20071225

Greasy Mon


Greasy Mon
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
My left leg has developed "clutch foot" from mixing papercrete at 1 mile a hour. I have turned my focus this week to a electronics project. This device I am building will monitor the temperature of the waste veggie oil in my car. There are 5 thermisters that will be placed under the hood to help with timing of when to switch onto veg mode.

Insulated Curtains

On this day of consumption I decided to make some stuff like these curtains with built in mylar bubble wrap. The window I made it for divides two interior spaces, one of which is cold and has no heat and the other is well heated. This curtain traps the heat where it's needed and prevents it from getting sucked out. The curtain is in two layers, the mylar is placed in a sleeve like a pillow with a peek a boo style window so I can remove it in the summer when I dont need it. I got the fabric at the last www.swaporamarama.org Swap-O-Rama-Rama in Austin TX. It's a lovely green, embroidered, silk.

20071223

Armature Drain


Armature Drain
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
The best part about using a double lathed armature is watching the papercrete rapidly drain.

Dome Top


Dome Top
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
This is a close up view of the top of the dome just before we fill in the last bit.

Pumping from the Top


Pumping from the Top
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We are now putting the last 1' of papercrete into the top of the dome. My favorite hack today was plugging a leak in the lath with my thumb. After two minutes the water ran off and the paper clogged the hole.

Frozen Papercrete


Frozen Papercrete
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We found a 1" thick piece of ice in the mixer today with quite a bit of papercrete frozen in it.

Mixercyles


Mixercyles
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Normally I would not bother mix in cold temperatures. Today has a high of 54F and a low of 30F. It is the warmest here it has been in days. What do we do? We mix.

20071221

Minimize Diesel


Minimize Diesel
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
In general I cannot drive around my little town on waste oil. The speeds are too low and the distances too short to get the grease warm enough. Until now it has been highway only. Thanks to the bucket heater I can now preheat my grease to 120F in the tank and run veg while driving around town.

Heated Storage Container


Heated Storage Container
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Within 2 minutes the 1000W bucket heater brought my 7 gallons of stored grease to 120F. Any more heat than that and I might melt the container.

Heater Modification


Heater Modification
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
After some grinding I was able to make the bucket heater narrow enough to fit in all of my grease tanks.

Bucket Heater


Bucket Heater
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Once again my local feed store provided me with a essential tool. This device is normally placed in a bucket of water and quickly brings up the temperature so you could wash a horse. I needed something to heat my grease containers so I could filter it in the winter.

Banjo Bolt


Banjo Bolt
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
The stock fuel filter on a diesel mercedes has a weird bolt with a hold in it for fuel overflow. I had read in multiple WVO forums to replace this bolt with a solid bolt to limit air getting into the fuel line. The replacement process took only few minutes.

Engine Air Filter


Engine Air Filter
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy was helping me work on the car and she noticed that the engine air intake was totally disconnected. We clamped it down and hoped for the best.

Transmission Vaccuum


Transmission Vaccuum
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Our greased out Mercedes had been shifting poorly into second gear. I read that replacing some vaccuum hose and this little green thing would help the transmission. It most certainly did.

Water Usage


Water Usage
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I am scared to see what my water bill will be this month. Probably on the order of $50 based on the large amounts of water we have been using to move the papercrete. Each day we have to sweep out the water and scoop up the debris to keep the dome worksite clean and drying.

Pumping Papercrete


Pumping Papercrete
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
After three partial work days of pumping papercrete we have managed to fill the dome to just above the height of the door. If you look carefully you can see a even ring of wetness at the 7' mark of the dome. Now the work should go very fast as the dome rapidly shrinks in diameter at that height.

20071217

Video: Papercrete Pump

Green Acre's 3" Multiquip (QP-3TE) trash pump used to pump papercrete.

Another Day of Pumping


Another Day of Pumping
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy is the official pump starter. We managed to get six mixes into the dome and we were very good about not dropping the hose or running straight water. The dome is really filling in fast now. Some papercrete made it through the lath, but very little.

