Friday, December 16, 2011

Silent Light

This is our first post to the Aranya Bodhi blog that is not made possible by a gasoline generator. I am writing from the Sangha Hall on the electricity provided by our newly connected solar electrical system. Though the sun has yet to shine upon the completely wired array, the batteries arrived fully charged and are providing the power right now. Eric, Mike and Rody from Pure Power Solutions made a lot of progress today. Eric (top photo) installed our inverter and charge controller in the battery room. Mike installed the rails for an additional four solar panels on top of the laundry shed. This will add 450 watts more to our hermitage solar electrical system, for a peak potential of 1920 watts of electricity. The batteries are strung together in six groups of four batteries each. The generator was filled with diesel fuel, tested and connected to the inverter. Tomorrow morning as the sun comes over the hillside, the battery bank will begin its cycle of charging on the sun's power.

Rody gave us the gift of an ac outlet directly on the inverter so we could have electricity right away. The Sangha Hall and kitchen trailer now have household ac electricity by way of extension cords until our ac electrician can install the proper wiring in January. For now, our cook can can make use of a rice cooker and the microwave oven.

Because the sun will not be able to provide all the electricity year round and we are presently experiencing the shortest days of the year, the diesel generator will be keeping the batteries charged. This means that we will be using diesel fuel instead of gasoline but rather than using the generator directly, we will be using it indirectly and far less often. Rody told us that red diesel is less expensive because it has no highway tax -the generator is strictly for off road use :) so we are asking our friends to help us look in our nearby cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma for a red diesel provider.

Stack, our ac electrician is tentatively scheduled to help us on January 5th and 6th. With her help, we will have electrical outlets for each of our main buildings. So a lot has already happened to get us to this point from the very first thoughts of how to bring electricity to our remote forest wilderness. And still there is a little more left to do. A little more to plan on and wait on but for now we have silent light. There is no generator running. A little more on the horizon.

with Metta

Marajina Samaneri

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

On the Horizon

A few additions came into focus on our horizon today.

This is Rody. He's been great to work with us, designing our solar electrical system. He is familiar with micro hydro as well - that's how we met him - and is installing these components with our future in mind. Rody is beside the 7kw diesel generator which will be used to charge the batteries on our shorter wintry days.

Six strings of four 6 volt comercial batteries line the floor of the grass hut in the lower landing. The grass hut may now be called the battery hut. These commercial batteries are sealed, eliminating the need to open battery cells, or use sulphuric acid. They can last up to 15 years with proper care. The inverter and generator will work together to keep them charged and equanimous (aka equalized) to the specifications of the manufacturer.

This is Joel, at the top, and Mike, at the bottom, installing the sixth panel.

This beautiful 1470 watt array peers into the horizon from the lower landing.

Rody, Mike and Joel will be returning next week with the inverter, and will wire everything together then.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A Chance to Help

Dear Friends,
Having stayed with us for seven months, our lay steward Gwyn, who had been helping us with errands, recently departed. Due to the remote nature of Aranya Bodhi we are not visited daily and nuns rely on help for certain errands. There is an ongoing and regular opportunity for help to be offered regarding driving, and filling our propane and gasoline tanks. If you can help please contact awakening

Thank you,
Nibbida, Samaneri