Life at the end of the road

October 25, 2019

That’s more like it :-)

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:19 am

A busy old day at the rock moving yesterday had me in bed at 8:30 pure wacked after the previous night’s restless sleep. Apart from a phone call that drew me out of the depths of slumber around 21:00 and Molly wanting out at 3:00am, that was it, I slept like a log Smile Right through until 6:00am, so here I am on me first pot of coffee listening once more to the wind and rain. Which, judging by the sound must be coming from the west, my fourth weather station died some weeks ago so I cannae be more specific than that. I really must stop buying these Chinese ones and get a decent one this Christmas Smile

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Despite that inauspicious start it turned into not a bad day here up at the North End. Sure, there were a few showers but with the extra water, wind that accompanied them and sun that interspersed them it was a record day for electricity production here.

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72kWh for the day and that doesn’t include the big wind turbine which has not generation meter, being twice the size of the smaller Proven/Kingspan I guess it would have done around 40kWh. Excluding the 6kW Proven 100kWh is my best kinda day but they few and far between and usually on really stormy wet days. What was so good about yesterday was the good spread of energy production for the time of year. The solar hot water of 8kWh is really good as the tubes are in a far from ideal location, pretty soon they’ll be loosing the sun altogether and won’t do much until next spring.

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So, Molly and I spent most of the day hauling rock and dumping it on the track I’d made so I could haul more rock up the hill to bury my water pipe and redirect some water.

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Some fish farm ‘feed blower’ pipe being chopped up to allow me to cover a pipe in a drain.

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Larger diameter pipe would have been better but you just gotta make do with what you have hey.

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After some 20 or 30 tons it was time to go get Calum the Kubota and track him back along the road, a slow task that I did with leap frogging my last load in the dumper and walking the dug. The small Cannon Ixus 220 HS failing spectacularly to capture the lavender blue sky and amber rustling aspen.

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That’s more like it Smile

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I gave up when it started getting dark by which time Calum was perched precariously close to edge of the burn and I wasn’t feeling too ‘lucky’ Smile I always find it better dealing with potential problems at the beginning of the day rather than the end Smile Common sense had me reverse outta there for tackling today. Though my first task today will be to head south and collect the 1000lts of red diesel that was finally delivered yesterday Smile

October 21, 2019

An ‘off grid’ Sunday

Filed under: animals, daily doings, life off grid, listers, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:35 am

Well, it’s a grey, dry but lovely mild autumnal morning here at the ‘North End’, Ronnie’s hinds are grazing all about the perimeter in the half light but there’s no sign of his magnificent self.

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My Panasonic DMC-FZ72 seems to be showing its age of late, having a jammed lens on more than one occasion, hardly surprising considering the abuse it gets. Anyway, that’s me just back in for breakfast after feeding everyone, I didn’t let the pigs out this morning cos I never brought them in last night. Was down in the village for dinner with a friend and didn’t get back in until after dark so May and Snowy got fed late. As they’d managed to find and bed down in a cosy wee spot I left em out.

I’ve always kept the pigs we fatten on the hill in years gone by but I don’t want em getting too friendly with these two beauties that roam the ‘North End’.

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At a couple of hundred kilo’s each my neighbours ‘iron age’ pigs make short work of any fences they encounter if they’re wanting to get to the other side Smile Last thing I need is them trying to join May and Snowy for dinner or a spot of girlie fun whilst I’m away Smile

Batteries galore

Sunday was a lovely leisurely day spent pottering about doing a little ‘planned maintenance’ an my and my neighbours batteries etc. Starting with the main 800Ah 48V bank that supplies Sonas.

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Eight Rolls S540 6V batteries making up the bank and requiring regular topping up with de-ionized water. Rolls https://www.rollsbattery.com/ actually spec distilled rather than de-ionized but apart from what comes out of my freezers and dehumidifier it’s impossible to get here. Sure I can order it from Dingbro or Macgregor Industrial supplies but it always arrives as de-ionized Smile  Don’t actually think it makes a great deal of difference to be honest. Anyway, after logging the SG, voltages, temperatures and the 15lts of water used I turned my attention to Harry’s bank.

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My 1974 15kVA Lister HR2 has his own 450Ah 24V bank of fork lift truck cells, which is a little OTT to say the least but they came from a house installation with a couple of dodgy cells. Whilst not up to running an entire property they are ‘damn fine splendid’ for sitting there without use for months on end and firing up Harry when required. Since fitting the extra solar PV on Callum’s shed he’s been made all but redundant. Prior to that I did run him whilst the diving compressor was running but I don’t even do that now. So long as I fill my diving cylinders in daylight there’s little load on the inverter. Indeed, in days gone by I used to run him when welding but I’ve not done that for years now and as anyone who owns old Land Rovers will verify, they need lots of welding Smile

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Anyway, just to ‘keep him sweet’ I flashed Harry up for an hour to give him some exercise, leaving him ‘on load’ with the 6kW immersion in the bottom of the 1500lt thermal store and a 2kW load charging battery bank number 3.

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I have a complete spare ‘off grid’ system in the ‘Bunker’ behind the house which really is OTT, comprising of 900Ah 48V bank, Outback GVFX 3048 inverter and 600W solar panels it gives me complete redundancy should anything fail on the main system. Whilst not really practical or necessary it has been built up over the years from bargains found on eBay or just acquired opportunistically. The solar panels on the roof keep it all ‘ticking over’ very nicely and in times of excess energy production from the main system it gives me somewhere to put the electricity Smile I really do need an electric vehicle Smile

More of the same

That done it was over to Torran for ‘more of the same’,

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Adam and had made a fine job but himself and his two compatriots would have been working the ‘off grid’ system hard running the cement mixer etc. so Molly and I gave the battery bank there the ‘once over’ too.

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All was in order so we went back home and got on with some ‘civil engineering’.

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Tracking to Tarbert we managed to get overtaken by a walker Smile getting one dumper load for the latest project before heading south for dinner.

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