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Electricity

After the long journey, we placed the boxes in the container. Ready to be unpacked. Because I found it quite exciting, I waited for Maaike to do it together. I've done quite a bit with electricity before, but this was definitely more than I've ever done.

We consulted the documentation and got to work, first checking if we had received everything listed on the packing list. That was quite a search, two things turned out to be missing. After texting, it turned out that they had already been incorporated into another device.



From the off-grid center, we received two schematic drawings. We consulted them and tried to place all parts on the ground first. This seems easy with a schematic but was more challenging than expected. The colors of the diagram did not match the wires, moreover, there were labeled cables that we didn't need. Lastly, what was confusing was that the batteries did not need to be connected and that an extra fuse was provided for the generator that was not shown in the picture. Fortunately, we could video call and get live support.

Two days late but luckily still well on time, the solar panels were delivered. As agreed, with a large truck that couldn't enter the village and therefore stopped at the side of the main road. I hadn't expected the supplier not to unload them either, so we had to unload them by hand, one by one. I was there with Han and Gerard and didn't want to keep the driver waiting too long, so we quickly started unloading. Because we needed two people to take the panel from the stack and we needed two people to lift it out of the truck and stack it, I kept jumping in and out of the truck. After 35 times back and forth, I knew I would have huge muscle pain the next day, but I was happy with the panels.

Once unloaded, Maaike, who had just given an interview, came to help. The journalists from the interview also wanted to help. And so we placed 35 panels in stacks of about 8 pieces in the trailer, which was driven to the container and unloaded there and placed in the container. The best part was that we got to ride back in the trailer, just like a roller coaster.



After incorporating all the feedback from the off-grid center, I placed the equipment on the wooden wall. It's still a bit messy but looks quite professional already. Of course, the solar panels are outside, so I had to cut the cable needed for them and reapply the connectors. These are tricky connectors that I really should have a special tool for, which I don't have. And you can only click them in once, if it's not right, you have to throw away the connector, which happened to me once. Fortunately, it went well with the others.

So now that everything was ready, it was time to start up. As you can see in the video down below, everything seemed to go well except for the solar panels. They didn't want to work, but after checking everything thoroughly and initially thinking my cables were wrong, I suddenly realized that there might be a power switch on the device. And indeed there was. After switching it on, everything started working, and we had electricity!



In the initial setup, the panels were still loosely placed against the container, so over the next few days, Maaike and Gerrit worked hard to get the panels onto the container. After sawing, painting, and screwing, the result was beautiful. The semi-transparent panels protrude nicely on one side so that we can later place an outdoor kitchen underneath. As you can see in the photo, there are now 4 panels, next vacation we will expand this to 10.


 









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