Some test data. Lake Pontchartrain, calm day, breeze on the beam, average of both directions. Estimated range can be calculated from assuming 100ah drawn from the bank, divided by current to get run time, multiplied by speed to get nm. For instance at 1a I should be able to draw for 100 hours, giving 100nm range at the 1 amp setting. At 20 amps I should be able to run for 5 hours at 3.3kt giving a range of 16.5nm.
Two things I really need to do. First, I underestimated the need for a quality high current charger. 15 amps is NOT enough for a 220ah bank. I need at least a 30a charger, preferably one that can deliver an equalizing charge, which is 62 volts for a 48v bank. The charger came with the Kelly controller and the voltages are too low and not adjustable. I probably should build a charger that I can configure to my needs and preferences but it is a daunting project.
Second, the control setup is awkward. I have an on/off switch, a fwd/n/rev switch, a recent pot, and a throttle pot. I don't intend to sail the boat any more so I can eliminate the regen. I want to have only the power on/off switch, and a single
knob for throttle and reverse/neutral/fwd. Pointer straight up for neutral, to the left for reverse power, to the right for forward. Further for faster, less for slower. I will probably use an arduino for processing the signal from a 10k pot using the 5v control voltage from the controller, with the midpoint being converted to 0 throttle, 0v to full reverse, 5v to full forward. The single knob control will be more intuitive and easier/faster to operate.
Since I will have an arduino board in the control box
, maybe it would be cool to also have a 2 line LCD display right on the control box
, showing battery volts and state of charge percentage, amps into the controller, and prop RPM
. What I got now is just an analog shunt ammeter and analog voltmeter jumpered in, laying loose on top of the battery box
. Difficult to read and inconvenient. For now, I will mount them on a piece of acrylic
, along with a digital hall effect tachometer that I haven't installed yet. I will mount that on a box of some sort so the connections aren't exposed. But a 2 line display presenting the data right there on the throttle box will be super.
I tried to get the configuration program for the Kelly controller to run on my laptop
, running Linux
, but no joy. In Wine the app tries to start but says it can't find the controller. I tried all sorts of things and I can't get it to go. That is one of the things that absolutely sucks about the Kelly controller. The tech guys want US to use the operating system that THEY use. They don't understand the American concept
that the customer either gets it his way or gets it elsewhere. They are zero help on this, and other issues. They also label meters only in a percentage of configured current and voltage parameters, not volts and amps, and so the data from the supplied meters is ambiguous and basically useless. They defend this stupidity by claiming they would have to write a separate configuration for each size of controller. In fact they only need to change certain constants in a configuration file for each controller but they think they know it all and I am just some retard who doesn't understand that the vendor makes the rules and the customer shuts the hell up and takes what he is given. And they are mad at me for not ordering my motor through them.
Bottom line, if you use the Kelly controller, don't expect much useful technical assistance from them, make sure you have a windows or Mac computer, and don't waste your money on their kit. Buy controller, fuse, contactor, diodes and resistor, and heat sink, put it together yourself. I am waiting for Sevcon to get their act together and make a line of controllers that can be configured on a proper Linux
or Android computer, without paying $200 for a special programmer doodad. That's pretty ignorant and stupid, as well.
I only get a max of about 60 amps or a bit less of current. I think it is hitting a speed limit in the controller. The original 12" 2 blade
folding prop doesn't seem to be loading the motor enough to develop peak power. I will be replacing it with a fixed 3 blade next year. Possibly it would have been better to not use a reduction gear
with this 4201 motor, which is meant to be ran slower than the similar 0907, but I didn't want to have to diddle around with a thrust bearing when I could just mount right up to a Baldor reduction gearbox
. But the 3 blade prop ought to give me the full 5kw power from this motor and controller.
Another thing I want to re-think is the motor mount system. I will build a bed
framework that does not need adjusting, and the motor faceplate will have separate adjustments for side to side, yaw, fore and aft, pitch, and height. Also I will make it slightly wider to accommodate the 10kw size Motenergy motors. The idea is for the design to be more or less universal for all boats originally equipped with Atomic 4 or Universal Diesel
motors, using the Motenergy electric motors. Mounting the electric motor
properly is probably the most intimidating part of a full DIY electric repower
. This is why a full turnkey system or a professional installation
is worth several thousand dollars more. Well, and the engineering. With an open source mount easily built with no welding out of cheap
angle iron and 1/8" sheet, a DIY setup for 25 to 35 foot boats is a lot more feasible for a lot less technically inclined owners. The only machine shop type equipment
needed would be a cheapo drill press from Harbor Freight, to drill accurate holes in 1/4" steel
for 3/8" bolts. And a saber saw. No other power tools needed.
If there is enough interest, next year after I redo the mount and control box, I might make an Instructible tutorial on a generic setup for a small sailboat with a Motenergy or compatible motor. Maybe an open source kinda thing that can adapt to new technologies and sources as time goes by, with an eye toward keeping it cheap
but also easy for regular folks to do.
To reiterate, I got my parts
Kelly, for controller kit including inadequate charger, useless meters, nice mounting plate, contactor, and fuse with KBL48301X 48v 300a peak, 100a continuous controller. I recommend thinking carefully about going with a Sevcon controller, though. Neither one is perfect. They don't care what we want.
Electricmotorsports for Motenergy 0201014201 BLDC 5kw motor. It was cheap so I got a spare, too. Later, after initially planning on direct drive, I also got a 2:1 Baldor enclosed gearbox
from these guys.
Sams Club, for batteries. 8 GC2 6v golf cart batteries, for 48v and 220ah.
McMaster-Carr, for shaft, couplings, angle iron and sheet steel, and other bits and pieces.
Home Depot, for stainless bolts and hardware
, and wood for my battery box
. Also 2/0 cable for connecting batteries, controller, and motor.
shack, for parts
for control box.
Ebay, for meters, digital tach, digital volt/amp meter, (still in transit)
Alternate cheap source for motor and controller is Golden Motor, but they couldn't beat the price
I paid for Kelly/Motenergy setup.
For kits, look at Thunderstruck or Electricmotorsports. Thunderstruck also has a nice open belt reduction gear