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Matt Coston

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since Nov 07, 2017
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Recent posts by Matt Coston

I feel that you haven't prioritised what you want.

The original idea is to heat your house with wood, then shifting to get electricity from heat using TEGs, and finally to actively refrigerate the TEGs with ice cold water.

The final idea is completely at odds with the first idea.

I can sympathise with you as I've been through a similar thought process myself. I spent some time looking at TEGs. I realised that nobody is using them in any serious capacity. There is probably a good reason for this.
3 months ago
So, I just watched a livestream by Cody'sLab.

He briefly mentioned this NightHawkInLight video and commented that it really is not that impressive because the material is definitely an "ablative" (i.e. it erodes with use), and ablative heat shields are actually not that difficult to make.
4 months ago
I wonder if this could be used as a liner for the riser in a rocket mass heater.

No information yet on whether this material erodes over time. I imagine it does. Interesting nonetheless.

4 months ago

paul wheaton wrote:My understanding is that in england, "faggot" can be a stick or a cigarette.


In England you can refer to a cigarette as a "fag" but definitely not as a "faggot".

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/290786/origin-of-fag-meaning-a-cigarette-in-british-english

Trace Oswald wrote:I was told that people used to teach not to drink from the hot water because "back in the day", lead pipes were sometimes used for water and hot water made more lead in the water.


I'm pretty sure the Flint, Michigan water crisis was caused by lead pipes still being used. - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/28/lead-drinking-water-level-nrdc-report-flint-crisis

Mike Jay wrote:If so, are you supposed to make soup starting with cold water?


I always start with cold water when cooking.

Mike Jay wrote:Copper pots, tureens and other copper cookware would be suspect as well.


Yes I agree, and that is what I'm unable to find a trustworthy answer to.
4 months ago

Graham Chiu wrote:But there is this http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/water/factsheet/com/copper.html


Thank you for the link. However, there's this import part lurking at the end:

In addition, hot water dissolves copper more quickly than cold water; as a result, water to be used for drinking or cooking should not be drawn from the hot water tap.


Not sure if this statement is true in isolation. Earlier in the article it says copper pipes in new homes have not yet developed the "coating" (I assume this is copper oxide) to stop leeching into the water. The article doesn't explicitly state if hot water from old copper pipes is safe.

I was taught that the reason we don't drink the hot water from a kitchen tap is because the hot water tank is not hygienic. Maybe both are true.
4 months ago

Graham Chiu wrote:Also, why is copper always used? Is there better heat transfer to copper vs stainless steel?


S Bengi wrote:Yes copper is better than steel at transferring heat.


Copper has an unbelievably good thermal conductivity. Table of values here.
Copper - 401 W/(m K)
Aluminium - 205 W/(m K)
Stainless Steel - 16 W/(m K)

Copper is also very malleable so it's easy to bend into coils.

My concern with copper is that, if you look around a typical home, you rarely ever see drinking water being heated or stored in copper vessels. Washing water is often heated and stored in copper, but not drinking water. Makes me wonder if there is some health issue.
4 months ago

Greg Canicio wrote:what kind of solar panels are there most of out there?


I believe the only significant difference between solar panels which needs consideration is their voltage at the terminals. I believe the most common are rated at 18V.

If you are building a 12V system for car battery storage, you would normally use 18V panels. This is because when you place a load across a solar panel (or any power supply), its voltage drops. 18V panels end up being just about right for charging a 12V battery.

If you want to create an array of panels, they all need to be the same voltage. Of course, you will always need a battery management system.

I'm not an expert on this subject so you probably want to get confirmation of what I've said here.
5 months ago
Have a look at the finalists of the Virgin Earth Challenge.

There are four companies there that are trying to commercialise biochar production and most of them involve producing energy.
5 months ago
I can't answer your question but I would like to ask - how certain are you that you know exactly what the heavy metal contaminates are, and their severity? If you do know, this will be useful information for other people here.

Furthermore, I am unable to understand exactly what the connection with the oil company is.

EDIT: Sorry ignore that last part. By the time I finished reading your post I had forgotten your title said the spill was in an oil field.
5 months ago