At what point do you figure the "dark and cold" is more than half over?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
Chose "dark and cold" to keep folks from doing math on winter which didn't start until Dec. 21st. 

I figure the "worst days" are over around the middle of January. Unsure about the date for being more than half over. This particular location still has plenty of cold weather into April and May. 

On the other hand, if we consider winter to be "tough" - I'd estimate that the tough period is mostly in December and January. But I am at latitude 37. A latitude of 45 is significantly different. Almost all of Canada is north of 50. Shiver me timbers!

Can we all agree that December through February are the roughest? Speaking of the northern hemisphere of course. 

This has been a cold winter. The snow and ice in Denver just will not go away. Denver is much milder than my mountain residence. Interesting that I was reading about folks in Japan marveling how mild their winter has been. 

Something about getting older that makes cold weather a little colder. I suspect circulation is less effective in the 60's. Ungloved hands get cold faster. Least it seems that way. 

How are the batteries doing? While my typical overnight low isn't bad at 49.8 - due to much less demand from the fridge, have noted the batteries are significantly weaker in the 30s(F). Doesn't take much to drive them significantly lower. 
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Our days are getting longer but the temperature is low, especially in the morning, 60°F is cold relitivly speaking,. 3 years ago it dropped to 41°F maximum for a week or so, we lost some small goats, crushed by the larger ones trying to share body heat. There were several  human fatalities mostly motorcycle riders who didn't understand the windchill factor.
    Despite being from Canada it's cold in the morning dressed in a tee shirt and shorts riding a motorcycle, I'm able to survive, others are not so lucky.
    Having been in -40°C/°F or lower in Wisconsin, Montana, Illinois, North west Territories, British Columbia, Ontario  and such, I'm no stranger to  cold, but once acclimatized to a particular environment everything is relevant when not dressed for the occasion, one tends to forget how to dress, my jeans came out today for the first time in 2 years.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Heh - not exactly the post I had in mind. 41F is an extremely nice winter day here. Currently sitting at 5F at 8:30am. Not bad really. Been wearing flannel lined jeans for over a month now. Think we just had a month without getting up to 32F. 

    Its a tough dilemma in ways. The more moderate the weather - often the greater the control exercised by the globalists. Iceland is a great country and the winters are almost savage. The globalists don't mess with areas inhabited by Eskimo's and Dick Proenekke's.  
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We have our annual pagan/client party in the middle of March. Some call it the Equinox.  ;) Come join us!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Was kind of hoping for some input from the true frozen north. Something to cheer me up a bit. Not huddled goats...maybe huddled caribou. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,577 ✭✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    I figure the "worst days" are over around the middle of January. Unsure about the date for being more than half over. This particular location still has plenty of cold weather into April and May. 

    Can we all agree that December through February are the roughest? Speaking of the northern hemisphere of course. 
    I certainly find dark and cold to have 2  different time frames here in Missouri. Worse seem to be mid-November to January for  dark, though we  have had pretty dark January this year. Then January and  Feb  for cold.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My Alaska clients paint their rooms bright cheery colors....

     It would take more than that for me. A month after the winter solstice it is done up here in the Sierra below 37N. Small chance of snow and full power from deep dark blue skies. 

    We do get dark during our regular wildfires and so that sucks big time.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    My Alaska clients paint their rooms bright cheery colors....

     It would take more than that for me. A month after the winter solstice it is done up here in the Sierra below 37N. Small chance of snow and full power from deep dark blue skies. 

    We do get dark during our regular wildfires and so that sucks big time.
    Regular wildfires seems a real problem. No?

    Winter may be a tad harder off grid since one tends to worry about the batteries and the clouds. Heating may not be as simple as turning the dial to 68. Or 72. Shoot - I consider the 60s to be luxurious. 

    Guessing that December and January would win a survey regarding toughest months. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 459 ✭✭✭✭
    Here  February is normaly our hottest month . So northern hemisphere maybe coldest.
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . Mate 3. victron battery monitor . 24 volts  in 2 volt Shoto lead carbon extreme batterys. off grid  holiday home 
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Where is here, down under?

