Sunday, January 15, 2012

Four of these babies will provide us with the power we need to power our computers, a light or two, recharge batteries, and our solar operated fridge, which is in route. Also we ordered a luxury item, which is solar operated....bed warmer pad. We put ours in the sale thinking we would not be able (nor, need to) have one, but it does get quite chilly at nite!

John is quite challenged to put this system together but we have support when we need it from BackwoodsSolar in Idaho where we purchase our stuff, and they are great to work with, so no worries there.


  1. I cant wait to see how you like your solar fridge. Is is a Sunfrost? I can do well with just using our ice box for refrigeration (and I have a constant source for the ice since my Husband makes it for a living), but I keep debating if I should get a Sundanzer freezer or just can more of the food and do without a freezer all together. I have an older freezer now but our solar system and battery storage is constantly getting drained this time of year because of it. Not sure what to do. So I will be looking forward to a review. Love your blog.

  2. It's actually a Sundanzer. How handy for you to have the ice source. Our summers are some of the top hottest in the county so after contemplating the decision and and weighing the cost (ouch!) we will just have to wait and see.... I see you do an amazing job preserving your garden goodies-and that dehydrator is amazing! Had to let go of my Excalibur, so I'm tossing around trying hanging tiered mesh dryers and looking at the Global Sun Oven and I have seen dehdrator trays for it. How big is your older freezer? The Sundanzer is pretty small, but all I need for a few trays of ice and perhaps a random carton of Coconut Bliss! We got away from freezing when we went raw a few years ago, so no big deal now.
    Thanks for your kind words-Your blog is super amazing and I'm still reading and learning.. How many years have you been homesteading? You are such an inspiration, Jane!

    1. OOOh, goody your getting the Sundanzer so you can really tell me how you like it. And I am curious to see if it uses the amount of watts per day as advertised. How many Amp hours is your battery bank? That is our week spot as we only have 480 Amp hrs of storage. But again, if I get rid of the freezer, it is not a problem. Suits our other needs fine. My old freezer is 11 cf, so I know the largest Sundanzer is 8, but I could easily scale down what I have in there. I really think canning and drying more food would be better anyway. It just seems better being shelf stable cause we did have an inverter go on us and it took a few weeks to get the new one. . I just prefer frozen corn better than canned, and a few items like when you bake extra bread it has a place to go. But I am sure I could adapt.

      I saw that dehydrator that goes in the sun oven. It is really neat with the little fan and solar panel. I have a sun oven so I considered it. But I knew I could dry more with the one we built and still have the sun oven to cook food at the same time. I still have my excalibur too. I just hate to part with it and I have run it on the solar system, so on a sunny day it is not out of the question to use it. I never tried the mesh trays so I look forward to hearing if you chose to use them.

      Aw shucks thanks for the compliment :) I grew up in a farming family that provided many of our own needs. I moved away for a while and then we have moved to this farm for 14 years now. But I have made it my "job" to homestead and get off the grid for the last 3-4 years, doing a little more each year. I finally feel like we are at a point we have all the major needs covered and now it is just fine tuning. For example, getting rid of all the extra 'stuff'. Of course you know what that is like :)

      Keep up the posts and pictures. I really am living vicariously in your yurt. I think I spy a nice wood cook stove in there :) Love It !!!!

    2. Yes...the cookstove...I've yet to get to cook on it, as we've discovered a few cracks in the back that concern us-AND-we've got to save for vent. So.....I'm desperate to have the ability to back right now. Would you recommend your Global Sun Oven? It looks to be the best our there. I'm wondering about the vapors. Do they leach into the food, or have the dissapated with use? I'm anxious to know your opinion on this.

      Not sure how much we can store yet, but we have 8 6 volt btteries and 8 months of clear skies. We'll use a generator for my vitamix, food processor, vacuum and ringer washer, so have few needs other than the fridge, computer and about one or 2 lights. I agree with you on the corn though... just gotta be able to justify the cost of a freezer.

  3. Yes I wound recommend the Global sun oven. Highly! It is well made, portable, not heavy, and works great. We were going to build one, but I do not think it would have come out as nice. Since everything I make in there is covered, I do not have trouble with the vapors. No odors or taste noted from the plastic. (you can bake in there, but I rarely do since I have the wood oven, and baking is the only thing uncovered) Steam will condensate on the glass door, but putting a towel under the lid helps.

    6 volt batteries, depending on the brand you have, will run about 100-200 amp hours each. So lets average you have 150 amp hrs per battery. If you tie them in series, in a 12 volt system you will have about 600 amp hours of storage. Or if you have a 24 volt system you would have about 300 amp hours of storage. Of course I am guessing since I am not sure about what inverter you have or how your hooking it up, but that is a good amount of storage so with a true sine wave inverter you should be able to run you vitamix, etc. no problem. Just a word of warning. We started out with a modified sine wave inverter and it killed my kitchenaid. So if you have a modified sine wave inverter, dont run any delicate electric equipment like your computer . But I am sure you know that. I just want to keep someone else from finding that out the hard way like I did. With our new inverter I can run anything. I love our new Magnasine true sine wave inverter. With that much sun and storage, I am betting you will not be using the generator much at all.