Friday, November 17, 2006

used solar collectors

today we are going to pick up bobs used solar system. the guy he bought it from started a solar energy business during the carter era. i must admit i really liked jimmy carter. if we'd have stayed on the course he laid out for this country we wouldn't be fighting for oil right now.

hank had ten solar collectors installed on his house with a huge cistern style storage tank. he also has a wood stove that has a water jacket. the fire in the wood stove is surrounded by water and pumped in and out heating the huge storage tank. he also had pipes poured into his concrete slab and used the system to heat hot water for household use. the neat thing about all this is, this state of the art (for it's day) system is installed just a few miles from where we live--in missouri. hank said that back when the system was operating properly he only used 2 ricks of wood for the worst of winters to heat his entire, medium sized house.

hank is trying to sell his house and the system needs a bit of work so he is just tearing it out. bob bought the whole thing for 1200. the scrap copper and aluminum from the system would cover that. so, at bobs, we are going to integrate the super efficient wood fired boiler, the solar collectors and hydronic heating system. bobs system will end up performing the similar tasks as hanks old one. except bob will be heating three times the size house, a swimming pool in the basement, a sauna, and the domestic hot water. bob will probably use more than two ricks of wood to heat all of that but for a cold winter but not more than 6 ricks of wood. bobs house is goliath even for california standards.

who would have thought that i'd be doing a project here in missouri that sunlight and power (the solar company in berkeley that i used to work for) would be proud to do. i am finally realizing a modicum of environmental fulfillment here in missouri.

we strive to live off our farmstead as much as possible. we mostly stay clear of blatant consumerism. and, i'm doing this kind of work again--for now.

2 comments:

robin andrea said...

This sounds like a great project. I'd love to hear more about how it all gets set up in the new space. We're in a large modern house with excellent southern exposure. If solar collectors weren't so expensive, we'd definitely have them. Have you heard about collectors that can draw sun on heavily cloudy days? In the northwest we do have to contend with a fair amount of cloudiness.

uncle matt said...

Stoked that you get to get your hands dirty with pipes and solar stuff again! Sounds like a great project! BTW, what's wrong with Starbucks?

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