Electric tricycle motor

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bm_cricket
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Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:08 pm

Hi all,
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here has ever tried putting something like this into an electric tricycle:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-MOTOR-1HP-56 ... 0616055811

My power source will be a couple of 12v deep cycle batteries marine batteries. I will have appropriate gearing so that the motor will give me 5mpg when the motor is at 50% power.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:23 pm

I don't think you can calculate exact speed at 50% power because of the rather large variable of rolling resistance. Your trike will have some amount and the playa surface itself varies greatly. I had a gas bike motor in 2001 that would pull me right along across hard-packed playa and didn't have a hope in hell of moving the bike in the soft areas.
I think you might be better off using a higher voltage motor and using your batteries in series. A one horsepower motor requires a lot of power, probably 1500 - 2000 watts, more at start up. Even at half-power that translates to a LOT of current at 12 volts. Higher voltage would reduce the current and might be more practical. You'll notice most of the electric bicycle kits are more like 48-volt.

But no, I haven't actually tried it.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:39 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:I don't think you can calculate exact speed at 50% power because of the rather large variable of rolling resistance. Your trike will have some amount and the playa surface itself varies greatly. I had a gas bike motor in 2001 that would pull me right along across hard-packed playa and didn't have a hope in hell of moving the bike in the soft areas.
I think you might be better off using a higher voltage motor and using your batteries in series. A one horsepower motor requires a lot of power, probably 1500 - 2000 watts, more at start up. Even at half-power that translates to a LOT of current at 12 volts. Higher voltage would reduce the current and might be more practical. You'll notice most of the electric bicycle kits are more like 48-volt.

But no, I haven't actually tried it.
What kind of gas bike were you using? My concern is more with breaking parts than with convenience. If I get stuck in a drift and am forced to get out and push I won't mind (the first few times).... But if I break something because it's too weak to handle the torque then I'll be very very sad.

I think that I intended to say the target should probably be 50% of max motor RPM when I translate it into the wheels rotation so that wheel rotation gives me 5mph.

And startup power demands weren't something I thought about. Good point. I'll need to read about higher voltage vs higher amperage motors.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:40 pm

I used an electric pusher trailer with a trike in 13.. It is all set up and ready to be on the playa this year.. It did well.. I did have to peddle harder powering though dunes.. It is 24 volts the motor is less than 300 watt. Works for me.. Figjam tell me I can run it on 12 volt.. It will produce half the power..
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Elliot » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:06 pm

You will need a controller also, so you may want to look at kits that are intended for bicycles/tricycles.

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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Popeye » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:13 pm

It's a good idea but I'm not sure if this is the right motor. This is a Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled Motor, the fan will only cool the motor when you are moving, on Playa you will be starting and stopping. Assuming 2KW starting and .75 KW running, every time you start you will be putting 6800 btu into the motor. The windings will absorb the heat and it takes a long time to get rid of the heat even with the fan running. I think I'd look for an open frame motor and think about some kind of external fan to keep air going over the motor when stopped.
An AC motor name plate will have a "temperature rise" label, not sure about DC.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:13 pm

I'm glad you posted that motor!

It won't work.

When building my new playa vehicle I tried that one (not enough torque), a scooter motor (not enough power), and finally settled on a 24 volt wheelchair motor!!!

They come in different sizes for large people and can handle 600 pounds plus the vehicle, and are made for this.

Usually they have a 15 to 20 mile range with 2 motors on the chair, but since you only need 1 motor, it's about 30.

Mine is out of a Hoveround and was $60 on ebay!!! 8)

13" wheels with a top speed of 7.5 mph.

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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Shoeshine » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:41 am

dear god, do not pay $300 for that motor. the issue is not the motor but the gearing. I built out my trike with motors from a electric wheelchair last year (craigslist = $110, 2 motors + controller + 2 - 40 amp/hr batteries) a couple of sprockets and chain from a custom bike building site (< $60) and I was rocking it.

...Now I did need to hit up a buddy to bore out the sprockets to fit the shaft of my Schwinn, but even had I needed to pay for it would have been less than $50.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by EspressoDude » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:12 am

stick with the TEFC motor. They are rated to put out that horsepower in an industrial work environment. They will put out about 2x horsepower at 1/2 rated rpm and 2x rated current for short times like 15 - 30 seconds. I built a battlebot with 2 similar motors but 1/2 hp and 10:1 gearing 12" diameter tires. 400 pounds and could do burnouts on asphalt.

