05 OctBitchin’ BMW Z3

image

I bet the chicks really dig that exhaust system! Really compliments the pimp daddy wheels and the poodle in the window.

20 NovSolar Installation – Stalled after Day 7

Friday,  November 20 2009:

After wondering why no one showed up yesterday, I heard from the solar company that the city inspector will not be coming by today, Monday or even Tuesday. Looks like it will be Wednesday. Darn. I was looking forward to playing around with the software this weekend. Oh well. I’ll post more details of the monitoring software as I get it installed.

18 NovSolar Installation – Installation Day Six

Wednesday, November 18 2009:

Well today makes it exactly one week since the installation started and was pretty much a wrap up day. Wiring was finalized, trimming was done and all of the other things that need to be completed before the city inspector comes to verify and approve the installation.

But I have pictures of the completed solar install below. Enjoy!

Pretty New Panels all perched on the front roof. I'm really glad I got the black ones. They match the roof really well.

Pretty New Panels all perched on the front roof. I'm really glad I got the black ones. They match the roof really well.

And the 8 panels on the back roof

And the 8 panels on the back roof

All of the wiring is hidden under the panels for a neat look

All of the wiring is hidden under the panels for a neat look

Connectors from panel

Connectors from panel

17 NovSolar Installation – Installation Day Five

Tuesday, November 17 2009:

I think today will be the longest day that the installers worked. They started at 8am and left as 5:30pm (basically dark). They really wanted to get all of the panels mounted and finish up the roof work.

They were sucessful. I couldn’t take any decent pictures of the mounted panels since they didn’t finish until dark.

One interesting thing.. Did you know that you can stand on the panels? Ok, maybee not ME, but the installers did. I wish I had my camera at the time. I was blown away. ;)

Here are the install pics:

Removing cardboard from panels to lay onto rails

Removing cardboard from panels to lay onto rails

After placing the captured nuts in the rail, the installer aligns the panel into place and...

After placing the captured nuts in the rail, the installer aligns the panel into place and...

Screws the retainer aluminum blocks down to hold down the panel.

Screws the retainer aluminum blocks down to hold down the panel.

Wires from panels waiting to be daisy-chained together

Wires from panels waiting to be daisy-chained together

The aluminum penetrating roof mount. I was concerned this would leak, but after the LB install, it look fine.

The aluminum penetrating roof mount. I was concerned this would leak, but after the LB install, it looks fine.

The installers did a great job on the conduit install inside the garage. Tucked up high and out of the way.

The installers did a great job on the conduit install inside the garage. Tucked up high and out of the way.

The two wire feeds from the two solar banks junction here and goto the breaker panel.

The two wire feeds from the two solar banks junction here and goto the breaker panel.

Inverters wired up to breaker box

Inverters wired up to breaker box

Closeup of wired inverter with door open

Closeup of wired inverter with door open

16 NovSolar Installation – Installation Day Four

Monday, November 16 2009:

WOW.. Today was a BUSY day, solarwise and not. :)

  • Holes were drilled into the roof for the conduit
  • Grounding wire installed
  • Solar panels arrived
  • Conduit run, both in the garage as well as inside the attic.

So the electrician’s didn’t poo-poo the inverter placement too much. The only thing is that code requires the placement of the subpanel 3 feet away from an open door. Since the garage door is a door, the subpanel will need to be placed “in shelving unit”. I’ll need to clear ALL of the crap from the shelving unit near the inverters for the inspection, then put everything back there. “Shh.. don’t tell the inspector!”

On to the pictures!

Solar depot delivered the panels

Solar depot delivered the panels

Unboxing Panels

Unboxing Panels

24 New Panels in garage

24 New Panels in garage

New Panels! Woo Hoo!

New Panels! Woo Hoo!

Packing Slip from Solar Depot (Who delivered the panels)

Packing Slip from Solar Depot (Who delivered the panels)

Ground wire

Ground wire

Conduit Through Roof

Conduit Through Roof

Panels Placed On Roof

Panels Placed On Roof

Panels staged on roof

Panels staged on roof

Installer running conduit

Installer running conduit

15 NovNew Suspension Installed- Not low enough!

A couple of weeks ago a friend installed a new suspension setup in my TDI. In trade, I installed a Pioneer AVIC-Z3 navigation system. Quite a fair trade if I do say so myself.

Anyway, after a lot of research I decided to use VW Driver gear springs (OEM Eibachs) and Koni FSD struts and shocks to get a slight drop but absolutely no compromise on ride.

The ride and handling is awesome. However, the rear is too high to me. It seems like stock. The front is fine, but the rear- what is going on?

The stock springs were compared to the new springs, and the new springs were indeed shorter than the stockers. Perhaps the FSD shocks don’t work well with these springs?

What do you think?

Before

Before

After

After

15 NovSolar Installation- Personal Installation Stuff

Sunday, November 15 2009:

Because the USB to RS-485 adapter didn’t show up, I ran out things solar-related to do on my Sunday. (Not that cleaning the office didn’t appeal to me AT ALL.) I decided that I’d start to  “clean away crap” from the shelves so that they could install the inverters, conduit, etc. It was quite a daunting task. Not so much that I had to move (and find new places for the old stuff), but rather, convincing myself that the location “in the shelving area” was the best location. After hemming-and-hawing, I finally decided the area next to the shelving unit was the best location. No issues with heat or access. And I think the electricians will be happier as well.

Both Kaco inverters mounted on wall by moi. Hopefully the electrians will be happy. :)
Closeup of one of the Kaco inverters

Closeup of one of the Kaco inverters

13 NovSolar Installation- Installation Day Three

Friday, November 13 2009:

Today wasn’t an unlucky day at all! The installers finished up the roof mounts on the back side of the roof and installed the rails that the panels will mount on.

All roof mounts completed and roof mounts done.

All roof mounts completed and roof mounts done.

12 NovSolar Installation- Installation Day Two

Thursday, November 12,  2009:

Doesn’t seem like a lot happened today. But in reality, all 24 aluminum roof mounts were completed. Each one is really a lot of work because of the Tri-laminate roof and the spot-on installation into the rafter.

11 NovSolar Installation- Installation Day One

Wednesday, November 11 2009:

Installation starts. I go over the installation with the foreman to confirm panel and inverter placement as well as conduit positioning. Hey, I’m an engineer. Enquiring minds want to know. :)

Installation Crew Arrives
Installation Crew Arrives
Installation crew starts measuring roof to mark for layout
Installation crew starts measuring roof to mark for layout
Panel outline and roof penetration markings on roof.
Panel outline and roof penetration markings on roof.
Closeup of roof markings
Closeup of roof markings
Aluminum roof mounts installed under shingles and screwed to rafters underneath
Aluminum roof mounts installed under shingles and screwed to rafters underneath

Thats all they had time for on the first day. Two guys working from 8am to about 3pm. Lots of planning and double-checking.