Thursday, July 29, 2010

Solar Sundays- Part V

The only bad thing about summer, besides the bugs, is that it ends too soon and often rather's time to be thinking about winter heating already. I've been running our prototype solar hot water heater continuously just to test it out, and it's all good, so am anxious to begin assembling the larger array that will provide in-floor heat to the barn this winter. The system will be mounted to the south-facing side of the cargo container, and I needed a way to secure the solar panels to the steel wall. To avoid drilling a bunch of holes through the otherwise waterproof box, I opted to hire a portable welder to attach some bolts to the exterior.
Working together, we were able to attach around 40 bolts to the container in a couple hours- a huge time savings for me! With my mom's help, we also removed all the decals, sanded down the rusty spots, and primed them for painting.
Using an airless sprayer, we sprayed the container with green tractor paint to make it look pretty (it's gonna be here for awhile, and we didn't want an eyesore in the yard). The sprayer was awesome- painted the whole thing in about an hour!

Here's the view from the south. With the old garage now gone, we have clear southern exposure for most of the day- great for solar heat gain this winter:

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