Mower Batteries

Was away for a while and have been busy with other things and haven’t had time to wrap up the electric mower project. Just went to give it a quick test drive, since I hadn’t tested the brake switch that shuts off the motor. Good news is that it works, the bad news is one of my two batteries is dead, or at least pining for the fjiords. Was able to drive around on 12V, but slowly.

The battery was old and was the original starter battery for the mower when it ran on gas. I bought a second just like it to get up to 24V, but it wasn’t really ideal for the job. I’m thinking of options, including some nice new lithium batteries. They are expensive (relatively) but my next project was to play around with some solar panels and battery storage, something that could be useful here in Texas. I have heard of talk of people using their electric car batteries as home storage, so why not use a riding mower? Ok, maybe just to power my shed.

Fracking in Texas

I was looking for info on fracking in Texas. There have been large numbers of bankruptcies for years and my understanding is that the whole endeavor never made money, but consumed hundreds of billions of dollars in investment. Still looking for that data (although a count of bankruptcies is easy to find).

Ran across this really good article from the New Yorker from 2018 that is worth a read. A bit dated but it seems to spell out the end for the fracking boom and perhaps oil and gas in Texas. My favorite quote (and there were a few good ones):

“Societies that depend on natural resources tend to have certain inherent problems. The limited concentration of wealth—whether from oil, coal, diamonds, or bauxite—often leads to corruption and authoritarianism. Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Louisiana are primary examples.”

The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil