Living Sustainably

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Archive for March, 2008

DIY Propane Generator Conversion

Mounting the regulatorConvert your gasoline generator to clean burning propane. We document the steps, and it’s a easy 45 minute process. See for details


DIY Solar Install Guide – Now Available

Our guide to installing your own power system is finished, and available on our eBook page at

Covering Sizing, siting, installation, and battery maintenance, it’s a good guide to putting together your own inexpensive system. Includes private discussion group and free updates.


All work and no play ….

Matt, Harvey, & Steve

So, the trip to Anguilla wasn’t all work. We had a week of swimming, hiking, exploring the rocky coast and beaches, meeting new people, music festivals and sailing races. The pics show what a wonderful place Anguilla is.


I Might As Well Be Naked!

We just returned from Anguilla, and thought this reference would be good for our fellow air travelers:

Must Have Travel Reference Guide!  369 Tips!

Must Have Travel Reference Guide!  369 Tips!

Airport security restrictions continue to tighten in a post-9/11 world, travelers are often confused or irritated by the airport security process.

Former TSA (Transportation Security Administration) screener Natalia Ippolito wrote “I Might As Well Be Naked! How to Survive Airport Screening with Your Clothes On” to help airline passengers get through security checkpoint as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Full of real-life anecdotes, this small book offers BIG advice on reducing travel stress.


Anguilla Solar

We just got back from our trip to Anguilla. We helped Francoise set up her new solar power system. Two Kyocera 130 watt PV panels, a Xantrex C35 charge controller, a Trimetric Battery Meter, a Morningstar Microsine 300 sine wave inverter, and a 70 ah AGM battery, power up 3 Compact Fluorescent Lights, A LG WP-680N Washing Machine (260 Watts) and a Shurflo 12v pump. Two weeks of testing, and we were never able to pull the battery below 12.4 volts. The system consistently output 1.5 kWh’s daily. More pics at Solar/.


Solar Install in Anguilla

We are off on our trip to Anguilla to do a solar install. Be back in 2 weeks, and expect to have a tan. Will post pics when we return. The install consists of two 130 watt panels, 35 amp charge controller, 1 AGM 70ah battery, a 300 watt sine wave inverter, and a 12 volt shurflo cistern pump. See pics of last weeks solar install at


All About Batteries

Off grid homes, RV’s, and boats use a house bank, a bank of batteries used to store the energy from solar, wind, and backup generators for times of no sun or no wind. These are not car batteries, these are specially designed deep cycle batteries that can handle repeated deep discharge and charge cycles. Learn about the following and more from Living With 12vdc and Wiring For 12vdc, on the Ample Power CD at

  • What happens inside a battery when it discharges and
  • How much energy can be stored?
  • How is storage capacity measured?
  • How can capacity remaining be determined?
  • When is the best time to recharge?
  • What charging techniques yield optimum performance?
  • How fast can a battery be charged?
  • How should a battery be discharged?
  • What kind of regular maintenance is required?
  • What pitfalls must be avoided?