20071216

Pumping Takes Two


Pumping Takes Two
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy has been managing the far end of the hose that connects to the
dome. It is difficult for one person to handle the water hose, pump,
suction hose, and outlet hose. Even with two people it was hectic. We
did manage to get in three mixes where my record for filling the dome
had only been two mixes per day.

Pumping Progress


Pumping Progress
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Here is what the some looks like as we pump papercrete into it from
the top. It was a messy process today as we dropped the hose once
causing papercrete to spread all over the yard. Then we went to flush
the lines with water during clean up causing a flood within the done.

Pump Day 1


Pump Day 1
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
This is our first papercrete mix being sucked out of our tow behind
mixer. We had to add more water to the mix than I would have liked,
but it is working. The pump is a multiquip 3" trash pump with a 9HP
robin motor.

Mixing Again


Mixing Again
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Since I have developed a clutch foot from mixing papercrete Wendy has
now taken over the driving portion.

20071215

Battery Groups


Battery Groups
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I made up this quick drawing to help figure out how much space the batteries will take up in the battery dome. There will be three groups of these batteries adding up to about 16 square feet.

Green Acre DDU's


Green Acre DDU's
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I have added the Dome Dwelling Unit (DDU) to the green acre property layout. This is our new plan for guest rooms which we will be starting on in January.

PV Control Panel


PV Control Panel
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I helped Smoke put together the PV control panel today that will live in our battery room dome. The stand is made from 1/8" angle iron is welded to the dome structure itself. There are even concrete anchor bolts holding the feet of the stand in place. It should easily be able to hold the 200 lbs of equipment we are going to be mounting on it early next year.

20071214

Pump Assembled


Pump Assembled
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I didn't turn it on, but the 3" trash pump I plan to pump papercrete with is now ready to be tested. If this pump works I should be able to dump 10 mixes a day into the ferrocement domes.

Nail Clipping


Nail Clipping
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
After a hard days work Wendy and I go inside and torcher our kitties. Baby IO is seen here finishing his monthly nail trimming.

PV Progress


PV Progress
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Now that the solar panels are wired up we can return to finishing the battery room. I will try finishing the insulation tomorrow assuming the pump is working.

Grounding Rod


Grounding Rod
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy used a hollow tamper to sink our AC and DC grounding rods. Smoke ran the rest of the copper grounding wire (#6 AWG).

Custom Tools


Custom Tools
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Here is the tool I put together to fix my Mercedes. I welded a old socket to a 24mm wrench and used a 16" socket extender to reach deep under the hood. Within 5 minutes of using the tool I was able to remove the manual primer on my lift pump and replace it with a new one. The car started right up after a few pumps.

PV Wires


PV Wires
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wiring up the photovoltaics. Pairs of two in series and the rest in parallel.

20071213

Wrench Cut


Wrench Cut
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I had to purchase a 24mm wrench to remove the manual lift pump in the Mercedes. There is very little room to swing a wrench in the car so I cut it into a smaller piece. Now I don't have enough leverage to undo the stuck part.

20071211

Can Opener


Can Opener
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Sean from the band Spellbox stopped by today with Mysti Mayhem. Sean had a can opener for 55 gallon drums which I had been looking for. He popped open one of my drums so that I could see the inside and make a call about weather or not it can be used to store grease. The drums had been carrying some sort of cement accelerant.

All Thread Forge


All Thread Forge
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We needed some ubolts to mount the PV wire concentrator box with. We of course would not find a ubolt suitable for this in my small town. Instead we purchased two long all thread bolts and smoke made use of a old propane forge to heat and bend them with.

The Electric Shopper


The Electric Shopper
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Smoke and I needed to purchase some conduit and accessories for the PV array. Smoke likes to lay out all the connecting parts on the floor so we don't need to make a second trip.

20071210

Panel Photo


Panel Photo
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I wanted my picture taken with the freshly installed PV's. It rained most of the day so we snuck out near sunset to get this shot.

