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February 2013  Back to January 2013  Forward to March 2013

February 5, 2013. Last December tracker 1 had the issue I wrote about earlier...Today I found tracker 2 locked up full rotation to the East. A stock Wattsun limit switch quit functioning, rather than the cam loosening as last time. The motor was hot to the touch and the electronics in our Suntura controller are fried and non functioning. This is a $300 repair on top of a long list of repairs costing over a grand for both trackers in five years. I have not decided what to do about it other than I moved the tracker back to solar South and can still operate the Zenith manually. The Zenith automatic control also failed but at least the manual part of the controller for Zenith works. Manual control of Azimuth no longer functions. Had to hotwire the motor directly to move the array back to solar South. Is anyone familiar with the concepts of Enthalpy and Entropy? This may apply here in a way as to future designs. Making a system complex even though it may be robust is still bound to degrade as per a basic law of our physical universe. Or maybe Wattsun could have done it better.

Here are a couple photos of our control computer taken on Feb. 19, 2013. I saw the output power peak at 11.17KW, although only captured this at 10.79KW. The Midnight Solar Classic controller status panel at lower left is controlling 4 230 Watt Eoplly panels. 81.9KWH captured in the lower photo but I noticed as I am writing this the daily yield just passed 82KWH at 19:37. That is a daily all time high record for us, so far...83.37 KWH for 02/19/2013

Upper graph shows total generation (blue). After...wait! Here is something weird.  I installed 4-Eoplly 230 watt panels as one string into the Classic charge controller on Monday, Feb 18, and look there, no red generation! Which is DC generation and the DC generation should be there, and on the 19th, our record day generation, as the photo of our computer that day shows, there was a lot of wind and 5KWH solar for sure. But the graph total (blue) for 02/19 is correct. I think there is a gap in the DC generation data from 02/11-02/25.

On this graph blue or total system generation is correct. Red or DC generation of the Whisper 500 wind turbine and after the 18th also some PV solar, might be low. January generation is very low.

 

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