Thursday, February 17, 2011

We're f-l-o-a-t-i-n-g

We did make it to solar float (fully charged via the sun) on the 12th. Mid-afternoon, the System Control Panel II showed that we were in absorption charging phase. The sun was blasting away. The Husband and I were giddy at the prospect of hitting solar float. We kept checking the system status. At one point during the absorption charging phase and the umpteenth time we checked our status, the Charge Controllers were only reading about 600 Watts. Huh? Head tilt. A brief silent moment of non-existent cerebral activity hung in the air and then as if the emergency broadcast system had gone off,  "QUICK, HIT THE GAS! PLUG EVERYTHING IN!" OMG! The Husband and I ran in different directions shouting to each other from opposite ends and different levels of the cabin, "Charge the computers! Where's your iPad! I need my jeans washed! I'm down in the Man Cave charging the flashlight batteries. Will you make lunch (run the microwave)?!" At one point, as I ran toward an outlet with my iPad, I noticed sunshine induced sleepy-eyed feLIONs looking rather annoyed that we disrupted their 16-hour nap. Yes, just a little jealous. Anyway, when the system is in absorption mode and getting close to floating, it throttles itself back. All that sun and we weren't using it. We we're burning daylight. Aw. Tsk. Tsk. So, we "hit the gas," so to speak, plugging the electronics in and running the washer and microwave. Now that we were putting more of a load on the system and the sun continued to blast away, the Charge Controllers read 1200 watts. Much better. Waste not; want not. We've hit solar float all week including today. We've had a few really warm days and even though we've backed off on the number of burns in the heaters and the cabin has cooled down and is comfortable, I've got to do burns in both heaters tonight. We've got a cold front moving in and with it some big, scary winds.

Speaking of wind, we got the spot in our yard picked out for the turbine without any threats of divorce from either party. The Husband did get prices from the Kestrel distributor. Taking into consideration the market analysis, The Husband and I came up with our asking price for our Ohio farm, again, without any threats of divorce or withholding dinner. Here's hoping our Ohio farm sells for our asking price so we can get our wind turbine. In the meantime, there's still details to work out and a lot of paperwork to get together for zoning. I will divulge the wind system details when they're worked out. Remember, we're tying the turbine into our existing system so the charge controllers (solar and the new wind), inverter, and batteries all have to play nice together. We don't want any, "Do you smell something hot" moments. 

Also of note, the driveway is this weird mess of a mix of sandy mud and what can only be described as gas station icy slushy drink. There's a really freaky, "please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop" spot in the driveway where I want to close my eyes as I drive through but that would be bad. It's narrow with an incline and decline and a sharp drop off into a ravine on each side. Now, imagine that sandy mud slushy on top. Yikes. As it is, I live in fear of breaking things. I don't know why. Well, maybe it's because I do have a bit of a destructive streak. The Husband is just the best. If there's ever anything we have to flatten, clear, or knock down, he lets me do it. Ah, love. Anyway, in situations like navigating the sandy mud slushy, I err on the side of slow and easy. I did lock the rear axle of the Jeep and "crawl" through the freaky spot. The Jeep remains unscathed. 

That's it for now.

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