This Blog contains notes and comments on our projects.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Phase II begins (Earth Day how appropriate)

This week it finally stopped raining and dried up enough to get our holes dug and post set for our next two arrays.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First day of Testing

Today was our first day of testing with the array and what a great day. As soon as the sun peeked over the horizon our WattSun Tracker woke up and pointed the huge array directly at the sun. The WattSun Tracker worked perfectly with the array producing 17.9 kwh of power! Everything worked as expected and as designed. It was very exciting to see the SunnyBoy (inverter) come to life for the first time this morning after sitting in the basement dark for weeks!! This graph is from the SMA Sunny Portal Web site. Not only did the array come on-line as expected the logging system kicked in and started uploading data to the Internet so we can keep an eye on things from anywhere.

Also today Bronson Borowiak from MJM our Electric Cooperative stopped over to check on the progress and drop over the connection agreement for me to sign. Now with the agreement in place all they have to do is change out the meter and I can start selling (banking) my excess power back to the electric company. I do want to say thanks to Bronson and MJM who have been very positive and supportive of this project from the beginning. It is very encouraging to see the electric company supporting these types of solutions!!

Bronson in front of the array.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Solar Panels are Installed

Today Brad, Nathan, Grandpa Rucker and I finished installing the 12 solar panels on the tracker. The next step is to hook up the tracker's sun sensor that will drive the tracker as the sun moves across the sky.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our Solar Tracker is here

Today we got started on the last piece of the puzzle, the Wattsun Solar Tracker. The Solar panels will bolt to the tracker's frame that rotates on top of the 8" pole following the sun as it moves across the sky. This tracker is a dual axis tracker and will even adjust as the sun's angle changes thought the year form summer to winter.

Brad and Nathan with main support beam 1

Brad held the main support beam in place while Nathan and I centered and secured it into place.

Nathan and Brad are attaching the actuator arm that will move the mount as the seasons change.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weather was good for pulling wires

This weekend Nathan, Brad, and I ran conduit and pulled wires to finish the outside wiring. The DC Disconnect / Combiner is complete as well as the run to the first array. All that is left is to connect the wires to the fuses and combiner buss. We also ran empty conduit from the combiner to the locations for the second and third array.

Nathan digging path for main feed 1

Brad feeding wire 1

Nathan aligning conduit 1

Brad on the impact drill 1

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Micro Hydro Generator Video

I just added a new "Projects" page to our site that features a video of our stream generator. The Stream Generator was installed over the summer of 2008. It is feed from a small pond and we run it when we need an extra boost of power or when we have had several days of cloudy weather. The stream generator is from Energy Systems & Design in Canada and is extremely well built. It took a bit of fine tuning to hone in on the best configuration based on our head pressure and flow. But once we got it dialed in it purrs like a kitten. Very well engineered machine!!

Unfortunately our setup doesn't have enough head pressure for this to be a standalone solution. However since we use it along with our Solar Array it is like turning the pond into a giant battery that we can pull from when we need the extra power!

Click here to watch the Video

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Master Disconnect Installed

Today Brand and I ruffed in the Master Disconnect / Combiner. This box combines the power from each of the Solar Arrays into one feed to the house. It also allows the Solar System to be shutdown from outside the house.

Brad in shop installing EMT conduit

Combiner/Switch by the entry point of the house