Turquoise Energy Newsletter #157 - June 2021
Turquoise Energy News #157
covering June 2021 (Posted July 7th 2021)
Lawnhill BC Canada - by Craig Carmichael

www.TurquoiseEnergy.com = www.ElectricCaik.com = www.ElectricHubcap.com

Month In "Brief" (Project Summaries etc.)
 - Ultra Efficient Chevy Sprint Revival: Direct Drive to CV Shaft With 96% Efficient Reduction Gear - New Motor design - "Plug & Play?" DC Power Components

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - Public Committees - Small Thots - ESD

- Detailed Project Reports -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Making & Driving 96% Efficient Direct "Motor to Planetary Reduction to CV Shaft Drive" for Chevy Sprint: - Coupling the components - Mounting them - Torque improvement - Driving (on acreage only) - Conclusions
* Designing "car drive size", unipolar, outrunner, BLDC, "Electric Hubcap" type motor

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects
* Off grid infrastructure: "Plug-and-Play Solar"
* Greenhouse, Gardening
* Innovative Beekeeping for the BC Coast

Electricity Generation
* My Solar Power System: - Daily/Monthly Solar Production log et cetera - Monthly Summaries and Estimates (27 months)

Electricity Storage * Turquoise Battery Project (NiMnOx-Zn in Mixed Alkali-Salt electrolyte) (No Report)

June in Brief

   This month I did a notable electric transport project: an "ultra-efficient" fixed reduction electric car drive train (below & in Electric Transport). Also surely worthy of note in In Passing is the idea of volunteer "Public Committees" to advise elected government on best directions for society in any and every field, and in any and every issue that arises within that field. It's an idea mentioned before, but I think put more understandably herein.

   Last month with one thing and another I didn't finsh TE News #156 until the 9th.

   I hoped to do better this month by doing much editing before the the next month started, but there were many distractions and with firewood on order I really needed to make a second firewood shed. With just one shed, even if it's big enough to hold all the firewood you need, you inevitably end up stacking fresh, green firewood in front of the remaining seasoned firewood. Even this second one will be split into two smaller ones side by side to make it easier to stack fresh wood in a vacant space. I had the floor done by the 26th and started putting up the walls.

   I finished my "Bee Barn" on the night of the 8th and set it outside the next morning. (to get it out of the workshop!) I made special frames edges into which one would slide the "nuc" frames with the new bees, brood and honey into, making them into tall frames for the tall space. The last feature was a little roof over the entrance so the bees would stop getting wet in damp weather even before they alighted instead of entering the hive. (But still no bees! Looks like it'll be next year now. I put a plastic "tarp" over it.)
   After I made it, I mentioned it to Al, and he directed me to a website called "ApiHex.ca" where they already make plastic well insulated beehives. If I had known, I'd probably have bought one.  It had some great features, seemingly well thought out. The two things it didn't have were that it took standard Langstroth frames rather than "bee barn" tall ones, and it didn't have a roof over the entry. I could no doubt have hacked it to meet my specifications more easily than building from scratch if I had known about it, but what I've built is just as good if not as "stylish". Bees won't care.

Chevy Sprint Revival: 96% Efficient Direct Drive to a CV Shaft Via Reduction Gear

I made and uploaded a video about this project to Youtube:

   With the schedule more or less cleared for a moment and the Yun Duan 5:1 planetary gearset ordered through AliExpress.com having at last arrived, I was eager to start on the Sprint and see what the performance would be like. Somehow it didn't matter that it wasn't a special sort of groundbreaking project or even original, or that I had many better, more urgent or more important things to do. Or that it was really just an experimental demo of an ultra-efficient drivetrain and wouldn't, even working well, replace the Nissan Leaf.

   The 96+% efficient, 5 to 1 reduction planetary gearbox, coupled directly to the car's right side CV drive shaft, are the only components between the motor and the wheel - ie, there are almost no losses. If a typical vehicle transmission is only 60-70% efficient as I've always heard (with driving the differential gears to the wheels presumably imposing a further penalty), this means perhaps a 50% efficiency boost over a "typical" car conversion to EV, which almost invariably seems to use the original transmission and differential. Thus the motor can be 2/3 the size to provide the same performance, and the batteries will take the car 50% farther.

   So at the expense of other things, I spent most of my available time for two weeks on it, and then did a few "finishing touches" here and there over the next days. For once a project didn't stretch out interminably into the future. The motor controller was already in the car, and all that was needed was to mount the motor and gearbox... and put in some batteries, of which I didn't have quite enough for everything any more.
   I had the drive assembly mounted in the car in a week. I hooked up a battery to the motor and ran some quick tests. It appeared to have more torque than in the previous incarnation with the original transmission. This seemed remarkable as the reduction ratio had gone from 8.9 to 1, down to 5 to 1. More torque in a "higher gear" instead of less? But actual driving showed that the quick tests without actual figures must have been deceptive. It was no doubt better than 5 to 1 with the old transmission (and with the differential) would have been, but it wasn't "twice as good".

   As a rough estimate, the car with the drive system and batteries under the hood probably weighs only about 1570 pounds plus the driver. (Empty Car 1400 [est], Motor 51, Gearbox 15, Batteries about 100 pounds, misc.) The motor controller was still mounted on the center hump behind the firewall between the driver and passenger. Everything else to do with the compact drive fit under the hood, including two 36 volt stacks of lithium-ion batteries providing 36V, 240AH or 8640WH. So the entire car was free for its original uses. One could of course fill the spare tire space and part of the cargo space with more batteries to give it very substantial driving range.

Rear/Top: Forklift motor to 96% efficient planetary gear reducer to starboard side CV shaft.
 Red rectangular steel tube running diagonally from below Motor to Frame higher up
replaced previous "flimsy" yellow bar to hold drive assembly against high torque loads.
(had to cut into 3/4" plywood battery shelf to fit it.)
There's also a 1/4" plywood front wall. Can't accidently short batteries to wood, keeps out flying debris!
Ctr: 500 amp fuse in holder, mounted on top of a piece of 2"x6" to raise it near to "+" at top of batteries
Right (port): 2 stack assemblies of 10 "LG" li-ion batteries, total 240 AH, 36 V
Left (stbd): Green 12 V, 40 AH li-FePO battery for car electrical, stereo. (Car plugs in to battery!)
Yellow cord: Charging car from 36V DC solar system; panels on house roof.
Illegible here, meters show voltages, current and total energy of charging.

What was to be determined with this experimental project:

* With the high efficiency, would a mere 5 to 1 ratio gear be enough speed reduction to give the car sufficient torque for decent acceleration from a stop and for climbing hills?
* How would driving a single wheel perform? Would it pull to one side? Would it slip?
* How fast would the car go on level road? (This could be estimated in advance from the difference in ratios from the 2018 trials with the "cludged" original transmission: 8.9/5 * 25 KmPH = 44.5 KmPH. Since it doesn't have a speedometer and hasn't been on the road so far, we'll just estimate "45 KmPH".)

   On the summer solstice I drove the car across the acreage... and got it stuck there. One of my motor supports was too flimsy and bent - almost folded - under high torque. (Oops, no picture!) And the coupler to the CV shaft started slipping. I fixed these problems that day and the next. Luckily the weather was finally nice for a change.

   When I got to the base of the hill rising to the main driveway I stopped. (mistake! Here I must note that the car still doesn't back up except by pushing it, or by rewiring the motor to change the direction, and then again to go forward again.) The car didn't make it up the hill. It was going very slowly when the new supposedly 300 amp circuit breaker (more like 100!) blew 3/4 of the way up. When I tried to start on the hill, with the added weight (motor, batteries, driver) nearly all on the left and the lightweight car also leaning to the left on the hill, the drive wheel - the right front - slipped on the grass. I shoveled in a little pea gravel,

and finally put a ramp under the left rear wheel so one wheel was going downhill. I thought that would get it going, but I had to repeat it. It didn't get up any speed and it kept slipping whenever it reached the end of the pea gravel. And finally there was a last little dip where the wheel would neither slip nor rise out of. It was stalled. 5 to 1 just was close to but not quite enough reduction to give satisfactory hill climbing torque with this motor and controller.
   I drove it around on the more level driveway area, but it still slipped pretty easily on the grass going uphill. Other than that it seemed to have enough pickup and drove quite nicely. It didn't pull to one side when I "booted" it that I could notice. But then it wasn't a very powerful "boot". I didn't take it out on the road because I doubt that it would make it back up my longer steep driveway into the yard at the end of the trip. (Rats!)
   I put the old 135 amp breaker back in and had no further trippings. From then on I always took a run at the hill and always made it up - by early July, numerous times including with loads of lumber.

   Even with 96% drivetrain efficiency, one can only push a motor so far. With this motor, 7 to 1 instead of 5 to 1 probably would have climbed hills from a stop fine even with 'potholes' - wheel slipping aside. It would also limit the potential speed to 32KmPH instead of 45. I didn't get to see how it would go on level pavement, but I think it would have gone a long way per unit of energy consumed, even if not very fast.

   And I concluded (no surprise!) that a single wheel drive really isn't for "off road"!

   A motor with more torque and a higher maximum RPM should put the car on city streets. It would have to be 4500 RPM for 90 KmPH on the highway.
   My thought is that I should try and make the long planned "Electric Hubcap unipolar outrunner" BLDC motor. It would probably meet the torque requirements and have RPM at least for 60 KmPH (3000 RPM). If I do of course it'll be ultra efficient throughout and use the least electricity in any situation.

   On the 23rd, I made up some plugs and cables, and connected every second cell between the two parallel batteries for the balance charging, and started charging the Sprint - which now had both of my assembled 36 volt lithium ion battery stacks in it - from the DC solar power system, for which the equipment is already in the garage and the panels on the house roof. Thus my recorded solar DC power figures jumped up this month from almost 0, and the 13th solar panel was being used a bit more than trivially. (If I could drive on the highway and really work the batteries it would be much higher!)

Firewood Shed July 5th. 100% my own cut lumber. Roof of scrap sheet metal with old screw holes caulked.
   By the 26th, if I couldn't use it on the highway, I found I could at least use it for hauling lumber from the piles where I had stacked the wood I cut with the handheld bandsaw mill over the last 3 years, to the shop to it cut up for the new firewood shed. It actually saved me considerable heavy hauling by hand.

   A problem with not using the original transmission was that there was no way to hook up the speedometer/odometer. I ended up ordering a bicycle speedometer, which comes with all the required parts. A magnet "in the spokes" (or on the shaft) triggers a sensor that counts wheel revs. The wheel diameter is a programmable numeric setting, which gives it the flexibility to use with the car, presumably up to 99.9 KmPH.

