Monday, May 19

Not much to say today


This morning as I was watering plants before the sun came up, I noticed the sky was rapidly becoming obscured by contrails. It was like every domestic airline flight had been routed over our little valley in order to block sunlight from the solar panels. We needed more water to be pumped into our big storage tank, and weren’t going to get it from sunlight power. When the propane-powered backup generator is fired up, it’s connected so it will both charge the batteries and run any other AC loads. I didn’t want to charge the batteries, just run the well pump, which would take a lot less energy. So it was time, finally, to figure out how to use the backup switches on our power control panel. Gingerly I loosened the nuts that hold an interlock on four of the breakers and slid it downward to simultaneously disconnect the power inverters from the line while engaging the power from the generator. Then I switched off the generator input breakers. It worked! (Are you bored/confused yet?) The upshot is that we can now run the well pump and all the household stuff without simultaneously running 5,ooo watts of battery charging, thus saving gallons (3.8s of liters) of propane.

Then I spent more time cutting weeds so we won’t be burned to the ground when the fire season gets going full blast. Hope not anyway.

1 comment:

Pete S. said...

I tried to draw a diagram of how that electrical system is hooked up, but failed.

So instead of figuring it out, I have to ask: while the generator is running without charging the batteries, are the batteries still being charged by the solar panels?