Archive for the PHEV Category

Boy, the PHEV Prius sure gets a lot of attention now!

Posted in PHEV on March 2, 2008 by wizbandit

Lots of attention and a lot of jealousy from other drivers.



Prius PHEV Finishing Touches

Posted in PHEV on February 15, 2008 by wizbandit


I found a great aluminum mount for the added CAN-View touch control screen. Contact me if you want one or more.  I bolted it to the center plastic kick-plate, it has two screws (the plastic plate) that holds it pretty well to the dash metal framework.  It will bounce just a little with a bump but not much at all using the touch screen.

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The 260VDC battery charger is coming along nicely, I have the battery temperature sensor circuit working and the power control circuit as well.  I just need to breadboard the voltage and current sensors opamp interface.


PriusPlus Conversion at:

PHEV Conversion #90? something almost done…

Posted in PHEV on February 7, 2008 by wizbandit

UPDATE 05/12/08: Yes, so far we made the TOP 100 PHEV list, we are so far Number 98.

I spent last Saturday & Sunday finishing up the PHEV conversion.  It went pretty slow but it sure is great to actually enjoy the finished product.  I still have some minor things to do but the Orlando Hamfest is this coming weekend so they will have to wait until next week.

First I finished installing the HV contactor enclosure and the regen-diode/ 60A @ 500VDC saftey fuse.  I got it from McMaster-Carr, $22 for the fuse and about $15 for the holder. BUSS J60060-1CR for the holder and the fuse is a AMP-TRAP 2000 with “smart spot” AJT60 from Ferraz-Shawmut, a very nice combo.

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The red Anderson connector is to the HV Battery Charger which I’m building right now. Here is a picture of the full PHEV battery pack and control boxes.  The battery I chose was the AGM 18Ah Battery from MK, part of East Penn / Deka company


I whipped up a temporary battery charger to use until I get the MPU controlled system built.  It runs right off the 120VAC line using a voltage doubler with the current limited by the capacitors.  I use a fan speed control to set the float voltage.  It works okay but I want to properly charge the AGM batteries with the Bulk/Absorb/Float method as recommended. Charge current is about 4.5A @ 50% DOD and tappers to 1A @ 90% Charge, not bad for a non-intelligent charger.


The real-deal will look like this:


As soon as I hear back on my “official” conversion number I will update this section.

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Prius Conversion #2 coming Summer 2008.

PHEV Conversion #80? something continues…

Posted in PHEV on January 29, 2008 by wizbandit

The past few days were spent building the rear electronics and battery jumpers.  I decided to use two PVC J-Boxes to house the pair of HV contactors & control board.  The second J-Box will house the regen-diode, 60 amp DC fuse and a cooling fan operated by the control board.

Here is the first box.


The second box is not complete yet, I still have to install the fuse holder and diode on its heat sink.


Now, copper terminal lugs for #8 wire are not cheap.  I went to Home Depot Sunday to get 40 of them and decided a dollar each for copper bolt type was a bit too much.  The crimp version was even more expensive at over $1.50 each.  I opted to make my own.

I used #8 THHN stranded wire and 1/4″ soft copper tubing.  I cut the tubing into 3/4″ pieces and slide them onto the skinned ends of the wire after applying a liberal coat of rosin flux.  I then used vise-grips to flatten the tubing onto the wire.

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I then used a big soldering gun to flow solder into the crimp.


I used a hand drill to drill a small 1/8″ pilot hole in the center of the new terminal. Next I clamped it in a drill vise and drilled it out to 3/16″ to fit the battery terminal bolt.

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The finished jumper after a bit of touch-up on the grinder and wire brush.

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These bolt up nice and cost a lot less.

PHEV Conversion #80ish

Posted in PHEV on January 28, 2008 by wizbandit

This weekend was exciting, I started tearing into our 2008 PRIUS to convert it to a PHEV (Plug In Electric Vehicle)  I decided on using 18Ah SLA batteries from MK.  The MK ES17-12 cost me $37.50 when they came in even though I was quoted $34.50 when I ordered them.  Seems Battery prices are climbing daily.

The first step, using instructions from the open source project at was to add the traction  battery tap.  This required a bit of dis-assembly including removing one rear seat.  This was done a few months ago in anticipation of the addition of the PHEV battery pack.

First, the battery tray bottom is constructed using 1 1/2″ x 1/8″ Aluminum angle with 3/8″ aluminum channel stock as battery separators.  I started out to get the angle at Home Depot but oh my gaud, $40 for a 8 foot piece!  I went next door to the local aluminum supply house and bought what I needed cut to length for $2.42 a foot.

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The ends are 3/4″ x 1/8″ aluminum angle.  This was chosen because these will be used to bolt the tray to the floor of the car.

I had to chisle some sound-junk off the floor to allow the frame to sit down on the floor.


The frame was bolted to the floor using threaded 1/4-20″ pop-rivet inserts, four on each side.  I may install washers and nuts on the underside to insure they don’t pull out in a crash.


I cut 1/4″ off one bracket to allow the frame to sit as far to the right as possible.


After bolting the tray down the next step is hooking up the 20 batteries.  They are wired in series for a total nominal 260 Volts DC.  I still have some jumpers to make up, I ran out of steam and it was getting a bit chilly in the steel barn last night.

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The next step is to construct the HV control box and connect it to the computer mounted up on the dash.  I also need to construct the battery top that will bolt the batteries down and hold them in place.

Our next step in reducing our dependence on OIL

Posted in PHEV on November 11, 2007 by wizbandit

We got out first HYBRID this weekend.  We decided on the Toyota Prius for two reasons, cost and PHEV conversion capabilities.  PHEV stands for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The conversion adds more batteries and fools the car into using more electricity than gasoline for propulsion.  The PHEV batteries are charged from the grid or solar if you have it.  Regenerative power can also charge the PHEV battery pack but not as much as is desired right now. Hopefully as the conversion groups become more knowledgeable the conversions will improve.

Here is the link for more information.  I’m in the “gathering information” phase now with the “ordering parts” phase to follow soon.  My solar upgrade project is taking front stage this fall but as soon as it’s complete I’m on the PHEV project.  Sure it’s an ugly car but like a good woman she sure can cook…

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