It’s time!

It’s time to finally add to/finish off the solar array.  There has been some space on the roof for too long.  I called a few days ago to order the panels.  One step closer to net zero baby!  There will be 8 more 220 watt panels up there for about another 1.9kW capacity.  Total will be about 7.9 kW.  I will let you know what the first power bill is after installation.

Sparky aggrivated me today.  I have the parking brake working again.  I replaced the brake booster thinking that that was where the problem was with the vacuum leak.  I disconnected the hose and ran the pump and no leak.  The new booster still leaks.  The vacuum pump keeps running every 10 seconds.  Not only will this wear the pump out much sooner than it should, the noise is annoying.  I am thinking about putting an air valve in the line that is opened electrically when the brake pedal is pushed.  Still need to patch that hole in the floor, replace one cell, install the BMS and rewire the charging plug.  It’s impressive how these things can become such ongoing projects.

The scooter is working well, but of course I’m not satisfied.  I’m trying to make the handlebars adjustible as well as add an “ON” switch.  I’ll have to post some pictures once I get that started.

The hydroponic garden started off well, but the beans and strawberies are dying out.  We think that the problem is either the cold or a pH problem that we have recently ironed out.  We haven’t had a freeze yet but we’ve been close.  We should have some sweet potatoes from a large pot of soil soon.

I guess all of these things take some time and work, but to be fair, most of the work has been in getting things up and running.  Also the savings in gas and hopefully soon in food will all be worth it.  There is already a fair ammount of satisfaction to being self sufficient by doing the errands on the scooter charged with the solar panels and eating even a little food that was grown in the back yard.  It was also a lot of fun driving sparky the other day.  The EV grin is back.

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Yay!

I finally took Sparky for a drive today!  After a bit of trimming ot the header panel, I was finally able to get the grille back on over the front battery box.  That means there was no longer anything hanging too far off of the vehicle and it was sort of safe on the road.  My friend/neighbor Eric and I went for a ride around the block. It was almost exactly two miles.  Not much, but it worked well and did not burst into flame!  He was instrumental in figuring out that there was not much we could do about the scooter launching itself with minimal throttle movement.  He also helped to re-assemble sparky.

Man, it feels good to finally drive without gas again!  Though I won’t be putting to many miles on it just yet.  The emergency brakes still need to be re-installed, I still need to fabricate and weld in a floor panel, then the BMS (Battery Management System) needs to be installed before I can charge the vehicle routinely.  The plug for the charger needs to be converted from a dryer plug to the new J1776 standard electric vehicle plug.  I need to replace the power brake vacuum booster because it is leaking and the vacuum pump is running far to frequently.  Fortunately I finally have a few days off to get some of this stuff done.  Not a bad list actually for doing almost no maintainence for 5 years and then a major upgrade.  The nice thing is also that when some components become obsolete, they can be relatively easily replaced, like the charging plug.

Well, time to get to it.  I think I’ll take the scooter over to the auto parts store and pick up that brake booster.  Maybe I’ll install that and fix the E brakes today.  It’s funny how work doesn’t seem so much like work when you’re riding an electric scooter and making tangeable progress on an EV.

SEG