Going Solar Phase 2

I thought I would show you our new LEDs which arrived last week.  Kim has been testing them and, as he hoped, if we run 4 of them in series then we do not need any control circuits, but can run them straight off the batteries.  In fact he has worked it out so that the wire that connects them will act to reduce the voltage if the batterie’s voltage should get higher than what the LEDs can handle.  However if the battery voltage stays around 12.5V then there is little resistance, so it should all work well and be very power efficient.

We are hoping that 4 LEDs will be sufficient to light most rooms in the main building, so we will do some experimenting soon to see how best we can arrange them.  They can give off 493 lumens each, and to give you some idea, a 60W light globe gives off 700 lumens.  They are SO tiny, but very bright.  They give off their light in a 120 degree radius which is more focussed than a normal light globe so we will have to see what the effect is when we get them in place.  We hope that having 4 in the lounge room and kitchen will spread the light adequately.  Next job is to mount them and run the wires, switches etc.  The first place we are going to do is the “Manor” since that runs off 12V already.  There are just two small rooms in the Manor, so we are going to try two LEDs in each room and see how it looks.

Kim has also been plugging away at getting our new combustion stove plumbed in with it’s hot water system.  He has been soldering copper fittings together, drilling holes in the walls to connect everything up, welding up tears in the cold water tank, making a platform and all sorts.

The hot water tank is situated down the end of the new decking out the front, and will ultimately be boxed in and surrounded with insulation.  The associated cold water tank will be mounted above it on the roof.  It is all very exciting to see the stove and associated HWS coming together.  We hope to be able to test it by the end of this week.  This decking out the front of the kitchen is also where our big batteries are going to live.  In between the HW tank and the batteries I should still be able to fit a couple of chairs so I can sit there in the sunshine and watch the birds.

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