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Author Topic: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.  (Read 4687 times)

glort

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #60 on: July 22, 2019, 10:30:55 PM »

Only thing that is paid any attention to here is squeezing whatever excuse for a home you can get on any bit of surface are of the earth and that's it.
Some of the places we looked at before buying this were clearly properties that should have never been built. But like everything else, it's all about the money.

I was digging into the guts of my AC unit yesterday. a relay on the board controlling one of the condenser fans has gone out requiring the replacement of the board. was tempted just to tap off the other fan and drive the non working one off a relay but Fridgy mate says that's not Kosher.
When the thing kicked in I was standing in front of the icy blash that came out of it thinking how useful that would be in summer.  Walked past it in summer and felt the fan forced overn heat that come out and thought if only there were a way to contain that for 6 Months how much power could be saved.

Least I worked out how to rotate the phases so the main one is now on a meter I can wind back in summer and will save me almost 1 Kwh which adds up the way that thing gets hammered in summer.  Also the 1+ Kwh a day the thing uses in the sump heater even just sitting there will be on a recoverable  phase.

Having a search for energy efficient home builders, I was very underwhelmed. Firstly, Didn't see any in my state, the most pupulated in the country.  I'll admit, it wasn't an exhaustive search and there has to be some but the fact none showed up on the first page of google where there were several from another state said something in itself.  Next thing was those advertising energy efficiency seemed to be doing it more as a marketing angle than anything else. Yeah, extra insulation, Double glazing and solar something but other than that.... One spoke of air Tightness one spoke of sealing the frame to the slab ( ??) and while these would help, I certainly didn't see anything inspirational.  One made note of energy efficent appliances which were all Gas which made me wonder how that would be more efficent than electric  that you could generate yourself from panels.

Nothing about ground loops, orientation with verandahs for summer shading of the house, no heat pumps for hot water ( one said they put extra insulation around the normal electric HWS tank ?) insulating the slab or anything  beyond the double glazing and extra insulation really. I have none of the knowledge Bruce does on this but even I could design a better house than what I was seeing.  I was looking for something inspirational and didn't even see anything keeping up with what I know of and would do if I were building.

All the houses were small arse little dog boxes and the only larger one I found was clearly from an average builder that was not doing anything efficient at all but probably just threw the meta tags in the website to sucker some extra traffic in.  The place with the floor to double story ceiling single glazed windows sort of raised my suspicions and prompted a further dig to prove they would know efficiency if it bit them on the arse.
The main ones I found were all in the southern cold state so I imagine would be more one way biased.

I would like to double glaze this place but it would be a Fortune. The reality is cheaper just to heat and cool it for the time I'll be here using the solar.
I am looking to get someone in about shade Blinds. I think they could make a worthwhile difference in summer keeping the direct sun off 2 walls.
The heat that pours in the multiple double doors and windows is probably more than the Big AC can handle just with that.
The thing about letting winter sun in is a misnomer here. Time there is enough warmth to be of any use at all, the days have warmed up enough and you don't need it anyway.

BruceM

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2019, 11:27:50 PM »
Seasonal heat/cold storage would be sweet, the the amount to be stored is brutal.  You need to make an ice house of sorts in the winter...to be used in summer, and a huge superinsulated tank of molten salts in summer for winter.  Rather brutally expensive in each case.

The problem with home design is that we've left it to "the marketplace" with a few architects as hangers on.  Architecture is an ART SCHOOL, so any technical knowledge is superficial at best, and the focus is on things like esthetics and lots of glass, which are a thermal disaster.  (A greenhouse for growing food while providing a sunny space seems a lot more sane.)  Marketing types rule, and people don't have the technical savy to sort it out.  I remember a former neighbor raving about a (resistance) water heater he bought that was advertised as 99.9% efficient.  I hated to tell him all electric water heaters were, as the elements are in the tank of water.  He was pissed...and not happy with me for busting his delusional bubble.

In much of the US, there are no practical guides to higher efficiency houses..not even recommendations for your local county, etc.  Just the minimum insulation requirements in the UBC. 

