Let the sun shine in! (Solar System Step 4: The Solar Panels)

This week, with the extensive and energetic partnership of Rob Adamson and Katherine Robbins, I we installed the long anticipated solar panels and made the final connections to the cottage solar power system.

As of 5pm on July 3, 2020, Fugawee has functional LED lighting in all the rooms, powered by a 12V battery which is recharged daily from electricity generated by two solar panels. Now, I can reduce my generator usage, and mothball the kerosene lamps.

This project took several years, a few hundred dollars, and alot of physical effort to complete. I had to renovate two bedrooms to install the electrical runs, assemble and install a proper power panel, and build and install the roof-mount for the solar panels.

And now, c'est finis.



I returned to the cottage this past week, and spent two blissfull, silent days, at peace with nature and away from the generator.

I did run the generator for a few hours, the first evening, just to cool the fridge and recharge my phone. But, after that, I spent the remaining day and a half luxuriating in the silence that the lake offers. For the first time in many years, I didn't frighten the birds away from the cabin with the hammering of an internal combustion engine, and, this time, I actually got to see and hear a hawk hanging out behind the cabin.

The solar "system", from panels on the roof to controller and battery, to lights in all the rooms, worked perfectly, I had the cabin lights on for 5 or 6 hours, both evenings, and the solar panels recharged the battery quite handily. I do believe that a new era has dawned in my little log cabin. At least, I see the light.

I'm looking forward to my next trip up; I'll finally be able to sit back and enjoy the cottage. At least for a little bit.

This past week, I journeyed up to the cottage to close for the 2020 season. I have had a good year at the cottage, this year, despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19. With my bedroom renovation complete and the solar-powered lighting in place, the summer passed by pleasantly, and I enjoyed my relaxation.

But, all good things must come to an end, and the 2020 cottage season has ended, for me, this week.

With my last visit, I had brought in the dock, so that the upcoming winter ice would leave it intact. This visit, I performed the rest of the "closing" ritual (much of which I neglected to do last year). The Muskoka chairs,along with their ottomen, now sit in the cabin porch, and the canoe in the boathouse. I serviced the generators, and stored them for the winter. I cleaned the pantry, put away the mattresses, reset all the mousetraps, and brought back the solar-power battery, a large load of laundry, and a modest load of garbage from the boathouse.

My only visitor, during this 4 day stay, came in the late afternoon, and stayed for only a few minutes. With the generator silent, and fall rapidly closing in, a mink spent the afternoon exploring my woodpile and disappeared under the cottage. I took photos, although none came out well enough to publish.

On my way out to the landing, I took the time to rebuild the rough shelter that I overwinter the boat in. The boat will survive the winter, sheltered under a tarp, as I will at home. And, I will return, in May, 2021, to reopen and enjoy another summer at the lake.