Air Conditioner Condensate

I've been thinking recently about ways to reuse the condensed water vapor that comes out of my air conditioner condenser. I've currently got a bucket set up under the spot where the condensate drips out just to see how much water is actually wasted. With the summer heat, I've got the AC going almost all day, and it comes out to about 1 gallon a day. What I'd ultimately like to do is have a storage tank for this water that I can use to water the lawn, wash the car, etc. The problem, though, is that the water outlet is very low to the ground, so only a small bucket will fit directly underneath (meaning it overflows by the end of the day). I'd like to have some sort of hose direct the fluid into a much larger container, and I'd like to do it without electricity. I can't think of a way to move the water without using some kind of pump, though. Any ideas?

Posted by hobscrk777 10 years ago


Sorry for the crosspost, but got my solar thing working, posted it on Green.

Just in case you guys don't hang out in Green.If you're lazy:https://www.instructables.com/community/Finally-finished-my-solar-collector-prototype/

Posted by SolarFlower_org 9 years ago


Finally finished my solar collector prototype.

This has been an ongoing saga for the last six months or so, but with a lot of help from many of you here the Sunflower prototype is finished. And it works! It still needs perfecting, but the principle is sound.This unit cost me less than $20, is almost entirely recycled and salvaged materials, was ridiculously easy to make (tho since I've thought of a way to make it much simpler) and seems to work fairly well. With a larger collector and light pipe in place this unit alone could collect up to a kilowatt of power, maybe more. Now I need to start working on the Mk II perfected design, and some applications for electricity generation and water purification.This will be an ongoing open source project. Once I've got a design which is nice I'll get a website up and be traveling round working with local community groups, inventors and NGOs.If you have any desire whatsoever to take a crack at making this yourself please please do so. The video is a little light on the finer details, so if there are any questions just ask.And thanks again for all those who helped out.

Posted by SolarFlower_org 9 years ago


Problem with too much window condensation

I have double pane, insulating glass house windows that collect condensation during the winter heating months. The condensation is not between the panes, it is inside the home. The water builds up and runs down onto the wood frame causing rot. It occurs only on the bottom inch or two of the window. The home is in Northern Wisconsin where it is commonly 20 deg F outside and 70 deg F inside. The interior humidity is controlled and not excessive. Aside from setting the interior humidity to desert-like conditions, how can I remove the moisture and prevent further damage to the frame? Desiccant bags? Solar powered fans? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by kwschofi 9 years ago


Drinking Water Condenser

Does anyone have any plans or ideas for a DIY drinking water condenser? Something that can make water from the air would be fantastic, especially as climate change starts to have more and more of an impact on the availability of clean water. Electric powered should be fine, directly solar powered might be more difficult. Any thoughts?

Posted by foul_owl 5 years ago


cooker hood condenser

Ok i have moved into a new studio which does not have an external vent fitted to the cooker hood and relies on a re-circulation kit comprising of a small tower and a disposable carbon filter (which can cost quite a bit to keep replacing). So what i was thinking was how about ducting it to a homemade condenser, something simple like a plastic container with a cut off of hood filter attached to an area near the top of the container and the vent ducted in through the top of the container it could be primed with an inch or so of water to get the process going..... i recon my concept is pretty basic but am i heading in the right direction?

Posted by Tallanted 5 years ago


Text display in Instructable PDFs

Why is the kerning (inter-character) spacing of the text in Instructables' PDFs so goofy? Not any of the heads, but all the text. I'm using Mac OS X 10.5 and the text font used is identified as Helvetica Condensed Bold Italic. Heads are Helvetica Bold (not Condensed) and they do display correctly. I do not have any problem on my system with Helvetica Condensed Bold Italic used in any other document and no problem with numerous PDFs from other sources. And, why not a simple Arial or Helvetica Regular or Plain for the text anyhow?

Posted by dlfuller 9 years ago


Condensing to To PDF is not working for this instructable

Https://www.instructables.com/id/Guitar-Tube-Amp/?download=pdf  This address does not provide the epected pdf, just a note that reads "The file is damaged and could not be repaired" please let me know when you fix it at  patcom1970@yahoo.co.uk

Posted by mobby666 8 years ago


Can you freeze dry food at home?

I would like to know how to freeze dry food. Could some create an Instructable How-To,... Can someone build a machine that freeze dry food? There are essentially three categories of freeze-dryers: the manifold freeze-dryer, the rotary freeze-dryer and the tray style freeze-dryer. Two components are common to all types of freeze-dryers: a vacuum pump to reduce the ambient gas pressure in a vessel containing the substance to be dried and a condenser to remove the moisture by condensation on a surface cooled to -40 to -80 C (-40 to -112 F). The manifold, rotary and tray type freeze-dryers differ in the method by which the dried substance is interfaced with a condenser. In manifold freeze-dryers a short usually circular tube is used to connect multiple containers with the dried product to a condenser. The rotary and tray freeze-dryers have a single large reservoir for the dried substance. Thank You

Posted by acomisp 6 years ago


Condensed News

HeyIf anyone is interested, here's my shared items page from my RSS reader:LinkTheres an RSS feed on that page too.Before you go all "What's the point of this!?" on me -- let me explain.I go through about 400 items a day. This is the condensed version. I share 2 things mostly: Things that are funny/ironic -- and things that are interesting. Its a pretty even mix. My feeds include:Blogs:Make, Lifehacker, Gizmondo, Engadget, Consumerist, Slashdot, WorseThanFailureAnd:Instructables & diggTheres a few others, but they aren't good often. I'll gladly add any other feed that you want.I've only been doing this for a few days -- I need to get used to hitting "share". Anything I view, I share. Theres some things that I really don't care about --but others might -- that I'll also share.Hopefully, this can help some people shave time off their news-reading. Let me know if theres some other source I should read!(This post sponsored by Kiteman's Zeroth Law)

Posted by zachninme 10 years ago


How to make water from excessively humid air (using little energy) . Any ideas?

I was thinking of making some sort of machine that uses cooling coils to condense water from the air, seeing as to how humid it has been lately, but I want to do it using less energy than a dehumidifier that's on all the time and have it be more rugged so I can put it outside and maybe use it to water the garden. Any ideas?

Posted by hydrnium.h2 10 years ago


Locker Size Mini Freezer

I have an empty locker in my office (2.5 cu. ft) and it gave me an idea to use that space as a freezer. I know how a freezer works, but my question is it is feasible to gut out a used mini fridge and reassemble it in a small space? Since there's a shelf in the locker,  I was plannign to run the evaporation coils underneath it,  line the edges of the locker with Dow foam, fit the condenser in the corner, and the condenser coil on the inside of the door.

Posted by wbgeek 7 years ago


solar powered junk yard air conditiong idea.

Well im stringing togett some ideas ive seen into something green. first the idea i saw the cold water well ac unit, but too much water use to have one constantly run. so i thought a cycling pump, with a tank buried underground. for that too work the water being cycled though must be kept cold as it continues to cycle through. tank idea - something like 2-3 window ac condenser units piped together to fit inside a 50 gal drum. fill the drum with sand and water burying the condensers. the unit would be a condenser with a small water pump and a fan. i've seen small 12 solar battery chargers, would that be enough to run the pump and the fan for extended times say 4 hours a day is this possible or am i over estimating some things

Posted by Dan Nugget 9 years ago


Peltier dehumidifier

I hope someone with a technical background can help me with this... I am trying to make an DIY dehumidifier. The goal is to lower the humidity of my room during the summer months (humidity is around 70% at 25C) to less than 50, preferrable 30%. I have the following setup in mind: To achieve condensation I want to use a peltier that will lower the temperature of an radiator. The condensed water will be gathered in a (plastic) box. This water will then be used to cool the hot side of the peltier, using a water block and a waterpump that was left over after using watercooling on my PC. The image depicts an simple graphic of the setup. However, I have the following questions to be answered: - How cold (relative to the ambient temperature) would the cold-side radiator have to be to get optimal condensation - How much watts of cooling power would the peltier need in order to achieve the needed temperature difference - If i lower the cold side temperature with 20C, how much heat would be generated on the hot side? (my gues: 20C, but im no genius ;) ) Thanks in advance!

Posted by pelzinga 5 years ago


Can convection be used to drive a passive dehumidifier?

Ok, I have a couple of radiators and a greenhouse that is too humid. In winterr can convection drive fluid from a radiator mounted low in the warm greenhouse to a second radiator mounted outside in the cold and then back to create a chilled metal radiator that will have water condense on it and drip into the soil.

Posted by drewgrey 7 years ago


graffiti and permanent posters

Hey all graffiti guys. My son and I are doing some poetry terrorism in our town. We were looking for quick ways of putting up poetry on public buildings. But we got an information windfall. Some guy in a pub told us that a poster put up with condensed milk could never be removed. Anyone ever hear of that?

Posted by maninamousesuit 10 years ago


Copied Instructables

Maybe this post could have stayed in the topic of Instructables Etiquette so call me redundant ;).Anyways, is it considered poor taste to repeat an Instructable of another person? I found an instructable that is exactly what I'm working on but I've found the said posting could have been better presented. Granted the posted reassured me the project is feasible but their 7 pages of instructions with two pictures could have been easily condensed into one page. In making a copy Instructable I would not hesitate in giving credit and link of the original person. Anything thoughts?

Posted by crickle321 11 years ago


IP protection for open source hardware?

