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Old 03-02-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default And now for something completely different...

Folks,

One or two of you may have seen this in a thread I started in the technical forum; here it is presented for your delectation. The Beast, the Object, the Dredd Shed:




What the heck is it, I hear you ask. Well it's a Land Rover 101 FC Judge Dredd. The 101 was a standard British Army truck during the late 70s to early 90s. Basically a standard Land Rover chassis with the seats moved to a Forward Control (FC) position, up and over the front wheelarch, to increase load space. 33 of these were rebuilt by Land Rover for the 'Judge Dredd' movie a few years ago, in which they featured mostly as futuristic taxis. About a dozen still survive, two or three are street-legal; mine is one of them.

It's been rather hacked about - the cab roof has been raised to improve headroom - and it's a bit sad and tatty outside, needs TLC and a damn good respray. It's NOT supposed to be blue either. This is what they're supposed to look like, and what mine will look like when restored:



Inside it's pretty much a shell; they were after all film props, they only had to be driveable for short distances and look good from the outside. Mine will get gutted and a proper interior fitted and trimmed.

Mechanicals... this a standard 101 chassis, what mine looks like under all that fibreglass!



4WD of course, live axles. I would be willing to ditch the 4WD aspect; this thing isn't going to get used off-road! Or maybe... never say never! The above chassis has been refitted with a diesel. The standard power is a 120hp(!) 3.5L(!) V8, with a 4 speed gearbox.

The whole thing is a pig to drive - clutch heavy and nasty, no power steering, lousy brakes, engine noisy and has simply appalling fuel consumption, and the gearbox is the worst, no synchro on 1st or 2nd.

This vehicle is obviously more about 'show' than 'go', but it cries out for something different, very different, very radical in the powertrain department. The stock engine and horrible gearbox are going to be gone, history. What I really want to fit is a gas turbine; I know my way around gas turbines, been playing with them for years. A two-shaft engine, direct drive to the wheels, around 150hp. There's *one* engine that fits the bill; a Rover 2S/150 APU. They're like rocking horse shit - unobtainable. Very rare engine. Strike that idea. An Allison 250 would also work - more power than I need, 250hp, but you don't have to use it all! Problem is they cost a small fortune - if you're incredibly lucky you might find one for $10-15k, more likely $20-25k. I have a pretty open-ended budget for this car but not THAT open-ended.

So, electric drive. Either a pure electric, or perhaps more likely a series hybrid. I still want my gas turbine! You simply can't put a car like this on the road and not having it make an interesting noise! I could build a series hybrid with any small one-shaft constant-speed APU engine driving an alternator - exactly the job they're designed for.

The approach and objectives are somewhat different from most EVs as this is essentially a road-legal show car. It WILL be used on the road, but not every day and not for long distances. So range isn't a huge factor, especially if I go hybrid. The thing is a huge box - I could probably fit six battery packs where you guys are struggling to fit one, and hardly make a dent in the interior space available. Weight would be the limiting factor there (kerbside weight is around 2000lb, payload is 1 ton). It doesn't need to go fast; this thing is scary enough at 40-50mph!

I'm still at the early stages of research, playing with ideas and sketching out concepts. I'm reasonably competent mechanically and electrically, but I'm pretty much starting from zero when it comes to EVs. So far, it seems to me that AC is the way to go for a big vehicle like this. I'm not (and never have been) hugely impressed with traditional lead-acid batteries, I'm more inclined to investigate using surplus/junkyard battery packs from Prius or something along those lines. Likely get it running pure electric first, then introduce the hybrid side later... that's the nice thing about series hybrid.

Any thoughts are welcome... apart from the obvious 'He's barking mad! Shoot him!'. Is this too much car for homebuilt EV? Should I just put in a bigger one-shaft gas turbine and use straight electric transmission, forget about the batteries? It's all wide open for brainstorming!

Mike
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Last edited by Fireman_Mike; 03-02-2010 at 04:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2010, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

Sweet project! Check out my Series Rover conversion... It may give you some ideas. I went DC and LiFePO4.

http://www.adventure-ev.com
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

You're mad!

I love it!

I want one!


I would say go with pure electric and have the sound of the electric motor whine. Maybe put a mic to the comm end and use a PA system to amplify the sound of the brushes arcing?

