[nSLUG] Career Change - Part 3

Daniel MacKay daniel at bonmot.ca
Sat Dec 1 11:14:29 AST 2012

Here's a mini journal of the things I've done in the last month:

From the base of a tower, logged into the controller of a 5kW wind turbine to find out why it wasn't running, ran some diagnostics on it, cleared some errors and watched it spin up.

A house call to reset the  controller on the thermal collector in a 150-year old south end house, where the 30 evacuated tubes + 300L hot water tank supplement the building's 150-yo cast iron radiator system.  During a power outage 

Rented a crane, went up in its basket to the top of a 60' tower to open up, dismantle, diagnose, and repair a 2.5kW wind turbine.  (the problem: the cables had burned off the brushes on the slip ring. Luckily for the owner it was all under warranty.) The system feeds power back into the Nova Scotia grid, using it as a battery (called, "grid intertied.")

Visited a house in the south end which has had a thermal panel -- evacuated tubes -- on the roof for the last ten years or so, to remove them and the frame so the homeowner can put a new roof on. Then I'll be back to replace it all.

Four days on the roof and one in the basement, of a huge home in Fall River being built which will be almost completely energy neutral. The thirty thermal tubes will provide almost all of the hot water and heating for the home, and the 5kW photovoltaic panels are also grid intertied.

Two days installing a solar-assist mini-split heat pump - heater + air conditioner.

One day on the roof and one in the basement of a very secluded big-ish Bauhaus home, again in Fall River which will eventually have all of its heat derived from the ninety evacuated tubes I'm installing.  The finished system will look something like this:


... unfortunately, the tubes going on is the very last thing you do -- after the owners move in usually -- so I don't have any finished photos of systems yet.  The first step is to locate roof joists and attach the feet that the collector sits on and weatherproof those, then put the frame on, plumb in the piping and sensors, then finally put the tubes on.

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