This past week, we finally got the last component to our solar system upgrade, a 1,000 watt pure sine wave inverter from Novopal. Up until now, we’ve been using a 3,000 watt modified sine wave inverter for our solar power generator. But, because it was utilising a modified sine wave, we couldn’t use it with some of our electronics, like our LCD T.V., laptops, LaserDisc player and VCR. So, we’ve had to rely on grid power for those items, up until now.
When we first moved here and built our off-grid home, we really didn’t know what to expect or what our needs would really be. We have discovered that, when it comes to electronic devices, we rarely push the 1,000 watt envelope. So, when we decided to upgrade our solar system to include a pure sine wave inverter, we chose this unit. Of all of the appliances and devices we typically use in the house, the ones that draw the most power is probably the refrigerator and chest freezer. All of our “entertainment” electronics are low powered and/or run off of rechargeable batteries.
When/if I do need to use higher powered appliances, or power tools for what ever needs to be done around here, we still have the 3,000 watt inverter that works with those just fine.
Speaking of our battery power devices, I also invested in a new set of rechargeable AAs and AAAs batteries, along with a new smart charger. After doing a bit of research, I decided to go with the HiQuick brand. They had some really great reviews and were offered on Amazon at a really reasonable price. Turns out that I made a good choice with them.
I’ve owned a several brands of rechargeable batteries and types of chargers over the years. I can say that when I received my HiQuick order, I was very impressed right from the start. The charger itself is solidly built and is a nice design. The batteries also appear to be of good quality. Along with the eight AAs that came with the charger, I also bought eight AAAs. I really liked the little added perk that the batteries themselves came in their own resealable rigid plastic case. This will help me keep them together and safely stored away after I’ve charged them, ready to be used when needed. Nice touch.
The individual LED display for the status of each battery is very useful to have on the charger, as well as the ability to charge a combination of AAs and AAAs. Not only does this charger work with both sizes at once, but it also seems to work fine with the different brands of rechargeable batteries that I already have.
I started with charging the eight new AAAs that came with my order. It took the charger just under three hours to charge them to full power. They’ve been performing well in my Franklin e-book reader, providing much more power than the alkaline batteries that I was using before.
I’m very pleased with the HiQuick charger and batteries and feel that I received very good value for money. They appear to be well made and they do provide good lasting power. And since it uses USB for power, it doesn’t cause my solar system to lose any power having to convert DC to AC.
I also invested in a “button cell” battery charger, along with some rechargeable batteries for it. It works great for our collection of Franklin Bookmans, each using four of those button batteries.
As for the Novopal inverter, it’s been performing really well. The unit itself seems to be well constructed and solid. It has dual cooling fans, remote power on/off and battery status panel, four AC outlets and one USB port. The nice thing about the USB port on the Novopal, unlike our other inverter, is that it doesn’t have to be powered on to draw power from it.
All of our sensitive electronics seem to have no problem with it, so it will be a great addition to our solar setup. Being able to get all of our electronics off of grid power is important to us right now, as the Saskatchewan government is in the process of building several of these wind generator farms. Once these abominations are in full production, I foresee that everyone’s power bills are going to skyrocket, just like they did in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Many poorer families in these provinces now have to choose on whether they want heat or electricity (and sometimes even food); they can’t afford both.
Investing our money in our solar power generator, our choices of low powered / battery operated electronics and getting off of the grid altogether is the only ways to fight back. Everything I can do keep my hard earned money out of the hands of these corrupt politicians and corporate CEOs helps me sleep very soundly at night.
It’s also a great feeling when you can become less reliant on the retail supply chain, especially now with all of this upheaval in the system due to Covid. We can use our electronic devices and not have to go to the store and buy another battery for years to come. You don’t tend to think of it as a problem you have to worry about, but there were few times in the past year that the battery rack at the local grocery and hardware stores were looking a little empty.
Let’s not forget that, once the grid is all on wind power, get ready for the more frequent power outages and brown-outs. Already we’ve noticed in the past couple of years more power outages happening on a regular basis. This is another advantage to the home solar generator: access to reliable electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There’s no telling what the future might hold for us, so I think it’s better to be prepared than un-prepared.