Wiring up the car

Electrical System, Featured / Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

A lot of wires are necessary to make an electric car operate – we need to connect the battery, motor controller, motor, solar panels, MPPTs (Maximum Power Point Trackers, which are used to optimize power output of the solar panels), shutoff switches, relays, and more!

To safely wire everything up, we first created a detailed electrical schematic showing how everything will be wired up.

The Main Power System Electrical Schematic

The battery is connected to the system using power poles, which are used so we can safely disconnect the battery from the rest of our entire electrical system, so we can safely work on the other electronics. The positive lead of the battery is then connected to a fuse, to protect the rest of our circuitry and prevent excess amperage draw. We then have battery emergency disconnects in series, which are located both on the exterior and in the cockpit of the vehicle. These are used as both a last resort to shut down the car in the case of a system failure, but also serve as a way to secure the vehicle from inadvertent driving when the car is stored.

Here the battery can be seen with its protective foam to hold the cells in compression. The foam assures that the battery is held securely in the battery box to prevent damage to the cells.
Wiring between the shutoff switches can be seen inside here, protected inside cable sleeves (the black tubes in the picture)

The solar panels are all connected to MPPTs, which are then connected to the rest of our electrical system where the power from them is used to power the vehicle and charge the main battery.

Here the MPPTs can be seen (lower right). These are connected to the disconnect switches with the wires in the upper left corner of the white board on which they are mounted.

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