The home above is featured in “Bob’s Solar Project” Blog that covers the entire process from installation to final performance. By the way, it’s laid out like a regular blog so you have to read it from the first entry (back of the pack) to the last (top of the page). He puts a disclaimer about this in the header but I just thought I’d warn you ahead of time.
It doesn’t take living near the Canadian border in the winter (and summer quite often) to realize what a wonderful thing it would be if one wasn’t so depend on outside sources for fuel and power and the like and that includes wood heating since the higher the cost of fuel oil the higher the $$$ per cord of wood. Because of the rather rugged terrain that any Vermont power company or electricity supplier for instance has to deal with around here, Vermont, like other states with a similar type landscape have some of the highest electric rates in the union. Try hunting down the cause of a power outage up in the hills at 3:00 am in a blizzard, freezing rain, high winds, minus 30 below or all of them put together and you might understand why that is but knowing doesn’t stop you from wishing for other means of keeping the electricity flowing and the house warm that doesn’t quite cost so much.
Present solutions include things like solar and wind power which has seen some extensive use in the latter years and plans for more, for providing the electricity part of it and a few Vermonters that own dairy farms have begun heating the old farmhouse by setting up a system which uses the methane produced by a manure pile to fuel a converted furnace. Also, we’re beginning to see the methane produced by landfills being tapped and used to fuel small power stations that are hooked into the local grid which help offsets the total cost of power production. This weekend I’m going to perusing around the internet looking for different types of alternative heating and power sources and I’ll post the more interesting items on the site once I trace them down and get them (and myself) organized.
Well, the storm did come through last night but overall it just kinda wimped out. Oh, it sounded like a real blizzard alright what with the wind howling and screaming all night but the amount of white stuff on the ground this morning didn’t live up to all it’s nighttime brag and bluster. I mean only two foot snowdrifts in the drive? C’mon now.
Cold? Now that’s another matter entirely. My lady’s car doors were so frozen solid she had to take the claw side of the hammer to pry them open. Big change from the tropical 30’s and 40’s we’ve been having lately and of course the wind has been screaming down the lake from Canada in good shape to add to the fun. I hear several people who happened to get caught outside too long in the draft (outta-staters most likely) are now frozen hard where they stood and won’t thaw until probably May. The middle of January is a bad time to freeze up on the street in these parts. We take care of ’em though. We just haul out ’em out to the ice fishin’ village that crops in the middle of the bay every winter and use ’em to hang lanterns and bait buckets on until it warms up enough to revive ’em.
No…I don’t have a picture…we wouldn’t want the relations down-country to get upset about their frozen relatives and all so we ain’t allowed to take ’em.
Have to go now. I see one of those flatlanders starting to freeze up in front of my house as we speak. Got to go bring ’em in before they set hard and put ’em down in the cellar by the furnace with the others.
So here we are back at the top of the Northeast Kingdom waiting for the weather to drop from a balmy 44 degrees to below freezing (probably in all of a half an hour) and the rain coming down to change into a whole lot of snow. Typical for this place. Good thing we got the old snowblower running.
The picture above is the beautiful Lake Memphramagog (during the somewhat warmer weather) by which good old Newport, VT is situated. The lake itself is a fairly narrow, 31 mile long heat pump which channels the wondefully superchilled air down from Canada during the winter and shoves it right into your front door and your fuel bill right through the roof but what can one expect when one has the Canadian border for a next door neighbor I ask ya’? It’s also one heck of a pretty mountain lake that extends right into Canada with the town of Magog on the other end of it. I left a link in the post title that will lead you a bit of info about this far away little city if you’re curious enough. If you want to see some pics of the place, check out this link to Google Images. The stuff that comes up is kinda interesting.
Alright, I’m off to find out all the other ways I can make mistakes on this thing. I’ve got a couple of good ideas on how to screw things up but that’s how you learn right? By making up for your mistakes. Swearing a bit usually helps also.
Well time does fly when you’re just doing what needs to be done (oog).
Just got my annual Soc Sec report in the mail today that tells me just how much I’m not going to be making if I work to 66 and 10 months years of age. Ain’t much I tell ya’ and the way they have it I’ll have to work till I’m 108 and 4 months just to be completely broke. Don’t think I’m going to make it.
As you can see I seem to have a links list in the side bar now and I cheated to do it. Can’t beat that ol’ copy and paste routine. Guess I’ll just have to get up to speed on my html coding. It seems I’ve forgotten everything I used to know which believe me, wasn’t much. I’ll do it though.
Anyway, this site is more of an learning platform for a another blog I’m thinking about posting about the good ‘ole Northeast Kingdom of that great, green hilled wonder land called Vermont where only the stout of heart and those of strong character survive. Any others hike the hillsides, peep at the leaves and do winter sports or whatever just as so they can go back down-country before things get too rough. I just want to make sure I know what I’m doing before I go for bigger and better things.
Alright, I’ve stared at this screen long enough. Tomorrow’s time enough for more adventure.