OK, the page settings on your view of the 'Sphere mean you won't find the major events unless I link them. So I'll try to do this over the next few days. Meantime, skip ahead rapidly as I do go on and on a bit About post number 200 or so is a good start.
With the Australian TTX-GP still to run it's full course I have begun researching my next bike. I've learned a lot from building Voltron, and I think I have gained enough knowledge to embark on another year-long project.
The next bike will use a CBR1000RR chassis. I'm checking out a few bikes online and at repo auctions, but my heart is set on a late model, preferably 2008 onwards. Unfortunately most litre sportsbikes have engines that outlive their frames, as the frame is jammed under an SUV somewhere
So with the rolling chassis in mind, it's time to think about the electric bits.
Motors. Everyone goes on about batteries as if they are the biggest limitation to electric vehicles, but I firmly believe that there are more options for performance with batteries than you do with motors. Motors take up a big chink of the bike, and weight a fair bit too. More development needs to happen here! Anyway, what are my options?
MARS or ETEK? Gutless.
Agni? Ok, but you need to pair them up, and if you don't melt them you have 60 kW peak. Not enough.
EMRAX? Looking better, but you still have to pair them up and run two controllers. The outrunner thing bugs me too.
Brusa? Crazy motors - bit porky for their output though.
UQM? A solid motor with insane power, but it's a chunky sod. And did I mention the price? $22,000 including the pizza-box sized controller?
So quality and power is proportional to cost... Nothing new there. At this stage, I am leaning towards the UQM Powerphase 125, or if I can shoe-horn it into a 'Blade, the 145. I have written to them to see if they will sponsor Team Voltron. Always worth a shot. I am open to other suggestions of alternative motors though. Most will need water cooling, which isn't a problem with todays technology.
High voltage AC controllers are huge, and I'm not sure where to fit them. I've drawn a bit of a mock-up to estimate where things could go:
It will seriously affect the bike's lean angle down there, but it might work. Otherwise under the tank? Or as Chip Yates did, pizza-box behind the seat can work with some clever fibreglassing. It still weighs 13-16 kg, so that's a LOT of weight to have over the rear wheel = failbike. Hahaha! I just realised my race number is the same as Chips!
What a coincidence
I want the total capacity to be about 7.5 kWh. As I can get access to A123 pouches this could be a safe, convenient option for energy storage. 113 cells will give me a capacity of 7.6 kWh and a hot charge voltage of 412 V, but is sure to stabilise around 380 V. This voltage is ideal for running most high-powered AC motors, and the controllers can use IBGTs. Unfortunately, 113 cells needs a careful arrangement of cells to make sure it all fits, and makes use of the space available. Fireblades, like most Jap IL4s are right fattys, so width is your friend. Still trying to arrange these large format pouches in an efficient, yet convenient way. Cell weight would be about 55 kg.
I was hoping to use acetal plastic to make it like Daniel's bike; super convenient to rip out when you need to. An idea for a tall stack is below, however, this is too tall, and I would probably do something like the image above to get the weight lower where possible:
Another alternative is using the 5 Ah 40C Turnigys and making a stack 84 cells high and 5 cells wide (105 S 4 P, 388 V, 430 V hot). Being much narrower, this leaves more room for motors and controllers etc. Balancing them will be a matter of multi-pin plugs in the right spots, with appropriate BMS/monitoring wires everywhere. This pack would also weigh 55 kg. despite their safety issues, this would give me a very energy dense pack, and slightly higher total capacity ~7.7 kWh.
The wet kerb weight of the Blade is just under 200 kg. So this bike needs to be the same or less. 55 kg worth of cells, 42 kg worth of motor, 16 kg controller, 80 kg rolling chassis, and maybe 15 kg for miscellaneous stuff is 192 kg. Sounds easy when you say it fast
How do I explain my proposition to Katherine... well anyway, if I have to pay full price for a motor, it's going to be one expensive mothertrucker of a bike. Rolling chassis might be 3 to 5 thousand, even better if I can sell the IC bits. Cells will cost somewhere between 5 and 6 thousand, motor and controller will be somewhere between 10-22 thousand. I really want them to sponsor me!!
Anyway, watch this space. It will eventually populate with my expenses... But it will be one mean mothertrucking bike