Power cuts in Powys, but not here!!
We awoke this morning to find 2 inches of snow lying and news on the radio of power cuts in parts of Wales and no doubt in other parts of the UK.
Living off the grid as we do of course we are unaffected by this and our life style demands a resilience in both the systems that we depend on ( ie power, water and sewage) and also a mental resilience to what life and the weather throws at us. In the event that we should have a catastrophic system failure there isn't an equivelant to the AA or RAC to come along and put things right. We have to get on and fix things ourselves. Because of this I have invested heavily in creating (in particular) a power system that is robust, reliable and repairable. The investment is much to do with planning and fore thought as to what can and will go wrong and then planning appropriately.
I like to keep spares for vital equipment on the shelf and have a back up system in place so for example we have an Aga type cooker which burns oil, we also have a 2 ring gas cooker plus a combination electric oven and micro wave. So belt, braces and suspenders you might say!
As well as finding snow on the ground this morning we also saw of the tail end of the latest gale, named Bella I think. For me she was a nice bonus giving the wind turbine a good work out and filling our batteries with around 12 Kilo watts of electricity as well as surplus power to run the dish washer and the washing machine.
Now the snow increases the solar radiance by reflection, giving more power to harvest on the PV panels so 1st thing this morning it was outside in the fresh air and sweeping the snow of the panels for todays exercise. We have nearly 5Kw of PV panels in total but in deep midwinter they actually generate very little each day.
This month (December) has been very poor for both PV and wind with many days of grey over cast skies and no wind. For the record we have consumed about 317Kwatts this month.The w turbine has generated 105Kw and the PV about 56Kw so the balance has to be made up by the diesel generator which recharges the batteries. The total run time for the genny for December is about 60 hours ie 10 time she has had to run for about 6 hours each time.