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http://people.linux-gull.ch/rossen/solar/index.html
This might help ya.
JOAT Justice was invented by the innocent. Mercy and lawyers were invented by the guilty.
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http://www.geocities.com/davidvwilliamson/stirling.html
This one's got pictures. Heh heh. I would imagaine if you scaled it up a bit, say use a 55 gallon drum, it'd be just right for a boat.
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J T wrote:

Whats all this got to do with woodworking?
Should be in...alt.binaries.silly-inventions
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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Fri, Sep 1, 2006, 3:06am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@h.co.uk (The3rdEarlOfDerby) doth burble: Whats all this got to do with woodworking? Should be in...alt.binaries.silly-inventions
Wooden boat, naturally.
You ain't been around here too long have you? Your behaviour will be reported to the Cabal.
There is no Cabal.
The Woodworking Gods are a bit miffed with you too.
JOAT Justice was invented by the innocent. Mercy and lawyers were invented by the guilty.
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yeah, until the lights go out and you still want power for your shop...
Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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Fri, Sep 1, 2006, 7:41am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@splinters.comcast.net (macdavis) doth wisely state: yeah, until the lights go out and you still want power for your shop...
A lot of years back, a number of companies made small, self-contained, portable, power plants, steam operated. I've been working on developing a steam powered generator, but it keeps getting shoved to the back-burner. Wouldn't really be difficult, take an old generator (or there are various ways to make one from old motors), and hook up a small steam engine to it. You could, of course, use a small gas engine instead (new ones are cheap, used ones are sometimes even free), but that wouldn't be near as much fun. Monotube boiler is a given - faster steaming, easier to make, no danger of exploding. Fuel could be basically about anything that'd burn. I'd stay away from stuff like old tires (very bad smell), and scented lamp oil (way too expensive). I'd say stick with something like, propane, Diesel fuel, kerosene, etc., basically light it and let it run. Or, you could use solid fuel, wood/sawdust, coal, charcoal, etc. - depending on how much you were willing to fuss with it.
If you have no romance in your soul you get a gas powered portable generator and let it go at that. You can get one cheap after a major storm. Around here there's alway a huge rush before a major storm from people with an excess of money and a shortage of sense, then a flood of "returns" to the store because the customers weren't "satisfied" with them. Either that or they sell them at a horrific loss.
JOAT Justice was invented by the innocent. Mercy and lawyers were invented by the guilty.
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The3rd Earl Of Derby (in 1tNJg.11871$ snipped-for-privacy@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk) said:
| J T wrote: || http://www.geocities.com/davidvwilliamson/stirling.html || || This one's got pictures. Heh heh. I would imagaine if you || scaled it up a bit, say use a 55 gallon drum, it'd be just right || for a boat. | | Whats all this got to do with woodworking? | | Should be in...alt.binaries.silly-inventions
Coopered teak barrel, naturally. :-D
In an earlier thread I picked the group's brains for a project that actually is more topical in alt.solar.thermal and for which many of the prototype parts are wood and the whole project is being fabricated in a woodshop. There's a bit of info on the web page at the link below; and you're invited to join in at news:alt.solar.thermal or via direct e-mail.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/StirlingProject.html
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J T (in snipped-for-privacy@storefull-3338.bay.webtv.net) said:
| http://www.geocities.com/davidvwilliamson/stirling.html | | This one's got pictures. Heh heh. I would imagaine if you | scaled it up a bit, say use a 55 gallon drum, it'd be just right | for a boat.
Yeah, ok - but you might want to upgrade the bearings to marine-grade cardboard :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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J T (in snipped-for-privacy@storefull-3332.bay.webtv.net) said:
| http://people.linux-gull.ch/rossen/solar/index.html | | This might help ya.
The problem with heliostats is that they're best suited for applications requiring really high temperatures (and materials that can withstand those temperatures!) - and I'm aiming at point-of-use temperatures just less than the boiling point of water and, even so, find myself wrestling with materials problems.
The heliostat tracking systems are generally motor-driven which pre-supposes available electrical power - and (for the present project) I'm trying to stick to a strictly solar-mechanical approach and to solutions that can be prototyped in a woodworking shop.
Having said all that, I like Rossen's web pages and his willingness to share his knoledge and experience.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey said:

Hey, Morris I'm working on this PC board drill / mechanical wooden clock parts / aluminum mill constructed from junk box electronic parts and scrap wood:
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/media/CompleteAssembly5.avi (Intel Indeo codec - Windoze platform AVI)
Steppers are controlled by homebrew PIC microcontrollers and linear drivers. Thought you might be interested in the SolidWorks rendering of the mechanism.
FWIW, Greg G.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Interesting! Please post photos as you build, and another video when it's running!

