Author Topic: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update  (Read 2019118 times)

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1175 on: January 04, 2009, 08:51:46 AM »
PEG, if my bad example can help others to improve.... well.... that's what I am here for.  :)

I appreciate you taking the time to post that.  I hope to start getting things organized in my shop one of these days except before I can take time to do that I have about 60 other jobs of higher priority.

As you just mentioned I hope to divide things into their own areas and put concrete tools in one area - drywall, electric. plumbing, mechanic, machining, welding, irrigation, garden, solar, etc......... all into their own findable areas.

I could really use your help here for a couple of months..... [waiting]

I will have it though --- I will try to incorporate your teachings into my cleanup... :)

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline LeoinSA

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1176 on: January 04, 2009, 02:17:50 PM »
Quote
I am planning on some day building a homebuilt wind generator.  Do you know of a decent design or have suggestions?

OtherPower seems to be right up the DIY'er alley. http://www.otherpower.com/otherpowerfront.shtml

Leo

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1177 on: January 04, 2009, 06:31:05 PM »
Hi Leo.  Thanks for the link.  I have looked at them in the past a long time ago.  Looks like they have added more since the last time I looked.

w* to the forum.  You have any projects going?



Also- when I got home tonight I looked and the tracker had followed the sun down so it is working.  I picked up some extra valves and a new gauge to replace the leaking one.  I think I will be changing the cylinder out for a larger one so it will more easily move the tracker.  I was skeptical about the 2 inch cylinder recommended by the MEN article but possibly my tracker is a lot bigger than theirs was. 

That is only about 60 lbs of force on a 4" lever arm so I am surprised it even works at all.  There is the resistance of the cylinder seals  and hinges as well as the CG shift from sides to center to overcome also.  My counterweight will help a lot with that though.  In the summer the pressure differential could be much greater and tracking with the small cylinder will likely not be a problem.  Truck air brake chambers are also a possibility for a power source -

I remembered some 1 1/4" thinwall pipe I had in one of my unnatural resource piles so cut one for two of the truss chords that will beef up the bottom two square tube frames of the tracker.  No problem as long as there is no big wind but if we get massive sustained winds or gusts I would like it to stay put.  d*
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 06:47:43 PM by glenn kangiser »
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1178 on: January 06, 2009, 08:23:58 AM »
Rained yesterday so I worked on the pantry in the lower section of the underground complex.  Started about 9 and stopped about 3 am - so somewhere around 18 hours with a short break here and there.

We have lots of food to store but no place to store it. 

I threw the Franklin fireplace in temporarily to have a bit of heat and a place to burn scrap wood.  No worries about clearances - it's a hole in the ground. [waiting]

I used the chimney I had installed for the rocket stove experiments.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1179 on: January 08, 2009, 05:27:29 PM »
Glenn going back to the 2nd week of December with the problem concerning your track loader.  It could have been worse.




Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1180 on: January 08, 2009, 07:07:51 PM »
Somehow the backhoe seems to keep these things from going clear over.

[noidea'  I HATE it when that happens. [waiting]

See -- I'm not the only one. d*

I was over there working again today - about to finish up but I think a rock broke the fitting on my track adjuster and I almost lost the track.

Tree roots had completely plugged the old leach lines.  The D box was so deep we'd have never found it.  Roots went into it also.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1181 on: January 12, 2009, 10:42:21 PM »
I went to Mikey B's today and traded work on his place for an engine for my sawmill - the old one got tired and threw a rod, 8 - L16 batteries, misc other things and a bit of money. 

I traded craning an air conditioner to a roof in Merced (40 miles) on Sunday to a trucker/building owner  friend for freight on a load of rock - just paid materials - 10 yards for $125 - going rate here is about $450.

Key in both of these trades is that we each give a bit more than we are owed -  Paraphrasing what  my trucker friend said , "If I feel I owe you and you feel you owe me then it must be a fair deal."

The point is no money needed to change hands but both got a great deal.  Uncle forgot to show up I think..... [waiting]
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1182 on: January 13, 2009, 10:07:13 PM »
I pulled the 2 inch cylinder off of the solar tracker and installed a 3 inch cylinder with an 8" stroke.  I had to drain and recharge the propane refrigerant.   I rebuilt the mount as the new cylinder was about 2 inches shorter overall, and I had about an inch of stroke left over from the other cylinder modifications - I added thicker stops and didn't let the tracker rotate as far in the morning and afternoon.

