Monday, 29 April 2013

Playing with solar update.

Well I have managed to mount the panels.  The last few weeks have shown that you can get a helpful amount of energy from the panels.  The array is 160 watts of amorphous silicone stuff which gives an output of around 6amps peak.  We have regularly been getting between 4 and 5 so not so bad.  

I finished the MK1 solar mount yesterday and wired it in and turned it for the morning sun. I used the cut down wooden mast with a topmast like fitting to take the mount. Rather tall it is, I might have to have it a bit lower but we'll see. It is not discreet, the panels are about the size of a full sheet of ply and wave about 12 feet in the air.

It swivels so that I can point it south, it tilts so that I can adjust it for the time of year. 14 degrees in December to 62 degrees in June. On the other hand 38 degrees gives a pretty good summer - winter average.



We hit thirty knots last night and I was up and outside in the wee hours. The wind noise woke me, certainly different from normal. it moans round the panels. The mount is a facsimile of an American design that (kindly) put their engineering drawings on the net. They say it is good for 90mph. I have done a fair copy, even using the same (T60) type of ally. I did go down a size on the steel tube but I increased the thickness to compensate. The weight and windage is certainly no more than you would get from a sail so although it frets me it is no more than a steadying sail really. If the whole lot comes crashing down I'll let you know! ;D

I would like it to be a bit lower ideally but it's up now and I have lots of other things to do before sailing off this year.

Now to finish the solar hot water so I can have so time off for good behaviour!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Compost toilet update.

Six weeks, every time I go visit the loo - I laugh. ;D

I am pretty hysterical about the whole affair. Yep, I know it's weird but I am. No smell, no emptying disgusting stinking porta-potties or emptying holding tanks. Both of which smell, and badly too. Still fine, Mrs B still happy, me happy, why didn't I do this many years ago.

I know it's still early days but it's still ok and no plague even with a bigger bucket of poo. The furry stuff keeps growing and the poo oxidized and turns black, still no sawdust needed and still smells of nothing. The liquid side is fine too, the pineapple chunk has worn out, nearly, so I ordered 3Kg from Ebay. I spritz round with the water spray bottle every day and every couple of days I use an AB wipe from Dettol round the seat and bowl and finish off with a paper towel to dry. Sweet. How happy am I. [image]

I did provoke the pile with a stick to see what would happen and the beast reacted by smelling of an equine dung heap. Strong but not bad, but I am well used to horses, sadly.