Well, it’s been a pretty breezy day today, that’s for sure, the first ‘full’ day at work turned out to be a short one as we ‘pulled the plug’ at 17:00 on account of the wind. To be honest I was surprised we ran so long, pretty much every other Cal Mac ferry had tied up long before we did. It was even worse up at our end of the island with a gust of 100MPH during the night and one of 108MPH at some point in the day.
It’s been a pretty steady 50MPH all day here at Sonas but it was much more squally at Sconser where we seldom had a straight forward approach to the slipway today. The west north west wind arriving in great big chunks every time the ferry turned into Loch Sligachan. So much so that most times the skipper had to hold off in the loch until they’d passed safely by, trouble is you just can’t see them coming in the dark, hence the early finish.
Still, this is a great direction of wind for the Proven/Kingspan KW3 which just soaks it all up and turns it into valuable electricity for our house.
The steady 50MPH wind with its gusts to 100 plus had taken our energy production to a record breaking 101kWh in a 23 hour period. It’ll be more than that now but there’s no way I’m going outside now to check it Our previous best being 90kWh in August, on what must have been on an unusually windy and sunny day. Those are annual production figures above, 11658kWh for the year, which at the average UK unit cost of 15.4p per kWh is £1795.33 Of course I don’t actually pay or get paid anything for it and if I did have to buy the stuff then I’d certainly not use that much. However it’s a hobby and passion as well as keeping us in better than grid quality and reliable power. Just wait until this time next year when I have some figures for the 6kW Proven/Kingspan that’ll be going in the ‘ole.
What am I going to do with it all
The thing is, this new turbine is presenting me with a bit of a dilemma, what to do with the power? I know from a friend who has the same turbine that it is, as you would expect, going to produce around double the energy. So, on a day like today I’m gonna have approaching 200kWh of energy to use which is around five times what we need to run the house. However, on a day like the 7th it’s only going to push my wind energy production from 1kWh to 3kWh Sure my battery bank can take care of the shortfall for a couple of days but you get my drift, to increase my ‘energy independence’ over the year by a few days means there are going to be many, many more when I’ve excess. Now this is a great position to be in but I do have to ensure that I have ample means of either using it or dumping it and at the moment that is very much ‘work in progress’. Hot tub, EV or hybrid car, air conditioning are all schemes I’ve considered so, just ‘watch this space’
The turbine base
Well, that’s the ‘ole pretty much ready for the concrete, sadly it didn’t happen this shift and I was hoping to accurately measure the volume but that never came to pass. Figuring my best chance of actually getting an exact volume on an irregular ‘ole filled with steel would be to fill it with water to the brim them pump it out at a known speed in litres/min. To that end I made up a 90mm to 32mm adapter and stuck it in the burn behind the house. I installed a small dam here years ago with a 90mm pipe through it to measure the water flow to asses its viability for a small hydro turbine. Just another one of my retirement plans like the Range Rover and taking it easy
That seemed to go quite well so we turned our attention to laying a duct for the cable.
Luckily the cable was already laid for most of the way as it was the 6mm square supply to the caravan which I’d fortuitously left in place.
Sadly, apart from finishing the shuttering and putting a small drain through it, this is a far as we got.
Gone to a good home
The sad demise of my trusty Honda TRX 350 kinda left a lump in my throat https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/i-think-its-dead/ the whole family owed that Honda a huge debt of gratitude. My son had grown up driving it, it had been part of all my crazy renewable energy projects and had carried us home drunk from Torran after many a boozy sesh. Consequently I was loathe to send it to the knackers yard or leave it rotting in a corner of the croft. However during my search for a replacement I came across a wanted add on Gumtree.
Dead or alive
Something needing money spent on
Ideally honda big red or foreman
Kawasaki 4×4 klf
Mail me with any pictures an info
Well, I emailed Neil and said “have I got a winter project for you” I also sent him a link to the blog post and said “the only good thing on it is the rear tyres”. To my amazement this did not put Neil off and he made me on offer, which I turned down cos it was too much Not only that I said I’d deliver to Kintail as my mum’s not far from there and it would give my son and I a good excuse to visit, not that a devoted son should need one
True to form the indestructible Honda fired up first time and I just reversed it straight into his van, he was mightily impressed with both the quad and the ‘wee dug’ who leapt aboard as soon as the starter was pressed. Neil handed me a wad of cash and a fine single malt, I then gave him forty quid back. Sure I could have got much more money for it but it owes me sweet FA, I’ve had seven or so years hard labour out of it and was given the thing in the first place.
The bottle I’ve passed onto Bill and the cash, well, I’ll find a good home for that, ‘what comes around goes around’ as they say
Once we’d left a very happy Neil we went onto spend a good few hours at me Mammy’s doing we jobs.
The ‘Five sisters of Kintail’
and the fishing boat Te Bheag in Loch Duich.
Sunset, Glamaig and the Sound of Raasay on the way home.
Of course, as we had an empty trailer I filled it with old sheets of corrugated iron from the old roof on me Mums house.
The mushroom farm
Truth be know, it was the ‘mushroom farm’ that prevented me finishing the turbine base. This corrugated iron sheeting was a bit of a bonus and one of my things on the ‘to do’ list was just about to get ticked off.
When I built the ‘solar powered hen shed’ a few years ago I made a serious error, I painted the OSB with gloss paint to protect it from the weather. Now this was fine for a couple of years but gradually the water, driven by the gale force winds has found its way through the paint.
The resulting dampness on the inside has turned the OSB into a fabulous mushroom farm. The plan being to clad the outside with the old corrugated sheets from my mum’s house.
They kinda look a bit tatty and rusty but the rust is usually only on the last 6” or so and can be easily cut off.
Trust me, when it’s finished and painted it’ll look lovely.
I did actually get the whole side done before Monday was out but it was pitch black by the time I’d finished.
So that was it for the ‘rest period’, I finished work in 2016 and started back on a fine Tuesday evening. The forecast was carp for today with snow predicted so I set off early and did some DIY gritting on the way to work and the way back.
The council had at least left some decent salt piles at the side of the road after my son’s wee incident last year https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/very-lucky-indeed/ .
However, I need not have bothered, for just two hours ago I saw the gritter’s flashing yellow beacons at the end of the road
Of course this inevitably means that it will not now snow or freeze!!!