Battery boxes and Control box

Battery boxes

As mentioned earlier I decided to place all the batteries underneath the car where the fuel tank used to be. After making measurements thinking and modeling I chose to make battery boxes to be fitted from underneath the car thus preserving most of the body structure and not weakening it with serious modifications. The reason is that I am thinking ahead about how I would present the car to inspectors who would be checking it to make street legal. Less modifications to the frame - less problems and questions asked.
So, I will make batteries trays/boxes fit and secure from underneath making only few openings from inside to complete the wiring once the boxes are placed in. There will be 5 battery boxes each holding 9 cells. Each box gross weight will be approx 32kg so it will be manageable to lift it to the car from underneath and secure it by hands of two persons. So you will be able put the whole 160kg of batteries box by box.
Here is the sketch of the battery boxes made with Google SketchUp:

Each box is a frame of stainless steel angle 20x20x3 with 0.8mm stainless steel sheet walls protecting the batteries from outside elements like water, sand and stones (remember they will be hanging under car's belly).
The production of boxes has started. I have made the welding jig to make their geometry solid. Without it would be very difficult to weld the steel boxes with decent precision and correct geometry.

Here is one of the boxes fit test with 9 ThunderSky cells. The cells have their contacts covered with tape - you don't want to short circuit expensive cell, don't you?

Control box

Control box is designed to hold all electronic equipment inside and provide a heat sink for controller and down converter. First of all I don't want any sensitive electronics or high voltage circuit hang outside where the could be touched by water, dirt or anyone's non-careful hands. Safety first. For example a session in car wash could lead to serious components damage or even fire in unfortunate circumstances. Therefore I decided to put all such pieces in one safe place - control box.
The control box will hold Kelly controller, controller cooling fans, DC 144V/13.8V down-converter, main contactor, circuit breaker, shunt resistor, throttle hall converter, multiple 12V control relays and fuses and BCMS master board. It will have two thick cables coming in from batteries, two going to the motor and low voltage signal cables going to many places.
The box is made from 10mm aluminium plate which makes base, 3 walls and internal spacer. The plates are bolted together by M5 bolts. The cover will be from 0.8mm stainless steel sheet.
The inside is divided by internal spacer wall into two sections: high voltage/power section and low voltage section. The sketch is shown in picture. There are two big black fans on top which are placed on the opposite side of the wall where the motor controller is placed for maximum heat dissipation effectivenes. The black box on the opposite side of the controller is DC down-converter. Both controller and converter terminals are placed so that they go out to the high voltage connections subsection on the upper right side of the box. This subsection is separated by plastic spacer plate which isolates the connections subsection to prevent any water or dirt entering there. Contactor, shunt and fuse are shown in this subsection. The subsection below contains BCMS board on the left and throttle pot on the right. Throttle handle is attached on the outside of the box. There will be gas cable connected to it.
The box will be put in the car above the motor in approximate location shown in sketch below. I hope you have enough imagination to see the yellow front of the car, black tire, red motor below and gray brakes cylinder assembly :).

Production of the box has started. The aluminium plates were cut (believe me it is daunting when you don't have the disk saw powerfull enough). A lot of drilling and threading was made.

Some power wiring was made with thick copper bars covered in yellow heat-shrink tubing. Production of each bar to about 1 hour - it looks small but eats your time very quickly.

A bit closer view. Note the two big holes drilled in the base - that's where the thick cables will go to the motor.

That's it for now. Some progress, not too much as I am really struggling to find time to sneak into garage and do some work on my HR-EV.


  1. Great progress. You really take your time and think things through. I wish I was that patient to do the design drawings as well. I'm more of a design as you go guy. It usually works out, but not always :)

    Looking good!

  2. Solid build and a nice update.

  3. Thanks guys. I like to thoroughly think through my designs in advance to achieve most professional results I could be proud of. I am not very experienced in metal works and mechanics and don't have a metal scrapheap somewhere in garage. So I have to buy materials which are not that cheap to allow big mistakes. That's why I have to do careful design and planning in advance.
    Electronics is much easier for me so there I am much more spontaneous :)