This Year in Richard- and PriUPS-Land
Recollections and Reconnections
This is my second annual wrap-up. There isn't that much to wrap; I'll keep it short.
There were a few losses: My good friend Joe died last January, at much too young an age. My housemate's mom, who had been in failing health for quite a while also left us. And Raleigh the Bun had her last banana a couple of days ago, just short of age 8.
There were a few gains. In the material world, I dumped the dangerously defective Audi wagon and got a new Ford Escape Hybrid. The Escape has a 330Volt battery pack! That's about 1/3 more voltage than the Prius. My goal, of course, is to power the house from the Ford and/or the Prius, which means a rethinking of the PriUPS project for 2008. I've ordered the "workshop manual" and it should arrive any day now. I have my strategy mapped out. In the world of elements, I also have an interesting acquisition to report, but I'm going to hold off on that for just a while. It presages the possibility of entering an entirely new business venture!
A bizarre coincidence led to a somewhat less material event. The New York Times published an article which briefly mentioned my PriUPS machinations. Because of that, I read the paper immediately instead of letting it languish for weeks or months as I normally do. And so that same day I discovered an article in "my" issue about someone I hadn't seen since the early '70s! An email led to a phone call, which led to a "reconnection" which I believe we are both enjoying. Less coincidentally, but still pleasant, were other reconnections with people I haven't seen for decades, either as a result of the Times article or random internet discoveries.
Having proved to myself that I could actually commit blog on a daily basis, I reduced my output quantity. I'd like to think that the quality improved, and taking desire for action, I will do just that—think that the quality improved. This year's entries included my "Fun With Mirrors" series wherein I save the world and invent a new space drive, and my take on an unusual financial instrument, "The Chocolate," which allows anyone to beat inflation and to keep one's earnings tax-free. As usual, I also reminded the consumer electronics manufacturers of the folly of their ways and found a double-entendre license plate that wasn't even one of mine!
Unanticipated but welcome, I had a power failure yesterday. It lasted long enough to allow me to test something I was working on, a "booster" for the Prius battery voltage. Although it didn't seem problematic, I was never happy that the UPS batteries discharged to as great an extent as they did, especially during extended power failures. Just looking at the voltage curves, I felt that the batteries were subject to more stress than was good for them. I felt that a modest increase in the Prius voltage output would improve the situation.
If you look at the red line on the right side of the graph, you will see that it takes a jump of about 12V. That was caused by my manually inserting the booster in line. In the full report, you'll see that this assured that the UPS batteries had a more satisfactory state of charge throughout the incident. So I have something concrete with which to wrap up this year's PriUPS adventures, and with luck the Ford Escape will provide another useful data point for next year.
Worth Repeating From Last New Year's Eve
"I intend to have a relatively quiet, mildly celebratory weekend and New Year's day, and wish you the same. If your intentions run to the rowdy, please be careful out there!"
NP: "Dry Land" - Marillion