Bash to Fit, Paint to Match

After a month between videos, I find we have about 4 hours of video to hand. So I split it into two videos. I particularly wanted the Quaife install video as a single entity for future reference.

Mr. Bill Bayer was a weatherman with the United States Air Force in Afghanistan. He became somewhat disillusioned in the 124 degree heat over our role there in protecting our access to fossile fuels and in a random trip through the Internet discovered EVTV. He became a fan watching all of our then 250 videos on the topic. He returned to the States and did a conversion of a Ford Ranger pickup truck which he found quite satisfying and drives to this day.

On retirement from the Air Force, he expressed an interest in actually coming to Missouri and working for EVTV. His parents live west of St. Louis so this was not entirely madness. He had grown up in Missouri so the culture shock was minimal. And so we added him to the team.

As he was to learn, being around Jack Rickard all day is not quite the pleasant experience of watching him on the Internet. I don’t think I’m really any different in real life from what you see on the camera. But I think most viewers mentally fill in the details of what they want me to be without any actual reference to reality. And so they tend to discount the curmudgeonly old grouch as an act. It isn’t. And when it isn’t all day long, five or six days per week, it can be a bit much. I suffer fools poorly. And I can be quite demanding of those I pay, however poorly to stay on task. Brian Noto worked for me seven different times, and I have vowed simply to not allow an eighth.

We have kind of worked it out over time but part of Bill’s dream has always been to get 10 acres and a double wide outside of town. This is so common in Cape Girardeau that I couldn’t imagine any difficulty. ALL young lads in Cape have EXACTLY this same dream and so 10 acres with a double wide and a well is so popular here that more people live outside of Cape Girardeau in the surrounding area than live in it. And often a pickup truck is involved, along with a john boat. Our “population” is about 37,500 now I think, but on any given week day there will be over 100,000 people in town. Often in pickup trucks… and often pulling john boats.

But that makes it kind of a competitive market, and Bill was not finding good value propositions in his eyes with a suitable house and grounds for his vision of gentleman farmer of no small substance and property. And he does have an interesting vision of living totally off grid, obtaining his own water, using grey water, gardening to grow his own food, raising his own chickens, composting, and all things earth friendly.

I don’t actually share that dream, but I do understand it and as you all know I’m attracted to the technical parts of it – independence both in personal mobility and the generation of energy to power my home and shop.

In Colorado, I actually STILL own a home on 58 acres with a lake and a mountain and a barn and horse stalls and grapevines and what was the first netmeter solar installation in Colorado and at the time, the largest residential photovoltaic array in the world. Today I not only live in town, but in the older part DOWNtown where people walk up my driveway and into my shop at all hours for a bit of conversation and a beer or soda. Indeed with EVTV we receive visitors regularly from all over the world. A guy from Moscow wanted a Siemens motor and DMOC645 with GEVCU and I told him we had one. He flew over and was here the next morning awaiting my arrival at the shop so he could pick one up and fly it back with him on the commercial airplane.

I found I liked that accessibility and socialabilty and the isolation of the mountain escape in Colorado grew old very quickly. But Bill has found his dream home in a 720 sf metal house on 8.5 acres on the Buffalo River in Linden Tennessee. And I get it. It looks very idyllic. I’ve encouraged him to start his own video series on living off-grid on the cheap, and what he does with the composting and solar and water and food and so forth. It’s a scenic setting. He now knows how to make video. And it would be interesting to watch and share his real world learning experience in this beautiful natural setting.

The mark set HERE is kind of modest. Here is an assclown spending 20 minutes of video showing me his devilishly clever troubleshooting technique to find the problem with a perfectly operational solar system consisting of three panels, a cheap charge controller, and a battery. I’m not sure he ever fully understood that when your battery approaches full, and you are not using any power, the output current of the panels naturally diminishes. He certainly seems hellbent on fixing it anyway and the determination is impressive. But it is NOT the ugly truth about solar. It’s the ugly truth about solar guys.

It does kind of illustrate how far we have to go with Solar. I think Bill can do this much better. His DOKA build is undoubtedly the best build we’ve ever done at EVTV. I’m driving it every day now and it is a marvel.

