A Promise of Light in the Darkness or My Neighbor Offered me his Old Solar Panels and Of Course I Had to Have Them

We had a great weekend up at the tiny house!  Fall is in full swing and along with cooler temperatures, we got to experience a range of different weather there over the last two days.  Chris and I drove up Friday night, lit the stove and our gas lamps, and I heated milk on the stove to make hot chocolate.  Saturday morning started out cool and sunny, and I got to see the mountains, though they disappeared later in the day as the clouds and rain rolled in.

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Mountains, Gandalf, mountains!

With it being cool and rainy that afternoon, it was the perfect time to make tomato soup.  So that’s what we did, using a propane powered double burner that my dad brought me over the summer.  It’s meant to be used outside, so I made sure to open the windows while using it.  Ordinarily I wouldn’t recommend using stuff like this inside but I just really wanted tomato soup and it was kind of breezy so I figured we’d be okay.  I was so excited to try out my new dutch oven! It worked beautifully, and we enjoyed a hot bowl of tomato soup in front of the fire going in the wood stove.  (The recipe is on the food network website if you’re curious–it’s the Barefoot Contessa easy tomato soup).

Yummy Soup in my new dutch oven!
Yummy Soup in my new dutch oven!

While my family was here this summer, my dad found time to build me a storage shed with the last of the lumber we salvaged from the torn down shed.  He even reused the old shed door, so nothing went to waste.  It’s been so nice to have a place to store things in, like my generator, lawn mower (also a gift from my folks) and I even have a space for firewood storage on the side.   I still need to paint it, and add trim around the door and window, but for now it’s just fine.

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My little storage shed

So my neighbor next door recently upgraded his solar power array.  Since he lives there full time now, he needed more power that the little system he had in place could provide.  He offered to sell me his existing solar panels, batteries, charge controller and inverter, so of course I said yes!  He brought them over to me and I have them in my shed now.  I’m so excited!!  It’s a small system, but since at this point we’ll only be up on weekends it will be perfect.

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My swanky new solar panels!
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The less glamorous but still crucial accessories

There’s really only one place on my property where the solar panels can go, as it’s the only spot that gets sun during the winter months.  Though, I’ve decided not to try to install anything until I can go up there around December 21st (when the sun is at its lowest angle) and make sure the panels will get enough exposure.

Since the cabin isn’t all insulated yet, it was pretty chilly this morning.  The wood stove heated it up fine, although I’m thinking this will probably be the last weekend we stay overnight until late spring.  Unfortunately I didn’t get around to working on the wiring (there was soup to make, books to read, mountains to look at and small dogs to cuddle with) but hopefully at *some* point I can get around to it.  Preferably before next summer.

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