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Friday, August 21, 2015

Arrival of the Panels!

On Thursday morning, the long-awaited panels arrived at the site!  There was a miscommunication between the shipper and the freight forwarder which resulted in us thinking that the panels were supposed to arrive in port last week.  But after many phone calls between Mike and the freight forwarder's dispatcher, we figured out that the next phase of solar panels was arriving a week later than we had anticipated.  So two flatbed trucks carrying our precious merchandise were a welcome sight at the office down here in Merizo!

Upon the arrival of the trucks, we promptly fired up our not-so-trusty forklift and got to work unloading the panels, mounting hardware, and inverter from the first flatbed with relative ease.  Once we unloaded the first truck, the second truck showed up with the posts and rails used for mounting the panels.  It was at this point where Jim, pushing the limits of the forklift's operating capabilities, wandered off the straight and narrow and wound up stuck in a rut along the side of the road.  Luckily, Paul came to the rescue and pulled him out with the backhoe.

After that fiasco, we unloaded the posts and rails from the second flatbed.  This was a bit trickier because of the length of the load we were picking up with the forklift.  We had to pay careful attention to how well the load was balanced before picking it up from the truck.

Once all the equipment was unloaded, we put the panels, inverter and mounting hardware into storage in the barn, and left the posts and rails out so they will be accessible when the installation begins tomorrow!  Looking at these pictures, you can see that it is now rainy season here on Guam, so we are racing to get these panels set up before the weather gets much worse.  Please pray that we can get the panels installed before the end of next week!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Phase Two Has Begun!

Since phase one of our solar panel project was implemented almost a year ago, we have produced 39.6 MWh of energy!  This translates to roughly $13,000 in energy savings over the past year.  Our first phase has the capacity to produce 23 kW of power, but on Guam, we are permitted 100 kW of capacity for a grid-tie system.  Therefore, we are looking to add second and third phases of panels to utilize this renewable source of energy and further reduce our energy bills.  The addition of a second phase will bring our total capacity to 43 kW.

Phases 2 & 3 will go on the slope behind our building.
Early on Monday morning, workers from Kindo Electric here on Guam showed up at the site to begin work on the installation of phase two of our solar array.  Unlike the first solar array, this phase will go on the slope behind the transmitter hall (as shown in the figure above).  Over the period of two mornings, the workers set the layout and spacing for the panels, dug the postholes (shown below), and dug a trench from the location of the panels to the back of the building, where the panels will be tied into our electrical system.  All that remains is to install the posts, mount the panels, install the inverter and complete the electrical hookup!  We are hoping to have this work done before the end of the month.

Digging the postholes for the mounting hardware.