And so this week, in addition to 2:14 of me waxing poetic on autonomous driving and Selfish Solar, we document the Quaife installation in a smooth 1:46 for a perfect 4 hours of unadulterated EVTV goodness. I was very involved in doing the Quaife install ONCE, some time ago. But Bill has simply handled it in the past year and I’ve asked for an install and usually two hours later he hands me a finished drive unit. I had no idea it took two claw hammers and a dead-blow hammer to persuade this delicate and elegant piece of $10,000 equipment to behave itself. As my friend David Matthews of Boeing Aircraft in St. Louis notes, bash to fit and paint to match. If it’s good enough for Boeing….I guess I can live with it.

The Quaife thing turns out to be kind of important. Tesla has a very good electronic traction control. Most of it is actually done IN the inverter which receives CAN data on the speed of all four wheels. If one gets out ahead of the program by even a little, it instantly reduces torque to the motor. The automatic braking system can individually brake each wheel so it applies a little to the slipping wheel. And so it all goes well.

Applying 350 kw, 480hp to two rear wheels with an open differential and NO electronic traction control is an invitation to disaster and I mean truly a disaster with potentially fatal consequences. Elon Musk demonstrated this himself with his brand new million-dollar McLaren. If you are going 40 mph and yell “watch this shit” and hit it, one wheel breaks loose, the other drives like crazy and you leave the road, potentially under the auspices of the FAA. Tragically, he was not technically insured when he landed it in an off runway incident, collapsing his landing gear all the way around.

The inspiration for a solution was actually Doug Yip. Doug was building a Tesla powered AC cobra and planning the installation of a Honda limited slip differential. I noted that that kind of one-off solution was problematical – what if it broke? He would have to “make” another one. I suggested he get Quaife to build him a couple of them. He soon came back that they wanted a minimum order of 20. So I gave it to them, and gave Doug 2 so he could build his car and have a spare. The issue is that guys with race cars do not WANT to reduce torque. And they certainly don’t want to put on the brakes. The idea is to GO and go full power.

And so in the Doka you see what Ben Ashton at Quaife calls a perfect set of elevens – two single streaks on the pavement.

Doug has just released a video of him starting at the rear of a pack of 27 and advancing to position 7 in six laps. Fascinating.

Along the way, Doug was unhappy about our pricing, and unhappy about our development pace, and started to note there were other solutions available to control the drive unit in kind of an amusingly threatening manner. So I promoted him to a position off the beta team and urged him to pursue those. He is now on the road happily without us. But he has proven the Quaife rather emphatically.

In this episode, I have had a change of heart on the autonomous driving issue. While the problems and issues remain daunting and rather beyond those estimated, the simple application of intellect and resource to this problem is sufficiently overwhelming, and the potential payoffs so huge for the winners, that it becomes rather inevitable. And let’s get real here, it doesn’t have to work VERY well to offer a safety improvement over a 20 year-old gal with her foot on the dash painting her toenails while talking on the phone to her girlfriend at 80 mph. Farmers Insurance has seen it because they’ve covered it… IF you think I jest on how bad drivers can be…

And Tesla will no doubt lead the way. At this point, it has become a given that they do. And inevitably, they will not only survive in the rough and tumble world of automanufacture, I think they will come to dominate it. Volvo and Volkswagen seem unnaturally earnest in their protestations that it is not so. GM remains dismissive. Now Ford is going all in on an electric platform and dominance of all things EV. In the face of the basic failure of the Focus and the Bolt to dominate anything thus far. Volkswagen DOES have some capabilities Tesla does not – almost all of them revolving around press release management and their actual performance on environmentally friendly vehicles speaks for its own heavily fined and penalized self. At least it ended the hopes of diesel as a solution.

That leaves a lot of blue sky there for Tesla in an $85 billion annual auto market. But as Ron Popeil so aptly and often put it, “But wait, there’s more.”

And more involves Solar. Musk has entered an agreement with South Australia to install a 129 MWh battery in 100 days or its free. Which is curious. He’s also announced availability of Solar Tiles. I signed up to buy them and was crushed to learn that they don’t actually sell them. They will INSTALL them, sometime, somewhere, and not in Missouri anytime soon. On the first day of the year I similarly put down a $500 deposit on a PowerWall. Purportedly now 13.4 kWh for $5500 and includes the inverter. But alas. It is NOT actually for sale either. They WILL install it though, for an additional undisclosed fee, sometime. They’ll contact me soon. As of July, they haven’t. And I’m afraid by the time they get installers set up in Missouri, we’ll be on PowerWall version 7.0, with 100kWh for $2200 dollars, but still not exactly available.

