Das Boot

I will share a little secret. Sometimes the difference between a marvelous life and a mediocre one is paying attention and just learning a few basic tricks. I’ve actually got more than my share of these as I’ve paid pretty good attention throough the years.

The problem is that most little tricks have a barb in them. Something that is hard to swallow. If you swallow it, you get the trick. But they are usually counter to human nature, or they would not be little secret tricks. Everybody would know about them.

You are all familiar with my call for 100,000 guys to go into their garage and build an EV. And I’m sure you wonder why I think they will actually do so. Well, the reason is, I went into my garage and built one. And they were already GOING to go into their garage and build one at about the same time. So asking them to do something, and predicting they would do something, they were already going to do, is not quite the black art it first appears.

And the basis for this is and was the realization that I am not actually truly unique. In fact, I’m not even special. Not just in the sense that I didn’t ride the short bus to public school every morning. I am really NOT anything special. And that realization is actually a little sekert trick I can use over and over.

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From our earliest days as a toddler, our parents and grandparents constantly shower us with constant reminders and really kind of “program us” that we are indeed special. And almost all human literature and religious doctrine teaches that each one is precious and totally unique.

So picture 28 million baby boomers, all toddlers at exactly the same time, with 56 million parents telling each of them they were totally unique. Then all 28 million toddled into the living room to watch Captain Kangaroo and Mr Greenjeans, Mr. Mouse, grandfather clock and bunny rabit, at EXACTLY the same time each morning for YEARS. And every day bunny rabbit DID get the carrots. The 28 million baby boomers ALL hated carrots. But they all watched. Every morning.

Our media, the communal campfire of our age, supports this with special stories. And special stories are about “special people.” Because each and every one of us is in fact special. Unique in our own right, right down to the final bean on the final strand of DNA. And so 50 or 60 million of us watch these special stories about special people together.

The problem is not one of these people can actually count past a hundred. Oh, they can count it, they can’t VISUALIZE what a hundred is. So picturing 300 million, the population of the United States is a little difficult. And the 7 billion planet wide is kind of a stretch as well.

As it turns out, we are not so very special after all.

Skip to the concept of synchronicity. Ever notice how everything happens at the same time. We all don’t have cell phones. Then we all do. And while we love em, suddenly there’s a smart phone. And then we all have that. In fact there are dozens of them. This is not really all theft of intellectual property. OVer and over through history we find two or three or even more people all inventing the same thing at about the same time with no knowledge of each other. Usually based on some OTHER technological development that has enabled this further step. I call this synchronicity. Actually, somebody else called it that and several million of us adopted the term.

One morning some twenty years ago I decided I needed a new printer for my PC. Horrendously expensive as they were at the time, and however badly they printed at the time, it had gotten to be “time” and the old Epson MX-80 I had been so COMPLETELY thrilled with a year or two prior just wasn’t cutting it anymore with the pale blue dots you could barely see on the page.

The noon mail came with the latest issue of BYTE Magazine – with the cover covered with photos of printers and SPECIAL PRINTER ISSUE blazoned across the top. How the hell did they DO that? How did they know that just NOW I needed a printer, and they had to write and photograph and layout this magazine weeks or months before to get it here 30 minutes after I needed it?

Info in hand it didn’t take me long to figure out which was the best value and price and feature set for MY “special” needs. I called the guys selling them, and… would you believe…..they had just SOLD OUT of that model? And so I called another outlet that also carried that line. And another. And another.

Would you believe we ALL decided that was the printer to have? And it was six months later before you could get one? At ANY price and six months later woudl you believe the price had gone up so much that I didn’t want one of those any longer?

This weekend I was mostly editing the current show you see on screen. But while it was compressing or outputting or any of the various time consuming things that go on with a 4 GB HD video that is two hours long, I perused the Internet O SPhere as I am wont to do. And I came across an interesting and to me very new development. It was a “semi-flexible” high efficiency solar panel. And it was a little jarring. 200 watts. 3 mm thick and you could bend it. It weighed 2.2 kilograms. And 20% efficiency claimed – like 5 feet long and 2 feet wide and 200 watts.

sunpower flexible solar

Anne Kloopenborg lives in a land where the streets are made of water. Like Venice only more Dutch. And the DMV regulations for converted vehicles is actually quite restrictive there, along with very high petrol prices. So he did an electric boat – a kind of sun weathered Glastron. We corresponded over this quite a bit and I posited that there would be nothing cuter in the world than a 356 Speedster on the water – little two seater that lets you buzz about. It doesn’t have to be a racing boat, but if it could do 40 km per hour on the water it would feel like 100 mph in a small boat like that. And relatively quiet compared to the roaring outboards, many of them 2 cycle fire breathing oil slick spewing monsters at that.

