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EML4930: Senior Design II

Electric Motorcycle
Midterm Progress Report

November 15th, 2010

Mike Franck

Michael Grgas

Ryan Thor
Table of Contents

Project Goals ....................................................................................... 3


General Overview ................................................................................ 3
Spring Semester Review ..................................................................... 3
Fall Semester to Date .......................................................................... 7
Vehicle Drive and Monitoring System .................................................. 8
Chassis Modification ............................................................................ 8
Existing Solutions VS Senior Design.................................................... 8
Vehicle Drive and Monitoring System .................................................. 9
Testing and Preliminary Results .......................................................... 12
Budget ................................................................................................. 13
Website ............................................................................................... 14
Conclusion ........................................................................................... 15
Works Cited ......................................................................................... 16

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Introduction and Project Goals

The main objective of this project is to convert an internal combustion engine driven motorcycle
into an electrically driven one. Three primary goals were set for the project, they are: produce a
vehicle that can be driven a minimum 5 miles, reach a top speed of at least 25 miles per hour
and recharge in less than eight hours. Upon successful completion of the primary goals,
secondary objectives include the installation of adequate lighting, weatherproofing of the
components, design and incorporation of fairings, followed by sand blasting and powder
coating. These secondary goals will ensure this team will deliver a final product that can be
operated safely in city traffic, as well as provide improved overall aesthetics.

General Overview

Continuing the hard work put forward in the first semester, the team is under budget and on
track for completion of the electric motorcycle that has come to be named “Electric Café”. The
name comes from the vintage café cruiser look that the team is modeling the bikes aesthetics
after. The theoretical designs from the first semester have been incorporated into the fabrication
and assembly of components onto an upgraded motorcycle frame that has been donated to the
team. A brief summary of the first semesters work followed by a midterm progress report of the
current semester will be presented in this document.

Spring Semester Review

During the spring semester, the team focused on researching the different components that
would be required to safely and successfully design a product that could achieve the customer’s
needs. Several design concepts were generated; each was analyzed to aid in selecting the best
concept (with respect to overall budget and allotted time). Theoretical analysis was performed;
including: 2-D and 3-D modeling of the system, gear train force calculations, and theoretical
power and torque analysis. Below are examples of some the calculations from the previous
semester.

The equation for tractive power (equation 3) takes into account the vehicle mass factor δ, which
is estimated at 1.0425 [1]. Mass of the motorcycle alone is approximately 105 kg, and rider
weight is ~80 kg. Combined, these make up the total motorcycle weight (denoted either as
weight or Mv). An acceptable acceleration time (ta) of 4 seconds was chosen to reach 25 mph.
Final velocity (Vf) is (25 mph or 11.17 m/s), while initial velocity (Vb) is 0 mph. For motorcycles
with properly inflated road tires, the coefficient of rolling resistance (fr) between the road surface
and tires is ~0.0055. The team will be keeping the vehicle’s inflated to their maximum allowable
limit in order to minimize this value. Air density (ra) is 1.2 kg/m3 for standard atmospheric
conditions. The drag coefficient (Cd) for the motorcycle was estimated at 0.95. Frontal area of
the motorcycle (Af) was measured. A 6’1” tall rider, seated upright on the motorcycle displaces a
frontal area of 0.46 m2.

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These calculations were used to determine the amount of torque and power needed to propel
the vehicle. Along with the above results, a suitable motor was sized to drive our system, and
theoretical range analysis was also included. The following will reflect the factors and variable
used in these equations.

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Mechanical power ( Ptotal ) required for motor at cruising speed:

ρ a = 1.2 kg Density of air


m3

f r = 0.0055 Coefficient of rolling resistance

C d = 0.95 Coefficient of drag

M = 172 .37 kg Mass

Vc = 6.71 m Cruising Velocity


s

A f = 0.46m 2 Frontal Area

Pdrag = .5 ρ a C d A f Vc3 = 79.2 W Watts required to overcome drag

Prolling = Vc Fr Mg = 62.4 W Watts required to overcome rolling resistance

Ptotal = Pdrag + Prolling = 141.6 W Total mechanical power required

Total electrical power ( Pb ) from batteries at cruising speed:

