Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chevy Volt drivetrain

Things have been busy and I haven't updated the blog in a while and a lot has been going on.  I actually bought the entire EV drivetrain from a 2013 Chevy volt with 7k miles.   After 3 attempts of buying a new volt battery ended with, paying for, waiting months, and then getting a refund from the dealer, I just went with a scrapyard unit.  A few weeks ago I started tearing apart the Chevy volt pack and video taped the tear down.  Here is a picture of the drivetrain sitting next to our daily driver volt (32,000 miles and going strong):

And here is a link to the video of how it works:

When I bought all the parts I made sure to get all the important wiring bits.  

The motor and inverter are very interesting, the motor is actually 2 motors.  One is nested inside the other in a coaxial setup and the inverter is actually two in one as well.  It will take quite a bit of work to figure out how to talk to the inverter and very likely outside my capabilities (I am a ME not a EE for a reason :).  But a 111kW AC drive system for well under $1000 is a big opportunity for the DIY community.

Here is the engine side of the gear box.  And on the bottom you can also see where the passenger side axle shaft comes out:

The Volt pack has a disconnect mounted on top.  It is not the easiest to pull but I am pretty sure it is fused.

The pack cover is easily removed and the the whole pack is easy and straight forward to work on.

The pack is configured in 3 modules that are made up of 48V and 24V modules.  The pack measured 370VDC total and is likely near a "full" charge.  Keep in mind that chevy's version of a full charge is actually 80% SOC.

There is a hall effect current sensor located in between the front and middle modules

I took video of the whole process and will post it up on youtube once I get it all edited.  The modules are pretty easy to breakdown and I will upload the pics from that process next week.

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