I obviously needed to learn more about things … But how?
When in doubt … “Google it”!
Hmmmm …. Well … It was worth a try!
I’m not very tech savey … (Said as I sit here writing a blog on an I-pad!)
Getting around on the internet and finding what I was looking for has been a hit or miss proposition for me.
And having a smart phone that does not like me does not help things
… But I digress ….
My first attempts at learning about solar power and batteries on the web did not get me very far.
However … The folks at Boats and Motors sold me a wonderful book about how an electrical system works on a small boat!
The 12 Volt Bible by Miner Brotherton and revised by Edwin Sherman, full of lots of great information about DC power and batteries … And the occasional mathematical formula for us math fans out there (out there … A pretty good way to describe …)
Originally written in 1985 and revised in 2003 … It turned out to be a great place to start.
The boating world is a really good place to find both hardware and information … It is one of those places where being a little wrong can get you into a lot of trouble. The kind of reliability needed in the boating world is what I wanted / needed for this project.
In the entertainment world … failure is not an option!
The help I received from Boats and Motors and West Marine was wonderful … they were very happy to share what they knew and if they did not know, would try to find out … And if they were not able to come up with an answer, would apologize for not being able to help!
I really like these folks!
So lots of questions and a book to read for when things with the “day job” slowed down.
I had a busy fall into New Years season ahead of me and nine months until my next booked solar powered gig … So I “moth balled” everything … With a somewhat regular schedule of “top off” recharging to keep the batteries from an early death (I did get far enough into the 12 Volt Bible to learn that much).
Made it through the year … With what had become a wonderful tradition of ending the old year mixing the Concert for Peace at St. John the Divine in New York … And the quiet drive back the next day.
If you ever get the chance to … Go! … It is an amazing event!
2012 had been a good year … Some amazing shows … It was great to be involved with the Urban Nutcracker again … and everything about the solar project had been a lot of fun … My dad and I working, almost non stop to be ready for that first solar powered Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park “gig” … a 2:00 in the morning close encounter with a skunk kept things interesting!
I was truly amazed at what the batteries were able to do.
At a street fair in Andover I “caught” one of the crew from the main stage down on his hands and knees looking to see if I had a power cord coming up from the manhole cover I had “parked” one of the battery boxes on top of.
Apparently I was not the only one being amazed!
11 events running over 42 hours … without running out of power … I was able to record 19.03 kWh of power used … It took a while to realize this was going to work and I should be taking notes … I missed three of the early shows.
Photos would have been nice too!
In any case … January was looking promising for figuring things out … A couple of quiet weeks … and the flu.