Category: Off-the-Grid Power

Racing to the Summer Solstice

By , June 24, 2018

The summer solstice seems to be a favorite time for races (or, “runs”, as they’re generally billed). The famous “Only Fools Run at Midnight” springs to mind.

This summer solstice, I ran a race of my own, trying to bring our new Nickel-Iron (NiFe) battery bank on line in time to charge during the long days of solstice sun (see Homestead Going Dark for the Summer Solstice).

I’m happy to tell you: I made it!

More or less.

Nickel-Iron battery

The Nickel-Iron battery, all topped off, tied in, and charging (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Continue reading 'Racing to the Summer Solstice'»

Homestead Going Dark for Summer Solstice

By , June 20, 2018

Ironically, as we approach the Summer Solstice, the blog’s likely to go dark. But, that’s because it’s the solstice.

You may remember that, in 2015 when we installed our new solar array, I thought that we should replace our aging and ailing battery bank. I researched and settled on a new bank of nickel-iron batteries (Ni-Fe) (see Power Shift: A New/Old Battery Bank), an Edison invention (or, at least Edison patented—I read history, and agree with this hilarious encapsulation from The Oatmeal). But, much to our delight, the new solar array “healed” our battery bank, infusing it with new life.

Now, three years later, it’s time to go ahead and get the new batteries going, rather than wait another year to do so.

Edison Ni-Fe battery bank

The new Edison battery bank under construction, inside the front porch (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Continue reading 'Homestead Going Dark for Summer Solstice'»

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