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

Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.07

Last year I built prototype solar panels and summarized the preliminary data gathered in some test runs (see this project’s archive here). Yesterday I provided the plans and schematics for this build. Today I’m going into some of the nitty gritty installation details. Burying the Supply and Return Lines The supply lines are buried 2 … More Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.07

Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 1 — Lab Note 1.06

Last year I built prototype solar panels and summarized the preliminary data gathered in some test runs (see this project’s archive here). Here I will outline the plans drawn up to get a building permit from our local municipality. Schematic Plans These show the basic operation of the system. It is a schematic and not … More Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 1 — Lab Note 1.06

Panel Analyses, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.05

Monday I summarized the preliminary data gathered from the solar panel prototypes (see Part 1 here). In this note, I will look at each panel and discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and performance. Manifold Collector In the manifold collector, water enters the bottom and is distributed into risers connected to a sheet of metal. This collector … More Panel Analyses, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.05

Workshops: DIY Solar Water Heating, Jul. 29/Aug. 12, Free/$10

This year our major research project is a DIY solar water heating system that will provide both domestic hot water and space heating. As these two activities account for the majority of domestic energy use, they are low-hanging fruit for cutting our use of fossil fuels. We will be building and experimenting with approachable solar … More Workshops: DIY Solar Water Heating, Jul. 29/Aug. 12, Free/$10

Permaculture Convergence — Madison, WI, Aug. 4-6

This year’s Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence is coming up August 4–6 at Troy Gardens in Madison. This event brings together people with an unusually wide diversity of skills to share in workshops over this weekend event. Dozens of sessions are already listed, many of which align with the mission of the Low Technology Institute’s core principles: … More Permaculture Convergence — Madison, WI, Aug. 4-6