Monday, June 25, 2012

Solar Cooking Weekend

With tons o Texas sun I decided to do all cooking over the weekend with solar. I got off early Friday and did my first solar meatloaf which was as good as my energy using house heating oven would have done. Saturday I did solar turkey thighs. I decided to try a potatoe dish. So into the black painted jar and late afternoon I drained them, put them in a small loaf pan with bacon, ranch dip, and cheese. I covered it in foil and back into the solar oven. It was served with the turkey thighs and it was Mighty Tasty! Sunday was solar St. Louis style pork ribs. Hmmm.. Ribs..!! With not as much solar heat with it being cloudy I ended up topping them off on my little gas grill for about 10 minutes per side. This added some bark char and after adding some sauce they were good to go.
Of course each morning forecast was for full day of sun but every day some clouds rolled in by mid afternoon. I have added a few more floor tiles painted black which seemed to hold in the heat as clouds rolled by.
Picture is of a previous cooking. The oven know has tiles bottom, sides, back, and front with a lot thicker polycarbonate window. It hasn't melted yet with some temps up to 260.
I am proud of and enjoy my solar endeavors. I know Sandy is pretty happy about it cause she gets to eat all the good food. At least in her eyes I am her Master Chef / BBQ Pit Master!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wind Turbine Generator

I purchased a cheap wind turbine generator on Ebay that is supposed to produce 250 watts max. The blades are 15” aluminum on an aluminum frame. Specs say the best wind speed is 7.6 to 15 mph for best running conditions. Maximum wind speed approximately 30 to 40 mph survival conditions. This is probably when it gets its max 250 watts is right when it is coming apart! So it sure wouldn’t stand up very long in Terlingua or high gusty wind areas.
I have given it to my friend Mark MacDonald of Home Concentrated Solar Power, Home CSP;, to do some playing around testing with it. Mark has a lot of knowledge and gadgets for getting some test information. One problem is Mark’s house doesn’t have decent wind so he is looking to mounting it higher off his roof. Hopefully he will have some test numbers soon. With so much varied and inaccurate data on wind turbine output out there I am waiting on some test results before I leave buyer feedback. I imagine it will end up being a $149 learning experience but will post testing results as they come in.

On another topic I sold my Cadillac SRX. I didn't get what I wanted to for it but got what I expected to. Finally I am down to the Tahoe, Motorcycle, and side x side 4x4 buggy.