I'd say it is rotating about 160 degrees, which is plenty to get about 95% of all available power all day long. [idea]

The new cylinder is impressive in the amount of pull it exerts and It rotated into position with me holding it back as I filled it.  That was with the opposing side empty but as it was filled it seemed to track well for the rest of the day.

I added about 4 ounces of transmission fluid to each port for lubrication of the cylinder seals and to help prevent dragging and leaks.  Propane is compatible with most oils - that's where it came from. ... [waiting]

The oil quantity is such that it will completely lube the cylinder on each side of the piston each day but will only go part way up into the propane tubes.  I filled the liquid propane (obtained by turning the tank upside down while filling) to the 1/3 location port on each side - added 2 more valves for ease of purging air and gas instead of the side port plugs.  I wanted the other 2/3 for gas cushion and expansion.  I understand that the originals on a smaller tracker I think were 5 feet long.  Propane expandes 270 times it's own volume when it turns from liquid  to gas.

If this part of the test goes well then I will add panels.  I would like to add a couple more on the top but I think I will friction mount their frames to prevent excessive wind loading.  I could easily reset them if they blow down. they would fold back out of the wind but still be attached. d*

It's been running about 140 piston side and 165 psi shaft side to balance out.  You can sit and watch it move slowly as the sun transfers across the sky.

This is information only -- while I consider myself safe with it, I just say -- don't try this at home, kids.  Be sure you know how to handle the propane safely if you do this.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 10:24:00 PM by glenn kangiser »
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1183 on: January 13, 2009, 10:22:21 PM »
This is  [cool]

 :) :)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1184 on: January 13, 2009, 10:26:14 PM »
Thanks, Don.  I hope it will return to the east in the morning.  It is confirmed to have tracked the rest of the afternoon already though. 

Still experimenting so after I get those Zip ties out that Scott was talking about, and more panels on I will get more pix.
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1185 on: January 13, 2009, 10:29:56 PM »
Zip ties are a must. Black of course so they don't degrade in the UV. Or some other color. I have white ones, actual white dyed, not the natural whitish nylon color, on the Jeep's tire rack wiring.  ;D
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1186 on: January 13, 2009, 10:36:48 PM »
I think I'll go with tie dyed.  I got a box of technicolor ones so will likely use them... See there Scott.... I do know what they are... [frus]
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Offline Pritch

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1187 on: January 14, 2009, 12:02:06 AM »
Awesome project, Glenn!  I have a couple of questions, though.   First, how is the tracker tracking?  Is the piston just pushing the array on the horizontal axis as a speed approximately that of the sun?  Is it tracking on one or two axes?  Does the system know to return to the other side after dusk to prepare for the next day?  What strange voodoo do you do? 

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Offline ScottA

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1188 on: January 14, 2009, 04:31:12 AM »
I was wondering the same thing.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1189 on: January 14, 2009, 04:36:26 PM »
It's solar magic! Its all done with smoke and mirrors.  ;D ;D

No, it's quite clever. There's a large reservoir tube on each side of the array. These are partly filled with liquid propane. A hose connects to the lower end of each reservoir tube. If the hose simply connected the left to the right as the first prototype was made, the theory was that with the sun striking the reservoir tubes equally the pressure in the gaseous section of each reservoir tube would be equal and the array would be balanced and pointing at the sun. As the earth rotates and the angle to the array changes the heating of the reservoir tubes becomes unequal. In the hotter reservoir tube the fluid boils ore, gives off gaseous vapor. The increase in the pressure in that reservoir tube pushes fluid from the hot side to the cooler side. The imbalance cause the array to tilt. Once centered on the sun it sits there. That's the theory. There were problems; wind was one of them.

Version two incorporates a bidirectional or double acting hydraulic cylinder. The cylinder is connected in the middle of the run of hose that connects the left and right reservoir tubes. This ram cylinder is installed so the rams stroke action physically moves the array.

The trick is in sizing everything properly so the AM sun can kick it back to the start position. I believe Glenn also has some shades that help keep the cool reservoir tube cooler and should get the motion going with better reliability for the morning start up when the panel must travel back from where it was left the evening before.

If that's not clear go back to the first line... "It's solar magic!"

Did I get that more or less right, Glenn?
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1190 on: January 14, 2009, 08:14:23 PM »
Right on, Don. :)

Zomeworks still uses the fluid displacement I think.

