Spent a few days up at the cabin messing around with projects. The weather was quite mild and it made it easier to get outside projects finished. One of them was to go up on the roof and remove snow and fix a leak. I needed an extension ladder to get on the roof safely. Had a spare 30-foot extension ladder at home, so it was brought up to the cabin. The drive up was quite loud with the wind whistling over the ladder on top of the car. (Must of scared away all the deer in the area!)
Since the main roads were covered with “Black Ice” (that’s ice that can’t be distinguished between the road or water) the drive took a lot longer and I arrived late at night. My family and I decided to walk in and then come back the next day to haul the reminder of supplies in. It’s not always easy to get all your materials onsite. In the winter, everything has to be transported in using a snowmobile and a cargo sled. The object is to make as few trips as possible.
I had to transport a large container of firewood, flooring, lumber and an extension ladder all at the same time. With a bad snow storm approaching, I didn’t have a lot time, so I quickly tied everything on and hoped that it didn’t fall off or get stuck in the forest.
The trail I took started through a driveway that was a solid piece of ice. It was a little tricky to drive through, the cargo sled would move left or right depending on the terrain. Once I got to the trail, it was covered with four feet of snow, but packed down. I had to navigate through the trees and over stumps. A little challenging at times, because you don’t want to catch a ski on a branch or fall into the soft snow near the base of a tree. Managed to hit only one tree with the end of the ladder. It happened on a tight turn and the ladder was sticking out. The bump actually help straighten out the ladder on top of the load.
After few minutes of careful navigation, the snowmobile and cargo made it to the front door. But due to a pile of snow, all the weight slid to one side and the load toppled over. Well, on the bright side, nothing was damaged and I made it to the front door.
Found this little cordless mower at the recycle dump. Thought it would be fun to turn into a wind turbine. Decided to run a few basic tests and see what’s inside.
I took a couple days off my full-time job and worked at getting most of the deck boards down. As I was securing the planks down, I ran into a few problems. For example, I miscalculated how much lumber I actually had in-stock and was short by a 120 lineal feet. Lucky for me, I had a bunch of 5/4″ x 6″ pressure treated boards left over from a scavenged mission and got them laid down.
This video is a shout out to SolarShedParts.com.
A few months ago, I received a present from solarshedparts.com and didn’t open it until now. It was a box full of hard drive, rare earth, magnets for the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine project. Sweet! Totally appreciate the effort and time involved stripping all those hard drives.
I’ll make sure to return the gift with some solar cells and EVA backing. Hopefully they can be used for another contest SolarShedParts puts on for their subscribers.
Be sure to check out solarshedparts.com YouTube channel and website.
The short video below shows how I made an adjusted solar tracker from common materials. It can be manually “steered” to follow the 10am – 6pm sun. It can be adjusted vertically and follow the winter or summer place of the sun. This particular solar tracker has been set up for my place. I wish I could get the sun from the morning until night, but, my neighbors trees block most of the morning sun. It would be silly to cut all the trees down. We both like the privacy and shade they offer.
• The solar panels can be “steered” to follow the sun from 12:00 pm to 6:00pm sun. There is a string attached to each “leg” of the panel side. Like the reins on a horse, you just pull one side to steer the panel towards the sun. Once the desired angle is found, the reins are secured to the tree to keep it from turning in the wind.
The solar panel mount can be adjusted for the suns place in the sky. For example, in the winter, the solar panel should be more vertical, like a 60 – 80 degree angle. It will shed the snow more easily and will get a few rays bouncing off the snow. When the summer finally arrives, the panel angle should be adjusted to 45 degrees.(Also depends on your place)
Note: A good guide to go from is to find the latitude you are at and subtract 15 degrees in the winter and add 15 degrees in the summer. Your local library, smart phone or Google Maps should be able to tell you the latitude.
• Yes, it’s mounted to a tree. Not the best plan, but it died a few years ago from the mountain pine beetle infestation. It can be mounted to a post or the side of a house.
• Aside from one of the legs getting caught on piles of snow. No significant problems and it has been in use for almost two seasons.
• Ideal to hold 1 – 3 home-made 63 watt solar panels.