PV Solar Schematic


PV Solar Schematic
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I put together a schematic of our photovoltaic setup today. I still have a few missing parts like lightening arrestors, second grounding rod, disconnects, and e-panels.

80' of 1/0 AWG cable


80' of 1/0 AWG cable
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I had to stop by Lowe's in Albuquerque today for 80' of 1/0 cable. The solar panels to battery run is only 30' but that has a short circuit potential of 45A. NEC article 690 requires that I muliply the short circuit number of 45A by 125% twice to keep the circuit below 80% capacity to avoid melting the cable.Not cheap at $200.

Brazilian TV


Brazilian TV
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
TV Record a Brazilian TV station produces a show called "Domingo Spectacular". It is similiar to our 60 minutes show here in the US. They sent out two reporters to interview me for a show that is coming out this week. The topic is RFID and there will probably be some interviews with TorC locals and shots of the town itself.

20071208

Fuel Starvation


Fuel Starvation
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I harvested another 23 gallons of grease today. That should be about 700 miles of distance for the Mercedes if it was not leaking fuel! I did a two hour drive yesterday and noticed the car was struggling on grease. A closer inspection revealed a lot of fuel leaking from the white plastic manual primer on the lift pump. I had ordered a replacement three weeks ago, but it never arrived. I bought another plastic fuel primer to install on Tuesday.

20071206

Meet Sir Pumps A Lot


Meet Sir Pumps A Lot
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
The 3" trash pump which will be filling my dome has arrived. Tomorrow I hope to take it for a little test drive and see how it does.

"Chance" needs a new pair of boots

I took our Mercedes now known as "Chance" into the car shop today. The car checked out fine except for the rubber boots in the rare axel which are shot. They are difficult to replace. One of those $25 parts that has a $325 labor fee.

20071205

Dome Home Floor


Dome Home Floor
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I've just drawn up one concept for a floor for my first dome dwelling unit. This one has eight concrete anchors which the gores are placed in. The rebar floor supports are welded to the gores. Then 12 inches of papercrete is poured over the floor using a rather generous mix of sand and cement to strengthen the floor.

Father of Papercrete


Father of Papercrete
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
My friend Peter stopped by today after attending some meetings about funding for a serious papercrete plant. Mike McCain famous for popularizing papercrete was with him. Mike was quick to point out that I needed a longer blade and a baffle to my papercrete mixer.

20071204

Gourmet Grease


Gourmet Grease
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
While picking up car fuel from the grease traps at restaurants in town I hit the jackpot. One restaurant had just emptied their fryer, but had not put the grease in their bin. I was able to pump 150F canola oil that was so beautiful in color and viscosity that I had to wonder why they were dumping it. My pump, hoses, and filters were actually cleaner after filling my auxillary veg tank. I couldn't even take all the grease they had. I'm going back tomorrow.

The Price of Gas


The Price of Gas
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I stopped by a local gas station to fill up my starter/purge tank with diesel. I had little more than a 1/4 tank when I started pumping, but still the machine demanded a astronomical price. I'm glad I only need to do this every 2000 miles now.

Fill 'Er Up


Fill 'Er Up
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
After my fuel reached a 100F from sitting in the sun I was able to slowly filter it through my 10 micron filter / gear pump. I only got about 4 gallons filtered after 15 minutes.

Solar Grease


Solar Grease
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Today I left a 7 gallon blue water container full of waste veggie oil in the sun. It is unusually warm here with a high temperature near 70F today. The oil is doing a great job of warming itself as you can see here. The container has already reached 98F in the early afternoon. The outside temperature is about 59F right now. Pretty good considering it is early December.

20071203

Accordion


Accordion
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Guess who found a $70 miniature accordion on ebay.

12 PVs in place


12 PVs in place
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Here is a frontside view of all twelve of our PV panels in place.

Mounting PV's Day Two


Mounting PV's Day Two
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
The second day of mounting our 2kw photovoltaic panels went significantly faster. Despite having to do four bike trips to the local hardware store to replenish bolts, taps, and washers. We still got the full second rack done in one day.