cozy copper pipes
Monday, October 24 2005
Today was another dreary day in late October. The sun came out for about twenty minutes right around noon, long enough for me to switch on the solar collector's pump and circulate some hot water through the slab. But then the skies turned grey and that was the end of that. Due to our continued refusal to run our centralized heating system (as if we could somehow will summer to last until November) the house was cold and it was hard for me to sit around in front of my computer in the manner to which I've become accustomed. So instead I worked on a solar-related project: putting little tubular foam jackets on all the pipes of the solar heating system's indoor plumbing. (Eventually I'll have to insulate the outside hoses as well.) This insulation will be especially important in the summer, as it will keep the hot water traveling to and from the solar panel from heating all the rooms between the roof and the basement along the way. It won't be as an important in the winter, except that it will keep the heat precisely where I'm wanting to send it without inadvertently assigning it added responsibilities. Mission creep sucks, even for soulless hyrdonic water.
I also finally got around to routing the solar panel sufficiency thermostat control wires up to the roof deck, where they will be able to tell the basement control circuitry whether or not the solar panel is hot enough to warrant the circulation of water. The control wires are carried in a simple piece of telephone cable and I'd snipped the live wires off at the end. [The next day I would hear the circulator pump running and realize that the ends of the cable had been shorted by rain water, which is apparently conductive enough to energize the sufficiency relay and start the circulator pump.]
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