You do understand that you're on a very slippery slope here, yes?
Approximately 1 nsec after you cut your first perfect part with this machine, it'll dawn on you that everything around you would work better if you could program it in g-code.
:-D
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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NOBODY expects the G-Code!
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Morris Dovey said:

I'll try. I'll probably add it to my hobby web site along with the schematics and source code for the microcontroller and a simple DIY PIC programmer.

Not really. I've been surrounded by electronics since I was a kid and thus am already on the slope. But you are right - it does work better with G-Code. Not as pleasing as G-Strings, but what the hey...
My next project along these lines was supposed to be a mill which turns segmented wooden bowls on a lathe. That solves the problem of consistent wall thickness, exploding parts, and labor - especially since no one around here can afford or wants to spend $300 on a piece of handmade art that took 30 hours to make.
How is the recent energy stimulus affecting your collector business?
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Heh. It's brought out the opportunists out like a cloud of mosquitos - mostly "marketing" folks who know nothing about management, production, building, physical science, business, and whose vision extends only to buy low / sell high. Every one of 'em has pointed at sure-to-come government subsidies as a guaranteed source of incredible wealth for anyone who has "positioned" themselves properly at the public trough. When I tell 'em that a viable business plan is a prerequisite for any negotiations, every one of 'em so far has gone "Huff huff" and vanished.
The folks who would most benefit from the panels didn't see enough of the stimulus dollars to make any significant difference in their lives - certainly not enough difference to be able to permanently buy-down their heating costs. From my perspective, the middle class is vanishing (and they're _not_ moving /up/ the scale).
The collector business has been shrinking.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey said:

I suspected as much. Sometime back in Feb I went downtown and ended up sitting next to a couple of "used car salesman" types as they eagerly discussed how they were going to sell and install photovoltaic's in order to reap their personal fortunes via new energy bills. They also seemed to be under the illusion that a roof full of cells would somehow generate enough wattage to not only power the commercial establishment, but sell back to the power company. I had to think to myself, "Only if the business is growing mushrooms."
Don't misunderstand, I've been following the alternate/passive energy field for years, starting with MIT and their solar assisted earth bermed homes projects back in the 70s. But I realize the limitations.
Speaking of limitations, there was an ad on TV the other day hawking natural gas. The announcer proudly declares that. "America has enough natural gas stores to fuel the country for 100 years." 100 whole years, eh? And what after that - brush fires? At what rate of consumption? Combined with what other fuels? As much as I'd like to believe that we will come up with a way to easily break the covalent bonds in water or develop some miracle energy source that draws power from an alternate dimension, the realist side of what passed for my brain says that until that new technology is proven perhaps we should watch what we waste. Future generations may well look back and curse our existence and folly. If we've managed to use up 50% of the world's fuel stores in a scant 100 years, it doesn't look very bright for the next 100. With the rapid development of several previously third world nations that we've brought into the consumption age with our wholesale migration of manufacturing, we now have 1.3 billion new competitors for those energy stores. But I guess I'm preaching to the choir, eh?
I suppose we should look at the bright side - we can always burn oil executives and bankers for heat. And politicians are always good for a blast of hot air. 535 of them should heat up a good size boiler.
As for the middle class - agreed. It's been sliding downhill for a decade or so.
Hang in there, it may be improving somewhat.
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

There's a desperate need for education here - the guys you overheard almost certainly believed what they were saying, and the folks they sell to aren't any more knowledgeable. PV technology has been improving, and the prices are coming down - but neither to the point that PV panels are the hoped-for panacea.

Solar heating technology has improved considerably and the limitations aren't as restrictive as they were back then - but there /are/ some very real limits. The good news is that a capable architect can design a building to make those limits moot - and the bad news is that we're not (apparently) teaching new architects to that level of competence.
I had believed that, for a structure to be kept comfortably warm, special construction techniques such as you mentioned would be required - then in 2007 I installed a pair of heating panels in an ordinary post and beam farm building that have kept it at least comfortably warm through all the winters since. A few of the folks here may have noticed that I got pretty excited about that. :)
[ There /was/ a breakthrough involved. One night I realized that I was trying to solve a problem in applied physics and that I needed to start asking very different questions, like "What /really/ happens when light strikes a surface?" Answers were non-intuitive and led (directly) to more questions. Real physicists were willing to provide guidance and encouragement, and occasionally even suggested the next question for me to investigate. I don't recall that I'd ever studied so hard in school. ]
When you bring thermally efficient construction materials like SIPs into the picture, the old limitations are pretty much blown away.

It would seem that for more than a million years, whenever humans needed energy, we burned something. Now that there are six billion of us, that paradigm no longer serves out interests.

It's a tempting thought - but the truth is that they're in business to deliver the goods and services we're willing to pay for (yes even, or perhaps /especially/ the politicians). First lets use up the supply of lawyers who act on the premise that law is more important than justice - I'd guess that would weed out a lot of politicians.

