My first volunteer of the season, Billy, arrived this past Thursday night from Louisiana. I haven’t gotten the solar hot water collector or the rest of the basics of the common house water system up and running yet like I’d hoped. I got a good a start on it, but I decided to do a bit of spring cleaning before people started arriving. I also figured the volunteers would be interested in seeing the water system constructed, though perhaps not as interested in as I am.
Before I switched gears to cleaning, I procured and cut the lids off of what will be the gravity feed hot and cold water storage tanks. With Jason’s help I got all of the bulkheads for the various inlets and outlets installed on them. I built an overflow catchment tray above the shower where they’ll be housed in case of some kind of leak the water will now go down the shower drain and not into the battery/power room(yikes!).
I’ve gathered all of the parts and materials I need for the solar hot water collector and have gotten it configured how I want it. Since this picture was taken I’ve also soldered the ends of the panel together(ie, the manafolds). I also built and tested a form to mash aluminum flashing into “fins” which help redirect the heat into the copper tubing.
Next up is soldering the rest of the connections and testing to make sure it’s all water-tight. Then I’ll build the frame, stamp out the fins, install the insulation on the back and then build a stand for it in front of the common house.
I cleaned up a bunch of stuff at the small strawbale cabin I’m calling the “Pillbox”. I finished constructing a closet rack with shelves in it, and generally cleaned up a bunch of down trees around it.
I also jazzed up the main fire pit behind the common house and have been grudgingly pushing back all of the brush I’d piled up directly on the other side of the garden fence(mistake!) so that I can get at plants that are growing through the fence and shading out plants I actually want to grow.
There’s still plenty to do in the garden, but I’ll start delegating some of that to the volunteers and get back to the solar hot water projects because there’s going to be plenty of dirty stinky volunteers wanting a hot shower soon enough.