Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Setbacks will occur.

Last night a thunderstorm brought in a sustained 40 mph wind. Did I mention before that it never just gently rains around here? Every storm must be accompanied with major drama. This one was no exception.

The wind came from the west, which was somewhat unusual and it caught the front of the powerhouse and workshop and tore the posts straight out of the ground. The ground was still saturated from the rains the other day and the soggy clay just couldn't hold those posts in. Both buildings flipped over. The workshop was entirely demolished as it lost structural integrity. The powerhouse stayed together in one shaky piece but much of the equipment inside was damaged or destroyed.

I spent today salvaging what I could out of the powerhouse and trying to get the 24 volt system back online. No success. 3 of the 4 solar panels are destroyed, 1 possibly repairable. Only one panel is functional right now. The inverter, inarguably the most expensive piece of equipment in our entire system, was either damaged by the rough treatment or the water that got into it while it was exposed to the elements. I dried it out as best I could and gave it a test run today but that didn't work out too well. Smelled like something was burning inside so I think the whole system is shorted out.

So combined damaged total so far is about $1000 worth of solar panels and however much it will cost to get the inverter repaired. I'll call Magnum tomorrow and get some more info on that. The batteries are ok I think. They're reading at 24.6 volts after I linked them all back up and not too much acid escaped from the couple that were turned over. The only problem is that I do not have an inverter that will run the 24 volt system. I only have a 12 volt inverter. I'm not even sure where to GET an inverter that will run 24 volts other than these expensive ones.

So right now we're back to running the generator and charging up 12 volt batteries. The fridge is the main usage there so we moved everything out of there and back into an ice chest. I guess I'll still have to drive to town to get a cup of ice if I want something really cold.

They sell cheapo 24 volt inverters and I could get one delivered pretty easily by tomorrow. I could certainly use a spare one, just like I have a couple of spare 12 volters.

We thank the Lord that nobody was hurt in the windstorm and that nothing of any real importance was damaged. Our garden is more important, our chickens are more important, and our pig is more important. Nothing in our house needs electricity and we can wait to budget in these repairs at our own convenience.

I guess tomorrow I need to get to work on the new workshop!

1 comment:

Pearl said...

Im sorry to hear that, that sucks. If youre not familiar with the weather in the desert, it can be quite a surprise, and destructive.

I hope you can get things going again soon.

Reading your article reminds me, Ive got to get to a few repairs around here myself, our monsoon season is just about here.