We still use our 36-year-old Aeromotor 8 for water pumping, with gravity feed to the house and outbuildings. We heat primarily with wood using an HS-Tarm 2000 wood boiler, with oil-fired backup. We also have an Avalon high-efficiency wood stove that can heat our 3,000-square-foot home by itself—even in -10°F weather.
We’ve used a solar domestic hot water preheating system—50 evacuated tubes—since 2008. It heats 80% of our domestic hot water during three seasons, and does an impressive job even in the cloudy days of winter. Backup power is via a 7 kW continuous-duty, water-cooled diesel generator.
At 71 years of age, I can still climb towers, but I choose not to! We still live on our 70-acre farm as we have for the past 44 years. My wife Maxine and I pioneered co-generation and net-metering on the GPU Energy grid back in 1978—before the PURPA laws—with a Gemini synchronous inverter, before we went to a stand-alone battery system. We proved to our utility that it was safe and do-able. I still have the paperwork from Penelec permitting us to proceed with our demonstration project in the late 1970s. I remember their senior engineer telling me that it was impossible to run their meters backward. After they learned that I was right, they never bothered me about anything. I don’t have an engineering degree, but I can read a schematic.
Best regards to the crew at Home Power. I read the magazine cover to cover, and have kept every back issue from almost the beginning days.
Art Cook • Somerset County, Pennsylvania