Painting is completed!

The painter spent the last few days finishing off painting the house. He did a great job on it, and even went further than he had to / quoted.

For testing colours, I figured, I would paint the front of the back fibro shed, which can be seen from the street (which meant our testing would not be wasted).

For the shed though, there was a bit of timber and a lot of old silicon from the awning they had there that the building report marked as unsafe. It was ripped down prior to us moving in, so it was a non issue  – else I would have ripped it down already anyway.

The painter though, painted the front of it himself, so that saved me doing it, which kinda removed something for me to do – a bad thing, I get bored easily.

The brick work at the front is probably the next thing to tackle, it needs a coat of render and painting – the painter having already tidied up the brickwork on the side (and again, it wasn’t quoted work).

The colours – took 5 sample pots, and a good 15 or so colour cards to decide, and the colour we pick is no less than “Self Destruct” – a great name for a house that’s nearing 60 years of age.

So, our colour scheme is: Roof, Downpipes, Doors, Frames, and Fascia – Colourbond Deep Ocean. Eaves – White On White. Wall cladding and concrete stumps are all Self Destruct.

The sand / beach effect is there in that colour on the walls, as well, as a colour that is nearing some sort of coffee, is what my partner has claimed. It need not matter, I’m happy it wasn’t the green the colour looked like during the testing.

The exterior is mostly complete, we are having a break for now I think, pay for it all, and then finally, we’ll go on to a much larger interior change. Of note (but expected), is the exterior looks about 15 times better than the interior does, the paint on the interior is all marked and scratched, espiecially in the second bedroom.

I’ve been toying with the solar hot water system lately, the install doesn’t seem to be trapping as much heat, there was one day there where it was fine, yet the off peak was doing most of the work (so the meter reading led us to believe).

The solution (so far), was to leave the solar collector in the sun for longer. The system works like below.

The collector sits in the sun (on the roof), and gets hot as the sun hits it, there is a temperature sensor on the collector, and one on the inlet of the tank (the bottom).

When the temperature at the collector reaches 12oC hotter than the tank inlet valve, the water is pumped up, circulating through the tubes, and arriving back at the tank.

Hot water rises, leaving cold at the bottom, so as the hot water is returned, it’s released into the bottom, heating up the rest of the water as it goes up.

The pump cuts off when the collector is 6oC hotter than the tank, allowing the collector to remain hotter, and get even hotter faster, because we aren’t taking away much of the heat.

The temperature settings that were set by the installers (or perhaps arrived to the installer), was 2oC for pump cut off, and 6oC for pump on.

I looked up the programming mode, and find that I probably should have moved it off off peak, because the tank need only reach 60oC every 3 days to prevent biological contamination, and can be set to heat the water if it drops below 45oC – this would mean it would run much less, as the off peak kicking in always heats up to 60oC, and it will do that daily.

The other short coming of it is there is no tank temperature, only inlet, it’s a short coming because the tank could be at 50oC and the bottom could be at 30. If that were the case, I wouldn’t honestly care, because the water would still be hot. This would mean it would not need to turn on the heating element thus saving power – but it doesn’t know, and it doesn’t have control over off peak power, and I’d rather have both hot water, and no biological contamination, so we are stuck with leaving it on.

Of interest is Energy Australia’s relay control kicks in after 9am, and not in the night like one might expect, we’ve seen it spinning away.

As a test today, I flicked off the off peak switch this morning, I wanted to see if the collector performed the same, or if it was pumping hot water up as a result of the off peak heating kicking in (pumping hot water up there would have a cooling effect).

It was raining today, the off peak switch was off, and it peaked at 45oC, which was pretty good. I’m waiting on tomorrow, hopefully no rain, and we’ll kill the off peak switch again tomorrow.

Today, I turned it back on at 3pm, and it roared into action, consuming 1kWH in the space of about 15-20 minutes. I suspect had we not, the water may have gone a little cold.

I’m still now spending a lot of time researching two concepts, a wireless thermometer logging data to the PC, and wirelessly capturing data from the inverter.

The 2 problems with the inverter will be one, how do I torque the side panel screws down to 1.5Nm, keeping the inverter safe from water / etc, and two, the inverter possibly uses a protocol by Aurora, which isn’t available for review – but I’ll see what I find, if anything, else the windows software can fetch the data manually.

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