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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spud Web

Worked from home again today so I could be around when the technicians for Mercury Solar arrive to check my system.    They were supposed to come between 8-9 am, but showed up at 10.  They proceed to check the system and come to the door after about an hour and say they need to run to Home Depot.  I am like, Home Depot…they need a small sized Phillips head screwdriver.  With all the tools, and the big truck they had, it was funny to hear that they had to make a run for a screwdriver.

Once back on track, they open the junction box tat connects the solar array to the inverter and test some voltages.  They call me outside to see, and explain that the voltage across all 3 solar arrays is the same, so WATTS the problem.  WATTS the problem is right, not enough WATTS coming down for the panels.  How do you know is the common question and I explain my logic again.   I provide the advise and ask that they call the office and speak to the lead engineer and he can point them to the suspected issue with solar array #1.  

Back up on the roof, it is now around 1230 and the guys tell me that they found a problem.  It is with array #1 , but they are not sure if it is a shorted (grounded) wire or one of the panels.  They need to go to their local office to pick up something…again, why isn’t it in their truck.  Now the clouds are getting thicker, and soon replace what little sun we had today.  They come back, climb back up on the roof, make some noise taking panels off, and then around 4pm, they are finished. 

I am happy, but skeptical at this point as the system is generating barely enough WATTS under cloudy sky near sunset to really know if they have risen to the challenge.  When the sun comes out again, and I am home, I will take a look to see if I am generating the WATTS that I think the system is spec’d out for.  That would be about 80% of max output.  30 panels * 185 Watts *0.80 = 4440 WATTS, not the 2000-3000 I have been seeing….

I may have lost a few you along the way, but the moral of the story is, as a consumer, you have to be 
educated, and stand up for what you think is right.  The little guy doesn't have to back down.

This day in history “On February 8, 1986, Spud Webb, who at 5’7” was one of the shortest players in the history of professional basketball, wins the NBA slam dunk contest, beating his Atlanta Hawks teammate and 1985 dunk champ, the 6’8” Dominique Wilkins.

Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb was born July 13, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Throughout his life, Webb had to prove himself as a basketball player due to his relatively small stature. As a high school player, he averaged 26 points per game and was one of 10 students out of 5,000 selected to the All-State team; however, his size prevented him from being recruited for Division 1-A colleges. Instead, he attended Midland Junior College in Texas, where he led his team to victory in the 1982 junior college championship. He then caught the attention of the coaches at North Carolina State University, where he went on to play for two years”

I remember this guy, Spud who became an instant celebrity.  In the projects, we would go down to the P.S. 201 park and shoot hoops.  Have dunk contests, and all that.  Problem is, I was only 5’6” with high heel sneakers on.  Even with a boost, I couldn’t get close to dunking…I just did not have the ability to jump that high.

On the way home from the gym, I noticed some strange white things falling from the sky and blowing around in the front of the car headlights.  I think it was something called snow.  I sure hope they don’t multiply or think of congregating in top of my solar panels.

Photo of the day “Spud Web”

Spud Web courtesy of Luke Jenkins.  No mashed potatoes, green beans, or London broil were harmed in the making of this photo.

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