Friday, April 24, 2009

The Power of Solar

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd share these pictures of my "office". As many of you know, I work online, from the boat. I use a laptop, an additional flat panel monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. (I need the flat panel to read information that I then enter into the laptop. I use the extra keyboard because I need a number pad. The mouse is really just for ergonomics... so I don't have to reach across the keyboard to use the one on the laptop.) I use an AT&T 3G Wireless card, which I would not recommend to anyone but a desperate soul like myself. It's expensive, bulky, and moody. But it was my best option for internet. And I work entirely off of solar energy. Those of you who followed us in Tater have seen pictures of the solar setup on that blog. I usually work for 8 or 10 hours at a time (even after dark) using energy generated from two 6-volt deep cycle batteries and a 134-watt solar panel. And it's completely free (with the exception of the initial purchase price)! The whole system cost somewhere around $1000 and we've been using it for a year and a half already. Solar is really a cool concept. In the near future, we'll be revamping the system- adding more batteries and panels in order to run the reefer (that's refrigerator in "Pirate Speak"). But for now, we have enough power to live and work off of.

I also hooked up my new 5-watt solar panel on my dinghy on Earth Day. Here are some pics:

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