What has Jamestown South Australia got that Jack ain’t got? Press appeal. He actually may BE acquiring the capabilities Volkswagen thinks they have that he doesn’t. He is mastering press releases on unobtainium. And so a 129MWhr battery is somewhat easier than mailing me a 13.4 kWh one.

Meanwhile the utility companies are already introducing their favorite new rate game, peak usage charges, to residential customers. This worked out so well with commercial customers, that they want to extend them to everyone. This means that if you average a certain amount of electricity each month, if you EXCEED that average by having a peak demand on a single day during the month, you pay a HUGE penalty on the electricity for the entire month. It may be the ultimate “Solar head shot” they have been looking for if they can get regulators to sign off on it, and apparently, for a fixed amount of cash, they can. This game is SO dirty it causes that familiar but uncomfortable feeling of just a little bit of vomit in the back of my throat. The taste is terrible.

Reminds me of the guy who walks into a bar and sees his friend sitting with 12 empty martini glasses obviously inebriated. “What’s up?” he asks. “I’m celebrating” is the reply. “Celebrating what?” he asks. “My first blow job.” is the response. “Well here, let ME buy you a drink if that’s the case.” The response was unexpected. “No, if 12 martinis won’t wash the taste out of my mouth, I don’t think a 13th is going to do it either…”.

But for us who are neither late adopters nor unwashed masses in the millions representing a huge market, the DIY guys are basically unarmed in this battle. In an attempt to deal with being ON the grid and being OFF the grid and being back ON the grid and satisfying everyone everywhere, the available equipment has become comically complex to install and use. An army of opportunists insist of course that I overplay this, while at the same time avowing as how a Sunny Island and a Sunny Boy will work PERFECTLY, but no they do not want to reveal how. There is NO document or video I can find that would be at all useful to actually do this feat because they want you to pay THEM to put it in and they guard the techniques very carefully. If you call SMA, they indeed will tell you you need a professional installer.

And so in this video I am proposing SELFISH SOLAR. It has a couple of key concepts.

1. Devices are simple, stupid, and dedicated to one task. A battery takes care of being a battery. A charger takes care of doing what the battery tells it to do to charge. And an inverter inverts. It knows nothing of grids or batteries. It looks for an input voltage and produces AC. And you can add them in modular fashion for more power.

2. Adoption of a common bus of 300-400vdc to match the voltages of electric vehicles.

3. Heavy use/repurposing of used electric vehicle components to maximize power and minimize cost.

4. Super simple and very optional interface to the grid.

5. Massive batteries as the heart of the system.

On the surface, this doesn’t look much different from how a solar equipment package works now. But it is actually MASSIVELY different. It is an entirely different and selfish philosophy, using very selfish modular components, to deal with a breathtakingly selfish, self destructive and myopic grid/political system bend on self destruction.

It’s a war. And again we can win this one. It only takes a handful. If I can get a scant 100,000 guys to go into the garage and build one, and tell the utilities to fuck off and die, the utilities WILL do as instructed. And millions will follow. The telcos did. The oil companies did. And either one of those looks agile and intelligent when compared to electric utilities. But you do have to let go of the utopian vision of a shared beneficient grid using renewable power where we all just love each other and bask in the bountiful sunshine holding hands and singing kumbayah. It ain’t happening. That is not how you got an Internet. It is not how you got electric cars. And it will not be how you get a solar powered world.

And yes, for the 100,000, it will be expensive, it will be problematic, and it won’t work very well at first.

And yes, it will all work better if Elon Musk leads. But lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way….

35 thoughts on “Bash to Fit, Paint to Match”

  1. I like your ideas about Selfish Solar. Most people understand “selfish” pretty easily. If you can show financial (or security) benefits, without ever mentioning anything like Climate Change, many people will get on-board with the idea (mentioning CC actively turns people OFF to the idea; best if it’s never mentioned).

    As for security, someone doing surveillance on your place can determine a great deal by your power consumption, without needing to be in visual range of your place. Watching power consumption, it’s pretty easy to tell when people get up, leave for work, come home, retire for the night, etc. Right now, smart meters can report power consumption information to a distant location to help manage the grid. Obviously, other info can be inferred from that. For the more paranoid out there, the idea of having your own battery backup and solar supply (even if it’s a partial supply) is / will be very attractive as it utterly disrupts the ability to collect such data.

