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steel drum MTF

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Posted by bherms on December 11, 2004, 4:03 pm
Hi guys :)

My plastic liners in the water filled steel drums didn't perform as
hoped, so I have rusting drums storing some of my solar heat.  How
long before they start leaking or collapsing?  I currently have a
couple stacked, so collapsing could become the important issue.  I'm
hoping I can get several years out of them at least.

I'm blowing hot air from a 240 sq ft collector with painted black
furnace filter between 2x6 studs on two floors above my walk out
basement.  The basement is the main living area.  I have my thermal
mass storage area in the middle of the basement, so the air goes there
first, then thru a utility room that will have more water storage ( my
90 & 110 gal aquariums under a cabinet area with 2 liter bottles
filling the gaps and increasing surface area).  

I think I'll need a fan to assist pulling the air through the hot room
and then through the under cabinet storage area in the utility room.
(I plan to use this with a thermostat to draw heat into the living
area when needed)  I have a 550 cfm in line fan (from Grainger) for
each floor at the top of collectors, but I plan to add a "make up air"
fan in the basement ceiling to assist and to neutralize the pressure
in the collector (so it is less prone to pulling in outside air)

This is still a work in progress :)  I'm planning to eventually
surround my whole walkout basement with a "second wall".
This would be a garage, seasonal living area, root and wine cellar,
and glassed in south greenhouse like area.  

west central Illinois

Posted by bherms on December 11, 2004, 4:44 pm
i guess I meant MTTF

Merciless commentary is welcome  :)


Posted by nicksanspam on December 11, 2004, 5:38 pm

They might last 20 years if you use rust inhibitor or a quart of oil
in each one. Or 2 or 3 plastic film liners.

How about putting it in the ceiling? Or ceilings above the basement...
4" PVC pipes or layflat poly duct over welded-wire fencing.

Sounds like you and the fish are living inside the heat battery.

You might have a 240x200/(2x550) = 44 F collector temp rise in full sun.
Do you have 240x10 ft^2 of thermal mass surface?


Posted by bherms on December 11, 2004, 8:08 pm
 On 11 Dec 2004 12:38:44 -0500, nicksanspam@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

That's good news :)

WARNING  While my usual posts are somewhat confusing, I just racked 20
gallons of wine, and HAD to drink some in the process, reader BEWARE.

4" PVC seems expensive ... poly ducts are doable, but seems that would
really make me live inside the heat battery.

I killed enough of those $5 salt water fish   lol .  I have the tanks
and will only go with simpler fish in smaller tanks, I think.  The
first battery is in the heat storage closet in the middle of the
house.  After that the hot air circulates thru my utility room (which
will get pretty warm during collection).  I'll keep that door closed.
I'm thinking I just need normal walls to keep the heat storage rooms
seperate from the living area, a little warm air leakage is ok?

Let me drink another glass of wine and get back to you on that, I
think yes.  I have my block wall and slab insulated on the outside,
plus the drums ( six 55 gallon so far), and some 2 liter bottles and
gallon jugs ("some" is as far as I care to count right now :), I have
room for "lotsa" )  But at the moment, my storage isn't isolated from
the living area.  Like I said, an experiment in progress (I hope).

  44F is about what I get, you engineers are so smart.  In at 75, out
at 128 or so.  I don't think that is at 550 cfm though.  The pressure
from "sucking up" from 18' below must cause some loss.  The first
floor blows 6 degrees or so cooler, even though it has a little more
exposed (to sun) glass.  Not sure how much of that is due to leakage
...  eg. sucking in colder outside air.

How did the tomatoes work out this year?  I'm looking for some fun
farmer's market type crops.


Posted by nicksanspam on December 12, 2004, 12:19 pm

One of the perils of Quality Assurance? :-)

About $ for a thinwall 10' length with endcaps and a #3 rubber stopper
in a 3/4" hole on the top side. They hold about 55 pounds of water.

Maybe not, if they are up in the ceiling. Warm air rises. And using space
between rafters conserves floorspace and can allow you to turn off the heat.

Maybe not much, with large "ducts."

Quality is starting to suffer from a buildup of the same diseases
and bugs, after several years of growing tomato plants in the soil
with drip tube irrigation under plastic film. It may be time for
a different crop in the older houses. The newest (of 4) is 96'x16',
made from 13 army surplus folding quonset hut arches on 8' centers.


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