The Nickel Iron Batteries Arrive

By , June 1, 2015

When we ordered our new nickel iron battery, we learned that it would take about 3 months to arrive, and that’ turns out to be about right (see Power Shift: A New/Old Battery Bank). Like anything else on the “homestead,” waiting for it to arrive proved the easy part. Once it made it to Haines, the real work started.

I’m trying to train myself to refer to the 10-cell bank as a single battery, which appears to be more proper. Thank goodness, though, that all 500+ pounds of power did not come in a single unit!

Michelle loads another cell on her backboard for a trip across the bay (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Michelle loads another cell on her backboard for a trip across the bay (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We got word of the arrival on Wednesday, May 27th. The supplier and I intended that the shipper would bring the battery out to our roadside by truck and deliver it; we paid accordingly. However, due to shoddy paperwork, it arrived at our local barge service, who had no such instructions. They charge extra for that service outside of the Haines township area. We’d paid the initial shipper for that, but they didn’t provide any proof to the barge line.

Luckily, we have friends with pickup trucks. A contractor neighbor needed to pick up a shipment of windows for another Mud Bay neighbor, so he picked up his windows and our battery, and brought them to the bay. He and his crew helped us unload the batteries, and we hauled them across the bay one at a time on our backs.

Our goal was to get the battery off the roadside, secured at the trail head toward home in its crate, and properly tarped up against inclement weather. We managed it by lunch time. I carried one cell to the cabin, but that and the  previous ferrying across the bay just about did us both in.

The tides are, of course, completely wrong for bringing the cells around by boat. It’s slower and harder, but ultimately safer to haul them over, one at a time, on our backs. At least they’re here and out of trouble’s way.

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