Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Deep joy! On Saturday night we decided to disconnect ourselves ( well Herbie really) from the marina's shore power and test out what our the new solar panel arrangement could do for us.

In the dark overnight, the batteries fell from 100% full to 89% in the morning. That's rather less fall than usual with the fridge running and our use of lights, radio etc. Also the Eberspacher ran for an hour in that time. So the early morning light must have done its bit before we rose and checked the readings. That's when we started to get excited. The fridge was running, we were charging various ipads and phones and the inverter was on running my electric sander and the battery levels were rising! Never done that before.

By the end of the day the batteries were back at 99%. So in spite of our use of various electrical bits we had charged the batteries back up. Profit! With our original panel the best we were able to do was hold the batteries steady during daylight. It looks like in the summer months we ought to be able to dispense with engine running altogether given fair weather and an open location. It's safe to say we are delighted.

The old roof box has been duly demolished and the wood for the new one bought and cut to length at home, so tomorrow I hope to start building it. I've got a new plan for construction this time and I'll try to remember to do some pictures so you can see. Then when it all falls to bits you'll know how not to do it.

Tonight I am mostly listening to a CD by Maire Ni Chathasaigh and Chris Newman, rather easier to listen to than pronounce. It used to be fun seeing them in folk clubs and hearing the compere's attempts at introducing Maire. Anyway, they are blisteringly good. I'm a bit shocked to see the CD dates from 1995. Where did all those years go?


Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Neill,

Brilliant new solar array you've put together. I do not regret the money I spent this past year on the new solar array for NBV. It has made a substantial difference replacing the one large house panel with two 165 Watt light panels and keeping the 100 watt small solar boat panel.

Tim of OnBoard solar who did the installation told me we were not getting the max out of the large panel anyway because it was not set up for 12 volt. He also said the new generation panels, while still called l"solar" panels are really light panels and will generate power with the slightest bit of light, to which I can attest. Even in days of darkest overcast rain storms the panels filled my batteries. It is such a relief to have the system to rely on and not have to worry about charging the batteries and not having to run the engine twice a day.

I'm looking forward to seeing your new roof box.

Love to you and Kath,

Jaq xxx

MoominPapa said...

That sounds good. What it needs now, is Moomin's patent Arduino based solar monitor. Tells you how many amp-hours today, how many yesterday, and a running total. Plug in a laptop and get a graph!

Blueprints available. You know you want one.


Herbie Neil said...

Ah Moominpapa I well remember you demonstrating that to me last year. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. My fear is that it would make me even more obsessed with battery power than I already am.

Vallypee said...

Following this with interest. Maybe one day! The solar panels, I mean!