Saturday, 17 November 2012

Solar Electric Dreams II: The Dark Knight is Banished!

A very long time ago, I posted a blog entitled 'Solar Electric Dreams'.

In it, I mentioned we were thinking about getting more solar panels, and was wondering what would we do with all the spare power......

I think I tried to re-write some basic laws of physics in a way which would have left deep cracks in the di-lithium crystals of Wb Pippin's warp engines......

(Renewed thanks to Mike P-J for pointing out the error of my ways and setting my feet upon the right path!

It could have been very nasty, otherwise......)

Anyway.............

More solar we have got.

And How!

Yes, we have gone for broke and installed another six panels. (This brings the total up to ten........)


Here's how it happened:

 Andy Rankin and colleague Dave meet wb Pippin at the 48's at Clayhithe.

First job: move the existing solar bank aft about 18"- 2ft in order that the new panels won't be too close to the pump-out ports in the roof..........














Andy Rankin and Dave from Midsummer Energy are absolutely brilliant.

I don't monetise this blog.

And I'm not taking a bung from anyone for saying so, but if you are looking for domestic or marine renewable energy, be it solar panels or wind turbines, look no further than Midsummer Energy.

Andy's modus operandi is that he's in business 'to make a living, not a killing.'

You won't go wrong ordering whatever you need from him.......

Here's the finished job:

So thats a lot of solar for the sunshine plus a Rutland 913 wind turbine for when it gets dark.......

Okay, now I expect some gruesome nay-sayer is going to question the wisdom of this......

I mean, you can buy an awful lot of red diesel for the price of the panels.......

And we'll never see our money back.....!

However, that's not what it's about...........

And neither is it about being a serial tree-hugger.

It's about convenience.

We sometimes need to leave Pippin for a few days.

It's nice to be able to do that, even in winter, sure in the knowledge that we can return to a 12 volt fridge-freezer full of preserved comestibles, not a science project gone wrong, (and a seriously knackered battery bank) without having to trouble our neighbours with turning our generator on, etc.....

And this, in winter.......

Yes, after the extra panels were installed, I noticed the battery monitor showing 7 amps charge

 Okay, it was a bright and sunny November day, but the fridge-freezer was running at the time........

The fridge-freezer drawers between 7 and 9 amps......

So the actual supply was 14 amps minimum.......

I am going to have a serious chat with Mr Rankin about a separate hot water tank with 12 volt immersion-heater coils in it to dump some of the otherwise wasted load, come summer time.

Or I could buy a telly....

Or a hairdryer.......

Or an arc-welder........

:-)

But for now,  in winter, 'De Profundis', we still ain't going to get that much off the solar.......

Which is why I want to augment our lone Rutland 913 with a twin brother in the bows......

BUT, Jackie doesn't want her boat turned into a Chinook.

And another narrowboater friend has opined that there is a very real risk that, in anything other than a light breeze, we'll take off.........

Phoo-ey!

Lets bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can never be too thin, too rich, or have access to too many amps........

:-)

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