Boat Maintenance Boat Systems

Number Three

Monday, May 17, 2010S.V. CAMBRIA

David's working platform and third solar panel.

David and I mounted the third solar panel on top of the radar arch this morning. The procedure was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be but not something I want to repeat any time soon. If you can imagine a painter's ladder on the dock leaning up against the radar arch (which is about fifteen feet in the air and attached to a floating, moving object) as the working platform and a man carrying a 30-pound rectangle that's 60 inches long and 26 inches wide as he climbs up, then you can surely understand why. I wish we had pictures because they'd speak volumes compared to any words I can type, but it was a matter of safety first!

Now all that remains is the wiring and installing the MPPT controller (a Maximum Power Point Tracker that takes an electrical load from a solar panel array and produces a suitable voltage to the batteries), but that's no small task. The cable David ordered last week was supposed to arrive four days ago but, because of an ill-timed mistake on the merchant's part, won't be in until late tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, the forecast is for three fronts to pass through this week bringing wind and rain along for the ride, so it'll be a few days before we're able to get back to work and finish the job completely.

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