solar water season
Monday, April 10 2006
I decided some months ago, perhaps as far back as January (the warmest on record, and one not all too different from the current month) that I needed an overhead light above the laboratory deck so I can do things out there at night. What with its ample air supply, the laboratory deck has become my preferred location for soldering, and I solder a lot. Problems I might have once attempted to solve with nails, epoxy, negotiation, money, or even lines of computer code are ones I'm now likely to solve with solder. Back in January my big project was the all-copper fluid heat exchanger, but given how short the days were then, I ended up doing a lot of soldering after the sun went down. Soldering with a flashlight or an awkwardly-clipped lamp is never fun, and so today I launched a minor subproject that will (once I get a few more pieces) give me a bright light shining down from on high to the center of the deck.
Today's weather was conducive to such projects. It was seductive in other ways, implying by its beauty that it was the arrival of something semi-permanent: the warm season. Though temperatures at night still routinely fall below freezing, the sun is strong enough to allow it to bounce back into the sixties or seventies every afternoon. With this in mind, I turned off the boiler for the season and flipped the necessary switches to permit the solar hydronic system to heat household water, something I haven't had it do since November.
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