A vertical erection.

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 15:01
ThreadID: 74843 Views:3201 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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When working out where NORTH is ..... I have just discovered that you need to erect the pole VERTICALLY!!!!!

I am putting up a shed which will have 10 solar panels mounted on its roof. I have discovered that a star post [picket, dropper whereever you grew up] only casts a small shadow at 1 pm EDST.

If the post is not vertical as small degree of inaccuracy becomes a GIANT mistake over an 18meter length..... sigh
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Reply By: Member - mazcan - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 15:24

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 15:24
hi royce
that's where the saying came from " shadows of doubt"
cheers
happy shed erection
AnswerID: 397447

Reply By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 15:30

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 15:30
Royce

Was there a reason for not using a compass ?

Rgds

Steve
AnswerID: 397449

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 19:58

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 19:58
We have moved house. While we live the simple life in a donga behind my Son's house all my worldly possessions are spread between sheds, containers and tarps around several properties.

Hidden deep within some recess are a couple of Silva compasses.

Unfortunately when I want something..... it is impossible to find. I do find however that whenever I have solved a problem and don't need the item anymore.... I will then find it.

I have set up an extremely long pole and have the spirit level and blumb bob ready to make the precise measurement at 1pm tomorrow.
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FollowupID: 666331

Follow Up By: Dasher Des - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 11:23

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 11:23
Royce, Are you aware that you can find North by using your watch. You rotate it around your head several times and let it go. It always heads west!!!!
In case you don't believe me, you can also face your watch (not vertivally) towards the direction of the sun with 12 pointing towards the sun and half way between the hour of the day and 12 is approximately North. i.e. if it is around 4pm, North is in the direction of the 2.
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Reply By: glids - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 16:05

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 16:05
If the only reason you wanted to set out the shed is so that the solar panels are aligned to face north, do not be concerned by a slight misalignment.

Solar panels lose a small amount of efficiency if facing NW and possibly a bit more loss if facing NE. (Do a bit of Googling if you want more accurate info)

A few degrees either side of North will have minimal efficiency loss.

cheers,

glids
AnswerID: 397451

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:02

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:02
I've Googled 'till my mind is googled....

There is a lot of information on tracking, angles etc.

I'll be setting the panels up optimized for winter.

Just bought a Chinese genie off ebay. Seems to be working all right.

Researching wind power....

and the big plan: earth tubes for passive air-con..
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:21

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:21
"A few degrees either side of North will have minimal efficiency loss. "

- exactly, why the fuss.
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Reply By: Member - Allan B (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 18:01

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 18:01
Royce, No need for posts, pickets or whatever, Just get up real early and take careful note of where the sun rises above the horizon. Then late in the day sit down in a comfortable chair with a stubby or two and note where the sun just dips beneath the horizon. North is exactly halfway between those two points ............ or is it South? Can never remember!

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 397464

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 18:25

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 18:25
Allan,

It depends on which way you are facing ;)


Cheers Kev
Russell Coight:
He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:05

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:05
It might surprise you.... or maybe not.

I have done just that! In fact..... I'm doing it right now, but am charging up with a glass of red.

Sat in our 'bedroom' and imagined waking up to the sun shining through the window..... but at this time of the year the sun rises almost to the SE!
In Winter it will be more like the NE.

Decisions deciisions.


With only a bushcraft level of skill, I'm about to undertake the construction of a kit home. Timberset.
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Reply By: obee1212 - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 18:27

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 18:27
and just to upset you further, the equation of the sun will put it half an hour out alignmnent over the year too!

The best rig I saw was a bore pump that used the rays of the sun to heat an oil resivoir and keep the panels pointing at the sun regardless.

Owen
AnswerID: 397472

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:07

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:07
Oh no!!!!!!

Are you telling me that the sun is NOT to the north at 1 pm????????

What equation???

Huh?
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Reply By: StormyKnight - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:47

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:47
At my location today the sunrise & sunset times are as below....

03/01/2010 Rise 0601 Set 2027 Eastern Summer Time

So the time of North would be half way between these two times....

OR about 1314......So 1pm is probably close enough :)


You can work out your sunrise/sunset times from here....

http://www.ga.gov.au/geodesy/astro/sunrise.jsp

Cheers

PS have you tried Google Earth for your location to show north?

AnswerID: 397501

Reply By: GerryP - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 22:54

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 22:54
Hi Royce,

You could just use your analogue watch as follows:

"Finding north using a watch.

1. Start by pointing your finger directly at the sun, then drop it straight down until you are pointing at a spot on the horizon.
2. Point the 12 on the watch at the spot on the horizon that you found in step 1.
3. North is halfway between the 12 and the hour hand.

Please note, this will not work well in the tropics.
During daylight savings time, use 1 instead of 12 on your watch."

Cheers
Gerry
AnswerID: 397523

Follow Up By: landseka - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 11:05

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 11:05
That has ALWAYS worked for me.

Neil
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Follow Up By: landseka - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 11:06

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 11:06
And this is the way I line up my sat dish every stop when travelling.
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FollowupID: 666427

Follow Up By: StormyKnight - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 23:00

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 23:00
I use my watch as well.....it has a compass function :)

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Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:15

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:15
You need to remember that 1.00pm may not be true midday where you are. In WA true midday with the the sun is around Kalgoolie.

Just because the clock says midday (or 1.00pm funny time) the sun does not always agree.


Neil
AnswerID: 397541

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:23

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:23
From the starpicket, draw a line in the sand to where the sun rises.

Then draw a line to where the sun sets.

A line halfway between these two lines is the direction you want the solar panels to face.
AnswerID: 397543

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 10:50

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 10:50
Yep... I watched the sun come up this morning... who would have guessed it started there!

I stood with a long pole and moved so that the big shed we will call home for the next year will not cast a shadow on the proposed house. [I like to wake up with the morning sun shining through the window...
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:27

Monday, Jan 04, 2010 at 09:27
" I have discovered that a star post [picket, dropper whereever you grew up] only casts a small shadow at 1 pm EDST"

- if you live 22 degrees south of the equator, then the sun will be directly overhead at real midday (not the artificial midday for the timezone).
AnswerID: 397544

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