Saturday, February 3, 2024

More Projects

Friday - It's going to be a windy couple of days. Complete with some rain, thunder, and lightning. I guess I'll see how well the solar panels stand up to some wind. On my last trip down the ladder from the roof, a couple of the plastic ladder pieces decided to fail (again). I found replacements on Amazon for not only the plastic pieces but also the aluminum ladder rungs themselves. I guess 18 years is long enough for plastic sitting outside.

A couple of years ago I had looked for these on Amazon and they were ridiculously expensive. This time, the price was more reasonable. I believe that at least four of the rungs need to be replaced at this time. A project for next week. 

Another project is re-installing the cord reel. I'm trying to come up with a way to retain the twist-lock connector and the cord reel but that will require some sort of shut-off switch on the cord reel. Or else the plug will be "hot" if the twist-lock is being used.

Even with the overcast day, the solar charge current topped out at 46 amps. I guess tilting panels are the way to go. I have been resistant due to the effort of climbing up on the roof. 

Saturday - More thunderstorms last night but it looks clear and sunny today. The ladder parts arrived in today’s mail. I completely replaced three of the four rungs on the uppers part of the ladder and salvaged components and replaced the lowest rung on the lower, detachable part of the ladder. I still have one more new rung and may replace the top rung just because it’s old and probably ready to fail anyway. 

Based on our location (latitude, average cloud cover, precipitation, etc.) the NREL estimates that we can harvest about 83 kWh for the month of February or about 3 kWh/day. This is for our modest 0.83 kW of solar at a 30° angle. BTW, if the panels aren’t tilted, the estimate is 65 kWh for February. A loss of about 20%. 

Today’s total of 3.10 kWh is about the most we ever produced. The jury is still out on whether it’s worth the effort to tilt the panels. 


  1. Please ensure all that bad weather is gone by the time Martha and I get there. :)