VoltQ’s heroes:


Sidney Harman and Kardon.


Sidney Harman and his boss Kardon started the company in 1953 with a 5000USD investment each. They made some of the worlds first hi-fi systems with integrated power amplifiers, tuners and pre-amplifiers. The company has done outstanding work in the field of acoustics and electronics related to the same. Home entertainment systems have been very well made with high quality and high current designs which give an excellent output of music. They have spent decades building products for a single segment of consumer electronics – viz audio systems.


Most startups, even though they may pivot – once they start a line of business focused on a single customer segment – can continue to focus on the same customer segment and work for a long time.




Lack of chargers presage lack of EV adoption by customers

EV’s are better than IC engine based cars – they are quieter, they vibrate less, they accelerate and brake faster than the IC Engined cars they are designed to replace. They recover energy while braking and their batteries should last them the life of the car.


However their adoption has one big problem – there aren’t enough chargers deployed all over the world to take the Evs everywhere.

Errors in the loop shut down the chargers and they stop after a few kWhr of charging. A lot of the chargers are faulty in the US where the deployment of chargers is really extensive. Leave alone what is happening in India where there are so many errors in the grid. No wonder that Indian OEMs are delaying the arrival of EV’s in India in the 4 wheeler segment.



The mystery of clicking batteries

Clicking batteries are batteries which have gone bad, produced hydrogen and venting the gas produces a clicking noise.


The Electrical Engineering Stack Overflow has a quick summary of the issue; in nominal conditions, the chemical reaction in the battery should not produce any byproducts. But when the battery goes bad there can be a chemical reaction which results in hydrogen gas being produced, and the venting of the gas can produce clicking.


The 2018 study Understanding the Dynamics of Primary Zn-MnO2 Alkaline Battery Gassing with Operando Visualization and Pressure Cells [1] by Faegh et al. describes the entire phenomenon:

“The leading cause for safety vent rupture in alkaline batteries is the intrinsic instability of Zn in the highly alkaline reacting environment. Zn and aqueous KOH react in a parasitic process to generate hydrogen gas, which can rupture the seal and vent the hydrogen along with small amounts of electrolyte, and thus, damage consumer devices. Abusive conditions, particularly deep discharge, are known to accelerate this “gassine phenomena.” In this paper, we report that the formation of “black Zn” deposits with high surface area during deep discharge is responsible for cell gassing and leakage.

[1] Faegh, Ehsan, Omasta, Travis, Hull, Matthew, Ferrin, Sean, Shrestha, Sujan, Lechman, Jeremy B., Bolintineanu, Dan Stefan, Zuraw, Michael, and Mustain, William E. [Understanding the Dynamics of Primary Zn-MnO2 Alkaline Battery Gassing with Operando Visualization and Pressure Cells]. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1149/2.0321811jes.








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