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Re: Rainwater collection

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  • thorthesailor
    Whence comes the water in the well? Michael
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 30 9:08 PM
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      Whence comes the water in the well?

      Michael


      --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "Lawrence" <lawrencerayburn@...> wrote:
      >
      > I always laugh when I see discussions on collecting rainwater to be used on gardens or through solar heaters for showering, etc. I live
      > in the desert of SW Texas...and we don't get enough rain to collect.
      >
      > You have to have a well and the good thing is there's plenty of real
      > estate to place solar PV panels on to pump a well and irrigate an
      > enclosed garden.
      >
      > Anyone interested in off grid living in fertile desert areas of SW
      > Texas...be advised land is around $300/acre. You can build your own
      > secluded oasis for not much money.
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Riehl <real246@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Thanks for the suggestions so far!
      > >
      > > I'm definitely going to set up a system to collect the rain water. We've
      > > considered aquaponics for the greenhouse and will at least try it, just not
      > > that good at fish stuff, something else to learn I suppose.
      > >
      > > As for a multi-tank setup for the solar hot water, I'd think that would
      > > create surface area and hence more opportunities for loss of energy and
      > > higher cost because I'd have more surface are to insulate as well. Thoughts?
      > >
      > > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Bob Keeland <keelandb@> wrote:
      > >
      > > > **
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > I suggest that you add large water tanks (at least 1000 gallon or larger)
      > > > to collect rainwater off your roof.
      > > > BobK
      > > >
      > > > Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android
      > > >
      > > > ------------------------------
      > > > * From: * Ryan Riehl <real246@>;
      > > > * To: * <SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com>;
      > > > * Subject: * [SimplySolar] Intro
      > > > * Sent: * Fri, Apr 27, 2012 11:04:56 AM
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Hello fellow Solar Enthusiasts,
      > > >
      > > > I'm obviously new here and want to introduce myself a bit. I've been
      > > > dabbling in solar, mostly PV, stuff for a few years now. I've built my own
      > > > solar panel from a bunch of broken pv cells I bought from ebay a few years
      > > > back and bought a charge controller and batter to accompany it so i could
      > > > learn. Over the years I did many little projects like that.
      > > >
      > > > Now I'm ready for the big time!
      > > >
      > > > I've managed to collect enough cash and build a house of my own on some
      > > > property that I have. My wife and I are committed to an off-the-grid
      > > > lifestyle once this house it completely built.
      > > >
      > > > We want:
      > > >
      > > > 1) solar domestic water heating
      > > > 2) solar electricity
      > > > 3) solar radiant heat built into the concrete slab.
      > > > 4) Compressed Earth Block (CEB) exterior/interior wall construction
      > > > 5) Greenhouse for our fruits and veggies (we are pretty much completely
      > > > vegetarians)
      > > > 6) Composting for excellent recycling
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > If you have any thing to add I welcome the comments and the criticisms.
      > > > Some people think I'm a bit extreme but I think that is what our planet
      > > > needs, a change!
      > > >
      > > > -Ryan
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • Lawrence
      Only Earthships I know of built out here are down near Terlingua, Texas near Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grand. I m in Reeves County...and rainfall is
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 30 10:35 PM
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        Only Earthships I know of built out here are down near Terlingua, Texas near Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grand.

        I'm in Reeves County...and rainfall is spotty. Some places in this county get 6-12 inches per year. Others, like my farm last year got
        0. But, this year, 3 weeks ago, I got 2 inches in less than half an
        hour.

        But, you can't depend on a rain catchment system out here for water.
        You have to drill into an aquifer...depending on location in this county, from 20 to 600 feet.

        All this land used to be cotton farms and vegetable farms in the 40s and 50s. They went bust in the 60s when lift cost of water for irrigation became so expensive. The farms have been abandoned and lain
        fallow for 50 years here and the Mennonites have moved in, bought them up, and are making them produce again.

        Lots of land available out here for $300/acre. We have so much sunlight, so intense, it will overdrive a solar panel by 25% over
        peak performance figures. They are not popular yet, but off grid solar power is very practical here. There are no tax breaks or incentives to go off grid and the utilities naturally don't want to
        lose the customer/slaves.

