It seems this summer, that firewood and the tankless water heater were the majority of my progress. The weeks have passed by rapidly. Family has come to visit and days have been filled with which project to do next.
Having the tankless water heater working has been a blessing. After a long day working in the dust, I enjoy a hot shower to relax my pulled and exhausted muscles. The dishes are easily done with hot water accessible from the sink. Our laundry is cleaner now that the stains and dirt can be rinsed in hot water. Life has been relatively normal as it was during our on grid days.
In this Youtube video, I explain how the install went and what I had to do to compensate for the wall thimble installation. I also demonstrated the bypass I created and explain the overall system. Next week, I will crunch the numbers and show how much the unit cost to install including all the parts I had to purchase.
As far as life today goes, we are discovering the smoke from the fires in Washington, Oregon and Canada have descended into our area for the past two weeks. Our sun has turned red in the sky at sunset and our moon last night was a deep orange. We have noticed our battery bank has not been receiving a full charge the past couple days. Today, we chose not to water our garden or orchard in hopes of keeping from having to pull the generator out in the middle of summer. Yesterday, when we awoke our battery bank was at 67% charged when it usually is at 94% charged in the mornings. No clouds, just smoke causing the low charge rate. Yesterday, I checked periodically the solar panels’ charge rate and it was at half the production it would be on a typical sunny, non smoky day. The odd thing is we can see the sun. The sky is not blue, but hazy, yet the panels are greatly affected by it.
If you are off grid and in the northwest region of the United States or nearby in Canada and have solar panels, how has the smoke affected your power generation?