Controllers for the Electric Hybrid Vehicle
There are a number of controller options for an electric / hybrid vehicle. At first pass, there may appear to be almost too many to choose from. However there is likely a “perfect” controller for your budget and application.
The purely DC controllers are great for raw power such as in drag racing applications. The WarP, Soliton and Zilla controllers are great examples. The high performance Zilla controller for example is capable of 2,000 amp at 348 volt or 696kW (~943 hp!). Just remember that you’ll need a 348V battery pack that can unload 2,000 amps! For the budget minded build, Alltrax and Curtis Controllers are a better option.
one step at a time
Although the DC systems and amazingly powerful, they tend to struggle with efficient regeneration features. The AC induction motors are significantly more efficient and without brushes, they are expected to last longer without maintenance. The trouble is, they are expensive. One exception is the AC-XX series produced by High Performance Electric Vehicle Systems. They offer competitively priced AC motor/controller combinations that would likely perform well for a hybrid system. We almost went with one of these systems but due to size constraints, settled on a third type of controller / motor system, a brushless DC system.
The controller used in the Hybrid Mustang is a Kelly KBL programmable BLDC motor controller. The specifications are listed below (from Kelly Controllers, LLC).
The Soliton1 controller, produced by Evnetics, LLC. is a 300kW system for brushed DC motors.
KBL BLDC Motor Speed Controller
Kelly KBL programmable BLDC motor controller provides efficient, smooth and quite controls for golf cart, go-cart, electric motorcycle, forklift, hybrid vehicle, electrical vehicle, electric boat, as well as industry motor speed or torque control. Motor speed controller uses high power MOSFET, PWM to achieve efficiency 99% in most cases. Powerful microprocessor brings in comprehensive and precise control to BLDC motor controllers. This programmable brushless motor controller also allows users to set parameters, conduct tests, and obtain diagnostic information quickly and easily.
• Intelligence with powerful microprocessor.
• Synchronous rectification, ultra low drop and fast PWM to achieve very high efficiency.
• Electronic reversing.
• Voltage monitoring on 3 motor phases, bus, and power supply.
• Voltage monitoring on voltage source 12V and 5V.
• Current sense on all 3 motor phases.
• Current control loop.
• Hardware over current protection.
• Hardware over voltage protection.
• Support torque mode, speed mode, and balanced mode operation.
• Configurable limit for motor current and battery current.
• Low EMC.
• LED fault code.
• Battery protection: current cutback, warning and shutdown at configurable high and low battery voltage.
• Rugged aluminum housing for maximum heat dissipation and harsh environment.
• Rugged high current terminals, and rugged aviation connectors for small signal.
• Thermal protection: current cut back, warning and shutdown on high temperature.
• Configurable 60 degree or 120 degree hall position sensors.
• Support motors with any number of poles.
• Up to 40,000 electric RPM standard. Optional high speed 70,000 ERPM, and ultra high speed 100,000 ERPM. (Electric RPM = mechanical RPM * motor pole pairs).
• Support three modes of regenerative braking: brake switch regen, release throttle regen, 0-5V analog signal variable regen.
• Configurable high pedal protection: Disable operation if power up with high throttle.
• Current multiplication: Take less current from battery, output more current to motor.
• Easy installation: 3 wire potentiometer can work.
• PWMable reverse alarm output.
• Remove fault code LED driver.
• Current meter output.
• Standard PC/Laptop computer to do programming. No special tools needed.
• User program provided. Easy to use. No cost to customers.
•Controller supply voltage range, PWR, 18V-90V.
•Frequency of Operation: 16.6kHz.
•Standby Battery Current: < 0.5mA.
•5V Sensor Supply Current: 40mA.
•Configurable battery voltage range, B+,18V-90V.
•Analog Brake and Throttle Input: 0-5 Volts. Producing 0-5V signal with 3-wire pot.
•Reverse Alarm, Main Contactor Coil Driver, Meter.
•Full Power Operating Temperature Range: 0? to 50 ? (controller case temperature).
•Operating Temperature Range:-30? to 90 ?, 100? shutdown (controller case temperature).
•Motor Current Limit, 1 minute: 500A.
•Motor Current Limit, continuous: 250A.
•Max Battery Current : Configurable.
Optional Waterproof: The price is 38 U.S. dollars.
Optional Stick Shift Throttle Firmware: The price is 29 U.S. dollars.
Optional CAN BUS: The price is 49 U.S. dollars.
High Speed Motor Option: The price is 49 U.S. dollars.
Ultra High Speed Motor Option: The price is 99 U.S. dollars.