out on the technological bleeding edge, it is easy to fall off. The
car is ready to go except that the pack is only half charged and the
charger is dead.
call is to Manazinta
Micro, the maker of our PFC50 charger. What a wonderful thing
to call a company and have the creator of the unit, Rich Rudman
(AKA Madman) picking up the phone to answer your questions.
charger is a special unit. It was part of the beta build of the
powerful PFC50 line, unit #6 in fact. It is tweaked to provide 450
volts vs. the stock 400 volt.
has me pull the cover and look inside. Based on some idiot lights
and ESP, he deduces what is wrong. A control board is dead and it
needs to go back to him for repairs. We discuss probable causes.
Our suspicion centers around an inadequate heat sink and the placement
of a temperature sensor. These are known problems that were fixed
in full production units.
identified but what about Battery Beach?
pack voltage is 358 volts or around 3.77 per cell. Best guess, 50-55%
charge. 60-70 miles? I speak to Shawn Waggoner. This is not the
first time he has helped
us out. If we can get to his house, 58 miles away, he can trailer
us the rest of the way to Battery Beach. There we can borrow a PFC
recruit a friendly Toyota Prius driver to 'draft' up to Shawn's.
The Electric Imp will normally use 250-300 Watt-hrs per mile at
highway speeds. By drafting another car and keeping our speed to
55 mph, we can drop our power usage to around 200 Watt-hrs per mile.
go at 6 am Saturday morning when traffic is light. Keeping the Imp
within 1.5 to 2 car lengths of the rear of the Prius takes concentration
and total confidence in the other driver. The Prius driver uses
cruise control and keeps a distant focus so that all necessary transitions
happen gradually. With no sharp braking, the trip is peaceful...unless
you look in the rear view mirror.
a professional race car driver I do not know the meaning of 'fear',
which is just as well. The speed limit on the Florida turnpike is
70 mph. The average speed, even if you count the rolling 40 mph
road hazards, is closer to 80. That means at 55, cars are approaching
as if we are sitting still and they are traveling at 25 mph. This
would not be too bad except that at least one of three is busy talking
on a cell phone. Driving in south Florida is never dull.