Friday, September 3, 2010



I have been devoting my days lately to improving infrastructure around the compound. The logic being that by spending the time now to save time later, and making life more comfortable will bring greater productivity in the future.

Power is the focus point of the last few days. Since we have returned from our fruitless stay in California (attempting to negotiate, were not successful with the child support Nazi) ( no oppressive regime ever gave up control voluntarily). Our power inverter has been unable to power the things it had in the past like the fridge and water pump. The batteries had also baked so keeping a charge for long is not happening. During our year long absence we left the lights on for security.

My system is basic, its a 400 watt air-x wind generator two solar panels (I cant remember the size but they are small). And several heavy duty batteries. With a gas generator. The system at its original costs was around 2500.00. to date (not including generator fuel). Batteries replacement and with one inverter replacement over the last 6 years I would estimate 6k has been lost to our power system.

Despite the push for renewable energy it is not a cheap alternative. It works well for us because we are 7 miles from line power. Batteries are the weak link, I keep bulk battery acid to replenish the cells, sometimes they will run dry and then its life is much shorter. In addition to the dry cell problems. Montana is a severe climate area, arctic cold winters and baking hot summers, not Ideal for a long battery life. Also the dry dusty conditions are not good for electronics, like the inverter and wind generator.

Prior to my recent changes the power system was housed in an enclosed back porch. Now I have replaced the batteries and the inverter. I have moved the system to the inside of the house. This I am hoping will extend the life of the power system, by protecting it from the elements. I'm still in the process of wiring things up and I'm running more 12 volt lights. I'll get some pictures and explain my system in more detail.

So far its much nicer having a fridge again and not needing to get the generator started for water pressure.I just remembered to mention the generator problems, Prior to having the solar panels and wind generator, we used the generator to charge the battery bank allowing enough power to run the house on the inverter. Needless to say we wore out several generators. So this was another huge expense that could have been avoided by better planing.

My problem was lack of capital to build an efficient set-up in the beginning. Now with infrastructure improvements and part of the system in place the costs from here should be financially able to bring the system to a more efficient design.

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