Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

A hat tip to SiGB and a thank you to him as well

“The LEAST you should know” series from SiGB.

If you are shy on learning how the smoke makes things work, and how to keep the smoke in things were it belongs, you really really need to read these posts.  Especially if you are building DIY alternate power systems.  Trust me, a battery storage system is capable of generating colossal amounts of amperage in a split second and that can get you killed and make every one else’s day suck ass.

A note to SiGB about production electric car motors:  They are both generator and motor, and in one specific case (that I know for certain, could be more) the starter for the engine.  Short story: a lady driving a prius came into a shop I worked at in 2006.  Said she was having a hard time getting her car to start on occasion.  She demanded a new starter and battery.  The written estimate was for $16000.00 (I forget the actual figure, but that’s close enough)  the battery was 5 grand (48v and took up about 4 cubic feet of trunk space) and the ‘starter’ listed at 9 grand with the remaining cost being labor.

Her actual problem was not either as you can well guess, but lack of understanding about how her car functioned.  Short runs never engaged the engine unless the battery was getting low. She just could not get it into her head that the engine was the power plant to recharge the battery, or to provide power to the motor at higher speeds, but NOT to push her car down the road itself.  I saw the exploded view and it essentially two AC motors sharing a common housing.  The one nearer the engine is the ‘starter’/generator, with use controlled by the BCM (body control module).  The motor is coupled to a variable drive ‘automatic ‘transmission so you never feel a shift sequence (and I am positive that messed with a few older drivers as well)  It’s rather elegant in design, and very impressive, at least IMO.

 As it was so ‘cutting edge ‘ at the time, I was not surprised that we never ordered those parts. 🙂 

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