You can probably get a lot of cells within chassis thickness to create a level floor inside. It can then be used for rides.

I think you would do well to keep a gearbox. Maybe get a better one, an auto perhaps, and a part time transfer box. The you can mount the motor to the front of it.

All this depends on your budget really, with a resonable budget you can get a really nice show vehicle if you are not fussed about range or top speed.

I am looking forward to this madness.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

Hello Mike
I second to what Overlander23 said. Take biggest DC motor you can find and use lithium.It will be cheaper than AC and parts are used by others allready.
Build a generator later if you need more range, but you would get going right away.
Great Vehicle!!
Regards, Harri
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

UBER RADICAL, MIKE !!

Maybe decide what U want to do with the Beast:
range?, top speed?, hill climbing ability?, snowplow?, car pusher?, parade float puller?, stuck car puller? ................
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireman_Mike View Post
...
This vehicle is obviously more about 'show' than 'go', but it cries out for something different, very different, very radical in the powertrain department. The stock engine and horrible gearbox are going to be gone, history. What I really want to fit is a gas turbine;
First off, this is an insanely cool choice of vehicle to convert. I sure hope you are able to see it all the way through to completion!

As for turbines, a small Ground or Auxiliary Power Unit (G/APU) would probably make a decent generator choice for a series hybrid setup but trying to use turbines for traction applications is a lot like trying to run a marathon in ice skates...

Anyway, Garrett made some G/APUs in this size range (the 36-150 is 10kW, IIRC) that might still be had surplus. So did Allied Signal (now part of Honeywell).

Given the amount of driving you will be doing, and the practical limit to the vehicle's top speed, going direct drive (well, through a differential or the transmission locked into one gear, either 2nd or 3rd) would be perfectly suitable. You won't even need that much power/battery pack capacity if you are staying under 40mph and not driving short distances. So, the G/APU turbine thing is more or less strictly eye-candy, but that does seem to be the point of the vehicle, so why not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireman_Mike View Post
... So far, it seems to me that AC is the way to go for a big vehicle like this.
So many people have this impression and I'm curious as to where they get it from in the first place. In industrial applications DC motors still reign supreme above a certain power level (which is getting higher every year), which sorta implies the exact opposite situation is the truth.

AC has some advantages for OEM's to be sure - it's easier to make the motor waterproof and meet EMC regulations, for example - but the best way I know of to sum up the AC vs. DC debate w/r/t EVs is that you can get 2/3rds the power for 3x the price when you go with AC.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesseract View Post
First off, this is an insanely cool choice of vehicle to convert. I sure hope you are able to see it all the way through to completion!

As for turbines, a small Ground or Auxiliary Power Unit (G/APU) would probably make a decent generator choice for a series hybrid setup but trying to use turbines for traction applications is a lot like trying to run a marathon in ice skates...
Not if you use a two-shaft turbine; a free power turbine set up is perfect for traction (since it produces peak torque at stall; it essentially functions as a CVT built right into the engine). That's what all the gas turbine cars (1960s Indy cars etc) and indeed US Army tanks have used. You're precisely correct about single shaft engines; some people *have* shoehorned single-shaft engines into cars - there was a guy with a Boeing engine hooked up to the auto box on a Porsche 928 - but it's highly sub-optimal and I wouldn't dream of doing it. The only way to use a single-shaft constant-speed/variable-load APU-type engine in a car is with electric transmission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesseract View Post
Anyway, Garrett made some G/APUs in this size range (the 36-150 is 10kW, IIRC) that might still be had surplus. So did Allied Signal (now part of Honeywell).

