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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 24th, '13, 13:00 
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What I want to know, Guna, is how did you take such a clear photo of that trout? Im impressed ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 24th, '13, 13:16 
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Good question Chalrlie :)
From my intro thread:
I wrote:
I'll start a thread with pics soon... I have also worked as a photographer for many years, so they should all be in focus :) :wink:


I used my old Nikon D200 with a 105mm macro lens.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 24th, '13, 13:20 
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note to self... stop skim reading lol

Nice work, Ive only recently purchased a decent camera and learning the ins and outs of taking a nice shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 24th, '13, 20:42 
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Gunagulla wrote:
Beeswax, soy wax (non GM!), parafin wax, palm wax (roundtable certified of course!) etc have melting points around 55-60C and are able to store a lot of heat due to a reasonably high latent heat of fusion around their mp. You need to be able to operate around the mp to take maximum advantage of that, and by doing so can store up to ~10X as much energy as could be stored in the same volume of water. However, the advantage decreases with a wider temperature range, and isn't really worth the effort with say a 40C or more operating temperature range.

They are all fairly inert substances, with no handling risks.

The aim would be to heat it to a bit above melting, say to 65C, and circulate water past/through it until it is all solidified at say 50-55C, in order to extract the heat and transfer it to your system water. It gives you a reasonably constant temperature source of heat energy, so you can be more confident of how it will heat your system water, rather than doing it with water of continually falling temperature as heat is extracted. That's less of an issue with a large tank than it is with a small one though.

You need a large contact surface area between water and wax to ensure fast heat transfer and no slowing down of transfer due to insulating blocks of solidified wax getting in the way as it cools. There are plenty of ways to go about that, but one I plan to try is having lots of lengths of 20mm diameter sealed copper pipes of wax (plus a little air for flotation) in the hot water storage tank- that keeps the wax isolated from the system water, and provides good surface area, and is reasonably inexpensive to set up.
Alternatively you could have car radiators full of wax sitting in the water tank- providing a huge surface area of good conducting copper.
Copper might worry some people. but it isnt connected in any way to the system water, so is safe to use.


All great info!!!! Thanks!
This is the little system I am going to play with to try and figure out the practice of the concept you have described: http://www.gumtree.com.au/c-ViewAd?AdId=1020928028
I still have a lot to think through but my initial thought is to pass a pipe through the tank (hopefully using existing inlet/outlet holes) that can pump system water and then fill the tank with wax.
I'm guessing it would provide a slow distribution of heat from the heated tank into the system water but won't run into problems when the wax solidifies.


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 Post subject: Re: OT
PostPosted: Jun 24th, '13, 21:28 
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The description that goes with that system doesn't inspire me with much confidence!

I'm a bit concerned that it is a bit too small to make a significant difference in temperature with your system's ~2000l+ of water.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 24th, '13, 21:46 
Gunagulla wrote:
but one I plan to try is having lots of lengths of 20mm diameter sealed copper pipes of wax (plus a little air for flotation) in the hot water storage tank- that keeps the wax isolated from the system water, and provides good surface area, and is reasonably inexpensive to set up.
Alternatively you could have car radiators full of wax sitting in the water tank- providing a huge surface area of good conducting copper.
Copper might worry some people. but it isnt connected in any way to the system water, so is safe to use.

So.. you intend to heat the wax in the copper pipes... via solar... and thus warm the water in a storage tank...

Ok... that would certainly raise the temp in the storage tank... during the daytime...

But so would just running the evac tubes directly..... :lol:

How are you (either way)... going to maintain the temperature of the storage tank... going into, and through the night.... when the heating is really required....

How will/do you keep the heat from being exchanged back into the wax???

And regardless of all the above.... just how are you going to exchange the heated storage water.... with your fish tank water... :dontknow:

You can't really just soak your copper pipes in your acidic AP system water... and pump it back to the fish tank... sorry, but you will kill your fish doing so....

And having mixed the storage tank and fish tank.... just what benefit/efficiency will you gain... and when... during the day???....

If that's the case... you might just as well pump the solar array (no copper components).... directly from/to the fish tank....

I've been down this track.... latent heat... phase exchange... is a great idea... but short of utilising gas, electricity... to heat the wax for periods at night.....

Other than some possible efficiencies over directly just heating the actual fish tank directly.....

Just what is achieved/achievable... :dontknow:


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 08:00 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
So.. you intend to heat the wax in the copper pipes... via solar... and thus warm the water in a storage tank...


No, I plan to heat the water with the evacuated tubes, the wax filled copper pipes or radiators will be submerged in that water. As the water temperature rises to ~60C, the wax melts, maintaining water and wax temperature at that level until all the wax has melted, the temperature will then rise some more if the sun is still shining on the evacuated tubes. If the water approaches boiling point, 98C here, then the open vented tank can release pressure. Another option would be to use anti-freeze in the water, as is done in car radiators. A 30 evacuated tube system can heat 250l of water to boiling for more than half the year in a single day here. In mid winter a 78 tube system can do it before lunch on a sunny mid winter day.

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How are you (either way)... going to maintain the temperature of the storage tank... going into, and through the night.... when the heating is really required....


