The generators are in! We still have to move them off the truck but they’re here, and I’m thrilled. So that’s one component of the off-grid system down, several dozen to go. I think that we’ve finally narrowed down our vision and selected the components we’ll go with though. (Save for batteries, batteries are the bane of my existence right now.)
Having discussed it ‘at length’ (read: ad nauseam) we’ve tentatively settled on the Outback Flexpower One, the Otherpower (1 kW) wind turbine, a tilt-up tower from a dealer in Didsbury, and either 8 x 6V or 4 x 12V Trojan lead acid batteries (Trojan primarily because they sell at a reasonable price and tend to be reliable). We’ll settle on solar panels (for back-up) at a later date. With the generators though, we’re set for emergencies.
The attraction of the Flexpower One is that it has all the components we’ll need in one package. It includes the breaker, GFDI (ground fault detector interrupter), 80 Amp charge controller breaker, GVFX or VFX inverter/charger, system display unit, HUB 4 (“input thingy”), Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller, and Flexnet DC surge protector. If that sounds like Greek, it’s because it is, but like any new language you start to pick it up and then it becomes fun to confuse your friends with.
On that note, I’m back to studying batteries this morning and I have some serious issues with the way that sites are laid out and how information is conveyed. For a novice, it’s completely disorienting to try to disseminate the information and what exactly it means in practical terms. Come on- I’m not trying to build a battery, just select one. I’ve decided that should I ever dedicate a page to batteries for use in RE systems, it’ll have a rating system something like this: “Battery A= Pretty frickin’ excellent; Battery B= Damn good battery; Battery C= Not too shabby; Battery D= Meh, it’s okay; Battery E= Total rip off. How nice would that be? Shane insists it’s more complicated than that (as if I hadn’t noticed) but I think my revised system would get more traffic.
I can hardly wait for spring and a return to building- something I’m naturally good at! I much prefer the aching muscles and occasional serious injury to the strain on my brain of late. Of course, check back with me if I nearly knock another toe off (it’s still healing, 5 months later). Na, I think I can safely say that I’d still rather be building.