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Brandon Coburn

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since Aug 05, 2018
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Recent posts by Brandon Coburn

Jeremy VanGelder wrote:We can talk about our preferred battery chemistry. But I think that misses the point. Because probably 95% of the solar energy they use is not stored in a battery at all. They store a lot of their solar energy as heat in their floor, and then some in their oversized water tanks.



This is what I liked best about the "direct drive" aspect. With a larger system, if you use the power immediately during the day, the rest of the system can be simpler and smaller. It would also make the winter easier since you have an oversized array. Of course this won't work for everyone, it is only a useful approach if you have a productive purpose for the extra energy.
5 months ago

Diane Kistner wrote:

r ranson wrote:the cabbage rolls didn't work because the instant pot shut off due to 'burning'.  It smells like it burnt on the bottom.  I need to reassess the recipe.  



Did you cook it pot-in-pot with sufficient liquid, or did you try to cook it directly in the pot? The only time I've ever gotten the "burning" message is when I forgot to add the liquid.



Ours came with a little wire trivet you can set in the bottom of the pot. If you're doing pot-in-pot then you might try setting the inner pot on this and filling the bottom with water. You might not even need an inner pot, I bet you could wrap them in foil and put them on the trivet.
5 months ago
This isn't really a "conversion" since it's common to cook it this way, but kichdi/kichuri is great in a pressure cooker. This is an Indian rice and lentil porridge, great after some hard work on a cold day.

This is a pretty good base recipe: https://pipingpotcurry.com/lentil-vegetable-khichdi-pressure-cooker/

We use red lentils instead of green, since red is easier to come by here. Different colors have different cooking times, brown might not cook fast enough for instance.

Kichdi is apparently a common Indian "comfort food" and many families have their own special recipe. Using different veggies or spices would definitely make a difference. I bet okra would be good it but I haven't tried it yet.

Edit: I forgot that this recipe was not the one I've actually tried... I used this one which also tells you how to mix up everything up in advance, so you have everything ready to go when you want it on short notice.
5 months ago
We have (and love) an Instant Pot. From my experience, the pressure cooking modes wouldn't work very well for ad-hoc cooking ("winging it"). Where it shines, though, is reliably reproducing good recipes. After experimenting with a few dozen recipes, we've found some favorites that are delicious and require very little prep. Sometimes I'm lazy or otherwise busy and I don't want to hover over a stove or wash a bunch of pans... for those days it's great. We mostly use it for soups and various Indian dishes.

Most of the recipes in the included book are too complicated or not worth the effort, but there's good ones online.
5 months ago
My doctor started using cloud-based practice management software that offers a patient portal for payment and filling out forms. No big deal, I can pay online, great. Well, when you create an account, the portal gives you a several page long agreement saying (basically) that they can use your data to market drugs and medical services to you. At the very bottom, you can "accept" or "deny" this, but buried in the text it says that "accepting" is actually optional. I am probably the only person who noticed this and clicked "deny". At this point, everyone has been conditioned that your only choice is to accept these things!

I have no idea how this is HIPAA compliant, but I'm assuming they are counting on the form serving as an "authorization" for disclosure. I'm sure it's a lawsuit in the making...
5 months ago
Thanks :) I now see that there are some other posts here about direct PV (like the one right below mine, how did I miss that) but I do think this sort of "hybrid" system where you have some direct PV and some battery-fed PV seems more rare. Of course I am fairly ignorant on solar compared to people who actually know what they are doing. I just like how this system puts extra power to use during the day rather than building a massive (expensive!) battery bank to store everything.
6 months ago
Just wanted to share this with everyone, it's an interesting idea that could reduce the complexity of a solar setup if you can live with the tradeoffs. Their well pump and DC-powered workshop only operate during the day, while lights and such are on a smaller NiFe bank. They even adapted cordless tools to run off the solar DC feed. https://www.notechmagazine.com/2019/07/living-energy-farm.html (Living Energy Farm, via No Tech Magazine)

I don't have solar yet, but I've been looking at systems, and this approach looks pretty attractive. (I am allergic to both unnecessary complexity and expensive maintenance.)

The PDF overview gives a more in-depth look at things.

Any thoughts from people who have or have seen similar setups?
6 months ago