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A Lot Going On At The Off Grid Homestead

It was a very busy day at the off grid homestead today. All three of us were hard at work on this day doing different tasks around the homestead from felling trees to pumping water to crafting.

 

We have had a very wet and partially snowy time recently so the ground is all white right now. This is bad for solar power though but today the sun was shining brightly. At one point we had about 40 amps of solar power coming into our off grid solar battery bank.

 

I am currently using the greenhouse as a battery restoration workshop. Since the freeze which killed most of the plants I am using the work bench to desulfate dead lead acid batteries with my old Bedini motor. This is the Bedini SSG (Simplified School Girl) motor which I built many years ago and it is still going strong.

 

 

 

I have restored many dead old batteries with this device through the years. Right now I am trying to restore some dead lead acid battery jump starter packs. These all died within months of my buying them because I got them on clearance and the batteries were badly sulfated by the time I got them. But the Bedini motor can desulfate lead acid batteries.

 

Old Bedini SSG motor restoring sulfated lead acid batteriesOld Bedini SSG motor restoring sulfated lead acid batteries

 

The battery that is currently being restored has been on the Bedini motor for about three days and nights now. When I started out it did not even register anything on the volt meter when I pressed the test button. Now it is resting at about 12.7 volts. I figure a few more days and this jump starter will be back in service.

 

Badly sulfated lead acid battery charging from 0 volts to 12.7 volts so farBadly sulfated lead acid battery charging from 0 volts to 12.7 volts so far

 

I let it rest the entire day and later put it back on the charge and left it.

 

It has been quite windy with steady 12-14 mph winds and gusts in the 20s and 30s. The wind turbine is spinning happily at times. I have it currently connected to a dump load which is heating the water and battery shed.

 

Our off grid freezer has been working well since some time at the end of October I think when I first connected it to our solar power system. I cycle it on and off as needed though to save power. It goes down to minus temperatures and then I unplug it until the next day when the sun is shining. Melanie is using it heavily now.

 

Our off grid refrigeration is provided by an old camper fridge which is a 3 way fridge. It used to run on 12 volts, 120 volts and propane. But the previous owners had it hooked up inside their home for about 20 years when it stopped working on 120 volts. They gave it to me for free and I left it out in the yard for a while as junk before I tested it one day on propane. It has been serving me well ever since then about 4 - 5 years ago. In winter I hardly ever need propane. It just keeps food cold and prevents freezing due to its insulation. Melanie was cleaning it out today.

Melanie also uses a cooler to hold our fruits and vegetables. It sits out behind the tiny house on wheels and keeps the food fresh all winter with no problem.

 

Melanie cleaning our off grid refridgeratorMelanie cleaning our off grid refridgerator

 

Chris was splitting fire wood all morning while I worked on the computer and homestead chores. We burnt through a lot more wood that I had expected this year due to the greenhouse, shed and tiny house wood stoves. All the fire wood that we had stacked up in the fire wood shed is gone. Chris is splitting wood and stacking some up in there now for next year.

 

Our animals are all doing well this winter. The electric fence keeps the chickens safe from predators quite nicely. The chickens are pretty tough actually and handle the winter just fine.

 

In the off grid greenhouse Chris and I used his little generator to pump some water from the rain water collection tank into the fish tank which we will use for aquaponics later. We originally only had it half full but with the wet winter so far we have water to spare. I also put some water in buckets to use for watering plants. The lettuce, kale and some other things are still alive and well so I will keep them watered. I figure in the spring we will have a huge head start on food.

 

A sump pump in a five gallon bucket under the spout of the large 275 gallon water tank pushes the water through a garden hose into the greenhouse fish tank. Chis regulates the water flow by turning the tote valve. This keeps the water level above the water pump. This method works very well for us.

 

Later I got the Husqvarna chain saw going and cut down two dead standing trees. I immediately processed them into fire wood for the off grid tiny house heating. We are heating only with a wood stove this year. We have a standby propane heater which is only used if we are gone for days at a time.

 

Later Melanie was upstairs in the tiny house loft at her desk working on quilting. She is teaching herself how to make quilts using scrap cloth and clothing.

 

You can watch today's video here: Much Going On At The Off Grid Homestead Today

 

While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.


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Troy Reid

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