Ever since I got used to having my four lithium iron house batteries I basically stopped paying attention to them. Since I don't need to add water to them, the wires and terminals don't corrode, and they contain enough power for me to live a normal everyday life without being plugged in, I all but forgot that their hiding under my bed. And since Denver is a fairly sunny place I even stopped looking at my meter on the wall to see how many amps were coming and going from the solar panels, and in and out of the batteries. There was no need to pay attention to any of that because I always had all the power I needed.
And I got so content with having all the power I needed to live my normal life I forgot to pay attention to the first rule of living on solar panels which is, you have to get some sunshine every once in a while. So when the weather in Denver got chilly, cloudy, and rainy, and stayed that way for four days straight I paid absolutely no attention to it and continued to leave my 8 amp per hour laptop running all the time, watching my 7 amp per hour TV if I wanted to, often at the same time, vacuuming the floor, heating up things in the microwave, and in other words living as if the sun was always shining.
So this afternoon I was hit upside the head with some reality when I noticed my refrigerator was telling me it was low of power. The refrigerator was running on propane but it needs some DC power to run the control board and I believe it needs a minimum of 11 volts before it starts complaining. So I checked my meter on the wall and sure enough my batteries were down to 11 volts and that's when it hit me that I've had hardly any sunshine in the last four days but I've been using power as if I was plugged in, and now due to my laziness there was a Piper waiting to be paid. But fortunately for me, living in my daughter's yard there's a plan "B".
I got out my shore power cord and plugged it into an extension cord that I plugged into the garage. Problem solved...... well not completely. I've got all the power now I need to live on but I had to turn off my house battery charger because it puts out 60 amps and I'm pretty sure it will kick the breaker in the garage so at the moment my batteries aren't being charged, but I'm assuming sooner or later the sun will come out and fix that problem to.
This is all my fault because I had become lackadaisical in keeping up with my battery usage, and the normally sunny Denver weather lulled me into complacency causing me not to keep up with the cloudy situation and the weather forecast.
In every situation, both good and bad, there's something to be learned, and I learned that I can go four days of no sunshine without conserving electricity at all, and when you live on sunshine like I do, that there is a valuable piece of information.