Goodbye, noisy, stinkin’ generator. You’ve served us well, but now you’re a back up plan! You’ve been relegated the plan b’s of this world. *That’s sort of a lie, because I still have to turn you on while I blow dry my hair, but still!* No more hours of mind numbing machine right next to where you’re trying to talk, do maths, or read because WE’VE GONE SOLAR!
If you read my last blog, you saw there was a mysterious end about how because of the Freyberg/Simmet generosity, we were able to make a big change at Circular Lodgic. Some of you had some good guesses about what might be happening around here, but now you know!
We had looked at solar panels off and on for the entire time we’ve lived here. We just about pulled the trigger earlier this spring, and then we saw our tax situation and had to give it up. We finally purchased those things sitting in our Amazon cart and they arrived this week. Bryan set the panel against the a-frame wall and plugged it in temporarily to see if it worked. That night, even in shade, it was producing power to charge our batteries. It worked even at dusk!
Thursday we set to task putting the panel up on the a-frame roof and threading the wiring through the a-frame. It’s always sketchy cutting a permanent hole in your roof, especially when a bit isn’t long enough to drill all the way through. That meant we had to measure and use Bry’s dead reckoning to guess where to drill the hole on the other side. He came within a couple inches of the hole, which I thought was pretty impressive! It took us a while to rig up ways to thread the wires through without losing them in the walls, but after an hour or so, we had it completely installed, wires hidden, and she’s running beautifully. All together, Bryan figured the install only took about 3 hours.
Since it’s the weekend and I haven’t had to blow-dry, it has now been 3 days since we’ve had to listen to Genny. *That’s actually a lie too because yesterday I overflowed the water tank BIG TIME and had to shop vac the water off the floor.* I also dumped about 2 ounces of vinaigrette and oil all down the back of the fridge. Great day!
Anyway, I am thrilled that now our power is begin generated naturally and we can think straight AND have a little less environmental havoc on our shoulders. If you’re wanting to know particulars about what we bought for panels, etc., you can look below.
Here’s something you probably never thought you’d see me with:
Yep, I got to bring a sewing machine home to finish the curtains and I actually think it’s really fun! Never would have seen that coming!
Because the solar only ran us around $500, we are also going to add a real shed for us to store and organize all of our tools, bikes, etc. in. Right now Bryan doesn’t have any space to work on bikes or projects, so adding a nice shed will allow us to safely store all our gear, etc. and give him space to work on things too. Right now he worked in the woodshed, which means we can’t store as much wood and he’s out in the elements. Plus, we’ll be able to remove all the storage stuff from the a-frame loft and use it as a warm winter reading nook! YES!
We bought it all of of Amazon to use the free shipping with Prime. (Did you know if you have a student email address, you can get Prime free for 6 months? — Neither did I until a couple weeks ago!). I swear I don’t work for Amazon but they should pay me for this blog.
The panel is the Renogy 250W. It came in a sketchy ass box with no FRAGILE signifiers on it or anything. Weird, but it wasn’t damaged, surprisingly!
Cables (I think we needed more than one, but I’m not sure and our place is tiny, so probably most people need a lot).
Charge controller (that converts the solar into usable power). You can buy Renogy kits that come with a controller, but I guess it’s super cheap and crappy. We opted for the better controller. You can also pay extra to have a controller that shows levels so you know how charged things are, but reviews weren’t great so we opted not to buy that. I’d like to just get a seelevel gauge which shows propane, water, and battery levels. They’re pricey though.
Brackets to attach panel to roof