One part of ChargeCar is to make an predictive driving algorithm to manage the energy between a lead acid battery and a supercapacitor. In order to test our algorithms we are collecting real commute data from around the country.
The first thing I did for this project was build a couple scan tools.
My first one was designed to go in the rav4ev of my boss. In the car is a palm pilot that displays the cars vitals like voltage, current, state of charge, temperatures, etc. Using a y-cable, the scan tool sniffs the communication with the palm pilot and the car. The scan tool also has an input for a GPS. Every two seconds the GPS spits out NMEA sentences over a serial line.
I built 10 of these units so we could send them around the world to work with other rav4ev users.
In order to test these algorithms I converted a ScionXb to 100% electric. In order to keep the supercapacitor price down, the entire systems runs at 48v. This meant strapping 4 motors together in order to get the thing moving. And the entire power system had to be made with large bus bars to handle the high currents.
Along with the power electronics, i had to make the sensor unit. It records all the battery voltages, currents and temperature on the varios components in the car.
Another part of the project is developing a kit to convert civics to 100% electric with minimal effort by the installer.
I designed the entire power system using as much off the shelf components as possible. In order to keep the wireing clean, i made custom circuit boards to manage the bulk of the small wires.
The three main units that get installed in the car are the motor controller unit, with the motor underneath, the battery box, and the display unit with a computer built in behind the dashboard.