More Power to You ; Thinking Big about Small-Scale Hydropower in West Virginia

By Steelhammer, Rick | Charleston Gazette Mail, January 20, 2017 | Go to article overview

More Power to You ; Thinking Big about Small-Scale Hydropower in West Virginia


Steelhammer, Rick, Charleston Gazette Mail


WEBSTER SPRINGS - A long and winding road that began in Chicago, veered through Vietnam and connected with England brought Mickey and Jenny Janowski to this steep-walled, 100-acre chunk of a Webster County hollow more than a mile from the nearest neighbor where they have made their home - literally - since the 1970s. "All the logs and stone for the house came from the land, said Janowski, a wiry, animated, retired union carpenter.

After felling and trimming trees in the vicinity of their homesite, the logs were moved to the construction area with a hand- ratcheted come-along and cable, and after being cut to the appropriate dimensions, were lifted into place with block-and- tackle gear.

The do-it-yourself approach to home-building may have been cost- effective and spiritually rewarding, but it wasn't fast or easy.

The couple lived in a tent for three years as they worked on their house during the more temperate months, and spent the off- seasons working on construction jobs anywhere from Snowshoe Mountain Resort in neighboring Pocahontas County to New Mexico to raise the funds needed to complete their home-building project.

"We finally got it under roof in 1979, Janowski said.

Then work began on a series of steadily evolving projects designed to supply their home with power in a way that not only keeps it off the grid, but does so while leaving an extremely light carbon footprint.

Janowski, a Chicago native, was working in construction in his hometown when he was drafted into the Army in 1969 and sent to Vietnam, where he spent a year in the bush as a member of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade.

Back in Chicago after his tour of duty ended, he resumed work as a union carpenter. "But my head was still spun around from Vietnam, so a couple of pals who were dust-off (medical evacuation helicopter) pilots and I decided to start a little revolution of our own and get back to the land and be as self-sufficient as possible.

One of Janowski's Vietnam vet pals was from Huntington, "and he was a friend of a friend who lived in Webster County, he said. Mickey and Jenny - who met each other while Jenny was an English exchange student studying art and working in a Chicago restaurant to raise travel money - made the trip to West Virginia to look for land in the mountainous, central West Virginia county.

"When I came down here and walked onto this land, I just knew this was it, Janowski said.

"I don't think I'd ever seen so many trees in my life, said Jenny Janowski, who lived in large cities in England before moving to Chicago.

"We're two of the luckiest people in the world to have found West Virginia, Janowski said. "I guess I can thank 'Nam for that.

Once their wood stove-heated log home was under roof, the Janowskis supplied it with running water by connecting it via a one- inch-diameter water line to a year-round spring 55 feet higher in elevation than their home to ensure more than adequate pressure. It required digging a 400-foot trench to bury the water line for insulation and aesthetic purposes.

Initially, the Janowskis relied on candles and kerosene lamps to light their home, and they made use of a kerosene refrigerator for food storage. Later, "sometime when Jimmy Carter was president, according to Janowski, he installed a 35-watt solar photo-voltaic module and used a car battery to store the energy it produced - enough to power a 12-volt car taillight bulb for use as a reading light.

Gradually, he added components to his solar power system and now has 635 watts of PV modules mounted on a platform atop a pole that can be turned to track the sun. The upgraded array feeds six deep- cycle storage batteries and provides enough power to operate lights, a ceiling fan, a stereo, a food blender and several other small appliances.

A propane tank supplied the energy to handle most of the home's major power loads, including water heating, refrigeration and cooking. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

More Power to You ; Thinking Big about Small-Scale Hydropower in West Virginia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.