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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/2/2011

Of course, more happened today than just getting the Ethernet hooked up to the house (though let's be very clear that that was BY FAR the most significant event!). Solar LeRoy actually came up to do some other work, and I got some more work done in the apartment utility room.

The battery work was the most important thing. Back when Solar LeRoy was installing my second set of batteries, he discovered that two of them had a problem with their battery terminal posts. I didn't know this before plunging into the whole solar thing, but terminals for most renewable energy batteries come in a variety of styles to accommodate various cable attachment methods. This variety is good for all the different systems out there, though sometimes it can lead to problems, such as when my first batch of batteries arrived with the wrong terminal post style (they quickly fixed this within a week), but there can of course be problems likely traceable to the different styles the factory has to make. (It turns out that most solar batteries are "built to order" out of a catalog of options, rather than stocked on a shelf someplace to get older and less reliable... probably a good approach.)

Two of the batteries we installed last time around had loose terminal posts, such that the attachment nut that is supposed to lock down the various power leads would just cause it to spin in place. The battery worked fine and we were able to "wedge" the connections in place, but of course that wasn't a good long-term solution, so Solar LeRoy had ordered a couple of replacements (they were under warranty after all).

Which was the whole point of his visit in the first place (before I drafted him for Ethernet work). We hauled out the old batteries, and once we got the two new ones in place he showed me how to do some basic maintenance on the Outback charge controllers, blowing out the fan filters so they wouldn't overheat or anything. They were in decent shape, and I think he was a bit surprised by that, but we were both happy nonetheless.

After he left, I worked on getting down a bit more tile in the apartment utility room and then grouted the whole thing. It's going to need to dry for about a day before I can move in the apartment washer/dryer combo (which has been sitting in the middle of the garage since I wrestled it up the driveway a few days ago). I've still got to do the conversion work to change it over from natural gas to propane (I've got a kit sitting here, since I didn't have Lowe's do it; we'll see how that goes) so it'll likely be a couple of days yet, but at least the floor will be done enough at last. There are still some very oddly-shaped fiddly bits in the corners that I've got to do, but that can happen later...

An awesome day indeed!

Steven in Colorado Springs

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