# DIY Electric Car Forums> EV Conversions and Builds> Electric Motors

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#1
06-09-2012, 08:49 AM
 adeyo Senior Member Join Date: Jun 2012 Posts: 130
3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

Would a weinman ac 3 phase 15 HP work for a conversion? (using about 3000 lb vehicle)
Volts 208-230/460 DUTY: CONT rpm 3485 hz 60 fl amp 41.9-36.9/18.45 alternate tasting 46.0/23.0 amps max at 190/380 v

If so special mods? what would a possible approximate top speed be?

Thanks for any tips!!

#2
06-10-2012, 01:36 AM
 PStechPaul Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Cockeysville, MD 21030 Posts: 1,166
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

There's another thread which says that a 10HP motor may work, but you will be limited in acceleration, hill climbing, and top speed. However, you can figure out what to expect by using some basic Formulas and information on the vehicle weight and drive train ratios.

The motor torque in lb-ft is simply HP*5252/RPM, so your motor will supply about 22 lb-ft continuously and a maximum of 2-3 times that, or about 50 lb-ft. Now you need to figure the drive train ratio. You can do this by reading the tachometer and speedometer in each gear, and you might as well use 3600 RPM because that's your motor spec. So, I think my car will probably go 20 MPH at 3600 RPM in first gear. You have to measure the tire diameter to determine the axle RPM, so I'll guess at 2ft diameter which is about 6ft circumference. So every rotation will go 6ft, and a mile is 5280ft, so it will spin 20*5280/6 Rev/hr or about 290 RPM. So the drive train ratio is 3600/290 or 12.3/1.

Now the torque you need to climb a hill is related to the vehicle weight and the incline of slope. For a 20% grade, and a 3000 lb vehicle, you need a force of 3000*0.2 or 600 pounds. Since the tire has a radius of 1 foot, that is also 600 lb-ft of torque. The motor needs 600/12 or 50 lb-ft of torque. So, your 15HP motor will just barely meet that, and it will be overloaded so it will probably only be able to climb that hill for no longer than about 5 minutes (at 20 MPH max). Since you want some extra torque so you can accelerate, the vehicle will be severely limited. It may be OK in KS or FL, but not in WV.

And if your 3000 lb does not include batteries, you must add that weight as well. And my top-of-the-head calculations do not factor efficiencies and wind resistance.
#3
06-10-2012, 11:11 AM
 adeyo Senior Member Join Date: Jun 2012 Posts: 130
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

Thank you! I am in hilly terrain! I did read the other forum, but I guess I am not knowledgeable enough yet to know the differences between my motor and his, Due to the difference in 5 hp and also the significant difference in RPM. But your answer really helps clarify things. Thank you!

On another note, i have access to two of these motors, could i use them both...one per Axel? one per wheel on the front or rear Axel like Tesla? This should right double the torque or driving force if my ev right?
#4
06-10-2012, 11:47 AM
 aeroscott Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2008 Posts: 956
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

overclocking (if high efficiency ie thin lamination's ) like the aussies have been doing to 400hz and over volting (they take a 400 v motor and rewire it to 100v ) running with volts/hz or as the hz is increased so is the voltage counteracting the back emf so torque and amps remain constant as the RPMs go to 5000 on a 1750 motor . They ended up with less heat then stock (1/3 or 1/2 hp) to 5hp overclocked .
#5
06-10-2012, 02:34 PM
 adeyo Senior Member Join Date: Jun 2012 Posts: 130
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

Thanks aeroscott. My two motors are approx 3800 rpms. If i didn't have them rewound, would my vehicle performance be seriously lacking (only 15hp each)? Top speed? Or am i looking at overheating and other complications? I have a 2004 Volvo already, i also have access to two 15hp 3 phase ac motors ( details listed here...http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...098#post306098) ...preferably, i would just use the motors as is, unless they wouldn't perform well enough. I drive about 15 miles each way on hilly terrain every day.
#6
06-10-2012, 02:49 PM
 PStechPaul Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Cockeysville, MD 21030 Posts: 1,166
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

Using two 15HP motors should give you enough power, but there is the issue of synchronizing their speed and torque, as well as the mechanical problems of connecting the motors to the axles rather than using the existing drive train. If you go that route, it may be better to use a 4WD and use one for the front and one for the rear, but you still have only the single transmission. If the differentials are a high enough ratio it might work, but I think you will need the low gear for the hills. It may be possible to couple the motors together, especially if they are dual shaft. Or you might be able to use pulleys or chains and sprockets. But that will add cost and complexity and other problems.

If your motors were 4 pole or 6 pole, they would have more torque at a lower RPM so they would be better suited. It should be possible to get them rewound, but probably cheaper and easier to just buy the motor you really need. You can't go too far wrong to use a bigger motor than you think you need, as long as it fits. A 40 HP motor putting out 10 HP will not draw much more than a 10 HP motor, and maybe even less.

