Category Archives: Home-Grown Power

PV Resurrection

A friend of ours recently decided to upgrade the solar photovoltaic (PV) charging system in his small camping trailer with another PV panel. Not having loads of money to spend, he purchased a used 120-watt Kyocera on E-Bay. But buying … Continue reading

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Sticking With Wood-Burning

There are all sorts of ways to heat a home in the winter, but given the carbon-neutrality, low technology, and local abundance of wood in our region, the wood-stove is a popular choice. In our case this is a masonry … Continue reading

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

It’s currently around zero degrees F (-18 C) outside on a clear, sunny day. We heat our home both with sunshine and by burning dead or thinned-out trees. Every so often, usually during the annual process of firewood cutting late … Continue reading

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Pack Man

Sometimes you just sort of fall into something. That’s what has happened with me and the reconditioning of Honda Insight/Civic hybrid traction battery packs. What began as mere curiosity, and then a necessity, is turning into a useful service. I … Continue reading

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From Dead Hybrid to Plug-In Hybrid

We recently purchased a 2001 Honda Insight Hybrid to replace our aging 1999 Chevy Metro while we wait for the eventual production of the Elio Motors trike we reserved two years ago. Paying only $1000 we weren’t expecting a lot … Continue reading

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Never-Dead Camera Batteries

How many times have you picked up your digital camera to catch some fleeting scene and ended up with a low battery warning? It happened to us far too often. We refuse to use disposable alkaline or lithium batteries, so … Continue reading

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Aging Infrastructure

Ringing in the New Year brings with it an implied acknowledgement of the fact that everything on the homestead is another year older (hopefully).  There’s always a “to do list” of repairs and maintenance to keep everything functioning well.  But … Continue reading

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Snow Business

The latest winter weather event left us with 8-12″ of fresh snow, the largest deposit of the season.  We have been blessed with many smaller snowfalls though, enough to remind us why we advocate for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to … Continue reading

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Charting Your Solar Path

One of the local groups that formed to slow down the latest “gold-rush” in our area – the push to mine as much “frac sand”, or “silica proppant” if you will, as quickly as possible – asked Larisa and me … Continue reading

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Carpe Solaris – (Nuclear) Fusion Cooking

  The return of longer, brighter days each February signals a change in how we cook and eat for the next several months.  It’s time to turn away from the wood-fired hearth of winter’s dark days and transition to capturing … Continue reading

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