Wednesday 11 April 2018

The Cost-Comfort Trade-off

In all aspects of life, there is a constant balancing act between the nice things in life and what that will cost us: (Money, Time, Peace of Mind, etc).

There is a sound that I like, yet don’t hear all that often, and it is the sound of a lowly fan running. 

That fan, is on the battery charging/low voltage power supply unit within Wanda. That fan only runs when Wanda is plugged into full power (120VAC / 30Amps).

I am not an expert on the charging unit, but I get the impression that it varies how much power it puts into charging the batteries in response to how much power it gets.

It’s almost as if it asks the power line “How much power can you give me?” and then varies what “charging level/mode” it goes into.

The higher the “level” the more power put into charging the batteries. At least that is what I understand, but I could be wrong. 

Where this comes into is the fact that I only typically hear that fan running when I am at a campsite. Last night, however, I heard that fan running, when I ran Jenny.

This is a first as before, with the previous generators, I never heard that fan as they both gave Wanda less than full power, closer to half power actually.

That still charged the batteries but it would take longer, as they charger unit was always on a lower setting.

Yet, while this new generator cranks out more power, clearly more than Wanda can use, that comes at a cost, a higher operating cost (as well as a much higher purchase price).

The gasoline engine that is in the new Generator is twice as large as the previous ones and so it will take more fuel to run.

I could have gone the other way and bought a baby generator (say 800Watt to 1000Watt) where it will use much less fuel than I this or the previous generators.

Yet, that extra power allows me to do things that I couldn’t do with such a small generator. 

For one, I can plug in every device I have and charge it when the generator is running. I can also not worry about overtaxing this generator and causing it to stall.

The other thing that I am thinking, is that I can run this generator for less time, yet still get the same or more charge into the batteries (because of the higher “mode” that Wanda’s charging unit goes into). We shall see about that.

The point is, is that we all make choices in our lives, every day, about what level of comfort we want, and trade that off against how much we are willing to pay for that comfort.

So, I will spend more on generator fuel, but I will enjoy having more power available to me. Just be mindful of this balance and trade-off that you do every day.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

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