Friday, May 16, 2014
The planning area
Lately we've been blessed with some sunny afternoons. I moved one my tables from the van into the sunny part of the yard, along with some folding chairs. My lovely wife and I have fallen into the habit of taking our afternoon coffee out there in the sun. We soak up some rays, watch the wildlife, and examine our property.
That's where the projects are planned and perfected. Right now there are only a couple pressing ones left: mounting the small solar panel and setting up the solar hot water tank.
Our coffee spot is perfect for such plans as we can easily see every likely place for those items. The solar panel is going to mount on the pole with my larger solar array. Seem like that would be a no brainer, right? When I bought the panel I also bought some DC electrical cable. That stuff isn't cheap, so I'd planned on mounting the panel right on the house. However, once I really looked things over it became clear that mounting on the house would not be as straight forward as I thought. The panel would have to be placed so as not to cause leaks in the roof. Then there was the issue of it being in the way of my chimney cleaning ladders.
Mounting the panel on the existing pole is much easier, but too far away for the DC cables to reach. Then I remembered I have some very heavy duty outdoor wire that can be salvaged from somewhere else. That should keep voltage loss to a minimum.
As for the solar water tank, we looked into moving it to a place with better sun. Some plumbing would have to be changed in the basement as it would be coming in from another side of the house. Plumbing is no big deal. After further consideration and consultation we decided to pretty much leave it where it is. While it's not a perfect sun location, there are other qualities. We are building a rocket stove type wood fired heater to boost water temperatures as needed. The current location is pretty good for that.
The third thing I can see from our sunny spot is my little boat project. I can't wait to get back to doing projects just for the fun of it.