   I may yet take the car out on the road for a few tests once I can measure speed and distance. (Even if I have to tow it back up to the top of my steep driveway on the return!)

Outrunner "Electric Hubcap" Motor Layout?

   Thinking about making that new type of motor, I did a bit of figuring and checking. It looked like a trailer stub axle and machined-down hub, which I had made a couple of in my earliest motor experiments, could make a great center for such a motor.

   And I spaced out some of my my "standard" independent-mount motor coils with iron powder centers and ilmenite magnetic circuits around a 300mm rotor and found that that seemed like just about the right diameter for the outside of the stator.
   Adding the "outrunner" rotor would make the outer diameter just over 360mm. With the flux gap at about 156mm radius, and with 12 coils and 16 supermagnets (2"x1"x.5" or 2"x1"x.375"), the potential torque for this layout of motor should be quite high - I expect substantially higher than the forklift motor.

   [a few more details in detailed report] Now, about when I'll be able to get to it...?

"Plug & Play?" DC Power Components

   I started making good use of my DC "T-Plug" plugs, sockets, and power monitors to see if the remaining golf cart batteries from the truck would come back to life. I connected a 305W solar panel through a power monitor, a DC to DC converter, another power monitor and a PWM lead acid battery solar charge controller to two (6V) batteries in series at a time.

   I could see the solar voltage and current, the DC to DC converter output voltage and current, and the battery voltage via the charge controller.

   With this setup I determined that the idea of using the DC to DC converter in the charging circuit to reduce the 30+ volts solar panel to 17 volts instead of using a 17 volt one doesn't work properly.
   As long as the panel could supply whatever current the DC to DC converter was set to, everything was fine. One would see (eg) 36V, 1A on the high voltage side and after the converter to the batteries, 13.3V, 2.5A.
   But as soon as there wasn't enough light, the converter would "short" the solar panel down to the low voltage level, and so the current to the batteries would drop to (eg) the 1A figure.
   Owing to this wasting of low sunlight, one would set the converter's current limit to a lower current than could be supplied by bright sunlight, wasting the highest energies as well.
   Apparently the charge controller can't figure out that if it backs off its demand a bit, it gets way more current. Presumably an MPPT charge controller would do better... but if it's really an MPPT controller, one can simply feed the higher voltage solar panel straight to it. But the pulse charging from PWM controllers makes lead-acid batteries last longer.

In Passing
(Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)

Public Committees

   I had been seeing the works of Daniel Raphael on "Social Sustainability Design Teams" and "Third Stage Democracy" and I was sure he was onto something special, but I was also sure that the name he had given the former didn't make it an easy "sell". To me it conjured up virtually no picture of what it was all about. I had been trying to come up with some better name for quite a long time without thinking of anything promising.
   On the 12th I woke up in the morning with the term "Public Committee" floating ever so faintly in my head. What was that? Random words drifting through my mind? But when I brought this shadow of an echo of a thought to consciousness, I immediately realized it was the name I had been searching for, yet totally unlike anything I had come up with. My thanks to my angels, the indwelling spark of the Universal Father, the cosmic mind or whoever it was!

   The name "Public" implies of course that the public is involved. Of, for and by "the people"! The name "Committee" immediately gives a sense of what it is: a small, perhaps temporary, internally organized group with a defined hierarchy and positions, brought into existence to study or focus on a specific issue or topic. Thus the intent is readily understood. Every detail of the organization might be just as Raphael has defined it, but a committee is exactly what it is. What do governments set up to study an issue and make recommendations? What do they listen to (or ignore) besides the mega-corporations whining loudly in their ears? Committees! A public committee thus becomes a volunteer extension of the government. "Off the cuff" hypothetical examples:

 Public Committee on Dairy Product Production and Distribution
 Public committee for New Parent Education
 Public Committee Concerning Private Residential Property Rights and Responsibilities
 Public Committee on Bylaw Interpretation and Application
 Public Committee on Provincial Electoral Procedures
 Public committee on Public Educational Goals

and so on and so on and so on. Many of these would probably have a place name in front of them, so "Victoria Public Committee on Sewage Treatment and Nutrient Recycling" might determine better solutions for that particular city, which is surrounded on three sides by sea.
   I hope this shows with the variety of examples that all sorts of social and societal issues might be - and eventually will be - the focus of attention with the intent of improving on present day practices. Once the idea takes hold, it should spread exponentially. The first ones that are formed will probably have the greatest impact and stir the most excitement, but in the aggregate they will soon (decades) utterly transform human civilization - doubtless for the better in every area.

   And many such local committees would connect together on the internet to discuss issues to be presented to larger governments than local. Again, as elected officials who represent the public realize that submissions and reports from such groups represent the thinking and wishes of the more intelligent, more thoughtful segments of society who are the most involved with the issue they are presenting, they will realize it is their place to give them legislative or other governance effect. Representative government will therefore continue, but it will become much more representative of the public will, and it will start to attract a different sort of people and become more of a coordinative function.
   Thus the combined talent and creative thought of all, instead of that of just a few elected to positions of representation of all, will go toward improving the human condition. This will create a new age, a new chapter in the history of human evolution, the journey toward Light and Life, toward Utopia, or whatever one terms it.

Note: Presently and for some time, the term "committee" has had something of a "bad rap". Something poorly thought out with dubiously useful or even conflicting components is sometimes said to have been "designed by a committee" - everything a compromise overall perhaps satisfying to no one. (The very spelling of the word "committee", versus something like, say, "commity" seems to have been formulated to be as awkward as possible.) Most committees visible to the public are put together for political purposes and they may come to conclusions not always agreeable to the public. More often, they seem to come to good conclusions, which are then usually ignored by the government in full session for political reasons.
   However, any committee does put together several minds in an organized manner to focus on something specific, and the coordinated creative thoughts of multiple people can multiply together rather than just add, especially if the structure lends itself to it. Raphael seems to have put much thought into the structure of the "Public Committee" idea that he calls the "Social Sustainability Design Team". And a Public Committee is likely to generate ideas and plans agreeable to the general public, on many topics of interest to various groups, and in the long term best interests of society. A "committee of public committees" communicating over the internet on a regional, national or global level, is likely to come up with the best solutions presently thought of by anyone and acceptable to many, in their area of study.
   And when those solutions have had their day and are becoming obsolete, whether 1, 10 or 100 years later, when they are no longer enhancing the universal core values of being human, members of the public will recognize the disharmony and organize new committees to update solutions and keep them current. Updating of obsolete solutions is a rare occurrence today, and no such organized planning groups except as affiliated with special interest groups, exist today.



   It being the end of spring and finally some good weather toward the end of June, I filled in the garden with what few seedlings I had started and whatever else I could come up with. Somehow I have 5 potato patches. If a crop that feeds many people is going to grow like weeds, why argue? Wherever I threw sods of grass to get rid of them, I also threw in a few potatoes. They outgrow everything else.

Free Wheat - Chicken Feed

   Near where I have the chicken pen, I hadn't mowed the lawn because it was panicing the chickens. The grass and ferns were tall and lush. As I pulled some out to give the chickens some greens, I realized some of it was wheat. It was already forming heads bigger than grass seeds. Huh? Hmm... I was feeding the chickens sprouted wheat. They're messy eaters. The chicken pen is semi-portable and I shift it over to fresh lawn now and then, and to let the previous section recover. The wheat was growing where it had been in the spring.
   If the lawn was growing wheat instead of just grass, it would be free chicken feed. Inspired, I took the chickens' next meal (sprouted kamut) and sprinkled it around where the pen had more recently been and the grass was still short, then watered it. July 5th is a rather late start, but perhaps there'll be grain there come autumn? (The next day, two chickens got out somewhere and were eating it!)

Slugs & Sawdust

   Having good fences to keep the deer out, slugs are the number one concern. It's disheartening to have a row of beans, chard, quinoa or something and come back and find a couple of plants savaged, and a couple of days later a few more, until you finally realize they're all gone.

Zucchini transplanted into ground and just about to take
off, when its first real leaf was bit off at the stem by a slug.
By the time it recovered and started some new
leaves, others started later were much larger.

   Someone said broken oyster shells would keep them out. Then someone else said clam shells or egg shells were just as good. I put some clam shells around some quinoa, but I suspected it was just a rural myth. Or rather that one needed a wide layer of them. Gardeners I asked about slug control kind of rolled their eyes. They had ideas and things they did, but no magic bullet.
   Then I came up with the idea of sprinkling sawdust around. That seemed to work quite well in many places. (It's spruce sawdust, since that's what I'm cutting. I don't know if the type is important.)
   The weather being cold, windy and wet when I transplanted them out, I also put up some boards as wind guards.
   After the sawdust the slugs seemed to leave the quinoa alone and it was growing well by July 4th (below).

   I did space out on one fence... Since my apple trees bloomed at different times there was no cross pollination and so no apples. So finally I bought a third one. When I planted it, I did everything else "by the book". I looked at it the next day and a deer had eaten all the foliage except near the top. (I saw there was one still for sale outside the store, and a deer had got at that one too.)

The small corn plot in the greenhouse seemed to be growing nicely by July 4th.
(The broccoli (left) is growing heads - and shading other things out, so I'm plucking
them out to make room. The chickens love the leaves from any cabbage family plant.)

Small Thots

* We Canadians pay high rates for our telecomm services, and the government seems to abet overcharging and makes regulations designed to stifle competition. Recently the Trudeau government appointed "ex" executive Ian Scott from Telus, just one of the telecomm companies with a corporate culture of greed, misrepresentation and fraud, as the head of the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC), the watchdog agency regulating such industries. This, like the USA's "revolving door" of high personnel between the federal government and the big banks, is a clear conflict of interest, a betrayal of public trust by our government as they put the wolf in charge of tending the sheep. No doubt the telecomm companies have used some of their excessive profits - our money - to induce the government to make this appointment.
   To cement his reputation as inappropriately representing the interests of the "big telecomm" rather than those of the public entailed in his position, someone recently snapped a photo of him in a bar having a private beer with Mirco Bibic, the CEO of Bell Telephones.
   When this is how the public interest is "represented" in the last decade or two and if it can't be corrected, the society we have known is doomed.

* In Japan after about 1750(?) deforestation was becoming recognized as a huge problem. Rather than cut down the rest of the forests, it was decided that a peasant could own one big beam post, the next higher class 10, and a shogun could have 100. Or something along those lines. As inequitable as this sounds, today those raking in the big money could buy thousands or millions of beam posts, leaving none for anyone else, and the forests would be cut down for money.
   Which system then is actually more equitable - one based on "money is power", or one that regulates how much it is reasonable to own? And which saves the environment? Japan also started an aggressive reforestation program, and today in spite of its dense population is said to have more percentage of forested land than any other industrialized nation.

