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Appliances,Buildings and Renovations,Food,Heat and Cooling

Make a Propane Refrigerator Run Cooler in the Summer

8 Jul , 2013  

The RV style of propane refrigerator (Dometic-3 way) was not getting cold on the inside. Turned up the thermostat from setting 2 to 4 make it colder, but there was no effect. It was a major concern, since there was a heat wave coming and the frozen vegetables, beverages and steaks would go bad. Also, it was not an option to drive for a 2 hours to get blocks of ice.


Step one- Slide propane fridge into a box

The propane refrigerator was an older model, but was working fine months earlier. So, went over a mental checklist; read manual, check regulator on propane hose, check thermostat, check for cobwebs around cooling fins and check exhaust ports. During the last check on the exhaust port, I noticed the wood siding was really warm to the touch. Thought that was odd, since the manual states the refrigerator must be encased in a metal box, with no combustible materials nearby. The heat must be intense for it to travel through the metal and then to the outside siding.

So, ended up cutting a larger exhaust hole for the heat to escape. Didn’t have much room or a handy saw, so, I had to sketch out a line and use a drill. Drilled holes every 1/8″ with a 1/4″ bit. It took forever, but, didn’t have to worry about striking the cooling fins or pipes on the back of the propane refrigerator. Since it was almost 3 times larger hole, I decided to add a metal heat deflector and a computer fan to help redirect the heat out the hole. Always keep a bunch of computer fans around, they come in handy and work straight off batteries or a solar panel. Fashioned some mounts out of some metal strips and put it just under the refrigerator cooling fins. Wired the computer fan to a simple light switch and 7 amphour AGM battery. The fan could be switched on really hot days and helped the refrigerator cool much quicker.

Soon, I’ll make another video with a few more improvements

Thanks for watching!







Step Two- Slide box, with propane fridge, into IKEA cabinet.

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Canada Day Long Weekend and Fireworks!

4 Jul , 2013  

IMG_4761 Canada Day on our remote lake is always a big celebration. Aside from the flotilla and deck parties, we all love fireworks at night. A few of the cabin owners took up a collection, and we raised $320.00 to go towards fireworks. To ensure safety was on our side, we light the fireworks off a barge out in the middle of the lake. It’s safe and everyone can enjoy to splendor.

Packed up the car for the 4 hour drive to the cabin. Aside from the VAWT project, homemade dump load, pumps, electrical wire, firewood, beer and food, this time there was a big box of fireworks.
A big thanks for the Fireworks Shop

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Other,Wind Turbine Projects

Temporary Roof Top Mount for VAWT Project

27 Jun , 2013  

The Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Project project required a place to test the hub, motor and blades/scoops. Despite the lack of good wind at our home, (we are in a valley, surrounded by trees), it was easier to check. The plan was to create just a temporary mount on the roof top that would not put holes in the roof. Use a bunch of 4″ x 4″ posts from a dismantled children’s play set and hardware that was close at hand. After three trips to the roof, explaining my plan to the nosy neighbour, assembly, it was spinning on its own in a few hours.

See the next video for Part 3 of the VAWT construction and real world test.


Other,Wind Turbine Projects

Part 2 of the Homemade Dump Load for a Wind Turbine

24 Jun , 2013  

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 10.29.58 AM

So, with fewer resistors, the layout had to be reconfigured and more copper wires were used to secure resistors in place.
It was suggested by some viewers to lower the ohms by connecting in parallel (positive to positive) to lower the ohms from 100 to 25 ohms.


Came up with three separate ideas for the bus bars. Originally, the clips would be soldered to a wire, but could not get the wires to slick. I was more concerned with the little contact and the chance for sparks. Decided bolt the resistors to an aluminium or copper bar. Could not find an affordable source, so, I located the pipe left over from the bathroom renovation. The bars were made from 1/2″ copper pipe pounded flat. The pipe was easily flattened with a sledge-hammer. Holes were drilled and the resistor clips were secured from underneath.

Ran some tests on a trolling style of deep cycle battery and slowly drained the battery. Note: More tests were preformed off camera with all safety measures in place.

The dump load will be used with the Morningstar TS-60 Charge Controller. It will be configured as a diversion load and will look after battery bank.

The battery bank will be charged by a 180 watts of solar energy and 500 watts wind power. The dump load will be used for in the summer time when the sun is higher in the sky.

Each ceramic resistors was 100 Ohm at 200 watts.

Thank you for your patience and enjoy!

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Other,Wind Turbine Projects

The Bountiful Harvest of Motors and Parts for Projects

20 Jun , 2013  

Last year, I made a New Years resolution to deconstruct appliances, old tools, radios or anything else not working or thrown away. The plan was to gather materials for future wind turbines, look at the engineering and types of materials used. It’s not an evil plan to destroy, but more of a positive learning opportunity. You never really know what interesting stuff will be inside computer hard drives, cordless drills, vacuums, reciprocating saws, weed trimmers and dishwashers.

Appliances,Buildings and Renovations,Plumbing,Woodworking

4 Day Mini Laundry, Washer and Dryer Project

19 Jun , 2013  

IMG_4730 This project takes place on the home front. Had to work through the weekend and get the space ready for the new stacking washer and dryer unit.

Since the 10 year Kenmore washer packed it in and we live 90 percent on the second floor of our home, we decided to move the laundry units upstairs. After good reviews by Consumer Reports, we went with a Samsung Washer and Dryer. They were to arrive on the Wednesday, so it left me 4 days to get the mini laundry room finished.

Earlier in the month, the bathtub, old drywall, subfloor and rotten 2″ x 4″ were removed and the framing was completed by myself. Decided to contract out the plumbing and wire to a professional. I don’t have the time or the skills and I have a few good friends in assorted trades and it was time to call in some favours. So, after the electrical and plumbing contractor left, I had exactly 4 days to get the room ready. The “to do” list was: finish framing new walls, plumb washer (contractor), wire for dryer/washer (contractor), install dryer vent through ceiling and side of house, mount drywall, tape and mud seams, sand, a coat of primer, paint (if time), washer pan and install vinyl plank flooring.

It was not a fun project, but, not all projects are.


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