    I like the idea of MPPT controllers on each panel (many microinverters do this). Like you, I tend to think that the output from these needs to be regulated DC, not AC. And, like you, I tend to think higher voltage is better (higher voltage = lower current = high efficiency from cheaper wiring).

    Is anyone making a one-per-panel DC converter which will do this? Specifically, taking the output from one PV panel, with MPPT, producing regulated 400 VDC?

    In your prior article on this subject, you mention you “have gone to China and asked them to specifically build us” a MPPT charge controller which will work with the Tesla battery pack. You also mention that having several panels in series adds to up 400+ VDC. In the absence of a one-per-panel converter, this makes perfect sense. I’d think that a smaller device would be easier to ramp up to mass production, but I’m not an EE. It may be one of those things which is deceptively difficult to do well.

    If we can get one-per-panel 400 VDC converters, 400 VDC input / output battery charge controllers and 400 VDC input inverters, that would make it pretty easy to build a 400 VDC bus to which everything can be connected; that appears to be the basis for your system.

    1. It is as I thought. And kind of amazing. After all these years, we have the 12 blind men around the elephant with regards to what a home solar setup should be.

      No, I cannot imagine anything more dicked up than individual MPPT DC controllers on each panel, but in fact that IS what I have with the Renosolar setup I have and it all has to come down at some point.

      What possible advantage do you see in such a nightmare?

      Jack Rickard

      1. It’s my understanding (feel free to correct me if you know otherwise) that, when you have multiple panels in a string and one of them gets shaded, that affects the voltage of the string and the MPPT doesn’t get the maximum power out of the string (all of the panels essentially “lose” to match the weakest one). That info could be “marketing” from the microinverter manufacturers; like I said, feel free to set me straight where I’m wrong.

        Having one device / panel means that the MPPT can adjust for that one module and other panels (not shaded) can keep on pumping out the higher power without issue.

        Naturally, if your panels are placed such that shading is NEVER a problem, or where the losses are negligible, no biggie.

        Additionally, one device / panel, with all of them producing the same voltage, means you can wire them in parallel (same voltage, sum the current). if you decide to add more panels later, it’s much easier to add them to the system.

        Naturally, if you setup your array up front and NEVER add / delete / update panels for the life of the array, no biggie.

        One / panel is a potential mess, I agree. Getting the same, regulated voltage out of several modules (each of which have variable power input) may be messy to do right. But it’s also more flexible, for those of us who buy a few panels now and a few more when their budget allows. And it can adapt, more easily, to changes in the outputs from those panels. Also allows me to put in some 250 watt panels now, 350 later, maybe 500 later (when / if they become available). Assuming, of course, that the modules can handle the output.

        I envision a system with:

        * one device / panel (or handful of panels)

        * one device / battery (or handful of batteries)

        * one device / inverter (multiple inverters could be attached to get the desired level of output)

        That would essentially have you attaching everything to one, relatively high-voltage DC bus. The ultimate in flexibility and ease of upgrade / replacement. If I want to build a small, portable system with one panel, one battery and limited AC output, it’s do-able with these components. If I want to build a 50 kW array with 200 kWh battery storage and power multiple households, that’s also do-able with the same components (just more of them).

        If you can manufacture enough of each device, there are potential economies of scale, even before the market gets huge.

        1. Panel shading is an issue. But individual panel MPPT is probably not the solution.
          I like high voltage strings of eight panels producing 400-500v. And then you MPPT each string. Most MPPT charge controllers have several inputs that are each controlled.

          But yes, shading of one panel will reduce the output of the string. But if you put individual MPPTs on each panel, they are still in series and the same would hold true. You would not have accomplished anything, unless you put all panels in parallel for a massive 0.65 volt 1000 amp array.

          Switching power supply costs are generally all about the passive components. Inductors and capacitors. I was just looking at a design of my own and the logic, gatedrive and switch all added up to less than $200. But the inductor was $125 and the capacitor was an astounding $250.

          But yes, one of the basic tenets of Selfish Solar is to be able to add additional strings/MPPT controllers as necessary – typically at a voltage higher than 400v so we can use simple buck controllers to step down to our bus voltage. Eight Panasonic HIT’s is about $3200 to add an additional 5.5 amps of charging capability and maybe 2400 watts. So I would view that as the granularity or “increment” handy to expand a system.

