Friday 18th was a no-work day so we decided to move back over to the parkover place at Val’s. This gave us a chance to catch up with our washing. During the day I noticed that our solar controller had stopped working. No humm from the fan. No amps out. The LEDs claimed that the batteries were charging and that they were full. Yet at 12.4volts they clearly were not full. All was not well. Out came the ‘manual’ which wasn’t very helpful – it didn’t have any explanation that made any sense. I got on the phone – “ahhh Silverdale …. we have a problem …..” to the supplier. He talked me through a couple of tests and the conclusion seemed to be that it had stopped working. I reckoned that it was cooked – it’d been running very hot some days. He was calculating amps and it was all over my head. Anyway he offered to send a replacement unit.
By the next morning I’d read a bit more and understood a bit more about Watts Panel. It looked like we had 515 Wp (watts panel) going into a controller designed to take a maximum of 420 Wp. Not a happy coupling and one heading for heat and meltdown by the looks. On Saturday we moved across the field to connect up to power – the first time since we’d left Dunedin at the beginning of November we’d needed to be on power. Now with our power station useless we definitely need a power source. We worked 6 hours on the Saturday and then 6.5 hours on Sunday. The cherries just don’t seem to be coming on like they should. So it was late starts but that was OK.
Monday and Tuesday were both late starts as well which gave us time for last-minute Christmas shopping and for trying to sort out our power problems. Our man in Silverdale realised that there was no point sending another unit the same – we’d just cook that as well. Other options involve bigger controllers which will have to go somewhere else, and the ideal one isn’t even in the country yet. It’ll need some rearranging by someone. Plus we decided to try to get our vacuum toilet checked out – we seem to be loosing the vacuum. And of course it is just before Christmas and the silly season when everyone goes to the beach for three weeks and many businesses seem to assume that their customers have gone to the beach for three weeks as well. Ho humm.
As well as worries about power and sewage, my tooth was taking time to settle down. By the end of each day it’d had enough and was complaining. Sunday evening I was miserable and took myself off to bed. I had to go back to Cromwell on Tuesday afternoon to have the stitches out. She was pleased with how it was looking so that was good. It slowly gets better. Not my tooth I suppose – that’s gone. It’s just my jaw that is taking time to reccover. Ho humm….