Wouldn’t it be magical to live in a land where the streets are water and everyone glides about in noiseless, odor free, oil slick free electric boats powered by the sun. And indeed one of Anne’s larger builds actually LED the Solar Boat parade a week or two ago and in this week’s episode he does a walk around of his fire engine red Delta Flyer which is basically the Porsche Speedster 356 of the water I described.

Aside from MUCH less regulation, which I don’t understand – very few people have ever been sunk or drowned in an automobile, boats have another interesting characteristic. The value proposition is graven in Jello. You see about 1/2 of one percent of the population of the world actually NEEDS a boat. They are horrendoulsly ugly things used to catch fish and do water work and so forth, usually very old and dirty and with its own set of odors. Working boats. But for the rest of us, NONE of us NEED a boat. We might want a boat. We might buy a boat. We might even HAVE a boat. But none of us need one.

I have a 22 foot Cobalt runabout. It sits in the hangar. Its been three years since I was out in it although I’m looking out the bedroom bay window at the Mississippi River while I write this this morning. As I’ve told Anne – west to the Gulf of Mexico. Turn right onto the Mississipi on ramp. First house on the left past the suspension bridge.

SO I have a $48,500 top of the line Cadillac of all power boats that will do 70 mph and holds about $250 worth of petrol that I almost never use. But I WANTED it. In shopping for it, I found the value proposition a little muddy. There were inflatables for about $250 and aircraft carriers in the $3 billion range. And everything in between. Pick your year, model and features. ALl come with a price but it is such a RANGE of sizes, models, features and prices that our ability to gage value gets a little crazed. I could have bought a used and abused Crown of the same length for about $4800. Pretty much the same seating. Go fast. Make a lot of noise. Somehow $48,500 at Dri-Port Marine in St. Louis sounded like just the ticket for me. And having already become a veteran with about 30 hours in the boat since, I guess I think $1616 per hour is a little pricey, but what the hell. The old saying if it f**ks, floats, or flies – rent it, is just all too true.

Point being, the premium we pay for electric drive components and batteries are easily hidden in a boat price as the prices are all graven in Jello anyway. ANd you buy a boat because you WANT it not because you NEED it.

We have always laughed at the copper foil helmet crowd that wants to power their cars with solar panels. Yes, I know there is actually a Solar Powered car race in Australia going on now and indeed we all saw the solar boat parade. But PUHleeze people. Everyone knows the panels are too heavy and the area required too large and the power output too small for any of this to make any sense.

Except…… . If the panels were a LITTLE more efficient, and a little lighter, and you needed some shade to get out of the sun anyway, and a boat IS out in the sun almost everyday ALL day whether you use it or not…. now what would that look like????

It would look like a staple of the midwest – the Heartland of America, the Red Neck Yacht Club’s SECOND favorite boat after the venerated 18 foot aluminum john boat —–

THE PONTOON BOAT.

And it has occurred to me more than once that instead of the Cobalt Power Boat, I SHOULD have bought a PONTOON BOAT. These are more like a 25 foot by 8 foot patio. The back porch of boating. You can have your barbecue grill, your beer cooler, color tv, and Stratolounger ALL on a Pontoon Boat. Man, that’s styling. Kicked back in the BarcoLounger with a cold one watching the old lady grill some brats with the Cardinals on TV. For a 58 year old 300 pounder from Missouri, it just doesn’t get any better. America’s Cup? Let me tell you. America’s CUp is RED and it says POLO on it. And it holds Budweiser or Stag beer. And any penny loafer wearing Bay Area earth worshipping pansey can get em some of THAT.

Pontoon boats are cool. They don’t go very fast. But they are very stable. No rocking about. And very comfortable. And they are all about PARTY. Anne can speed up to the Pontoon boat, DOCK there, get out and pop a cold one with the rest of us. It’s a floating patio with all the amenities.

Sometimes you get a little sunburned out there though. More shade than the little rag bimini offers might be nice.

