My batteries took a hit…

That was the most heavily overcast day we’ve had since I don’t remember when. A little wan sunlight right at the end of the day but not enough to bring the charge controllers to float, and of course it happened on one of the shortest days of the year so double hit. Mornings like this are why I wanted battery voltage readouts inside my nice warmish cabin…


Not real bad under the circumstances. It’s about 0.3 volts lower than normal for a winter morning, or about what the two Interstates would have read at the same time of year had everything gone perfectly the day before and I hadn’t spent the evening watching videos on the laptop, which I did*, and which in older times would have been verboten on such a night after such a day. Color me pleased.

It’s not as cold this morning as I was led to expect, looks like the sky was cloudy for most of the night. But things are clearing as we approach daybreak (the outside temperature dropped almost ten degrees in the two hours since I rise as the sky cleared) and I’m pretty sure the batteries will make good yesterday’s losses in short order today.


*Oh, and in so doing I broke one of Torso Boy’s little rules. He insisted on going to bed before six, because of course it was getting dark, and when it’s dark you get into bed. Everybody knows that. So I turned down the covers and said he could get on the bed, and then I tumbled him over and rubbed his belly and fussed over him for a while, which he always acts like that alarms him but he won’t leave me alone till I do it so there’s some passive-aggressive mixed messages going on there much like a marriage. And then I decided I wanted to play on the laptop, so I left the bedroom. Watched a movie and then was reading on the Internet when around 9:30 he decided that was quite enough of that and he came and got me and would not leave me alone until I turned that stupid computer off and came to bed. So, yeah. Much like marriage but with no sex and I get to express my opinion when I disagree. I don’t get my way, let’s not get crazy. But I can state an opinion if I like.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to My batteries took a hit…

  1. Ben says:

    I always compared pet ownership more to parenthood than to marriage. Perhaps you and shorty need to analyze your relationship?

  2. Zelda says:

    Joel do you have enough solar panel and battery storage now to keep a small refrigerator going?

  3. Mark Matis says:

    Now Zelda, I’M the one responsible for bugging him about that. And I’m sure he realizes that the power consumption of a small fridge will be at its least when the sunnicity is also at its least. Not sure what thermature he keeps the cabin, but I expect it’s somewhat below the norm that fridge makers expect. Although in the summertime it’s also somewhat above what those same dudes budget for. But his solar budget is also at its peak during the summer, so…

  4. Judy says:

    Instead of a fridge, a small chest freezer uses less energy when set at refrigerator temps.

  5. FDD says:

    How you looked at building a wind turbine, maybe a small one to supplement the solar?

  6. Joel says:

    How you looked at building a wind turbine, maybe a small one to supplement the solar?

    Yeah, and dismissed the idea as more trouble than its worth. Wind gennies have the virtue of working at night as well (or as badly) as during the day, and that’s about their only virtue. They’ve almost entirely gone out of style around here in the twelve years I’ve lived here and for several good reasons. The wind is unreliable, it’s as likely to blow too hard as not hard enough, you need a tall tower to get out of the clutter from the broken landscape and junipers, and that makes them lightning attractors. I’ve seen good expensive turbines with air brakes and carbon fiber blades come apart like bombs in wind gusts, and one neighbor spent one monsoon repairing his lightning damage almost continually until he gave up and added solar panels.

    Solar panels don’t work at night, but most days here there’s an overabundance of sun. This extended gloom is quite unusual. Solar has no moving parts and doesn’t have to be set on a tall metal pipe. It’s not lightning proof but it’s less likely to attract it, and a properly built rack is immune to heavy wind.

  7. Mark Matis says:

    And if worst comes to worst and your batteries get too low, your propane heater will light with a match or some other such non-sparky shit, as will your wood stove. You do have a way of brewing coffee without electrical power, don’t you? I mean, one has to keep one’s priorities straight…

  8. Joel says:

    I even have a way to grind coffee without electricity. Because priority, yes.

  9. Mark Matis says:

    So anyone getting you more of that Commie coffee should go full beaner, eh?
    }:-]

To the stake with the heretic!