    Wildfires have always been a problem in the west. More publicity when a whole town is lost due to bad planning and weak kneed government.

    Heating and designing for winter electricity are easy basic equations solved with human ingenuity and cash in colder places.

    Yea I agree winter can suck. It can be really beautiful also.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Here  February is normaly our hottest month . So northern hemisphere maybe coldest.
    Depends on location. I recently read that the coldest days are often in December with January being the coldest on average. I doubt that Feb. is far behind. 

    Cold is OK. Dark is OK. Cold and dark are not OK. I'm in Colorado's second coldest region so likely one of the colder spots amongst the posters here. We had a few way up north but I think maybe they drink rather than post. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭
    That is one of the truly great things about this country: You get to choose roughly what type of climate you want to live in.
    My youngest daughter and her family live in Alaska and they love it up there. 10:00 AM/3:45 PM sunrise/sunset doesn't bother them because they are always out and about doing physical things. I think that for them, that is the key to dealing with it.
    I'm headed up there in about a month for the arrival of my 12th grandchild :*and I will probably freeze.
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 459 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes , Dave  here is down under , or even a little more down under .... Newzealand . We are fortunate  to have a temperate climate , being a couple of long skinny islands, most towns are not far from the sea. Record temperatures being reached this summer, helped by the record temps in australia . Even the smoke from the Aussie fires drifting our way.
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . Mate 3. victron battery monitor . 24 volts  in 2 volt Shoto lead carbon extreme batterys. off grid  holiday home 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    That is one of the truly great things about this country: You get to choose roughly what type of climate you want to live in.
    My youngest daughter and her family live in Alaska and they love it up there. 10:00 AM/3:45 PM sunrise/sunset doesn't bother them because they are always out and about doing physical things. I think that for them, that is the key to dealing with it.
    I'm headed up there in about a month for the arrival of my 12th grandchild :*and I will probably freeze.
    The greatest country ever. Bar none. Truly the shining democracy on the hill for all others to aspire to - in their dreams.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,494 ✭✭✭✭✭
    January here (~49.5°N, mid-continent) is coldest.  Though coldest, it tends to be less cloudy.  A crisp sunny day without much wind can actually be really nice if you're dressed properly.

    Normally we try to escape for a bit - Florida panhandle in recent years.  Should be there now actually, but the Admiral died suddenly last week.  February is normally a "light at the end of the tunnel" sort of month but not this year.  I'll probably lurk but not post much here for a while.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    January here (~49.5°N, mid-continent) is coldest.  Though coldest, it tends to be less cloudy.  A crisp sunny day without much wind can actually be really nice if you're dressed properly.

    Normally we try to escape for a bit - Florida panhandle in recent years.  Should be there now actually, but the Admiral died suddenly last week.  February is normally a "light at the end of the tunnel" sort of month but not this year.  I'll probably lurk but not post much here for a while.
    the Admiral?

    Our condolences are offered. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,494 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The "Admiral's" role in our ~40yrs together has been to figure out where the boat is going (sometimes literally, almost always metaphorically).  As captain, mine has been to figure out how to get us there.

    Thanks for the condolence.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    The "Admiral's" role in our ~40yrs together has been to figure out where the boat is going (sometimes literally, almost always metaphorically).  As captain, mine has been to figure out how to get us there.

    Thanks for the condolence.
    If you feel like talking we are here for you. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So very sorry to hear this. The Admiral wow, that hits me too. You know how to get in touch. Nuff said but so sad....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • aksalaaksala Registered Users Posts: 57 ✭✭
    A little late to this party LOL. Anyway, I was pretty stoked in January because the dark days of Nov-Dec were behind us and by mid month we were making good PV power again. That is when it wasn't covering the panels in snow. From about 22 Dec until the end of January we were in the deep freeze here. I think we had 5 weeks in a row with a daily average temp of -23F. Lows were around -30 and highs were -20 if lucky. 

