Back to Problem Solving

It’s great to be back on board Bartimaeus again.  Unfortunately this is going to be a short visit as my medical appointments are currently taking priority.  I have a CT scan booked for August 1st, but with rail strikes in the days before, we’ve decided to head back with a few days in hand.  I tried to delay the scan a few days, but was told that if I cancelled this appointment it could be several months until I got another.

We’ve decided to head north again for now.  There didn’t seem to be many marinas available further south, and the choices of railway station are more limited.  We will use this week to move ourselves to an area with multiple canal and rail connection options.  This morning we set off earlier than we often do as we have some miles to cover.  The initial grey start with a hint of drizzle quickly gave way to bright sunshine, just the right side of too hot.

As it got hotter, I soon noticed that our solar panels had stopped generating power again.  I poured a couple of buckets of water over the panels, but this no longer seemed to be the fix it had been previously, generation stayed stubbornly at zero.  What I hadn’t noticed until later was that some of the water had made its way through the roof and down the inside wall.

Rusty Line on Wall
The Outside Comes In

When we stopped for the day, I decided to see if I could find the cause of the mess, and see if it was a clue to the panel performance.  I knew that the trim along the edge of the ceiling was designed to be removable, so armed with a screwdriver and some less subtle implements I removed the length above the mark.

It was no surprise to discover that this was where the wires from one of the panels come through from the roof.  The connector at this point joins panel four to the other three in the front set.  The connector has some sort of electronic component on the back.  I believe this will be a bypass diode to allow the other panels in the set to generate power when one is shaded.

Connector Box in Ceiling Panel
Connector Box in Ceiling Trunking

I’ve tried to clear the muck off this one.  For now I’ve left the ceiling a mess, I’m going to get in touch with Ortomarine and see if they have any thoughts on how to proceed.  Perhaps allowing it to cool in the cabin might be all it needs. It would be good to get the solar generation issue resolved, and also see about stopping water coming in from the roof.