η m = 0 .8 Motor efficiency

Ptotal = Pdrag + Prolling = 141.6 W Total mechanical power required

Pb = η m Ptotal = 177 W Total electric power required

Range Analysis:

V = 24V Cruising voltage

Pb = 177W Total electric power required

I = Pb / V = 7.38 A Cruising Amps

t = 35 Ahr / I = 4.75hr Runtime per charge

R = tVc = 71.2miles Miles per charge

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The above Range Analysis depicts highly optimistic values for both running time and vehicle
range. These values were generated using theoretical driving conditions such as zero
aerodynamic drag, zero rolling resistance, and 100% vehicle efficiency (battery, motor, speed
controller). These are only values obtained in a vacuum and are not to be regarded as
benchmarks.

Fall Semester to Date

The second semester of the team’s capstone project consists of the physical build of what was
designed in the first semester. The electric motorcycle project expanded on the first semester in
a variety of ways - most importantly, the team acquired a larger chassis to build around. The
small, Yamaha dirt bike frame was discarded, and a full-size chassis from a Kawasaki sport bike
was donated to the team.

Figure 1: Yamaha Dirt Bike

Figure 2: Kawasaki Ninja Sport Bike

The Kawasaki was stripped down and prepped for the electric drive components that would
eventually make their way onto the frame. The original handlebars were damaged beyond repair
and were replaced with a new steering assembly. The below image depicts the changes made;
the new handlebars eliminated 57 sq. inches of frontal area from the vehicle.

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Figure 3: Aerodynamic Improvements

Chassis Modification

Though the selection of drive components remained unchanged from the first semester, the new
chassis required a redesign of the assemblies that the components would be mounted in. The
motor mount plate was modified to attach to the remaining mounting points from the internal
combustion engine. A sub-frame was welded onto the chassis in order to easily mount the
battery trays and battery charger. The sub-frame consists of 1” chromoly tubing. Two tubes
extend down the front of the battery trays, where they make a 90° turn and extend back to the
motor mount. Two additional vertical tubes were mounted between the trays and motor mount
assembly for added rigidity. They also add a second mounting point for the trays.

After the motor and battery assemblies were securely mounted to the chassis, the battery
charger and motor controller mounts were machined. The charger sits directly behind the
battery assemblies. This location was chosen as it will allow easy access to the power chord.
The motor controller was mounted below the rider’s seat. The contactor was mounted further
below the controller. Lastly, all necessary wires and connections were run around each of the
components.

The rear of the vehicle has been covered in sheet metal so as to protect the components from
adverse weather, as well as theft (pictured on title page).

Existing Solutions VS Senior Design

The following table depicts the performance figures of three of the leading electric motorcycles
currently on the market versus the team’s Senior Design. Each of the first three vehicles shown
below is sold for approximately $10,000. The Senior Design team has accomplished similar
performance at 80% less cost. Vehicle range has not yet been determined, though it is expected
to be less than the competition.

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Brand Claimed Battery Battery Range Top Charge Time
HP (hp) Capacity Type (miles) Speed (hours)
(Kwh, V) (mph)
Quantya 16 1.9, 52 Li-ion 25 40 3
EVO1 Poly
Brammo 17 3.1, 76.8 LiFePO4 42 60 4
Enertia
Electric 19 3.3, 81 LiFePO4 60 70 4/1.5
Motorsport Stock/
GPR-S Performance

Senior 15 2.1, 48 SLA * 50 3


Design
Team

Vehicle Drive and Monitoring System

Using the theoretical calculations from the first semester, components for the vehicle’s drive and
monitoring system were selected. Although the chosen drive system surpasses the primary
design goals, it allowed the team to build a higher performance vehicle while remaining under
budget. Four sealed lead acid batteries in series power a brushed permanent magnet DC
electric motor. The interaction between batteries and motor is regulated by a motor controller so
as to optimize performance and efficiency. Battery recharge is achieved using a compatible
onboard battery charger selected to meet the team’s maximum recharge time restraint.

