Due to schedules, new babies, holidays, and general lack of money, nothing has happened in a while. However, I scored a MAJOR epic win at work today! The maintenance dept. had a scooter that wasn’t charging properly and was being scrapped. I stripped out all the electronics, but left the batteries behind.
Close up of the motor:
So here’s the full list of what I came away with:
- Motor Controller
- Fixed-ratio single speed transaxle
- Wiring Harness – throttle, battery meter, current limiter, battery terminals
Basically, EVERYTHING that we needed! Now, to find time to get together. I was told that it wasn’t charging the batteries – not sure if that’s the charger, or was the batteries, but I’ll be sure to find out!
Some friends of my wife and I are getting rid of an elliptical/stairmaster combo machine. My wife wants it. She says I can have her current treadmill when we pick up the elliptical! This will give us not only a bigger motor (2 HP to the current 1.25), but I’m pretty sure that it’s got a PWM controller. We’ve been having issues coming up with the $350 for parts for the controller we’ll be building, so we’ve kind of been stuck in the doldrums for a little while. I’ll take pics/vid of the disassembly and testing of components once we get time to tear into it.
So I was out on a PC house call tonight, fixing some systems and returning one that I repaired. I was talking to the guy, who happens to have a landscaping business. I asked him if he knew of anyone who might have bigger size electric motors, or an electric forklift. He said he knew someone with an electric forklift with a bad battery pack! Couldn’t remember who or where he saw it, but the question is out there. I’m hoping to hear back. If not, oh well; but at least I put it out there.
So I had a moment to get a photo of the motor. According to this, it’s capable of 1.0 horsepower when used with an SCR type controller and fed 90 Volts DC. However, if you have a PWM type controller, you can feed it 115 Volts DC and its maximum continuous output is 1.25 horsepower. The general rule of thumb when comparing electric HP to gas HP is a 5:1 ratio (5 gas HP = 1 electric HP). The reason for this is that gas engines are rated by PEAK power, whereas electric motor are rated by CONTINUOUS power. So, the 1.25 HP with PWM comes out to *roughly* 6.25 gas HP. The go-kart originally had a 6.5 HP engine on it – should be perfect!
The label on the motor from my "freecycled" treadmill.
So I had an ad out on our local Freecycle group asking if anyone had a treadmill they wanted to get rid of. Normally, treadmills have DC motors between 1 and 3 HP in size. It’d be real easy to start with one of those just to get a feel for the project. Got a hit back! I have to go pick it up on my way home from work.
FreeCycle is a great project. The one for my rural area is pretty active – both on the giving side, and the receiving side.