The tracker did move back toward the sun this morning - but too slowly for me.  It was about 8:30 as it was slowly heading over to meet the sun.  I got impatient and assisted it.  I think my CG being a bit on the heavy side keeps it a bit slow but the point is that it is working and it does track well all day long.  The shades keep the temperatures of the pressure tubes equal when tracking the sun.  If one shade blocks one tube then it's pressure drops and the one in the sun heats building 30 to 40 lbs excess pressure shoving the array toward the sun until the shaded tube is also in the sun and temps equal.  Equal temps mean equal pressures so the cylinder stays centered until the shade or sun pressure change shoves it one way or the other.  The system pressure is always as high as the pressure the ambient air temperature causes on the propane.  The movement is created when the sun heats the propane in one tube making it have a higher pressure than the ambient  air temp pressure in the other one. 

The only movement force is the difference in the high pressures.  The cooler tube condenses causing less gas volume in it so pressure is lower allowing the cylinder piston to move toward it as the pressure rises on the other side of the piston.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1191 on: January 14, 2009, 08:27:02 PM »
[idea]....I am considering a heat riser/ concentrator now to help speed up return in the morning.  I want this thing to be rather large and strong and now it is a challenge to get it working better. 

I'm thinking a  gas (tric :) )   bypass with a gravity focused parabolic reflector behind it, that is only in focus to the sun until the tracker is rotated back east in the morning - then it will shade and become reservoir again.  It should boil the propane until pressure is high and rotation is accomplished.  After rotation during the day it will be behind the solar panels.

What do you guys think about the chances of that working? [waiting]
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1192 on: January 14, 2009, 08:42:18 PM »
Oh my?  ??? ???

I consider myself lucky I figured out the theory.  Best guess... maybe.
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Offline harry51

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1193 on: January 14, 2009, 09:11:17 PM »
Sounds like it should work, except I don't know what gravity focussed means, exactly.

Will the change in the sun's angle of incidence over the course of the year mean the parabola will have to be adjusted from time to time to keep it in the sun, and in the shade, at the proper times?
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1194 on: January 14, 2009, 09:35:43 PM »
Gravity focused - my future invention....

I will make a bypass tube that will run parallel to the main tube maybe 3' long,  but under the edge of the panels and only exposed to the morning sun. 

Unlike the tracking tubes it will be away from the shades a few inches and will have bearings around it so that a parabolic reflector about 8" diameter x 2' or so long can rotate around it..  The solar trough parabolic reflector will be kept aimed at the sun as the tracker turns to the east by a counter weight hanging vertically below or in front of it with a solid arm to force the reflector to stay focused on the sun through the movement.

Once the tracker has rotated toward the sun, latent heat should finish the job and the wakeup tube and reflector will be under the shade for the rest of the day ready for action when hit by the morning sun.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1195 on: January 14, 2009, 09:39:17 PM »
The bypass will get the liquid propane from the bottom and the boiling gas will exit the top to a tee in the side try cock on the main gas tube.

The parabola will be a solar trough so it should still focus well enough to heat the gas fast over the year I think.  It may be good if I make it adjustable a bit north and south also though - faster response then.

The solar tracker is adjustable manually on the N/S axis from near vertical to  over horizontal.  It has about 30 degrees to work well in though -- sun angle plus or minus 15 degrees will get about 95% power.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 09:57:10 PM by glenn kangiser »
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1196 on: January 14, 2009, 10:23:44 PM »
Like I stated earlier... magic!
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Pritch

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1197 on: January 14, 2009, 11:28:39 PM »
Thanks guys.  That helps . . .  some.  Should we do a Google Earth capture now so we can remember what the area looked like before the birth of the Yosemite Crater?   :)

-- Pritch
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1198 on: January 14, 2009, 11:37:27 PM »
d* Pritch, I know what I am doing.... believe me.... [waiting]

Propane is pretty safe to work with and I had several drilling rigs and compressors running on it years ago so I am familiar with working with it.  I also installed a/c using freon and have installed propane in the a/c on my truck etc.. 

Safety is observed.... No smoking and I didn't inhale ... I promise.... [crz]

[bbq]
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Offline ScottA

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #1199 on: January 15, 2009, 05:18:05 AM »
Interesting. I wouldn't have ever thought of that.  8)

 

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