Late Friday morning and we arrive at Herbie to do some jobs. I can't resist looking at the Smartgauge and it reports that batteries are 100% full thanks to the solar panel. Right, let's give the panel something to have a go at. Let's have a battle.
Solar Kong versus Fridgezilla.
I switch on the (empty) fridge and greedily Fridgezilla starts to gobble up the batteries, taking all the amps it can to get the temperature down. In a couple of hours the Smartgauge shows 92%. Outside it is cloudy. Solar Kong is making power but not as fast as Fridgezilla can eat it.
Eventually Fridgezilla has gorged all it can for the time being and reverts to a light snack every now and then (i.e. the thermostat has cut in). Now Solar Kong's steady power production starts to fight back and the batteries hold station. Maybe the batteries even start to refill. Maybe Solar Kong can now hold Fridgezilla at bay indefinitely. But no. Soon the tables turn again.
Night descends and Kong feels his power wane. He senses his strength slipping away as the light fades. Cruelly, Fridgezilla not only continues munching the batteries but he is joined by other creatures of the night, the radio and the lights, and now and then, the water pump. Fortunately the lights have lost most of their appetite now that they are LEDs, but the merciless gnawing at the batteries takes its toll as Kong falls into a deep sleep. Smartgauge at bedtime reads about 80% and overnight Fridgezilla continues to snack until in the morning the batteries are down to 72%..
Next morning dawns clear and sunny and Kong awakes refreshed and determined. While we still sleep he starts shovelling power back into the batteries. Today he is strong. All day he stays off any further battery loss in spite of the Fridgezilla being joined by the radio and the water pump. Good old Kong.
However it is October. The days are shortening. Kong gets weaker by the day, Fridgezilla continues to feed and the lights get hungrier. In the winter Kong has to admit he cannot win. Only when Fridgezilla is forced into compulsory hibernation and we switch off and go home. Kong might sleep at night but he works every day whether we are there or not.
In winter while Fridgezilla feeds, Kong knows all he can do is give the batteries a helping hand. But he knows that in the summer he will be strong. He will work hard for long hours. Fridgezilla can eat all he likes but Solar Kong will feed him till he can eat no more. And the lights. And the radio.
In summer Solar Kong will be King Kong.