        But, there are no building codes or code enforcement out here and you
        can build anything any way you want. Great place to do the experimentation with off grid living.

        ol' Lawrence







        --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "pdalger" <paul.alger@...> wrote:
        >
        > $300 an acre sounds very enticing! How much rain do you get there per year?
        >
        > According to earthship.com, you can collect enough rain water for domestic use if you have at least 6 inches of rain per year. Of course, the water is used 4 times - slashing the amount used by normal domestic systems. This would not be enough for outside irrigation of course. Domestic use only.
        >
        > I believe there are several earthships already built in SW Texas. It would be interesting to see if they are surviving on rain water alone (as is the mantra for all true earthships).
        >
        > Paul
        >
        > --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "Lawrence" <lawrencerayburn@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I always laugh when I see discussions on collecting rainwater to be used on gardens or through solar heaters for showering, etc. I live
        > > in the desert of SW Texas...and we don't get enough rain to collect.
        > >
        > > You have to have a well and the good thing is there's plenty of real
        > > estate to place solar PV panels on to pump a well and irrigate an
        > > enclosed garden.
        > >
        > > Anyone interested in off grid living in fertile desert areas of SW
        > > Texas...be advised land is around $300/acre. You can build your own
        > > secluded oasis for not much money.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Riehl <real246@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Thanks for the suggestions so far!
        > > >
        > > > I'm definitely going to set up a system to collect the rain water. We've
        > > > considered aquaponics for the greenhouse and will at least try it, just not
        > > > that good at fish stuff, something else to learn I suppose.
        > > >
        > > > As for a multi-tank setup for the solar hot water, I'd think that would
        > > > create surface area and hence more opportunities for loss of energy and
        > > > higher cost because I'd have more surface are to insulate as well. Thoughts?
        > > >
        > > > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Bob Keeland <keelandb@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > > **
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > I suggest that you add large water tanks (at least 1000 gallon or larger)
        > > > > to collect rainwater off your roof.
        > > > > BobK
        > > > >
        > > > > Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android
        > > > >
        > > > > ------------------------------
        > > > > * From: * Ryan Riehl <real246@>;
        > > > > * To: * <SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com>;
        > > > > * Subject: * [SimplySolar] Intro
        > > > > * Sent: * Fri, Apr 27, 2012 11:04:56 AM
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Hello fellow Solar Enthusiasts,
        > > > >
        > > > > I'm obviously new here and want to introduce myself a bit. I've been
        > > > > dabbling in solar, mostly PV, stuff for a few years now. I've built my own
        > > > > solar panel from a bunch of broken pv cells I bought from ebay a few years
        > > > > back and bought a charge controller and batter to accompany it so i could
        > > > > learn. Over the years I did many little projects like that.
        > > > >
        > > > > Now I'm ready for the big time!
        > > > >
        > > > > I've managed to collect enough cash and build a house of my own on some
        > > > > property that I have. My wife and I are committed to an off-the-grid
        > > > > lifestyle once this house it completely built.
        > > > >
        > > > > We want:
        > > > >
        > > > > 1) solar domestic water heating
        > > > > 2) solar electricity
        > > > > 3) solar radiant heat built into the concrete slab.
        > > > > 4) Compressed Earth Block (CEB) exterior/interior wall construction
        > > > > 5) Greenhouse for our fruits and veggies (we are pretty much completely
        > > > > vegetarians)
        > > > > 6) Composting for excellent recycling
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > If you have any thing to add I welcome the comments and the criticisms.
        > > > > Some people think I'm a bit extreme but I think that is what our planet
        > > > > needs, a change!
        > > > >
        > > > > -Ryan
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • John O'Brien
        Major Cities - Rainfall / Elevation (Southern Texas) *Regional Average Rainfall: *20-32 inches per year *Regional Average Net Evaporation rate:* 16-28 inches
        Message 3 of 23 , May 1, 2012
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          Major Cities - Rainfall / Elevation (Southern Texas)

          Regional Average Rainfall: 20-32 inches per year 
          Regional Average Net Evaporation rate: 16-28 inches
          The average annual rainfall of 20 to 32 inches increases from west to east. Average monthly rainfall is lowest during winter, and highest during spring (May or June) and fall (September). Summer temperatures are high, with very high evaporation rates. Data source: National Climate Datat Center, U.S. Dept of Commerce.

          Alice - 27.52 in / 201 ft
          Brownsville - 27.55 in / 19 ft
          Crystal City - 20.70 in / 580 ft
          Eagle Pass - 21.48 in / 808 ft
          Falfurrias - 25.42 in / 120 ft
          Goliad - 38.58 in / 142 ft
          Laredo - 21.53 in / 430 ft
          McAllen - 22.61 in / 100 ft
          Pearsall - 25.73 in / 635 ft
          Poteet - 29.00 in / 480 ft
          Rio Grande City - 21.61 in/ 172 ft
          San Antonio 32.92 in / 809 ft
          Zapata - 19.72 in / 311 ft

          -----

          Average annual precipitation averages around 940 millimetres (37 in). Ottawa receives an average of 915 mm (36.0 in) of total precipitation a year. There are about 2,060 hours of average sunshine annually (47% of possible).[56][57]


          ----

          Seems like you get almost as much rainfall as I'd get up here. I'm guessing it's more a matter of intensity of rain, all at once, vs spread out over the year, and a higher evaporation rate. Either way, this is even more reason to collect rainwater, you just have to size your systems accordingly.

