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November 02, 2011

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Electric cars depend on the continuation and constant maintenance of the existing transportation system: the network of roads, bridges, etc., rather than mass transit, the later of which isn't going to happen, admittedly, since it . . . just isn't political feasible.

Furthermore, McKibben ignores the cost to the earth in building electric cars. Whatever gain there may be from energy savings is largely overshadowed by the energy (in the form of natural resources) consumed in the production of electric cars.

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Would a motorcycle battery have worked as well as this sealed cell? Granted, all batts have a recommended charge rate that can be pretty low, to extend the lifetime. But, there are lots of bike batts that are not sealed, so you could charge them at a faster rate. You would want to route the vent tube outboard, to protect the electronics. I don't recall the design capabilities regarding discharge rates.

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By minimizing the voltage consumed by the voltmeter itself, a more accurate measurement of the circuit's voltage can be obtained. Current is inversely proportional to resistance; conversely, to minimize the amount of current flowing into an ammeter, a large resistance is placed in parallel with the coil.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a spam comment by a spammer. He gets a rare pass because he actually said something to remember: he quoted Ohm's Law and gave an accurate representation of it, even if it doesn't apply to the RPS-01, which doesn't have a shunted AMMETER, I was proposing to add a VOLTMETER, which has no associated high-current coil.

Will

Partly I was thinking the lower cost of the wet cell would be payed back by being able to have more batts on hand, to enable the swap box setup.

Talking of the Lithium, and NIM-H, types, have you looked at utilizing any of the tool batts available at H Fright Tools? I know the Chinese versions are not the highest quality. Still, you can disassemble them for making your own batt modules, if none of them quite fill the spot. Could be neat if you found some that could be utilized as-is, and simply plugged in and out of your batt box in matching sets/groups. If that worked, you could then consider obtaining a few emergency tools that used them, such as lights, drills, etc. Although, Murphy says you will have killed them all with tool use just when you need them most.

I'm still waiting for IBM's(?) carbon nano-tube capacitors to hit the market. They predicted to market in the near future now. Cell phone "batt" charged in seconds, car batt in a minute or so. That will be a real game changer when it hits. Providing they can figure out how to manufacture it, of course!

Rivrdog

Will, the motorcycle battery is a type of starting battery, and as such, is not suitable due to it's (relative) inability to deliver the watt-hours over a longer period. Yes, it would charge faster, but for the same size/weight battery, I'd lose 20% of the 20-hour discharge rate, and have the problem of outgassing to deal with, as you said...now, in larger sizes of flooded lead-acid batteries, there is a combo type, the "Starting/Storage" battery, with which you lose very little of the 20-hour discharge rate, compared to a pure storage battery. I've never seen them smaller than Group 24, though, and they weigh 40#, are bulkier than an AGM, and have all the mess associated with vented flooded batteries.

The solution might be Gel-Cell, but they are at least 3X the price. The Gel-Cell has many advantages, including (like the AGM) mounting in any position and it can be taken down to zero with little effect on charge-cycle life (not really zero, most of your 12-volt stuff won't work below 10.5 volts). You might get away with a smaller size. They will take a faster charge, although not as fast as a starting battery. They're made in all sizes AND shapes, so as to better fit in confined spaces.

The third, and more modern possibility, is to use a battery made up of Lithium Ion D cells. They are available in 12-amp-hour sizes now, for about $12 each, and you would need 10 of them (@1.2 volts) to make a battery. 30 of them would cost as much as a Gel-Cell, but would utilize the space in the box better. They also charge faster than an AGM.

Then, there's some blue-sky stuff coming online with the Phosphate batteries. Very exciting, probably 20-A/H out of something "D"-sized. They can be hammered hard, but will grenade when shorted, so they're not for the faint of heart. The ultra-flashlight community is all over that, and you can find their blogs by googling "HID flashlight".

The next 10 years will see some exciting development in battery technology, mostly driven by it's use in electric transport.

Will

Would a motorcycle battery have worked as well as this sealed cell? Granted, all batts have a recommended charge rate that can be pretty low, to extend the lifetime. But, there are lots of bike batts that are not sealed, so you could charge them at a faster rate. You would want to route the vent tube outboard, to protect the electronics. I don't recall the design capabilities regarding discharge rates.

It occurs to me that it might work better to make the design a two-part setup. Electrical stuff in a small(er) container, that would mount onto a (smaller) batt box. (Would be neat if it makes a connection as it latches together) With this design, you could have backup batt/boxes on the charging rack, while you simply swap the control box to a fresh batt box. Waiting while you charge up the only system can be frustrating at a minimum, and possibly costly in an emergency.

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