Saturday, September 14, 2013

Car Alternator As E-Bike Motor

Tough One Alternator - Remanufactured - 117 Amps
I have a spare alternator for my 2000 Jeep Cherokee that I'm now thinking about turning into a motor for an EV application. I've seen people on YouTube running alternators as motors, that's where I got the idea.
I've been doing research for a couple of days now and so far found out that if I managed to pull this off, I would get a 3-phase motor. That's as far as I got, though. Here are the questions I can think of right now:
How do I find out which terminals to hook what to? (The great thing is that I have easy access to all the leads.)
How do I create 3-phase AC current from my battery pack's DC one?
Are there controllers available commercially to run my motor? (The ones I've seen online call for brushless motors. This guy definitely seems to have brushes. Would that matter?)
It's rated at 117 Amps as an alternator. Will it be OK to put that kind of load on it as a motor?
I also want to leave the internals intact so I can get regenerative breaking. Is that feasible?
I guess I would also have to figure out what kind of voltage it could handle. To do that, I was thinking that once I get it spinning I will take it up to 15000 RPMs (this is where it's at when the engine is redlining). Whatever that voltage is there, it will be my maximum allowable voltage. Is that a correct assumption?
If this works out, it would be great news for the DIY EV community at large. These things are cheap used and the alternator I saw on YT, was hooked up to 48 volts and was drawing almost 9 Amps (~7k rmp, no load). That's a pretty powerful motor.