Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zeer pot experiment

Back in February, I wrote about the Zeer pot refrigerator. I found a video to add to that post, and finally got around to making my own Zeer pot today. I used 8" and 12" brown unglazed clay pots, and got a ripped bag of "play sand" for only $1.50. The sand says it has been washed and screened, so it seemed safe to use for this purpose. The sand was very warm from sitting out in the sun at Lowe's, so the starting temp in the inner pot was 86F. I added 6 cups of tap water to the sand, and covered the pots with a thin wet towel. I also set a small fan blowing on it, since the pot is on a kitchen counter and a breeze is helpful with the evaporation process.

The humidity today is 86%;  these are supposed to work much better in a dry climate. That said, after 4 hours, the inner pot temperature is 69F and the ambient temp in my kitchen is 80F. I'll turn the fan off before I go to bed tonight, and see how things look in the morning.

I also got a matching 8" saucer to use for a lid on the inner pot. I don't know if I need it yet, but it seemed like a good idea to help keep bugs and dogs out of it :) I'll post any updates in the comments here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Batteries, Greyhounds

Remember those batteries I got some time last year? The ones that have been sitting in my garage, in the dark, unhooked? Well, I finally got around to buying a charger/maintainer/desulphator/conditioner. Good God, the directions are awful. I spent about an hour reading the manual, then googled some stuff, and this 35 page manual boiled down to 6 really simple steps. Anyway, I got the first battery hooked up without incident, and left for work. When I got home, the green light was blinking in maintenance mode. Yay!

So I'm going to let that one be for a few days. Tomorrow, I should receive a 15W solar panel and charge controller, which I will use to keep the things topped off as they come off the charger. I'm sure I'll find some other use for this little panel after I get my "real" solar panels and charge controller at some later date.

In other news, the rescue that I fostered a couple of greyhounds for last year just brought back three more greyhounds from Florida. I went to meet them last night, and tomorrow morning I'll take my boss dogs (Tara and PD) to meet the only boy of this group. If all goes well, he'll be my new foster dog tomorrow afternoon :)