Journals

(Difference between revisions)
 Revision as of 16:48, 17 July 2006 (view source)Coppoda (Talk | contribs) (→Dan's Dusty Tomes of Lore)← Older edit Revision as of 02:51, 22 July 2006 (view source) (→Ehren's Elegant Chicken Scratch)Newer edit → Line 48: Line 48: ==Ehren's Elegant Chicken Scratch== ==Ehren's Elegant Chicken Scratch== + *Week of July 17th + **Met with the crew on Tuesday to finish up the hot water audit.  Colin had a nifty little kilowatt-hour calculator written up using the data from the hot water heater user guide site, but looking at the results (102% efficiency) it was clear that something wasn't right with the numbers.  We first corrected the fahrenheit to celsius calculation and then, still noting problems, scrapped some of the calculations from the website and found an online source for converting joules into kilowatt-hours.  After that Colin's program worked great.  I suggested he rewrite it to take as input the standard recharge rate of hot water heaters so that it might be more useful to other interested parties. + **Spent a lot of time studying for the GRE.  Gaauwd there are a lot of obscure words out there. *Week of July 10th *Week of July 10th **Met with Dan and Kate Monday night to put togeter our hot water use information.  We managed to make some headway, but didn't get much written up. We used a thermometer from the greenhouse to find the temperatures at which Dan, Kate and I like to shower and then took the average.  We also determined the gal./min. shower usage and approximated the hot water to cold water ratio. **Met with Dan and Kate Monday night to put togeter our hot water use information.  We managed to make some headway, but didn't get much written up. We used a thermometer from the greenhouse to find the temperatures at which Dan, Kate and I like to shower and then took the average.  We also determined the gal./min. shower usage and approximated the hot water to cold water ratio.

Kate's Killer Thoughts and Reflections

• Week of July 10th
• Monday Dan, Ehren and I did some planning and created a little lab which gave us an idea of the average shower temperature prefered by students living at miller farm, the ratio of heated water to cold water in said shower among other things
• We also did some further research regarding the specifics of our hot water heater and washing machine
• Later Ehren and I tried in vain to refind a site with average inlet water temperatures.
• Later Colin and I tried in vain to find the same site.
• Later I found it! *US Department of Energy Residential Water Heater Analysis 1998
• I continued to hunt for a bladder to line our disel fuel tanks. As of yet this has been unsuccessful.
• Estimated average hot water use weekly at Miller Farm and posted.
• Started our annual energy calender.
• Week of July 3rd
• Continued the search for a water bladder. Thus far bladders primarily seem to be designed for stand alone use. No where have I found the suggestion of lining an old fuel tank with a bladder to reuse it for water storage. But the search continues.....
• Read some chunks of The Solar Electric House and I'm begining to feel more comfortable with the basics of electricity and exactly what we are planning entails.
• Called maintenance to see if they would remove the fridge that we removed from the basement.
• Emailed Marlene again to see if there were LP bills from previous years to be had.
• Worked on the lab write up with Ehren, Dan and eventually Colin.
• Braved the previously uncharted waters of the wiki solo.
• Looks like the old fuel tanks in the basement will fit out of the bulkhead.
• AND if you are curious in the details of how one person removed their fuel tanks check out http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/hvac/oil_furnace/tank_removal/from_basement.htm

Discovery: Having a job that says that you are "on duty 24 hours a day" does not lend itself to getting a lot of classwork done. oops.

• Week of June 27th
• Collected hot water heater info from Marlene: The water heater is electric. Installed August '98. Estimated annual cost to run it is \$420
• Moved fridge outside with Charlie.
• Other in-class activities noted in others' journal entries.
• Handed the last year's worth of LP bills to Colin.

Dan's Dusty Tomes of Lore

• More recently
• Completed hot water labs with Ehren and Kate. We devised a short experiment that estimated the average shower temperature to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Those results are posted. Kate and I then brainstormed on possible days to get together and estimate the average use per person of hot water. We ended up estimating those on our own.
• Helped install light and Watt Node. It took the water heater about 6 minutes to heat the equivalent of running the hot water tap in the bathroom for 2 minutes using about .46 kW. Need more accurate measurement. Feel good about installing 220V outlet.
• Discoveries:
• Alex Haworth has the billing data for all of the houses for the past three years. It's printed into a neat professional binder with colors and stuff. Database!!!!!
• The setup at Cope center doesn't look too complex. They run on a 24V system. Wonder how they manage to store wind turbine energy or even if they do.
• Have devoted only little outside time into this project, but am unsure how to spend more time. Wonder if this might come back to bite me.
• Garlic harvesting pays well

