Monday, 24 May 2010


Well, what a glorious weekend! We felt even more privileged than normal to live where we do, as people flocked to the common to sit by the river, picnic under trees, and generally enjoy the sun.

On Saturday, we both went rowing early, then I had another outing at 11, and James came home to intall the new 100Ah Elecsol (more on batteries and solar panels later). After lunch, Charlotte came over and she and I headed for the Jesus Green Lido. Built in 1923, it is the longest outdoor lido in the country, at 100 yards (91m). It is unheated, but since it was so hot, we thought that this was the day to try it! At first it felt bloody freezing, but after a while we got used to it, and spent about 45 minutes swimming, which was very enjoyable.

On Sunday, it was too hot to lie in, so by 9am I was sitting reading in the shade on the bow deck. Later on we both raced in the Champs VIIIs Head, which I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the heat. James coxed my boat. Video here.

Waiting to race

Of course, the sunny weather is also great for our solar panel. In a recent comment, psladen asks: Two months on and I'd also be most interested in an update for how the panel has been holding up! Thoughts/annoyances? Any leaks from the bottom-mounted cables? MPPT tracker holding up?

We continue to be impressed with our wonderful photovolatic panel, having only run the genny a couple of times in anticipation of a lengthy iPlayer session! We have had the fridge on constantly (something we could not have contemplated before) and there is plenty spare. Ours are not bottom mounted : the wires exit from the top of the panel and go into the pigeon box. But others who have the bottom exiting wires have not reported any complaints. The MPPT tracker seems fine, no issues there. We haven't got a device to measure the current output of the panel, but on a vaguely sunny day the batteries are normally fully charged by the afternoon. Just this week we bought another 100Ah Elecsol battery to complement the three we already have, in order to keep up with the panel output, and try to store more of it. The only struggle encountered so far is keeping the panel clean. It has a rough texture which traps dirt and blocks the light but I struggle to keep it completely dirt and dust free. It seems to work fine despite this so its only a minor niggle.

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