For a couple of reasons — one being that Annie finally finished her elaborate cross-stitch stocking for the last of five grandkids just in time for Christmas and now has more time to dink around on her laptop (I’ve been glued to mine all along) — we find ourselves using more power. But it’s mostly because we can. There’s no price differential if we use ALL our FREE power or only half of it, so why not? Before, we were only pulling the four batts down to about 12.5 in the course of an evening but the last few days it has been more like 12.2 volts. Yesterday was kinda’ overcast and we didn’t expect much but last night’s ‘ON’ reading was still 13 volts. This evening we begin at 12.4 — our lowest ON reading yet (frowny face). I know the image doesn’t make much sense yet, but it will — I promise!

So we were bragging about our system to our new friend Solar Mike — him agreeing with us that you might as well use whatever power you have available for something! He doesn’t sell ice but he started using his surplus power harvesting capacity to freeze water. I thought that a peculiar distinction but his explanation makes it clear. He buys plastic gallon jugs of so-called “spring” water which is usually just filtered water but — whatever — the jugs are sealed so he doesn’t have to worry about being blamed for making anybody sick. He freezes the jugs of water with his surplus solar power and then sells them for $1.75 each. That’s eight pounds of frozen water to be sure but let’s not confuse it with “ice” — okay? :o)

People really like these frozen jugs for their coolers because it doesn’t get all their food soaking wet PLUS they can drink the water after some of the ice melts. How cool/cold is that? He’s out here in the middle of the desert — miles off the grid — and selling water frozen by the sun! Mike is one of those people who doesn’t miss much . . . I’d be really surprised if he doesn’t let the fresh jugs cool overnight outside and then put them in the freezer first thing in the morning. I am curious to learn if he has one of those hot-rod “solar” reefer/freezers or if he just uses a more conventional freezer powered by an inverter. Sitting on the couch in his first bus which has been his office for 30+ years (still in the box) is a 3,000 watt pure sine wave inverter . . . can you imagine? That’s ten times(!) what our little inverter will do. Unfortunately, it’s the same brand as that noisy thing we got rid of. We’re liking our silent Go Power! unit many times better — still haven’t heard the cooling fan come on — not even once. What do you think of this? If you have surplus FREE power, what else could one use it for?



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