segunda-feira, 29 de dezembro de 2014

"Investigator" Bedford CF - Electric Vehicle Project - Flinders University

Bedford in conjunction with the Lucas EV Group had been testing electric motors in CA/CF vans for a number of years and when the 1973 oil crisis hit they were way ahead of the game and prepared to release trial Electric CF vans the following year. The development of the CF-E's continued up until 1985.
During this period, half way around the world, a group of investigators were separately also developing EV technology at Flinders University. One of the commercial vehicles they chose to use was the Bedford CF.
Below are some photos and information I found about this project called "Investigator".

"The workshop area with the two commercial vehicles used in the later project
Bedford Van on the left and the smaller Fiat 127 on the right....."

1970's Electric Vehicle Project at Flinders University - The background......

"In the 1970's and early 1980's, a number of alternative energy studies took place within Physical Sciences at Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia. One of these projects, largely undertaken by a group of electronic and mechanical  technicians, was the Flinders University Electric Vehicle Project. The project was headed up by a very enthusiastic Darryl Whitford and the project cars proudly carried the name "Investigator" named after one of James Cook's ships. Other key members of the group were Kevyn Rush, Viv Rush, Robin Jongebloed, Peter Harris and Kate Mackenzie. At that time I was employed as an electronics technician in the main workshop in Physical Sciences and very such enjoyed any involvement with the project and the lengthy technical discussions that took place in the tearoom."

"Robin Jongebloed and Darryl Whitford with the power unit from the Bedford Van
The "Printed Circuit" motors were modular in design and based on 5kW building blocks. The above assembly shows 6 of these modules series together to form the 30kW unit that was used to power the Bedford deliver van project."
"Kevyn Rush assembling some of the modular power units"
"A number of home grown test beds were used in the development and testing
of the motors and associated control circuitry"

5kW Printed Circuit Motors:

"These made the project unique, the adaption of high powered "Printed Circuit" motor technology"

"The armature - very simple design...."

"One of the design drawing of the modular construction"
The Bedford Delivery Van:

"The van under going road testing around the Ring Road at Flinders University"

"Side view of the power unit, 6 off 5kW modular units in series providing 30kW in total"

"The other side with cooling manifold assembly"

"Part of the control circuitry was located under the seat unit"

"The under seat control assembly"

"Hinged design for ease of servicing....."

EVE-80 Electric Vehicle Exposition 1980:

"South Australian Premier of the day.... David Tonkin addressing EVE-80 at Flinders University 1980"

"EVE-80 at Flinders University 1980"

"Checking out the van - These when on to be used by the Public Building Department for a number of years...."

"This project ended in early 1980 for a number of reasons. Ongoing funding was withdrawn however some local commercial interest was secured for limited vehicle production.
A project ahead of its time? I think so......
Acknowledgement must be given to Darryl Whitford and his team for the outstanding design work and extremely high quality work put into this project."


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