Sunday 21st July.
Things are always there to test one. A message from Linda, in Tassie, informed me that her sister Maxine’s daughter is leaving Tassie in eight weeks for Queensland. The problem is as follows; our household goods from home are in storage in the garage at the residence she is presently at, which is owned by Maxine and husband Paul, and when their daughter leaves the second daughter is likely to move in. This in itself is not the actual problem but the relatives; one in particular, of her boy friend, has a record of unsavoury behaviour, being recently released from jail for break and enter and theft. Recommendations are that it would be unwise to leave our gear in the garage while this fellow is, or can be, residing there. It seems the appropriate suggestion would be to consider, and pursue the option of purchasing an old sea container and store our gear in it and then store the container on the block next to, and owned by, Paul. If we were to do this then any future problem of this nature would be overcome by simply finding somewhere else to store the container. It was also suggested that when we are finally finished with the container we could re-sell it and recoup the costs of purchasing it. The other problem is finding a starting point in finding out how to go about, and where one would, purchase one of the said items. At this stage we will concentrate over the next month on overcoming this hurdle and if not successful we will have to think of another answer.
To a different thought, tests on the solar panels while on the ground revealed that I can, with them off the roof, achieve almost twice the charging power than when they are mounted on the roof. I was surprised to find that the angle of direction pointing at the sun, that is between horizontal and vertical, does not have a great variation on amount of power provided, about 25% at the most. So why then, with them mounted on the roof, was power down by 50%? It was then revealed that one problem with them being on the roof is that the roof itself is not level, but rather a convex shape between sides. The result of this is that, in most situations, one panel is actually sloping in a direction away from the sun, beyond vertical at least, and is not providing much charge at all. I am now considering that the work I have performed in making them removable from the roof was well worth it. This has also provided me now with several other advantages as well, such as flexibility in placement of either panel where I wish, and being able to take one with us when we go camping in the tent. With the plugging system I used I will possibly now be able to leave one of the batteries in the car permanently.