Living Tech Magic

Insights into modern technology

What systems exist?

Chargers come in many shapes.

Systems for charging is plentiful, because of late standardization efforts.

What are the systems?

What do the different systems do? How complex is it to charge a car?

The charging is made a bit complex due to the way the batteries are built. There will be some risk involved with all electrical systems, with the case of current batteries charging incorrectly can damage the batteries or even cause a fire. For these reasons the chargers need to communicate with the batteries management system. This communication is done over one of two standards : PLC and CAN. Deeper knowledge of these systems are not necessary for the owner but here is a short description of the two:

CAN is a data protocol used between components inside cars, also required in some heavier vehicles for diagnostic systems, this is also used for emissions testing.

PLC is part of the smart grid protocols. This is used for smart meters when using solar cells and getting paid back for doing so, called feed-in tariff. A version is also used by power companies who use it provide internet to their customers.

As you can see from the description using CAN is very little work for many car manufacturers, since they already use it for control of electronic systems in other types of cars. However PLC is used for the smart grid and can be used when you allow you parked car to be used for stabilizing the grid.
It is possible to get paid for allowing your car battery discharge by the local system!

Available systems are due to the rapid development from different car manufacturers, a little messy. Let us start with connectors:

Four different ones,

CHadeMO Japanese standard, adopted in Europe in many places.

GB/T The Chinese standard

Combo1 US combined standard.

Combo2,CCS European standard.

The first two uses the CAN signalling which is not compatible with smart grid applications, the second two does support smart grid (protocol is PLC!) making it valuable for more advanced uses.

Looking at a European CCS plug you will see 7 pins plus the two large ones below for DC charging. The ChadeMO standard needed two plugs and cables.

As you can see, there are two types of charging. What does this mean?
Your car’s battery needs DC, direct current, meaning one cable is plus the other is minus. This is the nature of a battery, which you have noticed when you plugged your batteries in the remote the wrong way around. Nothing works! Was it just me who have done that? But I digress.
Your power outlet is AC, meaning plus and minus is not fixed. To handle this we need an adaptor, you probably have one for your laptop, which converts AC to DC. In modern electric cars there are already such adaptors built in but they can not handle very high loads so a DC connector has been introduced to put in the charging stations. Lowering cost and weight of the vehicle.

Happy and safe days to you all!





Home electric vehicle chargers, what is available?

Home charger, the most used one by most owners.

Most EV users charge their EV at home on average 90% of the time, making this investment your key addition to the car itself.

There are examples of users who charge out of the house only so it is possible to do but if you have the possibility to charge at home, do so. This also gives you an opportunity to use the car battery for saving peak electricity charges, see Electric avenue
for more info.

What do you need at home?

For charging over night, which will be the most common you will need a 16A, 240V dedicated outlet to be able to charge most models in less than 8 hours. How long do you sleep? Going higher can make your charging times 3.5 hours with 32A and 1.5 hours with 80A.
This will be massively expensive equipment and your utility company usually charges a very high standing charge for such high amperage outlets.

Keep remembering, you will most likely need to charge only at night. For me I might not even need to charge every night, did you actually check how much you drive per day?

More interesting; are you going to drive really far, and where? If you use large public motorways; and who will not? Then fast chargers will soon be made available mostly at petrol and service stations along major routes, unless they are already there!

What car uses what system?

When purchasing an electric vehicle you may want to know what all the acronyms mean before you start shopping around.

I was going to put a comprehensive list of current cars and their respective charger but opted to make it a little simpler by putting which manufacturer supports which standard. Model for model you need to check what is supported. With that in mind, public chargers are mostly supporting several or all current systems.

CHAdeMO – Japanese system.

Nissan, Mitsubishi

CCS – The combined charging System.

Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen

There are more unfortunately, but I choose not to present them here for brevity sake.

More next week about the different systems.

Happy days!


Do you have range anxiety? Think again!

What is range anxiety?

Range anxiety is strangely associated only with electric vehicles and particularly battery electric vehicles (BEVs). It is the fear of being stranded with a flat battery. So why is it only associated with BEVs? You can run out of fuel in a regular car, yet there are very few people who fear this. The most important reason is of course that you have petrol stations everywhere and so you just pull over at the next station and fill up, right!?

This is of course true and more charging stations are needed. The question is have you actually considered how much range you need on a daily basis?

What do you need?

When driving in your day to day, how long is your commute? With an electric vehicle you will have a full charge every morning. With a petrol car, how often will you go to fill up?

The combination of those two questions will give you a new perspective on the issue of range.

I personally will go to fill up when it is needed, with a low weekly need for travel by car I can get away with less than once a week. With an electric vehicle and facilities to charge at home, would you really leave it unplugged because of the effort?

With an electric vehicle, that you can charge from your home, the range needs to be calculated on a per day basis and in my case the petrol car on a weekly basis.
Make a table that has the weekdays and a summary of your drive distance per week.

Fill in the table with your daily use for a week or two. Plan your next road trip and see how far you will go and if there are chargers there.
Compare the cost of fuel, maintenance and depreciation to the cost of rental for the road trip alone. What did you come up with? I bet the majority of you will see a savings in cost per year and money over for a real fancy vacation!

This is a really simplified comparison on the range issue only, when making a purchase decision you need to know more. This only highlights one of the most common worries holding back adoption of electric vehicles. The full range of issues that affect your choice will reveal that barring the purchase cost there are very few negatives choosing an electric vehicle over a petrol or diesel one.



