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Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: Apr 30 2013 5:29pm
by voicecoils
Incredible progress in the rush to the ... starting line of your trip! :D

The torque sensing stoked edge runner and Grin motor are looking sweet.
Really great to see so many projects coming to fruition just in time.

Have an awesome ride down!

Cheers, Abraham

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 01 2013 10:21am
by Rassy
Justin, I live on the Southern Oregon coast. If you have need for anything in that area or an overnight stop just let me know. If you get too far behind on your schedule I could pick you up in Newport, Oregon and drop you off in Crescent City, California five hours later, a distance of about 250 miles. I have a small SUV and an 8' X 5' cargo trailer so could squeeze in 3 guys and three bikes.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 02 2013 9:16am
by slacker
Beautiful bike and will be watching the progress of this thread.hope it will be available to the public soon.you are a true artist.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 02 2013 11:20am
by teklektik
Gee - just thinking about this new motor last night and realized that you skipped over a really cool point: with the hollow axle, wires must go out the side so we finally get relief from wires-in-the-axle issues!
Big honking bearing in side cover:
bigBearing.jpg
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EDIT - hmmm - just looked at the stuff hanging on the wall which looks like maybe a spoke flange ring and sidecover. How about a shot of the other side of the motor? :D

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 04 2013 3:58pm
by justin_le
teklektik wrote:Gee - just thinking about this new motor last night and realized that you skipped over a really cool point: with the hollow axle, wires must go out the side so we finally get relief from wires-in-the-axle issues!
Big honking bearing in side cover:
The attachment bigBearing.jpg is no longer available
EDIT - hmmm - just looked at the stuff hanging on the wall which looks like maybe a spoke flange ring and sidecover. How about a shot of the other side of the motor? :D
Hey Teklektik, what you circled in that photo is actually a non-hollow version of the axle that Robbie machined over the weekend for the motor on his own bike. Since he's not running thru axle forks we decided in the interest of expediency to make a solid axle version, but with internal threads for a 3/8" bolt to hold it to the fork. In his motor, we had the side covers black anodized to maximize the thermal radiation from the side plates, and are running it with 150mL of ATF fluid inside in order to normalize the temperature between the stator and the side covers. Here you can see it with the port hole for the oil, and then this hole was in turn covered with a large snap-in gore-vent to allow pressures to equalize without water entry:
Robbies Oil Cooled Motor.jpg
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We finally had everything together and left town yesterday:
Departure.jpg
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No real issues at the border, since you leave the bikes parked outside and then walk in as a pedestrian. The guy at the gate was wondering if we were planning to ride all the way to patagonia though.
Border.jpg
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Currently in Bellingham with Frank who helped build the skateboard project, and will hit Seattle by this evening. We'll spend Sunday in Seattle and then take all of Monday to ride from there to Portland. More details on the bike builds after the weekend, but for now it's time to hit the road again! -Justin

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 04 2013 5:37pm
by tfahrner
Rear tire looks a little low. You must have like 30 pounds of gear back there! Suddenly I wish my Tuesday was looking a lot less full...

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 05 2013 12:52pm
by nicobie
Looks like a lot of fun!

I hope to see you at the makers faire on the 18th.

Nick

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 05 2013 7:20pm
by robbie
tfahrner wrote:Rear tire looks a little low. You must have like 30 pounds of gear back there! Suddenly I wish my Tuesday was looking a lot less full...
We figure with the batteries, motors and cargo included the bikes weigh in around 250lbs.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 09 2013 12:51pm
by ohzee
Looks like you guys are set for some fun.. Looking forward to the final version that's what I want to get on my yuba.

Controllers

Posted: May 09 2013 12:54pm
by justin_le
nicobie wrote:Looks like a lot of fun!
I hope to see you at the makers faire on the 18th.
Nick
Yay, I sure hope so too.

The past few days have been really awesome but before going into that I'll first want to finish the project build details.

One of the more exciting pieces of gear being field tested is a high power modded 6-mosfet sinusoidal field oriented motor controller (FOC) that we've been developing with Accelerated Systems of Waterloo, Ontario. They have a nicely compact stock controller in production called the BAC 500 that we were looking to carry as a sophisticated higher-end ebike controller. FOC controllers have current sensors on the phase leads rather than a shunt on the overall battery current, and as a result they can run 3-phase hub motors super smooth by controlling the individual phase currents for almost no torque ripple. Plus it has proportional regenerative braking, dual sensored and sensorless operating modes etc. There are hundreds of parameters available to tweak through ASI's "bacdoor" software which made it a dream project controller to play with.