DC Motor

The Etek-R, brushed, permanent-magnet DC electric motor was selected. This motor puts out 8
horsepower continuously and 15 peak horsepower. It has a maximum loaded speed of 3200
rpm and can handle 150 amps at 48 volts continuously with a maximum of 330 amps for 2
minutes. This motor weighs only 28 lbs., it’s appealing power rating, lightweight and low cost
made it a suitable choice. It has the highest power to weight ratio of any brushed permanent
magnet motor on the market.

The below graph depicts vital characteristics of the motor. Beginning at the left hand side of the
chart, max efficiency of the motor is 88%. It is worth noting that most Internal Combustion
engines have a maximum thermal efficiency of approximately 35%. The motor is rated for a
maximum power source of 6 kW at 48V. The motor will operate with up to 150 Amps during
continuous use, but can handle more for short periods of time. Lastly, the maximum loaded
speed of the motor is 3200 RPM.

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Figure 4: Motor Power Curve

Motor Controller

For our controller we selected the Alltrax AXE series


motor controller. It is designed for a ba
battery voltage of
48 volts with current output limits of 650 amps for two
minutes, 400 amps for five minutes, and 250 amps
for one hour.

Due to the high temperatures generated within the


controller during use, the manufacture
anufacture recommends
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using a 144 in aluminum plate heat sink. It was
decided that a heat sink of this size would be di
difficult
to mount comfortably inside the motorcycle frame.
An aluminum, thin-finned
finned heat sink was th therefore selected in order to reduce the overall
footprint. The footprint was reduced from 144 in2 to 43 in2 while the overall area exposed to
flowing air was increased to 362.4 in2, therefore increasing the overall efficiency of heat transfer.
A complete efficiency analysis and comparison using finite element modeling will be included in
the final report.

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Area of both sides of a single fin length (Af):

Af = (8in. x 1in.) * 2 = 16in2

Area of exposed surface between fins (Ab):

Ab = 0.15in. x 8in. = 1.2in2

[Af x 21 (number of fins)] + [Ab x 22 (number of spaces)] = 362.4in2

The controller can be programmed via the Controller Pro software provided by the
manufacturer. Adjustments can easily be made to its default settings in order to maximize
efficiency based on driving conditions and other factors. The programmable settings include:

• Throttle acceleration / deceleration rate


o Rates can be adjusted to provide varying degrees of acceleration and
deceleration response
• Throttle map profile
o These allow the user to choose from a range of throttle “maps” which provide
diverse throttle response
• Maximum current limit
o This function limits the amount of amperage that can be pulled from the battery
pack at any given time
• Under / Over voltage shutdown
o The controller will not function outside these limits

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Battery Stack

Four 12 volt, 44 amp hour batteries have been


placed in series to produce the required 48
volts at 44 amp hours. The EVP-44 series
sealed lead acid battery from BB Batteries
was selected for use as the project’s power
plant. These batteries are designed for high
power and multiple cycle usage. The sealed
batteries are maintenance free – the
manufacturer recommends charging the
batteries twice in succession, once per month.
This will balance the pack and ensure the long
life of the pack. They have a very low self-
discharge rate of less than 3% capacity loss
per month as well. They are rated for a
maximum discharge current of 600 amps
while the maximum charge current is 15
amps.

Battery Charger

The charger was purchased from Quick Charge


Corporation. It is designed for on board usage. The
charger is vibration resistant and is a solid state
design. Its rugged construction and weather
proofing make it ideal for this application. The 48
volt 15 amp model was chosen. It draws power
from a regular household outlet (120V) making the
charging process easy and convenient.

Testing and Preliminary Results

Since a working prototype was first tested on


October 29th, approximately 45 miles have
been ridden. The vehicle has performed
without issue. The addition of the Cycle
Analyst monitoring system has allowed the
team to pull instantaneous data from the
vehicle. Aside from an integrated
speedometer, the CA displays the battery

Figure 5: Cycle Analyst and Battery Monitoring System 12


pack voltage and drawn A-hr’s. The A-hr draw is essentially a reverse fuel gauge, it tells the
rider how many A-hr’s have been removed from the pack, rather than what remains. The Curtis
Battery Monitor has not yet been permanently attached to the main power supply, though it was
tested and is operational.

