Saturday, June 9, 2007

Friends and Solar Panels

The Dole family showed up a couple of Fridays ago to help us with the house. It was a very nice surprise. Mr. Dole went right to work, the boys went right to shooting ground squirrels, the mamas went right to fixing more pizza dough for dinner, Savannah baked cookies, and the babies played in a mud puddle. The rest of the children ran from tree fort to pond to tree fort, and all had a great time. It was so encouraging to Brian to have a buddy there to help him with the project.

The next weekend, the McKinney’s came up. Brian had asked for the wise council of Mr. McKinney in getting a fused service disconnect hooked between the generator and the invertor.
Getting power into our slightly remote location was going to cost a bundle, and we had always wanted to be off-grid, so we have solarpower with generator backup that will provide all the electricity we will need. Our set up came from Mike Slanga who owns and operates Inland Generator in Spokane, WA. Mike built us a 10KW generator powered by a 3 cylinder Perkins diesel engine. We have a battery bank to store the electricity and two solar arrays that total about 920 watts. With all the beautiful weather, the solar panels are powering all of the electrical tools and the electric man lift. That is pretty satisfying! Making your own energy is a wonderful feeling. Equally great was watching the 5 teenagers hammer away the next Monday when the Doles returned. There must be a nail every three inches on the top of eqch log insikeand out on eqch log. These are put in right next to the center of each log, and leave 2 ½ inches of the nail up for the chinking to hang onto. Each young person got a hammer and a bag of nails and went right to work. Many hands make light work! They did a great job, getting up four logs in an afternoon. Brian and Mike were working on the gable ends, and Mike jack hammered a hole in the foundation for the septic to go through.

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