A bit of a larf

The Milky Way is warped and twisted, not flat…

…and bitter too, no doubt.

This is the astronomy story of the day. New measurements show that our home galaxy is not a smooth disc but is warped and twisted.

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Speaking of galaxies, I have solar power now. Yes, I’ve made the move at last, after thinking about it for a few years. Prices have come down and will continue to fall, but I reckon my system should pay for itself in four or five years.

I’ve bought 6.6KW of panels and a 5KW inverter from a company in South Perth called Infinite Energy. I got three quotes and was impressed by the professional web site and business-like approach of this WA firm. The other two quotes came from heavily accented guys trying to apply pressure to buy over the phone even on our first call. They put me off straight away.

My panels are by Canadian Solar (strange? – made in China, I’m sure) and the inverter is by Fronius, an Austrian company which my partner assures me has been around since the 1950s.

What this means is that I can run the 10KW ducted air-con in the daytime heat without worrying about the cost. Likewise in winter I’ll be able to put it in reverse cycle to warm the house, assuming there’s enough sun of course.

The inverter sits on the wall in the garage humming away with its fans going full bore on warm days, and showing about 5,050W generated around midday. It was down to 2,000W at 5pm today, when only half the panels are in the afternoon sun on the west, shaded on the east side. Good stuff. I wish I could afford a battery, but that will have to wait for quite a few years, I think.

Speaking of air-con, I’ve only turned it on maybe twice this summer. It’s been quite mild, I reckon.

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