This is the 3rd day of heavy overcast out of a predicted 4-1/2, and that will be followed by another couple of partly cloudy days, so the Defiant’s solar systems are getting a workout. If you have not looked back at past posts, the Mighty Defiant has three independent solar systems, each dedicated to specific tasks. The (2) house batteries power ignition for the fridge, water heater, water pump, and lights, as well as the iPad that I’m typing this on and the iPhone4 that connects it to the cellular Internet. At night, the house batteries also power 3 ultrasonic speakers in an attempt to keep any wandering rodents out of the trailer. (So far, so good.) The (4) batteries in the office pack power the desktop computer and the mission-critical entertainment system that offers moving picture amusement each evening, and the vast majority of them are talkies! It also recharges the Evelo e-bike’s battery, which is no easy task. At times like this, I’m glad I got a spare for it so that I can still get around in the manner to which I am accustomed. Lastly, there is also a single battery and panel dedicated to running a CPAP device, which battery is now doing double duty to desulphate someone’s old AGM battery to bring it back to life.
This is a pretty decent test period for the house batteries and especially the office pack, which I sized to last for
two days of normal use under these conditions. Naturally, I’ve cut back use of the big desktop computer after Day One, which is a shame in this weather, since it’s the perfect time to scan a huge pile of receipts and manuals that now clog the office. I’m getting tired of saving paper, but find such things handy when I want to re-order items from whoever I originally got them from, or look up obscure references to potential campsites that are not on the Net, or look up service records for the Mighty Furd. What was the odometer on that last oil change? New Mexico and Nevada offer very nice tourist, fishing and/or camping booklets, but who can store them in an easily-accessible way?
Anyhow, my alleged moral outrage toward gas generators lends no room for emergency backup, so solar is it for me. As long as I can preserve my fresh foods, post mindless drivel like this on the blog now and then, and watch a movie or read a book, that’s all I really need. But 4-1/2 days and more without a decent recharge is kinda pushing it, as well as being tough on the batteries. Sitting around discharged isn’t good for them. But we’ll soldier on somehow. 🙂 Wouldn’t it be marvelous if trimming back electrical usage was the biggest problem we’d ever have to face? I’m biking to town now to pick up a small shipment before more rain sets in, so wherever you are, I hope you have a day that suits your fancy.