- This topic has 52 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by Anonymous.
October 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm #513569purplehatMember
It’s looking nice and green! You’re keeping up with the mowing, is that animals and/or machines? 😀
It’s days like today that a person living in Stawell considers wind power. 😉 Hope everything is going well there. 🙂October 4, 2012 at 1:46 am #513570
Hiya purplehat…. It’s an optical illusion. The green is much less day by day, and the weeds are quite long and needing a dramatic height reduction right now! At this point in time, most of it is done by tractor/slasher. We have a couple of small paddocks which our fur and feather kids “maintain” for us….
The other thing that happened about this time with all that soggy soil was a few of our huge trees lost their grip in the slush and fell on their sides. Very sad (but with the plus of loads of firewood!)
After the back and forths over e-mail and telephone with quite a number of solar companies, we finally had a commitment from the chap we had the most confidence in. We’d had such a wide array of possible solutions and dramatically different price tags. We’d also had conversations with system designers that seemed to know less about solar power than I did from my months of Internet-based research. I was getting quite despondent about being able to engage someone who knew what they were actually doing, and who could install the system we needed for an appropriate price.
I got some software off the Internet to do standalone power system modelling. I got the weather details from the Bureau of Meteorology from the local weather station from 1998. I cross checked everything I was told against the data and software I had. I got myself super confused! Apart from determining that wind power was not a reliable option, I don’t know that I learnt too much! (Wind needs to blow at an average speed of 6 metres per second to make a wind turbine a viable source of power. Our average wind speed is 3.4 metres per second! On the days and nights where the wind howls through here, the wind turbines furl their blades to avoid damaging themselves! Plus the turbine would need to sit 9 or 12 metres up in the air on the end of a big pole and would need lowering once a year for maintenance!) The no moving parts solar was sounding better and better!
Dave said he’d be there on the Monday morning, and just before lunchtime he arrived. (When you consider he was driving 3+ hours from home, that makes it sound much more reasonable!)
He was in a heavily loaded van and the 6’x4’ trailer he was pulling was stacked high (with what turned out to be boxed solar panels). He was expecting to be done by the Friday and he got straight to work. As it happened, the day was quite overcast, so it was tough doing visual checks of shadow angles. The 18 panels were going up in two banks, and he wanted to ensure the front bank didn’t cast a shadow over any of the rear bank. As the installation was in the first week of June, we were close to the winter solstice (and therefore the worst shadowing).
I hired a Dingo (miniature bobcat) with a trenching attachment and dug trenches for the cabling and later plumbing. The racking all got bolted in place to the roof. A pad of treated pine sleepers was built for the battery bank. The twelve batteries were all moved one by one with the front end loader on the tractor. The control panel was bolted in place a zillion cables were run everywhere. As it was a standalone system, it needed to have at least one 240 volt outlet installed and inspected to validate the whole system, so I got the electrician we were going to use to do that. He also had a load of wire and switchboards happening. By the Thursday afternoon when the electrical inspector arrived, everything was connected and functional. It still took the inspector about 3 hours to go through everything, but finally he was happy, signed the form and left.
After all the months of inactivity, this flurry of activity was almost mind boggling!
No sooner had our solar guy Dave packed up than the Rhino Tanks guys arrived and started throwing the two tanks up. Two half days and both tanks were up! They need water in them to hold them steady and to keep the bladder in place, and as I had to wait for the water delivery, the tank guys couldn’t finish the build until the water was in place.
All we needed now was to plumb the sheds to the tanks to catch any rain water! Man was it tough to find a plumber!
As we now had power onsite and we were pretty confident of having water on tap shortly, we decided it would be much cheaper to live onsite than to drive to and from a nearby caravan park each day. It was the middle of winter and it was freezing inside the caravan without a heater!
Thankfully we tracked down a plumber who could start within a few days. We got him to put the wood heater in the shed first! The day after that was done we moved into the shed! Even with all the gaps at the top of all the walls, it was still far warmer!January 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm #513571XioMember
I only joined the forum during December & have been working my way through the threads. Your journey has turned me off the idea of buying a bare block & then going through the trials & tribulations of a local council, tradies & other dramas. I can of course see merits in starting from scratch with a house design of personal choice but it doesn’t always work out in actual practice.
We’re in the process of selling our 1 acre patch but have yet to find anything to move to that really appeals but hopefully something will present itself soon.
I’ve enjoyed reading your posts.
XioJanuary 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm #513572
Thanks f or the feedback Xio… I’ve twice tried replying to you and the first disappeared and the second failed to post as my session timed out! This is one of the BIG frustrations with this site! Lots of useful info and lovely people, but the toolset for the site itself is very cumbersome…. I’ll try t o write later.December 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm #513573DizzydebMember
Have been reading your threads with much interest..How are things going now..as this thread is 10 months ago.December 28, 2013 at 3:09 am #513574
Thanks for the reminder Deb! I’ll try to dedicate a bit of time to writing some more entries! Seasons Greetings!February 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm #513575KristyMember
I’ve enjoyed reading this thread, how is everything going now? I can understand you must be very busy!January 10, 2015 at 4:56 am #513576AnonymousInactive
Hooked on this..please post next instalment 🙂
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