New England Solar Homes

four color on negatives

3.5 wide 4.5 high

Economical water supply beyond the power lines

SunRise™

Submersible Pump for Deep Wells:

4 GPM at 150 ft 2 GPM at 350 ft 1 GPM at 600 ft

Non-submersible pumps for surface water sources: Solar Slowpump™

.5 to 4 GPM, 450 ft max. lift Solar Force™ Piston Pump 3.5 to 9 GPM, 230 ft Solar Centrifugal™

10 to 50 GPM

Flowlight® Booster Pump

Pressurizing to 65 PSI

HP author Windy Dankoff installing a SunRise™ Pump

Manufacturing since 1983. Exclusive U.S.A. Importer & International Sales Representative for SunRise™ by Fluxinos.

HP author Windy Dankoff installing a SunRise™ Pump

Non-submersible pumps for surface water sources: Solar Slowpump™

.5 to 4 GPM, 450 ft max. lift Solar Force™ Piston Pump 3.5 to 9 GPM, 230 ft Solar Centrifugal™

10 to 50 GPM

Flowlight® Booster Pump

Pressurizing to 65 PSI

Manufacturing since 1983. Exclusive U.S.A. Importer & International Sales Representative for SunRise™ by Fluxinos.

Dankoff Solar Products, Inc.

1807 Second Street, Unit #55 Santa Fe, NM 87505 • USA (505) 820-6611 • Fax (505) 820-3160 E-mail: [email protected]

Dankoff k Solar Pumpsi

Solomon /stand Kids check heir m Jl/ng label.

Home Power magazines can help make a difference just about anywhere in the world... if they keep coming.

Check your mailing label for the number of the final issue in your subscription.

These children will benefit from the installation of the first 50 panel PV system in this remote island paradise, a project in cooperation between the Solar Electric Light Fund and Solar Energy International.

They can remember to check their label.You can too.

TeasiTak

Mike Brown ©1997 Mike Brown

"I went out to my EV to drive down to the store and when I turned the key and pressed the accelerator pedal nothing happened. I think it's the controller. How do I find out what's wrong?"

The question was in a typical format—no information about the failure other than "nothing happened", and the immediate assignment of blame to the least understood and most expensive component. It took two more phone calls to get the car running, and no, it wasn't the controller.

Let's take a look at the troubleshooting or fault finding system I used to get the EV back on the road. In my gas car mechanic days, there were three elements needed to make the car run: fuel, air, and spark. Without all three in the right ratios the engine wouldn't run. With an EV, it's a little easier. Air is necessary only for the driver to breathe. Spark could be taken to mean 12 Volts from the auxiliary battery to run the car's accessory electrical system and some of the EV control system. Fuel in an EV is the volts and amps from the traction battery pack.

The first step is to observe what happens when you turn the ignition key on. Does the "car on" indicator light (if the car has one) go on? If not, it is time to grab our trusty voltmeter and measure the auxiliary battery's voltage and check the condition of its cables. A bad auxiliary battery ground will stop an EV as completely as a bad controller. The auxiliary battery supplies power to the relays that turn on the traction battery pack voltmeter, as well as, to the main contactor which connects the traction battery pack to the controller.

Given a good auxiliary battery output, does the traction battery pack voltmeter or fuel gauge give you a reading? If not, it's time to look at the traction battery pack.

Hook your voltmeter (set to the proper range if it is not auto-ranging) across the most positive and most negative terminals of the battery pack. No reading? Time to to dig deeper. Since we have the traction batteries in series we must have an open connection in the series. At this time, a quick visual inspection of the battery interconnects and terminals for obviously burnt terminals or open connections is in order. If nothing is obvious, we will have to look a little closer.

Since most EVs have their battery pack in more than one box, we should check one box at a time, starting at box furthest from the controller. This is usually in the rear. We must isolate the box to test it, so we disconnect the cables between the rear box and the front pack. Since we don't know where the open connection is, extreme care must be taken when working with these cables. Remove one cable at a time and cover the lug with a piece of hose or wrap it with electrical tape.

With the rear pack isolated, put the voltmeter across the two terminals you removed the cables from (the most positive and most negative terminals of the rear pack). If you get a reading equal to the total nominal voltage of the pack (for example, 8 batteries x 6 Volts each = 48 Volts) the problem is not in that pack. Repeat this test on the front pack at its most positive and most negative terminals.

If you find one of the packs with an open circuit (no voltage), examine the battery connections. If the pack is equipped with a fusible link between two of the batteries (as it should be), give the fusible link a close examination. The EV the phone call was about had an open circuit in the rear fusible link caused by loads beyond its rating which exceeded its time delay curve. It was open circuit, but not blown visibly like it would have been if the pack were shorted.

If the interconnects and fusible link check out, check the voltage of each battery. A battery with 0 volts would indicate an internal open circuit, which is usually in the strap that connects the battery plates inside the battery to the battery terminal on the outside.

If both packs show their nominal voltage, we should check the cables that connect them to each other. The easiest way to do this is to locate the terminals or components the cables connect to when they reach the front of the car. If a cable attaches to a battery terminal, disconnect it and isolate it from the car's chassis and the front pack. If a cable is connected to a component such as a circuit breaker or main contactor, identify it but leave it connected. Next, carefully reconnect the cables you disconnected at the rear of the car.

Returning to the front of the car, check the voltage at the cable lug and component terminal you located earlier. (When checking voltage at a component, check it at the input side of the component.) You should get the nominal pack voltage of the rear pack.

Finding and correcting any open circuits found in the above tests should get total battery pack nominal voltage to the circuit breaker, main cutoff switch, or main contactor.

Next issue we will talk about checking out the rest of the components in the EV drive system.

If you are trying to check out a failed EV before you get the next issue, call or Email me and I'll talk you through the rest of the test sequence.

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Mike Brown's TechTalk, Electro Automotive, PO Box 1113, Felton, CA 95018 • Phone: 408-429-1989 ^ E-mail: [email protected] |j§i

AIM YOUR PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS AT THE SUN... ALL DAY, EVERY DAY

American SunCo

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