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canadiannorthernhistorian

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Reply with quote  #41 
With a well and a driveway, the next project was a foundation. I had a contractor friend who owed me a favour and he had concrete forms I could borrow. That pretty well tipped the scales to poured concrete. Experience in bridge construction helped a lot.

This was 30 years ago and I forget all the details, but I did add two inches or so to the required thickness. The walls were either 10 inches or 12 inches thick.

When the formwork was in place I hired a crane with a concrete bucket. I told our neighbours, all of whom were very interested in our project and who often helped,  that the crane was 100 navvies with wheelbarrows.

The framework was air dried lumber. The trouble with kiln dried lumber is that it is a sort of false drying, and the lumber tends to reabsorb water once it is out of the kiln. I have seen (a lot) of commercial lumber for sale with the sap still oozing out of it. The joists and rafters were just rough cut lumber. The studs were dressed four sides, but they were 1 3/4 by 3 3/4 instead of the 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 of commercial lumber.

The joists and rafter were just "sized" ie, run through a saw for uniform depth. The width varied from 2 to 2 3/8 inches, 33 to 50% more than commercial lumber. My supplier, also a friend, sold the lumber at his cost to provide work for his men.

Ordinarily framing is done with 3 1/2 inch ardox nails. Because of the thickness of my lumber, I used 4 and 5 inch nails.

The floors were dressed tongue and groove boards to avoid the chemicals of commercial plywood and particleboard. The outside walls and roof were just rough cut boards. 1 inch or so thick instead of 3/4 inch. The floors and outside boards were installed diagonally for bracing. I used 3 and  3 1/2 nails on the rough boards.

I also used the "old style" balloon framing as it provided for better insulation and openings for air passages. Of course, the construction methods and materials meant more work, but the labour was relatively cheap (Much of it my own) and I deemed the results worth it. I see who subdivisions being built in Canada that I consider pure crap, built just to maximize profits.

The ultimate compliment came from a carpenter we hired to help with finish work. Because of the materials and type of construction, his professional opinion was that it was an old house we were remodeling.

Our building inspector was nearing retirement and was of the "old school" and was very happy that someone was building the "right" way.

We would be unable to get the materials we used today (unless we could find the trees and unless we sawed them ourselves) and we would likely not get permission for our methods.

Now to the "modern" solar and energy efficient features.

Ab (canadiannorternhistorian)


Scott Davis

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Reply with quote  #42 
Thanks for the update Dan.  It took me a minute to realized I was looking at a reflection!
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solardan1959

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Reply with quote  #43 
This says it all!



At what point do you just give up...


  Eight inches last week, virtually no sun all week, almost blizzard conditions for two days in the middle of April adding another foot of snow.
The good thing is we finally had sun! (lasted about two hours), but the house heater is still running and kicking out 80 degrees and the others are kicking out something.



  The sun is bright when it comes out and only a few minutes it went a long way towards clearing the long solar screen heater.  More important is how long the roof shadow is now getting on the Garage Heater.  It is almost 2/3rds covered so it's not producing that much heat.  Normally you would not need as much this late in the year but it may also be a good reason to go to a lower, longer collector like I proposed before like this.



Dan
Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #44 
Hi, Dan,

Guess it is a weekend for indoor jobs !
I was just wondering, if you pulled out the foot of your Garage Heater from the wall, if poss, say by a foot or two, would not that reduce the amount of shadow ?

Otherwise, I really like your new idea - this will be the collector that I'll build, eventually !
I'd make it 8 meters long by around 1 m high - the corrugated poly glazing comes in two meter by 90 cms sheets.
I like the look of that vertical plenum, very neat !
My problem is off to be routing ducts, half-buried, half aerial, insulation... 10-meter run... Will burn that bridge when I get there !

However, my main priority is getting the Slate Sucking nailed - I changed my plenum layout over the weekend, it is better now (I regained the functionality of the Vélux(R).  My biggest fear is a motor/electrical fire ! in my roof!  Mebbe I should declare it to my insurance, once it is up & running...

So was just on thermosiphon for last day or so, around 23 degrees today, for 13°C outside air, every little helps!  Tomorrow is supposed to be SUNNY !  so will send U some...

Otherwise, I've virtually NO no heating on in the house, just towel-warmers and of course my sun's Nukular-to-Oil-Electric Pressed-Steel Internet & Chair-warming Young-Person's Cold-Prevention and Energy Guzzling Device...

I turned the floors off on Tuesday after a one-month trial - technical and economic ! First time I've used them in over 3 years believe it or not !   Next year, they will not even get turned on !  Combined, they take 35 kW in off-peak at night, and another 5 kW at lunchtime, and in between, around another 5 kW in peak hours, I guess that is to run the logic and monitor the probes and run the probe heat (although guess that that is not much with our current 15 to 18°C days !).

If I can get the roof up to speed and duct it all to a Crawlspace Water Battery and Gravel Bed, reckon I could get by without ANY other heating (except for towel rails, which is kind-of hard to drop, once U get used to them !).

