Archive for the ‘Treehugger Stuff’ Category


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Food!, House Stuff, Life Stuff, Treehugger Stuff

I’m not sure why they call it canning, since you put the stuff in jars, but I guess “jarring” sounds bad.

My friend from work Kristen was kind enough to bring me back quite a large supply of food from Plant City last week, and I finally got around to getting everything in order to cook and can this stuff.  It was a fairly simple process (I had my Mother over to help me through it)

Clean everything, clean it again, cut tomatoes up, cook them, run them through a colander, cook that again, clean everything,  pour that into jars, add lids, and DONE.

That case of Tomatoes yielded 13 pints of Tomato juice, which I can later convert to pizza sauce/etc


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Cars, Tech, Things I want, Treehugger Stuff

Nissan Leaf: The First Affordable Electric Car?

If you’re wondering when we’ll finally have an all-electric car that’s both affordable and dependable, Nissan may have the answer. The all-electric, five-passenger Leaf sedan goes on sale in December in select markets, with nationwide availability starting in 2011. The Leaf is highway-capable, as it can top 70 mph, and its range (about 100 miles) more than covers average commutes. But what really sets the Leaf apart from other electric cars is its price. Starting at about $33,000, the Leaf’s price tag can fall to as low as about $25,000 after tax incentives. Actually driving the Leaf will cost significantly less than a comparable gas car. Recharging the Leaf can cost less than $3 per “fill up.” Sound promising?


   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Treehugger Stuff

I’m was invited to be on the beta program for wattvision’s product, and the hardware arrived today.  It is a small sensor that attaches to the outside of your meter, and a small box that connects via wifi to the internet.  took about 30 secs to install, and it works pretty well.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Life Stuff, Things I want, Treehugger Stuff

Propane is an interesting fuel.  Unlike Gasoline or Diesel, its CLEAN burning, it never goes bad, and its safe to keep around.  Its also a dandy way of getting your steaks from raw to mmm mmm good.I have several propane devices.  BBQ grill, turkey cooker, infared heater, and generator.   Since I have all these items, I have a bunch of propane tanks.  In my hurricane prep work this weekend, I tried to sort out what tanks were full, and which were not.

In this process I learned:

Every tank will have “tare weight” stamped into it, indicating how much is weighs, empty.

A standard bbq grill tank, aka a 20 pound tank, weighs about 37 pounds, full.  It weighs about 17 pounds, empty.I (somehow) have 3 tanks that weigh 21 pounds.

I can’t go get this refilled and just pay for 16 pounds of propane.  Its an all or nothing deal with a fill of this size. Same goes if you do a Blue Rhino swap out.

It would be ideal to have a pump, and transfer the propane from tank to tank.  To good to be true. They are to expensive to make it worth buying one, even though it looks very simple… The Krug Pump, has been around for 50 years.


Current Inventory:
8 – 20 pound
1 – 40 pound
1 – 100 pound


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff, Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff, Uncategorized


Well, This is it. The final set of hardware, ready to install.  Its capable of completely working as is, just wouldn’t pass code due to lack of conduits, and one or two instances of incorrectly sized wire (that aren’t a problem, but could be, I suppose)

You’ll notice the XW6048, midnte solar epanel, 2 Xantrex XW Mppts. and the brand new 250Ah batteries.

Not seen, Apollo T80 Charge controller, Xantrex T40 CC, and SW5548 backup Inverter.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff


The Permits are here! Lets get this thing started!

I should have all the parts I need, and all the permits needed.  All thats left is to file with Progress Energy for Grid-Tie interconnect, and I’m ready to rock and roll some solar power.   Its taken a lot of time, but I should be good by the end of March!

Yay, free power!


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff

Today, a new record.  12.5kwh produced today, with LOUSY weather.


I’ve gathered the system stats for the past couple months, just as we’ve started changes.


Hopefully I’ll have better stats to report after some better weather…


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff


Tracker #1 has been moved to its new home, and wired up to the system.  This baby really kicks out the power, all day long.  Sadly we’ve had terrible weather for the past 3 days, so I am unable to get a real  idea of the full potential.

Many thanks yet again to Jim (and helper Mike) for the unbelieveable help in this.  We almost lost Jim in the attic though.  It does get hot.



   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff

I’ve crossed another milestone, a new record has been set here.

A new peak output, I’ve produced 16amps of 120v during the day on solar.


Next step should get me over 20amps! Perhaps this weekend?


   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Solar Power, Treehugger Stuff

Well, my good buddy Jim (and his son Alex) came over today to help me (read: let me watch him work) put the last 6 solar panels up on the roof.

Jim as been my solar teacher, years ahead of anything I’ve done. Hes great with helping preach the word of renewable energy.  With his HUGE solar install, and his Plug-in Prius, he stays on the bleeding edge of Alternative Tech.  He still insists on using his Sony Floppy disk camera, though…..


This go round we tried out a new flashing that the company makes, and it works VERY well.


Six of them to add for today’s install


Today’s upgrade yields me 50% more power, followed shortly by the tracker which will more than double what I had before today.  It should be good times for free power…


All he asked is for some BBQ (actually he asked for Sonnys, he got Bubbalous) and a charge for his (nearly world famous) car….