So I spent the weekend shopping 25 foot tri-pontonons, with an eye to making them electric, and building a roof over them out of lightweight aluminum rigging to carry the very light, very thin, flex solar panels that are 20% efficient. And if I could get 10 of those 200 watters up there, that’s 2000 watts – about 5 hours a day. That’s 10 kiloWatthours. That SERIOUSLY extends my batteries, range, everything. And if I leave this tied up to a dock somewhere, it actually could ENTIRELY charge the battery pack in three or four days. Now we’re talking. Maybe an ELECTRIC grill on the barbie.

Monday morning, John Scrivener drove down from Mt Vernon Illinois. After many years as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Mt. Vernon, he sold his company and guess what the plan is. He needs about $20,000 worth of components RIGHT NOW. He’s building THREE pontoon boats and is going to make his next fortune in electric red-neck boating. Tri-hulls of course. And he wants to put solar on them whether it makes sense or not.

Twenty years ago, John Scrivener and Mark Weisheimer were running electronic bulletin boards in their basement, reading Boardwatch and were inspired to become Internet Service Providers. Mark is actually on our Electric Vehicle Ass Clowns International team with a Siemens and DMOC645 working on the GEVCU and here’s Scrivener, apparently a regular silent watcher of EVTV who claims ownership of EVERY episode, launching an electric boat business.

I have both of them convinced TWICE now that I had something to do with it. WHat I know, and they don’t, is they were both going to do it anyway, both times.
We’re not really very unique at all. I’m out two months ahead of you and running as FAST AS I CAN to keep you from catching up. I have to work 100 hours a week to maintain that 2 month lead. And I doubt I can ever stretch it to 90 days as hard as I try.

The other little thing I know, is there are 99,998 guys twelve days behind THEM.

There are always a few that actually ARE unique. Jeff Southern was building and selling electric outboards ten years ago. Nobody cared. So he quit.

And I sold my June 47 Tesla Calls in April – at $8.00. More than a little out of synch there, leaving about $1.8 million on the table.

Oh well. The point is, if you go to bed tonight thinking about Green Eggs and Ham, understand that about 100,000 other guys were thinking the same thing. Synchronicity.

The other boot under the bed? 100,000 represents about 0.00142857 PERCENT of the Worlds population.

Maybe we are ALL a little special after all….

Jack Rickard

PS. A bit of a correction. I got the 800,000 Intelligence employees and 275,000 NASA employees off the boob tube of course – though the numbers were repeated on at least TWO channels. Turns out NASA has about 19,000 direct reports in 2012. That’s a pretty big margin of error. I stand both corrected and publicly humiliated. I should know better…

PSS. I promised the rules of wolf.
WOLF
“The Rules of Wolf”

44 thoughts on “Das Boot”

  1. Nice find on the Solar panels… As you know I grew up a little Red Around the Collar and have thought about doing a Solar Pontoon boat many times. These panels look ideal!. I Never liked the idea of mounting 6-10 40lb panels 8 and a half feet off the water. That 500+lb roof (with aluminum supports) would be a little top heavy in the waves and wind. This makes the whole thing a little more manageable. Although all I saw were 135Watt panels (Where did you see the 200 Watt Panels?). They should work great on Golfcarts as well…

    The cool thing about these panels is that you wire a few in series to do say 48-72volts and charge the battery pack with a simply voltage shut off meter and a diode…(I would use a little PLC of course)…

    I would think an AC 9 or 35 would be ideal to drive a pontoon boat. An AC 9 would push it to about 8-9mph with a simple 48volt pack. The AC35 might bump that up to 12mph… (In pontoon boats the power to go a few mph faster is an exponential scale) And if you get going too fast, is spills the beer anyway…

    My best friend has been after me to build one ever since I started the EVThing project (Now down for repairs).

    If you decide to do a buy, let me know, I’ll probably buy 2000Watts worth….

    1. Errr. Yeah. Got kind of wrapped up in my story and forget to mention kind of a critical thing. The 200 watt panel is $576 and so it’s about a cool $6K to do 10 of them. The point is, you can do 10 of them and have 22kg or less than 50 lbs on that top. You can also kind of bend the edges down all around to keep the wind from getting under it so easily.

      Jack

    2. Jeff, For a gentle cruiser save thousands and use an old Lynch motor or two.
      Would you really need a fully variable speed system when you can parallel down with motors and contactors from 48V to 24v, 12v, 6v?
      Here in the UK someone has a 50 tonne capacity (50′ long) narrow boat powered by a single Lynch motor with a 12″ prop. However, the top speed on our waterways is 4 mph. Those curvable panels would be ideal on the roof for such a boat.

