will cause 2 volts of drop, indicating a bad battery. The bolts on the fusible link metal had loosened up a bit and I suspect they had corroded as well, since the "fuse" is a different metal than the copper bar. I added Noalox anti-corrosion compound to the ends of the "fuse" metal and tightened down the fuse bolts to hopefully fix the problem.

Until something else major comes up, most of my efforts will be over at the Civic-EV blog.

Cheers, Tim