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I have an old New Holland skidsteer loader that I would like to convert to electric power. It’s a pretty large machine that originally was equipped with a 65 horsepower engine (L775). I have since replaced the original engine with a 35 HP engine and, honestly, it does just fine in most situations.

I am looking for an electric motor/batteries that will get the job done for a reasonable cost. Basically, I just need to spin a shaft (that turns a big Cessna hydro pump) at around 1700 RPM, give or take. Weight is not as big a concern as it is on an electric car because I need a certain amount of weight to replace the boat anchor Wisconsin V4 that was originally installed with something equally massive or it will lower the amount that the machine can lift.(Even if it was more massive, the skidsteer is equipped with a set of counterweights that I can remove in increments to fine-tune in case the electric motor and batteries weigh too much.)

That said, I was originally thinking maybe a Nissan Leaf drivetrain, but that almost seems overkill, power-wise as well as possibly more expensive and intimidatingly complex for my particular use case where all I need to do is keep a shaft spinning at a particular, modest speed. (The ability to adjust the speed would be nice, but not strictly speaking necessary.)


I have more recently been investigating the possibility of using a large AC Industrial motor, but I worry that the inverter would be a huge pain to figure out…

Would it make more sense to go with a DC industrial forklift motor? Do they even make them big enough?

Any help you guys could offer would be quite welcome…

Thanls,
Jake
 

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You could go the HPEVS route - their motors already come with a mostly pre-programmed Curtis controller, so you'd only need to tweak a few things. Though to be honest their customer service is a bit rough at first. I've just installed HPEVs AC-23 into a boom lift as a drive motor. So far it's looking good. It's pretty close to what you're looking for, but I'd probably go with AC-35 or even AC-50.
 

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35 hp (26 kW) at 1700 RPM would be 146 Nm (108 lb-ft) of torque, and 65 hp (48 kW) at the same shaft speed would be 270 Nm (200 lb-ft) of torque. It looks like if a motor can produce the lower torque value continuously and the higher value intermittently, both at 1700 RPM, it could directly replace the engine without an additional gearbox. The alternative is to use a gearbox to allow the motor to run at higher speed, producing more power, with the gearing multiplying the motor torque; in that case you can select a motor based on power output, and a gearbox ratio based on the speed which the motor needs to run.

I suggest starting with that performance requirement to assess which motors (what battery voltage) would be suitable; then the motor current required to do that would let you assess what controllers would work. There are other approaches...

A Nissan Leaf motor would meet those performance requirements, for direct drive (no gearbox). Since the target speed is well under the maximum speed at which the Leaf motor can deliver this torque, the full standard voltage of the Leaf (360 V nominal) would not be required.

An HPEVS AC-35 would fall far short of the required torque for direct drive. With a gearbox, allowing it to run much faster than 1700 RPM and multiplying the torque to the pump proportionately, it could work. Even an AC-50 would need a gearbox.
 

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Well I feel better now I know other people are converting Skid Steers to electric. I have a Thomas 175 that obtained for $400 and power sweeper. Guy was nice enough to even deliver it. Only thing was it didn't have drive motors and the 50hp kuboto was missing some key pieces (starter, rad, not sure what else) So I ended up here. I don't think I will be of much technical help, but I'll trade ya some pics along way Jake.

Cheers
 
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