Thursday, May 6, 2010

Work continues on our solar power system (and solar hot water, too)

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the family worked on installing more of our solar power system. Today, the plan is for four more of the panels to be installed and connected. The installation of the remainder of the panels will wait until we've upgraded our battery system, as our current batteries can't handle any more power than we'll be pulling in with these twelve panels.

You should take a look at those black water pipes. They constitute an important part of our hot water system. We have a gas hot water heater in the house, but the water which enters the heater comes from these pipes on the roof. During the hours between about 9am and 3pm, if we use hot water out of the tank, the water which refills the tank will actually be hotter than the temperature we've set for the heater. We try to use hot water during those hours whenever we can, but if we need hot water at times when we aren't getting hot water from the roof (at night, or on cloudy days, for example), we'll have it available, because of the heater. Allen did some math today, and he figures that our annual cost for hot water will be less than $50 - and this is for a family of 7 people! That's a pretty good deal!

Boo climbed up on the roof to take these pictures for the blog. The second shot of the pipes shows how the pipes turn at the edge of the roof and head back across the roof again, to create space for approximately 50 gallons of water.

Boo was glad to take some pictures for the blog, except that she would then not be in any of the pictures. So, she contrived and took this photo, which manages to show the workers and be a self-portrait as well! ;-D


Beth said...

I'm so glad Boo managed to be in the picture! Tell her hello for me!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, you mention the heater runs on gas. Propane tanks? You got yourself a very crafty husband and son.