• Sometime
• Looked into Line Loss re: barn and solar panels. I learned that most people call it wire loss and it has nifty tables that illustrate the relationship between wire thickness, length, and amperage transferred. I got confused with the voltages listed on the catalogue. The modules have voltages such as 16.3 that are significantly above the system voltage (which I assumed was twelve as the introduction to the products said it was) I was informed later by Charlie that voltages are extremely flexible, that the voltages listed were the peak (possibly unattainable) performance and that parallel and serial wiring will be covered in greater depth later. This put my mind at ease. From what I know now I'd venture a guess that we'll need about 360-400 feet of 4 gauge wire (approximately \$700 according to unitedcopper.com) for a 48DCV system transmitting about 10 watts or 480 watts though we'll probably be running most of the time at lower than that. What I do know for sure is that we have about 45'x13' of space to work with on the barn roof. That's enough for 26 of the largest models of modules (about \$15,500 according to realgoods.com)
• pled for forgiveness
• worked on the Watt Node with the rest of the class. Had difficulty figuring out how to hook up the display to the watt node as they were made by different manufacturers. However, after consultation with the manuals and a translation of technical language from Charlie figured out where the ground and the power went. Came to several realizations about how complex systems are set up without a kit or intended relations between products of the same manufacturer. Other items: Learned how to tin the ends of wire with solder to make them manageable. Set up learning how to weld and braze from Charlie. Have yet to arrange something more finite.

