Sun?

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Cao314159
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Sun?

Post by Cao314159 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:03 am

Hello, very excited virgin here! I know this may seem to be a stupid question, but I was wondering about how many hours each day the sun is directly shining on the playa? How frequently is it overcast or too dusty to collect solar energy? I am working on a very promising idea for a greywater evaporator that could be very efficient and clean, as it is protected from wind and dust. I can explain more if you guys are interested at all! Thanks for the help, I look forward to meeting you all!

-Cao

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pinemom
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Post by pinemom » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:59 am

This is Nevada....The one predictable thing about the weather is....its unpredictable!

We have a saying roung' these parts...


"IF YOU DONT LIKE THE WEATHER, STICK AROUND IT'LL CHANGE HERE IN A SECOND"
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".

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thisisthatwhichis
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Post by thisisthatwhichis » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:22 am

Yea, ya never know.... last year was very bad for solar, but other years, I've seen good long 10hrs of strong sun......

Please do share..... folks are always looking for innovative ways to evap.....
TITWI

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Ugly Dougly
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:09 am

Don't expect overcast. It very rarely happens, and when it does, you can anticipate rain and or lightning. There are also frequent duststorms.

Default condition is a vault of unbroken blue. Figure 12 hours from rise to set.

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:51 pm

Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Cao314159
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Post by Cao314159 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:44 pm

Thanks for the input, I guess I should hope for great weather! More about the evaporator:

I live near Seattle, and I once built a solar oven. As you know, solar pretty much sucks here! Even though we don't get that much sun, I was able to get the internal temp to touch 350. I tried it with water, thought it was not hot since it had only been in for a few moments, and ended up burning my hand pretty good! I was thinking about constructing a solar heated thermosiphon, which is a common way to save on water heating bills. Instead of the pipes going to a water heater, I was thinking of a 50 gal steel drum. Heat would keep the liquid flowing in a circular pattern. I am thinking since in good weather solar ovens can reach 400+ degrees I might be able to dump greywater in the drum and have it boil and steam out. I would latch the top shut airtight and install an adjustable pressure bleed valve. That way it will boil quicker under pressure, but have no risk of blowing up ;) I don't know if this will even work, but the idea is to have a evap system that is free from dust contamination, smell, and wind scattering. I will try on a small scale here, and if it works here it will do wonders at burningman. If it works efficiently, I think I will have some pretty happy neighbors! Anyone have any ideas, or know if this has been tried before? Thanks!

-Cao

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Post by AntiM » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:50 pm

Our campmates had a solar oven, it worked great. we were quite envious of their hot meals.

Interesting evap system!

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thisisthatwhichis
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Post by thisisthatwhichis » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:52 pm

Cao, I am very interested...... We need to evap lots of liquid from the Bar alone...... Keep us posted on how it works........
TITWI

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stargeezer
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Post by stargeezer » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:26 pm

Cao, I use solar heat to supplement my house and domestic hot water. I will give you some numbers to work with, you will need a lot of collection area.

1 BTU = 1 lb water raised 1 deg F
1 sqr ft of collector can recover 1000 BTU per day
1 gallon of water weighs 8.33 lbs

example 10 gal of water raised from 70 to 170
10*8.333*(170-70) = 8333 BTU
This would require 8.333 sqr feet of good collection area

Now making hot water is not the problem, but from what you describe, you are trying to boil it off. It takes a HUGE amount of energy to make water change phases from liquid to steam, I cannot remember the number but it is much more than the energy required to raise the temperature from freezing to boiling. As an experiment place a quart of water on the stove and time how long it takes to get to a boil, and then the amount of time it takes to boil dry, you will be amazed.

I am not trying to discourage you, I am just trying to set expectations a bit more realistic.
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Post by mdmf007 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:55 pm

True that - physic being what they are it takes a lot of energy to boil off water. Some of the best evap systems I saw were simply swamp coolers. They take advantage fo the inherent conditions on playa (dry and hot) the more surface area and fresh air rolling through them the more water you can evaporate.

many systems work out there, and none is the best.

