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charge control panel solar panel wind turbine august aout 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

You can see plenty of photos of the farm on its own website or on the blog but this one is a special pic of the electricity control panel, which is the heart of my system.

From right to left we have
    TOP ROW Charge Controller for solar panel bank one; Charge Controller for solar panel bank two; Charge Controller for wind turbine; Dump load controller (when the batteries are charged I dump the excess charge into a 12-volt water heater); a 600-watt inverter that transforms the current from 12 volt to 230 volt for powering the laptop, power tools, battery chargers and the like; a domestic electricity meter to tell me how much mains current I've used.
    SECOND ROW a British 230-volt twin socket. I use British plugs and sockets because the plugs are fused and this protects my circuits
    THIRD ROW a cut-out switch for the solar panels; a fusebox from an Opel Astra (I like these for my 12-volt circuits because they have just one main wire - a nice big thick one - in, a bank of about 8 fuses that take these big fuses of up to 100 amps, and about 8 wires out; an American 110 volt socket, which is what I use for my 12-volt circuits. American electrical equipment is designed for much heavier cable than European stuff and on a 12-volt circuit you need as heavy a cable as possible to avoid voltage drop.


tunnel les bouchards railway chemin de fer montlucon gouttieres august aout 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Every so often Marianne from the local history group organises walks around the local area and these are always interesting.

Today she took us on a walk along part of the old railway track that ran from Montlucon to Gouttieres - the section from La Cellette to the tunnel at Les Bouchards.

The line had an exciting history, opening as late as 1932 and not even lasting 25 years before the axe fell on it. The tunnel, now boarded up, is a refuge for a rare type of bat, not a "successful English Opener" but a "Barbasterelle"


birdwatching point site ornithologique st gervais gorge de la sioule august aout 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Back at my favourite photography spot - the birdwatching point close to St Gervais. The morning is warming up and the cooler air in the Gorge de la Sioule is slowly rising, being drawn up by the convection.

As the cooler air mixes with the warmer air the moisture within condenses and creates a kind of fog that envelopes the Gorge. It all looks quite impressive from my vantage point up here.


fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire neuf eglise august aout 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

I follow Pionsat's football teams as often as I can but the matches have their own web pages and I don't often include the photos of their matches on these pages unless there is a good reason for doing so.

Usually my night photographs can't cope with the darkness of the stadium - the level of illumination is nothing like the 750 lux that you have in the Welsh Premier League - but tonight for some reason that I do not know, the photos came out really well. This is the 3rd XI on the attack against Neuf-Eglise.


briffons mont dore stationary cloud august aout 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

On the subject of football and following the club I get to go to places that I would never ordinarily visit and as the area around here is so beautiful I quite enjoy it.

One Sunday a match in the Cup took me to Briffons, a small village in the foothills of the Mont Dore - the highest point in the area. I was hoping that I would get a really good view from here but we had that interesting phenomenon of a hanging cloud. These clouds come mostly from the west and as they pass through the mountains they collide with winds coming from the south or east and as a result they seem to hang on the mountain like a heavy fog. Where I live we have them on a regular basis, and here is an excellent example of how such a cloud looks from a distance.


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