Back to the solar panel drawing board
09 October 2014
The Sacrifice Feast is a four-day religious festival. The Sacrifice Feast traditions in Turkey include sacrificing an animal in a special ritual, visiting relatives and helping the poor (http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/turkey/sacrifice-feast) and runs from Friday Oct 3 until and including Tuesday Oct 7 this year. So when Clio docked in MarinTurk on Sunday, the good intentions of sorting out the problem of the solar panels not working as hard as expected had to be postponed for another two days until Wednesday. The new thick cables did not fit pair wise through the solar panel arch tubes, so one of the thick cables had to be routed through the stern-most standing leg of the arch. And for that a new hole needed to be drilled in the 3mm thick stainless steel pipe, a job for experts with the right gear. In the mean time the old cabling was removed and one of the 25mm2 thick cables was routed to the chart table while waiting (like the goats and other local wildlife) for the Sacrifices to end.
Yesterday, Wednesday, the 'chrome people' as Güçlü called them in Turkish, came in the afternoon and drilled another hole in the stainless steel tubing (known for its resistance to drilling) and the second thick solar panel cable could be installed. The terminals on the controller were pathetically small (5 mm^2) and needed to be re-engineered to receive the 25 mm^2 cables.
A protracted email exchange with the company making the controller lasted until they ran out of arguments and stopped responding. The heat knife (used to cut ropes) did a very good job in cutting a piece out of the controller to replace the useless terminals. It would take the best of the day to complete the cabling. But as the batteries were not discharged enough (they had been on the shore power charger), it will take some time to assess if this solved the problem.
Yesterday night I took the Irmak Yachting gang (Tolga, Güçlü and Yukari) out for dinner to thank them for their great help over the weeks. I don't know how I would have coped without their help in finding the right people, making phone calls, talking to the marina, helping solve technical problems etc.. I saw bed early next morning :).