Image

However, in our testing they would get hot very fast at the power levels that we tend to deal with. Just a minute or two before hitting controller thermal rollback. Part of that was due to the the sinusoidal drive having more switching losses than a traditional trapezoidal drive, but the mosfets were also high resistance 10mOhm devices, the internal bus capacitors were pretty minimal too and generated heat from the ripple currents. And finally, the tiny enclosures provided little heat capacity to absorb energy and relatively little surface area from which to get rid of it. So for ~250W setups they'd be fine, but not the 500-1000W range we needed to run.

So we had ASI do a board revision with 2.5 mOhm 100V mosfets and modified gate drive circuitry, and promised we would look after the cable harness and enclosure details. For the enclosure design, we wanted to make room for additional bus capacitance, a precision shunt for the Cycle Analyst connector, and most importantly come up with a form factor that would fit nicely to the tubes of a bicycle. We also wanted it to be fairly manufacturable by CNC so that it would be conceivable to do small scale production runs in-house if this really worked out
CNCd Controller Enclosures.jpg
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Here it is with the ASI controller circuitry inside. You can see the extra room on the right which provides room to fit an external bus capacitor and the CA shunt (neither of which were wired up yet in this photo):
Controller Open.jpg
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And the finished lid we also wanted to seal tight around the cable ports so that we could make it all watertight. The white LED hole at the top is also a breathable membrane vent, so that as the controller heats and cools the pressures can equalize without risk of drawing water through the wiring.
Controller Isometric.jpg
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And on the underside, we had a channel machined down the middle so that it self-aligns when zip tied to any tubular object, allowing it to attach easily anywhere on the bike frame:
Underside Channel.jpg
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Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 09 2013 1:15pm
by nicobie
That thing is tiny!

Any idea of the watts your version can handle?

We're overdue for a new modern controller.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 09 2013 2:46pm
by justin_le
nicobie wrote:That thing is tiny!
Any idea of the watts your version can handle?
I've got mine set to 60A phase current limit and 40A battery current limit, so it's able to do 1400-1600 watts off the line OK, but on any substantial hill it will hit thermal rollback towards the top and drop back to more like 1000 watts. It really depends a lot on the extent of air cooling available. We were initially doing all of our testing with these on our bench dynamo with the controller sitting in still air, and kept being disappointed by the results even with all the power tweaks with better fets etc. But once we put a fan nearby for even a modest 10-15 kph steady airflow over the controller the thermal dissipation increased by nearly a factor of 4. There is a tendency for people to want to tuck their controller inside a bag or chassis or somewhere out of site, so a key goal in our enclosure design was to make it look attractive with inline wiring, so you are more inclined to mount it easily on the frame of the bike where it is most likely to get exposure to airflow while moving. Here's where mine is at under the downtube, although mounted right on the front stem would be most ideal:
Controller on Justin's Bike.jpg
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We're overdue for a new modern controller.
No kidding! The almost infinite programmability has been ideal for optimum control of these dual motor drive setups as well. Both my bike and Robbie's bike have dual motors, with the direct drive prototype "grin" hub motors on the front, and a freewheeling motor in the rear. In my case it's a stokemonkey mid-drive for the back wheel, while Robbie has a 20" eZee hub motor on the back end. With two direct drive hub motors, it always makes sense to run both motors at all times for maximum efficiency, since you are carrying the no load loss of turning over each motor whether you use it or not.

But with dual motors where one has the ability to freewheel, then at lower powers you are more efficient running just one hub motor and letting the 2nd one sit still. At some threshold power level though, it becomes more efficient to have both motors contributing to the thrust. For instance, no load current of the geared eZee motor is like 2 amps, while the grin motor is a little over 1A, so if we are only drawing 6-7A from the battery, almost 50% of that is going into overcoming both motors' cogging torque and so the net efficiency could be at best some 50%. With only the front motor engaged at 6-7 A, the efficiency is more like 80%. On the other hand, if the current draw is in the 30 amp territory and all of that is being dumped into the front hub, then it would be at best 65-70% efficient, while shared between both front and rear drives it is back into the 77-80% regime.

