Sunday, May 2, 2010

Progress on the Sunbox Mark 2

1 May : Made it! Part of my 'value engineering' approach for the Sunbox Mark 2 was that it should be quick and easy to make, and designed to be replicatable for others to build from drawings - and having been made, to be virtually 'Plug in' so that a one day mobile scaffold or cherry picker is enough. 

   So, although a bit of painting and drilling was done in the days earlier, the essential construction was all done in one afternoon. It was quick, even though that included quite a bit of downtime, either to do a bit of hoeing in the garden, tea, or just rethinking something, trying to ensure decisions were final, redoing things that didn't quite fit, or trying different screws. Really, all that remains is the Plumbing element. It helped that it had been so thoroughly designed beforehand, so that all the aluminium cutting was done in advance. I had to cut some polycarbonate with circular saw and jigsaw, and for production, these would be lasercut and delivered ready to use.
  Again, a virtual hug for the delightful Mr Makita who designed my all purpose drill.

Thoughts about Pitch Angle
 My new Sunbox mark 2 is PVT and is sloping at 70º, facing south, but this is a function of it being wall mounted and not wanting it to project too much - there needs to be enough for the airspace behind, and enough to accommodate the thermal collector behind. For electrical harvesting, it would be best at 36º.
   I have considered it at 60º as a compromise, but the projection from the wall is just too much. The Sunbox 2 is built now, I have cut aluminium and polycarbonate for the prototype so must live with it now and monitor the performance, thermally and electrically. I would have to order a whole lot more polycarbonate, causing more delay.

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