Monday, December 9, 2013

Where the Sun Don't Shine

That would be on our solar panels since the heavy, wet snow we had last week plastered about 4" of ice and snow on them.

Remarkably, in the more than 15 years we've had the solar panels, there has never been a situation when the snow and/or ice didn't melt or slide off the panels within a day of being covered.  The panels are on a tracker that follows the light (and whatever sun there may be) from dawn until dusk so full advantage is taken of any solar energy available.

But in this particular circumstance, the layer of snow stuck like glue for days.  And days.  Which basically eliminated any solar energy coming into our alternative energy system and battery bank.

Yesterday hubby decided to take steps to rectify our lack of solar power.


Out he went lugging the long extension ladder and a broom.  'Twas a cold, cold day for such a chore, but he wasn't waiting any longer for Mother Nature to bounce warm enough rays off the panels to melt the snow.  (Heck, we might have had to wait until May for that.)


Job accomplished to the best of his reaching abilities, he made the trek back to a warmer environment.

Okay, ol' Sol, time to do your thing.  Our batteries are starving for a burst of energy.

25 comments:

  1. (Eek! My comment disappeared!) I can so relate - I had to drag out my little step stool and the whisk broom to brush off MY solar panel. On the motion detector spot light on the coop. Heehee. That is one TALL ladder!

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    1. Susan - So you can say your chickens are on a self-sufficient, energy efficient alternative system, eh?

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  2. The solar panel on the chicken coop has been covered since Thursday. But there ain't no way I'm climbing up there to get it cleared....biddies just going to have to live without their nightlight.

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    1. Carolyn - Papa Pea is tying his extension ladder on top of the Suburban right now and is heading your way to help out. (Hee-hee.)

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  3. No solar here (yet...) but I do climb a ladder to get the snow off the satellite dish. With all the snow we had Friday I thought I would have to head outside to clean the dish off but the snow was so fine and light due to the extreme cold that it didn't stick on the dish - lucky me!

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    1. 2 Tramps - I tell ya, if it isn't solar panels, it's the satellite dish! Winter really does present us with all these little quirky problems, doesn't it?

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  4. That looks like a really cold job. Plus I've become afraid of heights in my old age.

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    1. DFW - It's funny. I can climb a tall, tall ladder to paint or whatever but being up on a roof to do work (even if the pitch isn't steep) really stresses me out. I wonder if it has something to do with the tilted angle causing my equilibrium to go wonky?

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  5. Wonder if there is a no stick spray coating you could put on the panels? Pam, Olive Oil????? Maybe. No way would I climb the ladder, I would just become a bear and hibernate until Spring.

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    1. Tombstone Livestock - Yeah, but you'd be a grouchy bear with no lights to read or do handwork by! Papa Pea has no fear of heights so the "upper story" work isn't a problem for him.

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  6. Oh I'm so glad all of ours are at ground level!! We are out there bright and early the morning after the snow and get them puppies cleared off quick like!! Can't waste the sun!! aka: I HATE the generator - it's expensive!!!!!!!

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    1. Freedom Acres Farm - Our daughter had the on the ground stationary set up of panels and she cleaned them off regularly, too. Like I say, this is the first time the snow and/or ice did slide right off ours. (Hope it was the last!) You're right, generators guzzle gas and they're noisy! But sure is nice to have them when we need them.

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  7. Papa Pea can always come here and shovel our snow. He won't even need to use a ladder.
    I've always wanted to set some solar panels up and take advantage of all that free power but we can't afford the set up yet. Someday.

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    1. Sparkless - An alternative solar energy system is much, much cheaper now than when we bought ours over 15 years ago. Our tracker could hold ten more panels which we have in a storage building. We got them (second hand) from our solar energy guru/friend and he'll install them for us this spring.

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  8. I think Papa Pea needs to start his own snow removal business on solar panels. Many of us will hire him!!!

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    1. Sandy - Except he's not happy with the job he did! (Or wanted to do.) There's still a heavy layer of ice crystals on the panels and we're not getting the power in we should. Ugh.

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  9. Solar panels would be the next thing to add to this place. It would eliminate the electric heat lamps we use on the chickens every winter.

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    1. Kristina - Please don't tell our chickens your chickens have heat lamps in the winter. We might have a full scale rebellion on our hands!

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  10. Hope your solar power will soon be restored and built-up once again. Gotta' have lights to read and quilt!! Your landscape is an absolutely beautiful winter wonderland. You don't need to put up an inside Christmas tree, you've got lots and lots outside! Very pretty.

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    1. Lisa - As you know, we don't rely solely on solar power. We still have the option of using grid power . . . which is a good thing during this period!

      Thanks for the nice words about our snowy scene outside. It came early this year and by how cold it felt outside all day today (a high of only a couple of degrees above zero), it's gonna be around for some time!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. I have been thinking about you up there in the frozen tundra. Sure hope you both are doing well. Those temperatures are fit for any human!

    Love ya!

    http://caffeinatedhomestead.weebly.com/blog.html

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    1. Stephanie - Worry thee not! We have plenty of dry wood for our wood stoves (and back up L.P. if ever needed) so we're always cozy inside. If you have proper clothing (and we do) for when you need to be outside, it's not that bad at all. We just have to have sense enough to come in and warm body parts like fingers and toes when necessary! Best to find as many excuses as possible for doing anything but the must-dos outside though!

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