If my solar condenser ends up working I'm wanting to make it open source. I realise that this means effectively giving up all ownership of it, and that's fine, but the last thing I want is for someone else to go and patent it and stop anyone else from using it. What protections are available for this kind of thing? Patents obviously, but is there anything a little less intensive? I'll be looking into copyleft and creative commons and all that, but if someone can point in the right general direction first it'll save me some time.

Posted by SolarFlower_org 9 years ago


Camera bag insert covering

As I didn't want to spend extra money on a new camera bag I'm using an existing bag with a divider I've made from cardboard and an old camping roll mat. My question is I want to wrap it in something so it looks a bit cleaner and add an extra layer of waterproofing. I was thinking about using the material from an old tent but was concerned about condensation build up. I live in the UK so not much chance of weather! Please share any ideas. Oh and yes I will be replacing that tape for something a little more grey.

Posted by SmilerSmiles 6 years ago


Need a maths geek to answer a question about boiling water.

Hi all. I'm finally starting the prototype of my solar condenser this week, though this question doesn't relate to it directly, but to using it to power a steam distiller to purify water. How much water will ten kilowatt hours boil? ie, if I have one kilowatt of solar energy coming in over ten hours and 100% of it goes into heating the water. Also, for extra credit, assume the water is in a black plastic container also in the sun, so the water is preheated to whatever temperature that would be likely to heat it to. cheers!

Posted by SolarFlower_org 9 years ago


Groasis helps trees grow anywhere

Want to plant trees anywhere, even the desert? Then the Graosis Waterboxx might be the solution. It's a container that sits around the base of a young tree. It collects both rainwater and condensation in a reservoir and the water is then wicked down to the roots. Once the tree's roots grow down deep enough to sustain itself, the box can be removed. It seems to be pretty effective, too. While testing in the Sahara desert, 90% of trees that used the Growboxx survived compared to only 10% of the other trees that were planted and watered daily. The next step is to test at 25 locations in 8 different countries.

Posted by fungus amungus 8 years ago


BEC and Semi Conductors

Hey everyone, I don't know if this is right, but today I came to the conclusion that everything in the universe is a conductor or a semi conductor. Is this right? I was thinking if you were to turn something into BEC (Bose-Einstein condensate), (which I know is at the moment impossible), the electrons/current should be able to move through the substance without any resistance. With this being said, couldn't any thing and everything become a perfect conductor if reaching absolute zero is possible? This is just a thought, but I am very interested to find out for a science class I'm taking.                                                                             Thanks for your time KayakKid.

Posted by Kayak Kid 4 years ago


Solar Capillary Irrigation

I was thinking: If you used a post hole digger and made 2' or 3' holes throughout the garden, then dropped an old pant leg or other scrap fabric down the hole, filled it up with soil while leaving some fabric exposed above the soil, covered the fabric with an inverted clear plastic or glass bowl, would this draw enough moisture through the fabric to irrigate the plants near the bowl? I'm thinking the sun would heat things up for condensation on the glass which would drip down the sides to the soil while capillary action would draw deep soil moisture through the fabric to the surface where garden plant root zones are. Anybody try this before?

Posted by robbtoberfest 11 years ago


Anyone interested in table legs made from books?

I made this table for the art section where I work, and I'm mostly just wanting to show it off because it took forever and I think it turned out pretty well. But I'm also wondering if anyone would like to see how I did it before I get involved in another big project, haha. I was really stupid and didn't take pictures the first time. :) (The weird sign on top of it is basically explaining that it is sturdy even though it's a little wobbly just because of the fact that it's made out of Reader's Digest Condensed volumes. :P)

Posted by jessyratfink 11 years ago


Extreme water cooling idea for computer chilling plus dust protection

I started to play around with some compressor cooling devices, otherwise known as fridges, freezers or airconditioners ;) As with everything it started with a lot of reading, some doing, more reading, well you get the point... Anyways, I am now running an old and portable split airconditioner on hydrocarbons instead of the already escaped R22 refrigerant. With all this experimenting I got reminded that my computer does not really like to do hard gaming work on these hot days. There are already a lot of infos out there on how to use water and/or heatpipes to cool your system. One thing that they all have in common is that you need a chiller to cool the water. Now, there are really tons of options here - from using an old bar fridge to hold the water up to big direct chillers that can be used 24/7 and cost a small fortune. Here in Victoria the weather might be more forgiving but up north the humidity will be your main enemy if you want to use any decent cooling system. Imagine 90% humitiy and the water condensing on pipes and coolers inside your computer... Some systems compensate here by using a temp of around 12°C at the lowest to minimise the risk of condensation. But I think we can do better for cheaper if we are willing to get dirty and salvage some scrap. If it also a great way to protect your computer in a dusty and hot workshop enviroment! Let me explain the thought: Considering the costs for a decent air cooled system over the expense for just a basic water cooling kit it might be worth spending the extra money otherwise. What makes a normal and not overclocked computer go too hot assuming it is clean and free from dust? Right - the outside temperature and how hard we actually use it. Normal systems are designed to work at a room temp between 18 and 24°C, we are often lucky to have it under 30 in the summer. Getting a CPU to just under 70° if the outside air is already over 30° is hard if not impossible. But what if the computer would be in one of these fancy server rooms that are kept at 16° throughout the year? Problem solved, just win the lottery to get your server room build. Step back a bit and think again ;) If we make an additional and well insulated enclosure to put the computer in we would only need to worry about making it pretty much air tight and keeping the inside always under 20°C. Now follow me to my imaginary shopping trip... First step is getting a decent sized cooler box - you can build your own of course I would go for these oversizes Esky chests. Next step is a visit to the local hard rubbish collection or scrap yard. We look for a bar fridge or water cooling tower that has a condenser that will fit on the side or back of our cooling box. Prefer something old running on R22 instead of R134a if you can. If the system already has one or two service ports for filling even better, otherwise see you get one from a different fridge or freezer. The fun starts back home where we now make a big mess. The cooling system needs to come apart and if not a tower the fridge around it has to go without damaging pipes or condensers. Perfect would be to have a working system and to keep it in this condition to avoid the illegal escape or refrigerant. It also make it easier than having to refill it again. On the other hand getting a system that is already professionally evacuated as most scrap yards now do anyway can make the modding easier - up to your skill set and options to have the system checked and filled. Once we have a naked cooling system we get the cold side into the cooler box. Either by creating a slot to slide it in or by feeding the hoses through holes if you plan to do your own thing in terms of testing and filling. The compressor part and "hot side" are mounted securely to the outside of the box. If you still have the thermostat working and connected you can now check your homebuild fridge. To get the computer inside you have several option, IMHO the easiest is use one big enough hole to get all cables to the outside. You want this hole to end up as airtight as possible, I found candle wax to be a good sealer if you place some painters tape on the box first. So far this was the easy part, the hard part is now to make sure the humidity inside the box stays as low as possible. When the compressor starts cooling the evaporator will go to very low temperatures, even if you set the thermostat to 10° the cold side will condese or even freeze the moisture in the air. Unlike with direct cooling option inside your computer we now have a "cold trap" outside the coputer that we use to our advantage! Easiest option here is to have a catchment under the cold side to collect the condensing water and to let it discharge through a small tube to the outside. Once the system was operating for a few days there should be no moisture left inside our box unless it is not properly sealed. At this point you could be tempted to just set the thermostat to the coldest possible - I advise against it! Imagine the inside of the box is below freezing - the capacitors won't like it to start with and since we now have all surface subcooled the moisture can condense everywhere not warm enough, including your mainboard. A temp of around 10°C should be more than enough for normal gaming and gives the compressor a chance to turn off every now and then so any ice can drop off and exit. If you like the idea use it and make a featured Instructable out of it, my time is too limited at the moment to get serious with this.

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago


Need help with DIY cooler insulation

Long time fan, first time poster. I'm looking to convert a cool-looking vintage toolbox into a heavy duty lunchbox. I'm currently prepping the metal for paint and looking into what I can use to insulate the box. I've thought of: * spray foam insulation: Good coverage and thermal protection, but not water-resistant enough (think condensation) * fiberglass insulation (pink stuff): Good, but unsure about how cold it will keep things * styrofoam: probably the one inch sheets used for basement walls below grade. Best solution so far. Before I do something that will likely mean stripping the box clean and starting over, I thought it best to see what others might have to say about this. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Posted by Jiggsy 8 years ago


Computer program learns physics

From Wired:"In just over a day, a powerful computer program accomplished a feat that took physicists centuries to complete: extrapolating the laws of motion from a pendulum's swings.Developed by Cornell researchers, the program deduced the natural laws without a shred of knowledge about physics or geometry. ...Condensing rules from raw data has long been considered the province of human intuition, not machine intelligence. It could foreshadow an age in which scientists and programs work as equals to decipher datasets too complex for human analysis."LinkThe software has a long way to come, but apparently it's showing a lot of promise.What do you guys think? If computers can do physics better than humans, does that make human physicists obsolete?

Posted by drinkmorecoffee 9 years ago


Big project, little parts..Need serious electrical tech help.

