Friday, January 05, 2007

2AM - A letter from Lew.
I received a fabulous email from Reader Lew, and would like to share with you that email and my reply, OK? I received Lew's email on January 1st, and have been thinking about Lew's ideas ever since.

On 1 Jan 2007 at 18:47, Lew wrote:
Good day George,

Have been thinking about your proposed Electrical system changes...And FWIW, here is my "2 cents worth".

Since you don't use the roof A/C (removal will save about 125#, I think), your Generator will be dedicated to Battery charging, right?? While a substantial investment, a Honda EU2000i would be [about] perfect for that job. Would give you non-trivial fuel (money) savings, wouldn't it?

And if you did that, you could sell (GASP) Mr. Onan (I think he has significant cash value) and move your Battery Bank to his (Mr. Onan's) present location. I know the generator is suspended (no floor) but a "roll out" battery box could be similarly suspended. Weight distribution would be greatly improved, and you would save (I believe) about another 280# (5500W Onan weight?).

The Honda weighs 53#, has a reputation for long life, and could live in place of the front passenger seat, or in your outside compartment. Just a thought.

Since you have 36 cell Panels (17VDC at full load) you could pick up [the claim is] as much as 7.5A extra output by using an MPPT solar charge controller couldn't you? Maybe a [relatively] inexpensive improvement.

Enjoy the weather in Baja California del Sur,
Lew

Here is my email reply:

Dear Lew,
You are certainly an "outside-of-the-box" thinker! And you've got me thinking not only "outside-of-the-box" this morning, but "out-of-my-bed" at 2AM. And happy and delighted to be here at this early hour, typing at you!

I absolutely love your idea of getting rid of my 4KW Onan. My Onan has 661 hours on it since February 25, 2003 [the day that I bought MsTioga]. Many of those hours are simply to keep the thing "exercised". I would only need as a replacement, a 1000 watt emergency generator. This would be used only in the darkest of stormy weather, when there was no solar power generated at all. Very rare circumstance.

Removing the roof air conditioner and a few other minor modifications would give me an area on my roof for (12) 75 watt solar panels. I have (6) 75 watt panels now. How many more panels I would need to optimize solar, is a trial and error kind of thing. Depends on how many hours I am on the computer at night. I would love to have enough stored battery power, to never have to think about during-the-night power requirements ever again.

I have found thru experience, that (1) 75 watt solar panel supports (1) 6-volt deep cycle battery. If I added (3) solar panels, I would need to add (3) 6-volt batteries to balance out.

It just so happens, that there is enough space on both the right and left side of MsTioga's chassis, to carry enough batteries for (12) panels. And, this outside space is between the axles, exactly where this load should be carried. It is very important to balance an RV load, both front-to-back as well as side-to-side. I am able to do both! Roll out battery boxes would have to be installed, as you suggested. One where the Onan is now, and one just ahead of MsTioga's door.

I agree with you completely about using an MPPT solar charge controller, and have been using a Solar Boost 50 amp for the past year. Love this controller.

Lew, I want to thank you soooooooo much for sending me this fabulous email. I sure would like to meet you sometime, shake your hand, buy you lunch and listen to more of your great ideas.

Bye for now,
George

7AM - Chito Fund only $109 to go!
Yes, that's right! Only $109 in donations will completely fund the Electric Project! Is that not the most fantastic thing? Hmmmm?

But don't let that stop you from making more donations, OK? There are lots of other things that could be done this winter. Just show me the money, and MsTioga and Jorge will be off and running fixing fences, replacing the rusty roof and tons of other stuff as well.

Today Señor Varsy the electrician will be returning to do the final things that remain. There are some light circuits and a few outlets in the main house that are on the punch list. The yard lights will have their cables replaced, and strain reliefs installed. A new pole for the outside light in the front, will replace the old rusty plumbing pipe.

Señor Varsy will return the following Monday or Tuesday to complete any work that Chito and Alty find missing over the weekend. At that time, after the final inspection, Señor Varsy will be paid for his labor.

When Jorge and MsTioga head south in February [see 2007 trip plan], we will shop for lamps to replace the missing ones in the kitchen and bedroom. Here in Santa Rosalia, only modern lamps are for sale. Chito and Alty's home is old, and modern lamps would not be right.

11AM - Bancomer for Varsy's money.
The bank permits a $5,000 peso withdrawal each day, so we have to go several days to have the amount to pay Varsy the electrician. Victor and Jorge went to the bank. Victor took the pic below of Jorge waiting in the line for the ATM.

The agreement that we have with Varsy is that he completes the work tomorrow, and returns on Monday or Tuesday to get paid. Over the weekend, the family will have time to find out if there are any electrical items missing for Varsy to do.

Jorge in Bancomer ATM line.


3PM - The new light pole.
Varsy constructed a new light pole today. It is mounted at about the midpoint of the path that leads to the road below. We are crazy about the look of the new pole.
Ana Karen and Victor at the new light pole.


5PM - Ernesto and Humberto come to call.
Ernesto works at AR-YA-NO, which is the name of the hardware store where Señor Varsy bought most of the electric material. His brother Humberto, is the manager of Banemex, one of two banks in El Centrol.

Ernesto and his brother Humberto came to call on MsTioga this afternoon!
Jorge and Ernesto have something in common. Both live in RVs! Ernesto lives in a trailer in the Nopalera neighborhood, that is below and to the north of Hill Camp.

MsTioga believes that the brothers wanted to see what she looked like up close. However, the brothers really became interested in looking Ms. GQ's display of Google Earth and were fascinated to see their own homes!
Jorge, Ernesto & Humberto look at Google Earth.



YesterdayTomorrow

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