Another stormy night…

Have I mentioned that I hate winter?

Felt like I barely slept at all last night. At a minimum I was up at eleven, quarter to two, and a little after four and each time doubted I was going to get back to sleep. So naturally I slept right past seven when Tobie decided to take matters into his own muzzle. Which is the appendage he uses to wake me up when I’m clearly taking this “sleep” thing too far. The reason I mention insomnia is because every time I found myself lying awake I could hear wind moaning in the eaves right on the other side of the bedroom wall. Wasn’t surprised when the first chore of the morning was shoveling off the porch, stairs and woodshed bridge and brushing off the solar panels on the ground mount.

The morning walkie was a little fraught…

…but kinda pretty and it’s nice to have proper winter gear even though it doesn’t get an amazing amount of use. It didn’t actually get as cold overnight as predicted…

But with what remained of the wind you could have fooled me. You wouldn’t have wanted to be out in it when it was howling in the middle of the night. And the voltage needed immediate attention, no doubt. It was down below twelve volts at first rising, which is not at all acceptable, and with no sign at all that it wold be any less gloomy today than it was yesterday.

So we got back from morning walkie around nine ayem, the fire was burning itself out…

…making the interior far too “cozy” for being all wrapped up, but before I could start stripping layers off I had one last chore.

Drag the Honda out to the porch, chain open the powershed door, then lug the generator over there and get it set up for battery charging. First pull, baby! (love this thing.)

Now of course since I went to the trouble of doing that the sun is suddenly shining. If it stays thus the batteries would eventually recharge by afternoon but only a fool would count on that at this time of year.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to Another stormy night…

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have another brilliant idea.

    A sheet of transparent polyetheylene joined as an endless loop, with a horizontal roller at the top edge of your panel bank, another roller at the bottom. The loop could be a double layer on the panel surface or going completely around the bank. When the bank is obscured by snow, dust, leaves, tumbleweeds, bird donations or whatever, simply scroll the poly sheet past a nifty oscillating brush (really just a really long broom head mounted parallel).

    Please remit 1% of profit to my account.

  2. malatrope says:

    Glass loses 4% transmission per surface due to reflection (i.e., 92% best transmission unless heroic anti-reflection coatings are applied in a vacuum chamber). Poly is a little worse, but without looking it up let’s be generous and say it’s the same as glass. Thus one sheet of poly would knock 8% off, and if both were on the same side it would be 16%. Dust and dirt would add another 5% (again with the generosity). So your idea would knock up to a fifth of the power generation off the system.

    Please remit a negotiable amount of cash to my account for being nice enough to kill your idea in the crib before your angry customers hang you on a fence and throw rocks at you.

    You’re welcome. Heh.

  3. Mike says:

    Have I mentioned that I hate winter, too? A weather system blew in last night from Texas and by the time I got up, there were three inches of snow on the ground with no signs of letting up. The weathertainers are prognosticating that this will turn to freezing this evening. I’m glad to have the back-up stuff in place, including a Yamaha 2600 and a transfer switch, so I can keep things like freezer and internet powered.

    BTW, as I have written before, a small pump sprayer filled with liquid ice melter that you can get from Amazon, will take care of the buildup on the solar panels.

  4. B says:

    Question: Do you (on average) have a surplus of photons?

    The reason I ask is it would seem to me that if your batteries go to float in the early afternoon you could use more battery.

    I’d be willing to kick in a buck or seven to make that happen if you think it’d help

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