Friday, June 7, 2013

Still wet :(

I did manage to grab some old railway sleepers last week, but that's about all I got done. The rain never really let up, and the ground around the garage is positively saturated to the point that I sink up to my ankles if I try to walk across there.

Needless to say there's no point getting the bobcat out to sort out the tank stands.

All my anti-rain-dancing has had little effect too - we had a torrential downpour in Melbourne last night and about half that at Tallarook, so again the ground is a mucky wet mess. I've had to call off the gravel delivery a second time, so there will be no tank stands being built this weekend.

Instead I've been busy fabricating up a stand out of 30x30x2 SHS steel, for the solar hot water tank. I picked this up yesterday and it's now all on site, and we're about $4500 lighter.

It's going to be an expensive few months...

Savva was on site again today to finish off the roof flashing, or at least to attempt to. Although I've ordered all the flashings as per the designs in the Hebel manual, Savva is finding them a pain in the arse to work with and so we're going to modify them slightly so they're more .. conventional. This means I have to get some more sections bent up, but I needed to anyway to finish off the flat roof above the pump room.

If the weather holds we'll get the septic tank and trenches installed in a couple of weeks. Good news!

The other positive outcome today was that I met up with Nenad the solar electrician, and we had a good long chat about the project and what I'd like to do. To my considerable surprise he's never installed an AC-coupled system before, but he's got an open mind and for comparison's sake he'll go away and design a more conventional DC-coupled system and if it's cost competitive with what I can source, we'll thrash it out. My suspicion however is that it's going to be quite a bit more... but we'll see.

Whichever way we jump with the design, he's going to start roughing in the 240V wiring next week (yay!!) which means I need to extract a digit and put together a wiring plan during the week. One positive which I'm very happy about is that he's more than happy for me to work as his "apprentice" and take care of the grunt work, which will bring down the duration (and therefore the cost) of the install significantly.

It almost feels like I'm beginning to make some progress! :)

So this weekend I plan to finish welding up the hot water service tank stand, then get stuck into the garage doors. If the weather holds I may even begin digging the trench for the main water pipe up to the header tank - this is about a 150-200m run, which I need to dig to at least 300mm deep through the trees beside the road. I wonder how much of a bastard this job will turn out to be...

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