Reader's Mailbag: Motor questions
Questions from Glenn about my Piaggio Boxer-EV:
1.After your initial problems with controller choice, have the motor and controller worked out OK for you? I'd be worried about motor cooling of something designed for air-over, prop slipstream.
Well, I've burnt out two controllers. I'm now force-cooling them with a high-speed fan designed for a blade server, so I'm hoping the present controller will last. Right now, though, my bike is in the garage for an undiagnosed power problem. I'm thinking one of the motor power leads has broken, although I haven't had time for a full diagnosis.
The motor itself doesn't get that hot (although if I have melted a power lead, I'll have to go back on that statement). I've measured it with an IR thermometer after running it and it doesn't get too much beyond 75°C. I currently have it force-cooled with a fan. I'd ideally like to have it cooled by the air from the slip stream, but there's too much risk of gunk / water getting kicked up by the wheel and pushed into the motor if I use a ram-jet type cooling vent.
2.Are you really using all 7kW(9+HP!) of the motors capacity? It seems like a lot for a bike your size.
No, my peak seems to be 90-100 amps at 36-48 volts or around 5 electric HP. Which isn't a whole lot, many contemporary 50cc scooters will put out that much.
3.Do you know of any motors sized between your reasonably priced 7kW and the disgusting $2K 12kW units? Thanks, Glenn
The Etek motor and its clones seems to be the power unit of choice for many scooter /motorbike conversions. Brand new, it's around $1000 - $2000 but you can find the clones on ebay for around $400-600. It comes in both brushless and brushed versions.
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