Given the amount of driving you will be doing, and the practical limit to the vehicle's top speed, going direct drive (well, through a differential or the transmission locked into one gear, either 2nd or 3rd) would be perfectly suitable. You won't even need that much power/battery pack capacity if you are staying under 40mph and not driving short distances. So, the G/APU turbine thing is more or less strictly eye-candy, but that does seem to be the point of the vehicle, so why not?
I think the correct term WRT the turbine is 'ear-candy' and I agree with your analysis. I don't have a GTP30 at the moment but I could lay my hands on one. Maybe a GTCP36 would be a better bet, could use bleed air for AC/heating. One way to approach this would be to put in a turbine with a reasonable capacity (say 60hp - I have a couple of those lying around my workshop, see: http://www.corestore.org/turbine.htm ) coupled to an appropriate generator and use that as the primary power source, blending in additional power from the batteries to give an instantly responsive throttle plus additional power for moving off and climbing hills. It's NOT a performance vehicle; the original powerplant is only 120hp to haul around this great lump plus a ton of cargo. Here's the full spec on the original vehicle:

http://www.lrfaq.org/FC/FAQ.FC.101tech.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesseract View Post
So many people have this impression and I'm curious as to where they get it from in the first place. In industrial applications DC motors still reign supreme above a certain power level (which is getting higher every year), which sorta implies the exact opposite situation is the truth.

AC has some advantages for OEM's to be sure - it's easier to make the motor waterproof and meet EMC regulations, for example - but the best way I know of to sum up the AC vs. DC debate w/r/t EVs is that you can get 2/3rds the power for 3x the price when you go with AC.

I'm sure I've read, here and on manufacturer websites, that AC is more suitable for large/heavy vehicles. Certainly on the rails, freight locomotives have gone from 100% DC to largely AC over the last 2-3 decades. But I'm entirely open to suggestions. It's not straightforward to compare the power characteristics of motors with the power of ICEs, I know, but are 120hp-equivalent DC motors readily available and is there really that much cost difference to AC?

Would I be crazy to think about throwing away the mechanical transmission entirely, and mounting one motor straight to the diff. on each axle? I'm guessing two smaller motors might work out cheaper than one big one, especially if it opened the door to using e.g. junkyard motors out of wrecked hybrids?

Oh, and just to make things really interesting, I propose to radically change the seating position (the view out the front is somewhat restricted) and do away with the conventional driving controls, moving to a (probably hydraulic) side-stick steering control...

Mike
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Last edited by Fireman_Mike; 03-03-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

I'm not sure how much Land Rover knowledge you have but www.LR4x4.com is a good site for information and design development ideas.

I'm sure they will be interested in your project.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

Cool vehicle choice! I've always wanted a 101 - but just don't fit in them (too tall). I saw the Judge Dread vehicles at the Billing Land Rover Show years back and have often wondered what happened to them.

Best of luck with a brilliant project!

Si
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: And now for something completely different...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireman_Mike View Post
I'm sure I've read, here and on manufacturer websites, that AC is more suitable for large/heavy vehicles. Certainly on the rails, freight locomotives have gone from 100% DC to largely AC over the last 2-3 decades. But I'm entirely open to suggestions. It's not straightforward to compare the power characteristics of motors with the power of ICEs, I know, but are 120hp-equivalent DC motors readily available and is there really that much cost difference to AC?Mike
A 120hp peak DC setup is very easy. A Warp9 with a 1000 amp controller at 144 volts will electrically do the equivalent of about 193hp. Even if you take 20% off for losses it should give a "real" 160+hp. The cost for a Warp9 and say a Zilla1K LV would be about $3,700.00. Up it to a Warp11HV and 288 volt at 100amps and you have about 386hp peak for about $6,300.00.

As far as A/C? The closest package price wise I know of would be the Ac50-01 motor with the Curtis 1238-7501 controller for $4,300.00. It is rated at 50hp peak and you could "maybe" get 70hp peak. Close power wise might be the MES 200-330W motor with the MES-DEA TIM-600 inverter. If we go with the highest rating the inverter is rated for 100kW peak so about 134hp. That motor and controller is about $12,900.00.

So it brakes down something like this:

D/C:
Warp9, 1000amp, 144V - 193hp, $3,700.00 = $19.17 per hp
Warp11HV, 1000amp, 288V - 386hp, $6,300.00 = $16.32 per hp
A/C:
AC50-01, Curtis 1238-7501 - 70hp, $4,300.00 = $61.43 per hp
MES 200-330W, TIM-600 - 134hp, $12,900.00 = $96.27 per hp

So I would strongly advise anyone considering the A/C or D/C thing to do allot of research before deciding. There are some minor differences between them but you have to decide if the few things like a little efficiency, regen, brush wear, etc. are worth 3-5 times the cost.
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