Just like anything in life, there are some obvious risk factors associated with working on a Do It Yourself (DIY) electric car. But these can be taken care of by adopting some simple homemade safety measures.
For example the electric shock, which is the most common hazards encountered in pure electric cars, can be easily avoided with a little precaution. A conventional automobile with an internal combustion engine is powered by gasoline therefore safety precaution should be taken to avoid any sparks or fire from the car. The same precaution should be taken with an electric vehicle (EV) which runs on electricity.
Here’s what you should do when working on a homemade electric car. Make sure that no connections from the batteries are left exposed where it may come in contact with your hands or tools. Put protective covers and tag all high voltage cables. Like the circuit breaker boxes, all good quality EV conversions should be installed with relays, fuses, and the connections should be inside a box as a safety measure.
Working With Battery Bank
Here’s a safety precaution you can take when working with the batteries on an EV. Use a small spanner when you are working with batteries in order to avoid accidentally connecting both the terminals. For further safety, you should insulate the handles of the spanner.
All deep cycle batteries for your electric car have two terminals. It has high voltage flowing from one column to the other. To avoid any bridging between both sides by accidental dropping your tools, placed a tall layer of insulation between the two columns of batteries. This simple step would greatly reduce the chances of any short connection.
Any high voltage connection on your EV should be clearly marked and segregated at a safe distance from the other electric systems of the car. Whether, electronic or mechanical, at any moment there can be compartment failure.
A provision for disconnecting the high voltage line when it is not in use is the basic feature of a good circuit design. With a view to implement some safety measure your can opt for an Anderson connector.
The Anderson connectors are designed provide a quick disconnect for power distribution systems. As an additional safety measure, some people use a circuit breaker that has a mechanical cable extending into the passenger compartment. This ensures a faster emergency disconnect.
When the “ignition key” is off, the high voltage should be disconnected. This is achieved by connecting a heavy duty relay to the ignition key.
Another relay is hooked to the accelerator pot box in the engine compartment to disconnect the high voltage whenever the accelerator is released. Thus, in case of emergency, whenever you turn the key off, or release the accelerator, the high voltage system gets disconnected automatically. For additional safety, to put off the relay at the event of any probable collision, you can attach an inertia switch to this circuit.
Above all, it is very important to follow some good work habits while you are working with your electric car conversion project. Everyone working in the electronics department in the army is supposed to work with one hand inside their pockets. This measure prevents the flow of electricity from one hand to the other hand through the chest. They also wear insulating boots as further safety measure.
All electrical equipments have safety disconnections. For further safety, grounding rods are fixed to the equipments. This ensures proper earthling and disconnection of the equipments. The entire emphasis was on the fact that all equipments are properly disconnected and good and safe working habits are followed.
DIY Electric Car Conversion Guide
Are you planning to convert a conventional automobile into a homemade electric vehicle? If you are, it is best you read up on the science of electric car conversion.
Before you begin your electric vehicle conversion project, check out the Convert2EV ebook by Les and Jane Oke. The Okes live a green lifestyle in Canada and one way of keeping their carbon footprint small is by using pure electric car. The Convert2EV manual was written based on their experience of retrofitting old gas guzzler into electric vehicle.