What Are The Lessons Learned From Round 1 Of The 2013 eFXC Which You Can Apply In Your EV Conversion?
Whether your EV Conversion is a bike or car, there are several lessons you can learn from Round 1 of the Australian eFXC (Electric Motorcycle racing) which you can apply or take into consideration when You do Your EV Conversion. It should be noted that with racing, various components are stress tested beyond what a typical commuter vehicle would experience. Racing is also a strategy manufactures use to develop and test their products which means You can learn useful techniques and buy race proven components for your EV Conversion.
Lesson 1: Keep Your Electric Motor From Overheating
The Ripperton Racing bike was able to win all races it entered at Wakefield Park. It’s Electric Motors did not overheat. Ripperton uses liquid coolant to cool its motors. This coolant is pumped around the motor and it appears it circulates around a radiator to cool down the coolant, ready for use in cooling the motor again.
Catavolt was running at 55% power to prevent its motors from cooking. This means, once motor cooling is implemented, the power could be almost doubled and that would make for interesting racing. This means a hot Electric Motor does not perform to its full potential.
Varley has a powerful motor and it showed a lot of potential. However, when its Electric Motor got hot, the Motor Controller would cut power to the Motor which preserved the Motor (a good safety feature to have). Varley were working on cooling solutions (such as channeling more air flow to the motor) during their race weekend so expect to see interesting motor cooling ideas from Varley in the next round.
The lesson here is if you want more power and reliability, one thing to ensure is that your Motor is adequately cooled and that heat can escape.
Lesson 2: Use A Motor Controller That Protects Your Electric Motor
During practice and race 1, Varley put in some very fast times. However, the heat in the Motor could not escape. Thankfully, the Tritium Motor Controller cut power to the Electric Motor, which preserved the Motor, thus preventing an expensive repair bill.
The lesson here is to use a Motor Controller that has sensors which protect the Motor. Also, ensure the sensors are being used and not switched off.
Lesson 3: Push Obstacles Out Of Your Way
Ripperton Racing, Catavolt and Varley had to overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles to produce bikes capable of achieving times that is up there with the 600cc bikes. It could have been easy for either of those teams to have given up, but instead they chose to push any obstacles out of their way.
The lesson is that when you are doing your EV Conversion, you will come up against some obstacles whether it is technical or even logistical challenges. The key is not to give up.
Lesson 4: The Importance Of Suspension And Chassis Set Up
Electric Motors can produce a lot of torque. In the garage, I could hear teams talking about suspension and shock set ups. This becomes important when your Electric Drive Train is highly powerful. There is no point in having a very powerful Electric Motor if the power can’t be transferred effectively to the ground.
The lesson here is not to forget vehicle dynamics in your EV Conversion. Doing an EV Conversion is more than just having an Electric Motor. It is building a package that meets your transportation needs.
Motorsport is a fantastic way to develop and test components. From round 1 of the eFXC, we learned that it is important to:
- prevent your Electric Motor from overheating;
- use a motor controller that protects your Electric Motor;
- push obstacles out of your way; and
- ensuring you have good suspension and chassis set up.
These lessons are applicable when you do your EV Conversion so if you ever get a chance to watch Electric Motorsport, observe what the teams do as you can learn new techniques and gain new ideas which you can use. The race teams might even have EV components which you can buy from them.
This is Al Bunzel signing out.