Saturday, March 7, 2009

Small Rivers Count

When we hear about alternate ways of producing electrical power, North Americans tend to turn up their noses using the excuse that only oil and perhaps hydro can really produce the goods. What we miss is the concept that to make an ocean, you need many rivers, some big and some small. With that in mind, I'm in the process of adding a small 'river' of power to my Teardrop trailer's electrical power system. I'm thinking that by doing so I'll be able to increase my self-sufficiency by enough to spend a week or more - depending on the sunlight and my consumption - off the oil-fired grid. Not total independence, but a little bit more.

With that goal in mind, I'm going to put a 50 watt solar panel on the roof feeding into a large deep-cycle battery. This will be linked into the various circuits feeding lights and other DC items including a small inverter for powering up my computer and charging my video camera batteries which I cannot solar charge any other way.

• • • • •

On another topic, Canada's government passed Bill C-10 with few changes. This is the bill which is supposed to provide economic stimulus in the current crisis, yet it is loaded down with non-stimulus items. Thus Canada will see the removal of protection for its navigable rivers, the denial of pay equity to women, the loss of millions of dollars to offshore tax havens by big corporations, the destruction of a functioning security market in Québec. This list goes on and on. The omnibus Bill is staggering under the weight of items the Conservatives have been unable to get passed previously. Hopefully the Senate will split off these non-stimulus items before the Bill becomes the law of the land or the government will do so before sending the Bill to the Senate. As it exists, Bill C-10 represents a nasty pill for Canadians from a government which in the past has had a record of not spending most of the money it has promised and which is slowly sliding into a backward do nothing, go nowhere lump of a place. Brain drain anyone?


Silbs said...

Don't get me started on this one. I still like the idea that "...who governs least governs best."

Kristen said...

Michael, which battery/size/specs are you using? We've just bought a 12ft 1972 Shasta (woo hoo!) and have had two differing sets of advice re a battery for off-grid use: 1. a deep cycle marine battery, and 2. one used on a golf cart, which can be safely run down and easily recharged. I'd appreciate your advice! Kx