          The issue of shading goes kind of directly to the cost of the charge controller. We have one now that will indeed do the 460v MPPT we need, and 100 amps of charging. But it only has two inputs. So we need to use combiner boxes to sum strings for input to the MPPT controller and so we lose even the individual string control you want for shading. But it’s $2000 for that kind of power. I would love to have smaller less expensive charge controllers that do high voltage PV input and high voltage DC output but they just are unobtainium at the moment.

          1. The idea was that each device would boost the output voltage of one panel to regulated 400 VDC with current appropriate to whatever MPPT was able to extract. Then the devices are wired in parallel. That’s how modern microinverters work; the output from each is 240 VAC, split-phase, while matching voltage, frequency and phase, such that the devices just need to be wired in parallel. And, insomuch as some microinverters are grid-intertied, they have to match the voltage, frequency and phase of the grid-supplied power.

            Such microinverters cost about $1 / watt. Compared to panels which are flirting with (sometimes less than) $1 / watt … yeah … costs. You’d think that just doing MPPT and boosting / regulating DC output would be simpler / cheaper than all that. But it sounds like it wouldn’t be cheap enough to make it worthwhile.

            From the rest of your comment, it sounds like the panel shading isn’t THAT big a deal and that the cost of individual MPPT devices would overwhelm any possible savings from per-panel MPPT. And enough panels to add a new string of 400+ volts is not expensive enough to ponder adding panels with finer granularity.

            As said, in my earlier comment, if you know otherwise … and clearly, you do.

          2. Precisely so. Some ideas have merit, but don’t ever seem to work out. Supercapacitors in cars. Great. But however you work it out, the same money spent on more batteries gets you farther. The same here, however you work it out, more panels gets you more power than all the electronics.

            Generally the simplest answer is the best. It has to do with razors.

            Jack Rickard

          3. If selfishly solar is about the fact that trying to make money off of your solar installation is impossible then perhaps just not do solar in that way? For example: resize your system so that it can only make enough electricity for 1 day worth of household use; if your battery ever needs to be charged because your not getting enough sun – simply take it to a tesla supercharger station and recharge it there for free. And if you really wanted to pinch a penny, since the tesla recharge is free, you could just do without the solar panel systems entirely and instead just run off battery power. it may be inconvenient of course depending on your location relative to a tesla station, but then who ever said saving money was going to be easy?

          4. Selfish Solar is not about saving money in any short term way. And making money off your solar installation is not impossible, it just doesn’t make sense. If you want to save money, keep the grid and get LED lightbulbs and turn the mf off when you leave the room. Dad knew best.

            LONG term, it will be less EGGREGIOUSLY EXPENSIVE to repurpose EV components for home solar, IF you are one of those who can build your own Do-It-Yourself. If you are a tinkerer innovator, you get to PAY to PLAY. The ROI always sucks on the front edge of the adoption curve. But on the other hand, what’s the payback period on a big-screen TV?

            We are not at all about saving money at EVTV. We are all about new and creative ways to GET RID OF IT and we have become really quite good at this…


  2. Best wishes to Bill. He seems a competent and remarkably steady guy.
    To tell the truth I’ve had the feeling for maybe 6 months or so that you were pretty much ready to declare the pioneer days of EV building over and move on to something else. Your “selfish solar” idea seems like a great antidote to the “serf-ish solar” dreams of the power monopolies. And once again it’s all about the batteries. Party on, Jack.

    1. I think people will continue to convert vintage cars to electric drive and we will pursue OEM components repurposed for that into the future. But yes, the war is over and won. I believe that guy on street has now bought into the concept of electric cars. It is a function of price vs range at this point. And still justifiably a little leery of orphans and dead ends I think. But the acculturation mission is pretty much a done deal. And the other OEM’s have all capitulated to the inevitable at this point.

      One curious aspect of this for me is always the “of course it was inevitable” thing. I always start off as a crazy person championing an impossible cause, to a brief period of having been a sage prophet, but it moves smoothly into a “you did what? Of course we were always going to have an Internet. Anybody could have seen that…”

      I recall fondly seeing claims by people in 1998 of having been web HTML designers for over 20 years. So ignorant they were unaware that Tim Berner-Lee’s paper was in 1989 and no one knew anything about the web at all until Mosaic in 1994.

