torstai 8. marraskuuta 2012

Rules and regulations

So I was wrong. EC type-approval doesn't seem to be the absolute show stopper for an EV conversion in Finland I thought it would be. The are other hurdles to jump however.

The Big Kahuna is the UNECE R 100. It describes safety features which must be present in an EV and since 2011 a car needs to be built according to it's rules to pass the Conversion Inspection in Finland, regardless of when it was originally manufactured. I'll go through some of the main points that matter in my build.

  • Protection against direct and indirect contact. Basically everything live must be enclosed somehow. All barriers and enclosures must also be connected to vehicle ground (chassis).
  • Service disconnect. A switch for doing this a good idea anyway. Makes working on the vehicle easier.
  • Markings. All enclosures which if opened contain live parts must be marked with a specified warning sticker. The only problem is finding a place to buy the correct ones.
  • Orange cables. Umm, ok, orange cables. Must be used for all visible high voltage wires.
  • Isolation resistance requirements. I guess if I do everything properly this will just happen.
  • RESS (Rechargeable Energy Storage System) must be fused and must not overheat. Obviously.
  • There must be an indication light or sound when the car is in Active Driving Mode or driver attempts to leave the vehicle when it is in such condition. I think I'll just have a simple lighted switch to turn the controller (or main contactor) on and off. That should satisfy both in my opinion. The light will always be on when the controller has power.
  • Earth ground while charging. Earth ground must be connected to vehicle ground (chassis) and kept connected while charging and until after charge voltage has been removed. Thinking about this I realized that the standard AC power plugs in Finland already do this mechanically. The ground pins are always connected before live wires and are also the last to disconnect. Just wire that ground to vehicle chassis and that should theoretically be it.
  • Vehicle must not move by it's own propulsion system while a charging cable is connected. This may or may not be the trickiest of them all. I'll have to figure out a way to tell if the charging cable is connected or not. Remains to be seen what I come up with.
  • Gas and hydrogen emissions are not of concern since we don't use open type batteries or fuel cells. Also the on-board isolation resistance monitoring system is luckily only required for fuel cell vehicles, at least as far as I can tell.
What remains is the EMC question. The R100 says nothing about such things. My guess is that it's not relevant for cars registered prior to late 2002, due to the regulations passed then. Older cars should be fine without. EC type-approved vehicles may however still need parts which are approved or tested for compliance, but I honestly don't know for sure. My car isn't type-approved, so it's not an issue for me.

3 kommenttia:

  1. Yes that would be my followup question for Trafi... when do EMC tests become necessary, is it on type approved cars that do not have all CE marked conversion components?

    But for now at least we can proceed to follow R100 which seems to be sensible as you said. Very happy about that.

  2. You could use a simple relay that operates at 220V AC to prevent driving when charging. When 220V cord is plugged relay operates and cuts power to controller for example. Same relay could light a led indicator that tells charge cord is plugged.

    But wait, what if there is no 220V AC but cord is still plugged? Relay doesn't work anymore. Doh. Maybe mechanical/electromagnetic switch operated by fuel filler door could operate that relay instead.

    1. Yep, that is the problem. The Regulation, if followed to the letter, calls for immobilisation if the plug is connected, even if it has no power. Funnily enough, as far as I know no combustion engine cars are required to not move if you forget to remove the gasoline hose after filling up...