I ride a electric hybrid bike. I can pedal, cruise electric only, or just use the electric to assist me on hills. I’ve driven electric utility carts, golf carts, and ridden Segway’s. Electric vehicles are fun, cheap to run, and much simpler to fix than their engined counterparts, as well as being very quiet and clean to operate, with little to no chemicals on site like oil, fuel, and emissions.
If you want a electric vehicle, other than buying a expensive commercial version, you can either design one from scratch, or convert an existing one. Conversion looks like the simpler method, but then you get all the design compromises of the original vehicle along with it. Designing from scratch means you get a vehicle that meets your specific need (assuming you were able to resolve what that specific need is).
For designing a vehicle, we use Electric Vehicles: Design and Build Your Own. For anything from a 2 wheel electric bike to a 4 wheel cargo truck or electric speedster, including hybrids, this is the one you want. You learn about suspensions, steering, drivetrain and instrumentation issues. It’s a dated work, but the basics are still applicable, and can easily be updated with today’s technology. A great spot to introduce Arduino microcontrollers.
For converting an existing vehicle to electric, my favorite is Convert It!. I have a ’94 For Ranger that is begging for a conversion.
This book is the leading how-to resource for electric car conversions. It combines Brown’s years of professional automotive experience with down-to-earth language even an automotive beginner can understand. It is not written for the engineer in the laboratory, but for the home mechanic building his own car, and for the average person behind the wheel.
Brown speaks to the reader as if talking to a friend in his garage. Before lifting a wrench, Brown answers the most frequently asked questions about electric cars: how fast will it go, how far will it go, how long will the batteries last, how pollution-free is it really, and many more.
The conversion process itself begins with choosing an appropriate donor chassis, and stripping it of internal combustion components. Here Brown’s experience provide numerous tips and tricks to make the later conversion process easier and more successful. Step by step, Brown leads the reader through the conversion. As each component comes up, Brown gives a little background on the different types available, and the pros and cons of each. He includes tips on layout, design and fabrication at each step, and discusses different approaches for different chassis, such as front wheel drive vs. rear wheel drive. By the end of the book, every part of the conversion process has been discussed. Brown wraps up with a procedure for testing and troubleshooting, and guidelines for normal driving, charging, and maintenance.
The book is salted heavily throughout with photos and diagrams to illustrate its topics, and it includes a very thorough index. CONVERT IT has been chosen by the Department of Energy and by numerous schools across the country as the textbook for high school electric car conversion projects.
Discuss electric vehicle construction and conversion at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DIYElectricVehicles/
Spirulina is a blue-green algae. It is a simple, one-celled form of algae that thrives in warm, alkaline fresh-water bodies. The name “spirulina” is derived from the Latin word for “helix” or “spiral”; denoting the physical configuration of the organism when it forms swirling, microscopic strands.
Spirulina is being developed as the “food of the future” because of its amazing ability to synthesize high-quality concentrated food more efficiently than any other algae. Most notably, Spirulina is 65 to 71 percent complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison, beef is only 22 percent protein.
Spirulina has a photosynthetic conversion rate of 8 to 10 percent, compared to only 3 percent in such land-growing plants as soybeans.
Spirulina also provides high concentrations of many other nutrients – amino acids, chelated minerals, pigmentations, rhamnose sugars (complex natural plant sugars), trace elements, enzymes – that are in an easily assimilable form.
Read more at http://www.naturalways.com/spirul1.htm, http://www.roberthenrikson.com/SpirulinaSource/PDF.cfm/EarthFoodSpirulina.pdf, http://www.roberthenrikson.com/SpirulinaSource/PDF.cfm/SpirulinaCapelli.pdf and learn to grow your own at http://www.antenna.ch/en/documents/Jourdan_UK.pdf.
Build your own photoreactor for growing spirulina and other algae for food or fuel:
A Quantum Leap in Holistic Nutrition with Bio-Algae Concentrates
by Roland Thomas, BSc, ND, of Quantum Leap Wellness
We have been converting diesels to run on used fryer oil (different than biodiesel, which requires no conversion) for 15 years. We have posted a few articles giving tips and tricks on collecting and filtering oil, as well as the conversion process. We now use a homemade (DIY) centrifuge to clean the oil. Back articles on the centrifuge can be found at http://www.green-trust.org/TBB/.
The veggie diesel documents can be found at http://www.green-trust.org/freebooks/.
The conversion of our ’96 Diesel Suburban to 100% used vegetable oil (not biodiesel and definitely not diesel secret junk) continues. Over the years, we have worked with a variety of parts, always fine tuning and improving the system. Here are the parts for our conversion:
Coolant heated fuel pickup / tank heater –
Heats the fuel at point of pickup, doesn’t require complete tank heating.
Electric lift pump –
Take the load off your injector pump, mount at veggie tank.
2 Heavy duty, high volume 3 port fuel valves –
The most reliable way to switch from the diesel to the veggie system. Stay away from the problematic Pollak valves.
Coolant Heated Filter –
The diesel and vegetable systems are separate, with their own filters.
Electric Injector pump fuel heater –
On startup, there is cold veggie in the lines up front and in the valves that does not get heated. When switching from diesel to hot veggie, this “slug” of cold veggie hits the injector pump first. The electric IP heater mounted right at the input of the injector pump eliminates this possibility.
PMD relocator kit –
Relocating the fuel computer module from the injector pump is a necessity in this model vehicle. There are two 500 watt transistors that produce quite a bit of heat, and the extra heat from the hot veggie is enough to give it fits.
More detail on past conversions and collecting and filtering vegetable oil can be found at http://www.green-trust.org/wiki
We have put together a series of kits for those wanting to get involved with generating their own clean, renewable energy, and learn how the big systems work. The modules include a small 400 watt wind turbine, a 60 watt solar array, an optional engine driven battery charger with propane conversion, and a inverter for producing 120vac from the sun and wind. Each module is optional, so as little or as much can be ordered at once. The capacity of the modules is flexible, so give us a call if you are interested in a science fair, travel trailer, or a home sized system. These systems can be used where there is no power, or as an emergency backup for a grid dependent home. Complete installation instructions are available.
Nick arrived Wednesday with his 2000 Ford F250 pickup for a conversion to veggie. We finished Thursday night, and filled Nick up with enough clean veggie for 3000 miles of driving. The truck runs quieter and smoother, and has more power than before. Smells better as well. Read more about using Veggie for fuel at http://www.green-trust.org/wiki/index.php?title=Fry_Guys
See pics of Nick’s conversion at http://www.green-trust.org/Nick’s%202000%20F250%20Veggie%20Conversion/
- 3 stage charger circuit
- Propane / methane conversion
- Garden cart for portability
- Solar Panel Upgrade
- Battery Bank / Inverter Upgrade
Special thanks to:
This week we are giving away our Methane/Propane Generator Conversion eBook to every one who buys the Methane Digester Video. Take advantage of this offer to learn how to make biodigested fuel, and how to use it to make free electricity.
We are in the process of converting the Hatz Generator to run veggie oil. On warm days like today (71F), the Hatz will burn veggie with no conversion. As the temps cool below 55F, the oil gets too thick to flow through the stock filter. What is needed initially is a electrically heated filter, as this is a air cooled engine. Our vehicle conversions use coolant heated filters. The next step is a heater for the fuel tank. We are using a 55 gallon drum for the veggie oil, and a stick on heating pad that runs on 120vac. This power comes from the generator itself, which is started on diesel first. We will post pictures and more documentation as the project goes forward. We are on day three of Hatz Veggie Power.