I have been staggered by the amount of well wishers that have either rang, emailed or called in person to wish me well and to let me know they were thinking of me and mum during the weekend. Special thanks must go the Bean Counter for putting up with me as I got rather trollied on Sunday. Onto the news then, Ted Magnum has managed to pull it off and has found me a rather splendid machine on Fleabay. It’s a Honda Transalp with less than 8k miles on it and has a load of goodies such as a lowered gel seat and a top box and heated grips. I pick it up this Thursday coming. I can hardly wait to jump on board and cruise the highways and byways of the UK. In my dreams more like, I will be sticking to quiet roads in good weather and staying within the speed limit.
I have spent much time looking at alternative power supplies such as wind and solar and I really believed I had come up with the solution to any power demands I might have in the future. My power bank would have consisted of 3 small wind turbines, 6 largish solar panels 8 big deep cycle batteries with a whole array of cables and inverters and sine wave thingies and a small petrol generator for emergencies. Feeling rather proud of my proposed inventory I contacted some people at www.selfsufficientish.com and told them of my plans and what I intended to run off it. Some of the awfully nice and very helpful people got back to me and it would appear a fridge and a freezer would have drained my complete power source within a couple of hours and for back up I needed a decent Lister diesel generator. Now second hand these boys cost around 2k sterling. Fridge and freezer need to be run from bottled gas as the cost to run these on natural resources would be inordinately prohibitive. I have now gone back to the drawing board. As I said in one my previous posts the challenge to go completely green is one big lie to the ordinary man on ordinary money. You need to spend more on power sources than you would spend in 20 years on power bills from the grid.
The same people did come up with alternative solutions such as run the lighting system on 12 volts. This may not seem bright but have you ever looked into a car headlight on full beam? Most of the power to run a washing machine comes from heating up the water but if run on a cold wash and fill said machine with water from a solar heater this will not run your batteries down. Electric kettles and toasters are a big no no and hot water can be produced by placing an ordinary kettle on a wood stove and toast can be made over an open fire. Not much good for Welsh rarebit but I am sure there is a method out there somewhere. Showers will come from solar heaters as will hot water for washing and cleaning. At the end of the day I should be running 6 lights, a radio cum stereo, a TV, washing machine and a computer. Provided they are not all on at the same time the batteries should not run down and if they do the Lister should have them charged within a short period.
My initial budget of 5k has changed somewhat and I am now looking at nearer 7 but the way power bills are racking up, if that is all I have to pay over the next 20 years it will be a bargain. Toilets are next on the hit list!