Homestead Blizzard Preparation - Off Grid Solar Power - Capacitor Battery Replacement
There is a blizzard on the way so we got our off grid homestead ready for the storm to come. On this day before the storm our off grid solar was at its peak this year. I am working on using super capacitors as a vehicle starting battery replacement.
We had been shopping the day before we even heard about a storm coming so we are all set for groceries. Melanie asked me to get extra milk though and some eggs just to have on hand. With the freezing temperatures outside the milk will not go bad any time soon. We have slushy milk these days during the cold times. Our off grid refrigeration is literally our porch in front of the tiny house on wheels during winter months.
I also picked up some gas for the generators in case we do not see the sun for a while. We keep about five gallons of gas on hand at all times but we got ten more gallons to be sure. It is best to always have some extra. The generators keep the off grid battery bank charged up during longer periods of cloudy days.
Our homestead blizzard preparations
I got 15 gallons of water from the creek for drinking. We filter the water in our off grid tiny home. I figure that if we get as much snow as they are saying then we will be stuck for about 5 days.
They are calling for about 2 feet of snow and blizzard conditions with up to 50 mph wind.
I also got some extra cat litter to have on hand.
And that is pretty much all for us. Our off grid homestead is running smoothly on any given day so a blizzard is nothing shocking for us. If the power fails on the grid we lose internet but otherwise we go on with life as usual at the homestead. Being somewhat self sufficient is a bonus for us. Storms and power outages simply mean that we cannot head into town for a while until they fix things out there.
The snow does keep us buried for a few days though since we are a mile from the last state maintained road. It takes us a while to dig out and get our vehicles out of here. But we are prepared for this.
When you live the life off the grid a storm is no big deal really.
On this day the sky was clear and blue with no wind. It was like the calm before the storm really. The sun was shining brightly on our solar panels and the battery bank was in absorption mode by noon. I plugged in the freezer and the power from the solar panels jumped up to about 350 watts but the batteries remained in absorption mode. This is pretty exciting to see that we have power to spare.
Off Grid Solar Power Electronics.
At this time of year we have excess power due to the sun getting higher in the sky and there are no leaves on the trees.
About 4 pm I finally unplugged the freezer and the batteries were in float mode. This is very good. We will need the power for the coming storm.
I am working with super capacitors for use as a vehicle starting battery. The super capacitor bank will replace the lead acid battery in a vehicle. This should give us longer life and durability. Capacitors are also not affected by the cold like batteries are so they should perform better in winter.
LED capacitor balancing circuits
I have to make capacitor balancing circuits though. With the difference in internal resistance of super capacitors you must make sure that no single capacitor sees too much voltage while charging. To do this you need balancing circuits.
I tried out an idea using diodes and LEDs but that just burns power after the charge is removed. It looks pretty but it is wasteful of energy.
I then tried a resistor voltage divider using 10 M ohm resistors but they continue to drain down the capacitors as well after the charge is removed.
So next I started to work with actual electronics as balancing circuits. Time will tell how well this works.
You can watch today's video here: Homestead Blizzard Preparations ~ Awesome Solar ~ & More
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