Friday, November 30, 2012

Update on the hubs

So I saw that my most-visited post was how I fashioned the struts and hubs.  It's not surprising that everyone wanted to see how I did this.  When I was researching this project, the hub assembly was the only thing I couldn't figure out. Prior to this design, other options were to buy pre-fabricated metal hubs or try to make them myself.  The wood version was much cheaper and easier...

After 6 months or so, everything seems to be holding together fine.  Still no heavy snow to really test the strength, but normal expansion and contraction and dampness has not hurt any of the struts that I can see.

I think I found a battery

A small Duracell golf cart battery made by East Penn Manufacturing (Deka) is $82 at Sam's club.  I think this will be more than sufficient to run 4 amps worth of pumps if the sun is hiding for a few days.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Putting together an off-grid solar system

I am in the process of sizing and ordering a solar power system for my pumps.  I have a 250w panel, and a charge controller and switch panel should come in the mail shortly.  I still need a battery, but I have one in mind from the local marine supply (Cabela's) that shouldn't cost too much.  This is all very experimental.  The solar supply companies charge a TON for these items, so I am piecing a system together from general DC power suppliers, mostly designed for boats and RVs.  If it works, it will prove that you don't need the word "solar" on the label of your components and therefore don't need to pay the premium for trendiness.  If it doesn't, the cost of the individual components isn't subtantial enough to be considered a waste.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Comments no longer require registration!

In looking through my settings, I realized that commenters were required to be registered users.  I have taken off that requirement.  Please contact me with your input!  I feel that resources on this topic are so limited, and I would love to turn this into more of an idea community.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Starting the aquaponics system

I decided to stop fighting the infiltration of dripping water into the greenhouse.  It's impossible to seal out water with film repair tape.  Instead I will collect the water and incorporate it into one of my aquaponics or hydroponics systems. I am running more gutter around the inside, just like I did to the outside.  I will use EPDM or flashing to direct dripping water into the gutter and I will pump pond water or nutrient solution through, and I will put simple plants right into the gutter.