Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Going off grid and off politics.

I've been watching a bit of American politics lately. The live debates for the Repulsives and the speech by the leader of the Dumbicrats, who also happens to be president at the moment. I can't predict who will win the next election. The best outcome would be none of the above. However after watching a few hours of current American politicians, I can safely make this prediction: If you live in the US, you are going to be screwed for some time to come. If you live in a country that has anything to do with the US, things don't look good for you either.

The other night was my first yoga class. Power yoga. I tell ya, that shit ain't easy. At least not for a 6'3", 220lb pixel pusher. I'm sure it will get easier with practice though. My fitness goal is to end up a 5'10", 180lb jaguar. We'll see. Mrs. Mud is awesome at the yoga. No surprise, she excels at everything she takes on. I really like her yoga outfit.....

This winter is crunch time. Got to figure out the rest of the systems for the earthbag house we're building. I thought I had pretty much figured out the off-grid electrical stuff but it's turning out to be pretty complicated. Matching the estimated power useage to the ability to recharge the batteries, the right size generator, wiring, fuses, line losses and a whole lot more. I kind of wish Sixbears in the Woods was my neighbor. Sounds like he has helped several people setup their solar systems as well as his own. The Outback user's forum is proving to be quite helpful. My system will be based around an Outback Flexpower One 24 volts. I've pretty much settled on four 6 volt Surrette batteries with a 20hr rate of 680 amp hours. We have 2kw of solar panels and about 3 hours of insolation in the deep of winter. Well, that's one good thing about Canadian prairie winters. (If I can think of another I'll have to put it in another post.) There will still be times a generator is required. Especially when it is time to equalize the battery bank. Our system has to provide enough power for the basics and for me to continue working from home with various computer equipment. And for Mrs. Mud to do her thing, which also requires computer power. And of course to maybe plug in a vehicle for a couple hours so it will start at 40 below.