(Eccentric Silliness Department)

* Some people think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, and they're likely to be wrong. The chickens think that too, but they are right. They've already eaten it all on their side.

* Our organizations have become too complex and too many. We have become too overorganizated.

* Why does the word "wrench" have an extra, silent letter? Is it accordingly pronounced "wench"?

* Why does "island" have an extra, silent letter? (Bob: "That speck way over there? That's not land!" Al: "It island, I tell you!")

* Some cats have nine lives. Some have nine tails. Some have eight wavy arms and live under the sea.

* Favorite cat method for a surprise pounce: use a catapult.

* Cats are mighty hunters that kill lots of little birds and they surely all deserve to die, but they are also blamed for a lot that isn't [always] their fault:

 - Catnaps
 - Catnappings (Actually these are mostly carried out by dogs.)
 - Floggings
 - Catarrh
 - Cataracts
 - Catalepsy
 - Catastrophes
 - Cataclysms
 - TEOTWAWKI (or was that bats?)

...and there are probably a lot more uncategorized categories in the grand catalog of catatonic catechisms.

   "in depth reports" for each project are below. I hope they may be useful to anyone who wants to get into a similar project, to glean ideas for how something might be done, as well as things that might have been tried, or just thought of and not tried... and even of how not to do something - why it didn't work or proved impractical. Sometimes they set out inventive thoughts almost as they occur - and are the actual organization and elaboration in writing of those thoughts. They are thus partly a diary and are not extensively proof-read for literary perfection, consistency, completeness and elimination of duplications before publication. I hope they may add to the body of wisdom for other researchers and developers to help them find more productive paths and avoid potential pitfalls and dead ends.

Electric Transport

96% Efficient "Motor to Planetary Reduction to CV Shaft" Drive for Chevy Sprint

[9th] Somehow I felt this project would be exciting, not just fantastic in theory but to actually do even if it was nothing Earth shattering or commercially useful. And I've had the car kicking around so long now it's become a "vintage" car over 30 years old. So ignoring all other projects with more potential, and higher priority jobs... Since the motor controller was already in the car and it was pretty much set up, the tasks for making this drive work were:

1. the mounting and interconnections of the motor and 5:1 planetary gearset to the wheel end of a chopped off CV shaft.
2. Figuring out what batteries to use. I would probably have to borrow some from the truck.
3. If it worked well and I decided it was a keeper, making a proper charging system for the batteries.

   I confess I don't expect to replace the Nissan Leaf with this configuration. It is a test of the principle of having an "ultra efficient" drive train, and a lower reduction ratio thereby. With the fixed 5 to 1 reduction this motor from a forklift is too low RPM to do 50 KmPH even for town driving, and perhaps not powerful enough to put it on the highway even if RPM permitted. However the same 5:1 gearbox would be good for trying out the 100% efficient infinitely variable torque converter idea in the future. Or the motor could be replaced with one capable of higher RPM.

   BTW the 96+% efficient Yun Duan PLF120-5-S2-P2 planetary gearset I ordered via AliExpress.com seems great. It weighs all but 15 pounds and seems to be good quality, heavy duty. According to its output torque specs it's only "adequate", but so far it's been be plenty strong enough to turn the car wheel. It won't be going half its rated RPM (which would take the car up to about 120 KmPH) and higher speeds are at lower torques.

 Cut CV shaft (w. paper towel) sticking into hood area from wheel
   I started sizing things up. The one obvious connection would be a shaft coupler to make a solid connection between the gearset output (25mm) and the CV shaft (~23mm). The gear body would essentially become the end of the CV shaft. It would have to pivot slightly as the wheel suspension bounced and changed.

   At first I thought I would make a plate to hold the motor and gearset solidly together. It seemed like the logical way. But I wasn't quite sure how I would attach the 22mm splined motor shaft to the 24mm socket on the gear. And that arrangement meant the motor would also have to pivot with the suspension. I visualized the plate on a front-rear pivot, holding the motor and gearset up and from twisting but allowing the up-down pivot. But it seemed like it would be a lot of inertia with the motor attached. The gear body was longer than I had expected, and the motor was no pancake motor. (Turned out to be fine.)

   Then for a while I had decided instead to use the Lovejoy connectors between the motor and gear. The motor would be mounted solidly, and the gearset would do its pivoting by slightly flexing the rubber Lovejoy connection. That was less strong than the regular inner CV coupling, but it also only had 1/5 as much torque being applied owing to the reduction being after the connector. The rubber might (or might not) wear out prematurely, but it should work well.

   When I measured the length of this whole assembly, I was surprised that it was a whole meter, 100cm. There was about 95cm available width under the hood. It looked like I might have to cut a few centimeters off the CV shaft. Doable.

Thinking of attaching some shock mounting at front of hood (right).
There's already one at rear (center left).

[10th] Of course mounting the motor on shock mountings would be best - smoother and quieter. I sized the existing ones up. (Nicer if I don't have to do any welding.) I didn't come to any firm conclusions about what to do except that the motor placement depended on the planetary gear placement, so that had to come first.
   To connect the CV shaft and planetary gear output shaft, I found "weld-on sprocket hubs" in a box, 7/8 inch and 1.0 inch. I welded them together to make a shaft coupler for the two different shaft sizes. (A few of my usual crappy tack welds. I left it at that just in case I had to take it apart again.) The gear shaft was 25mm rather than 25.4mm so it was a bit of a loose fit, but I put the keyed coupling on anyway. 7/8 inch is 22.2mm and the CV shaft was 23mm. The hub wrecked a drill bit and I figured it would do the same to a boring bar. The shaft wouldn't fit on my lathe, and my neighbor with a bigger lathe didn't seem to be around, so I ground a bit off it with the bench grinder, being as even as I could. I left it a bit large so I had to pound it into the hub/coupler (solid fit and not quite to the end). No shaft key. (There was a slot in the hub/socket. It seemed like a really tight friction fit and there were two set screws done up, but theoreticly I should probably at least grind a slot into the shaft and put in a key. Later.

   With those fitted together, I plugged the CV shaft into the car wheel. (Hmm, it needs some new boot clamps!)
   (To retrieve the gearbox later I just loosened the set screws and pulled it from the coupler.)

How to mount things?
A bar from the rear/firewall shock mounting?
A bar left to right?
A way to hang a shock mounting?

   Now... back to how to mount everything. I went out to the car and pondered this long into the night. Perry had suggested welding two supports across left to right to hold everything. But of course, rubber shock mounts would eliminate vibration. I came up with another way, to mount one between the right shock mounting (actually port or driver's side, but I'm looking in from the front) and a new left (starboard) side one. The third one on the firewall would add the needed stability and resistance to turning torque.
   Looking at it again, the shaft and all were long enough that up-down motion of the suspension would cause only slight pivoting at the motor end of the shaft, and I decided to couple the motor and gearbox right together after all... if I could figure out how to connect the shafts. The 22mm splined shaft on the motor was a tough one. The 24mm socket on the gearbox wasn't a problem. I needed something very short with a 22mm socket on one end and a 24mm shaft on the other. I had just used my 7/8" (22.2mm) weld-on sprocket hub for the other join. That left me with 7/8" taper lock shaft hubs, SD or H type.

   Assuming that would work out, the CV shaft and solid couplings would hold the gearbox and motor straight out from the wheel. So then the challenge would be to hold the plate between motor and wheel in the desired position, and to not rotate with the torque from turning the wheel. If there were two arms holding the motor, one at the front and one at the back of the plate, forces would be up and down and especially the front arm would be quite hard to brace against those forces. The assembly would be prone to twisting with wheel torque. But if there was one arm at the top and one at the bottom of the plate, the forces would be toward and away from - horizontal instead of vertical. I could bolt on a shock mounting and run an arm (channel or angle iron) to under the motor from the front bar under the former radiator. There was a support just above and behind where the motor would be, for the top bar which could also hold up the whole 70 pound or so assembly. All of a sudden mounting it all looked a lot simpler.

[11th] Well, I couldn't ignore everything else for long. But I figured I could get something done on it every day. I picked "how to connect the motor shaft to the planetary gear input socket." The motor had the 22mm splined shaft output. The gearbox had the 24mm socket. (I could have got the one with a 22mm socket, but they weren't made to fit together and with an interface plate between them the motor shaft wasn't long enough anyway. or the gearbox socket was too far recessed - take your pick.)

   I had dug out the plate from previous conversion versions. It seemed needlessly big and ugly, but I set it on the motor and put in the two bolts that tie them together.
   After much puzzling (a couple of hours?) I took a 7/8 inch "H" taper lock shaft hub (AKA shaft "bushing") and put it on the motor. It stuck up about 3/8" past the end of the shaft. And it fit within the recess in the gearbox, so the gearbox would sit flat on the plate.

   Next I cut a short piece of shaft and turned it on the lathe. It had a short 7/8" end that had to be pressed into the "H" hub. (I wanted to mill a keyway into it to match that of the hub and put in a key as well for surety, short as it was, but my fickle milling machine started fine and then stopped running just as I was about to start milling. Click, click - nothing happens. I would sure like to know what's intermittently wrong with it.)
   (A washer or two on the motor will set the exact spacing with no play.)

   The "H" hub had to go flange side up, since it's the other end that squeezes in to lock it to the shaft, while the flange side is solid to press the stubby shaft into.

   The other end of that shaft, about an inch long, was turned to 24mm until it fit into the socket in the gearbox. When I tighten up the bolt it will hold the piece securely and not let it slip. (Ya, like the one in the truck? - slip, slip! Anyway being 24mm instead of 19, it should have considerably more holding power.)

   For the motor end, I had to find something to tighten the "H" taper lock hub around the splined shaft. For that I have a feeling I'll have to make a very special very large washer with bolt holes through it from 5/16" steel plate. For extra measure I might also put in a specially shaped key that fits in the hub's keyslot and projects into one of the spaces between the splines in the motor shaft.

   So at the end of the day it still needed something to tighten the "H" taper lock hub to the motor shaft, and four new holes in the plate to attach the gearbox to it. (All those sets of holes in the plate, and still none in the right places!)

   After all that, before midnight I went to my storage room to look for something to tighten the taper lock hub, and instead I found a stray 7/8" weld-on sprocket hub loose in a box - the part I had wanted in the first place. It fit on the motor almost snugly, and it had a key slot and 2 set screws to tighten it up. It was about 1/64" too long and held the gearbox up off the plate, but I could easily trim it down that much on the lathe. That should solve the problem nicely! The work of the day had mostly been making the coupling shaft, which would still be used, so little was lost switching the part.

