Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Building the Foot mirrors

11 Oct '10: The dear old Press drill has been busy tonight, I have the aluminium today from the stores, and have been making the L-shaped brackets. I am applying much more quality control than I used to, clamping all the components before drilling so that the holes really do line up perfectly (there is little tolerance when using pop-rivets).
  Some people wonder what I mean by the 'turbo charging' effect' of the mirrors. I feel that I now have enough days of capture to have evidence.
 Looking at the figures for the captured heat in the days since the mirrors have been installed, there is something interesting about the way the figures are 'stretched apart'. Prior to the mirrors going up the heat capture was fairly evenly distributed numerically from 1 to 18kWh, with many days being in the range of 7-10 kWh.
 The 18th and 20th of Sept are exceptions because of weather events, (eg rain following sun)  but for the remaining days the figures on cold cloudy days are all below 6.0 if there is no direct sun and above 10 if there is some sun.  Even if there is a bit of sun for a part of the day, they make it safely into double figures, at levels that I was happy to get in summer with a far higher solar angle.

  The range of 7-10 has disappeared. So in the sense that 'turbo' means 'to boost', this suggests to me that when there is direct sun there seems to be a boost.
  Future weeks and months of recording will show beyond doubt if this is a substantial effect. By the end of the week, I intend to have the foot mirrors in place, adjusted in tilt angle to optimise for winter sun angles.
  I still don't see why this project seems to encourage derision and even rage from many Navi tron Forum users, when other parts of the forum are full of examples of people trying experimental things with strawbales, drainpipes, compost, barrels, electronics etc. As a teacher for many years, I have learnt better than to pour scorn on well intentioned efforts.
  Half a million people in India and another half million in Africa cannot all be wrong! One of my colleagues on the staff hails from Ghana, and thinking back to his childhood, he remembers his parents using a solar cooker, and using solar reflectors to enable hot water for washing.

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