          Relying on groundwater in an area where droughts are becoming common place is probably not a good idea, especially if the aquifiers aren't able to recharge due to conditions that lead to higher runoff/evaporation.

          John
          On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Lawrence <lawrencerayburn@...> wrote:
           

          I always laugh when I see discussions on collecting rainwater to be used on gardens or through solar heaters for showering, etc. I live
          in the desert of SW Texas...and we don't get enough rain to collect.

          You have to have a well and the good thing is there's plenty of real
          estate to place solar PV panels on to pump a well and irrigate an
          enclosed garden.

          Anyone interested in off grid living in fertile desert areas of SW
          Texas...be advised land is around $300/acre. You can build your own
          secluded oasis for not much money.

          --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Riehl <real246@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thanks for the suggestions so far!
          >
          > I'm definitely going to set up a system to collect the rain water. We've
          > considered aquaponics for the greenhouse and will at least try it, just not
          > that good at fish stuff, something else to learn I suppose.
          >
          > As for a multi-tank setup for the solar hot water, I'd think that would
          > create surface area and hence more opportunities for loss of energy and
          > higher cost because I'd have more surface are to insulate as well. Thoughts?
          >
          > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Bob Keeland <keelandb@...> wrote:
          >
          > > **
          > >
          > >
          > > I suggest that you add large water tanks (at least 1000 gallon or larger)
          > > to collect rainwater off your roof.
          > > BobK
          > >
          > > Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android
          > >
          > > ------------------------------
          > > * From: * Ryan Riehl <real246@...>;
          > > * To: * <SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com>;
          > > * Subject: * [SimplySolar] Intro
          > > * Sent: * Fri, Apr 27, 2012 11:04:56 AM
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Hello fellow Solar Enthusiasts,
          > >
          > > I'm obviously new here and want to introduce myself a bit. I've been
          > > dabbling in solar, mostly PV, stuff for a few years now. I've built my own
          > > solar panel from a bunch of broken pv cells I bought from ebay a few years
          > > back and bought a charge controller and batter to accompany it so i could
          > > learn. Over the years I did many little projects like that.
          > >
          > > Now I'm ready for the big time!
          > >
          > > I've managed to collect enough cash and build a house of my own on some
          > > property that I have. My wife and I are committed to an off-the-grid
          > > lifestyle once this house it completely built.
          > >
          > > We want:
          > >
          > > 1) solar domestic water heating
          > > 2) solar electricity
          > > 3) solar radiant heat built into the concrete slab.
          > > 4) Compressed Earth Block (CEB) exterior/interior wall construction
          > > 5) Greenhouse for our fruits and veggies (we are pretty much completely
          > > vegetarians)
          > > 6) Composting for excellent recycling
          > >
          > >
          > > If you have any thing to add I welcome the comments and the criticisms.
          > > Some people think I'm a bit extreme but I think that is what our planet
          > > needs, a change!
          > >
          > > -Ryan
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >


        • yreysa
          Texas is home to what is probably the best rainwater harvesting manual out there -- and its free!
          Message 4 of 23 , May 1, 2012
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            Texas is home to what is probably the best rainwater harvesting manual out there -- and its free!
            http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Water/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf

