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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '17, 19:38 
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I'd agree with your assessment, it's not actually going up due to the panels it's going up due to bouncing off of other items. The benefit there would be that with a straight pane the light is going to hit the item and bounce away from the plant because it's going to go the reverse angle of the angle that it went through the pane and hit the item. So if the pane is designed to reflect light in different angles then it is more likely to hit the item at and angle which allows it to bounce back to the plant.

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Of course the light will naturally go in at all different angles to get some of that reflection on it's own, but the panels must be designed to help scatter the light even better so my diagram is overly simplified =)

I may have to do something to change out my glass door panes that I used for my main south windows. I have applied window sealer tape and then caulked the heck out of them then covered the seams with boards and caulked the heck out of it again, but they are still leaking in the rain. Was OK with snow but rain is finding its way through.

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '17, 23:12 
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Back in the day (40 years ago) we used to get something called Lascolite® Translucent Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Panels
http://www.eplastics.com/pdf/R-Panel-Specifications.pdf
They made a pitch that because of the crystalline structure of the fiberglass it let in all the "good" light in a similar "dispersed" pattern while blocking all the long wave radiation and therefore our plants would love us for buying it. It did physically last a long time, but it yellowed within five years. I don't know if anyone ever did PAR tests on the light coming in through Lascolite, but us hippies thought it was the cats meow. I see from this pdf they left out that whole crystalline pitch, now it is just strong, lol.

I think a lot of the arguments of glass versus plastic have to do with installation design. For example vertical glass is more reflective to light coming in from oblique angles.
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Glass lets the most of the light through when the sun hits the glass at right angles. Employing plastic with "dispersion" characteristics should let more light in. The trick with glass whether it be a roof or wall it get the angle as so it faces the sun for the season you need the best light.

In my design the greenhouse is buried and on the east side of the house. I don't want long wavelength radiation from afternoon sun hitting the greenhouse, well that and the east side was the only place for it. 8) I have only two windows because generally speaking plastic and glass loose as much heat as they gain and as I mentioned glass only lets heat and sun for a limited amount of time per day.


Rininger85: As a recycler/modder getting those re-purposed windows and sliding glass door panes to seal has been a lifelong (adult) ambition of mine. Sealed from rain is one of the most difficult tricks to accomplish. I have found it best to remove all the aluminum frames and create a design where water has the least amount of places to run behind the glass. For example figure out a way to make the water coming off the glass run out and over the wall at the bottom. In other words, no bottom molding of either wood, plastic or aluminium. One way I have found to learn about how my construction and landscaping is working is to put on a raincoat and go see where the rain wants to flow.

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '17, 04:11 
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boss, I used something like this for trying to seal the vertical part between windows. I might need to go back and add two more strips of it so it goes out wider on the window because one strip was just barely wide enough to overlap about 1/2" on both windows. http://www.menards.com/main/doors-windo ... 0679967642

then at the bottom I took good ol' aluminum flashing and ran it along the glass and caulked it to the glass hoping that would cause the rain to go up over the exterior insulation and run down behind the siding (once I get it on). I think it is actually leaking higher up right now then running down the inside of the greenhouse so either the vertical parts or possibly the top (I did not do anything to seal the top but put a piece of wood over the top and caulk the hell out of it). I think I went through close to two cases of caulk trying to seal all of my windows already. I might just need to add more (wider) flashing, but it will have to wait until spring to get anything to seal now... it might just be blowing in the top though for all I know, I will have to take the top board back down and add some flashing to the top and see if it makes a difference. Long term if I can't get it to seal I might break down and buy 3 or 4 sheets of the thick plastic like Mark is using, but the stuff we have available is only 6mm for about $38 a sheet, or 16mm for over $100 a sheet.... I think I would want the 16mm for insulation purposes... so I will go buy a couple more cases of caulk before I go that route =)

ETA: I did remove the metal frames off of the glass. I left the rubber gasket around them for a little shock absorption, but the frames were removed.

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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '17, 04:36 
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I was reading my fish tank heater instructions and it said you must install it with a GFCI breaker. It is a 240V heater so I was bummed because they are expensive. I searched eBay and other places but I got lucky.

