Category: Off-the-Grid Power

Limits to Power: DC-DC Converter

By , December 16, 2019

I spoke in the previous post of an adjustment to our off-the-grid power system:

If you go back and read blog follower comments on our posts, you may be familiar with Ekij. In response to our post, LED Light Update, he suggested adding a DC-DC converter to our system to save wear and tear on our DC system as it tries to utilize the higher voltage of our nickel-iron (Ni-Fe) battery. He suggested this one as an example (paid link); I ordered it, and it seems to work well.

DC-DC Converter

The new DC-DC Converter, installed (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

DC-DC Converter

Here it is again in the dark, so you can see the readout better. I’ve since adjusted the step down more, to about 13 volts (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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Returning to the Light

By , December 13, 2019

Wednesday afternoon, wind from the north developed, driving our wind generator, and returning power to the homestead. After much of a week of low power, our battery charged up, and life began to return to normal for us.

We had relied on oil lamps for most of our light. Michelle began hauling headlamp batteries into town for recharging. We struggled to begin our Christmas season without music on the stereo, or lights on the tree or house. We barely managed to keep the basic electrical functions of the cabin moving forward, as the battery’s charge level slipped down to 30%.

Zeiger family homestead wind generator

A good, steady north wind drives the homestead wind generator (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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