Life at the end of the road

September 15, 2013

A little optimistic :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:38 pm

Well the much talked about foul weather arrived with a bang sometime during the night, not sure when but I awoke at 4:00am two of the heat dumps in the house were on and the battery voltage up around 58v.

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With the torrential wind and rain forecast I’d turned off the first of the three to give thee battery bank a good ‘equalizing’, the three AC ones come on sequentially, number one being (I think) at 55v. Since I fitted the 1kw solar array and and extra 1kw DC dump load in the shed it’s allowed to turn off this first heater thus raising the overall battery voltage up to 59.5v when the DC dump comes on via its PWM controller. This gives the battery bank the good occasional ‘over charge’ that it needs to stay healthy.

Of course turning off the heater during daylight with a good breeze of wind and a burn in spate would leave me with not enough places for the electricity to go and the inverter would  ‘over voltage’  trip. Now that would seriously over charge the batteries Smile Modern solar  PWM and MPPT charge controllers can actually be set to do this automatically, once a month or whenever, but it’s a little more problematic with wind as you never know if there is going to be enough. The Trace SW4548e inverter does have a facility to do it but only via the generator which is not ideal so I do it manually by ‘playing’ with the dump loads. Either turning one or two off when it’s calm and sunny or doing the same at night when  dark and windy.


They had said heavy rain but venturing forth at 8:30 to feed the animals I was shocked to see just how much water was running off the hill.



Not a great picture but you can see that a good deal of it was actually getting blown back up the hill too.

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There was an awful lot charging down the burn that feeds the hydro turbine too, but as you can see not much of it was actually going down there. Rolling up my sleeve I removed a clump of earth from the inlet pipe and all was peachy once more, those pigs have a lot to answer for Smile

After breakfast I went down to the shore and the ‘secret cove’ where my turbine resides, just to have a ‘look see’, It seldom needs attention but it’s an enchanted and beautiful spot with Arnish’s highest concentration of aspen’s.


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They cling precariously to the edge of the cliff with water cascading through their roots and it can only be a matter of time before one of them ends up in the sea.



All the while the day appeared to be improving,


the rising sun had even illuminated one of the scaffolding poles that we’d left on the hill yesterday over a kilometre away.

It began to look so promising that we all went over to the Old Schoolhouse to cut the lawn, check the batteries, oil, fuel, gas and other things that make the place tick.


It was, for a little while at least. like a summers day as the Dude cut the grass and I checked the Rolls batteries.



It was like a ‘summers day’ for ten minutes Sad smile


With little warning a thick bank of rain swept in over Loch Arnish and drowned us all, luckily my ‘red neck hillbilly’ gear kept me dry but Lightning, Dude and Molly were not so lucky.

The rest of the day was spent pottering in and out of the house between the showers, one minute in the sun, the next underwater.


We did manage to get the diesel tank ready and into position after running the fuel lines from Harry.



That was it really, I took Lightning home just after 18:00 in the pishing rain with 5 degrees showing on wifey’s car thermometer, then an hour later it was summer again on ‘The Red Hills of Arnish’, ‘Telegraph Hill’ from now on Smile



And if you look very carefully you can see two scaffolding poles in the ‘setting sun’ Smile


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