DIY Electric Car
A couple of friends of mine are interested in
doing a project to build/convert a normal petrol car into an electric vehicle. I
need to know if you have done an article on this topic or propose to do an
article on this topic in the future, as I have discussed this with many people
who are interested to know how difficult and expensive it would be to do this
Building a viable and practical electric car
from scratch is not worthwhile – it would be far cheaper to buy a secondhand
Toyota Prius or Honda Insight and modify it as desired. We have covered
modifying a Prius and will in the future cover modifying a Honda
Water Spray Modification
Regarding The New Intelligent Intercooler Water Spray Controller, Part 2.
Given the 'all-in-one' nature of the final version, it would seem appropriate to
include an additional indication of water reservoir level. Perhaps instead
of a single colour LED to indicate water pump operation, a bi-colour could be
used, showing a green light for correct operation and red for 'I need a
refill'. Water level could be determined by one of the many off the shelf level
switches (empty/not empty a la radiator level sensors), which would be
left up to the user to procure to suit their reservoir. An added
benefit would be that the circuit used to 'sense' the water level could
also be used to prevent the pump from running dry in the event of an empty water
bottle. A dampening circuit should be used on the 'level sense' line to
prevent abnormal operation caused by sloshing water.
More on Peltiers
In regards to your
Peltier Intercooler Water Spray (see
Peltier Intercooler Water Spray. Would the pre-made
insulated water tank [cooled with a Peltier] at the bottom of the page
distributed by Oatley Electronics be a good addition to a water to air
intercooler setup for a road car? To keep the supply water cool during longer
As described in the article, it would have
insufficient power to do so.
Don’t Dismiss Diesel
I read the Prius vs Insight with an open mind. Whilst
neither of these vehicles interest me enough to purchase, it was an interesting
comparison. A point I do think you may have missed and are perhaps somewhat
blinded as you are, as you mention, an owner of both these vehicles is the
compromises that (at this point in the development of the technology) that need
to be made in order to justify said purchase.
Let me expand, they are
often significantly dearer than a contemporary Corolla or Civic and have as you
mention far worse load carrying capacity - perhaps with exception of Prius. You
keep coming back to the sensational fuel economy or Insight but fail to mention
that if you have to ferry two kids around at same time then you need two
vehicles, two drivers, and therefore the 3.5-4 litres/100km is offset against
the compared Peugeot diesel at approx 7.9-8.0 litres/100 km.
I don't need
to tell you that the diesel torque is massive and that with a full load of
family and luggage it would be a much nicer proposition travelling Melb - Sydney
or even a lesser distance of 100kms or so. You have also shown that with simple
modifications VW’s Golf diesel can be turned into a torque monster. And what of
resale of a diesel in 3 or 4 yrs - this is a significant chunk of money that the
fuel savings may not offset.
So to dismiss diesel purely on fuel economy
I think is false economy (yep pun intended). Do I own a diesel - nope, nearly
did (a Jetta) but VW sales people did not impress me - so we bought our 4th
Liberty instead and one you guys don't particularly like due to lack of torque -
2007 3.0R spec B. Yep can be caught out going up a hill with a load but it is
also deceptively quick. And as I know Subaru won’t loan you any cars any more,
SI-Drive does actually work. One negative cannot offset what is otherwise an
exceptionally well built, well equipped and extremely safe (5 star rating)
More on Ethanol
In response to Richard Everett's Response. The chemical
carbon content of ethanol is irrelevant to the issue. When oil is dug up
and burnt in a car, the 'carbon' stored in that fuel millions of years ago is
released into the atmosphere today. When a crop is grown to ultimately be
converted into a mobile fuel, the growing plant 'takes' carbon from the
atmosphere. That it is ultimately re-released is a moot point as more
plants are grown to make further ethanol, and so the cycle continues.
Also, ethanol burns cleaner in respect to other pollutants.
That ethanol contained less calorific value that
oil fuels means that you use more to go a given distance, and the process of
conversion entails some losses, however, overall the complete fuel cycle using
ethanol fuel is FAR less damaging to the environment that digging up squashed
dead animals. As a stop-gap measure the only major downside is the ethical
issue of reserving the world’s precious resources and land mass for growing fuel
crops when some people are starving.
There most be some maths at work in the
Pipe Dreams article - a
formula that at the least gives a ball park intake pipe length, but Googling
didn't give me anything worthwhile... Can anybody give some technical
information or suggest further reading material?
If you Google under ‘Helmholtz Resonator’
you’ll find lots, but to be honest, we think by far the easiest and most
accurate way of finding the right length will be to do multiple dyno and/or road
acceleration runs with different length intakes.
Cheap Mains Power
Mains Power for Your Car!. I think the cheapest way
is to hack up a computer UPS box, remove its internal battery and have them
wired directly to the car power. Instant 600VA inverter at the lowest cost! And
it also doubles up as a battery charger when plugged into the mains!
Robyntan Lee Yu Cheong