flat plate collector
Friday, October 12 2007
For the second time in my life, today I drove through the heart of the Catskills and came out the other side in Bainbridge, New York. Again the goal of the drive was to pick up a solar hydronic collector for my solar hot water system from Silicon Solar, which has a warehouse in Bainbridge. Last time I went, about a year and a half ago, it was to pick up a vacuum tube collector system. I'd taken both dogs with me, and it was a rather uncomfortable drive back home for everyone. So this time I went without the dogs, with the goal of picking up a more traditional flat plate collector (similar to my homemade panel) measuring about 20 square feet. The drive was mostly uneventful, although when I drive in strange places I frequently experience anxiety. As I approached the village of Andes, I experienced a nascent anxiety attack provoked by the sight of a big pickup truck following behind me just a week bit too closely. The bridge was out between Andes and De Lancey so I pulled over beside an old gentleman standing in his yard doing nothing but watching a highway crew doing something to the old crumbling asphalt. My asking the old man for a suggested detour route seemed to be the highlight of his day. He told me to go through Delhi, that it was only five miles longer than the direct route, so that was what I did.
At Silicon Solar, a couple guys loaded the panel into the back of my car (its width just barely fit the available diagonal of the Civic's hatchback) and then I lashed it down securely. It stuck out of the back a couple feet, but it definitely wasn't the most improbable thing I've ever hauled in that car.
On the ride home I noticed that the car sounded like its muffler was on its way out, and sure enough (when I stopped at a Subway for lupper), I found the muffler had a new mouth rusted in the side of it.
I took a few pictures along the way as I drove.
Between Andes and Delhi.
Me driving to Bainbridge, somewhere between Delhi and Walton.
First sight of the high peaks of the Catskills on the drive home from the west.
Approaching the East Fork of the Delaware River in Delaware County.
The Catskills lit by the setting sun.
This evening at around 10pm, Ray and Nancy showed up to spend the weekend. We ate a late dinner of vegan lasagna and then sat around the woodstove enjoying heat provided mostly by the burning of the double-thick cardboard packaging from my new solar panel. The damn thing was already providing heat.
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