Friday, February 19, 2010

Solar Training for the Lady of the Cabin

I guess all that snow shoeing, drift scaling, snow shoe boarding, and playing with the gate yesterday was a little more than I was used to as I was really exhausted today. To the point of not feeling very well. The tractor did all the work with the driveway clearing; I just kind of aim so I don't think that was an issue. As much as I don't like sitting out a day of sunshine, I did. I feel bad when I don't get much done. I did cook, take a nap, and got some solar training. The Man loves his manuals. There must be eight manuals for the solar system. Thankfully, he was able to give me the "cliff notes" version. I now know the electricity flows from the panels into the house and through the charge controllers, batteries, inverter, and finally, into the subpanel. I created a cheat sheet on how to power up the system and power it back down. First of all, there is a box on the pole that the panels are on. We have eight panels. There are two groups of four panels. One is named PV1 and the other is PV2. The breakers for PV1 and PV2 in this box on the pole are flipped on. Next, in the mechanical room in the cabin, in the distribution box (pictured above), PV1 and PV2 disconnect breakers are flipped on (pictured above). Then the breakers for Charge Controller 1 and Charge Controller 2 are flipped on (pictured above). Inverter 1 disconnect gets flipped on. The inverter then gets turned on (it's to the left of the distribution panel). Inverter 1 Out breaker gets flipped on (in the distribution panel). Now the juice is flowing to the subpanel. The subpanel is just your basic, every day, on-grid household breaker box. The service disconnect breaker is on. Right now there is just one outlet in the entire cabin and it's at the subpanel. Turning the system off is just doing the above steps in reverse order. I am also trying to get into the habit of standing to the right of the breakers that I'm throwing while using my left hand to throw them. In the unlikely event that the breakers blow (can you tell I've recently flown), they are supposed to blow to the left which would be away from my left hand and my body. DISCLAIMER: These are the directions for OUR system; the procedure could be different for different systems. Please be safe and refer to your own encyclopedic set of manuals.

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