[12th] I got to it in the later afternoon and made the four bolt holes to attach and center the gearbox onto the plate. Try as I might to get them perfect, measuring and drilling by hand 3 of the 4 holes had to be filed out a bit so the bolts could go in the right places and the gear be well centered (at least looking centered by eye).
   Then I started fitting the fittings. The 7/8" end of the stub shaft proved to be a tiny bit too long, so I turned it down on the lathe. Then the milling machine decided it was working today, so I milled the key slot in it. I cut a 1/2" long key and after a little filing fit it in. Then I pressed the shortened, keyed shaft back into the weld-on hub. This time it fit great onto the motor. It also fit great into the gearbox socket. However it seemed to hold the motor off the plate. Later I made a couple of short steel pipe spacers to optimally set the width of the gap.
   Owing to the friction of the brush type motor being multiplied by 5 I had to use a wrench on the planetary output to turn everything, including the motor turning 5 times faster than the wrench.

   A final point was that if the assembly was suspended by the two bolts holding the motor, the rigid connections from motor almost to the wheel would ensure that everything stayed in line. Still, it would be better if the ~70 pound assembly was all balanced. [I was unable to do as well as I wanted. It seemed fine anyway.] With the motor and gear fitted to the plate I checked and found the balance point (without the CV shaft) was about 2" behind the bolt holes in the motor faceplate. Counting the CV shaft, some longer bolts and roughly 1.5 to 1.75 inch standoffs (pipes as really long washers) slid onto them should about do it. Then the exact position and shape of the two arms to hold everything could be determined.

[13th] The milling machine god was smiling, so I milled a tiny key slot in the coupler shaft stub to secure it better to the "weld-on sprocket hub" on the motor. I made the key and it all looked good. To make sure the motor wouldn't slip, I made a special key to fit in the hub with the other part ground and filed to fit between two of the splines on the motor shaft. I'm much more confident these two joins can't slip now.
   I put the motor and gear assembly into the car. It looked great except for one large annoyance: the gearbox was longer than I had realized and the mounting plate lined up in the one place it couldn't, right in front of the shock absorbing mount. (I should have noticed earlier that it would be.) It seemed I could shorten the chopped CV shaft by another 1 to 1.5 inches without causing other problems, and that would put the plate to the side of the post. I looked for another half hour trying to figure out some other way, but finally I just had to take the shaft off, cut a bit off it, and do it over again.
   This time I tried to mill a key slot in the CV shaft. It seemed more like I was just dulling my titanium mill bit. (I knew those shafts must be hard metal!) So I gave that up and tried to make it a good "pound-on" friction fit, grinding a tiny bit of the 23mm shaft each time and then seeing how it fit into the 22.2mm hub. (With the CV joint flopping around on the other end, I could neither put the shaft on the lathe nor press the coupler in with the press. But I decided that if it slipped I could weld the coupler on.) On the last pounding it went to about 4mm from the end and wouldn't go any further, so I did up the set screws and barring any slips when I drive the car, it's done.
   The next challenge was to get the planetary gear output shaft into the hammered end of the coupler. Not thinking of trouble I hadn't tried fitting them until I had put the shaft back in the car wheel. (After all it was a 25.4mm coupler and only a 25mm shaft. Lots of room, right?) It took a fair while leaning into the under-hood space with files and "dremmel" type tool to get the "mushrooming" out of the end of the socket.
   Perhaps 3 hours later I had the works installed under the hood again. This time it looked good. Well, that was more than enough overtime for that "trivial" oversight! It was getting late and past time for various chores, where I had hoped to be done early. Now it was all ready except that if powered up, the unmounted motor and gearbox would just spin until the wires broke off instead of trying to move the car.

[14th] With the linkages done it was time for the actual mountings. I anticipated quite a challenge. I started out thinking of how to connect the firewall shock mounting to the top bolt of the motor and plate. With the position now almost ideal, it was only gonig to need a short piece. But the two ends were 90° different orientation... actually more like 80° since the motor assembly was at a bit of a diagonal. Angle iron? That would give two 90° sides. Then I thought of twisting a plain bar of steel. I used a 1 inch by 1/8 inch bar. I twisted it with a big vise and my favorite metal bending tool: a large crescent wrench. Then I drilled the motor bolt hole too large (5/8" instead of 9/16") and did it over again.
   For the other piece I had been thinking of drilling holes in the crosspiece at the front of the car and bolting a shock mounting there, to run a piece of angle iron to the lower motor bolt. Then I thought a place where there had been an original shock mounting would be close enough and would be simple to do. I bolted that mounting back on. The rest of the same yellow painted bar was just the right length for a strap between the plate and the mount. After drilling, bending and twisting it a bit, it went in nicely.
   I inserted the main motor bolts and pulled out the block of wood holding up the motor. There it sat, suspended in mid air. But for a couple of spacers and miscellaneous... It was IN! I manged to stop myself from going any further by 4:30 PM, instead of charging along to complete those details and getting nothing else done. (like, making supper, having someone test play my new crossword puzzle to find mistakes...)

The 2018 configuration with the "hacked" original transmission, for visual comparison to above

[15th] Having realized that if all the batteries would fit under the hood there was no use for wiring to and in the back cargo compartment, I pulled it all out except for a few light wires running along just inside of the passenger doors under the carpet. It was now completely free for cargo and a spare tire!

[16th] Well, I still had to go underneath the car and clip the cable ties holding the power cable then pull it out. There's a few pounds of cable removed! No more heavy transmission, this and that pulled out... The car is getting amazingly light, but with the 75 pounds of motor, gearbox and attachments the front suspension is no longer topped out. I now have to lift on the bumper to hit the top end stops.
   I cut two pieces of pipe (and turned them on the lathe) to use for "just right" spacers between the motor and gearbox, and I undid the two motor holding bolts and put them in.

Car Movement Tests

   Physicly everything was ready. I got out a lithium iron phosphate battery and jumper cables. I set the battery beside the hood and attached the cables to the motor. With 3 volts across the motor nothing seemed to happen. With 6 volts it crawled across the floor. With 9 volts it crawled faster. With 12 it picked up speed and if I hadn't disconnected it before it got there, it would have jumped over my 2x6 "chock" and hit the garage shelves. It was all totally silent except for the slight scrape of the brake components in the wheels that one doesn't usually hear because other things are louder.
   I went back to when I had done the car before with the original transmission, which I had altered to give a fixed 8.9 to 1 reduction to the wheels utilizing one planetary gear and the spur gear driving the differential. That time the car was in the same garage in about the same place, but apparently I had connected the battery and backed it up instead of going forward. As there was a slight and uneven slope to the floor, going the same direction again - slightly upslope instead of downslope - would make for a better comparison of performance. From TE News #117:

   "Using a 4-cell lithium battery and jumper cables beside the car, it backed up a bit with 6 volts, more with 9 volts, and up a slight incline with 12, drawing around 75 amps each time."

   In reverse this time I got the following results: With 6 volts, it would back up a bit only if it was in a level spot. With 9 volts, it accelerated just a bit and slowed but made it up the same slight incline as it did before at 12 volts. With 12 volts, it accelerated more strongly and easily went up the rise. (I didn't check the currents this time as they were doubtless about the same.)

   While there were no precise figures for either time, these simple voltage-performance tests seemed to show the new 5 to 1 speed reduction to actually apply more torque to the wheel(s) than the previous 8.9 to 1 transmission arrangement. Although 6 volts seemed similar, in the earlier tests it sounded like the car hadn't climbed the up-slope with 9 volts, and there was no mention of acceleration at any voltage tested. To make sure it hadn't just got a better run at the slope at 9 volts this time, I rolled the car to the base of it, just to where the car stopped to rolling forward. It still went up it.
   Seeming to get more torque from "n" power, instead of just 5/8.9=0.56 times as much, presumably indicates an increase in efficiency of the drive train of more than 1/0.56=1.78 -- the desired result of putting this all together and more. In fact it is a remarkable gain. It surprised me because I thought the old transmission was better than that. (In actual driving later it didn't seem so amazing.)

[17th] I considered that it was possible the battery was less charged in 2018, but it didn't seem likely. I can't imagine having used any battery except fully charged for tests I knew needed a lot of amps. This time the battery hadn't been charged in months, so if anything might have been slightly lower. But finally I got out the CD amp-clamp meter and checked. I got around 60 amps at 6 volts, 100 at 9 and over 140 at 12. In 2018 I had been puzzled to read about 75 amps seemingly regardless of voltage. I am still puzzled by that. Could there have been a bad battery connection last time? Was the meter doing something funny? Did I use the same meter? Did I in fact neglect to take a reading at each voltage? I wish I had recorded it carefully, for each voltage, even if they were actually similar. But let's use the figures as given. This time it behaved more as one would expect, drawing higher current with higher voltage. And according to theory, the torque depends directly on the DC current.

   At 6 volts it seemed to draw less current and perhaps performed around the same, but it's hard to tell from vague descriptions and impressions. It was very lethargic both times. So let's forget the 6 volts.
   At 9 volts it drew 100/75 amps - about 1/3 more. Instead of rolling slowly on the level, it accelerated and went up a slight slope. If on the 2018 tests it was actually 75 amps, then if it drew 100 amps this time it should have had 1.33 * (5/8.9) = .75, or 75% as much torque at the wheel. Instead it performed better, climbing the little rise that took 12 volts to climb in 2018.
   At 12 volts current was (according to what I said in 2018) almost double from 2018. By theory, torque should then have been 2 * (5/8.9) = 1.12 times the torque. But I suspect the 2018 current at 12 volts was probably considerably higher than 75 amps and I just wasn't paying it much attention. The motor was spinning faster so the current drops more, but even if it wasn't near 140, perhaps it was 100? That would make it 140/100 * 5/8.9 = 79% as much torque. Instead, rather than either beating it by a small margin (case 75 amps) or not doing as well (case 100A), it noticeably accelerated as it went notwithstanding the uphill, where in 2018 it hadn't sped up - at least not enough for me to make note of it. And
   So if the new gearbox is 96% efficient and if the old one with a higher reduction had given the same torque to the wheels, we might guess the old transmission was around 1.4 * 5/8.9 * .96 = 76% efficient. Since it didn't perform even that well, it was probably well under that figure. Saying it was 70% would probably be being kind to it.

