Firewood: Saw and Axe vs. Chainsaw and Splitter — Low Tech R & D

A chainsaw and log splitter can make quick work of a cord of firewood. But they’re dependent on fossil fuels. How do saws and splitting axes stack up? We tested it out this spring as part of our Low Tech R & D series. You can find this and other tests at the project page. … More Firewood: Saw and Axe vs. Chainsaw and Splitter — Low Tech R & D

Solar Hot Water Panels Year 1 Data, sort of — Lab Note 1.08

Last year I built prototype solar panels and summarized the preliminary data gathered in some test runs (see this project’s archive here). I’ve been collecting performance data over the last year and am now ready to present the results. Data Collection The data for this analysis comes from three temperature loggers (Elitech RC-4, P.S., we … More Solar Hot Water Panels Year 1 Data, sort of — Lab Note 1.08

The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part IV: Installation

Avid readers will notice that we haven’t been posting much over the last month. That’s because every free moment has been given over to installing our solar panels (see the earlier posts here). Here I’ll recap the physical installation of the panels and other components. In the next post, we’ll go through how we ended … More The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part IV: Installation

The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part III: System Layout

We’ve been chronicling our addition of solar panels (see them all here). Today we’re going to go through the layout and electrical diagrams of the system. The Layout The panels will be mounted on the back of our garage. This is for a few reasons. First, our house’s roof slopes west–east while the garage is … More The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part III: System Layout

Upcoming Workshop — Installing Solar Panels, Oct. 5, 1–3 p.m., Free (Space is Limited)

We are installing solar panels on the institute and we’re doing it ourselves (see our blog posts on this topic here). If you’ve considered doing it yourself but want to get a little hands-on experience and an idea of the scope of the job before going forward, this workshop is for you. The federal tax … More Upcoming Workshop — Installing Solar Panels, Oct. 5, 1–3 p.m., Free (Space is Limited)

The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part II: Components

We’ve been chronicling our addition of solar panels in Part I and another post evaluating our solar resources. In this entry, we’ll go through the different components of the system and how we chose them. We have received no compensation from any of the companies mentioned. The Panels Many types of panels are out there … More The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part II: Components

The Institute is Getting Solar Panels – Part I: System Design

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be installing solar panels at the institute this fall. While this has been in the long-term plans for some time, we have been prioritizing things that are more do-it-yourself, such as building solar hot water panels and gardening. In the LTI tradition, though, we’ll be doing as much of … More The Institute is Getting Solar Panels – Part I: System Design