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Short Course in “Electrified Cars” By Polymath Richard (‘Dick’) Byrd, Esq. Of ‘Wolfeboro’, NH.

by Anura Guruge

Dick, who had owned a Toyota Prius for many years, just upgraded to a Prius Prime. I (very ignorant when it comes to electrified cars) had no idea what the difference was and why Dick was so excited about the Prime. When I asked for clarification, Dick, as is his wont, came up with this brilliant and pithy tutorial. It was too good NOT to publish and share. So, for your edification.

I’ll give you a short course in “Electrified Cars.”  There are now three types of “Electrified” vehicles now for sale:
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV):  These have a small battery, which traditionally have been Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) chemistry, typically about 2 KwHr capacity. and you have no ability to externally recharge the battery.  As the car is driven, the traction electric motors draw energy from the battery when appropriate, and then they put energy back into the battery when appropriate.  This has been the design of the classic Toyota Prius since its inception in the U.S. in 1999.  These cars are medium size cars, carry five passengers and luggage and get over 50 mpg.
The great efficiency of this configuration comes mainly from three factors:
(a) The Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) never has to be idling.  The car can startup under electric-only power and then bring the ICE into play when appropriate depending on throttle opening, temperature, speed, battery reserve energy, as well as other factors.  So, sitting at a traffic light everything is dead off. – No idling.

     (b)  The hybrid car uses dynamic braking, so when you press on the brakes, the computer slows the car by turning the electric motor into a generator and this both slows the car and charges the battery.  This efficiently transfers the kinetic energy of the moving car into potential energy stored in the battery.  In non-electrified cars this energy is dissipated as heat by the brake disks.

    (c) This one is more complicated, but very important.  The computer uses the ICE to charge the battery only when the ICE is being used also to propel the car, which greatly improves the efficiency of generating electricity.  If I want to put 10 horsepower (Hp) of electricity (aprx. 8 Kw) into the battery and I started up the ICE to do that, I would be running the ICE, with all of its horrible internal losses, just to produce that 10 Hp. – Very inefficient.  BUT, if the ICE is already running at say 50 Hp driving the car, then I can draw off the additional 10 Hp much more efficiently since all of the ICE’s internal losses are already being expended in driving the car.  I hope that makes sense to you.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PHEV):  These include my Prius Prime, the Chevy Volt and several others.  The battery is externally chargeable, and gives 25 – 50 miles of electric range, and then the vehicle operates like any hybrid, combining the ICE and battery for the best results.  Since the majority of working folks have a commute drive of less than 25-50 miles, this means that for most of their use of the car, they will only need electric power.  However, unlike a pure electric car, the PHEV can easily do a cross-country trip with no electric charging needed.  My Prius Prime uses an 8.7 KwHr Li Ion battery which is about four times the size of the battery in our old 2006 Prius we enjoyed for 12 years.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV):  The Tesla, the Chevy Bolt, and the Nissan Leaf are the best selling of these pure electric vehicles.    They have no ICE and are powered only by a Li Ion battery supplying electric motors. The battery capacity in now-available BEVs varies greatly, and therefore the driving range of the vehicles varies greatly.  Early BEVs had only 50 – 80 miles of range, but that was not very popular.  Remember, when a BEV its out of charge, you are struck at the side of the road!   Tesla upped the game a lot with around 200 miles of range in their cars.  The Chevy Bolt has 238 miles of range and the Leaf is moving up to 210 miles with their upcoming 2019 model.  Batteries in these cars are all Li Ion, and energy capacity is in the 60 -80 KwHr range.  Currently, these Li Ion batteries cost about $180 per KwHr, making a 80 KwHr battery account for about $14,000 of the cost of building a BEV!  Remember, though, there are great savings in manufacturing costs by eliminating the ICE and transmission.
     The electric motors in BEVs are typically permanent magnet, three-phase, AC synchronous motors.  Since the speed of a synchronous motor varies with the input frequency, the car’s D.C. battery voltage is fed to an inverter that supplies the variable frequency power to the motor.  These motors work at voltages in the 500 – 800 volt range.  This high voltage is necessary so as to reduce the current loads.  The Tesla electric motor can produce a whopping 700 Hp! – This requires about 500 Kw of electric input.  If the operating voltage is 500 volts, then you have about 1,000 amperes flowing into that motor.  The total capacity of the service entrance in your whole house is only 200 amperes, so this car at max power requires the current equivalent of five US households, drawing the maximum energy their service entrance panels can put out.  Wow!

Ok now go out and buy a Prius Prime.  So far, for the 200 miles I have driven, my average fuel mileage is over 66 mpg.

Dick’s brand new 2018 Prius Prime.

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by Anura Guruge


“Jordan JW Trio”, Celtic With A Twist, Performing In Barnstead (NH), Saturday, July 14, 2018.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

A short video I shot with my Sony a7 II.

The bagpipers that regaled us during the 10-minute intermission.

Again my video (as you, no doubt, cantell).

Click to access their Website.

Jordan JW Trio” were good, some of their vocal renditions exceptional and there were even some glimpses of brilliance. I was impressed and enjoyed their 110-minute performance — which included a few non-celtic numbers. They reminded me of ‘The Woods Tea Co’ (below) and when they played “The Wild Rover” they confirmed that I had been on the mark. Being compared to “Woods Tea” is not a bad thing. That, in my book, is quite an accolade. Yes, there were times that they brought to mind “The Brigadoons” — and that is not a bad thing either.

