WorldWide Drilling Resource

12 DECEMBER 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Held for Ransom . . . by a Car? by Britt Storkson Owner, P2FlowLLC A Newsweek article by Samantha Berlin tells about a Canadian man who claimed he was locked out of his Tesla car when the battery went bad and wasn’t even able to get his ownership papers he had stored in the car. Tesla demanded $26,000 to replace the battery. The Tesla owner paid $140,000 for the car brand new in 2013. There are ways to get around a bad battery situation. One is to build the car in such a way that everything is not dependent on one battery. A small and easily replaceable battery or power connection could be located in a separate external enclosure which powers only things like door locks and a few other critical functions so a battery failure doesn’t result in being “locked out.” Of course, one could always use the tried-and-true mechanical door locks which have a physical key that does not need any power at all. What a concept! With DC (direct current) systems, many different batteries can be combined using a common ground where the negative (-) terminals are connected together. The battery voltages can even be different as long as they are electrically isolated (insulated) from one another. Rectifier diodes connected in a best battery configuration can be used as an electrical current “check valve” so one battery does not damage the other when connected. The battery with the highest voltage will power the circuit. What about external battery capacity limits? Most microprocessors in and of themselves do not use much in the way of power to perform simple tasks like operating the door locks. And the power would be needed for only a brief time . . . just a few seconds . . . to operate the locks. Things requiringa lot of power (wattage) are usually lights, motors, and heaters. The typical computer can run a long time on just battery power, but it’s more convenient and reliable to use an external power source, if available. There are a lot of issues when using battery power - among them the need to monitor and replace batteries periodically. Rechargeable batteries need a charge controller to turn on and shut off the charging current when the battery is fully charged or it will be damaged. This is why most of the electrically operated devices we use are designed for grid power. That is, power supplied by the electrical grid through wires or cables which are supplied by various sources of electrical generation. Batteries have been greatly improved over the years, but compared to grid power they are crude, costly, and require a lot of maintenance, but battery power is much better than no power at all, so we use what we have to work with. Britt Britt Storkson may be contacted via e-mail to michele@