Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Fri 29th Apr, 2011

Constantly learning

After I build my tenth Electric Vehicle, I think I'll just start to have a basic knowledge of how to do so.

After all, just today I learnt about the Tritium Wavesculptor, a high-end controller for brushless three-phase DC motors (which aren't really DC motors, they're actually AC, it's just that the simpler controllers just output on-off square-like waves to energise each phase in turn, but that's another story). And they make a battery management system too - one that is actually formed (by chance) for the specific type of cell I have.

I learnt this not in a search for controllers - apart from already having one, I had discovered the EVnetics Soliton One (I refuse to link to EVnetics' site since it's Flash-only, but here's Rebirth Auto selling one for a mere $2,995 USD). Since that was far more controller than I needed - even the Soliton Jr doesn't really work under 240VDC, which is twice my standard pack voltage - I hadn't really looked around for more. I actually noticed a reference to a "Tritium Wavesculptor" in a post on the AEVA forums about converting (of all things) a VW Type 3.

Tritium are an Australian company that's been around and creating EV controllers for, oh, nearly a decade! How is it that I haven't heard of them?

Clearly, this is a field that needs a really good directory of motors, controllers and batteries. And, just as clearly, the market is fragmented - dozens of forums (with names from the normal to the incomprehensible and unguessable), dozens of suppliers, minimal coherence of specification (e.g. some cells are measured in grams per watt hour, some in litres per amp hour, etc.) and dozens, even, of supplier lists and directories on forums, enthusiast and club sites, and elsewhere. I feel the need to create a motor comparison and controller comparison site, if I didn't think I was already struggling for time just to do the things I want to do that are relevant to me right now.

Sigh.

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