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Voltage Leak (somebody get a mop)

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  • Tracy, Matt
    I am looking for suggestions. My 144 Volt, 1992 Solectria Force has a voltage leak. I am measuring 144 Volts between the battery pack and the car frame.
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 12, 2002
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      I am looking for suggestions. My 144 Volt, 1992 Solectria Force has a
      voltage leak. I am measuring 144 Volts between the battery pack and the car
      frame. With some suggestions from Solectria, I have pinned it down to
      something to do with the air conditioner motor. When the motor is
      disconnected, or insulated from the car frame, the voltage between the car
      and the battery pack reads between .7 - .9 volts. When connected and
      touching the frame, the full battery pack voltage registers - around 158
      volts when fully charged.

      I took the DC motor to a shop for testing. They said it is fine - no short
      circuit, no carbon build up, and the brushes are okay. I took the motor
      casing off, and it looks clean, but trouble-shooting electric motors is
      beyond my skill set.

      One of the techs at Solectria suggested building a resistor tuned to the 144
      v system, connect it in line with the motor somehow, and test to see if the
      unwanted voltage is a problem, or just an annoyance. I am game to try, but
      would prefer to know what changed to cause the problem, and what I can do to
      fix it.

      There were two items I changed that may have caused it, or it may be
      something unrelated that just broke (or whatever). First, I changed out the
      batteries from 22NF's with 9 in back and 3 in front, to group 24's with 8 in
      back and 4 in front. I do not think this is part of the problem, but it is
      something I did. Second, I moved the fuses out of the front battery box and
      put them in an electrical box I mounted (suspended on brackets) above the
      main motor controller. Lots more opportunity for a chafed wire, but again,
      testing points to the air conditioner motor.

      I can send the air conditioner motor and controller to Solectria for
      testing, but fear that the issue may be external to those two pieces, and I
      am not willing to send the whole car from Kansas City, MO to Woburn, MA for
      repair. What kind of tradesman would know about how to diagnose / fix this?
      The electric motor shop was only willing to test the motor. I also had my
      brother-in-law, a HVAC technician, take a look, but he was not able to pin
      it down to something other than it must be either the motor or the
      controller.

      I appreciate any assistance / advice available. Thanks.

      Matt Tracy
    • Tom Hudson
      Matt, have you tried talking to Jeff Simpson? He s no longer the Solectria rep out there but he may be willing to help troubleshoot the car. Have you tried
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 12, 2002
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        Matt, have you tried talking to Jeff Simpson? He's no longer the Solectria
        rep out there but he may be willing to help troubleshoot the car.

        Have you tried taking a reading of resistance between the motor leads and
        its frame? I would think it should be infinite (no connection). I can try
        it with the A/C motor on our truck and see what it shows. When you say
        you're reading 144V, is that between the frame and the negative post of
        battery 1 or between the frame and the positive post of battery 12?

        What led you to find the voltage leak? I'm curious how you found it, or
        what tipped you off to it being there.

        To me, the worst-case scenario would be to get some insulated bushings and
        mount the A/C motor using them, preventing the circuit from connecting.

        -Tom

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Tracy, Matt [mailto:matt.tracy@...]
        > Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 2:37 PM
        > To: 'force_ev@yahoogroups.com'
        > Subject: [force_ev] Voltage Leak (somebody get a mop)
        >
        >
        > I am looking for suggestions. My 144 Volt, 1992 Solectria Force has a
        > voltage leak. I am measuring 144 Volts between the battery pack
        > and the car
        > frame. With some suggestions from Solectria, I have pinned it down to
        > something to do with the air conditioner motor. When the motor is
        > disconnected, or insulated from the car frame, the voltage between the car
        > and the battery pack reads between .7 - .9 volts. When connected and
        > touching the frame, the full battery pack voltage registers - around 158
        > volts when fully charged.
        >
        > I took the DC motor to a shop for testing. They said it is fine
        > - no short
        > circuit, no carbon build up, and the brushes are okay. I took the motor
        > casing off, and it looks clean, but trouble-shooting electric motors is
        > beyond my skill set.
        >
        > One of the techs at Solectria suggested building a resistor tuned
        > to the 144
        > v system, connect it in line with the motor somehow, and test to
        > see if the
        > unwanted voltage is a problem, or just an annoyance. I am game
        > to try, but
        > would prefer to know what changed to cause the problem, and what
        > I can do to
        > fix it.
        >
        > There were two items I changed that may have caused it, or it may be
        > something unrelated that just broke (or whatever). First, I
        > changed out the
        > batteries from 22NF's with 9 in back and 3 in front, to group
        > 24's with 8 in
        > back and 4 in front. I do not think this is part of the problem,
        > but it is
        > something I did. Second, I moved the fuses out of the front
        > battery box and
        > put them in an electrical box I mounted (suspended on brackets) above the
        > main motor controller. Lots more opportunity for a chafed wire,
        > but again,
        > testing points to the air conditioner motor.
        >
        > I can send the air conditioner motor and controller to Solectria for
        > testing, but fear that the issue may be external to those two
        > pieces, and I
        > am not willing to send the whole car from Kansas City, MO to
        > Woburn, MA for
        > repair. What kind of tradesman would know about how to diagnose
        > / fix this?
        > The electric motor shop was only willing to test the motor. I also had my
        > brother-in-law, a HVAC technician, take a look, but he was not able to pin
        > it down to something other than it must be either the motor or the
        > controller.
        >
        > I appreciate any assistance / advice available. Thanks.
        >
        > Matt Tracy
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
      • mtracyev
        I found the problem when I was doing some individual battery voltage measurements in the back battery box. I leaned in to get one of the far batteries, and
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 12, 2002
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          I found the problem when I was doing some individual battery voltage
          measurements in the back battery box. I leaned in to get one of the
          far batteries, and when my arm touched the box and one of the battery
          terminals I got a slight tingle. I knew that shouldn't happen, so I
          did a quick voltage check between the batteries and the frame, and
          confirmed there was voltage. I think the voltage is between the
          positive terminal to the batteries and the frame, but I do not
          remember for certain.

