Step 9: Testing
Heated water moves up the coil and through the hose into the bottom of the bucket. The same water then rises in the cooler temperature water bucket and is recirculated back to the coil out the top port of the bucket to the lower end of the collector. Hopefully that process repeats.
It worked! for awhile... The heated water began to soften the garden hoses so much they collapsed under any bend radius at all.
Before they collapsed I added food coloring that shows the water circulating and being pulled back into the circuit. Then all of a sudden everything stopped. I used my infrared thermometer and checked my outlet temp at the box and got a reading of ~250 degrees F... I thought this couldn't be right so I used a few other thermometers and got similar results...
I think the water in the coil may have vaporized and turned to steam (water boils at 212 F) which caused a vapor lock and halted my circuit flow. Over all I'm happy, better plumbing setup and less hasty testing will really tell me how well this thing works, but for now I'm satisfied.
The collector works very well, during dis-assembly of my test rig I ended up draining the coil onto my hand and burned myself pretty significantly. Blisters and the whole deal. just a heads up, be careful.
Anyhow, this was the build and a tid-bit on the testing. I'll come back through here some day and go into more detail so if someone wants to build one they can improve off what I've done.
Thanks for reading.
Feel free to shoot me questions if I've completely skipped something you want/need.