Today, Willow and I spent our afternoon fixing a few items in the tower shed.   After a long winter storm and no sunlight for days, the batteries providing electricity to the internet media converters and the amateur radio repeater died.  Originally I figured all I needed to do was power off the load and wait for the solar panels to provide charging current to the batteries and then in about a week I could go back, restart the converters and repeater and everything would work fine.  Unfortunately, there was one small factoid that I neglected to understand.  The charge converter (the piece that converts the solar energy into electrical energy) does not get it’s power from the solar panels so it won’t run at all on it’s own.  Instead, it requires a small amount of current to be provided by the batteries which in my case were dead.   I have two 12-volt batteries that are hooked in series powering a 24 volt system.  So all I needed to do was to charge the batteries with the battery charger I have in the garage.  Unfortunately, each battery weighs a whopping 167 pounds and it’s not easy moving them on your own (even with an 8 week old Great Dane puppy along for the help).   Willow and I finally managed to unhook the batteries and load them onto the lawn mower and haul them back to the residence where we can charge them overnight.    I plan to reinstall everything on Thursday morning before heading out to see my son Luke’s jazz band concert in Platteville, Wisconsin.

Willow, in the driver’s seat of the mower that was used to haul 334 pounds of batteries back to the residence for a fresh charge in the garage.  She was quite proud of herself, as you can probably tell..

Willow, relaxing her aching back in the sweet sun after a hard days work…

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