We are used to hearing people ask us, “Why?” by now…
“Why a yurt?” they asked us.
“Why New Mexico?” they asked us.
“Why thirty days?” is the most recent inquiry.
There are several reasons for our self-imposed sequestration:
Most people couldn’t imagine doing dishes in the snow or cooking in the rain. Since we started with bare ground here, we’ve done both. Often. We’re thrilled to say that is no longer the case (for the most part). Two years in the making, we are now settled in to our more permanent arrangement with an efficient compact kitchen inside the yurt, and a full-featured utility sink and storage area within steps on the deck. Read on to see a review of our progress in photos!
We started with three, but that just wasn’t enough. Make it four. Okay, keep it coming… Double it! Eight- Eight it is!!
After nearly two years and a two-stage 500 Watt upgrade, our gruesome little 300W start-up stick-mount PV system has been elevated to its proper form and function to meet our off-grid power needs. (HUGE thanks to Mark for being our indispensable consult along the way… We’re waiting to see what’s next for the little yurt!!)
Our little solar power system here had another makeover this weekend, and has been much improved from where we started last summer.
Hooray!! The day has finally come for our earth to be celebrated by people around the world! Phew!! I was getting a little worried there… The other 364 days pass by and our little blue planet spins at 1,042 mph without much fanfare from the bi-pedal creatures with opposable thumbs. Besides those of us who hug trees on the daily and go to church under the stars as part of a normal routine, billions of people hike concrete jungles and harvest food from plastic boxes, only stopping to consider their place on this planet during one contrived semi-sacred occasion. The reality is that on any given day here upon this shiny orb, there are still 1.5 billion people in the developing world living without electricity, 1 in 10 people worldwide who have no clean water whatsoever, and 2.3 billion people in the world have no access to a toilet! These fragile souls live much closer to the natural elements and are left taking stock of all that planet Earth affords them upon every waking moment.
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.
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…