Saturday, January 10, 2009

Honey, Can I do the Laundry Today?

At our farm we rely on wind and solar power to generate electricity. The nearest power line is about 2 miles away, so in order to live on our isolated prairie grassland homestead, we made our own local utility system. 

solar panels, alternative energy, sunThe solar panels tilt to follow the sun throughout the day. This generates more electricity than if they didn't move. You can practically tell the time of day by watching where they are pointing !

In the power shed there is a gauge that I've become vary familiar with. It shows how much electricity we have on hand, and how much we are generating. I need to go check it today, since it is partly cloudy, and the wind is not blowing much.

wind turbine, alternative energy, wind power
Our second source of power is a wind turbine. It sits on a 100 foot tower, which is the recommended height for wind in our area. We get a lot of wind, sometimes too much ! It has become a habit to look up at the blades when outside to get a sense of the weather situation.

Between the solar panels and the wind turbine, we meet our energy needs most of the time. Right now we are in the worst season though, since the days are often cloudy and the wind is not always available. 

So I'm off to check the power supply in a minute. Hopefully it tells me that I can do laundry, vacuuming and maybe even run the dishwasher this afternoon. It isn't hard to live with an alternative energy system, you just have to be aware of the weather and plan energy use around it. 

1 comment:

Doris Sturm said...

That's WONDERFUL, Kathryn. I'm so happy you guys are using your wind and sun for power sources. You know when I lived in California, while driving through the long stretches of desert and open road, I often drove through fields of windmills, just churning away...I miss seeing that here.
Thanks for sharing, Kathryn. That's a really interesting article.