Friday, November 25, 2011

Nuclear powered Hobbit Hole

I finally got tapped into that big nuclear fusion reactor in the sky. My first solar panels are now connected into the system and charging the batteries.

Here is the first rack with its two panels

This morning I did not participate in Black Friday, I went to see a bright Friday shining on my panels. These two panels, under "ideal" (read, almost never going to happen) conditions, could generate about 520 watts. This morning, they were sending a little less than 400 watts into the batteries. The panels were generating just over 400 watts, and the charge controller was sending about 380 watts to the batteries. It was sending about 94% of the power from the panels to the batteries.

The charge controller is reporting sending 380 watts to the batteries

I watched the system and it took the batteries from about 90% full to 94% full by the time I had to leave around lunch time. It had put over a kilowatt hour back into the batteries, and was delivering 440 watts into the batteries at that time.

Tomorrow we are going to try to set up two more racks with another 4 panels. This should let me really charge the batteries and keep them charged without having to run the generator much, while we finish the construction work. I am hoping that within 2 or 3 weeks, I will have all the panels installed. But that will require some cooperation from the weather.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A little this, and a lot of that!

Many things have been happening, and it has been a little too busy and tiring, for me to get the chance to write. This will be more a photo montage, than a long written out explanation of what we are doing. So here we go:

Painting the utility room floor.


Finishing the duct runs to the dining room

Installing columns on the walls

 Finishing more duct work

Dropping the gas line to the water heater

 Running wiring (oh what a tangled web)

 Nestled under the green

 More wiring, I am labeling the wires to keep track of which is which.

Hydronic manifolds plumbed, and ready to finish connections to the tempering tank, which will maintain the proper temperature water for the floor.

Heat will be transfered to the tempering tank, from the water heater, which is a 96% efficient propane water heater.

 Laying out parts for the water supply manifolds.

Wiring the columns.

Quite a load ready to go. 2 solar panels in the bed of the truck, the rest of the parts of the vent house, and the aluminum for the 7 racks to hold all the solar panels.

Blocks set to support the vent house.

First rack assembled

Panels mounted on the rack

Well line plumbed through water conditioner.

Water supply manifolds assembled, and attached to the wall, ready to plumb.

 Finishing the conduit run, from the big junction box to...

The combiner box on the rack.

First panels are wired to the combiner, and power is now run all the way into the house from the panels.

Added a fuse and switch, to protect the batteries, and allow shutting off the battery power to the power panel completely.

Dad is framing up the roof for the vent house. He used metal braces that were used during the pouring of the walls for the house, to stiffen the roof framing without adding a lot of weight.