Posts in category "project"


  • Installing Linux On Acer Aspire 7

    It is now old news that I purchased a new laptop. While it proved its mettle as a gaming laptop for what ever casual gaming that I do, its primary purpose is for work. And work I cannot do in Windows. I had to install Linux. Some of you might know that installing Linux is not quite as straight forward, especially on new hardware. There is a saying that you should buy hardware that is 6 months old for Linux to have all the drivers working and quirks ironed out. The reason is that many companies (read Intel, AMD, Nvidia etc), write drivers for Windows first and then they may write one for Linux. For when there are no drivers, some one from the open source community will have to reverse engineer and build drivers. This has been the state of affairs but Linux is now catching up. Anyway, in this post I will cover all the things I had to do to get Linux working on Acer Aspire 7 with Nvidia GTX 1650.

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  • Migrating From Wordpress To Jekyll

    If you read my previous post on Jekyll, you already know why I switched from WordPress to Jekyll. In continuation of that post I want to explain how I migrated to Jekyll. For those who are not interested in the software side of things should skip this post. Wordpress offers a lot of features out of the box, like search engine and comments engine. So all I have to do is write posts and users can search and comment on them. This works because Wordpress is dynamic and runs a DB to store data. However since Jekyll is static, one needs to figure out a way to make things work.

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  • Why I Switched From Wordpress To Jekyll

    The past few days have been quite busy, so I have not been regular with my posts. One of the reasons was because of the migration of my blog from WordPress to Jekyll. This post is going to be a bit technical, so for those who are not interested in software should probably skip this one. I have been using WordPress to publish my blog. My WordPress has been running on a Google Compute Engine instance since I started the blog. But I have been wanting to move away from WordPress for a long time. So I decided to go with static web pages. Unfortunately the process was not quite easy because WordPress offers so many things out of the box. Doing all that work manually was some work, but it was well worth it.

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  • Getting The Most Out Of Solar Panels

    It’s been a while since I updated you on my solar panel project. I thought I should continue where I left off. So after collecting all the data from my solar panels, batteries, grid and load, I observed something interesting. While the SMU was disconnecting the grid so that the load can run on batteries and solar energy, we are not fully utilizing the solar energy. During a perfectly clear day, the solar panel is generating more power than we can use during the day. The excess energy is just getting wasted. Can we do something about it?

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  • Collecting Data From Solar Panel Setup

    After having setup the solar panel on our terrace, I wanted some data. Specifically I wanted to know the panel output over the course of the day and how much energy savings we are enjoying. The solar management unit (SMU) gives some details about the instantaneous power output and energy savings. But for some reason I felt the numbers look a bit too optimistic. Moreover I could not get more granular data from it. I guess it has more to do with not invented here syndrome. Either way I decided to hook up some sensors myself to gather all the data I'd like from it.

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  • Solar Panel Performance And Energy Savings

    Alright, so I got my solar panels and solar management unit setup all done. Now for the results. According to the spec sheet of my solar panel, it should be able to generate peak output of 320 W. And it certainly did. In fact on some rare occasions it actually produced more than the rated capacity! I was really surprised that something can outperform a spec sheet. From the spec sheet, the panel is supposed to produce 320 W with an irradiance of 1000 W/m2 under standard test conditions (STC). Whatever that means.

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  • Optimal Tilt For Solar Panels

    You might have noticed that in my DIY solar panel setup, the mounting structures were conspicuously missing. That was not a mistake. Actually I looked at many solar panel mounting structures, but most of them are not adjustable. The few ones I found were either too expensive or for smaller panels. So I decided to go find a local metal works fellow and get it built. However, thanks to COVID lockdown and such I decided to go with something simple -- jugaad style instead. More on that later. But first, why is the tilt so important?

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  • Wiring Solar Panels, Solar Management Unit and UPS

    If you have been following my solar panel project story, you know what parts I needed to get started on the project. I ordered them from Amazon and they started arriving at my door step in due course. Once I had everything delivered, we carried the panel to the roof. I made some basic electrical measurements to make sure everything was in order. Next we ran the solar cables from the terrace to the ground floor. According to the manual, the wiring has to be done in a certain order. I will explain the connections in that order.

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  • DIY Solar Panel Project - The Ingredients

    As I mentioned in the previous post, I decided to go with a hybrid charge controller solution for my solar panel setup. What that basically means is that I will need to buy some solar panels and a hybrid charge controller, since I have a UPS and batteries. I will then have to connect them all together. I wanted to start with something simple, so I decided to just buy one solar panel. At the same time I was intending to build it in such a way that it can be extensible to 3 panels in the future. The goal has always been to have a 1 KW setup.

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  • Solar Panel Project - Do It Yourself

    I was finally ready to install solar panels. After having made all the calculations, I arrived at the fact that I could get the return on investment in 5 years. But I had an even better idea. I decided do build it myself. What better way to learn about solar power except by doing it yourself! I always prefer to do things myself rather than letting some one else do the job for me. My work will be subpar at best, but it not only gives me a great opportunity to learn something new, but is also a lot of fun.

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