Category Archives: ELECTRONICS


Manually Balancing Ultracapacitors

In my post “Resisters and Diode To Balance” is the hardwire attempt to “auto” balance a set of ultracapacitors (CAPs). In reality, I don’t even need an electronic balancer, just common sense. Each CAP has its own internal capacitance. Due to age, loading, heat stress, etc. each cell varies. When I rack a set of say, seven together, the CAP with the lowest capacitance would be subjected to higher voltages by the mating CAPs in the set. The rated over voltage for a CAP can also change with age and stress. I always over size my CAPs to the total applied voltage. If each CAP is rated at say 2.7 volts, and I will need a starting storage voltage at say 18 volts, then I will use (8) CAPs that has the total capacitance of about 22 volts. If my CAPs are aged, I may use (9), totaling 24 volts. This “2.7” volts is theoretical when the CAP were newly manufactured, hence I mix and match actual capacitance.

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Resisters AND Diodes to Balance

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.

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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.


Survivalist Hard Wired Charge Controller

WARNING: Do NOT make homemade charge controllers. To avoid potential fire hazard, electric shock or damage to electrical component, use only industry standard charge controllers. This post is for information only.

Here is the scenario, all of my integrated charge controllers have fail. All “ACME” Hardware stores have shut down. I do have rectifier diodes as a backup. I need to route straight 18v DC to my storage units. Since I am using ultra-capacitors and Nickel Iron batteries; my (M1), all I need is a simple charge controller.

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