Our off-the-grid power system has never worked properly the whole time I have lived here. No matter how many batteries or how much power generation we have added to the system, it has always run out of juice at some point in the night—even though I have never been drawing more than the equivalent of a single 75 watt light bulb at any time.
The best thing that can be said about our system is that I have gone more than three years without an electric utility bill. Also, when the grid has gone down, we have always been up… sort of.
One night a couple weeks ago when my friend Julianne was here, we lost power and she offered to come up when the weather was cooler to troubleshoot the whole system.
This is good because Julianne is a scientist and understands these things. She is also a methodical and meticulous problem-solver.
Not only that, Julianne is a professor and, for the first time ever, someone has explained things to me each step of the way—so well, in fact, that I actually understand everything she has been doing to the system and what I need to do to keep it running in trim.
This morning Julianne was up here a third time and we think we finally have things working at a minimally acceptable level. The next few days will tell the tale. We will have one more session next week when we will re-install four new solar panels which had been improperly installed and are temporarily offline right now.
“Julianne, you could be making a good living out here doing this for other people,” I suggested. “I can’t tell you how many people have looked at this system over the last couple years and thrown up their hands.”
Of course, she would have to charge people something for her services and not do this kind of thing purely out of friendship.
Julianne has a lot of friends.
Groove of the Day