Friday, January 31, 2014

Apple receives patent for solar-powered MacBook

Apple's future devices may well come installed with solar panels and converters. wikimedia commons

The MacBook would use a PV unit to generate electricity, according to the company's patent application.

Apple looks set to go solar with one of its next lines of MacBooks.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office this week granted the Cupertino company a patent for an "electronic device display module," a two-sided display embedded with a photovoltaic unit that could serve as the screen and lid of a MacBook-like laptop computer.
"The rear plate may be formed from electrochromic glass and may cover photovoltaic cells and touch sensors," read the patent abstract.
The Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple application in October that described a way of equipping electronic devices with internal converters in order to use external solar panels.
While Apple has long been rumored to be developing PV technology for its MacBooks and mobile  devices, the company has yet to announce definite plans.
Speculation about Apple's plans in the area of renewable energy grew after the company bought a module manufacturing facilitgy from First Solar in Mesa, Arizona, in October.

Source:  PV Magazine

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New DIY Project: A LiFePO4 Charge Controller

A new project I have been working on these last weeks: A LiFePO4 Charge Controller to be able to Charge LiFePO4 cells from any source: Solar, Wind, AC Charger, and Discharge into anything

Fully Automated and tunable of course to suit any numbers of cells 

Ready for high current with quality top of the line components

LEAF & Autolib Charging - Take 2

Yesterday we did use an Autolib station to park and charge like last week

Plugged in the 220V regular outlet

Blue light on the Charging station lid

Like last time I left my Autilib badge behind the windscreen to show that I am a registered member

Strange thing: Somebody unplugged us while we were shopping ... Not very cool ... It is the first time we are unplugged in two years of using public charging stations 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The very beginning of my Online Store for the DIY ESS Kit

These last weeks I have been gathering all the components necessary to build my DIY ESS Kit, and get ready to offer the Kit #2

Here are a few pictures of the items that already arrived, or that I purchased in stores here

Wattson complete units: Display, Transmitter, Current Sensor

Tyco Kilovac EV200AAANA contactors

Blue Sea 150A 48V DC Circuit Breakers / Switches

Digital Programmable Voltmeters

Small lugs - M6 & M8 - and 2A glass fuses

Terminal blocks, 3-way AC interconnects, screws, plywood for the DIY ESS Control Board build

Dupont Jumper Wires are on their way

Fuse holders too

Also, I will be offering CALB cells soon, already Bottom Balanced, and at a competitive price

Friday, January 24, 2014

DIY EVSE Build Day by Kevin Sharpe from Zero Carbon World in the UK

Kevin Sharpe, founder of, gathered with friends to present the build of a DIY EVSE for any Electric Car in Europe

Very professional build and very instructive video, thanks Kevin !

"On Sunday 20th October 2013, Founder & Patron of Zero Carbon World - Kevin Sharpe, joined David Peilow and Grant Thomas for the UKs FIRST Electric Vehicle Supply Equpment (EVSE) Build Day. They built 3 32 Amp PORTABLE EVSE chargers. The whole event was followed live on Twitter using the hashtag #EVSEBuildDay.


The objective was to show just how simple an Electric Car Charging station is; essentially 3 components. The completed units can charge all current and future electric cars as you can choose what connectivity.


This Portable EVSE will allow an Electric Car driver to connect to 'normal' electrical outlets found on Camp Sites, yachting marinas, commercial and hotels as well as the early Zero Carbon World Charging stations. This 32 Amp Commando Connection will allow a BMW i3 or a Leaf Mk 1.5 or a Tesla to charge at the full 32 Amps. Equally you could choose to fit a 16A commando plug, or indeed anything else you would like. Or build a simple 32A to 16A commando converter - we'll show you that as well!

An electric car, like the Nissan LEAF, comes with a charging cable (AKA EVSE brick) that trickle charges a Nissan LEAF at 10 Amps, meaning about 10 hours for a full charge. Using a dedicated charging station, or this Portable EVSE Charger, the same car could charge 60% faster at 16 Amps from a commando plug connection, and hence charges 60% quicker. If you have a BMW i3, or if you have paid £800 for the 6.6kWh charger in the Mk1.5 LEAF, you can charge at a full 32 Amps using this Portable EVSE, from a 32A Commando Connection reducing charging time to 4 hours.

As a Nissan LEAF / BMW i3 / Vauxhall Ampera / Citroen C-Zero / Mistubishi iMiev driver this will give you the flexibility to charge where and how you want. It's an essential piece of kit for the roving EV driver!"

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