Friday, January 22, 2010

Danger Electric Shock Risk

After water got into the previous electrical systems for the solar panels we are taking no chances with the new system.  So as well as building nice brick built houses on the roof for the electronics and batteries to sit in we are building a nicely laid out panel which everything sits on.

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The black thing in the top left is the heat sink for the charge controller which will take the current from the panels and feeds it to the batteries. Underneath that is a switch and fuse to isolate the panels. In the centre is the main box which will contain all the fuses and switches to isolate the batteries and the supply to the house. The blue box on the right hand side is the 750w inverter that will provide the 240v for the lighting and other low wattage things for the house. We can’t use the inverter just yet until we up the battery capacity but we need to plan the space in advance.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Removal of the Man Trap

The entrance way has always had a large hole in one side of it (it was a drain), but since we ran the drains etc for the new bathroom across it, it has been a bit of a assort course just to get into the house.

So finally we have got around to relaying the entrance way.  This involved digging up the current concrete, creating a manhole for the drain accesses and putting down the new concrete.

DSCF3256 Casting Manhole.

DSCF3275 Removal of existing concrete.

DSCF3283 New concrete laid.

DSCF3284 All Done.

So now we can get into the house without braking a leg. I just hope I got the grading right so that the rain water goes down the drain and not into the house.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Spaghetti Junction

In preparation for creating the arch which will sit between the kitchen and the dinning room, we needed to mount all the conduit and boxes for the power and lighting for the kitchen and outside.

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Once all the conduit and the boxes had been installed with a specially cut former to hold the socket boxes in place. The outside of the boxes were covered in plaster to hold the conduits firm and stop the concrete from seeping into the socket holes.

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Once the concrete had been poured and allowed to set for a few days it was time to take off the mould and see what was underneath. We have 3 boxes that will hold all the switches to control the kitchen and outside lights.

DSCF3266So here we are we have switches to control a light in the new kitchen and one above the back door (Yes we can now go to the bathroom at night with out requiring a torch). Also one of the switches is linked to a socket which powers the hot water heater so after a long time we no longer need to have a cable that runs all the way from the entertainment room to power the heater. The sockets are only there temporarily to provide power  while we work on the kitchen.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Small Construction Job

With the solar power down we need to get the small huts on the roof finished so that the final solar power system can be installed. Talk of procrastination, I  have been working on these on and off for two years.

Well we have the structures mostly finished and roofed but they still need to be rendered and doors added before the electronics and Batteries can be installed. Well the first stage is almost done .. the rendering, this has had to be done in three stages:

First: Attach a plastic mesh to the wall, this helps the render to stick.DSCF3245Second: first coat of render. Ok I had intended to only do one coat but just did not have enough.DSCF3248And finally the top coat: I actually think it looks quite good.DSCF3268

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Year of Stress

And thus with the chimes of midnight there came an end to what has been "the year of stress". It all started one rainy night back at the end of January when while driving back from classes on the other side of the capital when a rock landed in the road just in front of us. The inevitable collision wasn't life threatening but it did damage the car enough to render it in our eyes not worth repairing but we did instigate a procedure for claiming the cost of the damages back from the government. Or friend Sheila paid for the repairs. But in the mean time we needed a car for me to get to and from work. So we purchased a second hand Citroen C2. All was then fine for a short while until one day we were driving out of Santa Domingo after picking up some paperwork from the town hall when there was a tapping noise from the engine upon investigation we suspected that it was the timing belt so we called a tow truck, our suspicions were confirmed a few days later when the garage gave us the quote which was just a shade over 1,000€. The really annoying thing about this is that we would have taken the car in to the garage for a service at 80,000Km which was in about another 1,000Km.

Our claim against the government for the damages has now turned into a court case with us now suing the government through the Courts which will take awhile, and a some point mean a trip to Tenerife when we eventually have a date for the case to be heard.

We have also been plagued this year by problems with the catrastal register (Land registry). It appears that when we brought the house the registry wasn't updated. So when we discovered that this was the case we tried to sort it out, Oh how wrong we were. First we tried to sort it out in the local town hall. Nope, the guy there told us that the numbers on our documentation were wrong and that we would have to get the document changed before we could register the changes. So about a month later we went to the notary's office and spoke to them. Nope they said the document is correct. They suggested going to speak to the main office of the registry. So we went there after first going to the wrong place. They said fine what you need is a copy of you deed and your ID and fill out the forms. So we did that and thought that would be all, but no. A while later we received a registered letter which said that unless we produced so documents within 10 days we could face a fine of up to 6,000e. So we took the letter off to the notary's expecting there to be a big problem but all we needed was a copy of the previous owners deeds so after paying 9e we went back to the registry and handed over the paperwork. Again great we thought that's done, but no. We received a couple of letters a few weeks later that again we to to the notary's. The upshot of this is that we have to get all the people who own lands that border ours and four witnesses to the notary's to sign an affidavit and we also need an official survey done of one plot due to a size discrepancy. The size discrepancy is odd because the deeds were based on the registry figures at the time they were made.

So on to the next year and lets hope the next year leads to a resolution of some of the outstanding issues and that we don't have as many problems as this year has produced.

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