Steve Harvey

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since Jan 23, 2015
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Recent posts by Steve Harvey

Eddie Conna wrote:Stucco is NOT waterproof.  IT's basically cement, which is porous.

This is why code requires a waterproof membrane under stucco... usually some sort of waterproof "wrap".

I've seen earth bag homes that were "smoothed out", then covered with a waterproofing, like plastic, tar paper, whatever, then covered again with more of the cob/earth stucco material.
Cal earth does it this way as well.  They cover the waterproofing with "balls" of cob, they call "reptile scales"  Look at for info..,

Wouldn't the poly woven bags be considered a vapor barrier?
2 years ago
I saw a video of some English plasterers making a water proof lime wash for exterior stucco with slaked lime and tallow. Seemed like a sweet idea. I would advise against using chemical or synthetic products to waterproof in a wet environment, you will just end up with condensation and mold inside. Think about it the best winter gear is engineered to be breathable and warm, so I would not associate the porosity of the stucco with letting in cold and moisture, cold maybe, wet I would be surprised if that much water vapor could make it through the plaster stucco.
2 years ago

Satamax Antone wrote:what is your take?

I don't believe this. If you are comparing wind to Fossil fuels than this is not true. Wind mills don't cost tax payers 600 billion dollars a year, or require military interventions around the world which produce a lot more pollutants. If USA stopped spending so much on their military and started spending on alternative energy, there would be more skilled jobs in this industry than the military and poverty/unemployment in the USA would be greatly reduced. The trucking industry is already looking into electric alternatives to fossil fuels, which will reduce that issue with transporting these things, also I didn't know coal was still use in the metal forging industry I thought the industry has moved to induction heating.
2 years ago
Also what you may be calling charge rate may be different than what I would call charge rate. The charge rate of a flooded lead acid battery should be 10 - 13% of the 20ah rating of the battery, so for a 360ah battery bank the max charge current should be 47 amps, or c/40 setting of the charge controller. Without knowing info on your charge controller I could not tell you what the 85% max charge rate for to Magnum inverter is doing. If the maximum charge rate of your inverter/charger is 100 amps and you need to limit the charge rate to 40 amps then that would be how you would set it. If your controller can be limited to c/40, you would be ok to set magnum to 100% See below, excerpt from magnum manual.

SETUP: 05 Charge Rate - Used to set the maximum charge rate allowed
to charge the batteries during Bulk, Absorption, Float, and Equalize
charging. Selections are Max Charge = 0% up to Max Charge = 100%.
The Max Charge = 0% setting helps minimize charging while continuing
to allow pass-thru power. The rest of the selections are provided to
limit the charge rate to the battery bank, which helps prevent battery
overheating caused by charging at too high a charge rate.
The Max Charge selections are provided as a percentage of the inverter/
charger's maximum charging capability. Refer to label on the side of the
inverter or the operator's manual for the inverter/charger to determine its
maximum charge rate. Once you fi nd this maximum charge rate, determine
the percentage needed to limit the charge rate to your battery-bank.
Example: If the maximum charge rate of your inverter/charger is 100
amps and you need to limit the charge rate to 50 amps, choose the
Max Charge = 50% selection (50 amps = 50% of 100
Default setting: Max Charge = 80%
3 years ago
Also we have no Idea what charge controller you are using, are all the panels going through a single mppt charger or does each bank use its own pwm charger?
3 years ago

Sherri Lynn wrote:So, I have a question about max charge rate. We have a system set up with 17 sets of 4 each solar panels that are 12v, 5 amp. This should be a total of 4080 watts (if I am figuring this right). We have three battery banks set up at 48 volt (8 batteries per bank of L16E, 6V 360 amp hour batteries each bank). We are having trouble with the state of charge getting up to 85% and stopping. It wasn't doing this earlier, but we had something kick out the system and had to restart it, and it has been doing this since. Now the ME-ARC is set at an 80% charge rate, and we are thinking that given the amp hours being a total of 1080, that we should set the charge rate at 100%, but we were afraid to make a mistake, having read about overheating the batteries if you charge it too fast.

Does anyone know the answer?


You should measure the voltage of the circuit after the charge controller and before the batteries to see what the controller is doing when you hit that 85% mark. It may be possible that when the system tripped your controller defaulted back to a lower voltage setting? Other than that your controller may be going into the topping charge phase and is taking too long to complete the topping charge phase of the charging cycle in a reasonable amount of time, due to the Ah rating of the battery bank, and the limited amount of daylight.
3 years ago
Looks like someone near me with the same zoning, R2 resort residential, applied for a permit for a guest cabin 489 ft² and 9 ft from the front property line. looks like I should be able to get mine permitted as long as they are ok with the engineering of the structure.
3 years ago
You are probably right, the zoning bylaw says area of 108 ft². I just figured that was floor area. I could get a permit to build larger.
3 years ago
ummmm it doesn't really say anything in the zoning bylaw about this, I just figured it was interior ft² because exterior would be stupid.
3 years ago

Christopher Steen wrote:

Steve: "My plaster is water proof, however, in order to avoid having to reapply waterproofing agents like wax over the plaster every year, A roof will protect it from rain and snow. Absolutely no bandaid roof paint or synthetic anythings on this one."

Christopher: " If your exterior plaster is 50:50 vermiculite:cement, well it is pretty rich but not gonna be waterproof as is with the vermiculite aggregates. 2 sand: 1 portland (ferrocement) is considered pretty waterproof when water content is .4 to portland, but cement will always be hydrophillic. What happens with freeze thaw cycles. Wax is like an exterior bandaid, it melts and wears off, while something like waterglass is like getting stitches; a great waterproofer that's breathable and permanent (by far my preference). Quality elastomerics and other coatings like graco are just bomber in the durability department, and although not breathable can be a component in a well designed wall system like the above stated example with interior earthen plaster with all those clay platelets moderating indoor humidity and wall assembly moisture. For someone in a wetter climate wanting a dome (or someone wanting to cover an exterior dome, vault, wall, slab) an appropriate and quality coating is no more a band aid than a second roof system in order to push a dome comfortably into a wetter freeze-thaw climate than where domes originally excelled. For example, a quality ferrocement vault work topped with waterglass or elastomeric like graco should last way longer than the highest quality galvanized metal quonset (let alone shingles) in the face of many different destructive forces. Portland cement is synthetic, just like that paint on the metal roof, asphalt shingles, and misprint rice bags. It's about how well something is used."

I never said the exterior plaster was going to be 50:50 vermiculite:cement, I said that would be my bag fill. My exterior plaster would be sprayed on vermiculite cement finished with Tadelakt.
3 years ago