The best education I found was to play "what if" with a computer thermal model to determine BTUs of heating or cooling needed.  The hard part is getting good data on soil temperatures, a foot, 2 foot and 3 feet down for the winter scenario.  Losses at the edge of an exposed concrete slab are huge, the more exposed with say fancy split face block, the worse the losses. A slab poured up to the uninsulated stem wall is the kiss of death, thermally, though fortunately in time it will usually creep away from the house and make a poor thermal break.  Perimeter insulation is the hands down best bang for your buck, since there is so little surface area.  There don't even sell affordable and easy to use products to put an insulating skirt at the stem wall...you have to make them, which explains where the builders are at. 

Almost any field I've studied in detail appears to have be largely based on misconceptions clung to like a religious zealot, with precious little real science and data.  Where humans are involved, it's a good idea to be skeptical about the prevailing wisdom and take a much closer look.  That's hell for working stiffs, and they just don't have the time and must rely on local zealots.







ajaffa1

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2019, 01:25:03 PM »
What about ground source heat pumps, I have never personally installed one of these but I have dug the trenches and laid the plastic underground pipes for them.

They work rather like a reverse cycle air conditioner in that they can provide both heating and cooling. In winter they draw heat from the ground, in summer they pump heat into the ground, using it a bit like a heat battery.

The heating/cooling is generally dissipated through underfloor pipes set into an insulated concrete floor, the idea being to maintain a constant room temperature of between 20 and 30 Celsius via an adjustable thermostat in each room. They are said to be extremely efficient and can be run off solar electric during the day, at night you can turn them off and rely on the heat/cool of the concrete mass of your floor.

Bob

BruceM

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #63 on: July 23, 2019, 03:41:04 PM »
I've done quite a bit of reading on ground source heat pumps.  Very efficient, and in many areas where cooling is as important as heating, a hands down winner.  Even here, a superinsulated home could reduce the size of the ground source system (where all the bucks go) by 3/4 or more.  They are quite expensive to build but in many climates the payback is there.

In my climate and terrain, with shallow sandstone, a series of well bore holes linked by shallow trench is the preferred method, as trenching to depth isn't practical. 

If I was building over again here,  I would seriously consider two wells, one near the house and a greenhouse.  The water is about 65F as it comes out of the aquifer, about 150 ft down. That would directly (no heat pump) suffice for cooling my insulated slab floor and keeping the house at or below 76F, and be a good source of both cooling and heating for a greenhouse.  The "waste" well would receive the waste water, so that a modest circ pump could be used (pipe into aquifer on both ends), instead of a lift pump. The source well could also provide the domestic potable water. Priming the circulation system is tricky as depth is greater than a surface pump; large commercial systems using this would just have a lift pump, which would have dramatically higher flow once the return well path was primed and "pulling".  This method had been used in commercial greenhouses where geothermal heated water is available.




glort

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2019, 12:21:26 AM »

I would definitely have an insulated slab if I built with some form of underfloor heating. hadn't thought about cooling, I guess that would rule out electric.
I think I would prefer hydronic as there is much more heat available from a furnace than electric and I have already shown Solar is impractical here in winter to carry heating loads. 

I would also look at a heat Pump with a ground loop. Fridgy mate seems to think they work OK and has done them although the cost does not impress him.
Evap coolers can be interesting as well and might work well where I am because unlike closer to the coast, the heat here can be very Dry.

Friend sent me a TY vid a month or so back about a guy somewhere in the states that has  10" Plastic pipe Buried 8 ft down in I think it was a 200 ft long loop.  Blew air through it to get a stable temp for his home and greenhouse all year round. Used next to no power but had significant heating/ cooling power.
He was setting up greenhouses with this system and due to the virtually no running costs were repaying in no time and producing extremely well. He was growing oranges where it was snowing and being local, getting top dollar for them as well as other out of season veggies he was selling to local Restaurants.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD_3_gsgsnk&list=FLEfdKGemqGDvpn2hSuJl2Nw&index=6&t=0s

BruceM

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2019, 03:37:34 AM »
It's crazy to use corrogated pipe buried in the earth for air you breathe.  In time, it will become the same life threatening mold and bacteria disaster as all early solar hot air/rock storage homes.  A fellow engineer at an AF research lab did it for his home in the low desert, and had to shut it down after a year...his wife and kids were getting sick.   I think it's much safer and more energy efficient to run a ground source pex loop, in bores or deep trench, with the water to air heat exchanger.  Much less energy to move the heat/cool.

