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Passive energy done the Mexican way.

Discussion in 'Farming, Gardening, & Homesteading' started by hypnos, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member Survival Class Instructor

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    One major expenditure for many of our energy consumption in a household is heating water. The climate here is very agreeable to a passive system and with modification i could see it being used in many places around the united states.

    20181121_174905.jpg

    The roof top of the building I'm in is very utilitarian (kinda ugly) as most are in Mexico.
    most of the roofs are flat, providing for a utilitarian space for cleaning dishes, laundry, and other household needs. At the top of the photo are several black water storage tanks that gravity feed the building with hot water.
    For night time heating they could use a solar water pump to circulate into tubing in the floor if temperatures dropped but they rarely do outside of the mountains, where such a system could really shine.
    For my offgrid cabin I would like to add this to the system, and create a polycarbonate enclosure to increase the heat and provide some insulation value to prevent a freeze up, doubling as a solar chimney for passive cooling if used like a skylight, taking further advantage of passive lighting indoors.

    It's probably obvious that because of the climate most buildings are painted light colors like white to keep them habitable during day light hours. 20181121_174912.jpg
     
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  2. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member Survival Class Instructor

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    The music here is so loud it is setting of car alarms. Hahaha :p 20181121_174859.jpg
     
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  3. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I noticed this when I was down there too and thought it was very smart. The only real concern is being able to support the weight, but that isn't too big of a deal. I would definitely incorporate this into my plan if I were going to build a cabin.
     
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  4. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member Survival Class Instructor

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    Yeah! It is brilliant, as soon as i noticed it I was dumfounded you don't see it in the U.s. pretty much ever. Not even the earthship type buildings in the southwest where something like this would be perfect.
     
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  5. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I know, it is weird. Maybe it's just that they dont know any better, or maybe it's just that they aren't smart enough to figure it out. I dont really understand it either.
     
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  6. jimLE

    jimLE Well-Known Member

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    watertower1-e1499389208587.jpg Thats a pretty great idea,having the tanks on the roof.I've often thought about having a water tower just to one side or out back.where the bottom of the tank is above the home.similar to the one in the pic.but have a gutter and splash gard at the bottom of the roof.so the water will drain from the roof to the tank.
     
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  7. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    That would work well too.

    What a lot of people here do is have the tank on the hillside above the house. The reality of it is, the higher it is above the more pressure you will see at the tap. This can work well, especially if you also have a solar heater on the roof for hot water.
     
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  8. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    If you use water from the roof, be ready to sanitize it or have a heat exchanger built into the tank system. The biggest contaminant is from bird droppings, but there is also a problem if your rain falls in an industrial area and may scrub some chemicals from the air as it falls.

    I like the heat exchanger idea but it requires a separate, clean, water source for consumption. Technically, you could bath in the raw roof water, if it was run through a rough filter to take out the larger chunks of "bird stuff". A settling tank at the intake also works.

    I've seen some roof collection systems which were used for garden irrigation. They had a "first flush" diverter system which dumps the first few gallons for roof flow and then sends the rest into the holding tanks. This link gives the basic concepts:
    https://morningchores.com/rainwater-harvesting/
     
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  9. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I like that idea. And usually on a metal roof i rarely see birds perch. I would greatly prefer a metal roof over other types for rain water collection.
     
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  10. jimLE

    jimLE Well-Known Member

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    True about the hight and water preasure.but im thinking that the size of plumbing is equally important. For example.a 1/2 inch pipe might/should give you more preasure,when compared to 3/4 plumbing.
     
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  11. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    It's the other way around, a 1/2 pipe will have more resistance to flow, giving lower pressure during use as measured at the faucet. This is dynamic pressure, not static pressure. If there is no flow, then the static pressure at the faucet will be the same for any size pipe.
     
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  12. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I collect rainwater off of an outbuilding on my property that has a metal roof. It goes into a series of tanks and then gets pumped up the hill to a 5,000 gallon holding tank. From there it goes to irrigation or fire protection. I can also use it for the house, but I usually don't. The water isn't really clean and takes some filtering to be useful inside. We have a well that produces good water, so it's not really needed.

    All that I can add to the discussion further is that ALL water should be treated as suspect and tested regularly.
     
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  13. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member Survival Class Instructor

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    From my understanding you actually want reduction. Start with 1 inch or larger, reduce to 1/2 inch as you get closer to faucets etc. It is like putting your finger over a garden house, pressure increases when a large volume of water in a line becomes restricted.
     
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  14. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    In a sense. By putting your finger over the nozzle, you are restricting the flow which in turn reduces the dynamic friction in the pipe and you experience higher pressure at the nozzle, in exchange for lower flow rate. This may be acceptable because many uses don't need a huge rate of flow. You'll feel maximum pressure if you completely plug the nozzle with your finger, but zero flow rate.

    Ideally, price being no object, you could plumb with maximum diameter pipe everywhere, but that is more expensive, so the large diameter pipe is used to feed several outlets (kitchen, bath, utility room, etc.) and then smaller diameter pipe is used to tap off the larger pipe to each faucet.

    The nice thing is that plastic pipe and plastic fittings are (right now) cheaper than copper and available in large diameters too. Something to consider stockpiling as a prepper too...

    In reality, the faucet itself will establish the ultimate pressure/flow rate because the hole in the faucet (usually 3/4 or 1/2 inch) will be the limiting factor. Match the faucet to the pipe it connects to (same diameter) to avoid too much loss.

    If possible, you should mount the source tanks as high as possible which will give you the highest pressure. Use the largest diameter pipe you can afford to get the water from the tank to the multiple possible outlets. But if you don't need high flow rates, then smaller diameter pipe is lower cost.

    A lot depends on your intended use too. If you want to fight fires, then big pipes all the way to the Large diameter faucet is the way to go, look at fire hydrants as the example. If you only need to get water to a kitchen sink, then 1/2 diameter or less is acceptable.
     
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  15. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member Survival Class Instructor

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    As an example of pressure the water wouldn't go far without the nozzle at the end restricting it.
     
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  16. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    Exactly, ala fire hose nozzles. 1/2 inch nozzle, 2 inch water hose.
     
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  17. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member Survival Class Instructor

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    Yep. Most large construction, like hotels and industrial/commercial complexes tend to use reduced couplings from "main" services to prevent vacuum, and reduced pressure in other water consuming appliances. If you don't have a larger pipe feeding the system as the main, and smaller pipe to your appliances you will lose pressure when more then one is used at the same time.
     
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  18. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    1 1/2" or 2 1/2" on the fire hoses.

    My house is 1" pvc pipe to the inside then, 1/2" pex all through the house. PEX and sharkbite fittings has made plumbing very easy for homeowners.
     
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  19. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    My fire hoses were only 2" dia. I used them to pipe water from my gasoline pump to the gold dredge. They were 2nd hand hoses which the local fire dept was changing out.
    Same size as the fire hoses I handled when I worked fire crew (40 years ago) in Oregon.
    Changes with time...
     
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  20. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I believe that most everyone is using the 2 1/2" at this point in an attempt to standardize. Most ships are using 1 1/2" and we are told we must have both an adapter to 2 1/2" for the local fire departments and an international shore connection if we sail abroad. I'm all for keeping it standardized.
     

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