Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm off to bed ...

... in a minute - at a ridiculously-early (well, for me, anyway) time too. and for two good reasons.

Firstly, I have to be up early as you know. Terry and I are off to Montlucon to see what we can find in Brico Depot.
Secondly, though, I'm thoroughly exhausted and I've already crashed out once this evening.

Just for a change I was up and about before the alarms went off and while I was having a leisurely breakfast Rosemarie rang up. "It looks as if it might be a comfortable morning so I'll come round now if you like". Well, I need all the help I can get in the garden and one volunteer is better than 10 pressed men so I had to steam-clean the kitchen, tidy up in here, empty the composting toilet, all that kind of thing, at a rapid rate of knots and then a car pulled up - it was Bill come for a chat. His van has just failed its Controle Technique, but not with anything serious and so we needed to devise a cunning plan to fix it.

Just then Rosemarie appeared and so Bill wandered off while we attacked the garden. Stopping for lunch for an hour or so was the only break that we had, but several of the beds are all weeded out, some (but by no means all) of the leeks are replanted, and then we attacked some of the jungle that was in the way. After Rosemarie went home, I carried on for an hour or so and that was my lot I'm afraid. But substantial progress was made today in the garden.

I've also made a smart discovery too. I'm using a Xantrex C60 charge controller wired in backwards to act as a dump load controller. What this does is that when the solar panels and wind turbines have fully charged the batteries, then instead of switching off, the excess charge is transferred into a dump load which in my case is a huge 12-volt 500-watt heater element suspended in 25 litres of water, and this is how I heat my water in summer. The Xantrexes have a facility to have a data panel wired in so that you can see the current passing through and I have a spare data panel from the charge controller that stopped working the other week. I wasn't sure if it would work on the one that I'm using as a dump load controller, what with it being wired in backwards and so on, but in fact it does, which is really exciting news.

I've had 22.2 amp-hour worth of excess charge heating my water today. That's quite impressive considering that the weather has been cloudy for all of the day. I wonder what it will show in a bright sunny glorious day. But we aren't ever going to have one of those ever again.  

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