Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy (late) winter solstice

The winter solstice (shortest day) just passed a few days ago. We had planned to celebrate it with a 'grand' feast, but time got away from us. We have been blessed with some lovely weather, although also the usual winter rain, fog and cold winds. Who knows, we may even get snow this winter!

For those living off the mains grid, this time of year is the most challenging. More so for us, due to the not so good location of our solar panels (its only a temporary spot though - and we were aware of the limitations of the site at the time - but we traded the time to build an approprite frame elsewhere, and the loads of extra cabling for the lack of winter light). The sun sits very low in the sky here and sadly doesn't barely hit the panels at the moment. Combined with the foggy days, it means not much power is made.... That said, in the location that they will go to when the house is built we will have no trouble at all as we have full solar access.

So we have had to put in measures for power saving for the last 2 or so months, turning almost everything off, and not turning on power hungry appliances like the TV or even the radio. Also turning off the inverter that gives us our 240V power unless we are using saves us power. We only run 12V lighting, and that comes directly from our batteries.

We will survive, and next winter will be easier, as we are in the process of moving the panels to a new spot where we get a little more 'sun' time. We will also expand the system as money permits. For now we will have to cope with running the generator a couple of times to charge up the batteries again, and soon the sun will peek out from above the trees again.


  1.'re gonna have to be creative! I admire your fortitude, seriously cool! Kim

  2. Sounds very challenging...and makes you appreciate the fact that we all are dependent on on energy, whatever the form!

    Here's hoping you have a sunny winter...hang in there!