Since the day I drove my Insight out of the dealers lot, I have had the idea of turning it into a full electric car. With my new knowledge of the Prius components I have been working with for the UDHEV hybrid classes, I have come up with a simple way to convert the Prius power split transmission into a full EV power combiner. This simple mechanical hack, will allow both MG1 and MG2 to work together in parallel at a 1:1 ratio. The beauty of this system is that the transmission oil pump, and the ICE input shaft will turn with the two MG's, so the transmission has a third input/output shaft.The built in differential and output gearing with parking pawl, makes this a full EV drive system that is ready to go. The combined HP would bring the system to about 75 HP continuous, with peak possibly over 90. A hack of the Prius Inverter to drive this new configuration and one could turn a totaled Prius into a power plant for an electric Insight, or electric Prius.
For bigger vehicles,the heavy final drive gearing and differential could be removed,possibily droping the weight by nearly 100 lbs. Plug the axle holes, and The ICE input shaft would become the EV drive output shaft. Make an adapter plate for the cars transmission, and you have an EV. Some very nice uses of a salvaged Prius synergy drive. Blog starts at the page bottom.
Power split becomes Power combiner
A push from Karma or another distraction ???
A big pile of power electronics
I was invited to take some cool industrial variable AC drive units that were in a warehouse that was being cleared. It looks like the warehouse was for storing drives that were sent back for repair, as most of the units had tags indication the problem, several of the units look new, but we will not know until we take a deeper look. The damaged or not, these units are a great source for some big fuses, heatsinks copper buss bars,large HV mosfets,large IGBT modules configured as a 3 phase bridge and huge high power diodes.
Made a final trip today, and filled up the Van for the third time. Today's haul included a 50 foot length of orange insulated 1000V 4 conductor shielded 4 GA cable, and another 10 motor drives, as well as a big box of some very big IBGT half bridge modules, rated at 300A @ 1200V, and at least 10 big hall effect current sensors.
Now all I have to do is sort dismantle and store/sell the good stuff. Those 300A 1200V modules would make one huge 3 phase bridge that could drive a prius MG2 to destruction. As a side benefit, this load of stuff has finally overwhelmed my shop, and has initiated a big cleanout and reorganization of my shop so I can finally get full use of the available space, just in time for winter projects.
(Posted 11/2/2010 by mikey)
Time to get going on this project
IMA motor components
I ordered a 3 phase motor controller development board from Microchip, and am preparing for some Fall experimenting with driving both the Prius synergy drive, and the Honda IMA motors. I pulled out the IMA motor parts. Lots of room to improve the mechanical and cooling aspects of the motor now that I am ready to run it without the IMA engine attached.
(Posted 10/4/2010 by mikey)
The green machine
Green Machine, the future EV Insight??
My poor cousin Mary who has owned a green 2000 Insight, since 2000, and loves the car, got tagged by a car that ran a redlight. She got hit right behind the passenger door, went over a curb onto a constriction site, she got airborne when she hit a pile of rocks that pretty much tore up the front underside of the car, and finally came to rest in someones driveway. She was pretty lucky and walked away with some minor scratches and bruises.We will try to buy the car back from the insurance company. The front looks pretty bad,the side frame may be bent, the front suspension is likely broken, and three of the four tires were flat. The tow truck driver said there was fluids all over the place. I turned the key, and it started right up on the IMA with a deep throaty sound that indicated that the exhaust was broken off at the manifold. There were no check engine or IMA lights. If I get this thing, it will likely be the EV Insight with the Prius heart that I have been thinking about.Wait long enough, and karma will bring you what you need.
(Posted 4/5/2008 by mikey)
PCD is fixed and ready to go
Ready to drop into some buggy
I broke out the Tig welder again, and fixed both sides of the broken case. I started by finding a piece of steel rod that was just a bit smaller in diameter than the 8mm X 1.25mm tap drill. I built up aluminum over the steel rod, then removed the rod with vice grips. I drilled out the hole with the correct tap drill, then rethreaded the hole with the 8mm tap. A bit of grinding and that side was fixed. I used a similar procedure for the clearance hole side of the casting. I used some form a gasket, and reassembled the tranny. The gears turn smoothly. The only issue I may run into is the timing of the 3 phase signals. The relationship of MG1 and MG2 magnets was not considered when I reassembled the tranny, and since they are locked together, this means I will need two separate drivers. They both have the same number of poles, so theoretically if they were put in the proper relationship before the planets were welded, a single drive signal could power both motors? Two independant 3 phase drivers allows more flexability.
(Posted 4/30/2007 by mikey)
Power Split Device (PSD) becomes Power Combining Device (PCD)
PSD becomes PCD
Could not wait to try my idea of welding the planet gears to the carrier. It was tough to draw that first arc, as I knew it was a one way street. The gears are quite hard, the carrier is soft steel. I used a stainless steel rod and my Tig to weld it, with the sun gear engaged to keep the helical planets in their proper relationships. I found a nasty defect in the tranny. One of the bolts that holds the two halfs together was gone, and the casting was broken. May as well fix it right, hope the heat does not warp it.
(Posted 4/26/2007 by mikey)
The projects begin to pile up
Autobeyours shipment of Prius axles and drives arrived today. All the plastic connectors were banged up pretty bad, and the axles are hardly useable, but the drives internals look sound, so I will just have to work with it. I had bid on a blue CVT Insight in the insurance auction today, and was out bid by someone in Quebec. I really wanted to get that car, so I could use the rear of Bluebird1 to fix it. Not going to happen. I will look at it as a karmic push towards fitting one of those synergy drives into Bluebird1. The Photo shows my steel work table filled with unfinished projects. 14 liter PET bottle air storage container, Windsurfer sail powered Iceboat,synergy drives,and the Insight on a stand way in the background. Too many projects, not enough time.
(Posted 4/24/2007 by mikey)
Rolling chassis for conversion??
BlueBird1 chassis is available for the conversion. Have not decided if this is the best starting point, since I had to strip out everything for the UDHEV test stand? Will keep an eye out for another Insight?
Is BlueBird1 the best starting place???? I have my doubts