I think they can go far if they work on their vocal repertoire. Their reels and jigs are ‘OK’ but don’t set them apart. A large open field is never does sound systems any favors and that was the case with this concert. They probably sound even better in an enclosed hall.

During their 10-minute intermission, unannounced, four bagpipers turned up. That was a bonus and made my day. I hadn’t heard any pipes in awhile. Three of the pipers, in blue, were from a police pipe band from South Carolina. The leader of this group, in a green shirt, was an ex-Barnstead resident who lived in a house right on the edge of the green, They only played four tunes but that was good. I wish that the Trio had done at least one song with pipes. That would have been special.

But, all in all, a great evening in Barnstead. The rain stayed away and it was the usual amicable gathering with lots of kids and dogs and most of the kids have a ball.

Click for their Website.

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by Anura Guruge

The Passing Of ‘Donald Hall’, Our Poet Laureate — But I Remember Him For The ‘Ox-Cart Man’.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the “Concord Monitor” coverage.

Click for Amazon listing for this GREAT book.

I had the honor of meeting Donald Hall once. It was probably 19-years ago and I think it was in Tilton (or thereabouts) in a church hall. He was doing a book signing for the ‘Ox-Cart Man‘. My son Matthew, very young at the time, loved that book. I went, with some friends from Meredith, to get an autographed copy. I suspect that that book is in this house somewhere. I hope the kids did not give it away.

Great man. I could take or leave his poetry, but I am not big into poetry. But, that is my loss.

If you are not familiar with the ‘Ox-Cart Man’ you really should check it out. It is lavishly illustrated too.

Donald Hall (1928 – 2018), RIP.

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by Anura Guruge

40-Minute Eversource (PSNH) Power Outage In Alton (NH) — June 18, 2018.

by Anura Guruge

It was from around 7:05 to about 7:45pm, on Monday, June 18, 2018. We, in Alton, New Hampshire, were having but light rain — but we know there were thunderstorm to the South of us.

We were watching Episode 2 of “Anne Frank Diaries” on Acorn TV went all went dark.

We were the first to call to report an outage.

To be fair to Eversource (a.k.a. ‘Eversore’) this appears to be the first outage we have had since November 29, 2017 — i.e., 201-days!

WOW. 201-days.

In November 2017 we had three (3) outages in the month.

Well, I am not complaining.

On January 3, 2018, in anticipation of the “Bomb Cyclone” snow storm we had got a new generator — our 3rd. This was meant to be a backup for the other two — we needing two generators to power up 70% of the house.

Well today was the first time I got to use the new generator, a 7,000-watt Troy-Bilt (from Lowes), with electric start, in action. Once I remembered how to start it, it started first time. [I have now put a sticker on the switch I need to have on ‘ON’ before the electric starter kicks-in!]

So, that alone was good. I like to run my generators for 30-minutes every 6-weeks or so to prevent rust. So, this achieved that.

Glad power came back ….

I was expecting it to be out till the early hours of the morning.

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by Anura Guruge

If I Was Lucky Enough To Have $3 To Spare.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Attribution will be strictly enforced.

Saw this on the way home from the “North Country“, e.g., “Franconia Notch State Park“, this evening. For $3 I would have to think that this would be quite a buy even though it looks in pretty bad shape. It is a two truck and the winch at the back, painted red (see below), looks in pretty good order.

Right now, I am skint and do not have $3 to spare. Shame. This would have been a nice addition to the few ol’ cars I have.

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by Anura Guruge

“Summer Of Love Concert” At The “Capitol Center For The Arts”, Concord, NH — June 13, 2018.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Click to access their OFFICIAL Website.

It was a BLAST. It was BRILLIANT.

It was FREE.

Thank YOU (again) to the amazing “William H. Gile” Trust
that put on these FREE concerts in Concord, NH.

This was an unexpected bonus. I had NOT heard of this concert until quite recently when I got a flyer, in the mail, from the “Capitol Center For The Arts” (since I am a patron). I thought it would be too late to get tickets, but I managed to get 4 though they were not the great seats I have managed to get to “William H. Gile” concerts in the past. I had never heard of this ‘concert’, so was not sure what to expect.

So, so GLAD we went. It exceeded all expectations. Kind of a hybrid ‘tribute band‘ cum ‘legends in concert‘ mix that just covered songs from 3-years, viz. 1967 to 1969 — the “Woodstock Generation“. They really went to town. Talk about over the top energy. Very, very well done. This was my music.

I would readily go and see them again; even pay to see them. But, noticed on their Website that they don’t have that many gigs. They could be expensive to hire. A LARGE cast. Typically 15 – 16 performers on the stage. I heard the cast was close to 20.

It was a good night. The theater was fairly well packed. Some empty seats. That surprised I. Folks missed a great event.

Thank YOU, “William H. Gile” Trust. Much appreciated.

All pictures with my Google Pixel 2.

Thank YOU, “William H. Gile” Trust.

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by Anura Guruge

Flowers Of New Hampshire: Close To Home — June 10, 2018.

by Anura Guruge

NO post-processing whatsoever.

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All of these are from within 1.6 miles of home. The bulk are from our yard. The lady slippers was from my ‘secret’ spot and I took that picture when walking the dogs. Four of the pictures, with the vast green fields are from a neighbors. I went to visit them. They had called and told me to come and take some pictures!

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by Anura Guruge

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