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April 2008    Back to Journal Index  On To May  Home

Still have not installed a proper battery bank.

4/1/08 PV production 12 KWh. Turbine broke. It must be let down tomorrow to inspect what happened for sure. It just wasn't working this morning, turning slowly and squeaking in one spot. The 3 fields are not equal. Something wrong with one field so it's probably not a bearing. First sunny day in a long time. Switch to RE at 11:30. Switch back to grid at 18:25. Switch to RE at 20:45.

4/2/08 On RE all night. Sun up just in time. Took down the turbine. It does not pass the open circuit test any more. I have to ship it back to South West Wind. Switch to grid at 17:03. loosing light to clouds and heavy storms expected to start soon. Will keep the batteries topped off incase of grid failure with the next 48 hours of heavy storms predicted. PV production 19.5 KWh.

4/3/08 Rain all day. PV production 2 KWh. On grid power all day. Electric utility hand delivered the new connection policy today. Thank you BREC.

4/4/08 Heavy clouds PV production 1.5 KWh. Sun expected tomorrow so I switched to RE at 23:00 hours.

4/5 PV production 18 KWh. It's time to start installing the solar hydronic domestic hot water heater on my days off of running the sawmill. Switched to  grid at 18:00 to run dryer. Switched back to RE at 19:40.

4/6 On RE all night. I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. I noticed this morning on the wind turbine that the iron in the generator is already covered with heavy rust. I am also not happy that I left voice messages and email messages for three days about the failure without hearing from tech. support. I finally called and demanded to talk to someone. I will box it and send it back this coming week. Without a physical inspection from them they think it was struck by lightning and will not be covered by warranty. There is no physical sign of any problem what so ever. I have also found cracks in the turbine blades, at the connection end and in the middle of one blade. What I thought was a blemish in the paint was in fact a crack in the blade. My idea right now is to try one more time to put up the repaired or new turbine generator and if we have failure again, to make use of the thousands of dollars in conduit and wire to install a Wattsun tracker and our already planned 3 KW bank of solar panels there instead of on the studio roof.  PV production 17.2 KWh. We will stay on RE power all evening and through the night if possible. Switched to grid for 26 minutes. at 20:00 hours. Now back on RE. We used a lot of power for baking and hot water today.

4/7 PV production 22 KWh. On RE all day We used a lot of power for baking and hot water today.

4/8 PV production 2.75 KWh. The system switched off at midnight and I got up and switched to grid power. Cloudy all day. The batteries are recovering today, even with cloudy conditions.

4/9 4:44 hours and still on grid power. Switch to RE at 16:00 hours. PV production 5.3 KWh. Tracker 2 is getting lazy and not swinging to afternoon sun now two days in a row. I will keep watch on it.

4/10 Switched to grid at 4:30 hours because of heavy storms forecast all day, no sun. I'll keep my battery full incase of grid failure in this bad weather. PV production 1.24 KWh. I needed to switch to RE for a little while when a tree fell across our grid lines.

4/11 Switched to RE at 7:30.  PV production 16 KWh. 

4/12 System switched to battery preservation mode at 0:03 hours. PV production 2.5 KWh. With tutoring from a hard working RE installation company in South West Missouri run by Travis Creswell, I have reset my batteries to the proper 48 volt capacity. Thanks Dale. The turbine was received at SWWP 11:30 on Wednesday 4/9 and no word from them yet.

4/13 PV production 5.3 KWh. Just a little sun between snow bursts. Stayed on grid power all day.

4/14 Switch to RE at 3:20. Batteries full and sun expected today. We have turned off our electric cook top, oven and switched to our high efficiency propane stove. Just hot water and dryer to change. PV production 17 KWh. Switch to grid at 18:00. Our 8 new batteries arrived today and I ordered 4 more. Ellis Battery gave us a deal we can't even advertise, thanks Duane Ellis, and he personally delivered them. That will give us three strings of 250 ah at 48 volt for total 750 ah, all at 20 hour rate. This should do for a while. The house uses 150 ah per night giving us three nights run if there are clouds during the day to limit production to just what we use in daylight, not counting wind production. Again, thanks Travis Creswell for helping this hillbilly get battery power right!

4/15 Switch to RE at 5:55. PV production 16.4 KWh. Switch to grid at 18:30.

4/16 Switch to RE at 6:36. PV production 16.3 KWh. Switch to grid at 19:00.

4/17 Switch to RE at 6:00. We got a call from South West Wind Power that our wind turbine's stator windings were defective and they will rewind and send it back in May. Switch to grid at 17:28. PV production 10.25 KWh. It will be good to have the turbine back on line.

4/18 Switch to RE at 15:30 because grid went dead.  Cloudy and heavy rain all day and stayed on grid. Now the batteries are full and grid is down and we have power! 17:09 and grid power still out. The house is on conservation mode. We are using 416 watts. 6.9 amp battery flow. Wow! one of the lowest days for PV production. PV production .7 KWh. Grid power back on at 18:11.

4/19 Switched to RE at 15:00 and back to grid at 19:00. PV production 3.6 KWh. Cloudy and rainy till 14:00.

4/20 Switch to RE at 6:00. We pick up the cables to connect our new LARGER batteries on Wednesday, 4/23. Then we should run 24/7 with mostly sunny days. 7:10, we are generating 1200 watts with our two trackers packing 24 KC 130 watt PV panels. Trackers are really worth their cost. Panels on a fixed proper solar angle would not have any direct sun for a couple more hours. I may have to re evaluate the fixed panels planned for the studio. 1230 watts per tracker is what we are generating today, peak production, out of 1560 watts worth of pv panels. PV production 16 KWh.

