My attempt to make it to my 10 acres in Terlingua Ranch and make a go of living on it. From the start it hasn't gone good at all, but I'm hopeful things will turn around!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Mini Fridge \ Solar \ Rain
Above pictures of my new Mini Fridge. Well it isn't new, but it works. The old Coleman electric fridge potted out when the fan motor died. No chance of getting another one and it actually died so lubing the bearings with WD40 was out. On this one I'm using a small blower out of an old computer on the hot side (Which would be called the condenser in a normal refrigeration unit.) This thing actually uses a refrigeration chip and electricity is the refrigerant.
Since it hadn't worked very good when it was working I hoped that putting the refrigeration unit in the small ice chest might make a freezer out of it because there would be far less volume to cool. Well that didn't happen, but it does cool sufficiently to chill drinks and keep a small amount of perishables in and it runs off of the solar so I don't have to buy propane for it. Problem is the small size, but then it is small enough that it takes up very little room in here. That won't replace the freezer in the propane fridge which will at least make a small amount of ice and I can chill drinks in it before moving them in to the small fridge in here to cool them even more. Later in the season when the weather cools I'll be able to use the propane fridge, but for now it isn't a lot of good. Perhaps one of these days I'll find a cheap home styled fridge or chest freezer to run off of the solar. Believe it or not one of them probably wouldn't use any more solar than this mini fridge because this one pulls 40 watts 24/7 and a full sized fridge would pull much more, but only intermittently. Perhaps 20 minutes on and an hour off.
And for the Solar Part...
Some of you may know this while others may not so that's why I'm talking about it. Those who have solar need to be aware of the fact that you need to keep them clean and especially remove anything that can cast a shadow on any part of them. In the second panel photo just the shadow of my hand in the red square is enough to cause the WHOLE panel to drop to 50% output. That's right. Just that one little shaded area drops the efficiency of the whole panel by 50 percent. Dust and durt can be a real killer on solar panels and I've seen them on roofs where they had dirt all over them and the people couldn't figure out why they weren't working as good as they should be. That's one benefit of keeping them close to the ground where a paint brush can be used to keep them dusted. Its also a lot easier to clean them with Windex and a rag to get the bird poop off of them because dusting doesn't work for that.
And for the Rain...
Got woken up at 2:20 this morning to the loud sound of heavy rain pounding the roof and high wind. It only rained about 5 minutes, but it was raining so hard that it totaled up to just over 1/10 inch. The wind finally settled down around 8:00.
And for Blogger...
Just been viewing my blog and it looks like Blogger has screwed up big time one more time! The way viewing the pictures works now really SUCKS!