      So it seems overnight to move from having to explain every single day why you would WANT a network of networks worldwide, to seeing people claim to have invented it decades earlier and the wide spread assumption that it was inevitable – in what seems like an overnight fashion. I think we are about there today. So you predicted electric cars? Who didn’t? It is so obvious.

      It is always obvious in arrears. In the beginning, it stands an excellent chance of never happening at all. Too many forces arrayed against it. Impossible. Who would give up the throbbing and roaring of a V-8. Picture EVERYBODY.

      So of course electric cars were inevitable. It just needed the battery technology. It showed up. And presto chango. That is the narrative.

      But the excellent work our viewers did in building all manner of impressive conversions and demonstrating them was the enabler that made it happen I believe. That tribal knowledge percolated through the society sufficiently well, that the outcome became “obvious” to all. In the future, those guys will recall the huge expense and effort to get fairly basic cars to move, compared to relatively trivial prices and really almost shocking new technology of future cars as a poignant and almost tragic waste. It was not. It was actually the driver that made it happen. WIthout tinkerers and innovators, there are no early adopters. Without early adopters there is no mass market. And not only is nothing inevitable, but it is generally impossible. It is the nature of chickens, eggs, technology, and the very nature of entrenched market owners.

      But having been through the PC revolution, the Internet revolution, the electric car revolution, and soon the home solar revolution, while having observed the handheld communications revolution, I can pass several important takeaways. First, we are ALL connected in ways that are non-apparent to most of the population. Second, however intractable a problem may appear, it is always COMPLETELY solvable through focused and persistent effort over a serial number of years by a growing body of those devoted to the problem and the solution.

      The five phases of project management are widely mistaught in our universities. They are actually:

      1. Introduction and enthusiasm.
      2. Realization of fatal problems and obstacles.
      3. Search for the guilty.
      4. Punishment of the innocent.
      5. Praise and honors for the non-participants.

      1. As Tesla ramps up and all the other manufactures are scrambling to the party, Jack was right. Its over and they just don’t know it yet. Seeing the Cobra racing around the track effortlessly taking on the competition, thats progress. Electric racing and re-powering vintage vehicles will be the next facet for automotive enthusiast.
        I’m not quite sure that ROI on tinkering and innovating is not in the cards for those afflicted. I had tried the conservation and just working more diligently to pay the bill, however the costs of energy just ballooned and almost made it impossible to live in my home and travel down the road. I’m one of those tinkerers innovators, The home I built is heated with hydronic heated floors once powered by a small oil fired boiler. Once, in-expensive, but that changed abruptly. I built solar hot water collectors and installed geo-thermal that now keep us cozy for a <1/4 of the cost. The solar hot water some years provides half the heat required for the home. The cost for furnace oil was $6000/yr ROI was 4.5 yrs.

        In 2011 I found a 1998 Chevy S-10 EV OEM, the brother to the famous EV-1 that was crushed. It had NIMH batteries and an issue with the DC-DC converter. As all items in the vehicle are linked with CAN that I couldn't decipher I had turned to a more industrial approach and built an inverter that didn't need CAN. It took a number of years and some where in there found EVTV. As we use the little truck for work it saving about $4500/ yr. ROI 3yrs. A really NICE driving truck. WTF was GM thinking!!

        Last year the installation of 10 KW of solar panels had commenced. As this is DIY, it takes time. I built the home with Solar PV in mind so there is conduit placed already in the walls and a dedicated fibreglass box for batteries in the garage floor. Until recently energy storage was an issue and for me grid tie is not an option. The electrical distributer says "no capacity available for grid tie". Enter Jacks SELFISH solar and this is exactly were I was headed. Although this is still a sizeable investment I see the ROI of about 6-8 yrs.

        Jack and his EVTV for certain inspires the innovators and tinkerers. Not to mention the almost impossible work decoding and integrating the cornucopia of EV reclamation's

        Thanks Jack

      2. 1. Introduction and enthusiasm.
        2. Realization of fatal problems and obstacles.
        3. Search for the guilty.
        4. Punishment of the innocent.
        5. Praise and honors for the non-participants.

        I don’t understand 3, 4, or 5. . .

        1. @DAGAD
          Only Jack knows. Below is my own twist.

