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==Colin's Cosmic Contemplations==
==Colin's Cosmic Contemplations==
==Kate's Killer Thoughts and Reflections==
==Kate's Killer Thoughts and Reflections==
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*Week of September 11th
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**Met on friday and talked about the green zone and where we all are in our respective parts of the project chose a date to work on the solar hot water heater.
 +
**Worked on measuring the finned pipe for quite a while.  There are other pieces of pipe rusted onto it.  I tried DW-40  and straining with a pipe wrench to no avail.  There may be a better way to work on this, but I haven't thought of it.  We could take a hacksaw to it, since we are just adding rubber elbows.  But I wasn't up for doing that yet.  I got as many measurements as I could, but I wasn't sure where to put them (wiki-wise.)  Also it is notable that our tank is not a cube, it is whatever the rectangular equivalent is.  More importantly there is a drum set in the space that Ehren and I cleaned out next to the electric hot water heater in the basement.
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*Week of September 4th
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**Met on Friday and discussed where we are with our work.  Solved the two layers of seperation problem.  Thought up a new design, still figuring out exactly how the heat exchangers will work.
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** Called Catron's and got an estimate from them.  Turns out that they order from elsewhere but we can order whatever size we need and they'll have it in about a week.  Also discovered that there are different thicknesses
*Week of August 27th
*Week of August 27th
**Sunday ate with the farmers to chat about where things are with our projects/ keep them in the know.
**Sunday ate with the farmers to chat about where things are with our projects/ keep them in the know.
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**Later met with Ehren, Dan and Colin and we chatted about where we were will our respective responcibilities.  We are going to meet on saturday.  I'm waiting on Colin for the measurements for our tempered glass before calling catron's.
**Later met with Ehren, Dan and Colin and we chatted about where we were will our respective responcibilities.  We are going to meet on saturday.  I'm waiting on Colin for the measurements for our tempered glass before calling catron's.
**Thursday set up a link from the miller farm website to the class website... don't worry about that dan.
**Thursday set up a link from the miller farm website to the class website... don't worry about that dan.
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**Saturday we met and compeleted a lab measuring how quickly a copper pipe can exchange heat.  I was the information recorder.
*Week of August 21st
*Week of August 21st
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==Dan's Dusty Tomes of Lore==
==Dan's Dusty Tomes of Lore==
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*
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**A bunch of stuff has happened. We have ordered glass, had meetings, but the damn thing isn't on the roof yet. It'll happen in a week.
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**I did measurements for the way we're hoisting this monstrosity up on the roof. Serves me right for mentioning that we should decide how to do that. Details in h20 system.
*
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**Labbed it with the group -Charlie and got to sweat pipe. Had to leave early due to prior commitments, but am looking forward to see the graphs.
**Labbed it with the group -Charlie and got to sweat pipe. Had to leave early due to prior commitments, but am looking forward to see the graphs.
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==Ehren's Elegant Chicken Scratch==
==Ehren's Elegant Chicken Scratch==
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*Week of September 4th
 
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**Fri. Met with Charlie and the crew and went over our minimal progress.  We developed a rough plan for the heat exchangers.  I'm looking forward to seeing the graphs of the data.  Agreed to start work on the Green Tour pamphlets and guide sheets.
 
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**Colin got the graphs of our heat exchanger data online!  Looks great, and matches what I expected (some form of decay curve like 1-e^(-x)).
 
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*Week of August 28th
 
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**Tue. Third-sun finished the installation of the PV panels on the roof.  I had  an 8am class, but I managed to document the process from 10am to 6pm using Colin's camara.  I even helped a little bit.  Dan and I found out from Ben that health codes typically require two levels of separation for solor hot water heat exchangers, so we're going to have to rethink our design.
 
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**Met Wed. with the crew to make a plan to test heat transfer for 3/4" copper pipe.
 
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**Sat. we ran three tests using a capped off piece of copper pipe filled with tap water and a 5 gallon bucket filled with hot water.  I held the pipe in the bucket with a pair of tongs while Colin, Dan, and Kate recorded the temperature every three seconds using a thermometer carefully inserted into the pipe so that it didn't touch the sides.
 