Ehren's Elegant Chicken Scratch

• Week of July 17th
• Met with the crew on Tuesday to finish up the hot water audit. Colin had a nifty little kilowatt-hour calculator written up using the data from the hot water heater user guide site, but looking at the results (102% efficiency) it was clear that something wasn't right with the numbers. We first corrected the fahrenheit to celsius calculation and then, still noting problems, scrapped some of the calculations from the website and found an online source for converting joules into kilowatt-hours. After that Colin's program worked great. I suggested he rewrite it to take as input the standard recharge rate of hot water heaters so that it might be more useful to other interested parties.
• Spent a lot of time studying for the GRE. Gaauwd there are a lot of obscure words out there.
• Week of July 10th
• Met with Dan and Kate Monday night to put togeter our hot water use information. We managed to make some headway, but didn't get much written up. We used a thermometer from the greenhouse to find the temperatures at which Dan, Kate and I like to shower and then took the average. We also determined the gal./min. shower usage and approximated the hot water to cold water ratio.
• Worked about four hours on writting up the hot water usage estimations and experiment from last night before class.
• Tuesday Class: installed mounting plate for WattNode. Charlie took some pictures (should ask him about getting those on the website) Discussed hot water usage estimation process. Discussed serial interface for WattsUp? meter.
• Thurs. installed WattsUp? software on Lisa's laptop. Hooked up the WattsUp? to record the laptops overnight energy usage. Downloaded data into the WattsUp? software. I'd say the software is pretty limited. If possible we should try to find a way to pull the collected data ourselves. I hope we can even create a real-time feed.
• Fri. met briefly with Kate to work on hot water audit. Not much was decided. I got four of the five assigned chapter read. Some of it was review, but I thought it was very useful and well put together. The electrical safety section was especially interesting. I glanced over the fifth chpater and will finish it by Tue.
• Sat. Class: we finished installing the WattNode, and installed a new breaker and overhead light for future touring purposes. Colin took pictures and we managed to make the whole setup look pretty good. Charlie will be out of town on Tue., but we dicided to get together as a group and finish the hot water audit.
• Week of July 3rd
• Met with Dan, Kate, and Colin to type up last weeks lab.
• Tuesday (National Holiday) met with Colin at around 2 p.m. to get the WattNode wires primed and ready for installation in the basement (tinned ends and soldered on connectors). Dan and Kate showed up and we did a little work on the hot water audit. Charlie just assumed there was no class on the 4th of July.
• Busied myself with housework. Didn't get much homework done.
• No word from IMPA or RP&L. Will try contacting next week to see how the process is going.
• Week of June 26th
• Tuesday: called TSC and got water tank prices. Finally caught up with Gail Mayo before class. ©Ms. Mayo: It would be easier for everyone if we didn't worry about buy back and compensation. Since we are small potatoes there probably won't be to many problems getting us tied into the grid. She will contact RP&L and try to have someone there or from IMPA get back to us next week. Mal Sehen.
• Class was a blast, we set up the WattNode to monitor a computer on Dennis 4th. Had fun stripping(wires) and soldering with the crew. We learned how to "tin" the wire ends. We still need to get together and do a propper test with the WattNode and the WattsUp running together.
• Thur. finally got around to setting up a journal on the wiki and bringing it up to date. Discoveries: I'm a rather savvy and good-looking chap with an odd sense of humor and propriety.
• Thur. night: met with Colin on D4 to set up 12 hour WattNode/WattsUp? test run. Took pictures and recorded wattage with CPU idling and at 99% usage (using a summation function in Maple). Idling: 58-60 watts, Max CPU usage: 89-90 watts.
• Fri. morning: got results of over night WattNode/WattsUp? run. WattNode recorded 0.70 kilowatt hours, WattsUp? recorded 707 watt hours. Looks like we've got a good match up in our readings.
• Sat. in class: Developed a plan with the group for setting up the WattNode to monitor energy use of the hot water heater. Also, I did a cursery clean up of the basement freezer. Bloody pheasant! Yum yum. Right now the freezer is unplugged. It needs a good cleaning and should have the doors propped open.
• Sun.: got the rest of the WattsUp/WattNode pics up on the wiki.
• Week of June 19th
• Got my Degree Days and Back to the Basics reading nailed. Maybe we should calculate our personal degree days: I think I spend a lot of my time trying to maintain a steady 98.6. Discoveries:(1)Reader's Digest is not riviting writing, but it is informative. (2)Using trees and terrain to build wind breaks around a house can save up to 30% on your energy costs. (3)Dan looks a lot like his brother. (4) 1 acre of woodland can sustainably produce about 2/3 cords of firewood per year. (5)Creosote is a pain in the @\$\$.
• Met the other members of the SusSys crew at class on Tue. We spent our time working on the HES energy audit. After we measured the farmhouse dimensions with a 12 foot tape, we found some longer tapes and got all the window measurements. Northface: 107 sqft. Eastface: 117 sqft. Southface: 39 sqft. Westface: 76 sqft. Grand Total: 339 sqft. of windows at Miller Farm (including the 2 glass doors). With raw numbers like that in hand we soon had Dan's HES audit running on the downstairs PC. Dan became the basement gofer for the heating info. Question of the day: When the heck was the Farmhouse built?
• I returned to the Farmhouse on Fri. to count up the Wattage of all the light fixtures. (33)13 Watt CFLs, (1)15 Watt CFL, (3)26 Watt CFLs, (12)40 Watt FLs, (4)40 Watt I's (1)75 Watt CFL, (5)100 Watt I's. (Grand totals: 30 active fixtures (some others in basement and greenhouse are currently empty) with 1,737 Watts of lighting. Met Hillary, who was on a cleaning spree. Suggested consolidating food into one fridge, cleaning it, and shutting it down for the summer. Also, unplugged the block of ice that was once a freezer in the basement (why are there bird feathers sticking out of the ice?). In the process I found some more info on the fridges and the hot water heater.
• Created my own HES audit (session #585639) using the info we gathered on Tue., the lighting wattage, the fridge and hot water heater info, and my knowledge of the activity patterns of college students. Result of Energy Audit: predicted use of 18,000 Kill'a'watt hours per year. This matches up pretty well with the approx. 1,400 KWH per month that shows up on the electric bill.
• Class on Sat. was a breifing and planning session. Also, Charlie gave us an intro to the workings of LP furnaces and solar hot water systems. I found out the feathers in the freezer are attached to a pheasant which belongs to Dan. Suggested removal of said dead creature.
• Played phone tag all week with Gail Mayo at IMPA. Will try again Monday.
• Week of June 12th
• Playing hookey in OK.
• Week of June 5th
• Met with Charlie and Colin to get a head start on the SusSys course (notes from meeting follow).
• Agreed to be the phone monkey and call: Gus Duke at RP&L + Contact RP&L and the electrical inspector about plans for a PV sys.
• Agreed to look into using interlibrary loans to pick up some more sustainability books.
• Sounds like Charlie and Colin have got us hooked up with a WattNode monitoring device. Mal Sehen. I probably should stop by Miller Farm since I haven't seen the inside yet. © Charlie: the first few classes will be focused on conducting an energy audit of Miller Farm.
• Made contact with Harry Phillips, 973-7261, (Marketing @ RP&L). © Harry: interested in PV and alt. power. See no reason we shouldn't go ahead, but first contact Steve Saum, 973-7410, (Manager, Engineering @ RP&L).
• Got a hold of Lynn Spencer (Wayne County Electrical Inspector). © Lynn: getting a permit will be a snap. Just stop by the office, anyone can pick one up. Would like to stop by and see our work when we get started. Chill about the details, mostly worried about the connection to the grid.
• Chatted with Steve Saum. © Steve: Would like to be kept informed and take a look at our designs. Grid tie no problem on his end, but we should talk with IMPA about buy back since RP&L has exclusive contract for buying power with them.
• Library run for alt. energy books turned up a big 401.