Well, long story short in my dumpster diving salvaging e-waste ... 2 Lorex CCTVs. One cord cut, the other intact. I disassembled the cut cord. Lr38603A PCB. Wires Identified GND 12v+ Audio Video  Analog, so USB is out of question. Acer Aspire 5100 laptop. The mommy is toasted (cause mobo sounds so geefy.) so disassembled and salvaged usable parts.I think I tossed the condenser into my "melt parts off circuit board" bin... so I need a condenser and PCB controller which leads me to something I found in my parts bin... CRT monitor, stripped and kept the  VGA PCB, unfortunately it does not have an S-Video and I think it's irrelevant here but I'm quite new to this hack n mod stuff... So, here's what I'm trying to do: Use the LCD from the laptop as a display for the analog camera, I also have several lens and such from damaged optics (hunting scopes, monocular etc) so with the lens I'll put them in a tube and craft a digital microscope. I know you can buy a cheapie USB one, but I want the pride of making something, to be able to understand the tech, and also re-use discarded electronics. I have a pretty good idea of what to do, but I've never worked on anything that involves a serious power source from an outlet and do not want to fry myself, and would like some guidelines/what to research. Google is not being helpful and nearly all the camera hacks I've came across are for USB based cameras. I have access to a solder station, voltometer and a slew of other parts from various electronics, mostly VCR's I'd like to keep the spending to a minimum, but not at the expense of safety. Can anyone help? Thanks :D

Posted by bvarious 3 years ago


SciFi Essay Topics - Any Ideas?

For school, I have to write a 6-8 page essay, double spaced, about a chose topic. My teacher said we could pick our own, but she (a) has to approve of it, and (b) it has to be mysterious/unsolved/SciFi/urban legend/consipracy theory. Also, any suspicious crimes, like that concerning Lizzie Borden, are also accepted. My friend is writing of the Chupacabra. Does anyone have any ideas on some good topics, that I won't be straining to find info to write about, i.e., a topic with a ton of info, so much so that I have to condense it? I love the genre that my teacher gave, conspiracy theories, SciFi, and urban legends are my thing. I just can't think of any that would be worth writing so much about. Thanks, I appreciate it!

Posted by Bran 11 years ago


Op-Amp Help

Hi- So, I made the circuit below to make sound-reactive blinky LEDs for a halloween costume (the round thing on the left is a condenser mic). I think I just got lucky that it worked, because I'm no genius when it comes to op-amp usage or design. Now I want to adapt it to control something else that needs a slightly higher voltage than the LEDs. Basically, I'd like the output to swing as high as V+ when the mic input is "loud" (a relative and possibly adjustable level). I've messed around with various resistor values as well as adding or removing resistors in places it seemed like it would help (according to the LM741 datasheet). All to no avail. Anyone out there who might know what to do? Again, I want the mic input to cause the output to go as hight as V+ (9V in this case) when it's loud, and be more or less at 0V when it's "quiet." Thanks in advance, _mykle

Posted by deadbilly 9 years ago


How can I get a ventilator to suck air from a smoke machine and trap the smoke?

 Hi, I`m making a 2meter laser etched cardboard dinamic sculpture face of a girl inhaling smoke with a smoke machine on the mouth, and I want to imitate this inhaling effect!:  2 Q> what can I use to get the "nose" to absorb the smoke? :  {"A fan or blower can be used to suck the vapor in. Then if you have a long enough duct or large enough chamber let the vapor evaporate/dissipate. You can also run it through a furnace filter to help condense the water vapor faster. "} https://www.rolight.nl/Home/Webshop/effect/rookmachine/EFNELOQ20/Look-viper-S-DMX-met-2liter-regular-fog I got the fog machine 2.1 Q> -I am looking for a strong fan or blower that sucks the air in like a nose (and some machine that traps the smoke particles coming from the smoke machine), but What am I looking for more specifically?  

Posted by DIAGONALLIS 1 year ago


DISCLAIMER for an old instructable

This instructable is missing vital, or rather deadly information:https://www.instructables.com/id/Drink-Your-Own-Pee---survival-guide/i posted a comment on it, but i doubt anybody will read it. if it is already contained in the instructable, and i haven't seen it, please forgive me.: HeLLO!!!!! I lnow i am VERY late with this post, and i hope someone still reads it.NEVER DRINK URINE! EVER! WhY? well, for one, fresh urine contains no bacteria, unless you suffer from bad kidney disease, in which case, you probably couldn't pee anymore.so why not drink it? because ALL TOXIC WAIST of your body leaks into your urine. those remain inside this primitive distillation device on the soil ,as mineral salts, the water being evaporated and recondesed on the foil, thus recuperated. so, this thing is basically a sun powered water distillation thingie. in emergency situations, you can distilate your urine by other means too, to drink water out of it. just DON'T DRINK URINE, NOT EVEN BOILED. ESPECIALLY NOT BOILED. the water getting evaporated by boiling, the urine increases the concentration of toxines. you can only boil it up to collect the steams, which condense into water. that's what you wanna drink.

Posted by DonQuijote 10 years ago


Looking for a thermostat

I am a science teacher and need help finding a thermostat to fix the department's water distiller. It looks very similar to the "Waterwise 9000 contemporary distiller" but is slightly different in appearance. The basic operation is you fill the reservoir and turn it on, the water boils and is then condensed and drips into the bottle that slides into the front of the device. When the heater reaches a certain temperature a thermostat turns on the cooling fan, when the device cools to below that temperature the cooling fan turns off. There are lots of warnings about running it without the fan because it will burn out the heater. I have tested the heater and it works fine, I can bypass the thermostat and the fan works fine, but the thermostat no longer switches on the fan. If I can find a replacement thermostat that should fix the entire distiller but it seems to be a custom order only for the manufacturer who wants you to buy a whole new distiller. Can anyone suggest an appropriate substitute? The code on the side of the thermostat is:  36tme02 22471 f150-15f p185-97 a0615 I found a similar image on the emerson site for a 36T thermodisc thermostat http://www.thermodisc.com/en-US/Products/Bimetal/Pages/36T.aspx Does anyone know how to figure out the switching temperature from the code from the side of the thermostat? Any suggestions are appreciated!

Posted by CitizenScientist 6 years ago


Help to make a self watering drip irrigation system (using an air well+gravity pressure drip irrigation)

Hello, lately I have become interested in DIY drip irrigation systems and have begun building one myself. The I started thinking:" wouldn't it be great if I didn't have to manually fill up the tank?" and remembered that there was already a very low tech way to get water: the air well!! Well, why not put the two things together? The air well collects the water and then this is distributed to the plants through the drip irrigation system. Obviously people have already thought about this (here's a link to a great project http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/airdrop_irrigation_wins_first_prize_at_2011_james_dyson_awards/), but I was thinking if there was a way to build something even less technological, i.e. with no pump (I would rather use gravity instead) and no special condenser, but rather something made from recycled/easy to get parts. After all I don't live in a desert, so a less efficient system would do just fine. It's just so that I don't have to carry heavy buckets of water to quench the thirst of my synergic garden. Cheers

Posted by wilson14 6 years ago


Mounting Lenses On Your Microscope

I found a broken cell phone with it’s camera and wondered if the lens could be used as a microscope objective. Image A shows the lens and it’s mounting with the CCD. The back of the lens is shown. The lens is about 4 to 5 mm in diameter. The starters from florescent lights make good lens holders. Image B shows a starter along with my modifications to hold the cell camera lens. The starter tube has 4 slits along the length so it can be compressed to fit the turret of the microscope. Image C shows it mounted on the turret. Image D shows the resulting view of a feather. It’s quite bad. Image E shows, for comparison, the view through an ordinary 20x objective (.40 NA). Here are some more lenses that I tried: Lens from a discarded flatbed scanner..... Very good! Lens from a 8mm movie camera...... Fair. Lens from the laser pickup of a discarded CD player..... Almost worthless. To take pictures through the microscope, I used eyepiece projection with a wide angle eyepiece. The lens on the camera was set to wide angle and maximum aperture, with a remote used to trigger the shutter. The camera’s LCD was used to focus and adjust the image. The camera’s autofocus handles the rest. For even illumination, be sure to center the objective lens over the substage condenser.

Posted by ShutterBugger 8 years ago


Help to make a self watering drip irrigation system (using an air well+gravity pressure drip irrigation)

Hello, lately I have become interested in DIY drip irrigation systems and have begun building one myself. The I started thinking:" wouldn't it be great if I didn't have to manually fill up the tank?" and remembered that there was already a very low tech way to get water: the air well!! Well, why not put the two things together? The air well collects the water and then this is distributed to the plants through the drip irrigation system. Obviously people have already thought about this (here's a link to a great project http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/airdrop_irrigation_wins_first_prize_at_2011_james_dyson_awards/), but I was thinking if there was a way to build something even less technological, i.e. with no pump (I would rather use gravity instead) and no special condenser, but rather something made from recycled/easy to get parts. After all I don't live in a desert, so a less efficient system would do just fine. It's just so that I don't have to carry heavy buckets of water to quench the thirst of my synergic garden. Cheers Another cool thing to make would be a poor man's version of this http://www.groasis.com/en

Posted by wilson14 6 years ago


How clouds act as an air pump to suck in air. Not how you think they do!

I have been thinking a long time about the biotic pump theory but I still don't understand it.  The math is too hard for me.   BUT it got me to thinking.   It is a point of major dispute in the meteorological world.   Does condensation cause low pressure?  2 russian nuclear physicists say yes,  almost everyone else says no!   So,  I thought and thought and thought.  Now I think I have a simple enough explanation And yes, they may not necessarily cause low pressure under the cloud (probably do)  but they definitely suck in air from elsewhere.  Imagine a fleet of huge doughnut shaped dirigible airships. They are sitting at 10,000 ft just floating there.   Now the commander tells everyone that they must now fly at 5000 ft.   So they turn on their propellers (in the hole in the doughnut) and drop down to 5000 ft by propelling air up  through the hole.   Now staying at 5000 ft is achieved by running the propellers at just fast enough.  So at 5000 ft they are pumping air from under the doughnuts to above them.   Now imagine a cumulus cloud.  Even though it is not fixed in size or shape and it does not have a propeller,  it is doing the exact same thing.  Air is being pumped up the middle and the clouds are sitting lower in the sky than they "should",  because they are sending that column of air up into the sky.   Here is my video to explain it visually.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPO8dWm_GIg

Posted by gaiatechnician 3 years ago


Amazing Family of DIY Pirates Cross Atlantic Ocean in Raft Made from Garbage!

