Today, I drove up to Manzanita Micro to pick up our 40 amp charger and 13 battery management modules. This is the equipment that protects our investment in the lithium batteries. Because lithium batteries are very precision manufactured and can only maintain full capacity in a narrow range of environments, we have to protect them with a Battery Management System (BMS).
Each of the Manzanita Micro Mk3×4 BMS modules can regulate 4 lithium batteries individually so to cover our 52 batteries, we bought 13 modules. These each watch the rate of charge and total charge in each battery and are capable of telling the charger how much current to put into the pack. When Connected together, they each communicate to each other and to the charger. However, because they're digital, they can also talk to a computer. These, when connected to an on board PC, allow me to watch the state of the batteries as they charge and discharge. Using this, I will hopefully be able to create an onboard monitoring system on one of those fancy touch screen displays in all the newest cars.