Chevrolet Volt Inverter
(This documentation is very much a work in progress, please feel free to add information or improve formatting.)
The Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera inverter is an inexpensive dual-motor controller. It's generally comparable to Prius inverter in price, ranging from $80 to $200, but is much more powerful - each side has 600A IGBTs. Liquid cooled as usual.
The original reverse engineering work was performed by Tom Debree back in 2018.
The Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera inverter contains 2 MBB600 IGBT modules - these are 600A and 650V apiece.
There is the usual liquid cooling. In the Volt the inverter runs at 111Kw in one motor and 55Kw in the other.
Current sensors are standard 5V hall effect, centered on 2.5V. The sensors output 2.85mV/A, resulting in a range of over 850A.
The gate driver board has been reverse engineered and is now usable for any motor. IMPORTANT - the drive is ACTIVE LOW. Pinouts are here: https://github.com/tomdebree/Volt-Inverter
A possible future use case is paralleling the 2 IGBT modules for a possible 1000 amps of power - see the forum: https://openinverter.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=697
Additionally, there is a third small power stage which was used to power the oil pump in the Volt transmission. This can be used to power an AC compressor or any other low power high voltage load (120VAC inverter anyone?)
Use with OpenInverter
As of right now (May 2020) there are at least 3 ways to use the inverter.
- Arber's driver adapter board - this connects a Rev2 kit board to the Volt inverter. It is tested and working. https://openinverter.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=297 and https://github.com/arber333/Ampera-inverter-driver-interface
- Arber's complete board - this replicates the Rev2 functionality and adapter board on a single PCB. It also integrates a Lebowski controller for the third small power stage. https://github.com/arber333/Johannes-controler-Volt-Ampera-DUAL-IGBT-board
- Damien's surface mount complete board - similar function to Arber's complete board, but all surface mount and fabricated by JLCPCB. This may be available for sale in the future from EVBMW???? https://github.com/damienmaguire/Ampera-Volt-Inverter
Q: How can I connect power and phase cables?
A: Either use the original Chevrolet/Opel cables, which bolt on to the original connectors, or drill out the connectors. IMPORTANT - read this post and look at pictures! https://openinverter.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=697&start=20#p9999
Q: Which inverter model should I get?
A: Not defined yet. 2013-2015 with p/n 12643810 probably works. Compare to pictures of other users before purchasing.