When the Battery Bank Dies…

At the end of this past summer, our battery bank of seven years decided to die.  It was an interesting cascade failure event.  One batter cell went dead and could not be revived, then another battery flagged a similar problem.  Pretty soon I was isolating batteries that would no longer hold a 6 Volt change.  The isolation meant I had to drop from a 3 string battery bank to a 2 string system.  I ordered the batteries at the perfect time.  The sun was shining well into September which carried the system long enough until the replacements arrived.  I was happy to receive them, another few weeks and we would have been in real trouble, running a generator to make due for the lack of electrical storage.

The video published was in a file waiting to be edited and published.  I admit blogging and YouTube videos which have grown intertwined has dwindled, and I discussed that briefly on another post.  Currently, I am enjoying Christmas break and I am gearing up for the return to teaching after the New Year’s holiday. I hope this post and the New Year 2019 greets you well.

My wife and I plan to make a list of this year’s highlights this evening and save them to be read next year.  It will be a bonding time between us as we recognize our successes despite the obstacles around us, including replacing a dying battery bank. I plan to include my son in the event as well, and I am curious to hear his own version of events.

May you enjoy this New Year’s Eve, celebrating with family, friends, and have a chance to reflect on the highlights this year.

God Bless,

Working alone on the homestead

Today, I am spending much of the day alone.  I decided what a perfect time to write a post about working on the homestead alone.  During the rush to build our tractor shed, I did much of the prep work by myself.  My wife and son went to the local farmers’ market while I began to tie the posts together to prepare the building for the trusses. The video I created isn’t much to speak of, in fact, it’s very quiet, almost too quiet.  I speak a few times explaining a little bit about how any person working on a building project should have a good set of clamps to be an extra pair of hands and making the work of two people into one.  However, much of the video shows the work being done while the camera’s mic records the sounds or should I say the peaceful silence of the homestead.

It was a beautiful day and the silence was so welcoming after a busy week.  I enjoy silence, that deep silence in which you can hear, the clock ticking, a train announce its arrival to a crossing buck over 3 miles away, or air being drawn through the open dampers on a wood stove.  I love silence because most of the time I am immersed in noise.

Waking up… Nothing like waking up to a cup of coffee with a special tiramisu cake to start the birthday out right. Thanks to my beautiful wife.

As I sat down to type this, the house’s power shut off, Low Battery Cutout warning at the inverter. The house has gone dark, but the computer, powered by its battery pack, for now, is unaffected. I am debating starting the generator.  I am able to see from the morning light coming through the windows; I have a warm fire, and I really don’t want to break the silence by starting the generator.  I fear this winter that I will see more of these Low Battery Cutout days.  The sun is blocked by solid gray skies, and my battery bank is beginning to show its age.  The battery bank was purchased in 2011 and has faithfully run the house since Christmas of that year.  We could push the bank a little further and get our money’s worth, but that means the generator will have to run more often, about every third day instead of fifth or sixth this winter season.  I am not too worried about the situation.  Instead, I am enjoying the added silence.  Once you see this post, you will know I either broke the silence of the tranquil homestead on my birthday this morning to turn the generator on to access the Internet, or the solar panels were able to silently gain enough power to up the voltage of the battery bank.

May you all have a blessed day and find some time this Thanksgiving week to embrace a small bit of silence.