            Gary

            --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "John O'Brien" <boardom@...> wrote:
            >
            > Major Cities - Rainfall / Elevation (Southern Texas)
            >
            > *Regional Average Rainfall: *20-32 inches per year
            > *Regional Average Net Evaporation rate:* 16-28 inches
            > The average annual rainfall of 20 to 32 inches increases from west to east.
            > Average monthly rainfall is lowest during winter, and highest during spring
            > (May or June) and fall (September). Summer temperatures are high, with very
            > high evaporation rates. Data source: National Climate Datat Center, U.S.
            > Dept of Commerce.
            > Alice - 27.52 in / 201 ft
            > Brownsville - 27.55 in / 19 ft
            > Crystal City - 20.70 in / 580 ft
            > Eagle Pass - 21.48 in / 808 ft
            > Falfurrias - 25.42 in / 120 ft
            > Goliad - 38.58 in / 142 ft
            > Laredo - 21.53 in / 430 ft
            > McAllen - 22.61 in / 100 ft
            > Pearsall - 25.73 in / 635 ft
            > Poteet - 29.00 in / 480 ft
            > Rio Grande City - 21.61 in/ 172 ft
            > San Antonio 32.92 in / 809 ft
            > Zapata - 19.72 in / 311 ft
            >
            > -----
            >
            > Average annual precipitation averages around 940 millimetres (37 in).
            > Ottawa receives an average of 915 mm (36.0 in) of total precipitation a
            > year. There are about 2,060 hours of average sunshine annually (47% of
            > possible).[56] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa#cite_note-CCN-55>[57]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa#cite_note-sunshine_data-56>
            >
            >
            > ----
            >
            > Seems like you get almost as much rainfall as I'd get up here. I'm guessing
            > it's more a matter of intensity of rain, all at once, vs spread out over
            > the year, and a higher evaporation rate. Either way, this is even more
            > reason to collect rainwater, you just have to size your systems accordingly.
            >
            > Relying on groundwater in an area where droughts are becoming common place
            > is probably not a good idea, especially if the aquifiers aren't able to
            > recharge due to conditions that lead to higher runoff/evaporation.
            >
            > John
            > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Lawrence <lawrencerayburn@...> wrote:
            >
            > > **
            > >
            > >
            > > I always laugh when I see discussions on collecting rainwater to be used
            > > on gardens or through solar heaters for showering, etc. I live
            > > in the desert of SW Texas...and we don't get enough rain to collect.
            > >
            > > You have to have a well and the good thing is there's plenty of real
            > > estate to place solar PV panels on to pump a well and irrigate an
            > > enclosed garden.
            > >
            > > Anyone interested in off grid living in fertile desert areas of SW
            > > Texas...be advised land is around $300/acre. You can build your own
            > > secluded oasis for not much money.
            > >
            > > --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Riehl <real246@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Thanks for the suggestions so far!
            > > >
            > > > I'm definitely going to set up a system to collect the rain water. We've
            > > > considered aquaponics for the greenhouse and will at least try it, just
            > > not
            > > > that good at fish stuff, something else to learn I suppose.
            > > >
            > > > As for a multi-tank setup for the solar hot water, I'd think that would
            > > > create surface area and hence more opportunities for loss of energy and
            > > > higher cost because I'd have more surface are to insulate as well.
            > > Thoughts?
            > > >
            > > > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Bob Keeland <keelandb@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > > **
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > I suggest that you add large water tanks (at least 1000 gallon or
            > > larger)
            > > > > to collect rainwater off your roof.
            > > > > BobK
            > > > >
            > > > > Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android
            > > > >
            > > > > ------------------------------
            > > > > * From: * Ryan Riehl <real246@>;
            > > > > * To: * <SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com>;
            > > > > * Subject: * [SimplySolar] Intro
            > > > > * Sent: * Fri, Apr 27, 2012 11:04:56 AM
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Hello fellow Solar Enthusiasts,
            > > > >
            > > > > I'm obviously new here and want to introduce myself a bit. I've been
            > > > > dabbling in solar, mostly PV, stuff for a few years now. I've built my
            > > own
            > > > > solar panel from a bunch of broken pv cells I bought from ebay a few
            > > years
            > > > > back and bought a charge controller and batter to accompany it so i
            > > could
            > > > > learn. Over the years I did many little projects like that.
            > > > >
            > > > > Now I'm ready for the big time!
            > > > >
            > > > > I've managed to collect enough cash and build a house of my own on some
            > > > > property that I have. My wife and I are committed to an off-the-grid
            > > > > lifestyle once this house it completely built.
            > > > >
            > > > > We want:
            > > > >
            > > > > 1) solar domestic water heating
            > > > > 2) solar electricity
            > > > > 3) solar radiant heat built into the concrete slab.
            > > > > 4) Compressed Earth Block (CEB) exterior/interior wall construction
            > > > > 5) Greenhouse for our fruits and veggies (we are pretty much completely
            > > > > vegetarians)
            > > > > 6) Composting for excellent recycling
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > If you have any thing to add I welcome the comments and the criticisms.
            > > > > Some people think I'm a bit extreme but I think that is what our planet
            > > > > needs, a change!
            > > > >
            > > > > -Ryan
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • John O'Brien
            Gary, Got any good resources for full year domestic rainwater usage/storage for those of us in cold climates? Freeze protection and such. J
            Message 5 of 23 , May 1, 2012
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              Gary, 

              Got any good resources for full year domestic rainwater usage/storage for those of us in cold climates? Freeze protection and such.