   But the 17th wasn't all about theory and performance. I cut a piece of 3/4 inch birch plywood to be a shelf for the batteries behind where the radiator had been, then painstakingly trimmed it to fit everywhere including a couple of cutouts to accommodate protruding joins in the car, drilled holes, and made a steel bracket to hold up one corner. It was in and out many times, trim a bit and see, then again. Then I did similar with a 1/4 inch thick piece for a front shield so nothing flying off the road could hit the batteries. (Just in case I actually get it onto the road!) I'll paint them later.
   Then I got out some of the still loose lithium ion batteries and positioned them on the shelf. It should be easy to fit two stacks, more crammed to fit three, and four would be a problem because of the long motor strap cutting across... but doable. Two stacks should be good enough for the 300 amps max current according to the battery specs, but would only 8640 watt-hours. All three would be a better 12960 WH, and a fourth stack would make it 17280 WH. With lower energy use, that should take it as far as the Nissan Leaf's 24000 WH. And there's room for more in the rear cargo area if I want huge range. But to go beyond a 'proof of concept' demo, if I'm actually going to use it on the highway with everything else the same, it'll need a higher RPM motor.

[18th] I was otherwise occupied. I just figured out where the battery stacks would go, and drilled bolt holes. (battery stacks... yes, that's why the French call them "piles" - "piles electrique"!)

[19th] I grabbed the lithium-ion battery stacks from the truck and from the DC solar system in the garage next to the car. (I'll have to connect up the third stack soon, but I didn't want to divert from doing the car.) The two stacks will provide 240 amp-hours at 36 volts (8640 WH) for the 36 volt motor and 300 amp, 36 volt motor controller, and according to the battery specs, hundreds of amps. With some re-positioning ("moving" mounting holes a bit), I got them mounted on the shelf under the hood. I removed the balance charger from one stack because with the stacks connected together in parallel, two couldn't work right. Instead I would put wires across to parallel at least every second cell so they all charge as one battery. I put in a holder for a 400 amp fuse. (And the breaker at the motor controller is 300 amps.)
   I spent the rest of the time on the heavy wiring. In connecting the minus cable to one stack, I noticed that it flopped over onto the battery side of the fuse holder when disconnected. Fuse holder +36V. Minus side 0V. Both straight from batteries - always live. Very bad to touch together with heavy cable! I put in a piece of 2x6 wood as a pedestal to hold the fuse holder way up high.

The battery stacks bolted to the shelf, with cables from "B+" at the top of the stacks to the fuse holder,
raised to the same height with a piece of 2"x6".

   I went into town to buy some lugs for #2 AWG wires with 1/2 inch holes to fit the battery main connection bolts. Then I realized that that cable connected to the fuse, which had smaller bolts (Duh!), so (other than having to go into town anyway) I had wasted my time. When I had the cable ready I found it was a little too short and had to make a longer one. At least I had enough wire and lugs.

   Then I contrived to run the heavy wires through the firewall instead of under the floor. Yay, I can cover over that hole in the floor between the seats, which I had used to run wires through last time. (originally the gearshift stick hole)
   I replaced the under-rated 135 amp circuit breaker (biggest one I could get in Victoria when I was living there with a new 300 amp breaker of the same physical size.
   Finally I was left with one control wire that I wasn't sure where it went. Only then did I notice that the wiring diagram had vanished somewhere. I decided I should leave it all until morning and go over everything before I powered it up and tried to run the car.
   Before bed I downloaded the manual for the 1243 type motor controller again from Curtis and found where it went. I printed out the control plug pinout and the wiring diagram.

First Test

[20th] I wired in a ground from the battery minus to the car body - not something to omit! In a higher voltage system one would keep the drive power system separate and make it floating ground so as not to electrocute anyone. With 36 volts that's not necessary. But I didn't want to hook just some of the cells up as the 12 volt supply. So I put in a 12 volt battery - one made of four of the 40AH LiPo cells that have been kicking around for some years now. (That will need some charger too.) Everything seemed to work except the headlights. (Not those cursed headlights again! Days later I discovered, or rediscovered, that there was nothing wrong: the headlights only come on if the parking brake is off.) When everything seemed ready I put a 500 amp fuse in the holder on the 36 volt line and closed the circuit breaker.
   When I turned the key (drum roll... suspense...) nothing blew up. The contactor clicked. I pressed on the gas and the car moved forward. So I opened the garage door, moved the other cars out of the way and pushed the Sprint out of the garage. (I still haven't done anything about getting it to run in reverse.) The driveway being cluttered I drove it across to the far side of the acreage. It seemed to move well enough and climb little humps that the badly geared Miles Truck had sometimes had trouble with. Driving so far from the garage was a mistake. Perry came along. We got it turned around, and he sat in the passenger seat. But one wheel was in a hole. It took extra force to try and move the car. And it didn't.
   Something squealed and the car didn't move. We looked and found the long yellow bar had bent. (Driving forward pushes on that support instead of pulling on it.) Walking back and forth across the acreage I eventually shaped a 1" x 2" steel tube into a new, stronger motor support.
   But that wasn't the end of it. Perry's eyes were valuable to seeing the problem. The CV shaft had started slipping in the shaft coupler. Suddenly (and belatedly) it occurred to me that I even if the shaft was too hard to mill a keyslot into, I could have ground one in with the angle grinder. And I should have made a couple of flat spots for the set screws. Now, unless I was going to tow it back, it all had to come apart again, out in the weather, at the far end of the property.
   Luckily both this afternoon and the next day the sun came out and it was, for a change, nice weather.

[21st] Between the truck and this, I was tired of slipping shafts. I took the mechanical parts apart. I started gouging a key slot in the CV shaft. The hub had only a 5/32 inch keyslot. Why so small? After a while I thought, why do it this way?
   If the keyslots were inappropriate, what else was there? For DIY mechanics, making splined shafts seemed like a more than daunting task. But one could easily make a shaft square with a grinder. Making a square socket was another prospect. Too bad no one seems to sell them. But did one need to do that?

   The coupler socket had two set screws at right angles. If they hit in an indented area instead of on the very outside of the shaft, the shaft couldn't slip. And why settle for a small indent? I took the angle grinder and ground the shaft to square on two faces at right angles, matching the set screws.

   Then, the setscrews were 1/4 inch (1/4"). Why had they used such tiny ones? They might just bend, or the metal around them bend and let them rip out. I drilled out the two holes larger and threaded them for 5/16". Then before I did anything else I changed my mind and drilled them out and rethreaded to take 3/8" set screws.

   Squared shaft, beefy 3/8" set screws... let's have a setup commensurate to the job! 200 or more foot-pounds on an axle is a lot of torque.

   The gearbox end's socket was similar except 5/16" set screws. Same hub except different shaft size - why the difference in screws? And why did one have a 5/32" key slot and the other 1/4"? The gearbox shaft's key slot was about 5/16ths" (8mm?) so it didn't match the 1/4". I ground another square face into the gearbox shaft at 90° to the keyslot.  I got fancier and made it so the setscrew couldn't slide off the shaft - not that it could anyway in this setup. I threaded that setscrew to 3/8" but left the other. The other wound nicely into the key slot with no key in it. I figured that one wasn't going to slip either.

   Before I put it all back together, I beefed up my tack welds on the coupler. No point having everything else toughened up and have the welds snap when I drove!

With replacement rectangular bar (left: diagonal, red) to take the torque,
beefed up linkages to CV shaft,
and charging from solar DC supply in garage with monitors.

   When I had everything back together I got in and drove the car back toward the garage. It seemed to have sufficient pickup. It rose out of the dip I couldn't push it out of by hand. There was a bit of vibration when I got up a little speed, but not bad. (The lawn trail is too bumpy to get going very fast.) I stopped at the corner at the base of a hill just before reaching the "usual" part of the driveway. I thought I'd see how it did up a hill from a stop. In the winter the Echo and the Leaf had slipped on the wet grass and in the mud (and barely made it up). Now the mud was hard ground.
   It was more challenge than I had expected. I had to press the pedal pretty hard starting up the hill, and the one-wheel drive slipped in the wet grass. Eventually I got it worked around so the tire hit the narrow pea-gravel trail I had made up the hill. Now I had to push the pedal a long way down to go anywhere, but it started climbing the hill without slipping, and speeding up just a bit. 3/4 of the way up, the 300 amp circuit breaker popped. (The motor was still cold. I didn't feel the controller.)
   Then I looked around for the Curtis motor controller handheld programmer, which I hadn't bothered with to that point, to look at currents and other readings. I didn't find it. (Where did I put it after I was trying to get it to work in the truck, many months ago?)
    I got some more pea gravel and put some under the tire. I still couldn't get the car moving up. It either wouldn't budge or would skid. The driving (right) wheel was up and the car leaning to the left, so it had less traction than if it had been level. The drawback of single wheel drive was made obvious. I was also starting to wonder if the 5 to 1 gear ratio was enough, given the "full throttle" high current to climb a hill at very low speed. The tiny biting midges ("no-see-ums") were coming out in force (as they had every evening for a month), so I closed up the car and left it on the hill.
   The torque seemed fine for level pavement, but once I was trying it out on a hilly lawn, it didn't seem to be going as smoothly as hoped!

[22nd] I jacked up one rear wheel and slid a board under it. Then I put wedges under the board to make it a ramp, so that one wheel was going downhill instead of uphill. I put some more gravel under the drive wheel. It went forward until the rear wheel was off the ramp and the front was off the gravel, then it just slipped again. After 3 sessions of this, the front wheel was facing steeply uphill in a little hole, and after gravelling it it would neither spin nor move. A ramp on both back wheels finally budged it. It may (or may not) have made it up the hill if the breaker hadn't blown.
   Later I drove the car in a loop around the 'main' driveway, before I lost my nerve for driving it anywhere. That area is more level but still has hills and bumps. It seemed to have enough pickup there except for still easily skidding on the grass. Well, I never expected it to be an "off road" vehicle, and they're certainly not "off road" tires, either.

[23rd] I drove around the driveway again 3 times to verify my perceptions. At least nothing was slipping or seemed to be bending or coming loose. I made up a socket connected to the balance charger, and a cable from an old extension cord with another socket.  The other end of that went to the DC charging system, and I soldered up a little male-male plug to connect the two sockets together. Now I could charge the betteries in the car from the DC solar power system, and I proceeded to do so. Between them I plugged in one of the little power meters. It was cloudy and only 300 watt-hours went into the car before dark, raising the voltage from 38.9 volts to 39.1. I plugged the car batteries into the house DC power system. So the car was now charging from solar panels on the house and powering the house DC system.
   And I found the Curtis handheld motor controller programmer. (Ya, right on a back corner of my cluttered desk where I had already looked a couple of times!)

