Saturday, May 31, 2008

Picking a Controller

One of the other discussions on the Civic-EV group concerns which controller to use to drive the system. Here are few thoughts:

  • Curtis controllers are widely used and available but a tad pricey and have issues due to lack of over-RPM and under-voltage feedback.
  • The Zilla 1K controllers are amazing, but have lead times of 4-6 months and also cost a lot.
  • Kelly controllers and LogiSystem controllers seem to have good pricing and flexibility but little or no mileage on them in the EV community, giving them high risk.
  • The Raptor controller used in the original CivicWithACord design is good quality but is no longer manufactured
  • The Belktronix system integrates most EV components for a holistic design and is low cost, but has a few limitations.
Here is a spreadsheet that I drew up to compare some different systems.

I received good feedback from Rob C., on his experience with the Belktronix system. It's made locally in the USA and has good tech support. You can't beat the price and it handles the automatic balancing of the 12-volt AGM batteries. The minor downside is that the charger is limited to 1200 watts. This makes it good to plug-in anywhere, but can increase the charging time. Since I'm shooting for an entry-level system that's easy to use and install, I'm tending toward the Belktronix system.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


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