Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Real GEM

We just picked up a GEM electric vehicle from a generous donor. It runs on 6 deep cycle flooded lead acid batteries (72 volts), and they have run through their expected life cycle (read: dead). We are currently looking at the possibility of replacing them with a new type of battery from a company in Santa Fe Springs, California. The batteries are designed specifically to work with renewable energy sources. The bigger idea is to set this vehicle up with a solar charging system. With the last two weeks of the semester staring us in the eye, it may be necessary to wait until the middle of December to start the design process. I've always had a problem leaving "well enough" alone, and most of our students share that same sentiment. We will bring them into the design and implementation process in January when the spring HEV class starts. If you are interested in joining our class, it runs from January 16th through May 5th, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Check out NMC's website at or email me at 


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