Cao314159
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Post by Cao314159 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:18 am

I was considering a swamp cooler, but wanted to explore options that did not depend on wind flow (might be next to a blocking building or something), was protected from the elements, and did not smell! If anything my system might pasteurize the water which would make it a little more pleasant, no? If I went the solar option my collector would be 4x8. Thanks for the input, I will let you know how it goes.

-Cao

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stargeezer
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Post by stargeezer » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:30 am

Cao314159 wrote:If I went the solar option my collector would be 4x8.
I did some digging to refresh my memory. Water takes 970 BTU per lb to vaporize, and at BRC the boiling point will be about 200 deg F.

Your 4x8 collector can porvide about 32000 BTU per day with good sun.

Starting at 70 deg F for your greywater, it takes 1100 BTU per lb to raise the temperature and then boil it off. That means that you can vaporize 29 lbs of water, or about 3.5 gallons per day.

I will add that collectors lose efficiency as the temperature differential rises, so my numbers will actually be optomistic considering you will need to spend most of the time at 200 deg F. Numbers I have provided come from engineering books and I have verified them with my solar heating system which consists of 240 sqr feet of collector.
If you want to reach for the stars, you better have long arms!

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:35 am

A little chlorine goes a long way to getting rid of bad grey water smell.
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:47 am

Generally round in shape and quite far away indeed.

Hot, and when you get closer, progressively more hot.

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Gravity Mike
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Post by Gravity Mike » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:00 pm

If your gray water includes shower water, it will not be dust free.

I've built a different gray water evap machine every year for 5 years running. They all have pros and cons. I've thought about pre-heating water for evaporation, as you're suggesting, but pumps and what not don't like the dust. Even if have have a 'closed' system that keeps dust out, your water already is thick with dust cuz it's come off of dusty people and dusty dishes, etc...

The one thing I've found common to all reasonably well working designs (that are not super-high maintenance, like filtering water and misting it) involve making lots of surface area with some sort of 'fabric' to 'hold' water up in the air. You might have seen many designs posted on ePlaya that are basically a table with a tight steel mesh all the way around. I personally prefer burlap (and I just burn it at the end of the burn). Look for these other designs discussed in ePlaya.

This year, I'm designing out the water pump. Instead, imagine a ferris wheel that turns and dips the burlap into a gray waste pond - like a swamp cooler, yes.

Gravity Mike

Cao314159
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Post by Cao314159 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:44 pm

Gravity mike, I crunched some numbers and figured that it would be a lot of trouble to do what I was proposing. It is not so much that I don't want dust as it is I dont want any MORE dust ;) I also thought that a nice addition to the style that uses hardware cloth to cascade the water down would be to put a wind sensor (the spinny kind) on the top and have the pump shut off if wind was too high. That would lessen the chance of watering the playa. Hmmm?

-Cao

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BitterDan
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Post by BitterDan » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:17 pm

Just haul your water out. You hauled it in, what's the big deal?
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Post by mdmf007 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:47 pm

BitterDan wrote:Just haul your water out. You hauled it in, what's the big deal?
its full of pubes, dust, dish water chunks, and smells like rotting gray water

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Post by BitterDan » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:57 pm

mdmf007 wrote:
BitterDan wrote:Just haul your water out. You hauled it in, what's the big deal?
its full of pubes, dust, dish water chunks, and smells like rotting gray water
I suppose but you can store it in a 50 gallon drum that seals up airtight. You could also pay JOTS to pump it out before you leave (they'll even rent you a grey water container).
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Gravity Mike
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Post by Gravity Mike » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:22 am

BitterDan wrote:
mdmf007 wrote:
BitterDan wrote:Just haul your water out. You hauled it in, what's the big deal?
its full of pubes, dust, dish water chunks, and smells like rotting gray water
I suppose but you can store it in a 50 gallon drum that seals up airtight. You could also pay JOTS to pump it out before you leave (they'll even rent you a grey water container).
Water is a big reason why many vehicles are overweight getting to BRC - evaporation makes less weight on the return trip = better gas mileage, better handling, better safety (see, safety is still 3rd) etc.

