I’ve known Jerry Bartlett for sometime, you may know him as the guy that sold the CD on how to build the Changzuki Motorcycle. Hmmmmm, I’m still wondering where Jerry got the name “Crazy Jerry”, I don’t think there’s a thing crazy about him.
I’ve written about Jerry before, maybe I should touch on the fact that Jerry is both innovative and has a pretty good grasp of physics and design. Jerry lives “simply well”.
Having owned and worked on a number of bikes including a Hayabusa, Jerry knows his way around both ultra fast and slow machinery. So here’s Jerry’s email, do take the time to look at his links and projects, I learn something new every time I visit!
Jerry couldn’t live much further away from me, and right now, he’s the number one reason I’d consider a visit to upper state New york. Following is Jerry’s email and my comments..
Hope this note finds you well and enjoying yourself! The following will either
give you some firepower for a great rant (which you know I live for – or better
yet – which I know you live for!!) or some gear turning for down the road
Jerry.. you know me well 🙂
For a number of years I’ve been looking to have all the amenities and still
reduce my usage to make a very good off-grid system even better. This is all
well and dandy but as the polishing continues a couple of things are now very
1) Generator runtime for the entire year is pretty much
limited to once a month maintenance runs…
2) Two – thirds of the solar panels can now be covered up
as they are just needlessly baking in the sun.
3) The Wind generator is completely shut down as it too is
not needed at this time.
Part of the reason is because you are a practical man and burn a renewable resource with low emissions (wood).
So, in looking at my to-do list, there was one item that had the highest daily
out-of-pocket cost; “The Daily Commute”. *My current car will pull 42 mpg with
a light touch, windows up, lights off, radio way down low, and me staring
incessantly at the ScanGauge II. **The Changzuki will still pull 115-120 mpg
but lacks weather protection (not a problem if you wanna dress up like the kid
on “A Christmas Story”
No way Jerry!
.. June 3rd we still had a frost advisory one night!!)
***A bicycle is a thought (I have plenty of those from days gone by) but would
need to seriously pre-plan for the one-way 15-mile roller coaster commute. So,
taking all of this (and much, much more) into the cave, this winter was spent
on “The Aurora Project”. What I did is not exactly new, but is novel to
the off-grid system in that; there’s now a great use for some solar that could
not previously be used, and, the battery technology involved may well put a new
twist in the off-grid storage system down the road.
The Aurora Project is simply an enclosed tricycle that is well suited to a
daily commuter. The aero shell helps to reduce the energy (or watts) used
between point A and B regardless of the “engine” used… In this case there are
“dual” engines with myself as one, and a battery/motor combo as the other. The
current off-grid system I have uses six-big-blob lead acid batteries for about
1700 amp hours. I have a really good feel for them after about a decade and
understand their behavior over a variety of conditions. Enter the newer battery
technology used in Aurora = LiFePo4. Having on-hand, a 48 volt sealed lead acid
battery group (four 12 volt in series at 18 ah) compared to a 48 volt LiFePo4
(also four 12 volt in series but at 20 ah) I can make a couple of side-by-side
comparisons. Dimensionally, the lead acid 18 ah batteries are identical to the
20 ah LiFePo4. The lead acid have less usable amp hours than the LifePo4 and
are markedly heavier (50-ish pounds vs 26). I chose these LiFePo4 since the
charging and high/low voltage characteristics are right in-line with the lead
acid almost no learning curve there.
The big difference between the two is life cycles. The lead acid can be 300-800
or so depending on care (depth of discharge, etc..) Care also pertains to the
LifePo4 but the results can be a striking 1500 plus cycles – and that’s huge ~
So is the price ~ but that is coming down. The maintenance on these newer
batteries is next to zero and their performance is really outstanding compared
to the lead acids.
As of this writing, “Aurora” has racked up a bit over 700 miles. The
30 mile round trip commute to work (and yes it’s hilly!) can be made within a
total of 6-7 minutes of what it takes me in the car (that’s like 3 minutes
one-way), and will take roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes to completely recharge
the batteries – from previously sleeping solar panels. The depth of discharge
from one complete trip is only about 8-10% (90% left on tap)…
I get a lotta thumbs-up on this project as well as a lot of criticism – with
all points well taken – but I gotta say George, this thing is a blast and at
least if I’m going down – I’ll be going down swingin’ with a set of 59 Cadillac
taillights strapped to my backside!!!
Dang, I always loved those Caddy tail lights 🙂
This might possibly be my greatest caper ever:
Jerry, I know this is a little late, but do you mind if I post your email and your link in my blog?? Please Jerry! I hope it won’t be just me asking the questions here, are you planning to share the build and your parts sources? was the shell a kit? Has anyone crashed their bike turning their head to watch you go by? Construction CD offering in the future?
Has you Mom asked to drive it yet? Please come back and see if there’s questions to answer Jerry!
All the best Jerry!