ESPcat Crisis Strikes!

An existential crisis has struck the ESPcat (Electric Solar Powered Catamaran) project. I’m talking serious stuff; the kind of event that causes one to re-evaluate life’s purpose. Maybe I should never have tried to harness the power of the sun, simply to save the planet.


Just look at that temperature gauge. 20 degrees C! You can imagine what this is doing to the perishable supplies stored in the fridge-freezer. And here is the culprit:

Notice how fat it is. It used to be thin before I destroyed it. This is one of the 7 lithium-ion cells in the 24 volt, 1 kWh battery that powers the inverter that powers the fridge-freezer and microwave. This sort of event would break a lesser man. It strikes at the heart of everything I hold dear.

I suspect the culprit is the microwave. When running at full power it is drawing 1,100 watts. Taking inefficiencies into account, this means that the inverter is drawing 50 amps at 24 volts which just happens to be the continuous operating current limit of the lithium-ion cells. Perhaps I exceeded my limit once too often as I have done so many times in the past.

I have ordered a replacement lithium cell from China but with the pandemic still raging, will it ever arrive? And if it arrives, will the fridge-freezer burst back into life or will all the beverages, along with the squid, fish bait, perish in a smelly mush? First a pandemic, then earthquakes and tsunamis and now lithium-ion battery failure. Should I carry on or do the logical thing and give up?

In case you didn’t know, a “blue canoe” is what the Southerners in the American Civil War called a bullet from the Northern side. My question is “where to now St. Peter? Show me which road I’m on. Please click the link below my blog buddies to join me on our journey of discovery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjaGQpuBmW4

5 thoughts on “ESPcat Crisis Strikes!

  1. OK then Steve, I will persevere. I get most of the electronic stuff I use on Borderline from Aliexpress. Fast and cheep. Every now and then I get something that doesn’t work but usually everything is fine. I bought the original lithium-ion cells from Alibaba which is more complicated but better prices. I haven’t actually received the replacement cell yet.

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    1. Umm. I asked since its against the law to send lithium ion cells by post or even air courier. It is a big problem for us as we are forced to ship a pallet load by sea at any one time. Seems odd they get away with it but that’s China.

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