      1. I used the Briggs & Stratton (a Lynch design) in my electric outboards. They are very efficient, but I would go AC for the lack of brushes and easy way of doing the wigwag FWD/REV throttle… I also think that the relays necessary to series/parallel the pack and NOT unbalance it would cost more than the curtis controller.

        1. Really Jeff? The more cells that are left paralleled, the better the inter cell balance, surely! I’m not talking about cutting out individual packs for a lower voltage.. Imagine say 12, 3V batteries and a big throttle handle to inter connect as used on old trolley buses.
          12S*1P = 36V
          6S*2P = 18V
          4S*3P = 12V
          3S*4P = 9V
          2S*6P = 6V
          1S*12P = 3V
          Or off, which allows charging.
          Reversing is same again, only backwards through the same sequence. I love rough ‘n ready. That is who I am to do it this way. 🙂

          1. I hope you aren’t serious. The control at the slow end would not be too bad but the top steps are so coarse an adjustment you would hate this as a speed control. The number of high power relays and the wiring complexity needed to do this quickly exceeds space and the cost of a modern DC control. You would be wearing out contacts like mad too and when one welds shut you are kind of stuck in that battery configuration. I am not awake enough to figure out the formula for the number of contacts needed to make this work but for one cell is one, two cells is three and, four cells is eleven contacts. It looks like an exponential growth. Even the four cell example is going to cost more than an inexpensive motor controller and six will take more space and cost more than a Soliton 1 in contactors and wiring.

          2. Aww Dougie.
            Imagine all those contacts are motor brushes sliding on a drum which forms the pivot to the throttle handle.
            DC motor brushes never weld up while these motors spin under load and power. Are some people thinking up things wrong here?
            Stuff all that nonsense with electronics too!
            .
            The top step from say 18V to 36V is not 18V; Note how electric motors work and when you take into account the back EMF, Then there’s the load on the boat which requires 4x more power for every doubling of speed. it’s totally a none issue in my minds eye.
            .
            hahaha. The ultimate get out: “IMHO”.
            .
            Trolley buses are a lot bigger and badder!

          3. I playing with the electric outboards for years I find that the variable throttle is a good thing. Being able to vary the speed and direction smoothly and quickly around docks and other boats makes the boat far more maneuverable.

            I have done the parallel/series relays and seen people do the parallel/series relays and make them work with a 3 to 5 speed system quite well. However, relays in a hot humid water environment just don’t mix well. They corrode very quickly and are generally troublesome. In boats, the less electrical connections you have to deal with the better. In an AC system I have a grand total of 10 high current connections including the main contractor. Any relay base system will have several times the number of connections…

            Also when you shift the relay bank at low currents there are no problems. However, when you (after a few beers) realize that you are about to slam into the dock and shift the system from forward to reverse too quickly it is not uncommon to weld a contact during this high current reversal. Usually with less than pleasant results.

            That is where I prefer the brushless DC or AC controller motor combos. It probably adds a few hundred dollars to the cost, but is well worth it in my opinion based on playing with electric fishing boats for the last 15 years.

            My ideal drive for a pontoon boat would be:

            1) 5hp – 15hp donor outboard (9.9 being the ideal motor)
            2) AC9 or AC12 from HPEVS (Leaning to the AC12)
            3) 16 CALB 100 or 180 cells
            4) THC (or ELCON) 1500w charger
            5) 6 to 10 solar cells (in the 1500-2000 Watt range)
            6) One of my small PLC’s with the little 4″ color display to handle the PWM charging from the Solar Array and keep trance of the ELCON charging duties and act as my APMHr guage. (Same as the one in my EVThing)

            This would push a 18-20′ pontoon at 7-8mph at about 80-90 amps or 4-5mph at about 50 amps.

  2. Hi Jack,
    When you do happen to get a wrecked Tesla Model S, I hope you can marry it to a VW Samba shell. Can you imagine the street racing? Pull up alongside a Corvette or Porsche in your Samba Bus, the light turns green and you silently blow their doors in.