This is actually old news at this point, but it's so awesome that I think it deserves some attention on Instructables. A unique family called the Neutrinos built a raft from garbage and scraps found on the streets of New York City, perfected their design during numerous trips along the coast, and then during the summer of 1998 spent 60 days floating it across the Atlantic in 20ft seas while fending off swirling currents and heart attacks!Needless to say, the story warranted some further investigation, upon which I learned that these empowered adventurers have built many rafts over the past 20 years. The children of the family were born in Mexico and raised in the circus. The more I read about their story, the more interested and excited I become.Check out the details at their extensive website - The Floating Neutrinos where they write about the other rafts they have built, brain reprogramming, and about their newest project: The Vilma B, a floating 128' orphanage housing up to 25 children!National Geographic TV featured their home-made a movie about their journey across the Atlantic, and a new movie about the family is on the way. Watch the trailer here.If you don't have time to dig through the entire site, you can check out the condensed summary of it all at http://www.paulsorganic.com/most-fascinating.htmIf anyone knows more about these people please reply - I can't stop reading about their adventures and getting exciting about floating somewhere myself!

Posted by noahw 10 years ago


Technology Makes Cheap Drinking Water from Air

INTRODUCTION:   How can we best apply basic technology to help the underprivileged and/or disaster-hit countries like Haiti? Daily hygiene and nourishment are among the top needs for disaster ridden regions!  Simply put, no water means no hygiene. The Romans understood that over two millennia ago and created their complexly beautiful aqueduct networks for handling both fresh and wastewater! Other ingenious water systems like “air wells” have been found in the city of Theodosia (cf: discovered in 1900 by Zibold, see Zibold’s Collectors/Dehumidifiers) dating back to Greco-Roman times during the Byzantine Empire. These were strictly passive systems that naturally dehumidified air, collecting its potable water in underground basins. All air, even in relatively dry desert regions, will precipitate or release its natural water content (initially in the form of vapor) through condensation when it hits its dew-point temperature and below. That means you “chill” it to an appropriate level that is anywhere from 5F to 50F below its current air temperature, depending upon how much water content (relative humidity) it has locally absorbed. The condensation of the water vapor releases its internal latent heat (reheating the cooled air) which must be constantly dissipated (absorbed by something) in order for water formation to steadily continue. So how do we dissipate this resultant vapor-heat and chill our air without any infrastructure or electricity, in an underprivileged or disaster-ridden region? We simply bury a long cast-iron or any metallic drain-pipe sufficiently underground where the temperature of the earth is naturally held to a constant at around 45F to 55F. That’s our “free” chiller gift from nature. One end of the pipe, Figure-1,  sticks out of the ground to suck-in local outside hot air, and the other end dumps cooled dry air and water into an underground cistern where it gets collected and is piped to the surface to both exhaust the cooled dry air and connect to a water pump. We need a hand operated water pump to lift up the water above ground, and we need an electric fan to constantly pump air through the ground-chilled piping system. We can even force the cooled piped air to exhaust into a tent-like structure where it provides air conditioning as an added bonus, but this adds the penalty of both power and the increased fan size necessary to drive our required airflow further into an enclosure! While this concept is not “passive” (requiring electricity to work) like those clever Byzantine air-wells, it will produce much more potable water and within a smaller volume than those elegantly passive historic devices. The electricity for our fan power requirements can be produced by any one of four ways using either “active” or “passive” techniques: 1) An active playground or bike-pedaling-person or oxen-driven mechanism-generator, 2) A passive windmill generator, 3) A passive solar energy collection system that directly generates electricity, or 4) A passive thermo-electric system that directly generates electricity using the Peltier effect, operating solely on temperature differences between the cell’s top and bottom surface (we jury-rig the cool pipe and hot ambient air to contact separate sides of the cell). Depending upon how much water is needed, the required air volume plus pipe length and diameter, together with the fan will be sized accordingly. We can also configure groups of parallel fan-driven air pipes that are radially fed into the cistern. The sizing of this underground network depends upon the ambient air’s local average temperature and relative humidity (how much water gets absorbed into the air) plus buried pipe depth and effective underground temperatures achieved. The basic concept is one where we “wring” water from air at some given humidity content. The higher its relative humidity the more water is recovered from the air. The air-wringing process simply chills the air as it scrubs along the cooled internal pipe surface until it starts to rain inside the pipe from condensation onto its surface. The condensation is like the dew that forms on car windows, grass or any cooled surface in the early morning, before the sun comes out and evaporates the dew back into the heating air. A further bonus is that our dew-formed water is naturally distilled and very clean. It is potable water ready to drink without the need for additional sterilizing agents. Of course, we must make sure that the interior piping and cistern network is biologically cleansed before burying it underground. The hand pump with its 10 to 15 foot extended piping to reach the underground cistern must also be cleansed. The beauty of this constantly replenishable water supply is its convenient underground installation anywhere! After the in-ground installation, we have a virtual, partially passive, no moving parts, non-breakdown system containing above ground total access to all moving parts that could breakdown, namely the water pump and electric fan. Also, it is easily maintained, with few moving parts (water hand-pump and electric fan) and basically lacking any technical complexity which makes it ideal for technologically backward regions. The example below uses a relatively small industrial fan moving air at 1500 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) with a DC motor rated at 1kW. This fan together with our underground piping system will conservatively generate 12 GPH (Gallons Per Hour) of potable drinking water without need for any purification chemistry. Based on an average electrical cost of 14-cents per kWh (kilo-Watt hour), the typical commercial distillation of one gallon of drinking water costs roughly 35-cents as compared to our cost of only 1.2-cents. Furthermore, if we decide to go green and use solar energy for generating our water, it would effectively cost us nothing beyond the initial installation! USING A PSYCHROMETRIC CHART TO SIZE OUR WATER SUPPLY: The following gets a little technical and is only provided for those die-hards who are truly interested in how the science works. Those non-technically schooled may skip this part and not miss the basic concept. Figure-2 shows a Psychrometric Chart for air. This chart summarizes some of the basic thermodynamic properties of air throughout its typical range of operating temperature. The chart uses six basic air properties that defines the physical chemistry of water evaporation into air:  (1) the enthalpy or total energy contained within a unit of air which is a combination of its internal and external energy, expressed as the amount of BTU-energy per unit mass of reference dry-air, (2) the specific volume or the ratio of a unit volume of local air to its mass of reference dry-air, (3) the humidity ratio or the amount (mass) of moisture in a local unit of air divided by its reference mass of dry-air, (4) the percent relative humidity per unit of local air, or the mass ratio (expressed in percentage form) of the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture to the saturated vapor pressure of water at those conditions (the relative humidity depends not only on air temperature but also on the pressure of the system of interest),  (5) the dry-bulb temperature or the locally measured air temperature, and (6) the wet-bulb temperature or saturation temperature which is the local air temperature experienced during constant water evaporation (a wet-bulb thermometer is typically used:   a thermometer that measures resultant temperature while wrapped in a water wet-gauze and spun to generate local air movement and max-evaporation)  1.0   The Process and A Sample Calculation Our Psychrometric Chart uses six thermodynamic properties that help to determine the amount of water available for extraction from the local ambient air as a function of its temperature, pressure and relative humidity.  Let’s assume the following local ambient conditions for the region we plan to construct our water system at:  (1) Typical daily air temperature Td = 106F and one atmosphere pressure assumed at sea-level, (2) Relative Humidity, RH = 55%, and (3) Typical underground temperature down at six feet is measured at Tu=55F (at 12ft. it drops to ~45F). This yields the following calculated results for obtaining a steady-state supply (changes at night) of water to fill the cistern:      1)      In our example, the “local” air (dry-bulb) temperature is Td=106F, at a relative humidity of RH= 55%.  Fig-2 indicates that the resultant Humidity Ratio is HR= 0.0253 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air (intersection of Td=106F line and RH=55% line, then horizontal to HR value).  We then determine the “gulp” of air volume containing the HR Lbs-water which corresponds to the point of intersection of Td and RH. Interpolating on specific volume “mv” yields mv=14.7 ft3/Lb-Dry-Air (this value sets the optimum unit airflow for our given ambient conditions, and creates a ballpark pipe length to diameter ratio needed later). It represents the basic unit of air volume that will enter our underground pipe per given time, and ultimately defines the size of our fan and piping network. For increased water creation, multiples of this unit volume will scale up the additional amounts of water that can be collected. 2)      As the inlet air cools down to a temperature of Tu=55F, from contact with the relatively cold underground pipe, we follow the constant enthalpy line (red upward left-diagonal) from the intersection of Td and RH to its saturated air temperature condition of Ts= ~88F, which is its dew-point temperature where the corresponding local RH=100%.  At this temperature or under, the air precipitates and releases its moisture content, resulting in water condensation onto the pipe walls.  Since our air will chill to a final pipe temperature of Tu=~55F, we follow the RH=100% saturated curve (green) down to yield an HR=~0.009 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air. This is how much water is left in the air when it gets to 55F.  Therefore for every pound of local outside air that enters the pipe, mw=0.0253 – 0.009 = 0.0163 pounds of absolute pure, distilled potable water precipitates onto the inside pipe wall (per pound of dry air that is cooled and dehydrated) to gravity-flow out the pipe exit and into the cistern. 3)      We now convert pounds of air per unit time into a unitized volumetric airflow that yields gallons of hygienically pure potable water production per unit time. For every Va=100 ft3 of local volumetric air movement per minute (CFM) through the pipe, which translates into ma=Va/mv= 100/14.7 = 6.8 lbs. of dry air per minute or 6.8 * 60 = 408 lbs. per hour (PPH), to yield a water-flow of mwf=ma * mw = 408 * 0.0163 = 6.65 PPH or 6.65/8.345 = 0.8 GPH of water.  An industrial fan rated at 1kW DC will typically move 1500 CFM at a pressure of 8-iwc, to continuously produce 15 * 0.8 = 12 GPH of pristine potable water. 4)      Not shown here are the design details of sizing our pipe, fan and solar collection system for electric power requirements using heat transfer principles coupled with a thermodynamic heat balance, and aerodynamic fan performance assessment. These details help to size the electric power generation requirements plus margin used to properly size a solar collector containing further margins for overcast days. The engineering involved here is straight forward but beyond the scope of the current project.