[24th] I decided to be brave and try crossing the acreage again. This time I had the programmer hooked up. It was routinely showing currents of 150 to over 200 amps on the rough lawn as I drove, less on down slopes or if I eased off the pedal. On the return I took a good run at the hill as I rounded the corner. Although gradually slowing as it climbed, it looked like it would make it up handily when the so-called "300 Amp" breaker blew again, just 3-1/2 feet past where it had done last time, and it came to a quick stop. Humpf! Where the original 135 amp breaker (that didn't blow even at the highest currents) was a "thermal breaker", this one, which said nothing on it, must have been some "fast blow" type. (In fact, there was no way it was "300 amps". More like 100.) Also, the handheld programmer, on which the readings did jump up and down each second, never showed more than 270 amps. Why would it be acceptable for a breaker to blow anywhere below its rated current even for an extended period? I think I'd better find a different brand of breaker.

   It took 3 back wheel rampings to get up to where the car would go on its own.

[25th] I wired a T36 socket to connect a DC to DC converter to so it would charge the 12V battery but only when the car was running. (The headlights were running it down.) And I 3D printed some hole glands for the holes where the wires went through the firewall to the motor controller. The sides of the holes seemed smooth enough, but it would be bad news to have the insulation rub off a wire and connect it to the car body.

[26th] I replaced the "300 amp" breaker with the old 135 amp breaker and wired in the 12V battery charging socket. Then I took the car for another spin across the acreage. This breaker didn't blow and with a fair run at it, it made it up the hill. Not, it must be said, with much to spare. If the hill had been a little longer or a little steeper, it probably would have stalled. So I did it once more, and this time it still had a bit of speed at the top of the hill. I must have got a better run at it or something - not that one should count on that in evaluating a drive mechanism!
   On the "level" parts of the bumpy lawn at an somewhat even speed the programmer read currents of about 100 to 170 amps. It probably would have been less on pavement, even going substantially faster, but it seemed like a lot of power. I looked back at my 2018 notes (TE News #119) to see what the currents were then, and discovered that I had had quite different readings from the Curtis programmer than from the DC clamp-on ampmeter. Of course! The armature currents aren't the same as the DC current from the battery. The currents in the armature go in and come back out again, often not in phase with the voltage, so they were for the purposes of power measurement somewhat meaningless.
   So I got out the clamp-on and hooked it to the battery wire where I could see it while I drove, and did a third turn. It was showing currents like 30-40 amps as I started moving and mostly around 30-70 amps driving along the bumpy lane. If I hit the electron pedal it went up to 90 or 115 or whatever. Climbing the hill on the way back at one or two points it broke 200 amps, but mostly (from my few glimpses) was still under that (eg 170A). So! It wasn't using oodles of power after all. It was probably using about the same amount for driving the same speed on the same ground as in 2018. And hopefully a bit less with the "ultra efficient" drive train. 50A*36V=1800W or 2.4HP. 200A*36v on the hill is 7200W or around 9HP. With the "too-low" drive ratio, probably some of the energy was used generating heat rather than thrust. BTW it made it up the hill easily. A good, thrilling run into that corner is the key, and I seem to have acquired the knack for it! (The much longer driveway is still a more than dubious prospect.)

[28th] I hooked up a DC to DC converter to charge the 12V battery to 13.5V, and it took some charge. But the converter was a bare circuit board with no case. I was afraid of a short circuit to the car body and I removed it. I'll have to mount it properly.

 I started using the car for hauling lumber from my stacks to the shop and the building site for the firewood shed, and then for bringing tools a supplies to the garden instead of walking back and forth multiple times. On one occasion I stopped at the new shed near the base of the hill. The wheel slipped a couple of times as I tried to accelerate and I got the car stuck on the hill again - virtually at the top of the steep part, but with the wheel slipping on the grass. I got out and looked and saw it was slightly flatter to the left. I turned the wheels to the left and the car crept ahead and made it up. This time I had the DC clamp-on ampmeter connected and was looking at the battery currents. They seemed to be below ~120 amps with the motor stalled or nearly so, but rose some when it picked up some speed, still "floored". I saw some 180 amps and even over 200 a couple of times. (and a "300 amp" breaker had been blowing?!?) Current dropped as the car picked up even a little speed (there was no room to go "fast") and I let off the pedal, and usually was soon down to 30-50 amps. But if "booted" while moving it could momentarily go perhaps to 200 amps picking up speed. (200A * 36V = 7200W = 9.64HP)
   On one trip on the 29th something smelled to me like burning semiconductor when I got in the car and started moving - uhoh! I turned it off and opened the hood, but there was no smell except in the cab, and that had dissipated too. Everything still worked okay including the stereo. (Motor controller, stereo... what other electronics was there? The jumble of wires that used to go to the engine and transmission, that I've never quite had the nerve to start chopping? A puzzle.) When I was done I unplugged the 12V battery and turned off the 36V breaker to the motor controller. No power to anything. If something is going to go, at least it should happen while I'm there to see it - I'm not fond of vehicle fires starting while no one is there! (July 1st: mystery solved...? I rinsed off the car and then turned the windshield wipers on. After a few wipes, which seemed slow and labored, smoke and that smell were coming out from behind the wiper control buttons on the dash. I don't remember using the wipers before, but that was the smell, and I do remember hitting lights and wiper "off" buttons just in case. Probably the wiper motor needs oil or something, having not been used for so long, and is drawing too much current for the speed regulator.)
   I didn't see much (any) movement of the trip meter over several days of short travels. When I finally thought about that, of course!: the speedometer and hence also the odometer had no connection. The gear to run them had been inside the original transmission. I got on line and after some searching found that bicycle speedometers come with all required parts and had a software adjustment for any (reasonable) wheel diameter. They count revs magneticly and translate them into speed and distance units. I ordered one. (Oddly the display only goes to 99.9 KmPH.)

[Later] I found there was a problem with the DC to DC converter to charge the 12 volt battery. When the 36 volts was off, it burned out. (I had felt a little transistor on these getting really hot a couple of times before, but I hadn't understood why.) Apparently it didn't like having power on the output side when the input side had none. I put in a schottky power diode with a heatsink to isolate it, but it isn't mounted properly. (Hmm, I should attach it to the battery post instead of having it at the converter end of the wire.)

Mind the seat covers, eh!

Carrying lumber across the yard for the firewood shed

Okay, I could have closed the hood both notches, and the door, for the photo!


   Other than the wipers and the odometer, I didn't note any mechanical or electrical problems after the first fixes, in 15-20(?) bumpy drives across the acreage and back including hauling lumber. It all seemed to run quite smoothly - just a bit of gear sound under load from the planetary gearbox, doubtless to be expected. No notable vibration. The motor suspension system gets a good workout, and it seems to work fine (AFAICT from inside the car, and from "jumping" the front end up and down with my weight on the bumper). The two-point mount allowing the drive assembly to pivot up and down with wheel bouncings is simple in theory and seems to work great.
   There's quite a lot of motor/wheel torque force and stress on the motor shock mountings, which may or may not cause trouble some time. (But they are two of the four that held the original motor and transmission.) I just used the car's existing shock mountings, one of which especially is not ideally located for this. If it becomes necessary, I'll change the arrangement, but it's been fine so far.

   In a hard stop with brakes pulling more on one side than the other, a sideways pull on a vehicle is very noticeable and must be corrected for by steering. (The Mazda RX7 EV had one rear brake stuck off for a time, and I certainly noticed it.) It is in law that vehicle brakes must not appreciably pull to one side. However, some earlier front wheel drive cars (1975 VW Rabbit comes to mind) pulled notably to one side when you stepped on the gas. With this single wheel drive I never noticed any pull to one side at any time. But then, I couldn't get it going very fast in my lawn-trail tests.
   It occurred to me that part of the drive wheel skidding problem was that the car was so light, the drive wheel was on the right, and most of the added weight was on the left: the driver, the motor and the batteries. Just the 15 pound planetary was a bit right of center. Plus, while the tire had good tread, it was for pavement, certainly not an "off-road" tread. (The lawn tractor with somewhat similar "turf saver" tires also does a lot of slipping going uphill.) Plus the very lightweight car was leaning considerably to the left on the hill. So withal, the wheel had the least possible weight pushing it down, giving it extra proclivity to spin in the slippery grass going uphill. I suspect driving a rear wheel would work somewhat better, that it could push harder without slipping because the weight shifts somewhat to the back going uphill. Still it seemed to prove single wheel is really a drive for pavement.

   Slipping aside, it would seem I went too far trying to do just a 5 to 1 reduction - with this motor. I did know from the start that even with a 96% efficient drivetrain that was pushing its boundaries. Obviously when push came to shove there was substantially less torque to the wheel than with the previous 8.9 to 1 with the "hacked" original transmission. With that it had made it up that hill without me making a note of it, and it made it up the driveway okay. (OTOH in 2018 no doubt I 'booted' it in the turn heading into the slippery hill as I did especially each time entering the driveway, rather than daring it to do its worst by stopping at the bottom.)
   With a protractor I estimated the angle of the wheels to climb in the several steepest spots as being around 15°. There are similar angles in my driveway and it's longer, so I'm pretty sure if I drove down to the highway it wouldn't get up into the yard again. (I guess the little hill at the back is steeper in places than I had realized. No wonder I'm always surprised when vehicles are struggling on it, especially when it's wet!)

Hmm, the driveway in is shorter and steeper than the picture makes it look (wide angle camera)

   6 to 1 might not (or might) have been just sufficiently better to make the difference for the driveway. I would probably have got away fine with 7 to 1 - 40% more torque. Even with a 96% efficient planetary gear, 5 was making it just a little too hard to drive the wheel on a steep slope or in a "pothole" type situation. At the other end of considerations, at 8.9 to 1 it would only do 25 KmPH. At 5 to 1 it should then do 45 - at least a potentially semi-useful speed.
   Of course, all this is with this particular rather small 36V forklift motor driving everything (and this particular 300A motor controller). Other than being series wound, 36 volts and 51 pounds, the specs for this old motor are unknown to me. (Most of the label is illegible. I did search the web, but didn't find anything. Knowing the "locked rotor" torque at say 150 amps from the battery would be valuable. Hmm... Looking back at TE News #119, Sheldon said it was 3.5KW. I had forgotten that. That's 4.67HP, and about 100 amps from the battery - doubtless the continuous rating, not absolute max. I did push it well beyond that for brief periods.) It seems to go up to around 2000-2200 RPM with no inclination to want to go higher. (I suppose I could have got a 48 volt motor controller (400 amps?) and 48 volt batteries and it would go 48/36 times faster. And have more torque. That would be pushing a 36V motor beyond its ratings. I would hate for it to burn up.)

   It comes back to the same old dilemma: To use a smaller motor to drive a car, one needs an efficient transmission with different gear ratios - preferably the 100% efficient variable torque converter, preferably followed by a 2 or 3 to 1 fixed reduction to have the motor at favorable RPMs when the variable part has dropped to 1 to 1/no slip. (A second reason I picked a 5 to 1 planetary gear was that it seemed like a good ratio to use to make such a torque converter if I decided to try using it for that.)

