Live and dangerous

August 3rd, 2010. Post by Quinta do Vale

We got the power!

Solar panels on temporary framework

Solar panels on their temporary framework. They’ll move to their final position when renovation work on the main building is complete.

This post comes to you powered exclusively by the sun. Not only is this site hosted on 100% solar-powered webservers, but the computers and router servicing it are now 100% solar powered too.

We at last have power in the yurt! Lovely though the candlelight has been for the last 7 months (though not without its costs at around €6 a week to maintain), it’s a real pleasure to finally see every detail of what I’m cooking in the evening and read a book after dark without a candle balanced precariously on my knees. The best part is that the daily trek up and down from the village 2-3 times to charge the computer batteries and the daily fight over who’s turn it is to use the internet USB modem are now a thing of the past. (The SIM card from the dongle is now installed in a completely wireless modem/router so we can all be online simultaneously.)

At the moment, there is only around 1 litre per second of water flowing down the barroco, which is not enough to power our water wheel with its present gear ratio. This was always anticipated in high summer, and is why we have the solar panels as well as the wheel, but Wayne being Wayne, new sprockets are now being machined so we can change the gear ratio and see if we can’t get the wheel generating power even at such paltry levels of flow.

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