Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This last Winter I was busy installing new Lifepo4 batteries in my Saturn SC2. These replace the nine lead acid batteries that gave the car a range of 12 miles. Last weekend I drove the car 40.4 miles. I was thrilled to get that close to my estimate of 42 miles with the 36, 100 Ah cells that I worked so hard to install in the cold of Winter. Today, 05/17/2014, I went out for another test drive after installing a bank of large capacitors (131,600 uf, 200 volt, electrolytic ) Capacitors must be handled with extreme caution. They must be pre-charged slowly so, I mounted them in a chassis with a 100 amp breaker as a main switch and connected a pre-charge resistor across the breaker. I noticed that the car is more responsive and the motor is pulling fewer amps when I accelerate. Both performance and range have improved from the first test drive. The car has the AC-50 motor and a Curtis 3 phase controller with regenerative braking. The capacitors soak up enough energy to get the car rolling again after each stop. I can top 40.4 miles now, and I have had it up to 72 mph, but I still don't know what the maximum range is because I don't want to get stranded far from home. The top speed is still unknown because I don't like speeding tickets. What makes me really happy is that I can drive the 30 miles to work, plug in to a standard outlet, and after 6 hours, the car is fully charged and ready for the drive home. On the test drives, I have observed the reaction of other motorists. When people read the word "electric" on the back of my car, they often stay far back as if an explosion were imminent. Then there are other who are curious and want a better look. There are some who will ride my back bumper and then pass me in a no passing zone despite the fact that I am driving the speed limit. I don't want to park the car next to this last guy because he will slam his door into mine just to make his point clearer. I don't think any of us deserve that treatment because we are saving the world's petroleum just so guys like that can waste more of it. I am proud of the fact that I drive without burning a single drop of the stuff. And, like my bumper sticker says-"Electrons are cool- Plug it in."