Monday, February 18, 2013

Chapter 35...Cows, Fencing, And Batteries

Off Grid...Chapter 35

Monday 11-3

This is from last week but I finished painting the interior doors and trim.

It looks like the cows want to come in.

Mike and I went to Lowe's again and bought an extra storage cabinet for the bathroom and more "solar stuff". We also had to buy a fill valve for our brand new toilet because it broke already. It's amazing how things are made. So many times we either have to return stuff or Mike has to fix things that are brand new. Anyway we bought one of those low flush high efficient toilets, a Kohler Cimarron, and it's amazing how little water it uses. It is also the fastest flushing toilet I have ever seen. I know real exciting but just some information for everyone.

Mike also called this morning to order a new charge controller, the one that broke last week, and spare components. There was no problem with that. It will be replaced. The man at our supplier asked Mike what kind of system we have so Mike told him. He said "oh you can't run that system without the Mate for your inverter". Yeah right! So much for professionals and people in the business. Mike told him "of course I can I've been doing it for months". He was amazed. This is why Mike likes to do things his own way through trial and error because so many times the people that are supposed to know things just don't.

Tuesday 11-4
We woke up this morning and there were Turkeys in our front yard again. It's so cool how close they are coming to the house. Their eating our grass seed.

I went into town today to send out the broken charge controller. Mike stayed home and cleaned up the office which is our storage room and has become a huge mess.

Wednesday 11-5

Today Mike and I screwed in the 2nd wind turbine.

Here are both of our wind turbines. It actually looks like the bigger one is going to work much better for us.

When Mike gets the new battery cables he will hook the wind turbine up to the batteries.

Mike started working on the fence around our property. We have to add some more T-posts and another strand of barbed wire to keep the cows out. If they can get their heads through they will push the rest of the way and get their bodies through. Mike started by banging in the 12 T-posts that we had in the building.

While he worked on that I brought the floor trim outside to start painting. We bought a contractor pack which was a really good price. I am painting them first because it is easier this way then I can just touch them up if needed after we install them.

I thought I was doing so good then Mike came over. He was checking out the trim and I got big drips along the sides of the trim which will be the top of the trim when installed. Oh great. So I had to get the razor blade out and scrape the paint off the trim where the drips were. Then I re-painted that and then gave everything a second coat. Needless to say it took longer than expected. It seems I can paint "vertical" things but if it's laying flat I get too many drips.

Thursday 11-6
We worked on the fence again. We used up all the barbed wire that we had in the building. Here is Mike working on one of the lines.

This is the fence with 3 wires.

And how it will be when we finish.

After we used all of the material we decided to work on the building. It has become a huge mess.

We dragged everything outside and re-organized and then put it neatly back in. Mike still has to organize his work area.

I got a picture from the back hill of our little "compound".

Friday 11-7
We start out our day by going to David's to pick up 13 more T-posts and a roll of barbed wire. Oh joy!

Today we are also expecting a UPS delivery. We are expecting another charge controller and heavy duty battery cables. Mike also ordered a back up inverter and another water pump. He wants to make sure that we are never without electric even if something breaks.

Back to the fencing. We banged in all 13 T-posts. We hit a couple of rocky areas so Mike has to cut the tops down a little on those posts. It's starting to get late so we will start the barbed wire another day.

Our UPS delivery showed up. Woo hoo. Mike started installing our second charge controller on the wall.

Now each of the 6 solar panels has it's own charge controller.

He also did all of the wiring that could be done inside the house.
Tomorrow is going to be really busy.

Saturday 11-8
It looks pretty cold out so we are off to a slow start. We have to shut down our entire solar/wind system so that Mike can change out all the battery cables. We went from 2 gage wires to 2-0 cables which are much bigger for better voltage flow.

We have to unhook all the cables on the 12 batteries that were hooked up.

We got all the batteries out of the box.

Then we pulled the box forward and I painted behind it.

After that we put the box back in place and cleaned it out. Then we cleaned the batteries and we put them back in the box. After we cleaned the batteries we topped off each battery with distilled water.

Now Mike is ready to start re-hooking the batteries with the new cables.


Mike also hooked up the other 2 batteries that weren't originally hooked up. Now we have 14 batteries for our system.

After that Mike went down to the house and hooked the new charge controller and the DC water pump line to the batteries. Ok this is it. Time to flip the switch and turn everything back on. This is the part that makes you nervous. One mistake and it's a big problem. He flips the switch. I hear ever thing starting up. Yeah, we are on line again with our full system.

After that Mike went up top and tightened the mast on the wind generator and re-wired it to a new box.

Sunday 11-9
It is a cold and dreary day today. Nicole calls us and stops over for a visit. We had a really nice time. After she leaves it's time to get some work done. Now that we can't go outside we start to work on the ceiling perimeter trim again. Here is Mike above the doors.

And we made it around the entire front room with the perimeter trim.

We lounged for the rest of the afternoon. After dinner we tried to figure out the placement for the grid and the ceiling tile. First you have to install the perimeter tracks, then hang the 12 ft. sections of the main T's and then install the cross tees every 2 feet. We got the first section laid out and up.

Our first piece of ceiling tile is up.

Only about 160 more to go, lol and that's just the main room.

That was our story for the week. This week we have fencing to complete and hopefully a lot of the ceiling. I hope you all enjoyed the adventures of Mike and Lisa. Have a great week and I will post again next Monday.


1 comment:

  1. Are the turkeys good eats?? If so ... I know what you'll be having for Thanksgiving. :)

    Your place is looking so warm and cozy. I loved the picture looking over your "compound" and over into the mountains. I'd love to stop by some time ... if your still there ... during one of my travels and say HI to you all and see your place in person. No, I'm not a stalker ... just totally fascinated in your place and what you have done. :)