Sunday, March 24, 2019

Bee Science Farm to use recycled Tesla batteries in instrument trailer

Weather protection and safety guidelines require an enclosure.

An important part of the Bee Science Farm mission is to develop techniques to monitor and report pollinating insect population changes over time. We need a consistent source of power to operate the two-dozen ground mounted microphones, amplifiers and data recorders, not to mention the computer and the wifi link.

Some other creative people have figured out how to do this within a small space of a utility type cargo trailer.  Here is an interesting website that shows a food cart powered by a used Tesla battery and the image here is from that site. 

Tesla batteries are very expensive, require exact charge controls, and can't be allowed to freeze or be overcharged.  Our system will use two Tesla Model S battery packs salvaged from wrecked cars. The control electronics consist of a charge controller that takes voltage from the roof mounted solar panels, an inverter, and temperature and other controls.  Over 4.5 kWh per battery pack can be expected which is amazing considering one pack weighs only 55 pounds.

The cost to run a single power line from Bay Rd., where there is already a utility pole right on the corner of the property, to the back of the field, would be very expensive and we'd have to have another pole placed in the field.  The project is only expected to last four to five years and after that the field will be returned to cropland use, so installing a new power line seems inappropriate.

Right across the street on Bay Rd. behind Pride gas station is a Tesla charge station! Interesting coincidence, or fate?

It's mostly on facebook for now