Modern technology has developed this really cool stuff, insulation! It's just like a domestic hot water system, only with added heat capacity due to the phase change of the wax. Water and wax is heated throughout the day when the sun is out, water can be circulated to heat the FT any time of the day or night, just like a household HWS delivers hot water any time of the day or night.


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How will/do you keep the heat from being exchanged back into the wax???


The Laws of Thermodynamics say that heat will only travel from a hotter place to a colder one. As the water is circulated out to the FT heat exchanger and returns to the storage tank at a lower temperature, the wax will give up its heat to the water, not the other way around.


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And regardless of all the above.... just how are you going to exchange the heated storage water.... with your fish tank water... :dontknow:


Just like I said a few pages back, with photos showing the coils of Pex-Al-Pex around the FT. I am not exchanging any water! I am exchanging heat. The Pex-Al-Pex, as shown in the photo, heats the sides of FT and the earth around the sides, so that there is a gentle heat exchange. There will be no hot water entering the FT.

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You can't really just soak your copper pipes in your acidic AP system water... and pump it back to the fish tank... sorry, but you will kill your fish doing so....


Sorry, but you fundamentally do not understand what I have set up! Water that will be exposed to copper is contained within the hot water storage tank and Pex-Al-Pex piping, and that piping is outside the FT. There is absolutely zero chance that the FT water can be mixed with the heating water.

Anyway, as I have said previously, in spring I'll be using the underground pipes to cool the AP system water to see how long I can extend the trout growing season. I'll set it up with evacuated tubes for heating when/if I try some warmer water fish such as Barramundi, also as a season extender.

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And having mixed the storage tank and fish tank.... just what benefit/efficiency will you gain... and when... during the day???....


:confused1: I'm not sure where you are getting that from, so I'll say it again There is no mixing of AP system water with the heating/cooling water!

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 08:11 
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Gunagulla wrote:
The description that goes with that system doesn't inspire me with much confidence!

I'm a bit concerned that it is a bit too small to make a significant difference in temperature with your system's ~2000l+ of water.


I agree it's likely to be too small!
I'm currently heating with electricity and so I want to attempt two things:
1) test the concept for a later larger system
2) cut down on the power bill for this year


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 09:20 
Gunagulla wrote:
Sorry, but you fundamentally do not understand what I have set up!

You're right... that's why I was asking.... thanks for the explanation...

I had forgotten the photos and stuff you refer to one the first page.... thinking it was just for cooling...


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 11:28 
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The view from beside the AP greenhouse after sunset yesterday
Attachment:
Red-virga-800.jpg
Red-virga-800.jpg [ 62.57 KiB | Viewed 2325 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 13:57 
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Man..I need a better camera! Great photo and excuse my ignorance but are you close to the northern lights by chance or is that picture messing with me? I've heard you can see them near Canada but I don't really know much about Aussie except its huge and death is crawling in every bush :)

What does NSW stand for? :dontknow:


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 14:54 
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Nowhere near the Northern Lights = Aurora Borealis here!- there is a light 400m north of me, down the hill, but that's the next door neighbours carport light :D I see the Aurora Australis every now and then... I used to have pics on my astronomy web page, not sure if they are still there though.

The pic is virga illuminated by the just set sun, through a clear gap on the western horizon. Actually, it looks like virga, but I think it is probably small hail or snow falling from the clouds, but it becomes invisible when it melts to clear water.

NSW = New South Wales, the state I'm in.. those in the west of Oz are in the state of excitement... at least thats what it says on some of their car number plates ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 17:01 
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My only concern is the heat loss through the grow beds themselves. Ive never trialed anything in the way of heating but everything Ive read on AP heating over the years (and theres been a lot) has only ever produced a couple of degrees. Although, the wax idea is new to me so it will be interesting to see what results you can achieve. I dont fully understand it but its exciting all the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 25th, '13, 18:16 
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Yes, insulating the GBs will be necessary if any heating or cooling system is to be successful. It's only a few degrees that I'd be looking for anyway- just enough to keep the water within a suitable range for whatever fish I have, to extend the season a bit.
Summer cooling for trout may even get them through summer here, if there aren't too many really hot days like the most recent summer.

The whole idea of the wax is to increase the amount of stored energy, and deliver it at a fairly constant temperature. There are other phase change materials that operate at lower temperatures, but so far I haven't found a suitable one that melts at 12-15C, which would be great for trout!

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 26th, '13, 00:07 
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For anyone after more information of how the wax is being used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latent_heat

The point is that it takes a relativley small amount of energy to raise 1kg of water by 1 degree (around 4kJ) while it's liquid. But it takes a relativley large amount of energy to melt 1kg of water/ice (around 334kJ).

That's great and all for water, but not very useful to us because no one wants to operate their system around 0C.

Instead, the same principle works for other materials with more helpful melting points, like this 60C wax. By taking a material across it's melting point you get to store a large amount of energy in it, which means you can later retrieve a large amount of energy from it when you want to keep something warm at night.

You'll find that AC units usually incorporate a phase change in their coolant to allow them to operate more efficiently - this is usually a boiling point rather than melting point phase change, but the principles are the same.

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