Feeling neglected?

I realized that it has been over two weeks since my last posting!  DOH!  I meant to do something at least every week.  Sorry folks.  I checked my counter the other day and found that the site had 11 views in one day.  That is close to an all time high.  And all they had to look at is two week old content.  Pathetic.  Fear not!  As soon as I can get my wife to show me how to use her DSLR camera, there will be several pictures attatched to this post.  I can hear your mouths watering already.

Since the last post, I’ve gotten a lot of work done on the Frankenscooter.  I’ve finished the hinge and rear suspension, built a body, finished the battery pack, the ventillation system for use during charging, extended the handlebars and I’ve begun wiring everything together.  The only thing really left is connecting the throttle to the controller.  It is starting to get exciting thinking about getting it running soon!

We have officially started our hydroponic project with some germinating seeds on our kitchen table.  Holy cow! The seeds were supposed to germinate in about 10 days, well in one week, they are already outgrowing the germination tray.  It looks like we will be using 6″ PVC pipe with holes drilled in the top for the plants.  We will have to get that rain collection setup going in the next month or two.  By the way these things are growing, I’m going to have to get working on the rack system a lot sooner than I’d thought.

The installer I use, Kelly at Greenheartsolar.com sent me an estimate for the (likely) final upgrade to the photovoltaic (electric) array on the roof.  It will take up the rest of the usable space on the roof.  Wow, these panels have come down in price!  The estimate is for 8 panels, rails, installation and a charge controller for only $4.62 per watt.  4 years ago you couldn’t find panels alone for that price!  Folks, the time to buy is now.  The addition to the system will be about 1.9 Killowatts for a system total of 6.3 KW.  That might almost bring us to net zero for electricity use.  Hopefully the wife will decide how she feels about us spending that kind of money at this point in time.  After the federal tax credit, it will only cost a few hundred more than the rebate we got a few months ago.  Sounds reasonable to me.

I just thought I’d throw some pictures of Sparky in for now.  One view is of the rear battery pack where the gas tank used to be, another is of the various components under the hood, as well as the outside (in need of some body work).

Well, enough for now, should post again soon.  Until then, keep working for a better tomorrow.


like minds

It always feels good to talk to someone of a like mind.  Last Friday, I finally got a bill for the batteries I am using for the scooter.  I got them from my friend Sebastian at Rebirth Auto.  www.rebirthauto.com A few months ago, I told him that I was interested in these batteries.  He doesn’t supply these exact cells yet as they are fairly new on the market, but he was going to get a few for R&D and would get some for me if I was interrested.  When they came in, he gave them to me and said we’d catch up later.  That was 6 weeks ago.  Last week, he was doing inventory and remembered that I had $500 worth of his batteries.

The other day I went with my son down to the shop to settle up.  I love looking around that place!  There are these huge motors sitting there, various products under R&D.  It is an EV geeks candy store.  I’ve been there several times and there’s always something new.  Can’t wait to get me a Soliton 1 controller for the Lotus!

Finally!  I got some money from the state in partial payment for the rebate on my solar panels.  I think the form was submitted 14 months ago.  They sent out 52% of what they owe.  So they only owe me another $4,000.  Now to finish filling up the space on the roof with PV panels!  The electric bill was $17 in March, maybe this can get it down to zero a few months out of the year.

I’ve been getting some work done in the garage for the past few days some of which has been on the scooter.  There is finally some semblance of a body around the battery pack.  I keep saying it, but I really do intend to post some pictures of the scooter and Sparky in the next day or two.

Until then, keep it green!


One small step

Geez! Finally, I have had some time to get a little bit of work done on projects.  It’s been a full week of work with an extra shift and two days worth of class and meetings, I finally have a day off.  The battery pack for the scooter finally has all of the connectors cut, bent and connected.  The battery equalizers are connected and there are standoffs to keep the sensitive parts from rubbing on the sides of the enclosure.  Now I can start to build the body of the scooter around it and the ventillation system as well!  Plans for this week include more work on Sparky with pictures suitable for posting.  I should have some more progress to report by next week Tuesday.

I’m starting to feel guilty about not getting more work done on Sparky.  It still needs one more hole patched in the back seat area to fill in space opened up by the newer smaller battery pack.  It also needs to have some minor mods done to the front battery box in order to fit the grille on, bolt on a fan for the main rear battery box, the E-brakes need to be re-mounted and the contactor for the air conditioning compressor needs to be mounted in the main switchbox.  Not to mention the re-installation of the BMS with one connection for each of the 96 cells, each of which needs to be routed, cut to length and two more joints for each wire soldered.  Oh yeah, and I still need one more set of restraint straps for one last 4 cell module which was ordered about 5 months ago.  When I put it like that it seems like a lot of work.  I should draft the kids and maybe a neighbor to help.  As I’ve often said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  I need to take that step soon.  It’s bugging me to be driving a petrolium car for now.  Even the Prius.

Catch you later!