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Before you begin:
Please take the time to read.
Developers of various projects are often bombarded with private messages and emails. Managing these emails and question is a extremely large undertaking. Please read, and take the time to understand the information available here and across the web if you don't understand a topic. Developers are not your personal support team!
The information provided on this wiki and the support forums is intended as information only. The Open Inverter project and it's contributors take no responsibility for how you use the information contained within these pages, nor any liability for injuries, or death, that may result from your actions.
You undertake your project at your own risk.
The open inverter project originates from Johannes Hübner designing/building his own open source AC motor controller, dubbed the "open inverter"
With the rising popularity/availability of hybrid and electric vehicles, there is a growing supply of high quality and relatively inexpensive parts from auto-wreckers.
The main goal of the open inverter community is to reverse engineer many of these components for use in a variety of projects such as:
- ev conversion
- energy storages
- power generation
- charging infrastructure
Open inverter projects now span over many different areas surrounding PEV, HEV, and PHEV components, such as:
- motor controllers
- 1-3 phase power converters
- dc/dc converts
- buck/boost converters
- battery management systems
- vehicle integration
As a results, there is a growing collection of open source software and hardware designed for the never ending list of OEM parts.
Theres a variety of methods of repurposing these OEM components. Methods here are generally chosen with future proofing in mind , reducing chances of firmware or software updates from the manufacture "bricking" or blocking the open source control efforts.
such efforts include:
- mother board/brain replacement
- sync serial
- firmware/software reprogramming
Resulting in many bespoke boards running the main open inverter software or other open/semi-open source code designed to ether replace OEM mother boards or VCUs.
This has lead to a large collection of different boards and software, many with redundant features. To unify many of these development projects, the community at large is focused on making a set of standard VCUs and replacement control boards which handle the ever growing list of OEM components.
Many of the VCU and replacement boards consist of these 3 main parts:
|The design and development of the control hardware based around an STM32F103 chip. This provides the control signals to the power stage and on to the attached components.||The development of the code that goes on the STM32F103 chips and determines, amongst other things what signals are sent to the power stage and the attached components.||Using an ESP8266 chip, the development of a simple web based interface to adjust the parameters on the firmware chip and to display values returned from the chip, for example motor speed (RPM).|
It is recommend reading the Glossary of Terms before continuing further.
A few main parts are needed for an EV conversion, such as:
- Chargers / Charge Controllers
- DC/DC Converters
- HV Junction Box
- Brake Assist
- Vacuum Pumps
- Electronic Brake Boosters
- Power Steering
Existing information on these items can be found on the EV Conversion Parts page.
A variety of OEM parts members of the community have reversed engineered for custom use cases:
- Isabellenhütte Heusler
- VAG (VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Porsche, ...)
- Common Inverter FAQ - questions common to all hardware variants
- Tesla Inverter FAQ - questions regarding Tesla Large Drive Units and Small Drive Units
Open Inverter (Core Project/s)
Open Inverter Related Projects / Control Boards
|core universal hardware and software components|
|ZombieVerter VCU||Tesla Small Drive and Large Drive Units:
commonly there is a large drive unit and small drive unit available.
These combine the inverter and motor into a single package. The
control boards for these replace the existing control board within them.
Open Inverter Hardware
|Lexus GS450h Inverter / VCU:
the GS450h provides a gearbox (where the motors are located)
combined with the original inverter, this board looks to control
the inverter and the gearbox itself to provide a powerful set up
suitable for rear wheel drive set ups, replacing the existing
longitudinally mounted gearbox.
|Prius Generation 3 Inverter:
a cheap available inverter from the popular Prius hybrid, this
board goes inside that inverter and allows you to control the features of it.
Open Inverter Software
similar to the Prius board, there's subtle differences between them and
therefore the need for a separate board.
|Nissan Leaf Gen2 Board
replaces the nissan OEM logic board with a rev 3 openiverter main board
|Ford ranger ev board
openinverter kit for the ford ranger ev
|All Control Boards / OEM Inverters|
Common across boards is the ability to communicate with a CAN Bus, which is a 'control area network' or a technical way of saying how various components, sensors, controls, etc communicate with one another within the car. Read more about CAN Communication
There is also a project to standardise the messages across the various control boards, read more
The openinverter firmware uses a set of about 70 parameters to adapt it to different inverter power stages, motors and position feedback systems. Also it lets you calibrate the throttle pedal, change regenerative braking settings and so on.
Use inverter as a battery Charger
Both the open inverter and some OEM inverters can be used as a battery charger, further saving on component costs. You can read more about how the open inverter and the theory of charging here
Open Inverter CAN std.
Different countries have different legislation, if you want you car to certified for the road in your country please take the time to review this section.