With respect to having someone pump the gray waste out, I'll play the cheapskate card and not give a lecture on radical self-reliance, but there's that too. It's really a matter of personal choice. But BitterDan is right in that it does pay to keep it simple. You don't want to waste time sitting around camp tweaking your evaporator! Things don't usually work as expected on the playa. Just assume that you'll have to improvise - and then you'll be pleasantly surprised the 20% of the time things work as planned.

Gravity Mike

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Post by MozyBonz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:54 am

BitterDan wrote:
mdmf007 wrote:
BitterDan wrote:Just haul your water out. You hauled it in, what's the big deal?
its full of pubes, dust, dish water chunks, and smells like rotting gray water
I suppose but you can store it in a 50 gallon drum that seals up airtight. You could also pay JOTS to pump it out before you leave (they'll even rent you a grey water container).

Yea not cheap...Eplaya Bar used one in 06. the cost of the rental is the same as the cost of the tank new. I will buy new and have it pumped if I use a tank again.
Bar waste is nasty....
saw a evap that used cooler pads worked great. I think I will expand on this idea for this year.

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Post by phil » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:26 am

> I suppose but you can store it in a 50 gallon drum that seals up airtight.

Is it time for my reminder that water weighs over 8 pounds per gallon?

See here:

http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=13262
for gray water treatment courtesy the JRS.

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Post by MozyBonz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:30 am

phil wrote:> I suppose but you can store it in a 50 gallon drum that seals up airtight.

Is it time for my reminder that water weighs over 8 pounds per gallon?

See here:

http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=13262
for gray water treatment courtesy the JRS.
Good call phil.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:57 am

Yeah, water weighs 8 pounds per gallon, but I second the notion that you were perfectly capable of hauling it in, so why can't you haul it out? You don't have to carry it that far, just dump it at the first available dump station.
If you wanna build an evaporator, by all means do. I have, the pond-and-wicking-fabric type, but the sheer simplicity and reliability of just dumping my grey water (generally at least 100 gallons) into barrels has proven the easier way to go by far.
I use surplus 30 gallon food-grade plastic barrels. They are easier to handle when full than 55 gallon ones, and are available cheap.
I spend way less time screwing around with evap ponds, I don't have stink issues 'cuz I just keep the caps on, dust storms don't load my pond with dirt that is a total bitch to clean out, etc. etc.
I also know for sure that I have the capacity I need.
I suppose it depends on the volume of water you want... beyond a certain point, it's hard to evaporate enough. But then, if the amount is small, it's REAL easy to just haul out!
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BitterDan
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Post by BitterDan » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:07 pm

I dunno, maybe it's just me but I don't bring an exorbinant amount of water simply for the reason that I know I am going to have to haul it back. If you simply cannot survive for one week in the desert without a shower and you somehow cannot justify hauling the water out that your hauled in (btw, it will be less than you started with because you will piss out a great deal of it into the Porta-Potty) then it might be worth it to attempt an evaporator. To me, it's not worth the trouble and I'd rather spend my time at BM having fun rather than trying to keep my evap pond free of dust and piss and anything else that people decide to dump in there when you aren't looking. I haul everything out myself. It's only 100 miles to reno and not even that far to the nearest dump facility. You aren't going to lose that much gas mileage in 100 miles.

Again, I am all for fancy new ways of self-reliance but just remember that it is self-reliance so don't be like a lot of morons out there and just dump your grey water on the playa (or in the porta-potties).
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:08 pm

Oh... for those of you that don't know the First Mate, I should clarify that I'm coming from the point of view of the person that supplies the shower water to keep this hair clean all week!
Image
I need a lot of water.
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BitterDan
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Post by BitterDan » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:09 pm

And even that is only, what, half a gallon a day?
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:12 pm

Uh... more than five!
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BitterDan
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Post by BitterDan » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:20 pm

You have got to be shitting me! 5 gallons a day to wash hair? That's madness!
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BitterDan
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Post by BitterDan » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:21 pm

Next you are going to tell me that you are bringing enough water to float that boat of yours! :shock:
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