Friday, April 26, 2013

Dave's £900 Homemade Solar Water Heating System

David lives at 52 degree North latitude in the UK -- a pretty tough location for solar water heating, but his homemade system works quite well.

This is a really nice build with lots of good ideas and details to learn from.

The system is loosely modeled after our $1K system, but has a number of noteworthy features:
  • Very nice workmanship and details.
  • Solar heat is stored in the existing house thermal storage tank (which is used for both space and domestic water heating).
  • An aesthetically pleasing collector and mounting arrangement.
  • A pumping station that is mounted in a weather protected box on the back of the collector.
  • A freeze protection system that takes into account his unique circumstances.
Dave is a professional plumber who now teaches plumbing, and this shows in the attention to detail in the design and the careful workmanship.

Thanks very much to David for sending this in!

The copper riser, aluminum fin collector under construction.

The pump was located at the collector in the box as there was no
space near the tank.

This is the existing thermal storage tank for the house that
is used for space and water heating and now stores solar heat as well.

Gary April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Elektra One Solar Airplane

Being an old airplane guy, I though this development in solar airplanes was really interesting.

The Elektra One Solar from PC-Aero is a single place, electric airplane with a maximum range of 1000 km.  While flying, it is about half powered by solar cells mounted on the wings and tail.

The empty weight is only 100 kg -- it is constructed mostly from carbon fiber.

There is also a 2 place version.

Seems like solar powered airplanes may be coming out of the extreme experimenter class into something more interesting to regular small airplane users?

Makes you wonder what an electric, aerodynamic, 100 kg car with solar cells could do?

All the details...

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