   A 96% efficient drivetrain would be fabulous for any vehicle. Less power and torque required mean a smaller motor or engine and less energy consumption for the same performance. This layout with no spur gears anywhere is about the most efficient possible design - hard to beat 96%! Two motors and planetary gears driving the wheels on both sides would of course have more grip on the road. To fit two motors into most smaller (narrower) cars, that would require planetary gears that are short in length (should be simple to produce), and pancake type short motors... like the motors I've made and want to do a new, improved model of... someday when I have time!
   The single motor would need somewhat more torque than the present one for a good 5 to 1. Another 25-40% perhaps? And if it's to be a fixed reduction ratio, any motor will need to be substantially higher maximum RPM (than ~2200): 3000 for 60 KmPH for around town and 4500 RPM for 90 KmPH for any sort of highway driving. To achieve both more torque and higher RPM probably means using a bigger motor... or perhaps the new plan of the Electric Hubcap "outrunner" type [next article below].

New "Electric Hubcap" "Outrunner" Motor Thoughts

[24th] Having decided the Sprint drive was very good except that the motor had a bit too little torque and too low a maximum RPM - and was surely not all that efficient - I started thinking about motor design again. Permanent magnets attached to the inside face of a spinning rim should be safer at a considerably higher RPM than magnets simply glued to one side of a flat spinning disk. Was there any reason the axial flux couldn't be made radial, but with the same large flux gap axial uses instead of the miniscule gap radial flux typicly has? I couldn't think of any reason. My existing internal unit motor components are all "flat" for axial flux. The larger the motor diameter, the closer to "flat" they would ideally be for radial flux (instead of each piece being an arc to fit a particular diameter). If I can get away with using my flat pieces, an "outrunner" configuration with the magnet rotor outside of the stator, magnets facing in, seems like a great choice. And surely the large flux gap would make that feasible.

   I got out some spare coils and cores and set them around a blank 300mm diameter "Improved Piggott Alternator" rotor disk. With 12 coils spaced equally facing outward, the spacing seemed just about right. Assuming the same wound diameter would apply whatever the optimum number of winds and gauge of wire, there was just a little free space between coils. I assumed they could be fitted in so 300mm would be the outermost diameter of the stator.
   Then if the magnets were 1/2 inch thick and flat rather than curved, but facing sideways, they might occupy 14mm instead of 12.7. So add 2*9mm for the flux gap and 2*14mm for the magnets, and 2* 6.4mm for the 1/4" outer rim thickness, and the rotor outer diameter would be 359.1mm or 14.14". That's an appealing diameter - slightly smaller than axial flux works out to with the same components, yet it should provide quite a lot of torque. Would it be 30-40% more than the forklift motor with similar currents? No guarantee, but I would expect so.
   One face of the outrunner motor can be either motionless stator section or one side of the rotor. The other face and the outside rim have to be the spinning rotor. It's better to have a non-spinning side to mount. Then the side of the drum and the center axle have to be quite rigid and strong. But if the side were, say, an inch thick, and made of tough polypropylene-epoxy, it could be strong and wouldn't weigh much. Only the outer rim need be heavy steel, to carry the magnetic flux between magnets. It could be for example a rolled up piece of 1/4" x 2.5" or 3" steel bar or plate: 2" wide for the magnets plus .5" or 1" to attach to the PP-epoxy side disk.

[ Hmm... "Safe at higher RPMs" assumes it's well balanced, and that the drum rim is safe from ripping apart. If it is a rolled up mild steel bar, it should be very strong except perhaps for the joint. Welding on an extra layer of steel there would be reassuring... except for making it badly unbalanced. What is strongest... or are any of these good enough for say 5000 RPM? (4000? 3000?):
a) a welded joint?
b) a beveled joint (hence with a large surface area) silver soldered?
c) a beveled joint brazed? ]

  ____   ____
( ___/ /_____     ...beveled through the thickness, with more horizontally sloped "/"es )

   One could of course put a PP-epoxy case around the whole motor so on the outside, only the shaft would turn. Is that valuable, or just extra weight and size?
   The coils could mount on the outer face of an inner rim. In fact, the stator could be mostly molded PP-epoxy too. Here once again we would have the essential lightweight, ultra-efficient 'Electric Hubcap' motor design. It might be under 50 pounds and have substantial torque and higher safe RPM than the axial flux models.

   I visualize inner steel components: shaft with the inner portion of the rotor side wall welded to it at right angles, and the inner part of the stator side wall with a "pipe" to hold the bearings and the shaft within. Thus, two steel side wall center portions, one spinning and the other stationary, to bolt the plastic pieces holding the rest onto. Hmm... might they even be a trailer hub and stub axle, available in stores? Well, almost. Maybe with the hub turned shorter as in some of my earlier experiments, so the axle sticks out?
   Checking in the shop (why am I going out to the shop in the dead of night?): sure enough, those look just right - the very parts needed, robust and strong - virtually made to order!

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects

Off-Grid infrastructure Components

   Having created these components for off-grid energy, I decided to put them to use. In the first days of the month I got out a spare 305W solar panel, and the setup, and took them outside to where six golf cart batteries sat, that, although having had a sodium sulfate battery renewal treatment, had been discharged to zero - again - by the Miles truck and removed. I wanted to try connecting a 12V lead-acid battery to a 30+ volt solar panel, for which equipment has always seemed elusive. The only way to do it is to connect an MPPT charge controller, but those are more expensive and PWM - pulse charging - is the better way to charge lead-acids: they last longer and renew better if discharged.

   So for charging I used a DC to DC converter set to about 15 volts output and connected that to a typical cheap PWM charge controller, going to two of the 6 volt golf cart batteries (the ones savagely discharged by the truck to zero or less) in series for 12 volts. I also plugged the two monitors in, one between the solar panel and the DC to DC, and one between the PWM controller and the batteries. Those gave me a good view of what was going on. Finally I plugged in a 5W DC light bulb in a socket straight to the battery and left it on. Thus the system would charge during the day and discharge some at night.
   The charging didn't work right. I had expected the charge controller to find the maximum power point from the DC to DC converter, but instead, if there wasn't enough available from the solar panel to match the maximum current setting on the converter, it just dragged the solar panel voltage down to its own output voltage - not much higher than the battery voltage. If the DC to DC is working, the current to the 12V charge controller is almost three times higher than that from the 36V panel. If it drags the panel voltage down to the battery voltage, it gets no more current than the panel's "semi-shorted" output current. You would think the charge controller would notice that the maximum power point goes way up if it backs off its demands a bit, but it doesn't. So the DC to DC converter maximum current has to be set lower than the available solar panel power, which of course varies continually.

   Other than that, there was plenty of power regardless of using the panel badly, and the setup worked nicely. The batteries started out a 8 volts, but were up to 11.something after a while, and the two batteries were pretty balanced. It surprised me that there were no shorted cells. Each day the battery voltage got a little higher at and after dark running the light: 11.?, 12.0, 12.15, 12.3, 12.45, 12.6 and by the 11th it was holding over 13 volts (at least for a bit after the panel was disconnected) during the day. Gosh, if their capacity was really being restored to the full 180 amp-hours, maybe I could use one pair in the Miles truck again plus the 5 sets of 100AH, 12V lithium-iron-phosphates, and have the 3 stacks of 120AH, 36V lithium-ions for the Sprint.

   I moved on to the second set of batteries to see how they would fare on the 13th, and whether the first pair would hold their charge well. One of the second set was stronger than the other. It held 6.3 volts. The other decayed over some days to 5.5. Of the third set, each battery had one shorted cell and they didn't "unshort", so they gave only 8 volts instead of 12. (I thought they were over 10 volts once, but later they were at 8 again.)

   By the end I seemed to have three good ones and three with shorted cells.

   With getting the Sprint running and solar charging set up, I fully employed the previously made power meters and made up several more plugs, sockets and cords to connect things together, that previously would have been hard-wired: a cable to charge the main batteries from the DC solar panel system on the house roof through the 10S li-ion balance charger, a 36V socket on the batteries for a voltmeter, another going through the ignition to run a DC to DC converter to charge the 12V battery while the car was running, another plug and socket to connect that battery to the car's 12V system itself.
   All these seemed to show the utility and the need for such plugs and sockets. I was rapidly depleting the inventory of 3D printed plug and socket shells I had made. There should also be click-lock types: this is a car and it certainly wouldn't do to have something come unplugged, especially while driving. (It was bad enough having the so-called "300 Amp" circuit breaker trip and the car lose power while going up a hill on the acreage!)

Innovative Beekeeping: The Bee Barn

   I finished the "Bee Barn" on the 8th. First I made "Nuc Holders" to extend the frame that come in a "nuc" (nucleus beehive) to the extra deep "Bee Barn" height. The extension is a chopped piece of "standard" frame, attached underneath where the nuc frame will slide down to. I made one - one pair of edge holders - of metal, but it seemed like a tedious process.

So the remaining four (five frames in a nuc) were thin ABS, formed in the oven into "U" shapes for the frames to slide into. I found a couple of pieces of aluminum to conveniently form the bends by pressing them together with the plastic between. (You have about 10 seconds after you take the hot, floppy plastic out of the oven before it has cooled too much and stiffened.) The gaps were a bit small and after the first one I was sometimes unsuccessful at getting a satisfactory shape. After the third one (and about the 6th try) I thought to bend the outside piece just a little in a vise to expand the gap on one side. The last one was easy and perfect! (If I ever have to do more, I'm all set!)

The aluminum-edged extender frame and
a plastic one with a "regular" frame slid into it.

The "barn" with some edge insulation and plywood spacers to "shrink" it down for fewer bees,
a couple of extended frames, and the "nuc extender" frames, one with a "nuc size" regular frame slid into it.

   The last step was the little roof over the entrance area. This should allow the bees to stop getting wet even before they land, instead of not until after they enter the hive. In a damp area this whould make a notable difference.

   I put it up on a previously made stand and set it out on the lawn. But no bees have been forthcoming from HiveWorld, who haven't returned my phone calls or e-mails. With July here I think I'll just let it pass and absolutely insist on a delivery of the Carniolans next spring. Too bad - some great bee honey production weather has just come and gone in the last week of June and the first one of July.

Electricity Generation

My Solar Power System

Daily/Monthly/Yearly Log of Solar Power Generated [and grid power consumed]

(All times are in PST: clock 48 minutes ahead of sun, not PDT which is an hour and 48 minutes ahead. DC power output readings - mostly the kitchen hot water heater for some months, since its removal mostly just lights - are reset to zero daily (mostly for just lights, occasionally), while the others are cumulative.) Note that the DC is actually power used since there's nothing totaling up the amount incoming to the batteries, which is (unless it's a lot and there's little sun) replaced the following day.