          1. Introduction and enthusiasm. (We all are enthused about going offgrid)
          2. Realization of fatal problems and obstacles. (Lithium and 400V DC are lethal. So beware as a few of us will dig big craters in our barn, garage or outhouse)
          3. Search for the guilty. (Lots of questions will be asked, but the main culprit will be somewhere there in the crater (hopefully). The Yoruba have a saying – ‘The mullah is burnt to death, yet you ask – but what happened to his beard)
          4. Punishment of the innocent. (In the absence of the beard, we cannot say the mullah roasted to death or is truly having a good time in heaven, but we know we cannot judge people by bread alone)
          5. Praise and honors for the non-participants. (Elon is taking all the glory but where was he when Jack’s Forklift Pb batteries weighed more than the car, when the warm glow of lit tubes give true HiFi, High Tension and Low Tension coexisted in the same chassis, when SuperHetrodyne allowed that vital selective gain to sort out the good and the bad, bald Mullard OC45s became light sensors, when Vero made adjoining tracks boring for the heavy handed, when Ohio Superboard II with Kansas City Interface complete with 1K ram was truly Basic, when 8” floppy drives in our uC emulators saved us from flopping or flipping, and em eerie green 80 X 40 monitors were the underworld).

          Jack, we thank you for the long suffering. Elon, thanks for taking us over the Start line (Nice to know people love the Model 3). And if you have been in this field for any length of time, thanks for hanging in there. Best place to be.

          1. No, no, no. None of that. It is an old satirical description of project managment in large corporations. And I probably even have the first two steps hosed up. But at some point, the project goes bad, it is over budget, it is past milestones, and everyone is in a panic. And so a search for the guilty commences. Then there is the punishment of the innocent, usually some scapegoat marginal service that had nothing to do with the usual SNAFU mismanagement. And then when it is all finally brought in and they are celebrating success, there is usually a ceremony where they congratulate people who had little or nothing to do with the whole process.

            It has nothing to do with solar. nothing to do with Elon. It is a generic description viewing the entire thing overall.

            Ultimately, as you all know, in the end we will celebrate that it was General Motors and Volkswagen’s idea all along. They will parade endless black and white video s of experimental electric cars from the 1950’s, etc etc ad nauseum. That will be the praise and honors for the nonparticipants. Much as Microsoft claims to have invented the Internet, which they fought AGAINST for years. ATT incredibly the same.

            In the end, history is rewritten by those with the largest PR budgets. That is what I was alluding to.

            Jack Rickard

  3. BMS’s in vehicles are basically across the short parallel chain in manufactured cars. Maybe It’s the best for Solar panels?

    That’s not my burning question. Jack, what happened to your recent YouTube video? Looks like it got hit with extreme malevolence.
    Are you posting it on here?

  4. Just watched the 8 August video. A couple of notes about the Tesla electric motors. A permanent magnet based motor will always be limited in torque. One of the 2 interacting magnetic fields is fixed in strength. This also the more efficient motor since you don’t have to make one of the magnetic fields. The AC induction motor can be over driven and practically has no torque limit.

    I’ve watched videos of the the Tesla induction motor being made There,s only something like 10 turns in each pole with about 20 parallel wires in each. This makes for a motor with a low operating voltage but can take significant amounts of current. In electric motors current is directly proportional to torque. It’s torque that pushes you down the road, not voltage or horse power.

    1. Well, that’s sort of true. It is true that PMAC motors have an upper bound torque as the magnets can only push as hard as their field allows. And, it is true that they’re more efficient because the permanent magnet field lives up to it’s name. It’s also true that current is proportional to torque (within limits).

      However, it is *NOT* true at all that induction motors have practically no torque limit. That’s a very dangerous thing to think. The problem here is that more current does not equal more torque past a certain point. Any material has a limited potential for flux and field density. You can get more and more field strength out of the material as you apply more current until you saturate the material. You’ve probably heard of saturated transformers/inductors. The issue here is that reactive impedance very drastically drops after the saturation point. At that point current begins to flow like crazy but practically no additional field is actually created. Torque will not go up but current will. This leads to bad things happening. The danger in saying that inductive motors have practically no torque limit is that it causes people to think “well, I’ll just tell my motor controller I want a higher amperage limit and I’ll get more torque!” Yeah, maybe a little bit but if you overdo it you will just blow something up. It’s very likely that increasing the current limit for a motor will cause much more heating of the motor than it increases actual torque. The upper bound torque for even an induction motor is based on the construction of the motor. Companies test this and give you a torque number for a reason. If they could advertise a 400Nm motor instead of calling it 300Nm they would. They know the behavior of the materials in their motor and when everything will saturate.

