As a survivalist, I do not use integrated circuits. I do have to use semiconductors for solar charging and balancing ultracapacitors, “CAPs”. My diode of choice is the heavy duty, high amp and high heat Schottky diode. In this post, I am addressing two concepts to hardwire a balancing circuit for a CAP bank.
For my M1 power bank, I will use LED’s, yet will still have on hand analog volt meters as a primary measurement tool. LED’s are nice to have a quick reference to any problems with my charging unit. The brighter the LED on my CAP bank means that an ultracapacitor is about to fail (too much voltage). On my Fe/Ni bank, a weak LED light indicates a cell is not charging either by a low water level or a short in one of its cells.
You don’t have to be a survivalist to have a basic backup system in place for brief disruptions of power. A simple backup plan can keep your family occupied until life returns to normal, and you don’t have to buy a $10,000 generator to accomplish this.
Years ago on YouTube, I was mesmerized by a device called either the “Joule Ringer” or a “Joule Thief.” Young hobbyists were lighting up 120 volt incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs with nothing but a small 9 volt battery. Amazing! It was almost like free power! We could solve the energy crises! As it turned out, they were just frying up transistors by pulsating (switching on/off) high frequency current. By using coiled wire around a magnet, they would apply voltage to coil (A) and (B). that would build up an electrical field. See figure 1.