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  #1  
Old 12-04-2012, 08:47 PM
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Default I'm so done with "green"

Well, we finally took the plunge over the edge.
My ranch has been running on wind and solar for about three yers now. We have a 32 foot RV trailer with all the amenities, AC gas het, stove and have been trying to stay off the grid. Solar & wind powers two large 12 volt Batteries that provide lights, pumps TV and via an inverter, any 110V devices that draw less than 15 Amps.

All is backed up with a generator for the water heater AC and power tools for construction.

Two generators, five solar panels, three inverters and a 12V DC charger later, I am done with it. It is just too much trouble to keep all of those systems operating without a lot of attention to use, power consumption and mechanical failures. Plus, we burn 5 to 10 gallons of fuel a week.

So last week end we had the engineer from the local power company come out. Two poles and a small deposit,,,,$900.00. A meter drop loop $500.00,,,,A 200 AMP panel with sufficient breakers for now,,,, $350.00.

Not having to get up at Two in the morning to fill or fire the generator,,,,,PRICELESS.


We have finally started construction of the cabin. So I guess it will work out for the best.

The cabin started out as a 16' X 12' two story cozy abode for the week-end visits. It is now planned to be about 1200 square feet with a loft. Permanent residence.

It should take me a year to do the rough shell and some livable finished areas.

What we give up to make the wives happy.

Last edited by FrancSevin; 12-04-2012 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Congrats, Franc. A Dream in Progress.

Makes me wish I'd kept my 50 acres in Lebanon.
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Last edited by Kane; 12-04-2012 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

And there better be some pic's bud...
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

That is damn cheap! Cost me $23,000 to bring it up here and I supplied the masthead and wire to the transformer. You get one pole and 100ft. for free and after that it is $10 a foot and I had to take the dozer and clear a right of way up the mountain for them.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

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Originally Posted by squerly View Post
And there better be some pic's bud...
I'll try to post some tonite.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
What we give up to make the wives happy.
Don't BS us bud. She's not the one getting up at 2 o'clock in the morning to fill the generator.
It's being done to keep YOU happy. Admit it!!!

Many years ago I got pissed off at the utility company and threatened to take my house off the grid. When I started getting all the costs together it became obvious that I wouldn't live long enough to see any cost benefit from it. Hell, my grandkids probably wouldn't have lived long enough to see any cost benefit. It was a humbling experience having to make my peace with the electric company.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Wow that is dirt cheap!. I live off the grid too, as power has not come this far up the highway yet. There are plans to extend it another 25 miles, which will bring it within 500' of my house. That extension is going to cost 5 million$$ and then probably in the neighbor hood of $20,000 to hook it up to my place.

We have a 6kw Northern Lights generator, 8 large 6volt batteries and an inverter. The genny runs about 6hrs a day in the summer and about 10 hrs in the winter as long as the temps are above +10. Once it drops down below that I just run it 24hrs. We have a 300 gallon tank for the generator and fill it up about 4 times a year. When we first moved here 15 years ago home heating oil, which is what we buy, was $0.96/gal and we are now paying right under $4.00/gal.

We are on our 2nd generator and probably have another 5 years before replacement at $5-6,000, 3rd set of batteries that cost around $1,500 and second inverter and was able to find the second one on Craigslist for $750.

If they actually do bring power my way I will gladly shell out the $$$$ just for the connivence of having steady power at a higher capacity than I have now. Of course I'll keep the generator standing by as there are frequent power outages.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Yes, the cost is cheap. I was lucky in that power lines were on my property line. A thirty thousand dollar expense my neighbor made some 15 years ago.
My project costs $4,000 but the Utility company subsidiezes it assuming we are becoming a resident, not a tourist or weekender. Foundations and a small real structure made the difference.

Now that we have decided to let the business go, we are moving there so,,,,the Co-op utility helps with the costs.

I spent $2,500 for a generator backup system which is the power source we now use. However,I have already replaced that gen twice. The wind power system was over $2,000 as well so even though it was minimal power, it was far more expensive initial costing than the hookup to the grid. Frankly, I wanted to be sulf sufficient and consciously as green as reasonably possible.

On the bright side, I now have the back up systems in place. Both Diesel generator (6000watts) and the wind (5000 watts). So, even if TSHTF we will survive as long as the wind blows.

Meanwhile, it will feel so good a two in the morning to just roll over and go back to sleep.

As for pictures, I didn't get home until very late last night. I'll try again tonite.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Got trhe trailer loaded today with more lumber. Truck has another ton or so of 1" clean limestone for ballast rock.

In the morning, I'm going to the ranch to clear trees for the power company. Then clear some stumps and lay down the second half of the foundation boards. monday i willbe filing allthe easments at the county and picking up my meter loop.

I am building the cabin on top of a treated lumber deck. This sits on a bed of crushed stone. A rather unique way to construct, but concrete is too expensive to have delivered and I don't feel like mixing 9 yards up by hand.
I will have pictures when I return on Thursday.