If you must use pipe for air, it would need to be smooth, with carefully sloped with drains, and a way to clean it out.

You will also see a lot of greenhouses using corrogated pipe under the floor, as they think it will be a seasonal energy store.  Baloney, look at the data for large installations and you will see it's a failure; the downward and outward conduction losses to the earth are so bad that I am not convinced that it is worthwhile.  If foamboard is used along with massive excavation, then yes, you can use earth.  An insulated water storage tank, however, can provide substantial storage, and I think at a much better price to build.  A retired engineer build a small greenhouse with insulated water heat storage, collected data that showed impressive performance.  He collected excess heat at the peak of the greenhouse during the day ajnd heated at night via small water to air heat exchanger. 

I'm very interested in hydroponic greenhouse growing for my climate, but the real stinker is summer, as it really needs cooling via evap coolers besides reduced sun (shade/diffusers).
Hydroponics as bugs and diseases are brutal here, within 3 years you are in a state of constant warfare, as your garden soil is loaded with diseases and bugs.  I quit growing outside after 3 years of being totally hailed out just before harvest.  I was doing nothing but picking bugs, spraying oil and soap sprays, and copper soap sprays for pests and diseases. The first year you think you are a genius, then aphids destroy your late cold weather crops, powdery mildew and a variety of bugs get progressively worse each year.  With hydro, you can sterilize the growing buckets/gutters/trays and/or media after each crop is harvested, so it's first year every year.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 03:40:29 AM by BruceM »

veggie

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2019, 02:42:22 PM »
same here BruceM,
I farmed a small plot for a few years until I realized the huge benefits of two other styles of growing...
1] Greenhouse hydroponics
2] Raised beds with framed plastic rain/hail covers.

Both are doing great. The trick with a greenhouse is to have thin lightweight reflective shade panels that can be placed over the sun-facing windows during the hot months. During summer my greenhouse is mostly shaded to the point where I use solar powered LED lighting on my microgreen crops. In spring and fall I remove the panels and get a lot of welcome solar heat. It still gets hot in summer but the auto-louvers and fans keep it manageable for plants.
An evaporative cooler at one end of the building would certainly offer great temperature control.

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BruceM

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
« Reply #67 on: July 24, 2019, 04:45:54 PM »
For my own comfort and enjoyment of gardening, I'd like to try a passive evaporative cooling tower as I don't like the sound and magnetic fields of swamp coolers though the cool wet air is delightful. It's also appealing for reduced energy use since I'm off grid.  But I concede that evap cooler(s)/walls with big fans are far simpler.  I'm sticking to small projects for now, seeing how my health goes. 

A friend who grows most of her own food is also using greatly restricted overhead light in her greenhouse in summer; only 20% of the ceiling space is glazed plus indirect light from the south glazing. Transpiration of plants plus lots of natural ventilation via screen doors keep her temps to 10F below ambient most of the time.  She was very successful for about 7 years doing ebb and flow pea gravel hydroponics with Talapia in an IBC container until she could not find fish food without various additives which made her ill.  She's growing in dirt in raised beds now.  I'm convinced that hydro methods that allow replacement/sterilization of media and trays/gutters/buckets is best for keeping diseases and insects in check. 









glort

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
« Reply #68 on: July 25, 2019, 12:22:48 AM »

Fixed the title for the " On topic" nazis so we are now " compliant".

On the engine situation, I am going to get the BIL to drill a brake rotor for me. Looking at the numbers I don't see any great risk with the speed the thing will be doing.  What I would like to know and buggered if I can find is the pitch Circle Diameter.  If I could give him the magic number he could do it for me. Without that I'll have to pull the flywheel off the second engine.  not looking forward to that exercise.
Yes, I know i can be measured but accuracy in not my forte by a long shot and the chances of me getting it wrong are on par with me NOT winning Lotto.


I had thoughts of Using panels to shade my garden up the back given the extreme heat we get here followed by a week of rain  every time the tomatoes are at Max Crop which fks  them completely.  I was going to build a frame work  over the raised beds anyway just to keep the damn birds off things as well.  I was wondering about shading with panels  to keep the direct heat and rain off and if there would be sufficent light  from the sides to keep them happy.  I figured there would be as you can do about anything with tomatoes anyway and there are a few other things I have grown well in my Aeroponic  tank  that did a LOT better when I gave it minimal sun by moving it onto the shaded back verandah.  Lettuce which is a perfect crop for the aero and did really well was one of them.

