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Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #41 

"Actually, the anode & cathode DO have to touch or be connected, just like in your lithium battery."

Connected through a load not directly to each other.

"The silicone is neither an electrolyte nor a conductor."

The impurities in water form the electrolyte.


"It is, after all, a homebuilt, built on a budget. No one expects it to last forever."

Just because it is DIY does not mean it cannot be built to last. Shoot! durability is what got my dad and I started in DIY. He was an automotive engineer and got tired of repairing the same engineering f**kups over and over.  However if one wants their effort to go to waste in a shorter period, its is their time and money to waste. 

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Rick H Parker
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #42 
Why don't you post photos and data of the one YOU built?
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Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #43 
"Why don't you post photos and data of the one YOU built?"

Unlike some, I don't feel a need to make everything about me. You may want to make it about me but I don't. 

Why do you ask? 

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Rick H Parker
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Onoff

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Reply with quote  #44 
Please people don't let this thread degenerate into something else! [frown]

I work in a field where electrolytic reaction issues have been the watch words for the 34 years I've been at work. Our issues are between stainless steel / galvanised mild steel and aluminium and combinations thereof. Generally solved by nylon washers or PTFE tape.

I'm here to learn. If anyone can clean anything from my attempts then that's great.

Years ago I aquired a book from CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology) in Wales (I still have it). It details two solar thermal panel designs. The first is simply a repurposed steel radiator placed in an insulated wooden box under glass. The second is a fabricated copper tube matrix with aluminium clip fins. All they do in the book is smear the copper with silicon and clip the fin on. It stood out for me as an area of concern because of the potential reaction issues. I vowed if ever I did it I would paint the copper first and the back of the fin before assembly! I do consider it an issue. Hell, I'd even worry the clip fins would scrape off the paint! [smile]

I never made either of the designs in the book. Then the kids came along and we've tried to instill a reycling ethos in them from young. The youngest, of her own accord picked up one day that a black folder in the car was noticably hotter in the sun than the surrounding beige upholstery. Thus the "shall we build a solar panel from scrap pop cans" conversation came about. We did and hopefully they both got something from it aside from laughing at Dad having a free, al fresco shower in the garden! [smile] That something for nothing feeling was great I have to admit!

Start em young I say!

As an aside I posted my pop can design in "Boffins Corner" on a UK (now defunct) self build site. One guy quickly jumped in saying at great length how it was inefficient and I be better with PV etc. It was great to see other people there quickly dive in and tell him he was missing the point of it all!

It's a lot about the fun element for me, the getting there, proving you can do something useful in the face of commercial set ups and rather than increasing landfill with your leftovers. I agree make it the best you can if aiming at permanent. Proof of concept construction is different thing entirely.

I've learnt a huge ammount here already. I'm already eying up my left over Pex-Al-Pex from my UFH install. Then there's the T forming tool (maybe today's project). STILL trying to get my head around the ZP/DP designs though!

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Onoff

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Reply with quote  #45 
I just dug the little water heating panel out of the shed and propped it up against the wall - empty. I put a thermometer atop the box and shoved the remote probe up the outflow pipe.

Seeing nom 19degC ambient and over 30degC at the output and it's climbing. Tba it's an overcast, windy day with the sun occasionally breaking through.

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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #46 
My apologies Onoff. Beautiful kids!

Like the little collector. Is it some sort of evacuated tube collector?
Yes I've also noticed production on overcast days, too.

Read a study recently that compared tracking PV with fixed horizontal. While the tracking panels generated about 30% more power (as expected), the horizontal panels actually did better on overcast days (a surprise).

I built an experimental vertical-axis tracker a few years ago, for a boat. It did not always follow the sun, but went for the brightest part of the sky. There were trees to the south, and while it was never in the shade, "if in doubt" it went for the spot between the trees.

I never built the full size version, scaling and cost issues killed it.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
Onoff

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Reply with quote  #47 
I'll take double ambient.....for nothing.....all day long!

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Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #48 
"Generally solved by nylon washers or PTFE tape."

Electrically isolating the two dissimilar metals helps because it eliminates a low resistance path for current to flow. The risk of corrosion is diminished or the rate of corrosion is slowed but not eliminated.

Current can still flow through the impurities in the electrolyte.

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Rick H Parker
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Onoff

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stmbtwle
Like the little collector. Is it some sort of evacuated tube collector?


As detailed at the start it's simply a stack of cans, around but not touching 15mm copper tube up the centre. Can to can is a good fit made better I'm sure by heat expansion. The ends of the tubes are "capped" with the cans set in timber with silicon. More pseudo-evacuated tubes (PET? [smile] ).
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #50 
I like your PET collector, I think it shows a lot of promise.
Do you think it could be made with CPVC or PEX?

Temperature rise by itself can be deceptive. If you hook it up to a small insulated container of water and measure the temperature rise over time, you can then calculate the actual power.

A cheap ice chest works, and if you put it above the collector you may not need a pump.

I tried the "Repurposed radiator in a box" in my early ARETHA experiments.
Compared to the same setup with a fan, the radiator alone did not do well (I used oil coolers).
https://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1283410712&postcount=52&forum=268123


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Willie, Tampa Bay
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