Sun Break


Oregon is awesome. In December, when a midwesterner would normally expect blizzards and ice storms, we get rainbows. And despite the fact that we get a LOT of rain, we get some sunny days too. This has made energy management in the house interesting… since we’re not living there yet, many of the electrical loads (such as refrigerator) are not yet online. But some, like the well pump and lighting, are. I’ve been pleased to see that we’ve not yet gone below 95% on the battery charge for the solar system, though I know that will change soon.   What’s more interesting is that I’m now more in tune with the sun. When it’s out, the batteries get full pretty quickly, and we have excess power. What to do? I’ve started turning on the electric heated floors in the bathroom and mudroom when it’s sunny. It’s free energy at that point. Conventional wisdom is that electric resistance heating is not compatible with solar power, as it’s very watt-intensive, but I’ve discovered this is a weird exception to the rule, a way to use bonus energy and even save some firewood in the process.

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