Mechanics clowned on this guy’s homemade battery when they could’ve learned something useful instead.
A presumed mechanic who goes by @PotatoChip3 on TikTok shared an on-the-job video making fun of a homemade battery he found on a customer’s car.
Here’s a copy of that video re-posted by @gt_seth on Instagram below.
All cars (even EVs) and their electronics run off a 12-volt system typically powered by a lead-acid battery, that heavy, black box with a negative and positive terminal you’ll find under the hood or in your trunk.
As OP’s video shows, instead of said lead-acid battery in this customer’s car, he and his co-worker were surprised to find a plastic food case with terminal leads on top of it serving as a DIY battery of sorts.
“On this episode of “I’m a mechanic…,” OP mockingly says “Homemade batt-ricity“
Looks like a bunch of f***ing D-batteries, his co-worker says.
Well, his co-worker was not far off as, if he asked the right questions and did an internet search, he’d find out that this car owner designed his own car battery using supercapacitors.
A capacitor (or supercapacitor) is just another type of battery.
While a lead-acid car battery uses lead plates submerged in sulfuric acid to make a chemical reaction that, in turn, makes electricity, capacitors store electrical energy through distributing charged particles on plates (generally two) to create a potential difference. (source)
Because of how capacitors store potential energy, they can be charged within seconds, can be charged and discharged 10s of thousands of times, and weigh a heck of a lot less than a car battery.
However, they store a fraction of the energy density as a lead acid and lithium-ion battery and are self discharge at a rapid rate (as much as half its potential energy in a month.)
Since they don’t store much energy, you can’t really listen to the radio or run many accessories if, like this customer, you fashion yourself a DIY car battery out of capacitors.
“That’s a 58Farad Maxwell Ultra Capacitor Bank with probably A 4S Lithium Polymer On A 4S Battery BMS,” @Hayes.Salvatore points out.
“LOL. You had no idea what you’re looking at. That thing could probably start a V8 engine and only weighs 8 pounds.”
This is what a Maxwell Ultra Capacitor bank looks like.
This customer is probably a tinkerer of sorts and wanted to find out if he could use some supercapacitors he had lying around as a DIY car battery.
It’s that sort of can-do attitude these car mechanics could learn from, seeing how their trade often relies on inventiveness and thinking outside the box.
What do you think of this customer’s DIY car battery?
Let me know your .02 in the comments below.