Online Journal

Solar Hot Water

Tracker 1&2

Array 3

Control Center

Wind Turbine






June 2009  Back to May  Forward to July

The current "Water at" value is for the solar hydronic 100 gallon storage tank.

6/1  Changing Zenith yesterday really hurt my morning PV generation, got to think about this. Manually changed zenith to right angles with morning sun at 7:23 and raised the generation by 400 watts. Actually I checked the generation at summer manual zenith...changed zenith to right angles with the sun and checked generation...then moved zenith back to summer manual setting and checked wattage and the average loss is 400 watts total for both trackers combined. SO...2 hours sun, until it gets to a higher zenith, .8 KWh (potential) is lost in the morning. I might loose an hour in the evening...but evenings are usually on float...1.0 KWh gain with an automatic zenith. Since this phenomenon is mainly limited to summer zenith variations, maybe (80 KWh at 3.2 KW total PV) per year is gained with the automatic zenith device. I think that could be picked up also with a button to push to bring the tracker around to solar south and stop, so on cloudy days when the tracker never has sufficient light to track from NE morning start, so we can increase generation. This would gain a little generation all day long. Got through to Wind Energy's parts department and they do not show any yaw shafts in stock. They informed me, (again), that they would look into when I could get one and call me right back, four hours ago. They are open for four more hours today. We have an order for a yaw shaft confirmed this evening. It will be built and shipped this week. PV production 24 KWh. Water at 143F.

6/2 PV production 14.7 KWh. Water at 127F. My solar engineer heard from the electric Co-Op today about grid tying. Also heard from our Senator, Kevin Engler, that the Co-Op may be ready to cooperate. I hope the contract is a new contract and not the one they have been pushing for these 18 months that has resulted in ZERO grid tie connections.

6/3 PV production 5.7 KWh. Water at 108F.

6/4 5:05, had to switch to grid, seems to be plenty of wind. 5:29, already switched back to RE. Heated my electric water to 132.5F and turned off the food dryer where I am running through a batch of apricots, till sunlight. Satellite internet out now for the second day, rare occurrence. Yes, lots of wind out, too bad the turbine is still waiting for parts. PV production 15.34 KWh. Water at 117F.

6/5 PV production 19.85 KWh. Water at 138F. No turbine parts yet and no contact to me from the electric coop about if the contract has been changed. With our internet out at least till Tuesday, 6/9, I am out of the loop since the utility does not return my message to voice mail on the phone, but I left the message that I expect them to follow State Law and give me a connection contract that allows grid intertie for a 10 KW or smaller system without liability. At least thy told me in January 2008 why they won't follow State law, it seems it will cost them money to allow me to interconnect and they won't do anything that will cost their customers extra money.

6/6 PV production 14.39 KWh. Water at 125F.

6/7 PV production 14.68 KWh. Water at 116F. I have thought of a unique idea to create a load dump using my 30 gallon electric water heater and the 100 gallon solarhydronic tank. I will connect the drain valve on the electric tank through a small transfer pump to the last open port on the solar tank. I will wire it to the heating element of the electric tank with a on/off switch and in line fuse. Then if on, when the electric tank's element goes on with the thermostat, the transfer pump begins circulating water between the tanks, heating all 130 gallon with the single element drawing 1500 watts 240vac, or basically my current entire solar array's generation, and I could get 130 gallon of 160F water. Even in winter there are many days of lost electric generation due to full batteries and little house load, of coarse in winter I can always turn on an electric heater, but this will give us a more practical and year round load dump use. When power is low it will be turned off and with over generation potential it will be turned on.

6/8 PV production 12.2 KWh. Water at 110F. The new yaw shaft for the wind turbine arrived today and is reassembled into the yaw housing. After seeing the new yaw shaft it is clear why the old yaw shaft failed, it's insulation melted between the brush rings and the steel shaft. So this experiment continues for another $400+, making electricity from wind very expensive indeed! Good thing I have a tilt down tower I can work on alone. 

6/9 PV production 11.38 KWh. Water at 108F. Received the latest of three renditions of our co-op's intertie contract and they now seem to be compliant with State Law.

