Experimental Electric Vehicles

May 11, 2010

Perm Motor failure, E*speed down for re-enginnering

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonyhelms @ 12:07 am

Unfortunately I was in the process of making a sweet video for the E*speed when I had a catastrophic motor failure at a very high speed.

–58 miles on the E*speed so far

while testing high speed endurance I was peaking at around 96 mph and all the sudden I hear loud pops and what sounds like lightning behiend my leg, I peek my head over to see the motor literally on fire! I smack the main contactor switch and kill all power to the bike and gently coast to a stop.

–smoke damage is visible

I used my infrared thermometer and read a motor temperature of 478 degrees F. The copper inside the motor was molten and thrown all round the swing arm.

–molten copper thrown from motor

I knew the specs of the perm motor was 110 amps continuous and 200 amps for 10 minutes. I was watching my “cycle analyst” which reads real time amp’s and records the max amperage draw. So I look at the max amp, and its only at 156 amps, so what gives why did my motor blow?

I didnt know this until just recently, the speed controller made by Alltrax bumps the amperage up by almost 2 times. My shunt was installed in the input battery side, not the output motor side, therefore I was limited by what the gauge was reading out to me. Unaware to me I seriously overpowered the motor and burned it to pieces, quite literally!

–motor brushes removed, the center insulation is melted

as they say, hind sight is 20/20

Although this was a very expensive mistake, It could have been much worse and caused an accident, or burned the entire bike down. I believe I will be switching the drive system to AC now, which will require much modification of the motorcycle.

Gotta love experimental projects!

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