Last week, we were working on improving our Battery Monitoring System, and ran into a few problems. High voltage went a few places that it wasn’t supposed to, and we were left with several boards in less-than-perfect working condition. The damaged boards were manufactured by Linear Technology, and were used to individually monitor each battery cell module in our battery box. Each board would read the voltage of a dozen modules and constantly balance them to prevent overcharging or undercharging any cells. Our car has 35 battery modules, each of them at a nominal 3.6V. After working on the problems for several days, we came to the conclusion that we really needed new boards. The problems were severe enough that we had neither the time nor the materials in-house to repair our damaged boards.
At this point it was Wednesday night, and we really wanted to get Impulse running by Friday. We were swiftly running out of time. In desperation, I reached out to my contact at Linear Technology to see if he could secure new boards for us at such short notice. He called me up Thursday morning telling me that he had the boards, and I could come and get them. I drove down from Berkeley to Linear’s headquarters, picked up the replacement boards, drove back to Berkeley, and installed the brand new boards in our car. A few short hours later, we were once again able to monitor and balance all of our battery cells. Thanks to the great people at Linear, our battery system is operational and working better than ever before.