Make sure the gearing is adequate so the motor can run at rated rpm at 5mph. You do not want an open frame DC motor on the playa unless you do a lot of filtering for the inlet air supply. The playa dust will cause the brushes to stick in the brush holder, then arc all over the commutator, then stop. This has happened to one automobile alternator on a staff vehicle. stuck brushes = no charging.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Popeye » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:06 pm

EspressoDude wrote:stick with the TEFC motor. They are rated to put out that horsepower in an industrial work environment. They will put out about 2x horsepower at 1/2 rated rpm and 2x rated current for short times like 15 - 30 seconds. I built a battlebot with 2 similar motors but 1/2 hp and 10:1 gearing 12" diameter tires. 400 pounds and could do burnouts on asphalt.

Make sure the gearing is adequate so the motor can run at rated rpm at 5mph. You do not want an open frame DC motor on the playa unless you do a lot of filtering for the inlet air supply. The playa dust will cause the brushes to stick in the brush holder, then arc all over the commutator, then stop. This has happened to one automobile alternator on a staff vehicle. stuck brushes = no charging.
It's a trade off between protecting the armature, brushes, etc. and keeping the motor cool enough to run. Maybe it's just me but I would rather have something I can get to and work on. It looks like a good motor but I question if it is the right one for the playa. I'm not saying a TEFC won't work, just saying that an open frame is probably a better option.
In a dusty environment an open frame motor will pick up more dust and debris but you can get to it with canned air, an old paint brush, WD40 or even water AND the heat will radiate off easier.
On the other hand a TEFC motor will still pick up dust through the cooling fan and the enclosure holds the heat in the armature and temperature rises every time you start or reverse the motor. Depending on how often you start and stop there is a good chance that either the overheat T stat will open or the armature will burn open.
It's multiple start ups that makes a motor overheat.

A few years ago I changed out two 100hp TEFC motors for open frames because of overheating problems. The change to an open frame fixed the problem.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:25 pm

I won't argue with the "experts", but this may be a case of "you know to much to try anything that might work".

My trike was on the playa 4 years without any problems and is still running fine.

It was a sealed motor with no fan.

I sold it and had to come up with something else.

Not knowing much about electric motors, it was trial and error.

After trying 2 motors, (one was that TEFC motor and it wouldn't move my vehicle) I looked up what the bot builders were using, and the low budget ones were using wheelchair motors.

Made for constant starting, stopping, and reversing, with sealed motors, I abused mine for three days slamming from forward to reverse and it stood up to all of it.

For $50 to $150 it seems to be a match made for the playa!

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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Popeye » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:57 pm

A wheelchair motor is a good idea. The motor the OP pointed to is not a wheelchair motor. The service factor is 1.0 and it is not made to be overloaded. I'd expect that a wheelchair motor would be designed for frequent starts and stops.
The OP's motor is not a bad motor. I do see two potential problems, it's going to be hard to work on on-playa and if you are frequently starting and stopping especially in hot weather it could overheat. I don't want to be working on stuff at the burn, I'd want to take the best I can afford, least suceptible to breakdown, onto the playa.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by unjonharley » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:05 pm

I use a 200 watt razor scooter motor in a pusher trailer.. Works great on the playa.. Dressing it up this year to theme... Will not be adding anything to the motor.. The weather got to the controller.. Replaced with a used one.. Carrying four deep cell.. Run two down to 18 volts then switch to the other two..
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:23 pm

The razor was one that I tried, but it couldn't push me.

What did you do??? :?
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by unjonharley » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:29 pm

How many watts?? The razor pushed and I peddled easy.. In deep sand it would spin.. With a little peddle it jump out of the dune.. I was using 24 volt max 30 amp. Were you using 12 volts??
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:48 pm

I tried it with 12v and 24v with the 350 watt model.

Just didn't have the torque to get started or maintain a decent speed.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:16 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I tried it with 12v and 24v with the 350 watt model.

Just didn't have the torque to get started or maintain a decent speed.
$40 and I aquired a complete wheel chair with two motors, a charger, a controller, and 1.5 working batteries. It's a 24v system and after charging it I made the motors spin for a while. I'll track down some replacement batteries and make a fitting for the gear. And a fitting to mount the motors. Weee! I know what I'm doing tomorrow!
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:19 pm

bm_cricket wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:I tried it with 12v and 24v with the 350 watt model.

