Welcome to the Solar Collector
Brainstorming and Development Page!


 

Home

Hot Air Collector

Hot Water Project 1

Hot Water & Space Heating

Solar Electric

Solar Construction 101

FAQs

Best Collectors

Simply Solar
Register Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
GOM

Registered:
Posts: 72
Reply with quote  #1 
I''m not sure if this topic should go here or in the Gardening section.  Anyway, here goes:

I live in western New Mexico where the average annual rainfall is 8 to 10 inches and sunshine days are about 300 plus a few annually.  Growing grass, IMO, is a total waste of water so a lot of folks in my neighborhood let the native weeds take over.  Some of these weeds, when kept down with a mower, are quite attractive and do provide a 'green lawn.'  However, other large and hardy weeds also join in and some of these can grow inches per day during the somewhat moist months of May and June (the annual monsoon).  

I was in the front yard the other day admiring my current weed crop.  I hate to use herbicides of any kind so I suddenly had a 'brain blip.'  Would hot, nearly boiling water, kill weeds?  I Googled hot water weed control and lo and behold, it's a highly recommended method.  There are even some companies selling rather large machines mounted on trucks or towed behind tractors which use a lot of energy to heat water which is then dispensed onto undesired plants.

Hmmm?  Of course, being a Simply Solar fan and member, I then wondered if one could not fabricate a solar water heating panel small enough to be moved around on a hand drawn wagon or small tractor drawn trailer?  I have not, to date, built a solar water heating panel so I'm asking the site experts in this area for their opinions and guidance.  Would it be possible to make a high efficiency hot water panel of a reasonable size and perhaps even mounted on a swivel so it could be easily aimed for best sun angle? Could such a panel be designed to heat, hopefully, a gallon or two per minute or even a few minutes to a temperature verging on the boiling point?  From what I read via Google, hot water is a very effective weed killer and is absolutely environmentally 'friendly.'  Right now, I'm thinking of a panel on a wagon or trailer with a 20 or so gallon water tank to gravity 'feed' the panel and with a water dispensing 'wand' at the other end for application.  It this works, it could perhaps even be a money making venture for someone.  I'm too old now to get into any commercial aspects, I just come up with wild ideas, some practical, some not.  However, I did make a good living my entire life as what my bosses called an 'idea fairy.'  So am I flapping my wings in vain with this idea?    

Bert

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 517
Reply with quote  #2 
Neat idea.

I think you would have to concentrate the sun's rays to get that hot. Not sure.
Here's a product that boils water by the sun.   Probably not big enough though.

http://www.gizmag.com/solar-kettle/27594/

May have to be a big stationary collector with a long hose.

__________________
Bert K.
Michigan

https://www.youtube.com/user/1thinkhealthy/playlists
stmbtwle

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 2,731
Reply with quote  #3 
You can get 150-180 with a stationary flat-plate collector but it takes time. How about the stationary collector with the (insulated) tank on a trailer? Connect them and let them cook a couple days till you get the temp you want, then disconnect and go after the weeds.
__________________
Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
wewantutopia

Registered:
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #4 
If it does anything, and it very well may, it will only top-kill the plant.  The root, more or less, IS the organism (the leafy part above ground is for food and reproduction only) so unless you kill it it will resprout.
stmbtwle

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 2,731
Reply with quote  #5 
Valid point. Considering the cost of the proposed solar system, seems some non-solar tests with say a teakettle might be in order.
__________________
Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
GOM

Registered:
Posts: 72
Reply with quote  #6 
If you'll Google weed killing with hot water, you'll note that tea kettle application is suggested.  That's fine for a small yard but I have acres to maintain  As I mentioned in my initial topic comment, there are commercial boiling water machines on the market.  However, I don't want to spend a fortune for such a machine nor burn diesel or gasoline by the barrel to fuel one, thus my request for helpful comments or suggestions.    

Google comments also point out that drenching the soil to kill the roots is the best method and entirely non polluting.  There's even a suggestion to dig out a bit with a hand trowel around the base stem of larger weeds or weed clumps to get hot water down to the roots.  It apparently doesn't take much near boiling water to kill weeds, roots and all.  If so, it beats the heck out of herbicides, cultivators, and hoes. One Google entry stated the hot water treatment is the best ever for killing weeds in driveway and sidewalk cracks plus, again, no herbicide residue for barefoot children and pets to come in contact with, or adults to track into the house on their shoe soles.....