My little plastic greenhouse has been a great success this winter.
I put a plastic drum in the thing with 100L of water and a heating element now on a thermostat.  I was running the tank up to about 80C  off direct solar  and as silly as that sounds, it wasn't too much.  I did not see anything in the greeenhouse over 30C and a lot of the time it was well below that.
Due to a solar power shortage, I took the element off the panels and put it back on a GTI as that was far more efficient and put another element on a thermo which I have set to 40 and kicks in as an excess voltage dump.

I'm only watering about once a week because it is so humid in there but everything seems to be loving it. I have a bit over 200 hedge  cuttings in there which I have not lost one of yet so cheering with that. Have some lavender, lettuce, Passionfruit going nuts and climbing all over everything, tomatoes, some Bamboo, Moringa and a few other things the Mrs bought I now forget.

It does get real hot in there in the middle of the day but it seems the humidity keeps everything happy.  It can be over 40oC and nothing looks like wilting, quite the opposite unless that condensation drops and then the plants do too. I have most things in trays that I have been keeping a little water in the bottom of and rather than the things drowning, I am seeing a lot of roots spreading across the bottom of the trays in the water.

When I get that round tuit,  I'm going to put an LED and an element in the old Freezer I have as a seed raising cabinet.  Don't need a lot of light for seeds but I'm sure the warmth the freezer will provide will be appreciated.  I had a little cheap Chinese element of unknown actual rather than rated power ( did measure the resistance which I forgot but thing was around 70ohms so a low powered unit) but the thing failed after about a week. How surprising!!
Waiting now to see if i'm anywhere near as clever as I know I'm not and can put the PWM solar controller together to run this off a few panels.

If I do the garden beds covered with panels, I'll be able to turn the Freezer into an oven even in winter. 30 panels at even 190W would be over 5.5KW.
Too far up the back to be worth bringing down to the house.

Hey, wait, WTF do I need a PWM controller for to keep the panels on power point?  I'll have enough juice to run an element, a Pump, lighting...... I think I need to be building a man cave up there!

BruceM

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2019, 12:54:45 AM »
I like your idea of solar panels to provide partial overhead shade for the garden, Glort. Some steel posts and thin wall rectangular steel tube (a good trial for your new MIG welder)  between them as rails to hold panels would allow you to have as much or little shade as you want according to spacing between the panels.  An interesting way to boost your PV and perhaps increase garden production.

glort

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2019, 06:01:27 AM »

For the Frame work Bruce I was going to use some solar Panel mounting rail I have.
I have loads of it in fact. Many of the used panels I have bought have come with the racking and I don't use it as I have a metal Roof.
I was moving a heap of it last week and reminded myself how heavy some of it was.  I would use that for the frame work and  Probably screw the panels to it.  Might be able to use the welder for some aluminium practice.

I was thinking about my aeroponiics tank.  I could use a panel or two to shade that and run a heating element in winter to maybe stimulate growth and to run the pump as well.  Would only need a small battery to keep the timer powered mainly and maybe give the pump a stable power supply. A light sensitive switch could be put in circuit so the pump only ran during the day. Guess if I used a car size battery I could probably power an LED light at night as well.

I probably should put the aero tank in the greenhouse I could probably get 50-75L of water in that for the thermal mass, would keep everything real moist and be warmer for growing in as well. Might do that tomorrow!
I wonder if the water spray would pick up heat during the day lowering the temp and store and release an amount of it at Night?

BruceM

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2019, 06:10:38 AM »
Heat capture for a water tank in a greenhouse is usually either radiator/fan from top of greenhouse, or pipes or fin tube pipe near peak, on thermostat to take excess heat.

glort

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2019, 09:48:01 AM »

But why be conventional?  :0)

I don't think there will be that much heat to capture in winter and in summer, I'll need a shade house not a green house.

BruceM

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Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
« Reply #73 on: July 25, 2019, 03:09:54 PM »
Even in colder winter climates, there is considerable excess greenhouse heat in the winter- all afternoon. You have to either throw it away via ventilation or capture it for night time use.