Solar A-Raise

It seems like a million years ago now that Mark and I hooked up the wee little 300W PV system for basic operations when we first arrived on-site in June. Ben and I made a few little upgrades over the summer to include adding a 4th panel, switching to a more robust charge controller for future growth, and adding both a remote inverter start and Ethernet communications port for the charge controller. All of this was fine and dandy for the past few months, but we needed to give the array a boost for winter. Below are the progress photos so you can see more about our shoot-from-the-hip PV facelift.

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The calm after the storm

If you have been following over the past few weeks, you will have seen that we’ve been operating in a figurative – and literal – whirlwind. After raising a second yurt, spending time with Hurricane Matthew, and marching on with homestead improvements, we are looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with the quiet surroundings and slower pace that Sahalee so wonderfully delivers. That being said, winter is on its way, as the falling leaves remind us, and we still have much, much more to do before we can comfortably and confidently nestle in for our first cold season on the side of the mountain.

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Upgrades

Working on things a little bit at a time over the past few weeks, we’ve managed to button up some for winter and get a little more comfy. Here’s a quick look at some of our recent upgrades…

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Groovy baby!!

The Sahalee Off Grid family welcomes our newest addition… Mark’s little yurt!! Yet to be officially named, the ‘mini-me’ version of our Super Ger arrived in typical ‘Groovy’ style when Yves pulled into Cuba with the big rig. (Several curious locals stopped to inquire, and one even made comment that the yurts are very much like a portable hogan used by the well-established Navajo people in the area for eons.) After loading up Buffy with the pre-built platform and entire structure (described as a one-camel yurt in Mongolia), we climbed the hill to unload and started set-up around 9am. It was a mild sunny day and all went off without a hitch to adorn the deck with a beautiful handmade dwelling. Mark was anxious to move in and spend his first night solo, so we bid him adieu after a celebratory toast. Please join us in congratulating Mark and welcoming the new baby to Sahalee!!

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Off-Grid with Hurricane Matthew

Leaving our home in Cocoa after fifteen years (and feeling quite an emotional return), we lamented not being able to experience another hurricane in the high-and-dry oasis of River Heights. As fate would have it, we actually were able to ride out the spinning giant named Matthew while staying at Mark’s house for an appropriately-timed and eventful family visit. What a thrill to experience the awesome and intense tropical power one more time!!!

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