Anyway, thanks for the comebacks.  At least I've got some others thinking about this and it seems to me to fit right in with our collective philosophy of a better and cheaper way through solar energy.       
Bert

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 517
Reply with quote  #7 
I also read that after pulling a plant to pour vinegar down the hole to kill the roots. May take a lot though and would be smelly for a while.

I've been looking for solutions myself since I won't put poison in the ground. Hard to find a good solution. I think the flowers are pretty but I know the neighbors don't like them.


__________________
Bert K.
Michigan

https://www.youtube.com/user/1thinkhealthy/playlists
Old McDonald

Registered:
Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #8 
GOM, It all depends on what you are trying to kill. Some weeds will be killed with hot water, including the roots, and some as mentioned above will regrow from the roots. Pouring boiling water on the ones that have the ability to regrow is highly unlikely to go deep enough to do the job as it will cool as it percolates through the soil. Plants that spread by underground roots that then appear above surface are definitely not going to be killed out. You would get the main one perhaps, but not all. Try a boiling kettle in the middle of a patch of clover and see what happens.

If you have annual weeds you want rid of then hit them when they have only two leaves. If they are perennial then short of a good all purpose chemical your only option is to dig them out. It will keep you out of mischief.
GOM

Registered:
Posts: 72
Reply with quote  #9 
Old MacDonald,  Been reading a bit more on line re weed killing with hot water.  One supposedly learned expert claims two or three times of "steaming' weeds will kill even the hardiest.  I would assume because plants derive mostly water, a firm foundation, and minerals from the soil but most of their real growth and survival nutrients from the sun via photosynthesis.  So keep the tops down a few days with steaming and the roots starve thus killing the plant.  

I was amazed by the number of products on line to generate steam for weed control.  All I saw used either propane or high wattage electricity to heat water for steam.  I did note all claimed to operate at a temp a bit lower than boiling, i.e., at 98C in Europe and 200 to 205 or so in the US.  They ranged from hand held 'hot pots' with spouts to variants of carpet steamers on wheels.  Amazon listed a number of such products; Walmart none.  

One YouTube DIY video showed how to convert your Shark steam mop to a handy-dandy weed killer.  One such video showed an unaltered Shark in use with only the mop pad removed.  That one I shall try because my weed 'lawn' is rapidly becoming a jungle due to spring showers.  Regards    
Old McDonald

Registered:
Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #10 
GOM, As I said, it all depends on the weed. I have used a flame gun for over 50 years. I am on the second one of the same model - Sheen a UK company. The heat emitted from this gun is way, way above that of boiling water. It frazzles plants very quickly. No top growth left at all, and leaves moist ground steaming because the top few millimetres has been heated beyond boiling point. This kills weed seeds too. As would boiling water - normally. Some seeds withstand heat and actually need a fire to start germination. All annual weeds are terminated - no problem. Many perennial weeds, and some "good" plants such as comfrey and asparagus, have the ability to regrow from roots deep underground even when the top growth is totally destroyed. Some other deep rooted plants will die if chopped off just below the surface, or if the growing point is destroyed by fire or boiling water.

I will use Latin names (without italics) since the same plant has different names in different places, but Rumex, Elymus repens, Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu grass to me and makes a lawn through which no weed will grow) and many other plants can grow from what appear to be dead and dried up pieces of root or rhizomes. Whole lengths or depths of them left in the ground will regrow before they run out of energy. Perennial plants that die back in autumn spend several months without photosynthesising, but they regrow in the spring. Due to a dry 2014/5 winter and spring and the usual no rainfall last summer, there were plants here that were dessicated and dormant from the end of May 2015 until April this year.

Choose the weeds you need to kill and try a few kettles of boiling water on selected specimens. If they die, all well and good, if not, try chopping them off below ground level. If that does not work then glyphosate or some serious digging might solve the problem. I have been trying for 3 years to kill out an old asparagus bed. Two plants are still alive.

I would be interested in which perennial weeds succumb to the hot water. 
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.

 

web statistics