Posted by RT-101 6 years ago


Solar cookery

Hi there. I am just new to the site, I have been wanting to practice solar cookery for a while when i stumbled upon this site. Guys I am amazed at what i have found here. I live in Noosa, Australia and its a very eco minded community. I have wanted to go and build a solar oven for a while but i live in an appartment so space is limited. we have a balcony which gets a large amount of sun in the morning till about 1pm. So i have an idea to build a water heater of sorts which i would like to be able to used to preserve food in the form of jams chutneys and any jared preserve basicly ( I'm also a chef so i have a know of alot ot things i can preserve including meats ) . I think my only issue is reaching high enough temperatures to be deemed safe ( above 78 C for long periods) .  My idea to do this is to use a larger sized container say around the size of a 5 litre bucket and set up a heat sink to help the temperature to get higher longer.  For the heat sink materials i was thinking of using aluminium cans and perhaps to line the bucket with it too ( perhaps just foil instead for ease). I would like to set up and array around the bucket to help collect as much sun as possible for as long as possible and seal the entire container to help condense the water pressure to sustain the heat.  I guess i question is will a large abound of heat sinks help to heat the water significantly. any advice would be welcome and yes i wull document this when i make it on my next days off work.

Posted by jramsay1 7 years ago


The Eco Powerplant

  Creating a Permanent IcePack in the Eastern Sierra A permanent Ice pack in a north south valley of the Carson Basin could insure constancy of water supply to Fallon area farmers and ranchers. Creating a permanent icepack in Northern Nevada is technologically and economically feasible, given the right location . This project will be solar powered, and serve as a peaking unit during times of high electrical demand. This technology will produce energy from solar by PV Panels mounted on a giant spanning grid over a north south valley in the eastern Sierra. A properly excavated mine could also serve as a location. Proximity to gas distribution and an electrical sub line are also important . This facilities' economic importance as a producer of LNG from surplus stock cannot be overstated. The upper part of the oval consists of a space grid spanning the valley or excavation. It is covered with steerable PV panels. The PV panels may be inserted into the grid or used to create liquid air , which in turn can be used to produce LNG. The thermal energy storage as liquid air would be contained underground in the mountainside itself.In Northern Nevada, these mountains are usually solid rock formations imbedded in sandy detritus, an excellent insulating material. Vast amounts of wind power are also available during spring and summer.   During summer peak demand, liquid air could be re expanded to run generators.   And most importantly , this plant will produce as a by product of its operation large amounts of water in the desert by freezing the ground on which it operates. Wet air passing over an expanse of frozen mountain rock will condense, and either form ice or rain. The production and maintenance of a liquid air production and re-expansion facility will also produce large amounts of water during times of high humidity.   Suitable locations in the Eastern Sierra would by necessity by close to either the Truckee or Carson River Basin.    

Posted by Mud Stuffin 6 years ago


Solution to turning on/off gas: new pump design.

I've been working a couple weeks now on solving the problem I posted here on how to improve my pump design by alternating the feed of ethanol vapour. I got good feedback but ultimately all the solutions involved mechanisms which were going to be somewhat tricky to build and source, which is against the brief of the project I'm working on; being an open source solar tracker concentrator makeable from scrap. In the end I solved the problem by largely redesigning the whole pump. Since it's driven by boiling ethanol, rather than add an extra mechanism for turning the feed of vapour off and on, I reduced the amount of ethanol being boiled, so that it boils itself out after an appropriate period. The vapour is then able to collapse fully, which sucks in more liquid ethanol and refills the system. 1. At the bottom right is the boiler, which holds about 2-3 ml ethanol. 2. This boils and the vapour enters the 'chamber' (the half blue, half white (liquid and gas)), forcing out the liquid, which pours into the wheel, ending up in the main reservoir. 3. This continues until the eths in the boiler has boiled away to the extent that it can no longer overcome the rate of re-condensation in the chamber, which starts to suck, so to speak. 4. This draws liquid from the reservoir, which passes through the boiler, shutting off the boil, the pressure drops quickly and the chamber and boiler refill with liquid. 5. Two valves (the only moving parts, besides the wheel) keep all this going in the right direction. 6. Repeat. The wheel provides the motion for the solar tracker. It's not in by any means powerful or efficient, but the whole thing can be made from a bit of metal tube, some thin pipe, a glass jar and two valves from bike inner tubes (plus a paint tin, bike wheel bearing and some drinks cans for the wheel). I haven't had a chance to try it in the field yet, but powered by a candle it seems to work fairly well. Blog entry here, will post photos and videos when available.

Posted by SolarFlower_org 8 years ago


Question on using a Peltier/TEC device for air temperature control - Help please.

I want to have some control over the temperature inside the Orchidium I'm designing and I thought it might be cool :) to use a Peltier Device (device aka module) (Peltier aka TEC or Thermoelectric Cooler). I find I need a lot of help! (Please!) Alright, this isn't a completed Instructable, it's a plea for help, and maybe if the subjects lie in some of your fields of knowledge then we can all enjoy and learn from it. So, the Orchidium I'm designing is an acrylic case 24"W x 18"D x 30"High. It's to grow species orchids indoors in a microclimate, with LED grow lights, proper humidity, air movement and temperature control. (Of course, other critters would like the case, too: poison dart frogs, newts, carniverous plants, etc.. But I'm going to call it the Orchidium.) I've got it all pretty well planned out so that it can be built for a very reasonable price (yes, including the LEDs) and still be aesthetically pleasing and real purdy, too. All planned out EXCEPT FOR THE TEMPERATURE CONTROL. I was looking for some way to cool my case and I stumbled across Peltier devices in eBay. They are CHEAP, costing about $5 or more, depending on the Wattage, etc. The eBay sellers intimated that all you have to do is plug them in and the device gets ice cold. Later, with diligent web-study I learned that actually ONE SIDE of the peltier gets cold, while the other side gets hot. Also, you MUST attach a heat sink and fan to both (?) sides of the peltier. Also, that these devices are not ready to be plugged in; you must attach a DC power supply to them. Oh, another trick that these miraculous devices do is reverse their hot & cold sides when you reverse the polarity of their juice. Ideally, I would like a Peltier device with heatsinks, fans, a thermostat and a DC wall transformer attached... the Peltier/heatsinks/fans would measure about 2" x 2" x 6" and would be mounted in the sidewall of the Orchidium. When the temperature is 65-85F degrees the orchids are happy and the device is Off. But when the thermostat senses the internal temp going over 85F it turns on the Peltier, cold side inside, and so the inside of the case doesn't go up to 90-95F like mine does now; it cools the case a little. Conversely, for someone with chilly orchids or sneezing newts the thermostat would switch the Peltier to hot-side-in to heat the Orchidium a bit. The retail cost for us to buy a Peltier device, 2 heatsinks w/fans and a DC transformer is cheap... roughly $30. The thermostat might be cheap, but I don't know enough about what's needed. If it's too expensive then the Orchidium can do without it. I was hoping I could find an off-the-shelf Orchidium cooler/heater. No such luck. These miraculous Peltier devices are still practically undiscovered -- relatively speaking. People want to use them to cool their computer chips but are hampered by condensation; my orchids welcome condensation. Pathetically, it seems the most common use for Peltiers now is to cool/heat the little boxes on your car seat... they plug into your cigarette lighter and keep your 6-pack cold. Come on! You folks at Instructables can surely help me figure out how to best make an Orchidium cooler with this barely-discovered and poorly-utilized device. I started out a few weeks ago writing to many of the Peltier manufacturers around the world in hopes they might help me in choosing which of their modules I might purchase for my Orchidium. None of them was any help. They wanted to know how many million Orchidiums I planned per year. They told me my basic plan was hopeless or inefficient cost-wise. A Swedish company wanted $800. An American company wanted $500. Some other company wanted $5,000 to $8,000. I wrote back and said I could get a Peltier on eBay for five bucks. The Swedes snottily claimed that their Peltiers were very high quality. No. No way is any svensker Peltier $795 better than ANY other Peltier in the known universe. They both get cold and grow ice crystals on one side. I just need to cool the case A LITTLE BIT, like from 90 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I am not trying to make a refrigerator or freezer. The case (Orchidium) is large, at about 7.5 cubic feet, and there is practically no insulation. Acrylic provides a little insulation, that's all. The temp of the interior of the case is derived from the ambient room temperature of your house... and the lights... which is why I designed it with LEDs. There is a constantly-operating muffin fan inside the case to provide air movement for the plants, but it does not provide any evaporative cooling since it's a closed case. So, first off what size Peltier do you recommend... do you think a 40 Watt would be enough, or what? Next, the placement. I envision the Peltier device mounted vertically through a hole in the side of the case. It might be a plan to mount it in the ceiling, but remember that the LEDs take up most of the ceiling. Next, the heatsinks. I confess I'm not totally clear on this, but I "think" that 2 heatsinks-with-fans may be needed, with one sticking out the outside and the other inside the case. I went ahead and got 2 heatsink/fans from Newegg for supercheap ($1 after rebate), but they aren't really what I want. They're actually shaped to fit some AMD chip. What I think I need is a copper heatsink with a flat bottom a little bigger than the Peltier, and fins... and a heatsink fan attached... and some way to attach it to the Peltier, and through the case to the other heatsink. See? Simple... well it should be but I can find nothing. Next, the power supply. I know it has to be DC, but I don't know which brick to get. I did find a bunch of DC or AC Wall Transformers for sale at alltronics... around $10 or so. All that stuff would be enough... at least to test the cooling power. But if we want to go whole hog then the icing on the cake would be thermostatic control of the Peltier. Well, I throw that out in case one of you is sharp in that field.

