Archive for the ‘Solar Power’ Category


   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Solar Power, Tech

Since I moved to the new house, I took all my solar stuff down, all that is left is some conduit, and a few other things that make holes in the roof.  I’ll remove these when I’m ready to put a new roof on, later this year.


I’d like to avoid mounting panels on the house, this time.  First of all I have plenty of space, so I shouldn’t have to, second, the roof has a much steeper angle, and will make work much harder, and the panels less efficient.  Third, I think it will look better not having panels obvious from the street.  For these reasons I am looking into ground mounting panels.   Examples:


This will make placement much easier, and maintenance much easier. They will also run cooler as they wont be attached to a hot roof.  Now just to see how hard this will be to get drawn, approved, and purchased.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff, Solar Power, Tech, Uncategorized


I sure do manage to use/use up a lot of batteries, so I end up with a graveyard of ones that need to go to the EWaste section at the Transfer station.  About now is when other people find similar things they want me to haul off for them.  You’ll notice the big blue battery is one of the group that was in the old Solar Power project.  75% of batteries just isn’t enuf.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff, Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff, Uncategorized


Well, This is it. The final set of hardware, ready to install.  Its capable of completely working as is, just wouldn’t pass code due to lack of conduits, and one or two instances of incorrectly sized wire (that aren’t a problem, but could be, I suppose)

You’ll notice the XW6048, midnte solar epanel, 2 Xantrex XW Mppts. and the brand new 250Ah batteries.

Not seen, Apollo T80 Charge controller, Xantrex T40 CC, and SW5548 backup Inverter.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power


Today I moved in and hooked up 4 brand new MK Battery 8A8D batteries.  At 250ah each, this gives me a respectable amount of battery, and should make the system very happy.  Also, at 160 pounds each, 650 pounds total, there is even less chance of my house blowing away in a storm.


MK AGM Batteries
Sealed Recombinant Battery
AGM Type, 6 & 12 Volt


  • Sealed Absorbed Technology: Completely sealed; valve regulated battery with efficient recombination.
  • 250 quality control checks through ISO 9001.
  • UL recognized components MH17218.
  • Rated non-spillable by ICAO/IATA/DOT.
  • Forged terminals and bushings assure no leakage.
  • Tank formation ensures voltage matching between cells
  • Polpropylene Container/Cover
  • Operating Temperature Range: -40°F (-40°C) to 140°F (60°C)


PDF Specsheet  doc_8a8d-ltp_20070530142024.pdf


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff


The Permits are here! Lets get this thing started!

I should have all the parts I need, and all the permits needed.  All thats left is to file with Progress Energy for Grid-Tie interconnect, and I’m ready to rock and roll some solar power.   Its taken a lot of time, but I should be good by the end of March!

Yay, free power!


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff

Today, a new record.  12.5kwh produced today, with LOUSY weather.


I’ve gathered the system stats for the past couple months, just as we’ve started changes.


Hopefully I’ll have better stats to report after some better weather…


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff


Tracker #1 has been moved to its new home, and wired up to the system.  This baby really kicks out the power, all day long.  Sadly we’ve had terrible weather for the past 3 days, so I am unable to get a real  idea of the full potential.

Many thanks yet again to Jim (and helper Mike) for the unbelieveable help in this.  We almost lost Jim in the attic though.  It does get hot.



   Posted by: RobPatton   in Money, Solar Power

Just a note of interest.  Solar power purchases are exempt from Florida Sales Tax



   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff

I’ve crossed another milestone, a new record has been set here.

A new peak output, I’ve produced 16amps of 120v during the day on solar.


Next step should get me over 20amps! Perhaps this weekend?


   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Solar Power, Treehugger Stuff

Well, my good buddy Jim (and his son Alex) came over today to help me (read: let me watch him work) put the last 6 solar panels up on the roof.

Jim as been my solar teacher, years ahead of anything I’ve done. Hes great with helping preach the word of renewable energy.  With his HUGE solar install, and his Plug-in Prius, he stays on the bleeding edge of Alternative Tech.  He still insists on using his Sony Floppy disk camera, though…..


This go round we tried out a new flashing that the company makes, and it works VERY well.


Six of them to add for today’s install


Today’s upgrade yields me 50% more power, followed shortly by the tracker which will more than double what I had before today.  It should be good times for free power…


All he asked is for some BBQ (actually he asked for Sonnys, he got Bubbalous) and a charge for his (nearly world famous) car….