They Made Fuel!

Piedmont Biofuels is open! The plant in North Carolina made its first batch of bio diesel – 1250 gallons. That’s equal in energy content to about 50,000 kWh, which will be a good day when the three turbines are spinning. Way to go ! The fuel supply of Chatham County just got a bit cleaner. If it were gasoline, that would be enough to drive my car 31,000 km. Blogging is easy on a day like this.

My project is so close, but not there. The Electrical Safety Authority needs some more line drawings before giving permission to operate. We have had permission to operate to commission the turbines. And we have produced a bit of power. About enough to drive my car 100 m. Vestas had better come through with the line drawing early Monday.

And we need communications installed. It is a simple modem, but nothing seems to be simple. The two turbines are connected to each other by fiber, and have a master/slave relationship. So you can dial into one turbine, and see what is happening on both of them. The V82’s support internet access, but require either high speed DSL, or ISDN, which is not available at the site. So it is a simple dial up connection. I have the client software and USB dongle for my computer, loaded and ready to test. But the modem at the turbine that was sent has 230V supply. The technician figured he could pick up an adapter at Radio Shack, but it turns out the modem is 230V in, 9V AC out. Our modems are all DC out. So no adapters exist. Monday, they will install a 230V circuit. Seems like there could be a lesson for people here.

The turbines will work without communications, but of course if anything went wrong, they could not place a call to notify a technician. And it would be impossible to check them. Flying blind is no fun at all.

Maybe Monday? Maybe Tuesday? It’s killing me.

But Piedmont is spinning fuel. So all is well. Ferndale will be spinning shortly.

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