Solar: House, Trailer, (DC@house)  => total KWH [grid power meter reading(s)@time] Sky conditions
Km = electric car drove distance, then car was charged.

31st 1634.46,644.31,(.12)=> 5.89 [85127@2100] Is summer coming? Is summer coming?

01st 1636.71, 646.10 =>   4.04 [40Km; 85140@21:00]
02d  1642.57, 648.89 =>   8.65 [85156@26:00(2AM)]
03rd 1645.11, 650.20 =>   3.85 [85166@21:30] MORE cold, cloudy days? Worse than May? Which was worse than April? Seriously?
04th 1648.93,652.35,(.16)=> 6.13 [60Km; 85186@20:30]
05th 1654.23, 655.25 =>   8.20 [55Km; 85210] Just a wee bit of sun!
06th 1661.45, 659.19 => 11.16 [90Km; 85232@19:30] and a little more sun. Then more rain.
07th 1666.96, 662.25 =>   8.57 [45Km; 85252@21:00]
08th 1676.15, 667.35 => 14.29 [55Km; 85262@21:00] A fair bit of sun today - even warm!
09th ??? Oops.                 (9.50) -- 21.14 KWH over 2 days, allocated as 9.5 & 11.64
10th 1689.61, 675.03 => (11.64) [85283@20:30] A bit of sun. Two day total: 21.14 KWH.
11th 1697.95,679.67,(.34) => 13.32 [85297@21:00] sun, clouds & sprinkle.
12th 1703.26, 682.71 =>   8.35 [60Km; 85317@21:30] same sort of weather... again.
13th 1709.42, 686.21 =>   9.66 [85327@20:00] still more "blah".
14th 1713.34, 688.51 =>   6.22 [85344@21:30] California (Palm Springs?) is 100°F. Oregon (Eugene) was grateful(!) for 3 days of rain but today was sunny. Alaska (Homer) is having a beautiful sunny day. Here: Just more cold (15°C), more clouds and drizzle.
15th 1719.93, 692.28 => 10.36 [55Km; 85364@21:00] Sun actually cast shadows occasionally.
16th 1729.07, 697.42 => 14.28 [85373@21:30] Wow, a fair bit of sun today for a change. Rain by evening.
17th 1733.77,700.09,(.31)=>8.68 [85380@19:00] I saw shadows once. briefly.
18th 1739.80, 703.40 =>   9.34 [129Km; 85410@20:30] Another "blah" day... until it rained. (At least I got most of the lawn mowed!)
19th 1743.32,705.49,(.08)=>5.69 [55Km; 85432@21:30] Bla, bla, and bla again. (12°?) Disconnected DC system to use batteries in Chevy Sprint. Fog
20th 1750.78, 709.63 => 11.60 [85444@22:30] Fog. Some sun in PM. Summer Solstice.
21st 1760.40, 715.07 => 15.06 [85450@21:30] Mostly sunny, decently warm! Yay!
22d  1768.76, 719.35 => 12.64 [55Km; 85466@20:30] Sunny part of the time, pretty nice.
23rd 1773.16,721.89,(.30)=>  7.24 [85477@21:00] Overcast again. I started using the DC solar system to charge the Sprint car after driving it.
24th 1777.51,724.36,(.41)=>  7.23 [75487@21:00] More overcast.
25th 1787.33,730.01,(.09)=>15.56 [90Km; 75505@21:00] Mostly sunny! Warm!
26th 1798.00,736.12,(.16)=>16.94 [55Km; 75519@20:00] Totally sunny day!!! (First one since May) Warm to Hot! (25°C in shade)
27th 1808.71,742.31,(.16)=>17.06 [75530@21:30] Sunny again!
28th 1819.04,748.38,(.20)=>16.27 [75537@21:00] Another glorious sunny day, 27.5° in the shade on my thermometer! (Seems it's record breaking temperatures all over BC - a "heat dome" covers the province with up to 44° in the worst spots. (Is that anything like an "inversion layer"?) Lytton beat all with 49.5°! (A Canadian all-time high. Previous high was 45°.) Hah - a "live" weather map says Haida Gwaii is 16-18° while my thermometer (by the house but in shade) still reads 26°!
29th 1822.51,750.54,(0) =>   5.63 [90Km; 85564@24:00] Clouded over, sprinkle of rain - but still warm!
30th 1832.30,756.38,(0) => 15.63 [55Km; 85575@21:30] Sunny Again! And warm until end of day; then from ~25° down to 14° before dark!

01st 1841.84, 762.13,(.18) => 15.47 [85583@21:30] Sunny! 21°
02st 1851.97, 768.12,(.23) => 16.35 [90Km; 85601@21:00] Sunny Again! 23° (must have been extra clear?)
03rd 1860.56, 773.37,(.23) => 14.07 [55Km; 85616@21:30] more great weather!
04th 1871.17, 779.74,(.10) => 17.08 [85622@21:30]
05th 1881.68, 786.17,(.00) => 16.94 [35Km; 85637@22:00]
06th 1892.22, 792.63,(.12) => 17.12 [55Km; 85648@23:00] yay sunshine!

Daily KWH from solar panels. (Compare June 2021 with May 2021 & with June 2020.)

May 2021 (11 Panels;
12 panels 21st-31st)
June 2021 (12 panels)
June 2020 (12 Panels)









Total KWH

Monthly Summaries: Solar Generated KWH [& Power used from grid KWH]

March 1-31: 116.19 + ------ + 105.93 = 222.12 KWH - solar [786 KWH used from grid]
April - 1-30: 136.87 + ------ + 121.97 = 258.84 KWH [608 KWH]
May  - 1-31: 156.23 + ------ + 147.47 = 303.70 KWH [543 KWH] (11th solar panel connected on lawn on 26th)
June - 1-30: 146.63 + 15.65 + 115.26 = 277.54 KWH [374 KWH] (36V, 250W Hot Water Heater installed on 7th)
July  - 1-31: 134.06 + 19.06 + 120.86 = 273.98 KWH [342 KWH]
August 1-31:127.47 + 11.44+91.82+(8/10)*96.29 = 307.76 KWH [334 KWH] (12th panel connected on lawn Aug. 1)
Sept.- 1-30: 110.72 + 15.30 + 84.91 = 210.93 KWH   [408 KWH] (solar includes 2/10 of 96.29)
Oct.  - 1-31:  55.67 + 13.03 + 51.82 = 120.52 KWH, solar [635 KWH used from grid]
Nov. - 1-30:  36.51 +   6.31 + 26.29 =   69.11 KWH, solar [653 KWH used from grid]
Dec.  - 1-23: 18.98 +   .84* + 11.70 =   31.52 KWH, solar + wind [711 KWH + 414 (while away) = 1125 from grid]

Jan.  - 6-31: 17.52 + ------* + 10.61  =  28.13 KWH, solar+ wind [1111 KWH from grid]
Feb.  - 1-29: 56.83 + ------* + 35.17  =  92.00 KWH, solar + wind [963 KWH from grid]
* The solar DC system was running the kitchen hot water tank. Now it's only running a couple of lights - not worth reporting. So there's just the 2 grid tie systems: house and "roof over travel trailer".
One year of solar!
March - 1-31: 111.31 +   87.05 = 198.37 KWH solar total  [934 KWH from grid]
April   - 1-30: 156.09 + 115.12 = 271.21 [784 KWH from grid]
May    - 1-31: 181.97 + 131.21 = 313.18 KWH Solar [723 KWH from grid]
June   - 1-30: 164.04 + 119.81 = 283.82 KWH Solar [455 KWH from grid]
July    - 1-31: 190.13 + 110.05 = 300.18 KWH Solar [340 KWH from grid]
August- 1-31: 121.81 + 83.62   = 205.43 KWH Solar [385KWH from Grid]
Sept.  - 1-30: 110.68 + 65.09   = 175.77 KWH Solar [564 KWH used from grid]
Oct.  -   1-31:   67.28 + 42.55   = 109.83 KWH Solar [1360 KWH from grid -- Renters!]
Nov.  -  1-30:   35.70  + 20.79  = 56.49 KWH of Solar [1301 KWH from grid]
Dec.  -  1-31:   19.78  + 11.31  = 31.09 KWH Solar [1078 KWH used from grid]

Jan.   -  1-31:   25.47 + 18.58  = 44.05 KWH Solar [1185 KWH used from grid]
Feb.   -  1-28:   47.18 + 33.22  = 80.40 KWH Solar [1121 KWH used from grid]
Two years of solar!
March - 1-31:   81.73 +  55.22 + 2.2 (DC) = 139.15 KWH Solar [1039 KWH grid]
April  -  1-30: 161.83 + 112.35 + .44(DC)  = 274.62 KWH Solar [680 KWH from grid]
May   -  1-31: 156.25 +  97.22 + 1.29(DC) = 254.76 KWH Solar [678 KWH from grid]
June  -  1-30: 197.84 + 112.07 + 2.21(DC) = 312.12 KWH Solar [& 448 KWH from grid]

Things Noted - June 2021

* By the middle of June, were it not for the one and only really sunny day in May when 16+ KWH was generated, one might conclude that the capacity of my solar system has considerably deteriorated. The truth is the weather has been getting more and more cloudy. I suppose that compared to some weather other places have been having, that's pretty mild. Still it seems to be part of the overall global climate disruption. (One might suspect the volcano going off in Iceland, but it's been mostly cloudy here since way before that.)

* The last week of warm sunshine made amends for a lot of missed solar power earlier, to make this virtually equal to the best month of all so far.

* When the sun is out, the cooling fans on the grid ties are always cycling on and off. Until the last week of June it was precious few times this year that I had heard them come on! But when it was hot out they ran a lot, and the maximum power from the house system was a little over 1300 watts, where in cooler weather it occasionally passes 1400 - solar panels like it cool.

* On the 23rd, I started charging the Chevy Sprint EV car with the lithium ion batteries now in it from the DC solar power system. Thus the DC power usage jumped up from almost 0 even without much use of lighting. (And the DC readings are from the actual charging via a separate power meter, not the household DC use meter.) The household use 36V DC power presently comes from the Sprint.


March 2019-Feb. 2020: 2196.15 KWH Solar [used   7927 KWH from grid]
March 2020-Feb. 2021: 2069.82 KWH Solar [used 11294 KWH from grid]

(See TE News #156 for the two year writeup... which technicly should have been two months earlier.)

Electricity Storage (Batteries)

Turquoise Battery Project
Goal: Long lasting, low cost, high energy batteries

Sorry, No report on these. (Ack!)

Haida Gwaii, BC Canada