Friday, 3 February 2012

Solar installation part quatre

There's an expression that starts "If you can't stand the heat…" but there were no kitchens involved in this installation so it doesn't really fit.

The best expression that might fit would be "The sun always shines on the righteous."  Allow me to elaborate.

CB Renewables sub-contract the fitting work and the first of these sub-contractors to turn up this morning were the roofers.  I was in the shower when they arrived and wasn't really looking my best.  Dave sorted access to materials in the garage and moved my car while I rushed to to make myself presentable, or at least put some clothes on and dry my hair.

I made tea for the roofers and the electricians who had also arrived.  It was just after eight in the morning and we needed to leave for Ethan's saxophone lesson.  I promised I'd be back at about nine.

When I returned I popped the kettle on again and warmed up some pre-baked banana and chocolate muffins that were in the freezer.

I figured we might need more muffins so I baked a batch of double chocolate muffins which came out of the oven just before the guys had reached this stage of the installation.

Solar install 1a

Everything seemed to be going well as I went outside to sort deliver round two of tea and muffins.

About an hour later and the kettle went on again and out went a tray with tea and double chocolate muffins.

I decided I needed more muffins and knocked out a batch of orange and date muffins which accompanied another round of teas another hour later.  The install still seemed to be going well and panels were going up on the roof.  There were some questions about the electricity earth arrangements that I couldn't fully answer but which were cleared up with a few tests.

Solar install 1

I waited another hour before refuelling the install team with tea and orange and date muffins and thought I might need another muffin variety to entertain the troops.  I looked at the ingredients in the cupboard and found some cranberry sauce.  The next batch I churned out were therefore orange and cranberry and by this time the install looked like this:

Solar install 3

The team and I were keen to test the output.  A worried spark came into the house saying there was a problem.  The system was generating 660V and the inverter was only able to take an input of 550V.  The only conclusion was that we'd need a different inverter.  The day had been so sunny, and so cold, that conditions were perfect for optimal power generation.  Solar panels like it sunny and cold.  The panels had exceeded our expectations to the extent that the inverter couldn't cope.  Whilst that means a delay to the completed install, it also means more power generated than we expected which is fantastic news.

The kettle went on for the final time and I served up the experimental orange and cranberry muffins with a hot mug of tea.

The sparks will be back to redo the inverter installation, so I'd better get baking because the sun always shines on the righteous.


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