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Back on the Grid


Just a recap here to start. I have been at the new jobsite near Calvert,TX for 52 days. No electricity or water for that entire time period. My Generac 6.6 kw propane generator has run 210 hours. I have been in boondocking situations before like at Cranfills Gap.

The electricity inches closer

The difference here at Calvert was we thought electricity would be available within 2 weeks of our arrival. Well, that didn’t happen. This area is serviced by an Electric Cooperative like most of Rural Texas.  Back in the 40’s and 50’s, Coops were the only way to bring electricity to sparsely populated areas.

Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative has been very responsive to the owner’s requests.  They came out for an initial site survey, came back out to stake the locations for the poles, then again to move the stakes just a little bit.  🙂

On Wednesday, they showed up and meant business.  Tying me in to the electric grid involved more than what a suburban homeowner would have to endure. They had to set 4 poles, string the wire and set a transformer in place. The owner’s responsibility was to have a service pole set up and ready for the Navasota Electric guys to hook up.

Friday night after all the trucks left, it sure was nice to sit back and enjoy unlimited electricity at the flip of a switch.   The first order of business was to bring the battery bank to 100% power.  Using the generator, I had only been charging it to 85 or 90% capacity.  It takes hours of generator run time to bring the batteries up that last 10%.  The other thing I did was to take the 1000w Xantrex inverter out of the loop.  I had been using it to power the TV and DISH receiver off the remaining 8D battery.  No need for that setup any more until the next time I boondocked.  I made sure the 8D battery was at full charge and disconnected it from the battery bank.  One advantage of the AGM batteries is they can sit unattended for months and not suffer any degradation.

A big part of most of my days here at Calvert to date has centered around power consumption and battery management.   Now, I can devote that time to other useful pursuits.

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