    The LiFePO4 batteries live in the garage. The garage is heated with a large Toyo oil stove and keeps the temp 48-50F in there just fine. 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    aksala said:
    A little late to this party LOL. Anyway, I was pretty stoked in January because the dark days of Nov-Dec were behind us and by mid month we were making good PV power again. That is when it wasn't covering the panels in snow. From about 22 Dec until the end of January we were in the deep freeze here. I think we had 5 weeks in a row with a daily average temp of -23F. Lows were around -30 and highs were -20 if lucky. 

    The LiFePO4 batteries live in the garage. The garage is heated with a large Toyo oil stove and keeps the temp 48-50F in there just fine. 

    Sounds like interior Alaska. I suspect half of us would do Alaska if winters were milder. Can't touch the scenery.

    I think it rains a couple hundred inches/year in the southerly island chain - south of Juneau?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭
    We are running 85F to 95F this time of the year, so we are in/on the lake daily. Took a leisurely 16-mile boat run up the lake to a great restaurant/bar called Vernons. It on a tiny island between Gun Barrel City and Seven Points Texas. Comfortable cruising at 90F with the Bimini top up and running 20+ MPH on the water. The festive lakeside atmosphere and soft breezes on the dining patio made for a memorable afternoon! They have a lot of boat slips and dock hands to help you when the breeze is up. The bar is in the foreground, and the patio dining area is along the glass in the background. Kids play area on the right, and dogs are welcome on the patio.


    Contemplating whether to go to the same place again or the Tiki Hut Bar and Grill this time. Or maybe just take the peddle boat for a spin at sunset when the wind dies down.

    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    You and I bring true meaning to "In the Weeds"!
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭
    softdown said:
    My Alaska clients paint their rooms bright cheery colors....

     It would take more than that for me. A month after the winter solstice it is done up here in the Sierra below 37N. Small chance of snow and full power from deep dark blue skies. 

    We do get dark during our regular wildfires and so that sucks big time.
    Regular wildfires seems a real problem. No?

    Winter may be a tad harder off grid since one tends to worry about the batteries and the clouds. Heating may not be as simple as turning the dial to 68. Or 72. Shoot - I consider the 60s to be luxurious. 

    Guessing that December and January would win a survey regarding toughest months. 

    get a real woodstove...not one of those EPA controlled pieces of feces...  I run my stove and the house stays at about 78 degrees through the winter...

    18 JA solar 200 watt panels, 20 sharp 200 watt panels,  morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    KenMorgan said:
    softdown said:
    My Alaska clients paint their rooms bright cheery colors....

     It would take more than that for me. A month after the winter solstice it is done up here in the Sierra below 37N. Small chance of snow and full power from deep dark blue skies. 

    We do get dark during our regular wildfires and so that sucks big time.
    Regular wildfires seems a real problem. No?

    Winter may be a tad harder off grid since one tends to worry about the batteries and the clouds. Heating may not be as simple as turning the dial to 68. Or 72. Shoot - I consider the 60s to be luxurious. 

    Guessing that December and January would win a survey regarding toughest months. 

    get a real woodstove...not one of those EPA controlled pieces of feces...  I run my stove and the house stays at about 78 degrees through the winter...


    Sunroom pumps out enough heat that I spend less than $100/year on propane. Not even worth hooking up a stove - though I bought some used ones thinking they would be needed. Had no idea how effective passive solar would prove to be. The darkness of winter bothers me more than the cold. Though this is Colorado's second coldest region.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • New_Mexico_WillNew_Mexico_Will Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭
    I for one am ready for some cold weather.  The summer here has been brutal.  We usually get 2-3 weeks in triple digits (f), but this summer we hit 100 for the first time in May and just got out of that a couple weeks ago.  Still in the low 90s for the long range forecast, but I'll take it.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Me too though it is very cold for too long in this valley. I'm considering spending a few months in a S Florida cottage that I have given up on renting. It is private and renters take advantage every single time. Tired of fixing it and getting letters from code. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • New_Mexico_WillNew_Mexico_Will Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭
    I feel your pain on that.  I had a normal boring tract home before I decided to buy land and build an off grid paradise.  I rented the house (or attempted to) for about a year before I gave up and sold it.  Worst year of my life.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Try renting 3 over 2000 miles away. Getting rid on one every year. Trouble is - I have a hard time hanging unto money. So many things I always want. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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