Waiting for Go,,, Doh, dot, sumpin.
(and for those in the know, yes, I do know the reference, just making a Homer Simpson ‘DoH!’ for giggles.)
About the only upside to slow season is I might get a chance to deal with issues around the homestead. MIght is dependent on time and weather and in todays case, I had the time, and the projected weather was swinging a flail at me, encouraging me to do what needed done while I was still in good weather. We are expecting more snow and freezing rain this weekend, and I am not going to go through the flaming hoops I went through a couple weeks back, to make my panels snow free.
I climbed that ladder, dismantled all the connectors and brackets and then slid those beasts to the ground with a rope. Had to take apart part of the roof cap to get the wires fed back into the house, then sealed that up tight and covered it over again.(gotta love tin roofs!!!). Figured while I was up there I would try to track down a leak I developed on the porch. Partly (MOSTLY) my own dumbass self to blame there, I didn’t put enough pitch on the roof over the porch, so in real Texas Turd Floaters, it bunches up and finds alternate means to obey gravity. I mostly just caulked some seams and tightened screws; caulked a couple of those if they seemed like the gasket wasn’t sitting flat. Nothing major, but its rather annoying, and would eventually rot out my porch roof (and create issues in the main roof if let to far gone.). Grizz had to follow me up the ladder to see what I was into. That was interesting. He couldn’t figure out how to get back on the ladder and I had to help him. Not fun trying to handle something that has a mind of its own, is sharp on 5 of its six points, and swears you are trying to kill it. I ended up climbing back up there, stuffing him into my jacket and zipping up tight and making the trip back down. I didn’t let him out until the ladder was down: I could just see him zipping back up there for more fun and games.
So, panels are down, and wires routed through the wall outside to them, but they are not in a rack: just leaned against the house facing south-southwest. I was highly impressed with my four smallest ones. I did a post a few years back about ‘fixing an issue with HF solar panels”, where you have to disassemble the frame, crack the supporting glass and re-solder the terminals in place. That was ten years ago, maybe eleven (not sure, can’t remember exactly when I wrote it, and can’t find it in search). Well, for brevity, I’ll say ten years, but those panels are still cranking along with no voltage drop. I checked them individually (they operate in parallel, so if one fails, you really can’t tell by voltage, only in amperage and they are not my only panels so get a little lost in the fog.) and each one was within one hundredth of a volt, 22.21vdc. The sun was partly clouded when i ran that check, so it wasn’t the full 26volts they are capable of, but far more than enough to keep pushing electrons into a battery bank.
Now, as for why are they not in a rack? Wellls,,,, They have been up there for so long that I couldn’t recall dimensions, and going through all trouble to get up there ‘just to check’ didn’t thrill me. I have a thing against ladders, I will climb them, if I must, but if I can find ANY excuse to not climb, I’m on it like white on rice. And thats also why I hadn’t fixed that leaky roof. So, no more excuses today, and I killed both birds with one effort. I needed the dimensions to make the rack since half of my panels are not a standard size. That rack will be made soonest and I will get these panels back in the air, away from curious kittehs, as soon as I make the bloody thing. That will most likely be on Monday when I am back at work and (work or no work) can put things together to make good. But if this freezing rain/snow storm does hit, I can easily clean off the panels to get what light does get through. That last storm, under brilliant blue skies the next day, the best I was getting was 12.1vdc, on a 48 volt array. (some of you more familiar with these things just started scratching your heads,,, Panels that only max at 26, but the array is at 48? what gives? Series/parallel wiring. Some are in series, some parallel, and all of it makes 48 when the sun is kicking good and strong. My controller handles the stepdown, step up thing with voltage/amperage. Love the MPPT controllers.)
But now its time to load up a bunch of firewood in anticipation of another winter-storm brewing up. And nothing to do but wait it out. The kayaks are secured for high winds and belly up so the cockpits don’t get loaded up with snow. Kats are out doing Kat things: I think they know htey are gonna be cooped up for a day or so and want to “get it all out now” while its still rather nice out (if you call 42 degrees ‘nice’.). Even Voo was extra excitable on this eves ‘walkies’.
More laters, as I figure out what I have to say. Still not wanting to discuss ‘issues’ of the world currently. Need that break now and again.