Life at the end of the road

July 31, 2008

Getting the diesel and water flowing

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:33 pm

The day was not quite as bad as UK Wind Map was saying and despite a very wet start and end to the day it was on the whole pretty dry. The days first task after of course feeding was to go over to Torran and get the diesel flowing from the tank to the Lister ST 2 genny. It had run out of fuel yesterday and needed bleeding and whilst this is not usually a problem, the exceptionlly long distance from the tank to the genny means it can be a little arkward on this particular instalation. After straightening a kinked fuel pipe and tightening up a few joints I soon had it sorted and charging up the battery bank that supplies the house.

The system here at http://www.unique-cottages.co.uk/cottages/westcoast/skye/raasay_schoolhouse uses a combination of solar, hydro and diesel generator to charge up a 24v 900ah battery bank that supplies the house via a ‘Studer 2.5kw’ inverter/charger. Whilst not as sophisticated as the ‘Trace’ inverters it’s quite adequate if you can understand the manual.

A familly of newts

With the genny chugging away nicely I set off for North Arinish and my neighbours newt pond.

Actually it’s her water tank and as you can see it’s quite low though the newts didn’t seem to mind, though for some reason all my photo’s have started to go fuzzy when put on the blog. I do hope my dongle or pebble or whatever you call it that’s dangling out of the bedroom window in a plastic bag has not got water in it. Let me explain, I’m just trying out a Vodafone mobile internet package to see if it’s any better than my crappy dial up. Only trouble is that it only works in our bedroom with the dongle dangling out the window! which at the moment is presenting me with two problems, firstly it’s an awfull long way to the fridge and a can of beer and secondly the open window has resulted in a swarm of the dreaded Scottish midge entering the bedroom. I am not going to be popular tonight! Anyway after sorting out newt filters in the water tank and bleeding the water pipe I managed to get the water flowing and judging by the amount of rain that’s hitting our tin roof just now I suspect that the newts island is now underwater.

A very long name for a turbine

After the second breakfast of Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall sausages and Stornoway black pudding I set about  sorting the turbine with a very long name. XJ14-0.2DCT4-Z is a very complicated name for something with only one moving part and personally I think 200w high head turbine would have said allot more but there you go that’s what it’s called. I keep going on about the the poor build quality but it was only £234 and it was no worse than I expected so with this in mind I spent the day ‘sorting’ it

The first job being to replace all the crappy Chinese bolts and screws with freshly greased stainless ones. I also re cut the drunken thread for the ‘Turgo runner’ extraction bolt and greased that up. Turning my attention to the electrical side of things I repaired the broken socket, checked the connections, added tape, cable ties and silicon where required and rebuilt it. With all the rough edges filed off the water inlet and turgo nozzle I set about making up a housing for it out of a heavy galvanized steel drum.

And these photo’s are really crap tonight I wonder if it’s this mobile thingy

I also drilled and tapped a pressure gauge upstream of the shut off valve as I’d found this very usefull when setting up the ‘Harris Turbine’ and I suspect that the nozzle ( 18mm I think ) supplied with the turbine is far too big for my head and flow. BUT I’M NO EXPERT! Lots more happened today involving chasing piglets around the garden but I’m way too tired now as it’s work tomorrow on the ferry which means up at 5:30!

The XJ14-0.2DCT4-Z is here at last!

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:32 am

I really did pick the wrong day to have off, I’m sat here plonking away on my laptop at 6:30 instead of driving down ‘Calum’s road’ to a day of toil on the Loch Striven. Toil’s a bit strong because I actually like my job and today I wouldn’t mind being there instead of here because it is a trully miserable day and    UK Wind Map says that it’s going to stay that way. Still I’ve a full day ahead of me fixing a fuel supply problem on my mates ‘ST2 Lister genny’ and sorting out various water supplies. It’s hard to believe today that we have a water shortage but we do, the supply to our caravan and Brakens trough has dried up and as she’s feeding 7 piglets she needs allot of water. My friend and neighbours filter blocked yesterday and that was in part due to low water level in her newt pond, I mean water tank!

Yesterday

Anyway I’m writing this today because I just didn’t get a chance yesterday with all the excitement, well perhaps that’s too strong a word but we had friends staying with us and visitors around for a wee glass or two of wine last night so it just didn’t happen. The day got off to a very promising start   UK Wind Map said it was going to be dry all day so once the first busy morning sailings were out of the way I set about ‘scrabbling’ the starboard side upper deck. Of course as soon as I’d finished doing that and got the paint roller out it started raining and remained showery for the rest of the day. Though I think we just had this black cloud following the ferry as many other places including Arnish remained dry.

Here at last

After a mere 6 weeks since placing the order and only 2 weeks after parting with my cash my ‘Chinese 200w hydro turbine’ has at last arrived. No it did not take 6 weeks to come from China on a junk it took that long to arrive from   http://www.navitron.org.uk/index.php a mere 400 miles away.

Anyway it’s here and despite being the first thing I’ve ever bought where the box it came in was better made than the actual product I’m still very pleased and excited about it. Whilst it is very poorly made with lots of rough unfinished edges, welding spatter and held together with very dodgy screws and bolts. It is on the whole very solid and all it’s faults can be sorted ( I hope ).

The other exciting thing that arrived was my Vodafone mobile broadband package and whilst the Staffin mast I’m using doesn’t support 3G or whatever it is that you need for broadband I am getting 53.6kbps with my dongle hanging out of the bedroom window in a polythene bag! Which is far better than my best BT dial speed of 31.2kbps so we’ll just see how reliable it is before I dump BT and their extra line.

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