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Old 06-11-10, 11:00 AM   #81
jwxr7
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I'm making up heavy duty terminals for my wind machine power panel using cut ground bus bars too . It seems like a good way to go.

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Old 06-11-10, 12:16 PM   #82
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Default Old Sol, Where Art Thou??

I did some compression testing on the wire I'm using. It's solder tinned stranded wire.
I tried un-tinned and it seemed to spread out too much.
But the solder tipped wire seems to flatten out (under pressure) a little too much for my taste.
I have not insulated the strips yet, I want to try torquing the screws one more time..
It seems like I get another 1/8 turn each time I do it..


I would like to do a quick check to see if I got the cables etc right..



But, it seems like the sun is being very stubborn today..
The dish won't track with clouds this thick!!

Edit:
It came out!! The sky cleared at 15:15 but it started getting partly cloudy again pretty quick..
However, at times during the hour between 15:15 and 16:15 it was mostly sunny!
The boiler went from 148 to 155 degrees! I think 7 degrees per hour on hazy day, is a good sign..
I'm dreaming of a clear day with about 5 hours of sunshine!!

Gee 5 hours of sun could mean a 35 degree boost??

Last edited by Xringer; 06-11-10 at 04:00 PM.. Reason: At long last, the sun came out..
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Old 06-15-10, 11:05 PM   #83
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Default 11 degree gain

We had some pretty good sun today and the tracker was working it..

I turned off the oil burner early this morning and started keeping track
of the boiler temperature at about 10:15 AM.

We didn't use much hotwater after 10:15 today, just hand-washing, with a few dishes,
and the temperature still went from 144 up to 155 degrees F,
before the sun went behind the trees.



The Aquastat is set to turn on the oil burner when it gets down to 120 degs.
The shut-off is at 140 degs.

I'm hoping the solar panels will provide enough heat each day to keep
the water mostly in the 140-160 range, and perhaps so high,
the water hardly ever drops below 120..

I hope to install the new water mixer within the next couple of weeks.
That device should have a major impact on hotwater use.
Especially during the winter when the boiler is a lot hotter.

I like the idea of anti-scald.. For guests who like to quickly stick their
hands under the hotwater before checking to see if it's going to burn them.
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Old 06-16-10, 06:25 AM   #84
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Very nice!

BTW, how large is the tank in the boiler?
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Old 06-16-10, 07:36 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Very nice!

BTW, how large is the tank in the boiler?
The boiler has a 76 gallon water jacket, and the hot water coil removes
heat from that 'reservoir' of warmed water.
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...HSTARMOT35.jpg

Darn, just woke up to another hazy day!!
It's forecast to be mostly sunny until noon. Followed by mostly overcast.

Cheers,
Rich
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Old 06-17-10, 12:43 PM   #86
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Default Sun Chaser mod..

Today, I moved the West photocell up near the glass. This should allow the
West photocell to see (and follow ) the sun, even if it was cloudy in the morning
(array facing east) and then, the sun "comes out" in the afternoon..



There are 10-32 threaded inserts in the corners of the watertight box,
so I finally took the time to mount the charger module. That's orange Coro-plas plastic.

That micro switch on the left, shorts the west photocell and makes the array track west when pressed.
The loose yellow wire is a test-point, connected to the reference voltage (as set by the pot).



Then, I added 7 feet of extra wire to the 10w panel, so I could move it up high and out of the way..
I was tired of ducking under it.. And maybe it's safer from vandals or curious kids up there.


Now, all I need is some sunshine!!
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Old 06-17-10, 04:48 PM   #87
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Your setup is looking pretty good! Did moving the LDR's help with your tracking? I just put heat shrink on my LDR's and getting ready to make the support bracket to hold em and fit the baby food jar. I'll take a picture when I get it all worked out.....Bill
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Old 06-17-10, 06:01 PM   #88
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Default Now, all I need is some sunshine!!

There was quick bust of less filtered sunlight today, maybe 8 or 10 seconds.
And, I was rewarded with 5 or 6 seconds of westward array movement!

I took that as a good sign. Hopefully, the long range forecast is correct,
and we will be seeing some genuine sun beams impacting the area during the next few days..

I find it a little weird that we have had so little sunshine this month..
It's frustrating to sit around waiting to see if the sun is going to come out,
and shine for a few days.. Most of this month has been a bust..

Can't track without something to lock on to..

One of the side effects of the mod, is going to be a lack of Eastwards correction after any westward over-shoot.
That means I need to be careful messing with that West button I added..

Cheers,
Rich
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Old 06-18-10, 12:54 PM   #89
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Default Tracking!

The tracking is excellent today. Never seen it track so accurately.
(I guess the mod doesn't have any major side-affects).

We are getting some pretty good sunshine today. Just a little high-thin haze.
The panels are 133 F on top and 145 F on the bottoms (hotter in the shade?).

The heat reduces the power output by quite a lot. Not too happy with today's power out.
Open voltage should be around 80v, is down to 76.8v.
Under load it drops to 62.6v.. Into 10 ohms, that's only about 392 watts of power.
When it was cooler (more cloudy) the output would get up to around 66v..

But, even with a mere 392 watts, the boiler has picked up 17 degrees
since I checked it early this morning.

The array gets some light between the trees when it's early, but the clear-shot over the trees
occurs around 10:15 (tracking starts at that time also).
The boiler went from 118 to 135 degrees by 13:30.

Hey! We might pick up another 8 or 10 degrees this afternoon..



Edit:
6/18/10 15:20
140 degrees (22 degree gain)!! about 3.5 degrees of gain per hour?

6/19/10 13:00
Water is up to 140 again and we are seeing a bit more voltage (cooler today?).
79.8 open and 65.5v under load. 6.55a = 429 watts. 37 more than yesterday.

6/21/10 20:30
Had a tracking failure today. The West side photocell jumped to high resistance.
The good east side cell showed 300 ohms in the same light as the west side had 1300 ohms.

MTM Scientific, Inc says the heat specification is 75C Maximum (167F ).
So, it looks like my Super-Duper water-resistant sensor pod might have been over-heated by the summer solstice sunshine.

Michael at MTM is going to send me a replacement matched pair of sensors..
In the mean time, maybe I can try some cheap RadioShack photocells that appear to be rated at a fabulous 80 degs F..
Not sure if these will be suitable for really sunny days.. It was about 90 here today..

I plan to make some mods to the sensor pod, to keep it from collecting so much heat.
(It does look kinda like a solar collector). I'll post some pics when I get it back together.

Last edited by Xringer; 06-21-10 at 07:48 PM.. Reason: new day new data
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Old 06-21-10, 08:09 PM   #90
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Default Heat Buildup

Appreciate the heads up on the LDR's and the heat....gonna try it and see what happens....gonna do some searching on the internet and see if/what other people have had problems with and how they may have fixed it. I'll keep ya posted......thanks Rich...............Bill

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