  5. Just finished watching the Tesla Cobra EV at Mission Raceway Park video…I felt sorry for all the ICE cars he was passing…lol! That thing was a rocket!…and it could handle corners well too. Can’t get enough of this stuff…Tesla let loose ( or at least major parts from a Tesla ). Now, let’s see who comes up with the cooling solution so those race cars can go all out! See what you’ve done Jack???

    Looking forward to more on the Tescalade!

    Cheers, John 😉

  6. Just watched the August 11th video. My suggestion is to get as much battery weight as possible under the hood to restore the weight balance. Remember the chassis was designed to hold an 800Lb engine on top of the front axle plus most of the transmission weight.

    Mark did an excellent job of stuffing the Tesla drive under the Cadillac. The only engineering concern I have is the mounting of the blue pivot block. It should have been mounted in a double sheer fashion. In the single sheer or cantilever fashion, shown in the video, it has an inherent weakness. You’re asking that bolt to support all of that weight in both static and dynamic conditions. It would be bad to have it break off when you hit a large pothole. And you know that’s going to happen late on a cold rainy night 30 miles from anything.

    1. Stanley A. Cloyd

      For a performance car with a youthful driver the compression and rebound travels mentioned would be appropriate. Just the pot holes that show up north of the Mason-Dixon line spell trouble for the short travel. Rubber snubbers will be required for the upper limit of suspension compression. It will jar the kidneys when its hit. Just the squat generated when the Tesla drive is driven in anger will use up all rear suspension travel unless the spring rate is uncomfortably high. The mounting of the rear drive will most likely not include the type of tuning dragsters enjoy with Heim joints. Early Vetts, properly set up use to rise on all four corners when the clutch was dumped at the starting line.

      1. Stanley A. Cloyd

        I noticed the lower coil-over mount hole was at the top of the axle carrier. Arm chair quarter backs everywhere would have moved the hole to the lower links before resorting to a bell-crank assembly.

  7. Hey Jack did you see the pricing for the Model 3? Not sure if they were thinking like Ford or you, you can have it in any color you want as long as it is black or paint it black and the flaws disappear ? Looking at the price sheet I see that a fully loaded Model 3 will set you back 56,500 dollars with another 3,000 dollars later for Full Self-Driving Capability .

  8. Jack,
    What is the dimension, in inches, of the distance from hub to hub on the Tesla rear drive assembly.
    I am trying to figure out if the Tesla drive assembly will fit my electric Corvair(Electrovair III).
    Keep up the good work,

  9. Robert Sunlight

    As an old salt, a man who once drove an aircraft carrier,
    “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

    Surely if there ever was a time its now, your country needs you!
    A man who can steer a mighty war ship without hitting merchant shipping.

    Cape Girado’s loss will be our nation’s gain.
    Your time has come.

    1. I know I know. But the problem is, I’m busy washing my hair that day Robert. I’m deathly afraid of coastal areas and allergic to alt-left libtards and popular media.

      Worse, I’m a little past my “sell-by” date. I’m afraid someone younger and smarter and with more energy is going to have to tackle the political problems. I’ll work on energy storage and EVs awhile longer – here in Cape Girardeau.

      1. Hi Jack.
        Met a few mariners in my life are they don’t look gaunt like the ancient mariners of old, looking for ‘a drop to drink’. They are ALL bearded, portly, nice and friendly and like a tote or two. They indicate that steering a boat is like working out what will happen tomorrow today because of lag and momentum, and that they have to practice and practice in small tanks to get their papers.

        So Jack, what is the POLITICS of being rammed left of aft by all manners of flipping-nosey parkers and what are YOU going to do about it (Elon will and can sort out solar power capture and use, and electric cars locomotion)?

        Now, how can We have all these hungry and angry young turks burning candles, dancing around bronze figurines, shouting on the streets when the REAL battle in out there in the sands of the deserts, and the waters of the high seas?
        America has been chosen, do not fail us ALL now.

  10. Jack,
    What is the dimension, in inches, of the distance from hub to hub on the Tesla rear drive assembly.
    I am trying to figure out if the Tesla drive assembly will fit my electric Corvair(Electrovair III).
    Keep up the good work,

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