Go to content Go to navigation Go to search
Comments 6
  1. — JohnG    May 26, 2006 23:02 PM    #


    I use a MinnKota 3 bank 912V/bank) charger on my Elec-Trak (36V) tractor, and it is GREAT! It has a built-in, albeit crude BMS, and charges the pack in 1/2 the time of the old 36V series charger.

    A very good friend of mine is an EE, and deals with BMS/battery spec stuff every day. He tells me that “Guest” chargers are VERY good quality, and that “bank” charging should (almost certainly would) result in 2x the pack life over series systems. So they pay for themselves quickly when you factor in the power use (efficiency) and pack life increase.

    Other people have told me that because the “bank” type chargers do not have high charge rates, the pack would be “hurt” by not being charged “hard enough” during the bulk phase. My friend tells me it is somewhat true, but is far overshadowed by the more accurate charging of each battery every time. Sounds plausible to me, and there are reports of Elec-Trak owners getting 7+ years from a pack with modest (4A) three bank chargers for 225Ahr batteries. Few, if any people get more than 3 or 4 with the factory series charger.

  2. Eric Standlee    May 27, 2006 17:07 PM    #

    Unbelievably negative on the HHO. The video actually mentioned that it works without any regular gas. There are plenty of other examples of using this “fuel” in place of regular fuel.

  3. — JohnG    May 27, 2006 17:56 PM    #



    IF there were any merit to the claims, people would have beaten a path to the door many years ago.

    BTW, the water molecule is: HOH, with the hydrogens at about 60* angles to the Oxygen, and no, you are not going to get two hydrogen atoms to bond, and then have a oxygen hanging off the end.

  4. Jerry Halstead    May 27, 2006 18:01 PM    #


    Sorry, I’m not intending to be negative. I’m just pointing out that neither the video or other information I’ve read shows anything substantially new here. The headline of water powered car seems overly sensationalistic, if not outright deceptive.

    You can already run a car on hydrogen the problem is creating and storing it. Hydrogen is not an energy source as much as it is a storage medium, much like a battery. You have to first make the stuff, store it, and then turn it into something to propel the car (electricity, combustion). Each stage of the process has its losses.

    For example, they use electricity to create the HHO. Fuel cells currently convert hydrogen back to electricity with under 50% efficiency. Using hydrogen gas as a combustive fuel is even less efficient. So in the case of the HHO demo it would make more sense to use the electricity to power the vehicle rather than go through an additional, lossy, stage of converting it to HHO.

    I do take issue with the article I linked to. Stating that environmentalists have touted hydrogen as a panacea seems like pigeon holing at best. All kinds of folks have been interested in hydrogen power and doing so doesn’t magically turn them into a “greeny.” It doesn’t seem constructive when articles (and politicians, etc..) polarize people into “us” and “them” like this.

    Eric, please feel free to post links to the examples you mention. The more details the better! ’:^)

  5. Jerry Halstead    May 27, 2006 18:30 PM    #


    My 144vdc Zivan charger provides 8 amps max, not sure what the solectria is capable of. That rate would typically charge the Mazda in 4 to 6 hours, not sure if I’d want to go much below 6 amps.

    I’ve been pouring over a bunch of approaches people have been taking to accomplish consistent charging. The bypass regulator is one of the more popular ones but they seem fundamentally flawed. The way they work is to bypass some of the charging current, essentially bleeding it off as heat through a power resistor. That’s wasted energy.

    One downside with the multi-chargers (which also applies to regulators) is the additional failure points. Now you have 10 or 12 electronic circuits which can croak instead of one. On the other hand if everything goes well you have much happier batteries.

    Lots of choices and a number of trade-offs. Seems like an opportunity for an new product.

  6. Peter G    May 30, 2006 12:51 PM    #

    There are more effective ways of doing bypass regulation of individual cells.

    A common method is the flying capacitor or flying inductor.
    They work by charging a capacitor or inductor from the high voltage cells and then discharging into the low voltage cells. This solution gets rather complicated and prone to failure as you need multiple switches per cell. They’re also not very efficient ~50%, which of course is still much better than the 0% of the bypass resistor.

    The simplest solution is to use a transformer with one primary and multiple secondary windings, one secondary for each cell.
    The secondaries are connected to the cells via a rectifying diode.

    The pack voltage is switched accross the primary at some high frequency causing current to flow in the secondaries, the cells with the lowest voltage will automatically get the highest current thereby equalizing the pack.

    The single transformer can also be split into multiple smaller transformers, one for each cell. In this case the primaries are connected in series.

    This solution should be fairly failure proof and efficient, but I haven’t tested it. The magnetics might be a bit expensive as well.