Friday, June 26, 2009

back to basics

Decided to start from scratch in order to trick out solar refrigeration....borrowed a basics cooling systems textbook from Ryan (at his suggestion). I reckoned that how could I figure out how to do this without knowing exactly how it all works. The Field Lab compensates the director for taking adult education courses.

Poured 6 sections this morning and got 2 more in late this afternoon. My alarm clock this morning was the resounding MOOOO! from one impatient longhorn in a group of 12 at 7AM. I ignored the group till they left then gave Benita some breakfast. Set up her shade and she spent most of the day partially under it - close to her water bowl.

Progress photos for the next couple of days will look a lot like the last couple of days so the last photo of the day is from my friend James Evans of Marathon http://www.jameshevans.com/Welcome%20.html This is the shot that ran in the current issue of Texas Monthly.

10 comments:

Allen Hare said...

Well, I guess you've captured yourself a pet longhorn.

Have you figured out how you're going to do the roof of the greenhouse? With the walls coming up fast, it'll be time to start on that before you know it.

That's a cool, tricked out photo of you.

Randy said...

Hello Mr. John. I am very interested in your upcoming solar fridge work. You may remember I wrote you about it a couple or three weeks back. I used to live on a sailboat and a friend of mine had a solar powered freezer/fridge on his boat. It was a very small boat, ( 30 footer ). He said he bought a fridge and then tricked out the "something or other" and it became a freezer! We had ice all the time! Never did learn how he did it but it was just about 50 bucks of work. PLEASE let me know how you do with this as I will be out there somewhere sometime soon. Maybe we can meet up and I will buy the beer.

Ben in Texas said...

On the ocean going fishing boats,they used to use a process involving ammonia and some rather simple setup.. Might look into that also. Just an idea. Watch the movie, The Perfect Storm,, they use that process.

KE5MIL said...

One of my favorate websites is "How Stuff Works"
http://www.howstuffworks.com/refrigerator4.htm
You may have to CPC.

MsBelinda said...

i click on Benita's picture but it doesn't enlarge!!

linda said...

I love your blog. Found you from Texas Monthly. Benita is great. What a blast. Good luck on fridge.

Billy Bob said...

John, as a retired refrigeration tech., I have dickered the idea of a solar refrigerator for many years. As with all conventional refrigerators, the refrigerant is moved through compression and suction by a mechanical means. But an absorption type of refrigeration system, the refrigerant is moved by means of concentrated hear to the "generator". RV refrigerators are of this type. For solar, the refrigerator will need "cold plates"...ie, RV refrigerators.
Finding an old RV refrigerator for experiments is rather easy and inexpensive. Concentrating the solar heat to the generator is the trick. A standard size RV ref. uses 350 watts (115 volts) for the "electric" heating element.
This will give the old brain something to storm on. Build a solar concentrator and ya go a refrigerator with a FREEZER.

rj said...

For those who don't have access to Texas Monthly, the article is online...
Texas Monthly Horses Mouth"

You may have to do the free registration in order to see the whole article.

Regarding solar refrigeration, solid state would seem to be the way to go. Ammonia based refrigeration requires a significant pump and fan combination just like freon based cooling. Depending on the application, superinsulation is desirable,either in the ground or the side of a hill, or air tight foam. Then any cooling process will work 50% or more efficiently.

rj said...

Here's a link from Home Power Magazine on a solar based Ammonia/Salt Ice Maker. It's not continuous and involves a water supply (obviously to make ice), but could get you back to the "ice box" days before widespread freon based refrigeration. And no pumps. (This article requires a $10 subscription but is quite detailed)
Ammonia Solar Icemaker PDF

MsBelinda said...

RJ - thank you for the link to the Texas Monthly article.

Nice write-up. I always wondered what motivated you to move there...now I know the rest of the story.