Friday, August 17, 2012

Wood fired bath update

A new addition to the family-R2D2
It's a cheap, sheet metal -cooking stove, クキングストーブ

I had second thoughts on the rocket stove version.
It would probably cost 1/4 to 1/3  the price of
this little baby  to attempt a rocket stove, though
I probably will try it someday.

Nice and easy, drill 2 holes, no cutting or grinding of metal nor flesh.

Suspend the coil above the wood hopefully
the hottest area.

All ready to roll
cold water from the hose on the left
hot coming out the right

Looking good, but a little smoky, too close for comfort.

That's better

But what if it rains? Or snows, or hails or....forget about it.

Heavy tar and creosote drip on the coil and some out of
the intake and outlet as well.
Have to bend the inflow and outflow up on the outside
 and the drip will not continue.
Also have to put dirt or sand,  maybe a sheet metal spacer
 at the bottom under the grill.
It's the most vunerable area and prone to burnout,
 though I have seen some of these
stoves that get a lot of use.
 These guys really love their stoves, I mean really.
Though not something to do daily for sure.

And only used half a tool-basket of wood , which is pretty frugal considering.
Being that this was the first firing I kept the fire small and it took some time
to figure out the air mix.  It could definitely run much hotter.

On the performance side things were much better than the old BBQ grill for sure.
Temperature was much more consistent .
 Flow was still 1-2 liters per minute though
that will improve if I fire the stove hotter.

However it's becoming clear that this type of boiler
will never be have a really strong flow.
That's fine, I mean what can you expect
from a system that costs about 10,000yen

At 2 liters per minute it takes
about an hour to fill the 120 liter tub.
That's probably enough for 3 people to
wash and bathe before a refill.

What is needed is to re-circulate
the warm water from the tub
back to the boiler again
For that a cheap drill pump ドリルポンプ 
hooked up to the solar
should work nicely.

Next I'll fill the tub with cold water
and start recirculating right away
should improve things greatly.

I think this kind of system
would work best in conjunction
with a solar batch collector in a box
 or just a coil of black pipe
on a hot tin roof.

50 meters of 20mm pipe will hold
15 liters of hot water  of hot water
enough for a  decent 5 minute
shower, maybe longer if mixed
with  cold water...hmm

Monday, August 13, 2012

I haven't made a post since the rainy season

Luckily the rainy season was short and sweet this year

            モリアオガエル Forest Green Tree Frog

No idea

This year I grew the largest potato plants I've ever seen or raised.
They were beautiful, nearly up to my chest, with delicate pink flowers.

They proved to be exactly as advertised.  The largest potato plants I've ever grown.
No spuds, just plants.  The taters were the same size coming out as going in. 
The plants were frickin' huge though!  I had to laugh.

I did however manage to pull out 5kgs from two other beds luckily.

                                         Coming in a close second in the pathetic crop competition
                                                       are a dozen puny ears of delicious corn.

Corn means midsummer and that means swimmin!


and critters!

Haven't seen the giant salamanders オオサンショウウオ 
 (OsanshoO) is the best I can translate that, around in 2 years and was
getting worried that perhaps the water quality was degrading in the creek. 
Good to see them back.

With an eye on fall I've been thinking up a new project.
Can you guess what it is?

I got about 1.5m of copper tubing from the local hardware
store for cheap and coiled it by hand as tight as possible
without kinking it.

Then, as an experiment,  placed it in the bbq.

Tada! じゃじゃーん!
In the warm summer weather it was able to maintain a  100 liter bath at  33C 
with some effort and minimal use of wood, perhaps 8 arm-sized pieces.

It would go as high as 55C with the water at a trickle and 
the fire not too high.  The hose is rated to 60C so no problem there.

Can easily hold either side of the copper pipe safely.

The problem is flow.  It will make 2 liters per minute at 33-38C, 
or enough for a warm shower easily.
(A weak shower at home uses about 3 liters per minute)

A good  bath would need 38C+ for cold weather to maintain the tub temperature.
Next I plan to put the coil into a pile of bricks configured
as a  rocket stove. Or directly into the
firepit in the backyard.  That should solve the flow problem.
We have our old insulated tub that is bigger and will
make a nice 露天風呂 rotenburo, or outdoor bath
overlooking the creek.

excitement in the village