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BSA Wizard Camporee - solar

The folks next door have home-made PV & they too will be solar cooking. They built a parabolic cooker out of cardboard & will give it a first-try tomorrow.

I started adding tubes at 3:30 PM and the gravity flow began almost immediately. 55F in the system & 110F on the outlet side. My one concern is that we'll make too much hot water!


  • Today the rack, tomorrow the solar

    After building what I'd hoped would be a totally flexible solar rack, I had the opportunity to give it a test today. Tomorrow I'll add the gravity solar array, a 20 vac tube Viessmann gently feeding a dropped-on-its-head 50-gal elec water heater tank.

    The rack adapted to the uneven ground nicely with the flexibility needed.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,279
    A solar merit badge?

    Does one exist? If not it should.

    I'm wondering if you will get a thermo siphon thru the evac tube header? Those evac tube schuckers sure do heat quickly.

    It may end up sounding like the old "Copper Crickets" solar systems :)

    A small Laing D-5 and a 20W PV panel would further the solar experience for the scouts, and assure adequate flow. I'd be gald to send a loaner pump and panel if you think you need it.

    Be sure your collar tie at the base of the legs is up to the 500lb plus task at hand.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • How quick

    can you ship?!? I wanted to add PV, but did not have the time - for more than a few reasons.

    It's a 20-tube array & I can pull tubes off if that becomes necessary. However, given the slow-cooker BTU harvesting, I'm hoping it will be OK.

    I'll be solar cooking too - nothing but sun predicted for Sat(G).

    The event runs this Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM & I've been told to expect several thousand Scouters.

    I agree re the MB on solar. Been giving that lots of thought. Let's talk.

    As for bracing - see the attached. Those pins are hammered in a foot plus they're pre-drilled, so they're nailed into the wood too. The uprights were placed for tank-weight support and the wings were added to stabilize any side-to-side sway. Orange plastic caps for the OSHA-minded safety folks who will be inspecting my station.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,279
    I doubt

    I could get it there that quick. rare to get anywhere over-nite from Springfield, MO according to both UPS and FedEx.. We've tried before.

    How about your solar oven? That is always a big hit for solar newbies.

    We attended the Missouri Renewable fair last weekend. A fellow had a row of solar cookers baking breads and carrot cakes. He also does all day chicken and roasts with his. Neat technology, the sun and a box with mirror around it!

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Dogs & beans

    are on tap for the solar cooker(G).

    Also, I have about 500 skid-sized sheets of cardboard and several multi-hundred-feet rolls of tin-foil for the boys to take along materials and a printed set of plans for solar ovens. If we hit any slack times & the Scouts are interested, we'll make the solar ovens right there. Otherwise, with the crowds expected, my time with each group will be fairly short & they'll pack out the materials.

    It's an old west themed event, so each patrol must have built a covered wagon they'll haul along to each station & they must ford several "rivers" along the way as well as cross several divides and they'll be timed on taking the rig apart to pass over a wall and reassemble.

    The worst part, for me, is that this will be the first Wizard Camporee where I won't get to travel through the stations with a son & his friends. My role has changed(G).

    The map & compass station is on top of the hill too, so they'll either get compass bearings there or with me - as in real-world application for what they learn re compass bearings. From the maps, they can also get the latitude. I'm hoping to stitch those details between stations together.

    The buffalo-chip-toss contest is up there too. Maybe a lesson on generating burnable methane gas is in order?

    The real buffalo will be down in the valley below us in his pen.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,279
    Sounds like a great time

    if it gets boring, turn the buffalo lose in camp :)

    I remember my 50 mile hike with the scouts on the Appalachian Trail. We got rained out big time and a troop from Boiling Springs PA sent their bus and bailed us out and set up a dry camp for us in a city park. Nice folks back in the Keystone state.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • What a day!

    3,000 + Scouts registered and another 500 or so expected along with about 2,000 adult leaders and parents.

    The gravity circulation worked flawlessly. 140 to 150 F on average for supply. As Scouts would crowd around the display, their showdows would cause a 20 F drop in temp.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Hey, do you get a bowl of soup with that hat ?

    Nice job Dave and lot of volunteer hours.

    I'm sure we've got some young and old solar fans thanks to you. The scouts got a good education. Nice of Viessmann to step up with the panel.

    I'm speaking next month to the cubs about Plumbing. I'll be e-mailing with some advice.


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  • just one hour a week

    That's what they always told me about Scouts & volunteering. I think they must have been referring to one hour of rest per week!

    Returned today to clean up and dismantle the remainder. We are bone weary, but it's a good kind of weary we're feeling. Why is it you always feel good after volunteering?

    The boys were very interested & no doubt solar seeds were planted that will sprout. They were fascinated by the solar cooker too & I'd printed out directions for building one on their own that disapeared early on. One per patrol & gone by noon.

    The day flew by with no break in the action. We were swamped. Adults occasionally butted in to ask questions, but quickly learned I was going to cater to the youth questions first. Lots of parents stuck around for Q&A sessions during the day.

    Plumbing? Give me a call or e-mail anytime pal!
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