Auxiliary Systems at Black's Bay Lodge
|BBL has a green energy cottage. The wind generator is located in a prime,
windy, open place on the beach. The South shore of Manitoulin has
some of the best winds in North America; ideal for wind generation.
To maximize wind exposure, the 400 watt generator is perched on top of a
45 ft. tall tower; guyed with 8 steel cables so that it can withstand 125
For sense of scale, the 6'3" tall owner is standing at the base of the
tower (green pants, brown shirt). Click on image for viewing full size.
system is all automatic. All you have to do is hit the POWER ON
latest addition to the cottage for 2003 is a solar/wind power generation
system. The cottage's electricity is entirely supplied by
Green Power renewable energy (solar and wind).
The PV solar collector panel supplies 466 watts of power on sunny days
(315 watts seen here).
The wind generator gives us 400 watts of power on windy days. The 20
batteries (in the 2 gray boxes with the green tops up on the platform)
store 13.2 kilowatt-hrs of power.
The solar/wind power system supplies enough power to run the cottage
lights, radio, etc. for 4 days without additional wind or sun power.
The 1500 watt inverter will supply 110 Volts AC (household current);
meeting most power needs without having to run the emergency backup
The water from the well passes through a 30 micron filter, then a 20
micron filter with activated charcoal, then a 5 micron high capacity
filter. This ensures cold, clean water with no sediment. This
well and all cottage water piping is shock chlorinated each spring when
the cottage is opened.
23, 2005 We have completed installation of a DC well pump
run from the PV solar collector on the roof of the cottage + the batteries
in the basement. This supplies pressurized, direct to the taps, 24
hrs per day. With this, we are now 100% independent from the
As an alternative, you can use the old system (now a backup system)
with the attic storage tank.
Chlorination in the attic water storage tank makes doubly sure that there
are no pathogens in the water.
The water feeds by gravity from the attic tank to all the taps; providing
about 10 psig from the 23 feet height difference. This is the most energy
efficient method of providing running water inside the cottage.
|Our new water well (2003) was drilled through
solid limestone bedrock to a depth of 124 ft, striking water at 106 ft.
The well was capped, and hermetically sealed between the well casing and the
To ensure a water supply, there is a 3/4 hp submersible AC well pump, as
well as a 40 watt DC pump, pumping on the well through an underground
freeze-proof water line was installed between the well and the cottage.
To minimize power
consumption, the well pumps can pump direct to the taps when required, or
to the 400 litre water tank in the attic.
For taking showers when operating off the attic tank, there is a DC
pressure booster pump. With 400 litres of filtered & chlorinated water, you should be able to
operate the cottage for a full week without needing to pump more drinking
||The old but reliable one hole outhouse
supplements the indoor flush toilet. This outhouse is located
20 ft. from the cottage.
The outhouse was built in 1991 as a
demonstration and training project for the family construction crew.
Once the outhouse was completed, the crew was trained and ready to
start tackling the construction of the main lodge.
Today, the outhouse is still used during winter camping trips when the
water system is off-line; as well as when some quiet bathroom reading time
||As a backup system to our new well, we also can pump water
from Lake Huron.
For quality assurance, we filter the water through a 30 micron (the
blue cylinder on the right in the picture), then a 5 micron (middle
filter), then 0.2 micron ceramic and silver impregnated filter (the blue
filter on the left). This system is adequate to remove all dirt,
algae, bacteria, and cysts that may be in the water.
||The trailer is located a few yards from the main lodge in
a small, secluded clearing; very private. There is a 14 ft. x 12 ft.
deck and two loveseat swings.
The trailer is fully functional and equipped with electricty (when the
lodge's generator is running), propane, icebox, and gas stove.
The trailer has sleeping for 4 adults.
||At a corner of the beach, there is an outdoor shower.
which supplements the indoor tub/shower.
Filtered water from the main
pumping system supplies water to the storage tank on the 2nd floor
There is a solar water heater, as well as an electrical water heater,
and a recirculation pump powered by the sun.
Cloudy or sunny, the system can provide a piping hot shower in the
The hot water is stored in the silver insulated drum on the 2nd. floor
(which doubles as a wildlife observation platform on the beach).
auxiliary electrical heater (for cloudy days, or when you can't wait for
the water to heat naturally) can be seen on the right side of the shower
|Outdoor solar heated shower. The sun
heats the water, as well as generates electricity for the re-circulation
pump. A solar photovoltaic panel turns sun into electricity.
The electricity is used by a small DC pump to recirculate the water from
the tank, through the solar water heater, and back to the tank. Copper
tubing inside the black panel collect the sun's energy all day long so as
to be ready to provide a hot shower after a hard day of fun and
||The bench just outside the door to the shower stall is
very handy for taking the shoes & socks on or off.
The stairway goes up to the rain barrel and observation deck on the
second floor of the shower (I love dual purpose construction).
From here, you have a commanding view of the entire bay at Black's Bay,
as well as Lake Huron. This is an excellent place to watch the birds
and boat activities over the water.
On the beach, we have seen raccoons, beaver, Canadian geese with 12
goslings doing swimming maneuvers, turkey vultures, mallards, cormorants,
loons, blue heron, red tail hawk, and peregrine falcons.
||The top of the outdoor shower, showing the insulated rain
barrel, the weather vane (can be seen from the main lodge), the water
supply line, and the electrical supply.
||One of our guests is making a cell phone call home from
the kitchen area in the lodge.
There is a high-gain Yagi antenna on the roof of the main lodge which
can connect with the Mindemoya cell tower 15 km away (both Bell Cellular
and Rogers - AT&T).
||Wood shed is stocked up with
dry wood, ready for a fall or winter file in the airtight stove. It
heats up the main lodge to toasty warm in the coldest weather.
Original Version: Feb. 16, 2001