Wednesday, October 29, 2014

About To Leap Off The Grid!

We are just a couple connections away from running on sun power!

This past weekend, Dan and I spent two full days carefully reviewing, prepping, assembling, and installing our solar power system. All that remains to be done is to ground a few different items in our "power center", install the Tri-metric battery monitor, and then actually connect the line leading from the house up to the panels.

We had a fair mix of plain old labor (digging trenches and yanking wire through conduit) and the more cerebral challenges of making sure we understood and replicated the many schematics and diagrams that came with all of our parts and pieces.

We are both beyond excited to finally get this system up and running, but certainly did not want to rush through anything. With great hesitation, we packed up and put everything away for the weekend around 4pm on Sunday. After all, when you work full time, your weekend should have at least a couple hours of down time right? Not to mention my body needed a break. 

Now THAT is a tiny space.

I spent the better part of this weekend folded up inside our utility closet. Dan's a lot bigger than me, and I did the bulk of the homework on this stuff, so I wedged myself in there to put all the pieces together. When I get locked into a project- everything else seems to fall away. My awareness hones to a pinpoint, and suddenly I am unaware of anything sound, temperature, physical sensation, passage of time and so on. At some point, my legs had gone numb, and when I crawled out of that little space at the end of the day I nearly fell over! My muscles had cramped into that position, so for a few entertaining minutes, I hobbled around half hunched over like a 90 year old lady.

**Note- I began writing this post's draft before receiving some very sad news. My uncle passed away late Sunday.  For anyone who may have known Paul Belhumeur and would like to pay respects, we welcome you to his services on Thursday October 30th. More information is here. **

As a result, this post will remain brief. I had plans to begin laying out the details of our system in a two or three part series, but my mind and energy are elsewhere. I will begin doing so with the next post. 

Please send love, prayers, warmth, hugs, or any kind of support to my family- if you would.

Thanks for reading...
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If you plan on leaving your panels mounted but not yet connected-
tape the ends of the cables! Some sort of flying insect decided to lay larvae
in our male MC4 connector ends. Not fun to clean out.

He's such a hard worker :)

Lightning arrester...

Wiring the combiner box...

Lightning arrester wired.

Time to wire these panels together!

Mounted the combiner box.

Feeding wires through the conduit.

Finishing up the wiring of the panels into the combiner box. 

Working on the e-panel wiring.


  1. Excellent progress! And I'm very sorry for your loss. Unfortunately no one gets out alive. Enjoy the time you have and try and leave happy tracks behind you.

  2. Thanks very much! And also for the kind words...the reminders of mortality are never easy...and I AM determined to make the time I have count! Thanks for reading. :)

  3. So sorry for your loss. Love the tiny house. I plan on building my own ruby house in the next 2 years.

  4. Thank you, Cristi, for your kind words and your complement. Good luck to you in your future adventures! It's life changing, eye opening, and completely worth it!

  5. My deepest sympathies. Such feelings only reflect how much your uncle was loved because of his personal characteristics, which must have been great, indeed. Anyway, the tiny house looks adorable and you’re off the grid system looks cool and expertly done. Kudos to you guys for the wonderful job! Thank you for sharing the pictures!

    Darren Lanphere @ Mirr Ranch Group

  6. There is a chance you're qualified for a new solar energy rebate program.
    Click here and find out if you qualify now!