Just didn't have the torque to get started or maintain a decent speed.
$40 and I aquired a complete wheel chair with two motors, a charger, a controller, and 1.5 working batteries. It's a 24v system and after charging it I made the motors spin for a while. I'll track down some replacement batteries and make a fitting for the gear. And a fitting to mount the motors. Weee! I know what I'm doing tomorrow!
BTW, I'll be posting some stuff on the offerings for Burners in a little while. I think the wheel chair chassis and the gas motor are likely candidates. If anyone wants it, let me know.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Joeln » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:21 pm

bm_cricket wrote:$40 and I aquired a complete wheel chair with two motors, a charger, a controller, and 1.5 working batteries. It's a 24v system and after charging it I made the motors spin for a while. I'll track down some replacement batteries and make a fitting for the gear. And a fitting to mount the motors. Weee! I know what I'm doing tomorrow!
Nice!!
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Popeye » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:34 pm

[quote
$40 and I aquired a complete wheel chair with two motors, a charger, a controller, and 1.5 working batteries. It's a 24v system and after charging it I made the motors spin for a while. I'll track down some replacement batteries and make a fitting for the gear. And a fitting to mount the motors. Weee! I know what I'm doing tomorrow![/quote]

Great! Post some pictures please.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:47 pm

Ulisse wrote:Great! Post some pictures please.
It's dark in my garage now but I'll post some pictures tomorrow. Does anybody have experience putting 2 or 3 pairs of 12v batteries in series... ie 6 batteries producing 24v total with LOTS of CCA?
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Joeln » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:50 pm

It can be done Cricket, but if one battery is weak the whole system will suffer.
Better to get single batteries that have the amp capacity you need in total.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:56 pm

Joeln wrote:It can be done Cricket, but if one battery is weak the whole system will suffer.
Better to get single batteries that have the amp capacity you need in total.
Hm, very true. This system currently has 2 little lawn mower batteries feeding the 24v motors. Maybe I will upgrade them to two car batteries. I need that initial peak CCA to get the motors going. What about running 2x 12v car batteries (high CCA) and 2x marine batteries (sustained output). There must be some reason why manufacturers don't do this.... what is it? What if I did that and had an independent charger for every battery?
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Joeln » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:59 pm

The marine batteries will do just fine, good sized ones will have plenty of startup power.
You are much better off not mixing types in a series-parallel string.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:02 pm

Joeln wrote:The marine batteries will do just fine, good sized ones will have plenty of startup power.
You are much better off not mixing types in a series-parallel string.
That's always what I've been told. I just wonder why....

I will record some numbers from my batteries tomorrow and see what I can do. I'm also charging the old batteries overnight to see what they can still do. (I think that one cell in one of the 12v batteries is failing.) But they are pretty weak batteries to start with. I've got to decide if I want to upgrade them to two marine batteries or two car batteries. What do you think?
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Joeln » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:04 pm

For your application, deep cycle batteries are definitely the way to go.

You can get pretty good ones at Mall-wart for reasonable $.
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:34 pm

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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:46 pm

Thanks! Right now I have 3 batteries to choose from. One of them is a 140AH (I think) marine battery that I purchased last year. I charged it when I got back from the burn, I charged it again in January, and I will charge it again in a couple of days.... I know that's not proper battery care but I don't own a deep cycle charger so I rely on the one at work. The other two batteries came from the wheel chair and, as I said, one of them seems to be fine, the other will give voltages, completely at random, between 6v and 12v, but most commonly at 10v. I assume that it means there is an internal short. I don't know if I am ready to invest in the battery you suggested (well, two of them!) but I've settled that I need to get matching pairs.

The charging system that this wheel chair comes with includes a Soneil 2408s charging unit. It looks pretty fancy. I think that I should at least design a setup that doesn't depend on the wheel chair electronics working properly... Just incase....
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by Popeye » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:51 pm

Quick, easy and cheap battery test. Make sure you charge the battery first. :D :D
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Re: Electric tricycle motor

Post by bm_cricket » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:33 am

As you requested, here are some photos. I've been watching this at a local shop for almost 6 months while people walked by, took photos, checked it out, and seemed to totally ignore it. It is a masterpiece and will be a great chassis for what I plan to do with it. The motor that is on it will need to go. The electrical system is (literally) held together by paperclips. I'm perfectly comfortable working on engines but I know that this will use electric and pedal power eventually so why not start now?

This is just something I have laying around. It's good.

IMG_20140608_070227129.jpg
I charged these overnight. I ran the motors for a while on them this morning. I will let them sit for a little while and go check the charge on them. I think that one of them is bad based on what I saw yesterday.

And the rear has dual suspension.
IMG_20140608_070304153.jpg
IMG_20140608_070259575.jpg
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