Sunday, March 14, 2010

Scaffolding will go soon!

14 Mar: Another day of cloudy bright with some long sunshine periods. Plenty of Kilowatt hours being pulled in. As the scaffolding will go soon, I am working on what I might need to do before access becomes difficult and unsafe (by ladder!)
  I hinged out the panels and gave the inside a good cleaning with a strong hose - the inside was caked with a fine layer of brick dust from some late drilling for the tilting roofs. The first hosing just moved the dust around a bit, this time, it finished a lot cleaner.
  I have known for a while that when I will have a ladder, there will be a problem keeping the panels open while I do some maintenance. I decided to build a simple set of aluminium struts that hinge down when the panels are opened - keeping the panels at a safe angle, as in the photo.
  Looking at the house from the field, it is clear that new Photovoltaics on the south wall will do very well in the mornings and middle of the day, but the hawthorn trees on the boundary will definitely affect their harvest. It puts that late installation into doubt, although the new installation will be better than our east facing roof that gets nothing much after midday. I can trim the hawthorn back a small amount.
15 Mar:   Another thing that needed doing has now been done - insulation of the return pipes from the panels on the external wall. Although the piping is short, it is contributing to system losses to leave this uninsulated in winter. I didn't bother to insulate the flow pipe as this is already cold and most of the year heat loss will be insignificant.

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