I went to amazon and it was $112.20 but there wherehouse deals had it $31.66 shipped prime. It has a couple scratches on it but I don’t care about scratches as long as it works. That was a so much better price. Even better it will be here tomorrow.

I am going to try running both heaters at the same time. This way I use some of my solar power to heat the fish water.

We have been lucky for the last few days and the weather has been mild.

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Last edited by markb on Jan 18th, '17, 04:45, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '17, 04:44 
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yikes... never had to look at 240V GFCI's and hope I never do!

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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '17, 23:59 
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I did a DIY solar array install on 04/12/2013 I upgraded from 9.2 kw to 12.5 kw 8/15/2013.

We produce enough solar power to drive our Chevy Volt 18,000 EV miles a year, power our house heating AC… and have some left over at the end of the year. Soon I will use some of that power to heat my fish water.

We just hit 70 MW solar power produced here that equals $7,000 of power. It is amazing how much power you can harvest from the sun.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '17, 13:34 
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sweet setup, super envy

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '17, 19:34 
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congrats Mark. You are an inspiration to all of us who hope to some day be mostly self sufficient.

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PostPosted: Jan 22nd, '17, 04:42 
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Thanks guys.

I installed my electric fish tank heater. It is only 1,000 watts 240 volts but it can now help out.
The natural gas heater is equivalent to 11,136 watts so it is a lot more powerful. The NG heater is on for 15 minutes and off for 15 minutes. The electric heater will run whenever the water temp needs to rise independent of the timer the NG heater is on.

I also connected my web monitoring so I know when it is calling for heat and how long it takes to heat up.

The only reason I installed this heater is because I have extra solar power to use to help heat the fish water.

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The bucket around the heater is to keep the fish off the heater.

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PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 12:30 
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This is what my fish tank heater looks like.

Attachment:
HeaterElect.jpg
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It is a 1,000 watt heater. I put a bucket around it so the fish don’t get burned.
My question is do I really need that bucket in there to keep the fish away?
I have never kept fish before so I am not sure I need this.


Here are today’s tomatoes.
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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '17, 00:38 
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Mark I would say it depends on what the heater is made of. It looks like the bottom part that sticks in the water might be metal? If it will hold up to fish bumping in to it I'd say you don't need the bucket... I have a 400W heater in my tank right now and have a piece of 2" pvc with a bunch of slots cut in it to protect the heater because it is glass... and my trout already busted a glass thermometer that I had in the tank, so didn't want to let them break the glass heater... I don't think it's doing a great job of warming the water though being in the PVC because even with the slots cut in it there probably isn't a lot of water exchange going through the pipe... I did see steam rising out of the pipe the other day so the heat might be going straight up my PVC and out.

As long as the heater is strong enough the fish aren't going to break it I wouldn't worry about having the bucket in there... but you could possibly go with the same idea just bigger piece of PVC (length of 4"?) to still protect it while taking up less space?

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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '17, 00:39 
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btw, my first thought was that heater looks like the top of the telescoping part of R2D2 when he's underwater...

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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '17, 00:49 
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Great thanks for the info!

This is a commercial stainless steel heater it won’t hurt having fish bump into it at all.
It is mounted with 3/8 bolts so it is not going anywhere. I will remove the bucket that will let the heat out into the rest of the tank much better.

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '17, 01:28 
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Any links to the DIY solar array?

Would love to consider that long term, we don't have them often but have occasional power outages.

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '17, 01:45 
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My system is grid tied so that means it constantly looks to see it the grid is up and only produces power when the grid is up. This keeps the line workers alive. Plus I and produce way more power than I use so that power have to go somewhere and that is to my neighbors.

Think of grid tired as you kind of use the grid as your battery.

I did a lot of research and I think microinverters are the simplest for a DIY project. I used Enphase they have so much info on their web site that really helps.

This is a great install
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV ... nphase.htm

Here is another really well documented install
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV ... V/Main.htm

This is my install but I did not document it out as much as the guys above.
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/solar-pow ... array.html

This is the live output of my array.
http://www.pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=23064&sid=20945

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