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Here's another Lincvolt update from out here on the cloud. I was able to attend some of Saturday's webcast. Saturday was very cool with a lot of work going on but I'm making an executive decision here. I'm devoting my time to posting an update for Sunday first. My apologies for being a little out of order. But Sunday was really big, my time is limited, and it's really just a matter of how you want to order things... today, big stuff trumps chronological.
Sunday, Lincvolt went to Ditos Motors in San Francisco to spend some time testing and collecting data on simulated runs on their dynamometer. Here, trips and performance will be measured and Lincvolt's many control and monitoring systems will be calibrated to those findings. Cool stuff. Plus, they get to run the car beyond what you can do everyday on the road.
Due to some things that needed to be done around here, I was a little late to the
party shop, so these clips begin with Lincvolt already in position on the dyno at Ditos. Jonathon Goodwin and the guys will run through some tests. Ari is there to tune the CNG powered rotary engine that drives the generator. Paul Perrone is there working on control systems. L.A. Johnson is keeping us connected via the web, filming, and who knows what else. Neil will stop in from time to time, and the excitement of these tests will be contagious if you listen to the audio segments below. Some of these clips are a lot of fun at high volume, so keep that in mind.
Here we go!
Creep torqueOK, you've got your accelerator torque and your brake torque, but then there's this creep torque. Jonathon and Paul Perrone are on the phone with UQM, working through systems and regen settings in this segment. There's a lot of calibration and collaboration involved in making the mashup that is Lincvolt work as an efficient new entity.
"This'll really put an afro on ya' here"This is the "Lincvolt reboot" segment. We all got a big kick out of this in the chat. You'll hear the discharge (SNAP!) of what I assume to be a large capacitor toward the end. Not elegant, as reboots go, but the cool factor is off the charts. She's got a little attitude, Lincvolt.
"So, we're producin' power"The first generator test in the dyno shop. A good example of the multi-tasking happening on the car. It didn't need to be on the dyno for this test but Ari was there to tune the rotary, find the appropriate governor speed, and make the engine efficient at the desired RPM. So they coordinate these tests and establish baselines to use as calculations for the dyno tests coming soon.
Lincvolt's first dyno runThis is the first dyno test with Lincvolt running on electric power, off the battery packs alone. They're not putting any new power into the batteries with the generator. More calibration happening between Lincvolt speedo and odometer systems and the dynamometer measurements. Lincvolt sounds more than a little jet-like, running on the dyno in these following tests. I think most of the noise was from the rollers and tire noise. This was exciting stuff! Turn it up!!!
Rotary and generator RPM testsAri and Jonathon go over the operating RPM of the rotary engine powering the generator. From today's tests, it already sounds to me like the generator is charging the battery pack much faster (more efficiently) than expected. So they have some wiggle room on where to run the rotary - which is nice. 3000 RPM was the intended target. Sounds like it may not take that much.
Lincvolt cranks out 70 MPH on the dyno
Make that 100+ MPH!Big stuff here. 5k pound load on the dyno as I understand. I suggest in chat, a future headline "Lincvolt wins Automotive X-Prize and sets cross country speed record in same trip" :) Along the way, Lincvolt freaks out the dyno with her radio frequency interference and they have to shutdown. But this is a 22 mile trip so far -- much of it at high speed - and the UQM motor efficiency seems outstanding. These results are very impressive. Note: Play it loud!
Neil arrives at the shopNeil shows up in the dyno shop, laptop in hand. Jonathon is all jacked up about the tests, which is immediately obvious to Neil. They discuss the days findings. It's ALL good.
Neil on chargingNeil and Jonathon discuss baseline tests for charging performance of the generator. One of the coolest things about Lincvolt (for me) is that Neil is so hands on. He's not the rock icon with an idea and letting everyone else sort out the details. He's not only conceiving, and directing, but is way into this and knows the details. He's bringing these pieces and people together to make a new thing. He knows when to let someone run with an idea. And he has the ability to open doors and make connections that "Joe the Mechanic" just can't always pull off. I made the comment in chat Sunday… "If I tried to get onto a dyno on short notice on a Sunday afternoon they'd say; Who do you think you are, Neil Young?" That alone serves to move this project along in some regard. But it's got to be a gas having a hand in this car. It's much more than the novel project of a music icon and it's refreshing to see some of the inherent advantages being used in such a positive way.
Battery balancingLearning along the way, Jonathon talks about battery balancing between the packs. Production hybrid and EV cars experience this phenomenon as well. Many battery packs are scrapped and replaced when they probably just needed to be rebalanced.
Power a dozen homesJonathon explains the car to someone in the dyno shop. Really good overview here if you're just coming up to speed on how Lincvolt works in this current version (Lincvolt v2.0).
"Now dig this...""Chernobyl wasn't any fun -- neither was Three Mile Island"
Neil has been gone from the dyno shop for a while. Maybe he was recording a new Lincvolt song, I don't know. But he returns in this segment. I think a reporter visits to do a quick interview. Jonathon is going through an update of today's tests. Neil dives right in. This is a great clip. Classic Neil as well as I know, and spot on. At one point Neil says "We can tell them how to do it or we can do it for them." That's the spirit that is Lincvolt. Rusties and treehuggers will enjoy this segment.
Get'n in tuneAri from RX7.com is dialing-in the timing and fuel mix on the rotary engine. In this (charging) mode, sans exhaust, Lincvolt sounds more like a Cessna 150 than a jet in this clip.
Lincvolt history; "...it was like an art piece, of a sort"Neil shares some Lincvolt history with Marc Benioff from SalesForce. It seems that prior to Neil buying the '59 Lincoln, she was victim to some misplaced aggression by an upset wife who understood the negative effects of brake fluid on a car finish. Neil also sums up the days events with The Lincvolt Update. After the LVU, Marc collects some high points about Lincvolt from Jonathon for tomorrow's DreamForce presentation.
Driving back to Roy Brizio Street RodsNeil looks like every street rodder I've known, in this pic.
And here is The Lincvolt Update (video)