  3. ” I SHOULD have bought a PONTOON BOAT. These are more like a 25 foot by 8 foot patio. The back porch of boating. You can have your barbecue grill, your beer cooler, color tv, and Stratolounger ALL on a Pontoon Boat. Man, that’s styling. Kicked back in the BarcoLounger with a cold one watching the old lady grill some brats with the Cardinals on TV.”

    Sounds good to me…Go Dodgers!

  4. Watched 28th Septembers EVTV. Noticed Brain and crew are now fully conversant with the best version of CAD out there. No other software has even come close, especially for re-engineering….
    .
    CAD, Cardboard Aided Design.

    1. A little side benefit of having an electric pontoon boat is that if it’s sitting beside your house most of the time, and that house has some solar on it, the batteries could provide electricity storage for when the sun isn’t shining.

  5. JEff;

    Torqeedo actually has about a 9 hp outboard now that runs on 48v. We’ve been working on 48 v battery modules using 16 CA60AH that put together about 3kw. I’d probably do two of them and stow it in a pontoon boat bench seat.

    I’ve ordered 50 of the 180 watt panels. I think you could get 10 on a 13 x 8.5 foot aluminum rack using that honeycomb aluminum deck we use occasionally as the decking. It would be very strong and rigid but quite light. I would glue the panels down on it and then pour a quarter inch of clear bar epoxy over the top of them.

    I’d use a 2kw charger. And a 3kw Inverter to make 120vac onboard. I’d also use a 13.2v made out of four CA100FI’s with a DC-DC converter to charge the 12v from the 48v system. 48v to drive. 12v for accessories. And 120vac for the blow dryer.

    Should make about 1800 watts peak. Charge the whole pack in four hours of sunlight. Probably run the boat continously on a sunny day if that’s what you want to do. Kind of depends on the blow dryer.

    Jack

    1. “I would glue the panels down on it and then pour a quarter inch of clear bar epoxy over the top of them.”

      Do you know if the epoxy will block out some wavelengths of light that the panels would otherwise have converted to electricity? It might be worth testing before applying that to the whole thing. Maybe cast a sheet of it to hold over a panel and see if the output changes at all.

      1. The times I’ve used epoxy exposed to sunlight it turned yellow and the surface looked like it had been hit with a sand blaster after a year or more. I’ve also had small, cheap solar panels from China do the same thing. Most epoxies are not UV resistant.

    2. Sounds good Jack… I am good for ten of the solar panels….

      The torqeedo is OK but it is about $3800 and is not as powerful or efficient as the ones I made in the late 90’s… I know I can build a better outboard for less…

      I would also add a AC inverter.. To run the mini refrigator. So you can honestly say the sun keeps the beer cold…

      1. I’d get a 12vdc or a 12vdc/110vac fridge for an RV… and not one that uses Peltier devices but rather ones that use a compressor like a Norcold or a Dometic fridge. There are also a ton of 12vdc appliances available for the RV and sailboat markets.

  6. Celso and Palo’s video was great. The motor lab brought back memories of an earlier day in the Electrical Engineering lab at the University of Nevada c.1962 — and that lab was built in the early 1900’s. Those panels were black Bakelite rather than the clean, powder coated steel in Palo’s facility, but functionally they were much the same. Redux of 19th century equipment revisited in the light of 21st century technology. VERY impressive.

    At 70+ years young, I found the demonstration of soldering the SMD processor chip amazing. Jack, maybe even you and I could accomplish this using one of those USB microscopes. Now all we need is an USB device to calm the hand tremor.

    Roger…

    1. I suspect Celso and Palo used a stencil to apply solder paste to just the pads. Once one has the stencil one can also place all sm chips and give them the treatment in a micro-controlled toaster oven. You-tube videos even show the surface tension on molten solder in the oven pulling less than perfectly aligned chips into position. When the special solder mixes for this are purchased you have to keep them in a refrigerator for best shelf life. The first melt temperature is lower than the re-flow temperature so it is possible to SM solder chips on one side of a board, flip it over and solder again on the other. The USB microscope was the best feature of the show, way better than my conventional optics for this task.

      1. Hello
        No stencil and no oven , the solder in the pcb is enough to solder the Atmel SAM chip , and for the other components we use a solder paste dispenser .
        The micro-controlled toaster oven is difficult to get it right some times the solder doesn’t melt , and sometimes the PCB gets toasted, we are looking for other solutions… but there is so much stuff going on at the same time , that these little projects are put aside.

