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DayCreek Journal

April 4 , 2004

The End of a (Subaru) Legacy

She never complained much. Occasionally she would get a little "tired" or should I say "exhausted", but she was always willing to "strut" her stuff no matter how rough Jo treated her. Of course, there were times when she was a bad girl. I remember the time she left me stranded out in the cold on Christmas Eve and Jo had to come by with the truck to jump start her. And then there was a period of time that she kept stalling, but then who in life doesn't procrastinate occasionally?

At the end of her life her skin had a few wrinkles, blemishes and dings, her visors kept falling down and she had a bit of FCP (Fluid Control Problem), but all that she asked for in return was a little TLC, an occasional energy drink and a few lube jobs here and there.

It's sad after all these years to see her go. May she rest in rust. (R.I.R.)

 

House of the Rising Sun

This week marks the completion of the deck railing and I must say that it has certainly spruced (actually pine and cedared) up the house. Although this project wasn't originally at the top of my list, I'm glad that it became a priority. It really adds a new dimension to the house and of course, the wrap-around deck is much, much safer for those that are gravity-challenged.

Considering the house is heated by the sun and soon to be powered by the sun, the sun-ray pattern is a nice touch. There are a total of 21 sun-rays: one for each side of the house (except the back door) plus six for the sides of the bridge that connect the deck to the hill in back of the house. I should have done it sooner!

The Solar Electric System -- Part I
After further deliberation between me, myself and I, it was decided to build the racks adjacent to the lower set of panels. (Originally, they were to go behind the racks of solar collectors.) This area is much more accessible, closer to the house and in an area void of large rocks and tree roots. I am hoping that digging post holes will go without too many hitches. (Famous last words.) I will attempt to dig them by hand, but if it ends up bothering my carpal tunnel, I may resort to renting an auger. I really enjoy manual labor, plus my wintered-over body could use the exercise.

Speaking of the racks, I had considered making the racks seasonally adjustable but the amount of added annual kW's was only 5% or so. Based on the potential for strong winds, I feel much more comfortable fix mounting them to the racks versus having them exposed to a hinge that is weaker in strength.

The panels will be fixed at approximately 38 °. This is in contrast to the existing solar collectors that are mounted at approximately 55°. The reason for this has to do with the season that benefits the panels the most. During the winter months, the fluid solar collectors are required to produce the most heat. A lower winter sun angle means that the collectors must be tilted at a higher angle. The opposite is true for the solar electric panels. There is much more meaningful power production during the summer months than the winter months. Therefore, the panels are tilted to take advantage of the sun's rays when they are the highest in the sky and during the seasons when there are fewer cloudy days.

Well, I guess I've racked up enough of your time for now. Onwards to digging holes!

Winter's not over until the Junco's leave for Alaska and so far, they haven't packed their bags.