2015 12

Updated: 2015-12-01

The wire arrived today!

2015-12-01-wire.jpg

Updated: 2015-12-15

My panels seem to be able to produce more than they should in bright sunshine and snow. I was hitting over current over temperature again as the panels were producing 64A today as I was studying first the Xantrex control panel then later with a Fluke clamp on ammeter both at the strings of panels outside and inside on the output of the C-60 charge controller. No doubt about it even though the panels are not supposed to be able to produce more than 7.85A they evidently were producing more than 10A each. The ambient temperature was in the low 20s (about -6C to about -3C) all day today when observing this situation. I have 10A fuses on each panel so I don't really understand unless the cold prevented the fuses from reaching the right thermal point to fail.

I checked the accuracy of both the C-40 remote display and the ammeter and they agreed within 1A so now I can be certain. The C-60 is overheating when receiving a sustained 50-64A between around 1100 to 1430 local time. It is going into thermal shut down and sometimes current overload status continuously during that period. It is wasting quite a lot of power for me but I want to keep everything running on 12V and my charge controller options are limited. I am going to see about cooling the heat sink before I give up but I have seen this charge controller do this before even when it had not snowed.

We have a lot of snow on the ground and it isn't melting due to extreme cold right now.

Updated: 2015-12-20

I painted the parts of my new rack Friday when the temperatures finally broke above freezing again and then a few days later (today in fact) I assembled the rack.

2015-12-20-rack-01.jpg

I did not have time to complete the panel mounting (I need to drill some holes to mount the unistrut frame.)

2015-12-20-rack-02.jpg

Since there seems to be a huge size difference as I mentioned earlier I have to think about cutting some of the unistrut off flush with the mounting system.

2015-12-20-rack-03.jpg

I will have to increase the gap between left, right with the center to about 2.5" each side of center to make it cover up the unistrut and the underlying swivel mount.

Updated: 2015-12-25

We had a decent day here except for the 50-mph winds. That made attaching the unistrut rack to the panel rack swivel pieces a bit challenging.

I was not able to get very much completed today other than the drilling and attachment of the rack onto the main frame of the skid-mount.

As you can see I have not yet trimmed the excess unistrut I need to cut that off soon.

I need to readjust the gap between the panels again as I re-adjusted the last panel on the right (wen facing the array from the front) after I had already set that gap once.

I have to cut and modify (drill, round off the corners, primer and paint) two pieces of steel to mount the junction box to the main skid-mount frame.

2015-12-25-rack-01.jpg

It was very cold and my fingers were not functioning well clumsy and fumbling with the wind chill turning them into useless instruments.

I was wearing thin gloves too to protect my hands but bright, sunny and very windy and cold were the order of the day here.

2015-12-25-rack-02.jpg

This is taking way too long but we have now had snow on the ground for over 12-days continuously with very cold weather and additional snow so it has been very difficult to work outside as much as I had hoped.

These Sunpower panels are so small yet produce only 5W less than the Sharp ND-230 panels.

Updated: 2015-12-26

We had a lot of snow on Saturday so was unable unwilling to work outside. This image was made 0900 localtime but the snow kept falling all day into Sunday morning.

2015-12-26-rack-01.jpg

Updated: 2015-12-27

Twenty-four hours later we have more snow and I am still unwilling to work in the cold and wet snow.