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Old 12-07-2011, 06:02 AM
Dallus Dallus is offline
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Question 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Hi, I've started researching electric cars more for my future project so by the time lithium-sulfur batteries are viable and my funds are plenty I'll have a good knowledge of everything.

So I've noticed most EV cars use DC motors, and I was wondering why 3 phase aren't used more, With a VFD and 2 or even 4 3-phase motors powering the car straight direct to wheel reducing the need for difs using the motors themselves increasing efficiency and reducing maintenance.

Just wondering, I've got more on the idea but yea would like some peer feedback on the idea.

Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Hi Dallus, all your questions are discussed here on this website in great detail. From ac vs. dc, pro's and cons of direct drive, in wheel hubmotors (and why they never work), single speed gearing, efficiency at low RPM, unsprung weight, pro's and cons of keeping a clutch. Even how to use an automatic gearbox. Etc. It's all there.

Some of these are discussed in the current page view, others can be found with the search engine.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallus View Post
So I've noticed most EV cars use DC motors, and I was wondering why 3 phase aren't used more,.......
Hi Dall,

That would be most "DIY" EV cars. Because most (maybe all) production EV cars use 3 phase motors. Three phase drives (both induction and PM) require a bit more, hmmm, let's call it sophistication than DC drives. The controller is more complex and needs to be compatible with the particular motor. DC drives are less sensitive in this regard. There are also availability and cost issues which are big factors for the DIYer. In the past few years several companies have brought 3 phase controllers to market which are paired with motors by suppliers willing to sell to DIYers. These get up into the low to moderate power range for EV cars and aren't too cost prohibitive. A number of members here are using them.

Regards,

major
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallus View Post
I was wondering why 3 phase aren't used more ...
To cut a long story short, the main problem is the high voltage required for cheap industrial motors (around 400 VAC, so a battery pack of some 550 VDC at least), the desirability of "overvoltaging" a motor (hence even higher voltage again), and the lack of suitable controller/motor combinations for lower voltage. The Curtis 1238 controller with AC50/AC30 motor is the one exception, but it's arguably suitable mainly for lower end conversions (lighter, or lower performance).

As others have pointed out, the detail has been discussed at length; search for them if you want to know more.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:09 PM
tomofreno tomofreno is offline
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Quote:
The Curtis 1238 controller with AC50/AC30 motor is the one exception, but it's arguably suitable mainly for lower end conversions
Hey, watch it, watch it!
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:11 AM
Dallus Dallus is offline
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Awesome that's allot of help on clearing up a few questions.
I've got no problem with the advanced electronics side of things, I can get my hands on good inverters and VSDs, The only problem in the mechanics for me having a family fully of sparkies and no mechanics makes EV cars sort of a new challenge for us, Thanks for all the info you may hear from me later.
Gonna go lurk the forum abit more.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

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Originally Posted by tomofreno View Post
Hey, watch it, watch it!
Heh, sorry Tom!

Your SwiftE is a fine example of how the 1238 and AC50 motor in a small vehicle can give quite good performance. However, I think you'd agree that especially in a larger vehicle, it would probably lack the punch that a 9" motor, 144 V pack, and 700+ amp controller would have.

If only the forthcoming 144 V nominal Curtis AC controller would have a little more peak current capability, then we'd have a comparable AC system at reasonable cost.

But let's not ignite a DC vs AC war here. Let's just say that the one reasonably priced AC system (1238 controller with AC50 or similar motor) is positioned towards the lighter vehicle end of the market.

Last edited by Coulomb; 12-08-2011 at 02:16 AM. Reason: Added link to Tom's SwiftE build page
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

It depends on the level of DIY you are talking about.
I started with a couple of good articles that detail DIY.
www.metricmind.com/ac_honda/main2.htm
is more about the mechanical
http://etischer.com/awdev/
is more technical. BTW he went to work for Tesla


You can also look at http://www.proteanelectric.com/


or you can get down and build everything from scratch.


I am more interested in HEV
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:50 AM
tomofreno tomofreno is offline
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Quote:
However, I think you'd agree that especially in a larger vehicle, it would probably lack the punch that a 9" motor, 144 V pack, and 700+ amp controller would have.
Yep. Just joking around. My focus is different than most here. I like efficiency and reducing energy use. I was disappointed that the new Curtis AC controller will only do 500A. Told HPEVS I will likely wait to see if they come out with a higher current version later - like they did with the 7501/7601 controllers.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:48 PM
steven4601 steven4601 is offline
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Default Re: 3 Phase Induction Motors in Cars.

Hi Tom,

wouldn't you be more interested in a higher voltage version ?
This would allow to keep the motor longer in the constant current region.
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