So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Solar laundry day
Sometimes it's the little victories.
The work to equalize the house's solar electric battery bank paid off. The washing machine was able to do a load of laundry without my starting the generator. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a good sign. The battery bank wasn't charging fully but now it's much closer to working the way it should.
Laundry puts the off-grid system through its paces. Not only does the washing machine draw a fair amount of power, the water pump is also working. At times both motors kick in simultaneously, drawing a lot of amps.
The voltage would drop just enough to mess up the electronics of the washing machine, especially the timer. The quick and dirty fix was to run the generator while doing laundry. It was cheaper and more convenient than hauling the laundry to town. Even so, I hate to run the generator.
Being able to do laundry using solar power alone is satisfying -one more sign that I'm getting this off-grid stuff to work the way it should.
Speaking of off-grid, I ran into the meter reader checking my nonfunctional meter. I pointed out to him that it's been shut off since mid October.
“That explains why it barely moved,” he said.
“Barely moved? It should not have moved at all.” I complained.
He claimed the heat from the sun can move the meter. It's not a smart meter, so maybe he's right. I asked him about disconnecting the power lead from the house. The guy wasn't sure if it would be free or if it would cost something like $35. It might be worth having it done, especially before winter. The entrance wires and meter are in a bad area for ice formation. Besides, it'd be one less excuse for someone to come on my property.
Another cool think is that I may have found a source of used 75 watt solar electric panels for $35 each. I'll take as many of those as the guy can get for me. With panels at that price, all kinds of nifty solar electric projects become practical.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.