1983 Porsche 911 SC Targa

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Battery Charger

The battery charger takes AC power from the wall, converts it to DC, regulates the voltage and current into the battery pack, and stops charging when the battery is full.

Wheeling the charger over to the car, making the electrical connections to the battery and AC power, setting up a cooling fan, and tearing the whole arrangement down each morning was getting old. Actually it was a small price to pay for the privilege of driving an electric car, but it was time to get the charger installed into the car. I welding some metal tabs to my battery rack, and bolted the charger with rubber mounts. Now, charging the car is as simple as plugging the charge cord into an electrical outlet. 

I ended up getting a deal on an Elcon 1500 watt charger. The charger may be considered a little under powered for the 34.5 kWhr pack. It will take 23 hours for the 1500 watt charger to charge a fully depleted battery pack. But on average I only drive 25 miles and a 6 hour recharge is perfectly acceptable. If I find the long recharge time to be a problem, I can buy a more expensive and powerful charger.

Overall, the charger seems to be well built. The charger runs a bit hotter than I’d like, so I mounted a cooling fan to dissipate heat on the heat sink cooling fins. The charger has a logical output signal that I used to turn the cooling fan on whenever AC power is connected to the charger. This circuit is used to drive the fan.

The only other minor issue I have with the charger is lack of ease in configuration. To change the charge profile, the charger has to be mailed to the Elcon service shop to be reprogrammed for a nominal fee plus shipping charges.

The fan I found at the local surplus electronics store has build in LED illumination.  

No comments:

Post a Comment