It is gonna be cold @ 20 degrees F on Monday morning. Furnace is out on the RV trailer, so I will have to heat with the generator. I can't wait until we have real power on the place. I hope the power company lets me hook up with temp cables on the ground. That 65' ditch will be hard to do in my rocky soil, especialy in the winter.

I will be installing 65' of #4 000 aluminum buriable service (in a 2 1/2" conduit) to a 200 amp breaker box. . But, that won't happen until the poles are in and the lines up.

Add another $400.00 to the tab for the service entrance, and then another $500 for the run to the barn site. My end of the project is running over $2,600.00

A present to myself?
Maybe by Christmas.

Last edited by FrancSevin; 12-09-2012 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Franc, I think that we are about the same age but you sir, have a damned sight more energy than I have. I congratulate you.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

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Originally Posted by EastTexFrank View Post
Franc, I think that we are about the same age but you sir, have a damned sight more energy than I have. I congratulate you.
Aw, I just like playing in the dirt and building play houses. Just like when I was a kid.

Growing old is manditory, growing up is not!

For the record, I will be 66 in March
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

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Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
For the record, I will be 66 in March
So will I. The 12th.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

It's cold and wet here in St Louis this morning. If I didn't have the legal work to do Monday, I would put this trip off.

The dozer hasn't run for a couple of months. I imagine it will resist starting up. Especially in this weather.

Brrr! I hate working in the cold anymore.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Now come on Frank....Ya cant be growing up all ready!!!!!!! if there are no glow plugs a little eather will help.....and a small heat sorse under the oil pan will warm things up to......think FUN!!!think WARM!!!! and Go man go!!!!
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

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Now come on Frank....Ya cant be growing up all ready!!!!!!! if there are no glow plugs a little eather will help.....and a small heat sorse under the oil pan will warm things up to......think FUN!!!think WARM!!!! and Go man go!!!!
If I can't get the old girl strted, a little ether sometimes helps. Yes.

If not there is always the ole' pick and shovel method. I only have a couple of yards of dirt and rock to move.

No brains required either. I'm up for it

OKAY,I'm off line till Wednesday nite yall have fun.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Well, HE"S BACK!

Had a good three days of work in the place. Cleared trees and brush three hunderd feet @ 30 feet wide swath. The hard way cause the old dozer wouldn't crank. Wore out the chain blades on both my Husky's.

Come nightfall, I put threee five gallon cans of gas thru the generator trying to keep warm in the RV. A bone chillin' 15 F on Tuesday morning.

Middle of the night Tuesday, the generator stops. A melted gas line from using ETOH gasoline. Damm I hate that stuff! Four gallons of fuel on the floor of the shed. I was lucky it didn't ignite and burn down the gen shack along with five gerry cans of gasoline and diesel.

Big bonfire Tuesday nite, all night. Standing outside in the clear, cold crisp air, one could see the heavens without any city lights, wind, humidity or moonlight. AMAZING sight. The stars appear in 3D. And so close you think you can just reach out and touch the close ones.

The power Co says they might set poles andlines next Tuesday. Just in time for Christmas lights on the trailer. A real hillbilly Christmas aye?

Right now I have a Jeep Cherokee on the front lawn, along with a Honda Rancher and a Ford 9N tractor. None of them run. Add the '95 Dodge one ton that does and a 20 foot lowboy haulin' trailer. Which means I have more wheels parked in my yard than on my house. Thus making me an official REDNECK!
A couch and an old frig go on the front porch just as soon as I build it.

HE HAW!

Merry Christmas to ya all.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post

Right now I have a Jeep Cherokee on the front lawn, along with a Honda Rancher and a Ford 9N tractor. None of them run. Add the '95 Dodge one ton that does and a 20 foot lowboy haulin' trailer. Which means I have more wheels parked in my yard than on my house. Thus making me an official REDNECK!
A couch and an old frig go on the front porch just as soon as I build it.

HE HAW!
lol, funny stuff Franc!
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

Sump removal. What a bitch!

I have several white oak stumps. Aboout 36" in diameter. White oak roots just will not rot. They resist acid (Stump Out) and two week ends of dig out and burning. The 350 Case dozer was defeated by them as well. A big problem is that they have their roots wrapped around flint rock making it hard to cut or chop them out.

I am ready for dynamite but they are too close to the new house (two at about 5 feet, one at about 0ne foot)

This week, while I worked on the power line corridor, I soaked them with diesel oil. I will do so again next week when I visit. If that doesn't do it I'm stumped.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

The diesel will just preserve them. Might have to pay for an excavator or at least a backhoe to dig the roots loose. They are a bear to get out.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: I'm so done with "green"

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The diesel will just preserve them. Might have to pay for an excavator or at least a backhoe to dig the roots loose. They are a bear to get out.
I have a small backhoe on the dozer. That will be my next approach, if I can get the old girl started.

We have so much flint and limestone The backhoe just stalls. Fortunately, only one of these must be removed. The others need only to be ground below grade.

I own the narliest, rocky, most God forsaken piece of nasty ground in Douglas County MO. It is soooooo bad my garden is made from soil I imported from IOWA.
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