As mentioned in the Goals section of the report, there were three main objectives that the team
needed to achieve. The vehicle easily reached the first goal of a minimum top speed of 25 mph.
The motorcycle has been configured with a single speed, chain-driven rear wheel. The motor’s
maximum speed is 3200 rpm under load. Coupled with a 4.86:1 gear ratio, the motorcycle can
travel at a maximum speed of 50 mph. The maximum range of the vehicle between recharges
has yet to be determined, but multiple 15+ mile rides have been successful. As a result, the
minimum vehicle range of 5 miles has been achieved. Lastly, the vehicle needed to recharge
from a drained state in less than 8 hours. Although the batteries have not been drained to their
allowable limit, the vehicle charges in approximately 3 hours. Therefore, our third goal has been
reached. Interpretation of these results will follow in the final report.

Budget

The following table represents the team’s current budget. The team has spent $1920.12 of the
total of $2300 allotted for the completion of the project. The remaining funds will be put towards
performance testing and quality control followed by the implementation of the previously
established secondary goals in order of the importance deemed by the group members.

Item Vendor Description Quantity Price+S&H


14 Tooth for 520
Pinion McMaster-Carr Chain 1 15.79
Electric Brushed, Perm Mag
DC Motor Motorsport DC 1 419.5
Electric
Alltrax Controller Motorsport Speed Controller 1 559.5
48V, 44Ah Electric
Batteries Motorsport SLA AGM Batteries 4 469.5
Electric
Bear Contactor Motorsport Switching Solenoid 1 51.5
Charging
Charger Chargers 48V/15A SLA AGM 1 326.88
1/0 Gauge Wire Evolve Electrics 1/0 Gauge, 15 Ft 1 36.3
Terminal Lugs McMaster-Carr Wire Connectors 17 16.15
Thunderstruck Converts Pack V to
DC/DC Converter Mo. acc 1 25
Total: 1920.12

Budget: 2300
Remaining
Funds 379.88

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Website

The team website is currently being constructed and is close to completion. Key aspects of the
site will include a homepage with a general description of the project scope and specifications, a
design page including details and calculations that led to the overall finished product, a media
page containing video clips and images of the build, a deliverables page containing the required
documentation that has been turned in over the two semesters, a bio page for brief biographies
of the group members, as well as a sponsors page that gives credit and appreciation for the
donations by our sponsorship partners.

Conclusion

Completion of the electric motorcycle project’s design and build is near and on schedule.
Implementing the theoretical design developed in the first semester, the team has fabricated a
vehicle that exceeds its project specifications. Initial testing has yielded little to no problems with
the design and has left the team encouraged and eager for the final product. Delivery of a
complete project will now require thorough analysis of the motorcycles performance as well as

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operation and maintenance literature. The website will be updated throughout the process so as
to document its progression. A completed project report and presentation will be prepared for
final assessment by the team’s professors, peers and sponsors.

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Works Cited

1. Ehsani, Mehrdad, Yimin Gao, Sebastien E. Gay, Ali Emadi. Modern Electric, Hybrid Electric, and
Fuel Cell Vehicles. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2005
2. Electric Motor Handbook, Mcgraw Hill Handbooks, H. Wayne Beaty and James L Kirtley, Jr.
copyright 1998, The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc. New York, NY 10011.
3. Norton, Robert L. Machine Design: An Integrated Approach. New Jersey: Presntice Hall: 2006
4. Rotating Eectrical Machines and Power Systems, Dale R. Patrick and Stephen W Fardo. Second
edition. Copyright 1997. The Fairmont Press, inc, Linburn GA.
5. The Control Techniques Drives and Controls Handbook. Editors: Pro. A. T. Johns and D. F. Warne.
IEE Power and Energy Series 35. Copyright 2001, The Institution of Electrical Engineers.
6. The Fundamentals of Electrical Drives, 2nd Edition, Gopal K. Dubey. Copyright 2001, printed in
India.
7. < EPA. US. Solid Waste and Emergency Response. States' Effort to Promote Lead-acid Battery
Recycling. 1992. Print.
<http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch8en/conc8en/ch8c1en.html>.

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