How is everyone doing today? Hope you’re having an awesome weekend!
In our blog titled “Bad News on the Homestead”, we told you about the streak of Murphy luck that we have had. Well……the saga continues after doing that blog. Murphy has not left us and keeps derailing us from moving forward with projects that we need to finish. He is defiantly relentless, and that’s being nice. I have some other colorful words for him, but trying to keep our blog PG….lol. Like I said before, we will banish him from the mountain.
On a positive note, we were able to get the generator engine covered under the warranty, They will be sending us a new engine, and it should be here at the end of October. We are super happy and hope that the new engine will be better than the one that blew. Stu has had issues with it from the beginning, even though it was brand new. He even had to have the manufacture send him a new starter because it went out. Keep in mind, it’s just over 2 years old, with about 2 years of use. Stay away from Duromax.
On July 23rd, we had a pretty big thunder storm come through. The warning advised up to 75 mph winds. Us not being in the preparedness mindset and our winds are usually not that bad because of the trees, we did not think about anything outside that was not secured. Unfortunately, our solar panels were one of those things. We have not built a mount for them yet and they have been leaning against some straw bales. They would have been fine, if we would have thought to make sure they were protected from the force of the winds. Please don’t do what we do, learn from our mistakes.
I don’t recall the exact time the storm hit us (maybe 8:30-9:30pm), but it was quick. I remember hearing a gust of wind and within seconds, we had thunder, lighting. rain and the “I’m going to blow everything over and totally bring you chaos” winds. The thing that fears me the most with winds, is the possibly of trees falling on our structures or our vehicles. Stu had made sure that our vehicles were in the safest spot. We still have a lot of trees that need to come down that are dangerous. Some are standing dead cedars, but most are birch. Birch is extremely unstable once they die, even if you use one to stable yourself while walking, you could be asking for trouble. They call them widow makers for good reason. Always, make sure the tree is alive before using it to balance yourself.
Back to the storm, the unforgiving “I’m going to destroy everything” storm. Stu had heard a couple “crashes”, one in front of the cabin and one in the back. The one in the front of the cabin, unfortunately was both our solar panels. We waited until morning to check them for damage. The crash in the back was our portable garage that we have been using for a woodshed. It ended up rolling down to the tree line.
The next morning, we inspected the carnage left behind. We were not worried to much about the woodshed. It needed to be fixed anyway after “someone” dropped a tree on it, I won’t mention names, it was not Stu though. 2 of the legs were bent pretty bad. So with that being said, it will force us to make it a priority to fix it sooner rather than later.
The solar panels however, were a devastation. Although, I was happy that we did not have any trees fall on anything. Solar panels are a lot easier and cheaper to replace than our truck. I can’t imagine being without our truck, it’s a necessity up here. Stu picked the panels up from the ground, one of them made it through unscaved. The other one though, was completely shattered and had a huge bullseye!
The reason the other panel was not damaged was due to, it did not have anything in it’s way on the way to the ground. Believe it or not, solar panels are suppose to be pretty durable. A couple days before this happened I had been using the weed whacker, and I left it in front of the panel that met its demise, hence the bullseye. If the weed whacker had not have been there, it might have had a chance.
So you see, you learn all kinds of lessons, and all it takes is for Murphy to slap you around to wake you up. I think we better build the solar stand, what do you think?
We left the panel hooked up to the array to see how it would perform. It wasn’t good, our charge was definitely diminished. Stu tested the output on the damaged panel and it showed somewhere around 39.7v, it should be around 37v. I’m not sure what those numbers mean, but I would think it should be working properly.
We waited a couple of days to see what kind of charge we would get. Normally, on days that we get full sun, we would get over 100% of charge. Now, we’re happy if we get 95%.
We did some research to see if it could be fixed in hopes in could use it through the rest of the summer. We saw that some people were successful in sealing their panels with polyurethane. There is also a product made specifically for solar panels to seal them. We decided to try the poly first, then if it worked we would purchase the other sealant.
Now, you’re probably going to ask if it worked. You’ll need to watch the video to find out how this story ends. Plus, you get to see our chick update. While your watching, please don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.