Sunday, October 24, 2010

Contactor and Control Box Installation

October 24, 2010 - It's been 12 weeks since my last post, way too long if I'm to finish this project by 1st quarter 2011. I've been waiting on ordered parts like the contactor from EVSource which had been back ordered.

But I finally took the opportunity to install the contactor and control box in the engine compartment affectionately known as the "hellhole". The contactor is an Albright SW200 knock-off by Chinese manufacturer Nanfeng cost $88 from EVSource. According to the EVSource web site: "This contactor is rated at 250 amps continuous and 96VDC. It has a 12V coil, and comes with magnetic blowouts. A bracket and screws are included with the contactor. It has almost the identical size, dimensions, coil current draw, and internal spring force as the Albright SW-200 contactor." This contactor is pretty big at almost 7" in height and weighs about 3 lbs.

Here's a side view of the contactor:

And front view:

The control box from EVHelp is a basic logic circuit that takes as input: 1) switched power, 2) parking brake ground, and 3) common terminal of potbox microswitch (result of brake being pressed). This ensures that the contactor won't close unless the key switch is on, parking is off, and brake has been pressed.

Here's the control box:

I'm using two 8-position European style terminal blocks, one for 12-volt connections, and one for high-voltage (120V) connections. Here's the terminal block:

I pressed 1/4" rivnuts into the interior wall and used 1/4" bolts to attach the contactor into place. I also used 6-32X rivnuts and 1/2" machine screws to anchor the control box into place. Here's some shots of the contactor and control box installed:

I'll mount the terminal blocks where the red circles are and hopefully wire-up the 12-volt control circuit some time this week or next weekend.