What renewable alternatives are on offer for homeowners?

The amount of Solar power offerings is increasing, prices are dropping and many nations have financial support programs for home owners.
What are the other solutions?


The solar programs, including feed-in tariffs are widespread and affordable for most home owners. PV solar prices has dropped significantly over the last decade and many nations have other incentives including tax breaks and feed-in tariffs. See this map.

 Ground source:

Geothermal is seen as a large industry solution only due to the long reach down to get any significant heat, but ground and even lake bottom systems have proven effective using heat pumps.

This solutions generates 3-5 times the amount of energy that it uses for running the system. A fact that makes it a savings of the same compared to direct electric heating, also making it competitive to other solutions such as gas and oil.

Ground source heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems are fairly common, used throughout the world for both heating and cooling, though more common in the Nordic countries.

In Sweden, for instance heat pumps for geothermal has been popular since the seventies and are now a serious contender to other methods of heating your house.

Wind Power:

Granted wind generators in your garden with a shared border will probably be a planning nightmare but for those who have open space and open in the most common wind direction?

Wind power is costly in small scale, so a home owner will be better of sharing a larger turbine rather than just enough for one home.  Any home also need to be evaluated for wind conditions;  do you have consistent wind wind where you live?  For a detailed report see “The Wind energy Foundation” article on the subject for the US.

It should also be noted that a home owner would probably need a mini power plant for authorities to give permission.  A mini  power plant is defined (by Swedish authorities) as having a total height, including wing tip of 20 meters and wing span maximum 3 meters.


Solar is the best developed and least complex solution but let us look out for other alternatives, especially since winters in the far north are dark.

Ground source is useful to minimise heating costs, preferably in combination with solar power.

Wind power is possible but usually not very economical on the small scale of a home.

How do we realize massive MIMO?

MIMO, what is it and what are the benefits?

Simply put MIMO is a technique where a sending system sends several streams of data from many antennas and a receiving device receives all the streams on all antennas.
The data is then decoded using mathematical modelling and for most of the time pre-coding.

MIMO and massive MIMO; Only more antennas?

MIMO in 4G uses up to four antennas at this point in time. For 5G the industry intends using Massive MIMO, meaning many antennas.

Currently, field trials include 128 antennas for one cell. So using several, so far hundreds, maybe thousands, of antennas may sound like we just use more antennas. This is not completely true considering that we also have technologies like Beam Forming, antennas that can aim the signal towards the specific user without mechanically moving. Mechanical movement will definitely be too slow for these applications.

Why Massive MIMO?

In short, massive MIMO enables higher data rates and most importantly antennas can be allocated during ongoing connections on an ongoing basis.  For example, when you send a tweet you will only need one antenna whilst when watching high definition video you will need several antennas. The allocation in 4G is already doing this but can only allocate a timeslot on a sub frequency where you are currently located. with MIMO the number of antennas can be changed as well as timeslot and frequency and possibly also access schemes.

Are antennas only one shape?

The most common antenna solution is to make a flat box with antennas and have algorithms decide how many are used for each device. This technology also enables beam forming which can minimize interference while maximizing the specific users signal.

Another theoretical solution is to cover walls with thin sheets that contain antennas using similar algorithms to form beams.

For millimetre wave technologies your device may also have many antennas, giving the opportunity to have faster uplink. Imagine using a tablet above 10″ this will have space for quite a few antennas.

What is up ahead?

The ideas that are being pursued by researchers are plenty, making the road ahead very exciting for researchers and for the industry as a whole. The antenna is only one part that will be researched and improved upon, many of the efforts  are aimed at algorithms and how to implement them with signal processors.


Amazing things you can do with your Nook e-reader

This post was posted on on March 29, 2016 :

Hi there!


The incredible Nook e-reader;   a handy size device you can carry with you
any time, anywhere comfortably.
It was always intended to read books, but brilliant users soon turned it
into something very much more.

They used a method called “rooting” to allow multiple apps to run.
When your Nook has been modified properly the possibilities are numerous.
Consequently reading books has become only one of the many uses for this light, practical, useful and convenient gadget.

The following are some interesting things you can do with your Nook e-reader.

A rooted NOOK

1)   Evernote

Do you rely on the excellent Evernote tool for organizing your day’s activities?

You will now be able to create, check, update and change  your plans, activities, arrangements and all your business using this amazing device.

2)   Facebook

You have to admit it;   you too have an addiction with Facebook.

Using your wonderful Nook you can now stay updated with your feed,
make comments, tick your likes and post your own thoughts.
You can be in touch with all your contacts at any time.

3)  Gmail

If you use Gmail as your regular provider now you can use your incredible
Nook to check your emails, reply to your chosen ones and compose all new.

4)   Browser

Your fantastic machine also has a built in browser.
You can use this to surf on your favourite websites, research and read
interesting articles.

5)  Calendar

This is another excellent feature to arrange all your appointments and
plan all your business.
Everything will be very conveniently available to you the moment you need it.

6)   Blogger

Are you using Google for your blogging.
Your Nook will handle all your writing ideas and post them for you.

Using your valuable for all the above applications I have mentioned will
open up a world of new possibilities for you.

This will prove a very  interesting and exciting experience and definitely you will not want to miss it.

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