hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

You dont have to, but its interesting!

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hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

Postby shinyunicorn » 17 Oct 2017, 07:36

Hi All you smart people.. We are a crew building mini mobiles for fun to take to Burning Man.. Essentially electric wheelchairs we buy on Craigslist, tear off the chair and mount a themed kids sandbox filled with cushions instead of sand.. Add LED lighting and a good horn and off we go... We make our rides available for children and folks with handicaps or special needs! We joined seeking guidance to convert these to lithium. Looking for low cost, low tech solutions. It doesnt have to go to mars.. Just across the playa a few times! They are only used once or twice a year for events and Burning Man..
Keep shining and thanks!!,
-Troy
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Re: hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

Postby Burgerman » 17 Oct 2017, 09:19

Dont think theres a way to do that cheaply. Especially if you are going to leave them a year at a time. Better to stick with lead, and even cheap sealed starter batteries will work once a year. As long as you either charge every few weeks while stored, or charge and DISCONNECT the battery after charging, and top up after 6 months.
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Re: hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

Postby shinyunicorn » 17 Oct 2017, 10:18

I guess we have no idea what "cheaply" means.. can it be done for 500$ or less? We found over the past two years with lead acid we didnt have the range we wanted or the faster charging times. We do an event or parade about every three months and have a shop to keep them charged. Sometimes we have up to four people on these which seems to cut the range down tremendously. Whats the most basic, easiest and simplest parts list? 24v li-ion battery and charger combo? We mostly use Jazzy and Merick bases.
thanks again for the help!
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Re: hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

Postby Burgerman » 17 Oct 2017, 10:32

Range.
You need to fit more Ah of lithium, than lead. So for eg you would fit 100Ah of lithium in place of 70 lead to give a sensible improvement. Less would gain little for great expense.

That going to cost you 3x your 500 plus a 200 dollar charger, plus power supply etc. And its not plug and play will take a few days of configuring, testing, custom charge and balance cables etc. The 2 main advantages are:

You can get more Ah into the same space. So you gain range.
You get a few thousand cycles rather than a few hundred, but thats no concern for your use.

Fitting a cheaper and smaller pack wont give you more range. Fitting a 70Ah one where 70Ah lead is removed will see only a small gain relatively speaking - maybe 35%. And cycle life gain isnt a concern to you. So on sand, esp overloaded with 2 or 4 users you need a big lithium pack. These things struggle for range on smooth pavements. The lighter weight of lifepo4 will help on soft ground though.
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Re: hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

Postby shinyunicorn » 17 Oct 2017, 10:38

We have been trying to digest all the info on your site.. Theres so much! You really are a pretty amazing researcher and creator! To your original point, whats the best option for lead acid, strength, longevity, and fast charge? You mention optima batteries? We have access to them here in the US or have you found anything better? Are the best when combined with the Hyperion charger or is that only for lithium?
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Re: hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

Postby Burgerman » 17 Oct 2017, 10:49

For fast charging lead batteries, only odyssey is worth looking at. PC1500.

The hyperion is no longer made and only 20A. We noe use a Celpro PL8 at 40A, and it charges lead or lithium.

To charge the lead fast in the desert however you need to fit heavy cables, and charge directly from your car/truck instead. These batteries will be happy to charge in under an hour to 90% charge. To do this needs 100A or so. Your vehicle alternator can do that. It will charge at around 100A initially and slow down to about 1A in 2 hours. If you charge till it falls to say 10A then its about 90% full and good to go. Leave it longer if you get time. Buy a DC clamp meter.

Read http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/odyssey.pdf

So frequent top ups during the day will keep you going. But they MUST get a full recharge overnight, which still takes about 8 hours.

Read here: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/faster- ... arging.htm
And that is your best option for doing what you are doing.
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Re: hola! Wheelchair projects for Burning Man!

Postby shinyunicorn » 18 Oct 2017, 06:21

Thank you sir for your time, energy and speedy replies! If you ever get to Burning Man.. be sure to look us up.. We are the ones with the 747... we know a little about powering up! http://www.bigimagination.org/
Keep shining,
-Troy
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