I moved this blog to another site.
It's been a month since our chickens arrived. In the life of a chicken, one month is a long time. It takes humans several years to grow from cute babies into cheeky school-age children. Chickens can do it in a single month.
They are now less cute or fluffy , but they are stronger and more independent than before. They have impressive wings and can fly!
This is how our chickens looked when they arrived a month ago (end of April):
On the picture above, chickens are sitting on a perch that we just finished yesterday (May 31). Perch was an instant success, chickens love it.
Now we're working on a fence outside the coop so that chickens can play on the grass. As they grow bigger, the coop will soon be too small. Picture below shows the inside of the coop (this picture was taken just before finishing the perch yesterday).
That was a quick update.
Two weeks ago 35 newborn chickens arrived! We've been doing our best to protect them from all sorts of chicken enemies. Many of the confirmed enemies are cats. We've noticed great increase in the number of cats and frequency of their visits to our solar sharing power plant. Cats' favorite place is right in front of the coop, watching what they hope to be their dinner, or breakfast, or lunch, depending on an hour. They are patient, but I'm proud to say that despite enemy's relentless effort and patience, we are winning and there are still 35 chickens in our coop.
Our solar sharing power plant has generated a lot of electricity since it started operation 5 months ago - precisely 22 952 kilowatt hours in the period from November 27, 22014 (start) to April 24, 2015 (today). That's not bad for an installed capacity of 40 kilowatts.
This was a quick performance report.
Here's Part 2 of the video summarizing construction of our solar sharing power plant in Tsukuba. Given that construction was finished in November last year and now it's already April, the video is badly overdue.
There was another video covering the same topic, which I posted in February, but it was so poorly edited that I eventually decided to remake it. This is the result.
Why was making Part 2 so much more difficult than Part 1? Here's a metaphor to explain it. If we compare construction of a power plant to building a house, Part 1 of this video shows how the very building of a house was made - brick walls, window holes, a roof. At first glance it's a complete house, but in fact it's not habitable yet. It has the shape of a house but there's nothing inside. Part 2 shows how the house is equipped with all the basic amenities that make it a real, habitable house: water supply, heating, electricity, furniture.
Part 1 shows the form, Part 2 adds the substance.
The thing is, form is much easier to convey in a video than the substance.
When a building is rising in front of our eyes, it's very comprehensible to our brains. It's interesting to watch. When some cables are added here and some boxes there, but nothing new is really growing in front of our eyes, it's not very fun to watch.
Anyway I did try my best to convey the substance in Part 2.
Part 2, showing the construction in October and November 2014, is here:
Our most pressing tasks include:
Picture above: Our plant in February 2015. Photo was taken by our friend Shinozaki-san with a very big and very good camera.
1. Digging a well
2. Building a chicken coop
3. Planting a hedge
4. Building wooden benches and a signboard
I'll inform you about our progress in each area.
Now the most important thing in the world is weather.
The weather on the ｇrid-connection day ( or "system interconnection" day?) was perfect blue sky but that was followed by a string of cloudy and rainy days, so we are yet to experience full capacity operation. Waiting for the next blue sky.
On the picture below is Tepco employee in the midst of grid connection procedures. I have no idea what he was doing and he didn't look like he wanted to be asked. Hence, no caption to the picture.
The next picture is the power plant shortly after it was connected to the grid and started generating electricity at around noon. (Yes, it does look the same as before, but well...)
And here's the same place on the next day, November 28. With this darkness the amount of electricity produced is almost zero. Photons, you're welcome back any time! Soon!
Panel rotating mechanism allows us to easily change the angle (tilt) of all 354 panels at once. The weight of 354 panels is more than 3 tons, so it's a big deal.
Until now we were able to move the panels with a lever, but that recently changed to a winch. So what's the difference between a lever and a winch? Winch is even easier to move - turning a winch requires very little physical strength. ...And winch somehow looks more sophisticated...
Watch this before-after video:
We had this panel rotating mechanism installed by our friend Matsuoka-san and his company SOLAR CULTURE.