30 November 2012

keeping warm in MINUS 35 degree temp's (con't)

Yesterday, my cold weather travels from Check Point continued ... 

I hopped over to Jean Marie River for a community visit and to share AEA energy efficiency information with students & staff from Louis Norwegian School and a number of residents from the community.  We had a great time and everyone went away with new information & a few helpful energy saving devices or home winterization materials :)

While I had to hop away from our "off grid" perch here at Check Point, Pam was busy taking care of the wood pellet stove & boiler operations, ... during the coldest days we've had so far this season (Autumn)!!!  The temperature during that time was a consistent -35 degree Celsius, which made it much more challenging to reload the pellet hopper outside.  Pam figures it took twice as long to do because of the extra time needed to stop & warm up her hands along the way.  Thanks for taking one for the team, Pam, much appreciated :)

These colder temp's also contributed to a little waterline challenge, when I was getting ready to head off to Jean Marie River in the morning yesterday, I noticed that the water was not draining out of the kitchen sink.  Turns out the waterline had frozen, so Pam ended up setting up a portable heater to help thaw the line.  It's been a problem in the past, so Wayne will know that to do when he's back to take care of the frozen line more fully.

As well, the wood pellet stove in the main building was bumped up a notch yesterday to kick more heat out to maintain the room temperature in the main living space at 20C.  Otherwise, the temperature would only have been maintained at 15C as a result of the colder temp's outside this week.   

The 2 dogs here have also been enjoying a little extra special treatment, as we've made sure they aren't out in the freezing temp's for too long.  Yet, Max & Nikko are happy to hop outside to run around & check out their territory!

It also appears that the higher wood pellet stove setting over the past 24 hours may have increased the amount of black carbon deposited in & behind the burn pot of the pellet stove ... as we have observed while dealing with cleaning the wood pellet stove again.  We're doing this cleaning a few days earlier, at Wayne & Lynn's request, to make sure it is done prior to & not after the timing of this coming Monday, when they'll be in the thick of getting settled back at home here at Check Point.

We'll have a more reasonable temperature to deal with when we go out to top up the hopper for the wood pellet boiler in a little while, since the outside temp. has increased to -26C for today!

We'll also be packing up here at Check Point to get ready to head off to Lindberg Landing, where I'll be posting updates on Sue Lindberg's "off grid" living operations.  Sue's primary & ONLY heating source is wood, with propane for the majority of cooking (wood as secondary), while the primary electricity at the Lindberg Landing Guesthouse comes from a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) array with battery storage.

Thanks HEAPS to Wayne & Lynn for the opportunity to learn and experience the day-to-day tasks involved with maintaining a wood heating system that operates with wood pellets.  Both Pam & I have learned heaps about wood pellets and we've pumped up our biceps along the way too!  I am also very grateful to Pam as well, for helping make this "off grid" blogging experience possible, with her keen interest in learning about & helping maintain these systems :)

"Mahsi cho!" 

We'll connect again, further "Up the Dehcho ... without a Powerline," ...  from Lindberg Landing ...

Teresa ... & Pam

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