Wednesday 10 April 2019

Springing back into action

*Blows dust from top of cardboard box*

*Gingerly opens large cardboard flaps*

*Takes blog out of box, sets it on the ground*

*Presses button, steps back, peers in.*

Hello blog. Can you hear me? You on? Great.

Date now is .. April 10th. It's sunny today! Yesterday was wet, and a few weeks ago it was the spring equinox. Before that, we had a balmy few days in February and people got proper spooked, I reckon. Since then, who knows? Hail, snow, storms, and sun. The shadows are getting shorter and the clocks have gone forwards. I'm reminiscing to the other side of the calendar. It's time to get this project running again.

So I decided to switch back off mains power a few days before April started. My USB batteries still had some mains charge in them though - I like to think of it all swirling around inside like soup, mixing with sun power as time goes on, like one juice drifting into another, yin into yang. Grid energy in increasingly homeopathic quantities.

Feels good to get the panels out again.

I'm starting back in slowly, no major changes. But in the back of my mind, I'm building up a list of things to do this year, from the tiny to the large. Here's my mental list currently:
  • Get more small USB leads (0.5ft or smaller) - I only have 2.
  • Get more power packs
  • Should I get more solar panels?
  • Should I make the jump and invest in some proper panels, like caravans have?

 In terms of what I want to aim for, there are some clear wins potentially:

  • Get some kind of permanent setup, rather than relying on putting panels out on a day-by-day basis. However, I think that might take a more permanent rig to be installed. Ideally this would go on the shed, but I want to replace the shed as it's falling apart.
  • Power more devices as a matter of course. I'm a heavy tech user really, but it would be great to extend the idea to cover not just my phone and watch, but also my headphones, and maybe my old Gameboy Advance SP - there are USB leads available. What else? I've recently upgraded my Macbook to one with a Thunderbolt port - could this run off solar, realistically?
  • What about passive solar tracking to get more efficiency? I saw a link on this last year, and this would be amazing to achieve.
  • Just learn more about solar panels and electricity generally, including where panels come from, recycling, and overall lifecycle costs.

So plenty of ideas, and a whole summer ahead...

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