And if you have any detail drawings of your new Twin Side-by-Side Low Profile Dual Screen Improved Garage Heater, then I will willingly take them off of your hands !!

Have a nice Solar Sunday !
Garage-Hermit

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(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
(2) It's wrote, "voilà" unless talking musical instruments...
solardan1959

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Reply with quote  #45 
Hermit,
  Later in the day it was closer to 50% coverage, the snow being a huge reflector has to improve the output by a lot also, most of my collectors were putting out heat most of the day even with just a few brighter spots in the clouds.  Yes moving it out would fix the problem but normally from May to October I am more concerned about the garage overheating and the overhang does prevent that.  This is a great time for me to pull out the links for some great tools by sustainable by design, they have a great tool for overhangs, solar path, and my favorite, window heat gain.
  Also mounting some collectors like the small one leaning on it or one like the solar screen one leaning against the roof along the edge of the roof eve would also provide quite a bit of heat.  I've also been thinking about taking the double pane glass on it and separating it into two pieces then laying them sideways which would give me a 3 feet high and 12 foot long panel.  Then I would use the design below or make a water heater.  The other problem is I have been thinking about adding a "sun space", kind of, or maybe a lot like a greenhouse on the back wall to include the back door.  It will give me a better growing season and additional heat for the garage in winter.

   What do you mean by this? "I regained the functionality of the Vélux(R)".  I think it has something to do with your skylights and I thought you brought air somehow from the sideboards of them.  Did you cover them up for a while?
   Why are you worried about a roof fire?  What will you do that could catch on fire?
Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #46 
Hi, Dan,

Forgot about the snow effect !
However, the long, low config sounds good !
(Not too low though, or it could get snowed over !)

Otherwise, the greenhouse / sunspace sounds like a brilliant idea !
"conservatory", as "brits" would say ! or French, "jardin d'hiver" = "winter garden"
====================
Yes, I had the skylight *totally covered* with a big pane of glass, because I could not figure how to make a plenum properly !  So could not get it open for ventilation etc.

So this new config is neater, a lot smaller, and MUCH more funcational !  I take the air from just out of the TOP sideboard, it has a passage space of over 200 sq.cm, or roughly 40 square inches. I also took a hacksaw blade to the insulation - it is cast-in-place rigid foam , 7 cms thick.  So I trimmed the accessible edge down, to make a more aerodynamic profile.  Now I need a good filter system for dust-removal, and a much bigger fan, and an anemometer !  The dream acquistion will be an in-roof remote temperature sensor and an on-roof one also, and finally, a small solar panel to charge a battery, so that I can use DC motors.

Regarding fire, I kind-of worry about electric motors and proximity to dry timber .
Guess I read too much about these attic heat-removal domes made in er... "eastern asia"...
I mean, supposing an AC motor failed, or for some reason the glass got broken and rain came in & made a short-circuit ?  Guess I will route the electrics more professional on the final configuration, in PVC ducts.  Mebbe even have our electrician come & check it over, once I'm done.
Sure, I worry about fire, afraid I've been in far too many for comfort (-:

What I love in your post, is, "concerned over the garage OVER-HEATING"  ha ha !"  I could start an ice-cream factory in mine

C U later
G_H

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(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
(2) It's wrote, "voilà" unless talking musical instruments...
72chevel

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Reply with quote  #47 
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with plate heat exchangers. I found a 30 plate for sale close to my area just wondering if they would work good for a solar system?
Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #48 
Hiya, 72chevel,

Nobody seems to be using them, but *I* shortly will !  - take a look at my recent post here : http://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/Compact-Heat-Exchanger-for-Hydronic-CollectorStorage-System-6294899?trail=#1

Looks like they were invented for folx like US in mind

Take a look at this:     http://www.brazed-plate-heat-exchanger.com/anwendungen.htm

If U get one, keep us posted !

Best regards,
G_H

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(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
(2) It's wrote, "voilà" unless talking musical instruments...
solardan1959

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Reply with quote  #49 
72chevel,
    They are fairly common, when Hermit did his post a couple of days ago I went looking for an example I had seen but could not find it.  The last one I remember seeing and reading about was used for an external exchanger between the hot water panel and a normal hot water tank.
   There are single and double walled modules and if used for drinking water the double walled model is safer and more conforming to codes.
Dan
72chevel

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Reply with quote  #50 
Great!  what I was thinking was to have a smaller storage tank for the solar panels, that should heat a lot quicker then have the ex changer in the basement along with a 200 gallon or so tank then to also tie the storage tank to circulate thru the water heater.  This would create more storage with the water heater and I think it would help save energy that the water tank would be using all day when no one is at home pulling hot water.  Of course this could be bad if you have a week of no sun and the water heater is trying to heat 250 gallons of water.  Any feedback is welcome.  I seem to have more ideas than money right now so just trying to iron out future plans.
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