Posted by Knuten 10 years ago


Magnets, Magnetism, Field lines ???? An expert is needed for green wind power.

This is best placed in the green group as it is for the production of green electricity, but I think that it would not be out of place in the science section also. I have an idea, quite probably not an original one but an idea all the same. It came about as we go camping as a family and have been off the grid a few times. Basically we have had no way of charging our electronic devices for longish periods. Solar power I hear you cry, well that is all well and good if you live in a country that has good sunlight, but here in the UK it can be unpredictable and not produce enough charge to power modern devices. I am mucking about with dynamo’s on the bikes (pedal ones) and wind up devices. Something I am looking into is things like wind power or improved dynamo power. The basic principal behind all of these forms of power production is that of passing a conductor through a magnetic field to produce a potential difference on that conductor. Simples (reference to meerkat advert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBu0OtC6m9g). It has been a very long time since I have done anything like this (way back in school all those years ago) so please stick with me on this one. If I remember right the principal theory is that 1. The higher number of conductors (or loops in the coil) that passes through the field lines causes the voltage to be higher. 2. The stronger the magnetic flux the higher the current production within the conductors. This is a bit basic to some of you I am sure but I still need to get it out to confirm my thoughts. If this is wrong please correct me, as the title says, an expert is needed lol The bar magnet field lines project from the N end and loop back to the S end in this fashion Image 1 Putting two bar magnets together with N and S facing gives a field pattern like this Image 2 Now this is where I need the most help with. Toroidal magnets produce a different field pattern, and as far as I can make out from the internet it looks like this Image 3 & 4 What I want to know is what happens when you put two toroidal magnets on top of each other, what happens to the field lines then. I have thought that there are a few possibilities on this, the first is that the circular lines will extend to encompass both magnets creating like an hour glass formation in the cross section. The second is that field lines will combine/intermingle between the magnets and create a figure 8 pattern. In either of the two possibilities the field strength will be increased to what could be considered a focal point between the two magnets. So with the technical thoughts out of the way and progressing on the assumption that I am correct so far my thought of a high powered dynamo is this. A central shaft that is spun by wind or other means, attached to this shaft are disks like platters on a hard drive, attached to those platters are the toroidal magnets. The magnets are aligned and spaced to give maximum condensing of the field lines between the upper and lower platter. In the centre of the two (or more) platters is a fixed platter, not attached to the shaft and is stationary. On this stationary platter are the coils, fixed into position. Image 5 The coils are shaped and could be something like the voice coils out of a hard drive, which would be good as they would determine the size of the platters, being key stone shaped they will fit together to make a ring of coils. Image 6 The whole idea is based upon the maximising and focusing of the field lines from the magnets to a point producing the maximum amount of energy as the coils pass through the lines. I also think that due to the shaft being turned having little resistance or weight that even small amounts of wind energy would be able to turn it to produce the desired outcome. Now this is where I ask you all to comment and take my thoughts to bits where I have assumed things that are wrong. I have no problems being told where I am wrong as long as it is not in a nasty way. Cheers all

Posted by Batdragon 6 years ago


Wood gasifiers and safety - Carbon Monoxide poisoning - hospital

Sorry if it is in the wrong section of the forum. If it can be moved to a better place then do so. This is a quick mention to anyone that is playing around with any burners such as:    wood gas generator    bio-gas    wood gasifier    'hobo' stove I am not severely concerned but it did happen, I think it needs a mention, as it is for everyone's safety. After playing with wood gas and attempting methanol creation from a small gasifier unit for a few weeks, I had started to realize that each day I had a most annoying headache / migrane in my frontal area of my brain / head. They ended up getting so bad that my body could not tolerate them anymore and started to go into shock, causing a rather painful, endless throwing up session for many hours each time even.  It came to a point where after 3 weeks of playing with a bio-gas generator for about 4 hours a day had started to lead me into temporary blindness an hour and a half at a time. This was when I was concerned as I could not read any more instructables :( After a quick jot to the local doctors, I explained what I had been up to and I was correct. I had given myself the rather classic, and very close to death, carbon-monoxide poisoning where my doctor insisted I go to emergency at the hospital ( 2 hours away ) immediately and have someone else drive me. Pretty much equivalent to staying inside a garage with your car running for 5 hours, all the doors closed. I was very close to severe carbon monoxide poisoning and death.  At the hospital, blood was taken, analysed, and they had discovered large traces of C02 that they attempted to flush with some oxygen, but this only works to a point and they mentioned that nothing else could be done apart from telling me not to use or be near any smoke sources for at least 3 weeks and I should recover fine. I am still playing with my wood gas generators, and attempting to make methanol, but these days, after 3 days ago, I take further safety precautions to make sure it wont happen again. Such as: ventilation / exhaust fan ( I WAS OUTSIDE WHEN I WAS POISONED! DONT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY! ) keep a distance, find a better way to ignite / extinguish the burner keep your face and body out of the smoke dont watch the flames / smoke from above for any longer than 2 seconds do not taunt the Criosote by-product of wood. I am not sure which is more toxic. The smoke or this.   ( criosote / bio-crude, whatever you want to call it, it is the condensate of the burner unit containing more chemicals, very stinky) do not store criosote indoors withough a sealable container ( the smell likes to soak into things, like my kitchen ) if you know what you are doing, keep oxygen tank nearby use all protective clothing and masks, etc. There was a small arrogance in my head when playing with these units. And that is simply that I was thinking 'it is just smoke'. Wood gas generators are generating a much more toxic smoke than just sitting around your camping fire and should not be considered to be something to play with, without proper valves, pipes, burn off points etc. It contains on some scale: carbon-monoxide, methane, acids ( acetic ), tar and many other defects that will cause you issues if you are not careful. Keep it safe guys, this was a rather difficult one for explination, but I do not want someone other than me to be in that same sickness / position as I was with the poisoning, as it is the most painful experience I had yet had.  Worse than me hitting a tree head on at 80km/h. Worse than falling 2 stories off a cliff onto rocks. Worse than being hit by a car and thrown over it's windscreen. Worse than the feeling of an unsuccessful home made rocket launch. All of these above I have had happen to me, and the poisoning was by far the worst and I was scared more for my life than than any above accidents. It is not a very nice feeling, it is a deathly, sickly, useless feeling, blindness is not far away from death if found in this situation. Oxygen / fresh air is the only thing to help you if poisoned, even if in hospital. Keep it safe guys. If you want me to write up a full on poster on wood-gas / wood-heater safety I can or even just a propper write - up on general safety with this smoke and the wood gas units etc. Ask please and I will. Hospital staff will most likely give you 'items of interest' for instructables if you just ask them too. I have a heap of things from a stethoscope to vials to 'red dots' for homemade ECG machines. They tend to like crazies like me that make weird stuffs .. i hope ive gotten the point across anyway.   

Posted by AtomRat 6 years ago


Looking for a cheap compressor with a high pressure rating or for airbrush use?

