Sunday, February 20, 2011
Idling at 80 Watts
I wanted to go into a little more detail on a Tweet I did today. We had clouds and blowing snow. Even with the cloud cover we managed to make the same amount of power that the Cabin uses just what I call "idling." Like a car, only different. Watts instead of rpms. The Cabin "idles" at about 80 Watts. The Inverter does not read 80 Watts and never move. The well pump will kick on and it'll go up. The sump pump that drains the sink and wash machine will kick on and it'll go up again. We made enough power to cover those temporary increased power loads today too. That 80 Watts is for the pump that pumps the water through the Garden Level masonry heater/boiler loop and the "telecommunication gizmos." Technically, you can't get a cell phone signal here. We did not run phone lines back from the road to the cabin. So, The Husband has gizmos and we have a cell phone signal. The wireless network hub is also part of the "gizmos." When the light (sun) level goes too low, the Charge Controllers shut down and go into Standby mode. This is when I start draining the batteries. I will be draining the batteries some tonight with lights and running the water for dishes and toilet flushing. I make sure the voltage in the batteries is enough to get me through the night. The system will not let me run it too low. An alarm will go off. The forecast for tomorrow is calling for some sun. Same for Tuesday. This is good news because it means I won't have to muscle the generator out of the Cabin. It is kind of weird to have to plug in your house. Yeah, like a giant RV that idles at 80 Watts.