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I am working on my first EV project and I am putting an electric motor in my sailboat. I have been chugging along, learning as I go and making slow but constant progress. I do not have a background in electrics so I am having to fill in a lot of background information at every step but I am getting there.

My current problem has to do with the main contactor. I have done my normal searching and investigating but have not come up with it so i hope that some of you will help fill in the gap for me.

I will post the wiring diagram from the Kelly motor controller I am using below. Not knowing enough about how it all works to be able to improvise, I have stuck to the recipe and have set it up just as the diagram shows. I now have everything wired and am beginning my first tests only to find that I am continually blowing the small fuse just distal to the key switch. I have gone from 2A all the way up to 10A on that fuse but with the same sad results. I have checked and rechecked my work against the diagram and can not find any error. One of the things that I turned up in my troubleshooting is a possible discrepancy with the contactor which brings me to the reason for the post...

The contactor I have is the Tyco EV200. I cant say for certain where I got it as I began ordering parts for this project about a year ago. I think it came with the controller but I am not certain. In my search for the source of the error I noticed in very small print on the bottom of the contactor that it says "external economizer required" and I do not know what this means. I do not see anything in the diagram which could be an external economizer. What is an "external economizer" and how would I put one in this system should I need one? Do I have the wrong contactor all-together?

kelly wiring diagram.png
 

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Im new to this caper as well, hopefully others have a better explanation. From what I gather an economiser is a device that helps hold the contactor closed using less current , and included a diode to reduce back EMF .

In my opinion, in the scheme of things any reduction in current to hold the contactor closed will be insignificant but adding a reverse biased diode would be handy , but I'd be surprised if one is not included in the controller design .

This eBay listing shows Contactor with Economomiser attached.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tyco-Kilovac-EV200AAANA-500-Amps-12-900-VDC-SPST-NO-Contactor-Relay-/132311466416?

(now I better go look at the Tyco / TE contactor that came with my contoller to see the fine print)
 

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What does your controller manual say about the contactor? Typically controller contactor driver circuits don't play well with economisers which come on contactors and contactors which come with economisers don't do well if you remove the economiser. Coil overheats. You need to get the recommended contactor for your controller.

major
 

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Hi. That seems odd, even the surge current (to close it) shouldn't be 10 amps, but maybe. One suggestion is to use the key to close a 12V automotive relay, which in turn supplies current to the contactor.

Another possibility is your contactor is shot - does it close before the fuse blows? Nothing-else going through that circuit??

Wait a sec - you are switching pack voltage to close the contactor? Make sure they match.
 

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What's your pack voltage? Maybe it's too high for the coil in the contactor.

Correction: maybe the voltage from the "PWR" terminal is too high for the coil in the contactor. Is a precharge resistor in place on the contactor, and not burned out?

If the contactor has a external snubbing diode, does it have the correct polarity?
 

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"My current problem has to do with the main contactor"

lol, arent all problems with contactors to do with current!:D
(sorry couldnt resist):eek:
 
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