Perhaps, but as the hot dog vendor said: "Change comes from within".
Most people seem to be hoping that enough /other/ people will change so they won't have to change themselves...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey said:

You touch upon two of the subjects I was going to mention, but the message was getting a bit wordy. Yes, there are new technologies - flexible thin film deposited PVs which cost less to manufacture, PV paints, and heightened efficiency levels of existing technology. Of course, what works in New Mexico is unlikely to work nearly as well in Seattle. Every bit helps, however, and I, for one, find the prospect of reducing the funds fed into energy corporations to be money well invested - as long as the life span and maintenance of a device makes it profitable long term. Lightning strikes, failing inverters, banks of storage batteries with limited life spans all cut into the durability of such systems and increase their long term costs. One of our biggest problems is that we simply consume huge amount of energy, often for no real benefit. Zombie appliances which consume power even when off (getting better with new designs), leakage into the environment (many builders still can't or don't care about insulating properly - regardless of laws which are in place), millions of older (and new) homes which are not effectively insulated, building designs which make it difficult to achieve optimal R factors.

Agreed. The entire construction industry and its supporting infrastructure of material suppliers and architects is geared towards producing the same old stuff. Makes it far more expensive to construct anything unconventional. Even the CAD programs I have are almost exclusively geared towards producing homes with walls and roofs containing ~20% thermal bridges in the walls and even more losses in the wall/ceiling junctions. None have facilities to compute energy losses or gains from site location or solar, nor do they consider solar storage facilities, collectors, PVs, or much of anything else outside the mainstream. It's all about the facade.

I'm sure the owner was excited! But again, more prone to be successful is some areas than others. Clouds, rain, trees, site location and orientation, and winds all effect the ultimate success of such a venture. Personally, I wouldn't mind living 25 feet underground if it keeps the riffraff away should economic collapse occur. Being bulletproof and quiet is the icing. ;-)
I've had my fill of the urban cacophony of train whistles, helicopters, planes, domestic disturbances, gunshots and sirens.

Nothing good is ever easy. Yet being a leader isn't always profitable. It takes time for the sheep to adapt, and you're as likely to be branded a pariah as a profit for pushing energy efficiency. I get a LOT of pushback in the moronic south over such topics.

It was an attempt at humor, of course. One of our biggest impediments is that common sense isn't, and that meaningful change takes effort.

Women hate me because I turn out the lights in empty rooms and when they come back an hour later they have to turn them back on. I replace windows with "better" windows, insulate, seal leaks, conserve water, run the cloths and dishwashers only when needed and with full loads. I've used CFs and full spectrum T8 bulbs with electronic ballasts since the 80s. Partially for the light spectrum, partially for the energy savings.
Women will also wash three pairs of underwear and use up an entire cabinet of dishes in two days rather than rinse and reuse (dishes). I feel like a lone soldier in a war against excessive consumption. (By "women", I am referring to ex's, the one I work with now, and friends wives. Surely there are some who are similarly frugal.)
It's lonely out there on the front. ;-)
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Methinks this is because home buyers are unaware of what's possible and lack the basis for good decision-making. Good designs and good insulation needn't be costly - and are certainly less costly in the long run. Recalling the truism that Perfect is often the enemy of Good, Optimal would be nice, but people need to know enough to insist on Good.

It would seem so. After the fact, I did the thermal storage calculations for that farm shop building. It turned out that the 6" slab floor (6" so that the owner could bring heavy equipment inside) when warmed to whatever room temperature (any temperature you care to choose that might reasonably fit that usage) contains enough heat to raise the temperature of the air in the building (with 10' ceilings) from /absolute/ /zero/ to that same temperature _73_ times! I posted source code for that calculation to alt.solar.thermal on 2/21/2009 with the subject "Re: Physics help please - heat storage (summary)". It's fairly well commented - and I put it squarely into the public domain. Please feel welcome to use and share it.

He was so excited he shook. Robatoy installed a panel up in Kanuckistan, and posted here (Dec 2008 - subject was "Solar heat for the shop. ^5's Morris!") when he installed it.
In general, if there's enough sunlight that you can comfortably read a newspaper, then there's enough energy available to provide a useful amount of heat.

I'm not particularly fond of the noise either, but I've still enjoyed the times when I've lived in cities. It's strange, now that I think about it, but the cities I enjoyed the most were some of the noisiest. Go figure. :)

Hmm - you probably didn't realize that you were talking with a Georgia boy... ;-)
...some people just need to be shown.

Of course - some of my best friends are attorneys. :-]
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote:

http://www.e-woodshop.net/images/IMG00018-20090528-1034.jpg
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www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
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Swingman wrote:

That looks good indeed! Did you buy the equipment or did someone else do that? If there are some nice crisp show-n-tell photos available, I'd be pleased to add a few to my web site and include source and contact info.
Why the only partial fill between rafters?
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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