6/10 PV production 16.14 KWh. Water at 110F. Reassembling the turbine head today I find the screws to install the brush card will not tighten the brush card without breaking off. So the screws backed out while up on the tower and the threads rusted so badly they will not work now, and, one of three wires connected to the brushes simply fell off the brush card, making it impossible to reassemble the turbine. Now after spending $403.00 for the new yaw shaft I still cannot complete repair of the turbine.

6/11 PV production 17.83 KWh. Water at 126F. It just occurred to me I sent the stator back to Wind Energy to be checked out and not the yaw shaft, at their request, with the original failure. All this time it may have been a yaw shaft failure that caused the problems. That may be why the staff at Tech department was so rude when I kept having problems and they insisted the stator was fixed and fine. I wrote an e mail to Ross at Wind Energy about this and have had no response, yet. Tech and Warranty has never responded to this latest problem, which is why I was forced to try to purchase the yaw shaft. And still there are reassembly problems, with screws breaking and soldered wire joints falling off.

6/12 PV production 15.45 KWh. Water at 109F.

6/13 PV production 18.53 KWh. Water at 127F.

6/14 PV production 14 KWh. Water at 118F.

6/15 I ordered the brush card assembly for our whisper 500 today and got right through to parts and tech support. I also started moving forward on our grid intertie arrangements. Switched to grid at 18:00 so I will have some battery reserve in case storms knock out grid power. Down to 65%. PV production 2.49 KWh. Water at 106F.

6/16 6:31, Another huge storm is heading our way so I will stay on grid for now. Yesterday lightning reset the whisper charge control and I rebooted it and this morning the charge control is off again. The wires up the mountain are disconnected at the control center. The brake is on. And when I say the controller is off, actually it says on but there is 00.0V reading on the battery voltage and the regulator says it goes off at 13.0 V and on at 14.0 V when my battery bank is at about 48.8 V and of coarse I have a 48 V system. When I switch DC power off to the controller and switch DC power on again it reboots to show correct voltage and the reg on/off voltages pre-dialed in at the correct configuration for my system, 56V on and 52.8 V off. If I set the regulator any higher for regulation settings, the system can over volt and turn off the SI inverters on a really windy day when the battery bank is full. Grid power went out because of this latest storm at 8:47. Switched back to RE. PV production 10.66KWh. Water at 108F.

6/17 PV production 18.39 KWh. Water at 127F. Grid tie testing of our system is scheduled for June 26, 11:00. This will be the first synchronized operation for our system.

6/18 PV production 19.87 KWh. I submitted our intertie contract today then the grid tie test was postponed or changed by the utility. Don't know which yet. Water at 127F.

6/19 PV production 19.06 KWh. Water at 132F. The last part needed to repair the turbine arrived today. Now all I need to do is re-tap the 4 mm threads that have rusted so badly in one year I can't get a bolt to tighten up without breaking off. I hope I can remove the one I broke today that halted re assembly. Thought I'd give them one more try but they will not tighten.

6/20 PV production 15.9 KWh. Water at 127F.

6/21 Reassembled the turbine head ready for the tower. PV production 20 KWh. Water at 125F.

6/22 Our inspection by a licensed electrician, to qualify for grid intertie, is scheduled for 6/26. If I submit the contract June 29, we should be grid tied in 30 days. Only an 18 month struggle to complete!, but we are the first intertie in 26,000 customers at Black River Electric. 9:56, The turbine is back up generating. PV production 20.64 KWh. Turbine production 0.55 KWh. Water at 132F.

6/23 PV production 22.55 KWh. Turbine production 0.21 KWh. Water at 143F.

6/24 I ordered 16 Sun Tech STP 170 watt solar panels today. They will go on my studio roof. PV production 21.3 KWh. Turbine production 0.00 KWh. Water at 144F.

6/25 PV production 17.63 KWh. Turbine production 0.12 KWh. Water at 132F.

6/26 Basically passed the master electrician exam of our system for the grid tie contract today. I need to iron out one kinked wire and check tightness of the ground lugs on our arrays and in a couple boxes. One ground wire needs the insulation stripped off. PV production 16.54 KWh.

6/27 PV production 21.92 KWh. Turbine off line until I can fix a kinked wire at the base of the tower.

6/28 PV production 23.2 KWh. Water at 132.5 F.

6/29 PV production 24.99 KWh. Water at 140 F. 

6/30 PV production 19.53 KWh. Water at 145F.

June 2009  Back to May  Forward to July


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