Polar Vortex IV
Wednesday, April 16 2014
It was as if the Polar Vortex had returned again, though, because it's now going on into late April, this meant lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s (instead of subzero lows and highs in the teens). Yesterday's rain had eventually turned to snow, and there was still a noticeable dusting of it this morning. Temperatures remained cold enough for the snow to persist on the laboratory deck into the late afternoon.
Despite the cold, today was a sunny one, and the solar hydronic system finally started working with the kind of efficiency it had exhibited in previous years. Air bubbles trapped in the pipes ruin its ability to gather solar energy, though I've yet to perfect a system for keeping those bubbles from developing over time.
By the time the Arduino-based solar controller decided it was fruitless to continue running the pump, the hot water in the basement was near 140 degrees Fahrenheit. At some point this evening, I took a nice hot bath, which felt good after a day spent being uncomfortably cold in the laboratory. With the boiler turned off, on cold days the only heat I have in there is a electric parabolic heater, which really only gives comfort to the back of my neck and the left side of my face.
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