misc

solar bbq
This home built solar cooker is a parabolic solar reflector with a spit rod at the focus. A simple aligner post at the bottom front shows clearly when it is perfectly aimed at the sun. Aiming seems not that critical and the post makes it easy. We checked and moved very slightly only once during 1/2 hour of cooking.
clothes dryer heat recovery
This easily built project recovers warm moist air from a clothes dryer that would otherwise be exhausted to the sub-zero outside.

Energy is saved two ways: heat used to dry clothes remains in the house and less cold air is drawn in by preventing negative pressure. Electrical energy that is used to dry clothes contributes to house warming. Moisture that is added to the house air is welcome during a northern winter when the cold temperature outside causes the air in the house to become very dry.

do mice avoid garlic?
I think they do.

This was not a scientific experiment but a demonstration. Try it and let me know if this works for you.

calibrating a data logger
I have been preparing to do some comparative tests of different DIY solar collector designs. Accurate temperature measurement is key. Recording a series of measurements over time is also a requirement.
in praise of older machines
I believe that just because something is older, it isn't necessarily useless or bad. Sometimes old is good and even better than new. Particularly these days when new has come to mean cheaply made, unrepairable or throw-away. earlier stuff - a bit long - but still me

3 comments:

jan hernych said...

Hi George , great site have you seen the collector below how does it compare to your collector , thanks jan and jerry . im looking at something to heat a large feed lot boiler .

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/innovationchallenge/desalination-the-solar-way/story-fn9dkrp5-1226763536672

George Plhak said...

Thanks for the link Jan. Hard for me to comment since there really isn't much information provided. Here is another:
http://desalination.edu.au/2013/10/solar-thermal-desalination-prototype-enters-innovation-challenge/#.UvPhHLRvAwc
There is proprietary technology involved with the university provided desalinator but again without much info. Searching "MED" finds:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple-effect_distillation
Best of luck to him.
Thanks, George

Frank said...

Hi George
I Goggled how to repair LED Christmas Lights yesterday and eventually ended up at your site. Thank you for the detailed explanation and the pictures. This morning I took the lights back down and proceeded to pull the lights apart, a little spray of CTC silicone seemed to free up the covers and then I had to check about half of the string. I envisioned them going in the garbage when I started. However, true to your word there was the culprit two corroded LEDs, little brass brushing, vaseline and voila- we have lights. Of course it is much colder today so way better to go out and rehang them today.
Thanks again and have a very Merry Christmas

Cheers

Frank
Pickering On