Today a friend of mine asked me if I know a way to reduce the noise level of his compressor in the work shed. With the current heat he prefers to work in the evening and nights, which does not make his neighbours too happy. His main use for several airbrush guns and sometimes for mormal airtools or the big spray gun for an undercoat or similar. So his main concern is oil in the airline and the actual flow rate is of second concern as he has an old 25kg propane cyclinder as an additional air tank. For relative low air volumes I would suggest an old fridge compressor. With a thicker pipe at the outlet that is filled with stainless steel wool most of the oil stays in the compressor. That is if this pipe is a) long enough b) upright c) of sufficient diameter so there is enough for the oil to avoid it being pushed up A second, standard oil seperator will be enough for the oil level required for airbrush stuff - and most other things too. If there is no pressure regulator on the airbrush system it is best to add a small air tank and shut off valve for it. In our case however a fridge compressor would be just enough to keep the bigger airbrush gun running but not to fill the tank at the same time. Not to mention the problem of fluctuating pressure levels. Since we already had a tank and pressure shut off connected to the loud compressor it was only a matter of finding something that keeps the neighbours happy. The first thing we did was to check how often the compressor comes on and how long it runs till the tank is back to pressure. With that and the stated air volume on the compressor we guesstimated that something a bit bigger than the compressor of a window airconditioner should be sufficient. The search begins.... If you don't know what to look for I give you a few hints: Older airconditioners often run on R22 or R12 - both use quite high system pressures which is a bonus, but more on that later. As a rule of thumb for these compressors you cans say: the bigger the higher the flow rate. At the local wreckers and scrap yards we found a few units but noticed the bigger ones often used three phases and not just one :( So we opted for the R22 compressor of a 4.5kW unit. Keep in mind the 4.5kW is for the entire system, so the quite massive fans can be removed from the sum. Usually the compressor alone is the 2.5 - 3kW range. Ok, we found the big thing but how does this help us? First things first ;) The oil was removed as the housing stating the original oil amount. This allowed us to use an oil rated for air use that has little to no water absorption qualities - you don't want water in your compressor. With the usual heat the water should be no problem anyway. Next was a pressure test to make sure the thing actually still works, so we added some plumping in the form of standard connectors to the inlet and outlet. We got well above 200PSI and abondoned the test at this stage as it was more than enough already. The air volume seemd to be well more than expected too so let'S move to the next stage. A fridge or aircon compressor always needs to have a certain amount of oil in it as it will otherwise seize and overheat quickly. But they are also designed so that the oil mixes with the refrigerant to cool all moving parts. So the biggest hurdle is to make sure the oil stays where it should stay and won't enter or get lost in the tank. Only real option for this to use something to catch the oil that is capable of releasing it into the compressor once it shuts off. Now there are several options for this so I start with the most basic: A "catch can" will get most of the oil, especially if filled with stainless steel wool or similar. Downside is that you have to find a way to get it back into the compressor. A step better is a thicker pipe filled with stainless steel wool to catch the oil. If placed upright and the outgoing pipe can be bend a bit upwards you have a good chance that most of the oil will sweep through the valves and get back down into the compressor housing. But only too often the cheap or even free compressor is better than expected and the oil won't get back into the housing as the vlaves are just too good. The last and IMHO best option is a pressurised return system. Most compressors for bigger aircons have a seperate filling port or sealed off piece of pipe. In this case you can do a simple check to see if they are usable for our purposes. Open the port of pipe and use a simple bike bump or similar to get some pressure in it. With a dedicated oil filling port you are best off but they are hard to find. The air you pump in should come out of the high pressure side - you might need a little pressure to overcome the valves. If you hear any bubbling in the housing (use a pipe on your ear or a sensitive microphone) it means you are going through the oil inside the compressor - perfect! You might not hear any bubbling but the port or pipe is still usable. Get ready with your fingers and start the compressor. The fill pipe should be sucking air in, same for the service port if there is one. A dedicated oil port should not suck but instead force some oil up if you cover the high pressure outlet. I assume all is good and no oil is splashing out of the open pipe or port. Add a small amount of oil with a syringe or similar into the port/pipe. If you see an oil mist coming out of the high side it is bad news. Clean outlet air is good. To get the oil back from the catch pipe or can we have to add a hose or pipe with a needle valve. It needs to be adjusted so that there is only a very little airflow (or oil mist) coming out. This regulated outlet is now being connect to the port/pipe with a bit of suction that we found earlier. Now every time the compressor runs the collected oil is forced back into the compressor :) Please double check the port/pipe used is not directly connected to the intake port! The last thing you want is a puddle of oil going into the cylinder and damaging it! They are designed to move gas but not liquid! If in doubt use a hardened sttel nail or similar to create a small puncture in the top of the compressor housing if there is nothing else to use. Check first if the material sound very thick, if so it might help to drill with a 5 or 6mm drill first - only about 1mm to make sure you won't enter the housing and conimate it with metal shavings! Once you have a small puncture hole of about 2mm in diameter get some 2 component metal repair glue mix and add a suitable connection for the collecting pipe/can. If you feel up to it you can of course use a blow torch and solder the connection on. Now we have the compressor working with a oil return system that also gives up very little to no oil at all in our system. You might now think you are good to go but you should at least add a decent and fine filter to the air inlet ;) The compressor noise of a bigger system can still be an issue if thicker pipes are used that allow the noise to travel out. Keep in mind they usually run in a fully closed system.... As we only need to match the noise level of the compressor itself a solid steel can like an old fire extinguisher in the 1kg rage is a good way out. Fill it with filter wool and a fine filter pad after adding some hose connectors either end. You can misuse the trigger nozzle and keep it to seal the top if you braze a connector on it. If the intake here is about 5 times larger than the pipe connection to the compressor itself the air flow going into the thing is low enough for a cheap paper air filter can or box if you have a quite dusty enviroment to work with. The real trick is to have a hose or pipe on the inside of the fire extinguisher connected to the compressor pipe connection. A garden hose is great here as is reduces the noise quite good and is dirt cheap. Make a lot of about 2mm sized holes in this pipe and close the other end of it off. Now the compressor will suck it through the small holes and the soft garden hose reduces the noise, the surrounding padding brings it down to basically nothing. The special case of clean air for airbrush.... If you read this for the sole purpose of airbrush use then this chapter is just for you, all other might want to skip it. The two things you don't want to enter your gun is oil or water. Both are a common thing in normal compressors due to lubrication and pressure difference resulting in condensation of the humidity in the intake air. Oil free compressors of good quality can cost quite a few bucks and often require ongoing replacement of membranes or piston seals. A refrigeration compressor with the above modifications already provides clean enough air for most airbrush users if a proper tank is used to store enough of the compressed air. So you might just want to add a basic oil filter or very fine paper filter close to the regulator. For very detailed work with very sensitive paints you might want to build a filter box containing of several layers of oil absorbent paper. This stuff is often used in the industry to clean up minor oil spills and bind oil very well. A PVC pipe (pressure rated please) with 5-8 layers of filter screens should last about a lifetime before the filters need changing if the diameter is in the 10-15cm range. That leaves us with the dreaded problem of condensation and water contamination. Depending on the type of paint and gun used a small amount of water vapour is usually no problem. Solvent based paints usally show their disliking by unwanted drops or run offs caused by water droplets. Of course you just go and buy a professional dehumidifier and accept the ongoing replacement costs for the cartridges... But if you are in a climated that has above 30% humidity for most of the year than you will have to remove the water one way or the other. A big enough storage tank for the air that is upright usually helps to release any condensated water prior to usage. But if you use a homemade tank you might want to avoid this problem completely and forget about water in the system altogehter. Silaca gel is the answer here, specifically the indicating variety that changes color once "full". A spaghetti glas or similar should be big enough unless you are in a very humid climate - is so just use multiple in a row. The air intake side for the compressor has to go through the silica gel to be effictive. This mean we need two holes in the lid. One with a pipe or hose going all the way to the botom - that is the air intake side. The other right on the lid - this is the air outlet side which continues to the compressor intake. With the color change in the silica gel we can estimate how much usage we have left until we have to heat it up to remove the water. If this color change happens quite fast from the bottom to the top, let's say within three days or less than you really need to use more jars with silica gel in a row or a longer one - like using a long and clear acrylic pipe instead. Of course you can always just cut holes and "viewing glasses" along the length to a PVC pipe.... No matter how wet your climate is you want to get at least 100 hours of compressor run time before you need to recharge the silica gel. This brings us to the recharging.... Once the color changes and you only have about one quarter left to the top you want to get the water out of the gel and re-use it. To do this you simply heat it up in your oven to around 120-150°C - the supplier should state the max temp for this. If you use a gas oven or one with limited accuracy here it is best to stay within the 120° range. You need to stir and mix the gel or use something big enough like an oven tray. But be aware that these little balls are like glass! The roll and bounce like no tomorrow! IMHO it best to use an old cooking pot that has no plastic handles for this and not to overfill it. This allows for easy mixing without making a mess that might cause a bad trpping hazard on your kitchen floor tiles! Once the gel is back to original colr it is time to let it cool of to a safe temperature and to fill it back into our canister or pipe. Tanks and shut off systems.... We have a refrigeration compressor working for us, and since it was for R22 we can use much higher pressures as a simple compressor from the hardware store. The low pressure side is used to 70PSI or around 5Bar of pressure in normal working conditions. The high side often works at pressure in the range of 200-300PSI or 14-20Bar! The tank we used is a big propane tank that was restamped at some stage in his life for the use of LPG - so it was tested to quite high pressures. The lower pressure limit is what keeps the stored gas liquid at the given temperature. For Propane at an imaginary 30°C this would around 155PSI or 10Bar. The stamped test pressure, although outdated, showed 600PSI or around 40Bar of pressure with no problems - and the thing was thick in the walls... The old shut off switch from an old air compressor was adjustable after removing the safety cap with a bit of force and the help of few cold beer. With a little tank attached we adjusted it to turn the compressor off at 250PSI or around 17Bar of pressure. If your tank is old or has no test pressure stamped on do your own test in a safe location. Make sure the area is secured so there is no chance of debris from a brusting tank can go anywhere - this includes to