Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another range test

This range test was a 22 mile test to simulate a commute in terms of distance and hill climbing. This would be to the half way point, then do a return on one charge. First part of journey was at going to half-way point on relatively flat ground, then downhill from 860ft to 420 ft. Speed as before was kept between 30-35mph. At bottom of hill, I briefly tested battery recovery. Unlike a lead-acid pack, parking for 5 minutes showed no significant battery voltage recovery from the batteries in the main pack. Then back up the long slope at 15-25mph. The remainder leg home was done at 40-45 over the flat and downhill sections of road.

However, as I feared, my charge controller could not charge the accessory battery fast enough to keep up with usage. So, near the last mile of the journey, the 12V battery became weak enough to make the headlight interlock relay de-energize. So, the main pack still had 25% charge left but I couldn't go! No problem. I pushed the BugE to the side of the road. Turned off all navigation lights. Then waited 5 minutes for the charge controller to catch up. Then quickly proceeded home. Still had 20% left.

What this says is either that I'll either need to increase the accessory battery size, reduce loads or use a faster method using the DC-DC converter to re-charge the accessory battery while under-way. Too bad I can't find a reasonably priced DOT approved LED headlight for a motorcycle! Hopefully, lower cost LED headlights will appear soon.

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