Meet our newest sponsor: Victron Energy, supplier of EV components and a whole lot more. Whether your EV runs on land, water, or anywhere else you can imagine, Victron Energy’s products include sinewave inverters, sinewave inverters/chargers, battery chargers, DC/DC converters, transfer switches, battery monitors and more. Victron Energy has a strong, unrivalled reputation for technical innovation, reliability, and build quality. At first glance you may think of them as suppliers only for large industrial applications and not for the BEV market, but as we found out, that’s not the case.
As some of you may know, Seven’s original battery energy monitoring system was having a few problems with the noise from our AC drive system, for which AC drive systems are notorious. Although our original monitoring system came highly recommended and was purpose built for EVs, and our drive system in particular, it just couldn’t handle the noise our system was generating.
For the technically inclined the noise was at a frequency of 1500 hertz and less than 1 volt (that is, once our resident electrical genius, Nate, figured out that for the snubbers that are built into our inverter to work properly the powder coating had to be sanded off the bottom of the inverter casing to allow for a really good ground plan. Thanks, Nate. Before Nate figured that out the noise at 1500 hertz was up to a whopping 500 volts…ouch!).
Anyway, on with the story. Along comes Chris from Victron Energy. He’s been keeping tabs on the X PRIZE and Seven’s progress. He heard about our energy monitoring system issues and offered up a solution: Victron Energy’s Battery Monitor 600HS. It’s a really slick system, and install is a breeze (even I can do it): you simply hook up a shunt (included with system) at the negative battery terminal, run a positive voltage reference wire from the positive end of the pack to the connector for it on the shunt and then plug a phone cable (also included) into the connector on the shunt and into the back of the in dash display (yep, that’s part of the system too). That’s it. I couldn’t believe it, after all the issues with our previous system the 600HS plugged right in and worked!
It’s exactly what we were looking for in an energy monitoring system, not to mention it meets all the stringent requirements of the X PRIZE rules as well, and it retails at half the cost of our previous system.
So, long story short, don’t spend weeks fighting an energy monitoring system like we did, just go get one that works, and Victron’s 600 HS is the one that’s still working for us (and anyone that knows us…well me anyway…knows that we test systems not to see if they simply work but to see if we can break them, and so far I haven’t found a big enough proverbial ‘hammer’ to break this one with).
Here’s a link so you can check out the system and everything it does: http://www.victronenergy.com/battery-monitors/bmv-600s and bmv-602s/
Oh, and this may be of special interest to a couple teams out there, Victron also has a DC/DC converter that is extremely low noise and is reportedly as AC noise tolerant as their other systems. We may be getting one to play with in the near future, so keep an eye out and well let you know what we learn, because as always, the Illuminati are happy to share their secrets.
So give Chris a holler and tell him the Illuminati sent you.