So with the programmable ASI controllers we were able to set up the throttle mappings uniquely on each controller such that low throttle signals from the CA only drive the front motor. Then once the throttle signal is such that the front motor is putting out about 500-600 watts, the rear motor automatically kicks in as well to share the load, and at higher throttles still then the front motor stays maxed out while the rear keeps increasing. In Robbie's bike setup, the input throttle signal for the front controller starts at 1.2V and is full phase current at 2.5V, while the rear motor starts at 2.0V and achieves full phase current at 3.5V. The single throttle output signal from the V3 CA spans from 1.15V to 3.5V. In the 1.2V-2.0V range it is only modulating power to the front wheel, between 2.0-2.5V both front and rear motors are being driven with the rear eZee motor taking an increasing proportion of the load, and between 2.5V-3.0V the front hub power is maxed out, while the rear motor keeps increasing. The CA is oblivious to all of this and simply sees that higher throttle outputs results in more power, without being concerned with the distribution between front and rear drives.

Doing this kind of thing automatically with regular ebike controllers would require having two independent throttle control lines from the CA, something it doesn't have the facility for, or a heck of a lot of hacking.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 09 2013 3:31pm
by liveforphysics
This is so freaking awesome Justin!!! I want one of those little guys on my roadbike!!!

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 1:13am
by PaulD
Just found this thread. Justin, a high quality programmable FOC controller is a game-changer, when can I have one????
And if not too late, and if you're passing through Ashland, OR theres a place for you to stay... i could give you guys a Brammo tour if you're interested.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 2:46am
by justin_le
PaulD wrote:Just found this thread. Justin, a high quality programmable FOC controller is a game-changer, when can I have one????'
Hopefully not too long in fact. We're working on doing a pre-production pilot batch of 50 pieces by mid to late June and are getting the stuff in gear for that. That is assuming nothing goes awry with them on this extended break-in field test, but so far all has been rock solid. And we're using them on the skateboard too running RC motors and they've been handling those in sensorless mode like a charm. So these should be handy for those with RC drives who've had a hard time getting suitably rugged controllers to match.
And if not too late, and if you're passing through Ashland, OR theres a place for you to stay... i could give you guys a Brammo tour if you're interested.
Shoot, I didn't realize you were in Ashland. We just left Corvallis earlier today and since we didn't have anything lined up in Eugene we decided to peel off to the coast. At this point we're about a day behind schedule so will likely be booking it down the coastal route from here right into SF, without much time to venture inland again. But Ashland is a place I've wanted to visit for some time, and not just for the UBI school. I could be tempted to start heading east at Bandon...

-Justin

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 6:47am
by adrian_sm
justin_le wrote:
PaulD wrote:Just found this thread. Justin, a high quality programmable FOC controller is a game-changer, when can I have one????'
Hopefully not too long in fact. We're working on doing a pre-production pilot batch of 50 pieces by mid to late June and are getting the stuff in gear for that.
Count me in for a couple. Good luck with the trip !

- Adrian

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 9:54am
by PaulD
justin_le wrote: Shoot, I didn't realize you were in Ashland. We just left Corvallis earlier today and since we didn't have anything lined up in Eugene we decided to peel off to the coast. At this point we're about a day behind schedule so will likely be booking it down the coastal route from here right into SF, without much time to venture inland again. But Ashland is a place I've wanted to visit for some time, and not just for the UBI school. I could be tempted to start heading east at Bandon...
I'ts a big detour, but it would be great to see you and catch up and show you around Ashland. I'd suggest stopping by on your way back,.. and although I'm out of town from the 16th-23rd, I might be back in time to catch you.
Either way, sounds like a great ride. Bandon is amazing. Be sure to check out Face Rock on your way though (just off of beach loop road parallel to 101).

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 10:20am
by Rassy
Trip sounds great. If you do decide to go back in to I-5 you would want to take highway 42 from Coos Bay to Winston. On the other hand, once you get to Port Orford you end up riding next to the ocean again with many beautiful vistas from 101.

World famous hot dogs at the Langlois Market about a dozen miles south of Bandon. Great breakfast and lunch menu at the Paradise Café as you come into Port Orford.

Maybe I'll see you pass through my area (Port Orford) on Sunday.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 2:38pm
by justin_le
Rassy wrote: Maybe I'll see you pass through my area (Port Orford) on Sunday.
Actually, we might be hitting Port Orford later tonight (like 9-10pm?) at the current pace. Send us an email at info@ebikes.ca with details if that could work or a visit and a charging stop! We're just leaving Florence, and next stop/charge point will be Coos Bay, but we want to get another leg of travel in after that. -Justin

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 2:41pm
by justin_le
robbie wrote:
tfahrner wrote:Rear tire looks a little low. You must have like 30 pounds of gear back there! Suddenly I wish my Tuesday was looking a lot less full...
We figure with the batteries, motors and cargo included the bikes weigh in around 250lbs.
Well, a truckers scale between Portland and Corvalis let us confirm that:
450 Pounds.jpg
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It was pretty funny to roll onto a weight stop designed for multiton transport trucks with our ebikes and have it still register with decent accuracy!

