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Author Topic: Solar salt experiment week one.
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted February 08, 2007 09:50      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi All_________________Scolastic Spastic and I were dicussing solar heat and I turned the topic toward solar salts well here are the first five days observations. Feb. 3, 2007

Start of Experiment

One 1/3 cubic yard wheelbarrow

One large trash bag (to line wheelbarrow)

One bag of K-Lite salt (Potassium Chloride) 40lbs

One bag of rock salt (Sodium Chloride) 40lbs

Enough snow to finish filling wheelbarrow.

Wheelbarrow location, on the hilltop with handles pointing South so that the low sun angle can reach all of the salt.

Outside air temp 9 degrees F at 10AM.

Outside air temp 11 degrees F at noon, added a thermometer inside a zip lock bag. Added enough water to fill wheelbarrow water temp 50 degrees F will check water temp at sundown, hazy right now.

Outside air temp 14 degrees F at 3PM. Water temp. 0C or 32F. Covered over with Ice. Broke ice attempted to stir salt. I have doubts about the salt opening up the solution tomorrow, I will attempt to not interfere with the solution.

Outside air temp 12 degrees F at 4:05PM. Water temp.-8C or 16F. Solution has chunks or clumps of ice floating, has not froze over solid. I checked at this time as I doubt any more solar heat as it is white out snowing, and I can just make out where the sun is, no shadows are being cast.

Feb. 04, 2007

Outside air temp -3.5 degrees F at 4:05PM. Water temp.-20C or -3.5F. Top surface about two inch thick slushy ice some strenght but not solid to the bottom.


Feb. 05, 2007

Outside air temp -7 degrees F at 7:00AM. Water temp.-7F. I believe that the concentraction of the salt near the surface is weak enough to allow refreezing. Pressing on the ice causes it to move up and down so there is liquid below the ice. The contents of the wheelbarrow have not compleatly frozen.

Outside air temp 10 degrees F at noon. Water temp.10F. Why oh why did I start this project now, top surface is still slushy. Does not taste very salty, maybe I did not get enough salt to desolve at experiment start.

Outside air temp 15 degrees F at 2:30PM. Water temp.15F. The top two inches of slush has lost its srength it is just slush.

Outside air temp 02 degrees F at 8:30PM. Water temp. 5F. Slush is refreezing.


Feb. 06, 2007

Outside air temp -05 degrees F at 8:30AM. Water temp. -5F. They solution seems to have enertia in that its temps follow the air temps by about 3-4 hours, I am starting to believe that I live too far North for this system to work.


Feb. 07, 2007

Outside air temp 15 degrees F at noon. Water temp. 5F.


Outside air temp 15 degrees F at 6:00PM. Water temp. 10F. Surface never opened.


Feb. 08, 2007

Outside air temp 20 degrees F at 12:30PM. Water temp. 15F. After five days the water tempature has not broken away from the air tempature except when air temps are fallin. I am begining to believe that this method is not viable this far North, dispite reports that it works in Poland.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
ScholasticSpastic
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted February 08, 2007 21:46      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Do I understand correctly that your container is a wheelbarrow? I suspect that this may be a source for your failure. I've read a little (actually not enough for bragging rights) about solar ponds since our last conversation.

Solar ponds passively collect and store energy from the sun. Duh. Okay, so the cool part follows: The salts serve several purposes. Purpose #1 is that the ions in solution increase the specific heat of the water due to ion-dipole bonding forces. Each bond in solution is a means of storing energy. So that's how that part works. Purpose #2 is to create a colligative effect in the solution. By reducing the vapor pressure of the volatile component of your solution (water) the salts reduce the amount of heat loss due to evaporation. There's also a depression in freezing point, but you won't observe this if your experiment is a success because it'll be too warm. Purpose #3 is the coolest one of all. Differences in relative concentration increase the incidence of a thermocline. Higher-density saline water becomes trapped under lower-density, less-saline water and is no longer able to exchange heat directly with the atmosphere.

What all three of these effects require of the system in order to work effectively is that the lower portion of the water column be well insulated. In other words, you should probably dig a wheelbarrow-sized hole, line it with insulation of some sort, and try again. You're losing too much heat through the wheelbarrow and the thermocline is unable to work effectively. You're still seeing the colligative effects of salts in solution as a decreased freezing point, but there's probably not going to be a marked increase in temperature over atmospheric.

I would also recommend more water volume. A depth of at least three feet would be preferable (I'm pulling that quantity out of my butt just because that's how deep we're advised to dig ponds that will house fish all year long). The greater your surface area, the more incident light (and thus heat) will be collected. The depth is for storage. I hope I'm not being annoyingly preachy or anything, I'm just excited to see positive results and, well, butting in, I guess...

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

Posts: 540 | From: Vernal, UT | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted February 09, 2007 03:49      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ScholasticSpastic____________________The wheel barrow is a wooden frame Poly(something) with a trash bag inside to keep the saline off the carrage bolts. I would like to bury it, however the ground is frozen to about three feet. (frost goes deep here). I feel that wind chill and gain from the wind are my biggest detriments, I knew that I needed three feet but setting on the high point of land with the least solar obstructions did not look that bad. Yesterday I constructed a wind brake to reduce the wind chill effects, I will post again in one week. Also those big poly tanks at Tractor Supply are expensive.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

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Icon 5 posted February 09, 2007 10:11      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Could you insulate the wheelbarrow with straw, then hold it all together with snow?
Posts: 8111 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Stereo

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted February 09, 2007 11:29      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Insulating the wheelbarrow is a good idea, but there are more efficient options to straw and snow. I would rather go with expanded polystyrene (like the ones used for house insulation) - easy to cut, put a couple of nails through it to hold it together (or even good ol' ductape). Glass fiber could also be an option, although I don't know how well it would resist the elements. I would guess that for a couple of days up to a couple of weeks, it would do the job just fine.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1659

Member Rated:
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Icon 1 posted February 09, 2007 13:28      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ScholasticSpastic, Snaggy, & Stere______________The wheel barrow material is that poly stuff like rubbermaid products. While looking around in the barn I found the old cab from a snowblower I no longer have, so it was pressed into duty as a windbreak it compleatly covers the wheelbarrow and the clear window area is in the top plane of the wheelbarrow, Now I face the question of what caused the ice reduction? The windbreak or the cloudless day?

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1659

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted February 10, 2007 08:51      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
UPDATE,UPDATE,UPDATE________________________Today is the first day that the water temp has led the air temp, yesterday must have pumped a lot of photons into the saline solution, or else the wind break has slowed down losses.


Feb. 08, 2007

Outside air temp 20 degrees F at 12:30PM. Water temp. 15F. After five days the water temperature has not broken away from the air temperature except when air temps are fallin. I am begining to believe that this method is not viable this far North, dispite reports that it works in Poland. Added a wind break in the form of an old walkbehind snowblower cab, it fit the wheel barrow nicely and will allow the light to hit the salt solution.


Feb. 09, 2007

Outside air temp 20 degrees F at 5:30PM. Water temp. 22F. Top ice surface is thinner by about half, now did the windbreak or the totally clear day melt the ice.?


Feb. 10, 2007


Outside air temp 20 degrees F at 11:30AM. Water temp. 22F. This is the first time that the morning water temp has led the air temp. Still ice covered but leading air temp.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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