Friday, January 10, 2014

Arctic Blast

Ok, I am not gonna lie, I am so over old man winter.. After this last Arctic Blast, Ive moved on to warmer thoughts of gardening ( ordered some seeds!!), chicks, and another (hopefully super successful) year of Beekeeping at Bee Kind Family Farm

We have all been a little stir crazy here in this little house in the forest, and are ready to spread our wings.

In the meantime we have had some big projects to keep us busy, including and most importantly, moving our Batteries for our Off Grid system inside the house.
when we initially built everything, we decided to put the batteries outside, in a large plastic storage tote, and just insulate them really well. We knew putting them in the house was probably the best option, but being as we don't get too cold here in NW North Carolina, we figured they would be ok. It was also the easy option for my husband.

We soon discovered that we were losing about 30% of allowable usage, whenever the temp dipped below about 35 ! To give you an idea, we USE about 30% IN DAY. so we were losing about a days worth of power!

My husband finally decided ( about a month ago) to move them inside. He built a box in the bedroom, and that was that for about a month.... He knew he was going to move them in,, just needed to find the time, and a good day to do it ( we have to turn all the power off in order to do it)..

Well this Arctic Blast gave us alllllll the push we needed. With Temps plummeting to below 20, we knew we HAD to get these batteries in and quick.... these temps could do some serious damage.. and not only is it where we store all our power, they were NOT cheap.

So the day before the Blast, Robb came home from work, hooked our circulating pump from the cookstove to the generator( so we could have heat,, if you have a fire going you have to have the pump going or the stove could well, er,,,, explode, :o) and turned the power off..
He quickly and efficiently disconnected, carried and reconnected, 12 80 lbs deep cycle golf cart batteries into the house and hooked them up (using a headlamp for light).. It took about 2 hours but now we can sleep better on those cold cold nights, knowing our batteries are toasty and warm...

* To anyone thinking of going solar or off the power grid, we highly recommend you store your batteries inside, especially if you live midwest, up north etc... just be sure to vent them with a fan, to the outside of your home...


  1. I used read your entire blog! I love everything about it. We are hoping to convert to off grid living! Such an inspiration!

  2. Hi Brittany! Thank you so much for taking the time to read our my blog! Good luck to you on your off grid adventure. If you ever have any questions feel free to ask!

  3. Hey! Can you tell me what all you run off of your battery bank? We are wanting to move off our generator onto solar this spring...

    Also-thanks for the heads up on the battery gets below 20 most nights here in the winter.

  4. Hey Rachael.. we have 12 deep cycle golf cart batteries..
    we run all of our lights, computer, radio, well pump ( 110v), circulating pump ( that circulates the hot water from our wood cookstove) and refrigerator.
    our hot water is heated by our cookstove ( see previous blog post, we blogged about it) through our entire home in the winter,, and solar hot water in the summer.. we cook and heat with wood in the winter..
    we have 6 240 watt solar panels..
    I hope this helps!