Tuesday 28 April 2015

New arrival

I'd rung yesterday to check that my solar panel would be delivered today, and ensured they knew Erin Mae's name and location. In the event we got a phone call from the marina office to say that the delivery people had turned up there and offloaded it without any attempt to find out where we were. So we took the car round to the office and squeezed the panel into the boot. We were concerned about the damage to the cardboard.

It was easier to manhandle than expected and together we got it to the jetty and up on to Erin Mae's roof before opening up.

It got more exciting as we began to remove the packaging – a bit like Christmas Day!

Finally the panel was revealed, and didn't seem to have suffered in transit.

I decided that getting it set up took priority over internal electrics – they're promising rain for tomorrow. The strong wind caused an alarum or two, and I had to drive to a hardware shop for some extra washers, but in the end it went on nicely.

My scheme for using car roof magnets to attach it worked out quite well. The combined height of the magnets and the stainless steel brackets give the whole construction just a few millimetres of clearance across the centre of the roof.

I copied Halfie's trick of using non-slip stuff to further protect the paintwork.

I'd thought, from the panel's datasheet, that it would have some holes on the shorter side that I could use for mounting, but there weren't any. This means the magnets are a little further out across the roof than intended, and therefore having to cope with a slightly greater angle. I've not yet made any attempt at adjusting this. It means that only the higher edge is in contact with the roof, but they still require a reasonable pull to detach them. I may consider doing without the non-slip, or devising some way of introducing a tilt. But for the moment everything is in place and we're well content.

Of course, it may not work when we connect it up!


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