Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Open Homes weekend 25th - 26th April, 3rd May)

Open Homes weekend
25th - 26th April (and 3rd May)

Eleven low energy homes open their doors to visitors this spring. 
Some are cutting edge refurbishments with ultra-low bills, other homes have undergone more modest changes to make them more comfortable and cheaper to run.
Details of each home are now up on the websites:
www.wbecohouses.co.uk (including a timetable of all the opening times)
Every home description includes a link to Eventbrite, to book your free visit(s). Once you have made a booking, further details such as the exact address, bus routes and parking options will be sent to you by email nearer the time.

For further information, contact Tina on wbecohouses@gmail.com or 07962 453037

The date for the Peveril Solar House is May 3rd 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fitting a deep charge battery to PV panel

13 April 2015: I have had a spare PV panel on my extension roof for about two years and let two summers go by without using it. I wasted a lot of time trying to build a battery with NiCad cells, but lost heart, they don't seem to run anything for more than a few hours.

I finally decided to get myself a VICTRON AGM  110AH deep charge battery and this is now connected and charging at 0.7 A when the sun shines.There was spare space on the extension roof. I hope to run something like the glycol pumps off it, and some 12volt lighting down in the dining room.
The last postings on this was in December 2012, in which I felt that the NiCad was a mistake:  http://chargingtheearth.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/nicad-battery-is-charged-and-working.html
http://chargingtheearth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pv-panel-up-but-not-regulated.html

I need to elevate the PV panel on short 200mm legs so that the panel is not shaded by the polycarbonate sunbox when the Sun is in the West.

Why the Victron AGM?
You can't use a Car battery, as they are designed for high output for short periods (when starting the engine), so you need a deep charge one : a Caravan/Boat domestic battery which is designed for light continuous loads. It's something to do with the spacing of the plates in the battery.
http://www.victronenergy.com/batteries/Gel-and-AGM-batteries
I currently have a Maplins inverter (in the photo), perhaps I ought to get a Victron Inverter too.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Progress on the solar dehydrator

March 2015: Work on the solar dehydrator has been progressing well, and it is nearly complete, lacking merely the top surface of the solar tube.

Roof construction. This is designed to allow air to escape but not too quickly, and to prevent water from getting in. It is also a transportable component which is fitted on site.Fitting the Solar Tube -  this sits tidily in the chassis and connects to the hopper below the drying chamber.
Inserting the black plastic tubes. They are on a small aluminium subframe so they can be easily transported or lifted out/in.The front doors are drop-down work surfaces, with chains to keep them level. The light aluminium stool is high enough for safe maintenance of the trays in the upper chamber. 

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