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Much of the Sparrow high voltage wiring is in a compartment on the right side of the car behind the door. This compartment can be opened by removing the screws around the edge of it. Don't open yours unless you're completely comfortable working around high voltage DC circuits. Even with the Big Red Button pushed down, there is still a possibility of encountering wires that have some potential to shock you. The following pictures are intended to give a tour of some of the components. Since ever Sparrow is different, yours may not look like this one, which is #220.

Kilovac Motor Controller with DC/DC converter mounted on it

Reversing Contactors

By changing the direction (polarity) of the field windings in the motor, the motor will turn in reverse when power is applied. These four high power relays (called contactors) accomplish this task.

Main Contactor

This contactor is the main on/off switch for the motor controller (which has been removed in this picture.) The reversing contactors can be seen beyond the main contactor.

The white rectangular box strapped to the back of it is the pre-charge resistor. When you turn the key of a Sparrow, you get a buzzing sound for a few seconds before the car is ready to drive. This is the time between when the motor controller is engaged through the resistor and when the contactor is closed, allowing full power to the controller. If power were turned on abruptly, without this pre-charge period, the current into the motor controller would be very, very high, followed by a momentary voltage spike.

The little cylinder between the main contactor and the big red battery cable is a fuse.

High Current Shunt

Jake Oshins

Below is a link to a picture from the left side of a jelly bean style sparrow, number 47. The components are the same; however, the vicor dc/dc converter is located under the hood, behind the zivan charger. There is one more contactor hidden in the left lower part of the picture. This contactor engages to supply the power to the rear circuits, and is signaled by the green light on the dash.

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Page last modified on May 22, 2010, at 09:54 PM