I had considered rewinding and overclocking about 8 years ago, and I rewound a 1/2 HP single phase 120V motor to three phase, 12 pole, 8 VAC. I overclocked it to about 3x or 4x and got 1800 or 2400 RPM. But I did not perform a dynamometer test so I don't know if it really had that much more power. My idea was to be able to run it directly on a 12 volt battery, and I made a three phase controller using a PIC18F2331 with a trapezoidal drive and it worked, but the MOSFETs eventually blew after a few runs. It actually happened as I was demonstrating it to some technicians and engineers at a nearby motor rewind shop. But I did not have snubbers or other protection and I was using 30V MOSFETs. Although it "worked", I could see that it was impractical to run a motor any larger than 1 HP or so on just 12V or even 24V, because of the size of the wire.

So winding it for about 100V and boosting voltage to 500V or so is the way to go. And I think the highest overclocking for a motor with standard 50-60 Hz laminations is about 3-4x. 400Hz will probably require thinner laminations of higher grade steel. Unless size and weight are truly critical, as in aircraft or bicycles, using standard motors may be "best" when all factors are considered.

Last edited by PStechPaul; 06-10-2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: Added response to using two motors
#7
06-10-2012, 03:24 PM
 mizlplix Senior Member Join Date: May 2011 Location: The great American South/West desert. Posts: 1,313 Blog Entries: 4
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

The motor is not your real worry in an AC system.

Where is the current coming from? The controller/inverter....

Almost any AC motor needs to be rewound to a lower voltage, usually 75-100 VAC-RMS. ( By halving the stator winding count and doubling the wire gauge)

Then, installing an encoder and a thermister to communicate with the controller/inverter.

At this date, in the USA, there is only really one game in town. The Curtis 1238R series controllers. They are voltage limited to about 120VDC pack volts and 78 VAC at the motor terminals.

An AC50 motor is really about a 7.5HP motor, rewound down to 78 AC volts. the real power comes from running it at 300Hz, by the Curtis 1238R controller.

SO, Yes, a properly reworked 8, 10,15 HP 3 phase, AC motor will work.

Like this Giant one from Topeka Electric Motor in their Silverado.

It is a full sized truck. It drives like a dream, they use it for their "shop" truck.
That has a purpose-built Baldor motor. It uses a Curtis 1238R controller.

SO, the AC50 is not stressing the controller...LOL

Miz
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#8
06-14-2012, 03:21 PM
 adeyo Senior Member Join Date: Jun 2012 Posts: 130

Thanks Miz! So basically, you think a "properly reworked" 15 hp motor might work for my needs...a single motor at that? That is, if i drop the voltage into the ranges specified etc?

I have one electric motor shop in town...he doesn't think motors can be rewound...but if it will work fine, what does properly reworked look like...i mean...what exactly do i need to tell him to do? (please reassure me that you think this would work fine with a good controller to drive my vehicle with sufficient power in hilly terrain, if you think in fact it will)

Thanks!
#9
06-14-2012, 04:13 PM
 frodus Senior Member Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: Portland, OR Posts: 3,155
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

You don't need to rewind the motor. You could just find an inverter and run a sufficiently high pack voltage.

Rinehart, Sevcon, Brusa, AC Propulsion, Azure Dynamics....etc..etc... there's plenty of options out there. Hell, you could even use an Industrial VFD that accepts a DC-link and run it.... you just need a high pack voltage.

While the Curtis stuff is seen in the EV world quite a bit, doesn't mean it's the only game in town.... far from it.

Keep researching before you just have it rewound.
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Travis Gintz
Electro Motive Force, LLC.
EV Consulting and parts Sales
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#10
06-14-2012, 06:16 PM
 PStechPaul Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Cockeysville, MD 21030 Posts: 1,166
Re: 3 phase 15 hp ac.motor work?

I am still concerned that a 15 HP standard motor will be insufficient for hilly terrain and safe road speeds and acceleration. Most people say that 40 HP is about right for a small EV. If you don't use the power, a larger motor won't cut your efficiency and it might even be better. It's a lot of work to adapt and install a motor and get all the controls working properly, and the cost of labor is about the same for any motor. But if you have to do it over, you lose the original cost of the smaller motor plus another round of R&R and fitting and wiring.

Here is a 50 HP motor for \$450 with free shipping:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/General-Elec...item3a74d2fb4c

A 30 HP premium efficient 3600 RPM motor for \$500:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BALDOR-RELIA...item2ebe0e8499

An older 50HP 1500 RPM motor for \$325:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/U-S-ELECTRIC...item2c64df95af

If you get a 4 pole motor (1700-1800 RPM), you might be able to connect it for 240 and overclock it to 120 Hz and 480V and get twice the HP. You really can't do that with a two pole motor.

Of course if you rewind it you can change things, but it's expensive and risky if you don't know what you're doing.

Good luck!

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