Progress-Goal for the week

Potato Harvest drying on floor

I harvested potatoes last weekend with the girls and the floor was covered.  I had to clean up so I could work without stepping on vegetables.  So that was job one on Sat morning, get more liquor boxes and get things cleaned.  Finally finished that with help from the girls on Sunday morning.  It snowed over the weekend so Sunday was spent plowing and going to a party at a friend’s house.  On Saturday,  with help from my 11 year old helper,I did get one half of the circulation loop for the heating of the solar tank installed.

Clean floor after Potato

Today’s goal is to finish installing the loop and run stub piping through the wall to where the chip boiler will be installed.  I want to install the loop in the solar water tank to allow for more energy storage.  This will allow more  flexibility when the microcomputer is deciding where to put the heat from the chip boiler.  Finishing the loop will also allow the Arduino Uno to be the thermostat controller hooked to the Boiler Boss. With a thermistor and LCD added to a relay board the Arduino can be the thermostat to run the zone.  It seems to me this would be a great way to test the Arduino since all that can happen if the thermostat fails to work is a cold shower.  Of course this assumes that the solar loop didn’t heat the water sufficiently and the solar can still heat the water hot enough for a shower on a good sunny day.

Return manifold with piping from heating coil in Solar tank and stub from chip boiler

The boiler boss is one central control unit that contains all the relays for the zones.   This box controls all the circulator pumps and the new circulator pump needs to be wired into this and the Arduino wired in as a thermostat.

Boiler boss with Cover removed

So this weeks goals are simple: 1)  Finish the solar hot water tank loop, wire it in and test with an Arduino controlling the zone, acting as the thermostat. 2)  Apply the sealant to the chip boiler and test for leaks.  3)  Work on the Chimney penetration through the rear wall of the shop for the chip boiler.  This will be a straight 4″ pipe out since there is forced draft.

I got some good comments from a friend concerned with the temperature of the return water so I got a fresh battery for my non contact thermometer and took some temperature measurements  of the zone water at the point  leaving the circulator and just above the return manifold  so here they are:  113 out and 98/99 back, not a lot of difference.  The outside temp is approx. 30 (all temps F).

I am having a difficult time removing the end plug for the upper manifold, this is a 3/4″ black iron plug, I am thinking of using heat, any other suggestions,  I am trying this plug with a 24″ pipe wrench, I am afraid if I try to use a cheater I will break something.

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