chain down the tank itself ;) Use the aircon compressor to fill it up to 300PSI or 20Bar of pressure - this should be tolerated with ease by any propane or LPG tank. Shut the valves and let it rest for a day or so. It is best to do this in the early morning so the heat from the day will slightly increase the pressure. At the end you still want to have a working tank and no major pressure losses. All of our mods on this tank were done without actually harming the tank. This was possible as the original valve had a release port for filling purposes - as it standard on most refillable ones. Here we removed the valve and added a pressure guage instead - better to know what is happening than to assume things. As this "port" had a seperate connection to the bottom of the brass valve we added as T-connection to allow for the connection to the compressor. Just be be really sure a thin piece of copper tubing was brazed to the exit hole of this port so all incoming air will be going down and away from the outlet connection with the big shut off valve on top - which we use to actually isolate and close the tank when not it use. Last thing required was something to connect the pressure shut off switch and regulator to. That was the only major expense on this project as we had no old BBQ hose or similar to get a suitable connector to the tank. We bought a simple adapter for the use of smaller hoses and cut the unwanted bits off we there was only the bottle conntector with the nut left. After removing the rubber ring we brazed piece of copper pipe onto it. Here we drilled holes and fitted severy connectors. First for the pressure switch, then for the connection to the pressure regulator and two standard ones with a ball valve for air hose connections. One air hose connection female, the other male so a standard compressor can be connected as well or "backfilled" for additional and mobile storage use. As we wanted to avoid any reduction in the safety and burst pressure no release valve was added at the bottom on the tank. The added silica gel filter stage was used instead so no water will get into the system to begin with. Additionally, and painfully for me and me friend, the inside of the tank was coated with a layer of acrylic paint to prevent and rust as it was free from it when we checked it at the beginning. This involved filling a suitable amount of paint into it, closing the top while keeping the thread clean and then to move the tank around to cover the inside evenly. If you do this be prepared for some weird movements with your friends LOL Once we were sure all ust be covered by paint at least three times we released the exxess paint and allowed the inside to dry with the assistance of some air forced to go in with a length of pipe. This was repeated 3 times... Then another two just for the bottom third of it where there might be some moisture after all... Now you don't want to remove the brass valve with everything connected to it just to turn the tank over to releae the collected water. Instead we made sure the added pipe on the former relese port would go all the way to the bottom of the tank. If any water collection is suspected only the connection to the compressor needs an additional valve for the disconnection so the water will be force back out here. To make this easy and fast we used standard quick connectors and a piece of flexible airhose rated to 20bar of pressure for the connection to the compressor. We checked the performance of the moisture removal and oil removal only for a few hours of running time while priming some surface for later use. The compressor oil used was very smelly to say it nice but nothing coul be smelled in the first paper filter after the pressure regulator. To check for remaining moisture levels (65% humidity in the house) we used a 10m length of clear PVC tubing going through an ice bath. After 30 minutes of moderate air release there was no condensation on the inside of the tubing visible. Of course if you only need it for air supply and don't care about a bit of moisture and oil you can keep it simple ;) Benefits of doing such a stupid thing: For starters noise and the peace of mind that you can do a lot of airbrushing until the compressor needs to kick in again. Then of course the benefit of an almost silent system compared to a standard compressor - something you can actually tolerate while doing art. But the real deal is knowing YOU did it and you did it for cheap. Warnings and some advise... I know, it should be at the very beginning but I just hope you read till the end ;) If the compressor fails from overheating you are up for a new one. This means the tan size should be within the limits of what the compressor can handle - same for what you actually use on air. You want an empty tank to be filled before the compressor feels hot to touch - quite warm is fine but if you can't leave your hand on it then it is too hot. Same story for the usage. There is no point in using a tiny 10 liter storage tank if you need that capacity every few minutes. The compressor would only have little pauses and overheat quickly. You want a good balance of usage time before the tank goes below supply pressure and running time of the compressor to get it to full pressure again. This brings us to the safety of high pressures. Where possible only copper tubing or sufficiently rate hoses should be used, the later as short as possible to avoid them acting like a whip if something goes wrong. When it comes to the safety of the tank you want to make sure to stay withing it's rated limits. All benefits of a compressor capable of producing over 500PSI otr close to 35Bar is wasted if your tank and pressure regulator can't handle it. This must not mean that you try to use a gas cylinder of unknow age and pressure rating and assume it will work! If in doubt use a lower shut off pressure and stay within the limits of normal air compressors - which is around 120PSI or 8Bar. Never, ever use a tank that is compromised by inside rust or bad corrosion on the outside! If you don't know how to braze copper tubing, pipes and connectors then check out some of the great Instructables about it! Whenever you know you won't use any compressed air for more than a few hours close all valves especially the ones going back to the compressor on the high pressure side! Some compressors really don't like a huge pressure difference constantly pushing on the reed valves. If your tank is big enough to allow for more than one hour of operation before the compressor has to top it up you might want to consider a one way valve right on the compressor outlet. This will prevent any massive pressures going onto the valves - especially helpful for modern compressors that only rely on the sealing capabilities of the clyinders or rotary system used. One thing you should always consider is a pressure relief valve rated for about 50PSI more than your tank pressure - it can be added to the pipe ;) If the shut off valve ever fails the relief valve gives you the ease of mind that it will blow before your tank does. Maintenance... If modded correctly the compressor should stay in the compressor and the compressor itself should not overheat from use. Having said that your compressor might force out a little more than your best catch system can handle. If that becomes a problem it might help to use an oil with a lower viscosity. If all fails it just means you need to top up oil once the last last paper filter is filthy or use slightly more to begin with so the intervals are longer. The silica gel, if used should be recharged before all of it is wasted - no point in adding it if you use it once full of water. If no gel is used there will be water in the storage tank. Even with the added paint and a good air filter it is possible that nasty things grow in there. Making sure the tank is emptied of any water after long uses and again before the next use is good practise. If no pressure gauge is used on the tank you must make sure the shut off valve is always working fine and within set parameters. I strongly recommend using a gauge and if not to perform a pressure check of the system every now and then to confirm all is within parameters of normal operation. A compressor constantly running means you either use far too much air or you have a leak - same story if the compressos kicks in after some of forgetting to shut it off and close the valves. If you keep the above in mind the salvaged compressor should work just fine for many years to come. Troubleshooting and alternatives.... You put everything together the right way, double checked and something is till not right? Maybe my crystal ball helps me to find something... 1. Always oil coming through the catch system. It usually means you use too much of it. A salvaged compressor, if the refrigent was removed legally from the system should still have a "correct" level of oil inside. Too much oil would mean is being pumped through the system at an excessive rate. Very thin compressor oils tend to do that in the compressor is misude like we do. Changing to standard mineral oil can help here. As a last resort you can use a pressure gauge or good judgement to allow more flow through the needle valve from the catch system back to the compressor. Too much backflow here would mean we loose system pressure to the set level of this needle valve! 2. The R22 rated compressor seems to be unable to produce enough pressure. First do a leak test using soapy water to rule out any leaks. Do a back pressure test on the ports. If you can push air through them in the reverse way with ease it means the valves are damaged making the compressor useless. You need to replace it. A regular cause with our type of usage is a constand back pressure from the storage tank to the compressor. To prevent this it might help to mount an electric solenoid between the compressor and storage tank. Such valve should be off when the pressure switch is engaged and on when the pressure switch is disengaged. This prevents the coil from overheating but requires a "normally off" type of valve. A good source at the wreckers are cars with LPG systems installed, they usually have suitable 12V valves somewhere on or near the tank and filler cap. 3. I am using several kg of silica gel but still get a lot of water in my storage tank. Going overboard in a humid climate can be a good thing here but if moisture makes it into the tank even with great amounts of silica gel there are only two causes: a) the tube or cylinder used is not long enough or not wide enough to allow the absorption of all the moisture going through. b) the flow rate is too high and the temperatures are too. For the first the solution is obvious enough. The second is related to the first for the diameter and lenght but temperatures constantly above the 30°C while operating somehow limits what the gel can do. Using a cooling coil on the intake side or simply putting the gel containers in icy water will help to a great deal here. If that is not an option than I suggest to layer the gel and to seperate it with fine paper filter screens. This will slow and even out the airflow allowing for more contact time with the gel. 4. The compressor gets very noisy after some time. If "some time" means more than 30-45 minutes you simply have it running too much and it overheats. If the noise increases too much when reaching the shut off pressure it can mean the pressure is too high for it. 5. Can I use multiple compressors from smaller units or refrigerators to get enough air volume? Of course you can but it might mean you have to lower your pressure expectations. Consider that each individual compressor would get the back pressure from all other compressors running while it's outlet valve is closed. To avoid premature failure you want to make sure the compressors are shut off at a lowver pressure. 6. I don't want to use a big tank but require a good airflow for airbrush. Two or three fridge compressors working one after the other with a small tank to keep the output pressure even can allow for about 30 minutes runtime per compressor. With three it gives one hour for the the first to cool off and should be enough for ongoing work. Downside is you need to make some sort of automatic switch to "rotate" to compressor working. Last words.... Is you find any spelling mistakes you can keep them. However, if you use them in any way to make a profit with them I kindly ask for 10% of your earning from it ;) Why did I not make an Instructable out of all this? Well the day was very hot, the beer very cold and my mobile phone at home, so I did not take any pics. To top it up the whole thing is now in a seperate box for additional noise reduction so it can be used in the same room where the guy is working. Of course he just used a nailgun for the job without any regard of access or at least easy view of the two pressure gauges. Typical if you have a great idea and the cold beer tells you to forget all about screws or hinges ROFL Only comment was: You created it and it works fine, why would need more than the pipe connections for the gel and regulator? Maybe he will reconsider when the service is due....

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago


Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago