bob day

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since Apr 07, 2013
Central Virginia USA
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Recent posts by bob day

Hi Bryant,  I would appreciate some sort of link or reference to the research  to be able to understand  the actual process of minerals reducing CO2 production .

3 weeks ago

this post with pictures

DSR update 12/25/2018

The double shoe box rocket is elevated off the floor about 18 inches, and instead of an exhaust on top- in front, it is channeled horizontally under a glass stove top from left to right.

Having the water tank inside the bell was an idea suggested at   that led me to my design, which in appearance is like a glass stove top, with an extended simple porcelain covered metal counter top.

This extended bell houses a naked 20 gallon water tank with two fittings, one for cold water at the bottom and one for hot at the top.

The top fitting connects directly into the hot water feed for my house system, and while in operation the hot water valve to the shower head in my tub is left open, and the cold water flow to the tank is shut off. This allows excess pressure to escape safely, and notifies me when the water is hot as steam starts to escape. Note that this is primarily proof of concept, and not yet ready for prime time water heating, it could easily have safety features added that would further ensure a more automatic type system.

note the new visions fry pan  “door” to the batch box, The lid I was using had broken into two pieces possibly from rough handling, possibly the lids are not as thermally  robust as the pans

Last night I was burning the third batch of wood in the firebox,low grade poplar and some mystery wood, likely not completely dry, when I started to hear the steam. That produced a luxurious long (10 min at 4-5 gal/min), very hot shower (mixing lots of cold water). I was concerned about stratification, and the possibility that all the water would not heat evenly, but the length and relatively constant heat of the shower indicated this was not an issue.

The design inside takes the combustion gases exiting under the stove top into a very broad vertical opening that directs the hot gases forward into a circular motion around the whole vertical surface of the tank, with some small horizontal space over and under the tank. These gasses that are further cooled start to sink to the bottom as they circulate. The “stack” entrance is below the bottom of the tank in back of the system, so the exhaust comes in contact with about 270 degrees of the surface of the tank, with some minor contact top and bottom. Note that this stack is actually a powered exhaust by a very cheap, low wattage (about 10)fan. This provides a more or less guaranteed exhaust even at startup, and the exhaust is so cool (around 100F) that more robust (and expensive) equipment is not needed.

The test run last night reached temperatures on top of the port between 900 and 1000 F during the third batch of wood, with a very robust secondary burn at the port. Without testing equipment I have no way of knowing just how clean this is burning, but it appears that the system gets more efficient into the second and third batch of wood by the size of the secondary burn. Perhaps using insulated Fire brick at the port would get the port to temperature more quickly (it is currently standard , full fire brick), and adding ceramic fiber blanket over the stove top might also enhance the temperature build up by reducing convection and radiation losses there.
3 weeks ago
Well, we're still holding our breath and knocking on wood here in VA.

I have been amazed at the professional expertise being brought to bear, and a seemingly routine survey has air permit people putting off  an up or down vote trying to make sense of simple statistics of how many people of racial minorities live within a mile of the compressor station that would be part of the ACP.  Social Justice is a big deal these days of "Black Lives Matter" and dumping pollution on slave descendants has turned into a very big deal. With prominent national attention focused  on the superficial guesstimate submitted by Dominion  vs the door to door survey done by a local woman with a team of volunteers.

The Court decision mentioned in the last post to vacate the permits to cross national forests and the blue ridge parkway is still holding the construction back, but in DC  they are trying to attach a law to the appropriations bill allowing them to issue those permits--Dominion has a very long reach.

It has been removed for now, and if the government were to shut down, almost certainly that law would not be reintroduced before the Democrats took over the house, and we might have a better chance with them being environmentally responsible, but as a realist, money works equally well on both sides of the aisle.

Every once in a while I start to remember that original enthusiasm that we might defeat them, and even allow myself to indulge in the possible reality that maybe  money and power don't always get what they want.

Oh, did I mention the SCC rejected Dominion's estimate of needed gas supplies in future projections, and the need for the ACP disappeared with the greatly reduced reality of just how much gas is needed in VA.  That was the basis of Dominion's claim to eminent domain, and when public need disappears, so does eminent domain.

The long and short of it is that Dominion has been lying right along about almost everything that made the ACP possible. Those lies are being exposed publicly left and right, and whether this has a happy ending or not is still a question.  

But maybe the most convincing of all is what is unfolding a few miles south with the Mountain Valley Pipeline. They have violated  their erosion control permits so often they have been stopped and there is a question now of whether that pipeline will ever get built--known as a sister to ACP it may be that the actuality of damage to water becomes so obvious that the ACP will also be restrained from their folly-- this has been the wettest month so far since 1860 or so, and water is running everywhere. Maybe the weather gods are on our side too!!!

4 weeks ago
I love this thread, but doubt there are any real solutions other than the determination to live uncluttered.

I lived in a 20x8 motor home for a few years, and had organization like crazy. ladders on the roof, power tools and assorted parts under the bed so I was ready to do just about any construction/handyman project that came along. Now with thirty acres  and several sheds I'm still tripping over stuff and even though I have more tools, with doubles of many, I often can't find a tape measure when I know I have at least a dozen of them  "somewhere"

My uncle once told me "If you can't find it, you ain't got it!"

On the one hand I have bought things  and then the next day found the one I had squirreled away much earlier and forgotten about.

Then there is that satisfying  moment when an urgent obscure project comes due, and all the parts just seem to be right there in one form or another, saving hr's of travel time to the nearest stores.

Finding that balance is really like walking a tightrope, and if someone tells me they need something with a little life left in it, they can have it, but I won't just deliberately trash it, although things get forgotten and left in the rain, and melt into the ground solving the problem unconsciously.

But since most of what I buy is already salvaged, I usually don't get too upset about it.

Remember that Jeff Foxworthy routine?  If you find a car up on blocks while you're cutting the grass----"you might be a redneck"

that reminds me I have to donate some cars to NPR
1 month ago
I can't see your pictures for some reason, and the advice you've gotten from those who can see them seems sound.  Especially if you have insulated your bell/ barrel,  the cold downdraft created after the riser is what pushes exhaust through the mass, especially at startup.

What I found after dismantling an 8 inch riser lined with1" CF, was not a riser diameter of 6" like I thought it  should be,   the CF had swelled up enough to shrink the dia to 4&1/2 to 5 inches.

I've had good results sucking the air through from the exhaust side with a fan (like hot air going up a chimney does), rather than trying to push it through from the intake.  Pushing the air might work if the fan and firebox were sealed together in an airtight connection, but the partial vacuum created by sucking the air also eliminates the possibility of pushing exhaust out into the room.

I've found smoke back is usually worse when the firebox opening is larger than any other point downstream. just covering part of the fire box opening may help (after all the other details have been attended to.)

1 month ago
Just a quick reflection on this post and the progress made since I first put it here 5 years ago.

A recent article on the NOAA report released last black friday a week ago says we can no longer predict future weather from recent past weather patterns. Sounds like chaos theory to me.
For me this has meant a summer and fall with lots of rain, the direct opposite of last year. My friends kid me that when I have a backhoe (whether rental or now owned) the skys will open up and make it too wet to effectively use it.

My highest pond in the landscape is also the biggest one, and while I really didn't expect substantial rain to fill it until winter/spring, It filled up several weeks ago, and really has stayed near full right on through.  For the dam construction (still 5-6 feet short of it's intended height, this means waiting for soil to dry out, and also having to go back and perhaps  dry,  and recompact clay that is really too wet to build on.

These experiences will come in handy before starting the next project, but inability to manage the project with respect to the chaos of weather has severely compromised my progress and time table here.

The bright side is that I may have a helper to cut trees for swales and other clearings, and in general the water control is performing pretty well even if it is still incomplete.

The middle dam is built  up to it's water level, but I can't let it  fill with water until I add some more freeboard and manicure the connecting swale to feed another pond that will likely become either a rice or taro pond once it has a better water flow.

So all things considered, the water flow has become very stable, even during multiple rain events that used to carve deep channels on the way to the creek. I really didn't expect results so profound so quickly, but these immature earthworks and water management seems to be one of the most profound things I have ever done. Even just stumbling through the process as a beginner, is better than being so nervous I never start.

On other fronts taking time for the alocasia plants earlier (technically elephant ear not taro) paid off. They happened to find a good spot to grow, and with a little extra care I will be able to grow taro as a starch crop.

I'm also finishing the installation of my new DSR ( Double  Shoebox Rocket) with the addition of a water tank for a hot water source.  photos and better description

Anyway, still hanging in there with too many projects to mention here, but most of it doesn't feel much like work, more just fun and games. Thus ends my update on progress. Still thinking about when it might be time to give two weeks to teach a Permaculture course
1 month ago
After you're done testing that, I just saw some stuff on another forge link, satanite.  webpage
2 months ago

I found the site you used to produce the diagrams/formulae and have bookmarked it, but have too much to do to worry about it now. webpage

It may be that these are formulae given to field installers that helps them maximize systems, without needing to do the (likely) much more complex computations, a shorthand  of sorts . I say this because the voltage increase of the lower volt panel  (in my little experiment) was not proportionate to the increased size and voltage and total watts of the larger panel. To preserve all the watts (or most of them), the voltage increase should have gone closer to 30.

It's all just theoretical at this point, my system is already up with newer  matching panels and outproducing the old system, and our discussion has convinced me to match voltages as close as possible in parallel, and amps as close as possible in series as I go forward setting up outlying systems.

Oh, it has also reinforced my idea of many smaller independent controllers and battery banks

speaking of which, I just heard the water filter in my little koi aquarium come on, an independent system I set up with a good controller yesterday. That means the battery voltage is already up to 12.7. Seems like it will be a good day :-)
2 months ago
that actually makes more sense to me as well,  

the good news is with two identical  panels so far hooked up (i have seven in all) it's looking like I'll have  plenty of extra power--in fact I'm already thinking it's time to double my storage
2 months ago
So you're saying if I hook up in parallel, two panels of different voltage without a controller,  and read the open circuit voltage, I won't get some voltage in between the high and low values of the panels?

2 months ago