Friday, July 15, 2011

And just by way of a change ...

... I knocked off work at ... errr ... 20:30 again. Saying yesterday that I can't recall ever having had to work that late before, I manage to do it twice in two days.

Mind you, we have made some real progress here today. I now have two solar panels on the framework that I made, all properly bolted onto the frames and fastened down.  And once they were both fastened down, I then wired them up to the charge controller. Interestingly, even at 20:00 they were taking a charge of about 1 amp, which is interesting because the other solar panels for the barn, those on the roof of the Luton Transit, lost the sun ages ago.

The second panel that I fitted onto the end of the barn came off the roof of the Luton Transit. And so there's two on the wall and two on the van roof. What I've done is to wire up each of the two pairs of solar panels to a differnent bank of old and redundant batteries. While I'm away (for four days) I can see how much each of the two pairs of solar panels has generated. I'm hoping that the panels on the barn will generate a significant extra amount of solar energy.

Another thing that I've done is to wire in a 12-volt electric clock into the charge controllers of each bank - the idea being to see how long each of the banks receives the sunlight. Energy production divided by time will give me a much better idea of efficiency. 

Of course, the eventual aim is to have three solar panels on the end of the barn but that's not something that will happen quickly. I need to build the distribution panel and wire it into the system and then replace most, if not all of the wiring. That's why I'm going to be keeping the two systems running in tandem for a while, and then gradually integrate them bit by bit. 

I forgot to mention as well that while I was working on the solar panel framework I attached one of the wind turbine guy ropes to it. That was the plan by the way, and I bought some special tube clamps for this kind of work - they have hooks on them and these come in handy for attaching the turnbuckles that tauten up the cables.

But a weird thing happened this afternoon. The old woman who hangs around here (her son owns one of the houses) came for a gossip and a nosey. She spent quite a time chatting and I'm not sure why - she's usually very ... errrr ... stand-offish. She was wondering when  was going to tidy up a few things and so I told her that "this is where I live and what happens here is no business of yours, just as what happens where your son lives is no business of mine" and a few more comments along that kind of line.

But then we had the "why don't you ask my grandchildren to do it? They will be glad to help and  can supervise". There's clearly something afoot - either that or she's finally gone completely off her rocker, who knows?

Anyway tomorrow I'll be packing and looking for the keys of the apartment as well, and then loading Caliburn. There isn't much that I need to take and I'll be sleeping in Caliburn anyway. There are a couple of things that I need to be doing in Pionsat in the afternoon and then it's Damien's funeral at 15:00. It's after then that I'll be hitting the road. I've no internet access in Brussels and so unless I can find a free wifi hotspot you'll have to do without me until Monday night. 

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