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 2:54pm
by Ypedal
Wow.. that's awesome stuff !!!!.... green with envy.. 8)

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 3:13pm
by liveforphysics
You rock so much Justin!!! You know that when the whole forum wants your amazing creations, and the honor of your company that you're living properly my friend.

Enjoy life! I'm stoaked to see you for maker faire! I gotta my bikes ready. lol

Chargers

Posted: May 11 2013 8:43pm
by justin_le
liveforphysics wrote:You rock so much Justin!!! You know that when the whole forum wants your amazing creations,
Well, most of the people we've met up with on the streets, they just want the electric skateboard and could care less about the rest LOL! But I'm sure there will be some forum member appreciation of the other goods.

That brings us to the one of the other new pieces of hardware under field testing here, and one that's of fairly vital importance to ebike touring, the CHARGERS!! After over 2 years of R&D we're finally settled on what should be the final build details of the "Cycle Satiator - Universal Battery Charger". We had a working demo of this at the Taipei bike show last year, but went through a few top to bottom redesigns until it now looks like this:
Satiator C model.jpg
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In a nutshell, that's a 95.5% efficient, water sealed, fan free, 360 watt, power factor corrected, universal input, programmable 18-60V output, all purpose battery charger that can be preloaded with several dozen different voltage and current profiles for whatever chemistry and capacity battery you have to throw at it. The goal was to make something future proof and also rugged and compact enough that it could be left installed onboard a bike frame with all the weather and vibration that these things get exposed to.

The earlier prototypes were a little more angular and had fins for more effective cooling, but in the end the shorter fins had only marginal cooling improvement, and if you make them long enough to do much good via natural convection than they stick out as high as the charger body itself and then it's hardly compact.
Satiator B model.jpg
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This is what the internal power circuitry board looks like. It's densely laid out, and this being an earlier board revision has a number of small hacks on the PCB:
Charger Circuitry.jpg
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The enclosure shells were all CNC machined from billets of aluminum, and each slight design revision required several days of recamming, jigging, and machining before we'd know for sure how it all turned out:
Charger Enclosure CNC Process.jpg
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The tooling cost to get this diecast from aluminum is somewhere north of $20K, so it's super important to get all the fitting details right on the first time we send it out, and there is a lot of interplay between the electrical component placements, connector port / button / screen locations and the enclosure that needs to fit around it.
Charger Enclosure, CNC complete.jpg
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On this trip, we've got the one 'C' model and two of the earlier finned 'B' models in our arsenal, plus a standard High Power brand of fan cooled charger that runs at a mere 3 amps. The Satiator chargers are all set with 6A charge profiles, so our total charge current between the two bikes is 21 amps or just over 1000 watts. We're consuming about 26 Wh/mile each, so it translates into an effective charge rate of 20 mph, or each hour of charge gives us another 20 miles of range.

On our rigs, we've got 4 battery packs in parallel, and we leave them parallel connected for charging and discharging. So when they are charging, plug the charger into the charge port of one battery pack and then expect it to be distributed to all the other packs via the parallel connections of the discharge leads. However, it's not at all obvious in that arrangement if you've accidentally got one of the 4 packs disconnected or turned off while charging, and in that case you could easily start off on the leg of a trip with just 75% of the expected capacity. This is where the display screen readouts on the Satiator come in handy, since it summarizes how many amp-hours it put into the battery pack on the charge cycle we can have certainty about what is in the tank:
To Corvallis, Charge Complete.jpg
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On the trip from Portland to Corvallis, I used 46 amp-hours from the paralleled battery assembly, so was expecting each charger to put in 23 Ah to know all was good, and this kind of confirmation does a lot for piece of mind that you won't be stranded.

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 8:56pm
by liveforphysics
3 new must-buy items for me.
:-)

That's a beautifully packaged dense power component layout, and a wicked little useful display setup. Killer job my friend!

Re: A Freewheeling Stoked Edgerunner Hauling and Touring Mac

Posted: May 11 2013 8:59pm
by MattyCiii
Wow.
Just wow. Now we need a cleanup in isle three.