4/21 Switched to RE at 6:10. PV production 17 KWh. Switched to grid at 19:00

4/22 Lost the production figure for today. But we ran on RE all day long.

4/23 Switch to RE at 8:00. PV production 8 KWh. Switch to grid at 19:00.

4/24 !INSTALLED NEW BATTERY BANK! Stormy and cloudy. The 8 new AGM batteries are wired and now in the battery bank, replacing the first bank. We are pre wired for four more and they will arrive in three weeks. 10 hour rate at 48 volt is now 450 Ah. 12 batteries in the full bank will have 675 Ah at 48 volt. That's half what is needed. I learned the hard way about capacity. I plan to add the second battery bank four batteries per month until it has 12 also. 24-12 volt 8d AGM cells will be bare minimum on the next system we design for a full home, having 900 Ah at 10 hour rate. Cost...$9,000. Usable KWh at 20 hour rate is 35 KWh. Switched to RE for one hour exactly and used 3% of the 450 Ah capacity, no generation. 500 to 900 watts continuous demand. Satellite TV and medium size LCD screen, Satellite internet with one computer, 24 cf refrigerator. 14 cf freezer, lots of compact florescent lights, twinkle lights and bug trap lights. I don't know if the water pump came on while we were walking the dogs. PV production 1.4 KWh. The wind turbine would have added a lot of energy today. Still expect it back in four weeks. So adding 2/3'rds more storage capacity will run the house at a rate of 1% per hour with all normal systems on and longer with the TV and Computer off. (8 batteries now and 24 batteries when completed.)

4/25 Switch to RE and our new larger capacity batteries at 5:47. The house has a 400 watt demand this morning. We plan two more weeks of sawmilling full time and then we can focus on installing our solar hydronic system for hot water. Our daily production should go up now as we start running on RE all night. Usually the PV panels would top off the small battery bank quickly and de-rate to just house demand, limiting generation. Especially when the turbine was operating also. In a good wind the turbine was generating at 1/3 capacity as it turned its self off when the batteries were full, which took about one hour in moderate wind. It is fulfilling finding the balance. We can still shed some excess production into the electric hot water heater, but soon it will be shed into the Air Conditioning. 6:21 and the first PV generation of the day starts. PV production 11 KWh. Switch to grid for water heating at 18:41. I heard the grid power was out for three hours today and we would have never known if the neighbors hadn't called to ask if our power was out.

4/26 Switch to RE at 00:30 hours. I just happened to wake up and switched over. Used 4% by 6:00 and down to 61% in the batteries. PV production 19 KWh. The batteries were full by 12:00. Cycled the water heater on and still the pv panels produced more power than we could use or store.

4/27 05:14, Still on RE. A load of wash in the Stabler washer and the new LP dryer was used after dark last night and still we have lots of power. Traded the fairly new electric dryer for new LP gas bottles that should last several months. This time of year Earthbilly house uses the least electricity. Partly cloudy and the battery bank recovered nicely but there was not enough sun to heat our water today with electric, so I switched to grid at 17:53 to heat water for the evening, otherwise we could easily make it to morning on batteries now. PV production 12 KWh. Switch back to RE at 19:42. Just under two hours on grid out of twenty four hours. Again we washed and dried laundry on RE after dark.

4/28 05:23 Still on RE. This is more like it!!!! 18:20 Switch to grid to heat water. It was partly cloudy to cloudy all day. Batteries rebounded from 59% or 41%DOD to 91.4%. Plenty windy I could have heated water from turbine generation, if it was in the air. PV production 16.6 KWh. So, now on a sunny day 100%-24hour of Earthbilly Manor is powered and the hot water can be heated with the electric water heater. With partly cloudy we run 100%-24 hour of Earthbilly Manor but no electric water heating. Switch back to RE at 20:20. We have been off grid for 68 of the last 72 hours.

4/29 We got through the night on RE and had 65.3% in the batteries at the moment morning sun overcame house demand, at 7:03. We used 2.5 KWh from 00:00 to 06:41 hours. No house systems turned off but hot water and I made coffee this morning, twice. I would guess we use 4.5 to 6 KWh after the sun goes down until the sun comes up, and another 7 KWh per day to heat water. PV production 20.1 KWh. We heated water today! Batteries at 94.5% as the PV panels drop to single digit production, at 19:04. During the hours 15:00 to 18:00 the PV panels were derated to house demand plus 200 watts of charging on float. Could have had 2-3 KWh more, but the batteries were full. 675 Ah at 10 hour rate is just right for our house demand and our two trackers generation, which is 12-12 volt 8-D AGM batteries. We have 8 right now with 4 more on order and prewired to install them. This week and next week we will run the sawmill and the following week we will complete the solar hydronic installation.

4/30 72.1% in the battery bank at 6:22. Our electric bill dropped dramatically, (by 2/3) last month. I suspect it will drop again this month with the proper batteries now operating. Now, in five days we have only switched to grid for 3 hours 45 minutes to heat water and in less than two weeks we will finish the solar hydronics. 6:52 generation overcame house demand. 17:04 hours and we heated the water heater three times today and 93.7% now in the battery bank. It's been hazy day with high clouds. 17:45 House demand overcame generation. 94.8% socked away. PV production 22 KWh.

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