        Solder dispenser : http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solder-Paste-Glue-Dropper-Liquid-Auto-Dispenser-Controller-KLT-982A-/390638506368?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5af3de9180

        USB microscope : http://www.ebay.com/itm/331037955040

        best regards

  7. Jack, your morse code is getting well rusty. Dit dah, dah dit dah.
    Great show!
    .
    Just had an A123 blow up like a paper bag on me for no reason I can find as yet. It split my 100V pack. Was disconnected at around 40% SOC and stored at room temperature for 18 months. The voltage was checked under a month ago.
    Scary!

    1. Lee sent me a link to an interesting article discussing shorts in cells. The main focus is on test methods but there is a little on random shorts:

      http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo24361/50082.pdf

      I am picking up the impression that there may be a small proportion of cells out there with manufacturing defects causing some combination of small internal soft shorts causing slow leakage and more abrupt shorts causing immediate effects. The couple of cells that Anne found well down on the others might have been examples of the first. I’d be interested in what others think.

      But good cells don’t drift. At 850 cycles my 8 cell test pack of CALB 40s have actually converged slightly

        1. Hi Jehu,
          You obviously missed Jack pointing these videos out in his usual jovial way after Mr. Elithion told his followers on a forum about them. Hundreds descended on Mr. Elithion to correct his crazy statements so he banned all responses and removed the video ratings. oops!

          Note another post of mine lower down. Two EV’s while charging, go a-burning. I’d love to see what was inside.

          1. John,

            What was the initial cell A-hr capacity variance for the CALB40 experiment? It seems to be the factor that “Mr. Elithion” leans on to prove his case but uses such large capacity variance for his theoretical example, it makes it laughable.

      1. Thanks John.
        Poor material purity. Sounds about right with A123. Jacks cells ballooning seemed awry somehow. Thought they were overheating or overheated in the plastic mix. Seems a neighbouring cell had an edge heat up and burn too! No cell touches another or anything conducting. They have a small air gap too.
        New cells (as Jack says) need cycling a couple of times if they appear gutless.
        Cells self equalising, has been noted by many people.

        1. Chad – I didn’t measure the Ah capacity of the separate cells myself but the test sheet from CALB shows the measured Ah at the factory by cell serial number. All 8 were listed as 43 Ah. I measured the pack capacity on cycle 1 at 45Ah. It went up to 48 Ah at cycle 50 and then started to decline. At cycle 900 I am seeing just over 40Ah. I am using a fairly rough-and ready Hall sensor for current and coulomb counting in code, as I’m not greatly concerned about absolute values, so this might account for the 43/45 Ah discrepancy.

          About time I did another show-and-tell video segment for Jack.

      1. Yes, Certain kinds of Parisians they pray with their bottoms facing west are known to set cars on fire. Western media has kept a media blackout for various reasons. The company has suffered damage to the electric bikes before. They claim to have enemies, including BMW. It could be to claim insurance?
        trick. This was in the day time so I doubt arson.
        While on charge – I’d like to know what they have inside around those cells. Wiki is lacking 🙁

  8. One little warning to all of you that wants to transport your EV on a trailer or flatbed.

    Make sure you turn the maintenance switch OFF when transporting the EV.

    If the trailer/flatbed hit a bump hard enough the main contactor could in theory engage mechanically if it is positioned in a way that the it can be subject to the G-forces of the bump.
    I know that this has happend to a guy here in sweden. I cannot recall which contactor he used but I think it was the Gigavac.
    If the contacts were to connect just for a glimps, in many cases it would also weld shut.

    So take care and be safe.

    Maybe Jack can do some vibration tests on next weeks show to see if we are to worry or not…..
    One way to get rid of the problem is to mount the contactor on its side.

    Regards
    /Per

  9. While I watched Jamie bottom balancing the batteries one by one, I remembered a previous episode which showed Anne with a bank connected in parallel. Aside from the obvious precautions necessary, is there any reason why an entire set of batteries shouldn’t or can’t be bottom balanced in parallel?

    1. There is not any reason why they can’t be balanced in parallel, and little gain if you do. You simply have many many more amphours to discharge at a time.

      There is a theory that they kind of balance themselves in parallel. Not really. They will appear to when strapped, but then separate when unstrapped. The reason for this is that with very small differences in voltage, you have commensurately very small currents to move energy between cells. If you strapped them together for three or four weeks, it might make sense.

      I’ve done and do it both ways. You still have to kind of hand trim them in the end individually.

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