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*Week of August 21st
 
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**Met with Charlie, Kate,and Dan at the farm to work out the semester schedule.
 
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**Called the heat exchanger company I found online.  The owner was not forthcoming with information on how to build our own unit, and judging from the prices listed on the site, I think we'll be better off crunching some numbers and doing the design ourselves.
 
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**Couldn't make it to the farm Sunday evening for the tour. :(
 
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*Week or August 14th
 
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**So far everyone has either been out of town or too busy getting ready for the start of classes to work much on the project.  As far as I know we still need to order the glass for the solar hot water unit, and purchase the materials for the heat exchanger.  Then we just need to find a good way to mount the unit and the PV panel for the pump on the roof.
 
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*Week of August 7th
 
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**Tue. We took a more detailed look at how we were going to reuse the hot water unit, where we are going to place it, and how we will store the thermal energy.  After some discussion we finally concluded that trying to reuse the old diesel tanks was not feesable.  We settled on using a 250 gal. plastic tank from the barn, and decided to go with a thermal bank style system where the main water feed into the electric hot water heater will pass first through a heat exchanger in the plastic tank.  This answers all concerns about potability and will be an easy install.  We came up with a supplies list for reinsulating and glazing the solar hot water unit.
 
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**Sat. got to the farm at around 8 AM to start setting up for the insulation project.  Kate showed up at ten, and Charlie and Colin arrived with the supplies shortly thereafter.  We worked for a good six hours cutting blueboard and glueing it to the aluminum case with liquid nails.  We then wrapped the unit like a present in a inpermiable vapor barrier, that will also serve as the unit's exterior serface. 
 
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**Sun. I was back at the farm by eleven, finishing the wrapping and setting up for attaching the wood frame to provide support and get ready for the glazing.  We managed to get done by 2:30 and Charlie seems pleased with the result. 
 
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*Week of July 31st
 
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**Tue. (The Big Day) Got to Dennis early and met up with Mic, Geoff, and Third Sun crew.  Geoff remembered me from the wind project.  Colin and Alex showed up soon thereafter and we went to work unpaking and cleaning the PV panels and then transporting them up to the roof.  They are pretty bulky transport and it makes me nerveous to carry $900 equipment up a flight of stairs.  After we got all the PV panels unpacked, I helped paint the platform in the display case and then assisted Geoff with the Outback conditioning equipment setup.  Meanwhile Colin worked with two other Third Sun guys installing a DC breaker box on the roof and running conduit from it through the third floor ceiling and down to the breaker box in the Green Zone.  The day was long, but I feel like I developed a much better understanding of the PV conditioning gear and how to set it up.  I'm looking forward to when we can finishs hooking up the panels and go online.
 
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**Wed. We met at the farm to test out our hot water unit.  Colin had already installed one bleeder to fill the water loop.  Dan put in a second in the basement and we filled the loop and evacuated all the air bubbles.  Too bad it was so late in the day that we really didn't have much heat to work with.  I also organized the photos from the PV intallation yesterday.
 
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**Sat. got up at the crack or dawn to drive out to the Kicks 96 radio tower with Mic, Charlie and the crew and meet the folks working on setting up anemometers in preparation for an RP&L wind farm.  Met Mayor Sally Hutten and Bob Weatherspoon, both very sharp folks.  After the radio tower party, we went back to the farm and discussed the details for reusing the tanks and installing out hot water system on the roof.  Looked online and found information on Thermal Store water heating systems and heat exchangers.
 
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*Week of July 24th
 
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**During class on Tuesday we discussed the plan for testing the solar hot water unit with Charlie. © Charlie: remember KISS, keep it simple (I think the second S is for "safe", Charlie didn't say ;).  We discussed the components that we would need, and Kate and I agreed to go shopping.  Charlie wants the test up and running by Tuesday next.
 
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**Tue: Kate and I purchased all of the supplies on the list (hoses,water pump,copper piping, 10# wire, etc.) from Mendenhal's and TSC.  We used a 10% off coupon at TSC that I'd just recieved with the Pal-Item.  I hope it doesn't take too long to get reembursed.
 
