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Archive for the 'Charge Controller' Category

These are all posts related to my work with the Free Charge Controller project ( http://www.freechargecontroller.org )

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 7 – Assembling the Current Monitor Circuitry

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This page will show the step-by-step instructions for assembling the circuitry associated with current monitoring. Current monitoring is controled by IC1 (on the schematic), with supporting hardware. The ability to monitor its own current draw is what allows the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm to adapt and adjust as the peak efficiency point changes. […]

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 6 – Testing the Charge Controller

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This post assumes that you have already tested the power circuitry to verify the unit draws about 100 mA (1000 milli-Amps = 1 amp) or less (see the picture below). The Aruino should draw about 60 mA and the shield circuitry should draw about 30 mA when unloaded, but active. That’s how I’m getting 90 […]

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 5 – Assembling the Load Circuitry

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

This is the fifth part of a multipart series of articles describing how I constructed the v4 Free Charge Controller kit from Jameco. See Part 4 here, Part 3 here, Part 2 here, and Part 1 here. If you have not done so yet, please complete those parts first. This section describes the assembly steps […]

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 4 – Testing the Power Circuitry

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

This is the fourth part of a multipart series of articles describing how I constructed the v4 Free Charge Controller kit from Jameco. See Part 3 here, Part 2 here, and Part 1 here. If you have not done so yet, please complete those parts first. When testing the charge controller, I strongly recommend that […]

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 3 – Assembling the Power Circuitry

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

This is the third part of a multipart series of articles describing how I constructed the v4 Free Charge Controller kit from Jameco. See Part 2 here, and part 1 here. If you have not done so yet, please complete those two parts first. You will probably want to have a paper copy of the […]

The Free Charge Controller v4 is Working!

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

My request for help to the Free Charge Controller mailing list was answered by many generous people. Donald H, a member of the group, pointed out that C2 was being overworked. Below are the results of trying different values for C2.

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 1 – Setting Up the Arduino

Friday, June 29th, 2012

This is the first part of a multipart series of articles describing how I constructed the v4 Free Charge Controller kit from Jameco.

Please Help Fix the Charge Controller

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

As I announced on the mailing list, I’ve been working with Jameco to develop a Free Charge Controller Development Kit (free as in freedom, not free beer). The design has been built and tested, but I’ve run into a ‘bug’ that I just can’t seem to squash. It is my hope that the community can help me get to bottom of this issue. If you have some ideas, please post them in the comments below or on the mailing list.

A Business Model For The Next Decade

Monday, March 26th, 2012

This post covers my attempt at modeling both the old and the new economic models discussed in Michael Bauwens article. I also discuss how the repercussion of the new economic model are captured in my drawings – the big one being that open source technology unarguably creates value at higher efficiencies (lower cost), but rarely replaces the share of market value (dollars) when it displaces proprietary competitors.

Introducing the v4 Charge Controller

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

This article covers my latest efforts in the Free Charge Controller project. I’ve been working with Jameco to create a development kit for a new version (v4.01). The development kit that Jameco will soon have available for order is a huge step up from my original efforts to build a kit. The design is built on top of an Arduino and is based on Tim Nolan’s design. A charge controller schematic of the design is available.