Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Off Grid - eBay and Other Impossible Dreams

Off Grid - many people's (including my) dream come true.
No light bill. No power outage because a line is down somewhere.
No street lights to dim the stars. No telephone poles to block your view. Nice.

So you say "How do you see at night? How do you go online? OMG How do you
watch TV?" Well. Here's your answer.

We have two 6volt deep cell batteries. They are connected to a solar panel on the roof.
They are wired to one 12volt florescent light in each bedroom, one in the bath, and one in the kitchen. That gives us enough light to see where we are going and if you are right under it? You can even read.

Those batteries are also connected to the water pump which pumps water from the catchment tank to the house for bathing and washing dishes. We do NOT drink this water. That story I'll post another day.

Now. The sun does NOT shine all day - every day - like you may think happens in Hawaii. For us, up high on the volcano, nearly everyday begins with sunshine, however 9 of 10 days the clouds arrive around 10 a.m. And sunshine is intermittent at best for the rest of the day. Which means? We also need a generator to occasionally charge the batteries. Yes, ladies. I know how to start and maintain the generator as well as how to hook the battery charger into the house electric which runs on the generator and supplies the charger with the power to charge the batteries.

Whew. that's a lot. Stay with me now! The batteries are also wired to the inverter. The inverter takes the power from the batteries and supplies it to an extension cord  which runs to a surge protector in the living room. I plug my computer or tv into the protector and viola' I have power! So I can blog or watch a movie. My choice. I try not to do too much at a time. That way the sun can catch up. We have a meter that reads 10.5 - 14. 14 is maximum battery and at 10.5 an alarm goes off to let you know to charge the batteries. At 11.7 I can watch a movie. At 14 I can iron. At 12.5? I can watch a movie AND be on the computer!

Living off grid, you come to appreciate the daylight hours and get done what needs to be done in good light. Like reading. Knitting. Photographing. So while I list YARN on eBay, I knit. And I'm making a sweet pair of longies ...

I've divided it to knit the legs now and I think I may have enough to knit a pair of matching socks!

This is the yarn I'm going to sell over at my eBay. I LOVE this yarn. But, I need the cash. So here we go .... it's Tapestry by Rowan. Colorway SH 173 and 70% Wool 30% Soybean. I'm selling all 6 of the 50g each, fingering weight, skeins, for one price.
Dye lot 008F1

Today's Hawaiian word? Mahalo. It means thank you. Mahalos is the way most people say it, meaning Thanks. Mahalos nui loa would be Thanks so much! And drop in anytime!

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