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**Sat. met with Kate and Colin at 10 a.m. to start setting up the hot water test.  We worked for about three hours.  Colin and I had to run to Mendenhal's  again to pick up a soldering torch and a junction box, then we swung by Charlie's office to pick up the 64 Watt PV panel he had there.  We got the copper coil in the barrel and sweated on the hose connectors.  We also got the hoses hooked up the solar hot water unit and ran water through to make sure the system was clear.  We hit a snag when we noticed that we would need a special adaptor for the pump before we could get it hooked up to the PV panel, but Kate did find the specs for the Pump online and it seems that it should be fine with only the 3-4 amps that the PV panel will output.  After we put the pimped-out barrel in the basement we called it a day.  I drove over to TSC and picked up the adaptor we needed, along with some hardware to mount the PV panel and an extra 25 feet of 10# wire.  We're meeting tomorrow to finish the setup.
 
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**Sun. we managed to get a lot done in about two hours today.  Dan was able to help, and we built a functional stand for the solar panel, ran a line from it to the basement and got the pump hooked up.  Unfortunately the hose attachments for the pump were too small.  Colin is going to run out to TSC tomorrow and finish up that piece.  We also need to figure out how to fill the closed loop and remove any air bubbles.
 
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*Week of July 17th
 
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**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.
 
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**Spent a lot of time studying for the GRE.  Gaauwd there are a lot of obscure words out there.
 
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**Sat. went over to Charlie's place with Colin and Dan to help transport a solar hot water heating unit back to Miller Farm.  After dislodging the unit from a mass of brush we used a power washer to clean it off, and then strapped it to the back of Charlies truck. 
 
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**Sun. Colin and I finished removing the plexiglass cover from the solar hot water unit and took some pictures of the interior.  Also, we drew up the plans for testing the units heating capability.
 
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*Week of July 10th
 
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**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.
 
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**Worked about four hours on writting up the hot water usage estimations and experiment from last night before class.
 
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**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.
 
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**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.
 
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**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. 
 
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**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.   
 
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*Week of July 3rd
 
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**Met with Dan, Kate, and Colin to type up last weeks lab.
 
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**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.
 
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**Busied myself with housework.  Didn't get much homework done.
 
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**No word from IMPA or RP&L.  Will try contacting next week to see how the process is going.
 
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*Week of June 26th
 
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**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.
 
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**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.
 
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**Thur. finally got around to setting up a journal on the wiki and bringing it up to date.  <b>Discoveries:</b> I'm a rather savvy and good-looking chap with an odd sense of humor and propriety.
 
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**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.
 
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**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.
 
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**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. 
 
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**Sun.: got the rest of the WattsUp/WattNode pics up on the wiki.
 
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*Week of June 19th
 
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**Got my <i>Degree Days</i> and <i>Back to the Basics</i> 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.  <b>Discoveries:</b>(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 @$$.   
 
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**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?
 
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**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.
 
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**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.  <b>Result of Energy Audit:</b> 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.
 
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**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.
 
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**Played phone tag all week with Gail Mayo at IMPA.  Will try again Monday.
 
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*Week of June 12th
 
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**Playing hookey in OK.
 
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*Week of June 5th
 
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**Met with Charlie and Colin to get a head start on the SusSys course (notes from meeting follow).
 
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***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.
 
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***Agreed to look into using interlibrary loans to pick up some more sustainability books.
 
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***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.  &copy; Charlie: the first few classes will be focused on conducting an energy audit of Miller Farm.
 
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**Made contact with Harry Phillips, 973-7261, (Marketing @ RP&L).  &copy; 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).
 
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**Got a hold of Lynn Spencer (Wayne County Electrical Inspector).  &copy; 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.
 
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**Chatted with Steve Saum.  &copy; 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.
 
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**Library run for alt. energy books turned up a big 401.
 

Latest revision as of 20:42, 10 February 2007

Contents

Colin's Cosmic Contemplations

Kate's Killer Thoughts and Reflections

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.

Dan's Dusty Tomes of Lore

Ehren's Elegant Chicken Scratch

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