          I may get together with Jeff, I think he is on the MAEAA discussion
          list, and I sent my message out on it, too.

          --- In force_ev@y..., "Tom Hudson" <tomhudson@e...> wrote:
          > Matt, have you tried talking to Jeff Simpson? He's no longer the
          Solectria
          > rep out there but he may be willing to help troubleshoot the car.
          >
          > Have you tried taking a reading of resistance between the motor
          leads and
          > its frame? I would think it should be infinite (no connection). I
          can try
          > it with the A/C motor on our truck and see what it shows. When you
          say
          > you're reading 144V, is that between the frame and the negative
          post of
          > battery 1 or between the frame and the positive post of battery 12?
          >
          > What led you to find the voltage leak? I'm curious how you found
          it, or
          > what tipped you off to it being there.
          >
          > To me, the worst-case scenario would be to get some insulated
          bushings and
          > mount the A/C motor using them, preventing the circuit from
          connecting.
          >
          > -Tom
          >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: Tracy, Matt [mailto:matt.tracy@a...]
          > > Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 2:37 PM
          > > To: 'force_ev@y...'
          > > Subject: [force_ev] Voltage Leak (somebody get a mop)
          > >
          > > I am looking for suggestions. My 144 Volt, 1992 Solectria Force
          has a
          > > voltage leak. I am measuring 144 Volts between the battery pack
          > > and the car
          > > frame. With some suggestions from Solectria, I have pinned it
          down to
          > > something to do with the air conditioner motor. When the motor is
          > > disconnected, or insulated from the car frame, the voltage
          between the car
          > > and the battery pack reads between .7 - .9 volts. When connected
          and
          > > touching the frame, the full battery pack voltage registers -
          around 158
          > > volts when fully charged.
          > >
          > > I took the DC motor to a shop for testing. They said it is fine
          > > - no short
          > > circuit, no carbon build up, and the brushes are okay. I took
          the motor
          > > casing off, and it looks clean, but trouble-shooting electric
          motors is
          > > beyond my skill set.
          > >
          > > One of the techs at Solectria suggested building a resistor tuned
          > > to the 144
          > > v system, connect it in line with the motor somehow, and test to
          > > see if the
          > > unwanted voltage is a problem, or just an annoyance. I am game
          > > to try, but
          > > would prefer to know what changed to cause the problem, and what
          > > I can do to
          > > fix it.
          > >
          > > There were two items I changed that may have caused it, or it may
          be
          > > something unrelated that just broke (or whatever). First, I
          > > changed out the
          > > batteries from 22NF's with 9 in back and 3 in front, to group
          > > 24's with 8 in
          > > back and 4 in front. I do not think this is part of the problem,
          > > but it is
          > > something I did. Second, I moved the fuses out of the front
          > > battery box and
          > > put them in an electrical box I mounted (suspended on brackets)
          above the
          > > main motor controller. Lots more opportunity for a chafed wire,
          > > but again,
          > > testing points to the air conditioner motor.
          > >
          > > I can send the air conditioner motor and controller to Solectria
          for
          > > testing, but fear that the issue may be external to those two
          > > pieces, and I
          > > am not willing to send the whole car from Kansas City, MO to
          > > Woburn, MA for
          > > repair. What kind of tradesman would know about how to diagnose
          > > / fix this?
          > > The electric motor shop was only willing to test the motor. I
          also had my
          > > brother-in-law, a HVAC technician, take a look, but he was not
          able to pin
          > > it down to something other than it must be either the motor or the
          > > controller.
          > >
          > > I appreciate any assistance / advice available. Thanks.
          > >
          > > Matt Tracy
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