An Eccentric Anomaly: Page 3

Ed Davies's Blog

To Power Point Track Or Not

As mentioned in a previous post I have a few small PV panels out in the garden feeding an old battery via a Morningstar TriStar MPPT 60 charge controller. With the experience of playing with this controller I'm having some second thoughts about how worthwhile MPPT still is as PV panels get cheaper.

Hearing of two of these failing in a short time also helps to undermine my resolve. [Update 2013-07-24: …and another one bites the dust.]


Node Version 6 on the Pogoplug

Dear Future Self and Anybody Else Who Cares,

Here's a method which works for me to compile Node.js version 0.6.2 to run on a Pogoplug (ARM-based low-power server) running Debian Squeeze (6.0.2).


Solar By Area

My previous entry, PV, ETs and Flatties, compared the outputs of various solar panel types by price. If, like me, you're designing a house to have a large south-facing area for solar collection then this makes sense as price is the key factor. However, if you have an existing house which is not designed with solar collection in mind then area might be the limiting factor. Following a request by Wookey here's a similar graph normalized by area.


House Sketch

The overview of my house plans (at House) are a bit out of date. The design has, as you might expect, evolved a bit (and is still evolving) and it never seems like quite the right moment to bring it up to date. That's one of the points of this blog: a blog post is only supposed to be right on the day it was posted; etiquette says it's “cheating” to later update an entry in more than the most trivial editorial ways without clearly marking what you've done.

Anyway, here's a quick sketch of more current thinking.


PV, ETs and Flatties

Following on from my previous PV For Space Heating post, it's interesting to consider what combinations of photovoltaic (PV, electric), evacuated-tube (ET) and flat-plate (thermal) solar panels make sense, particularly for the provision of space heating and domestic hot water (DHW) for any significant proportion of a winter not close to the tropics. First, a look at the performance of these panel types.


PV For Space Heating

Using photovoltaic panels to generate electricity to heat your house is nutty. Still, as the price of PV steadily drops (mainstream panels are now available at around £1/watt, including VAT) it's instructive to keep an eye on just how nutty it is.


Solar Warm Air Panel: End Of Term Report

Not surprisingly my solar warm air panel isn't doing a lot now it's December so perhaps an update would be good.


Electronic Statements

Dear Company X,

You want me to get my statements electronically. This is quite understandable; it'll cost you a significant amount of money to print and post statements which must be a bit irritating when you're already running a website for me to access my account. And moving bits of paper around has some ecological impact which would be worth avoiding.

But, sorry no, I always resist if I possibly can.


Off-Grid Batteries

The other day somebody asked on the Navitron forum about batteries for off-grid use specifically mentioning the use of lithium-ion batteries. My reply encapsulates the beginnings of my thoughts on the subject well enough and, unlike most forum posts, stands alone well enough that I thought it was worth re-posting here with some light editing.


Wifi Oddity

The other day I built a Nanode so needed to re-jig my network wiring to be able to test it conveniently on the workbench in my office. In the process I needed to reset my Wifi router (forgot the admin password - oops). After that I found my laptop was horribly slow communicating with the big wide Internet.