              J

              On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 10:46 AM, yreysa <gary@...> wrote:
               

              Texas is home to what is probably the best rainwater harvesting manual out there -- and its free!
              http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Water/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf

              Gary



              --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "John O'Brien" <boardom@...> wrote:
              >
              > Major Cities - Rainfall / Elevation (Southern Texas)
              >
              > *Regional Average Rainfall: *20-32 inches per year
              > *Regional Average Net Evaporation rate:* 16-28 inches

              > The average annual rainfall of 20 to 32 inches increases from west to east.
              > Average monthly rainfall is lowest during winter, and highest during spring
              > (May or June) and fall (September). Summer temperatures are high, with very
              > high evaporation rates. Data source: National Climate Datat Center, U.S.
              > Dept of Commerce.
              > Alice - 27.52 in / 201 ft
              > Brownsville - 27.55 in / 19 ft
              > Crystal City - 20.70 in / 580 ft
              > Eagle Pass - 21.48 in / 808 ft
              > Falfurrias - 25.42 in / 120 ft
              > Goliad - 38.58 in / 142 ft
              > Laredo - 21.53 in / 430 ft
              > McAllen - 22.61 in / 100 ft
              > Pearsall - 25.73 in / 635 ft
              > Poteet - 29.00 in / 480 ft
              > Rio Grande City - 21.61 in/ 172 ft
              > San Antonio 32.92 in / 809 ft
              > Zapata - 19.72 in / 311 ft
              >
              > -----
              >
              > Average annual precipitation averages around 940 millimetres (37 in).
              > Ottawa receives an average of 915 mm (36.0 in) of total precipitation a
              > year. There are about 2,060 hours of average sunshine annually (47% of
              > possible).[56] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa#cite_note-CCN-55>[57]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa#cite_note-sunshine_data-56>

              >
              >
              > ----
              >
              > Seems like you get almost as much rainfall as I'd get up here. I'm guessing
              > it's more a matter of intensity of rain, all at once, vs spread out over
              > the year, and a higher evaporation rate. Either way, this is even more
              > reason to collect rainwater, you just have to size your systems accordingly.
              >
              > Relying on groundwater in an area where droughts are becoming common place
              > is probably not a good idea, especially if the aquifiers aren't able to
              > recharge due to conditions that lead to higher runoff/evaporation.
              >
              > John
              > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Lawrence <lawrencerayburn@...> wrote:
              >
              > > **

              > >
              > >
              > > I always laugh when I see discussions on collecting rainwater to be used
              > > on gardens or through solar heaters for showering, etc. I live
              > > in the desert of SW Texas...and we don't get enough rain to collect.
              > >
              > > You have to have a well and the good thing is there's plenty of real
              > > estate to place solar PV panels on to pump a well and irrigate an
              > > enclosed garden.
              > >
              > > Anyone interested in off grid living in fertile desert areas of SW
              > > Texas...be advised land is around $300/acre. You can build your own
              > > secluded oasis for not much money.
              > >
              > > --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Riehl <real246@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Thanks for the suggestions so far!
              > > >
              > > > I'm definitely going to set up a system to collect the rain water. We've
              > > > considered aquaponics for the greenhouse and will at least try it, just
              > > not
              > > > that good at fish stuff, something else to learn I suppose.
              > > >
              > > > As for a multi-tank setup for the solar hot water, I'd think that would
              > > > create surface area and hence more opportunities for loss of energy and
              > > > higher cost because I'd have more surface are to insulate as well.
              > > Thoughts?
              > > >
              > > > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Bob Keeland <keelandb@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > > **
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > I suggest that you add large water tanks (at least 1000 gallon or
              > > larger)
              > > > > to collect rainwater off your roof.
              > > > > BobK
              > > > >
              > > > > Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android
              > > > >
              > > > > ------------------------------
              > > > > * From: * Ryan Riehl <real246@>;

              > > > > * To: * <SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com>;
              > > > > * Subject: * [SimplySolar] Intro
              > > > > * Sent: * Fri, Apr 27, 2012 11:04:56 AM
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > Hello fellow Solar Enthusiasts,
              > > > >
              > > > > I'm obviously new here and want to introduce myself a bit. I've been
              > > > > dabbling in solar, mostly PV, stuff for a few years now. I've built my
              > > own
              > > > > solar panel from a bunch of broken pv cells I bought from ebay a few
              > > years
              > > > > back and bought a charge controller and batter to accompany it so i
              > > could
              > > > > learn. Over the years I did many little projects like that.
              > > > >
              > > > > Now I'm ready for the big time!
              > > > >
              > > > > I've managed to collect enough cash and build a house of my own on some
              > > > > property that I have. My wife and I are committed to an off-the-grid
              > > > > lifestyle once this house it completely built.
              > > > >
              > > > > We want:
              > > > >
              > > > > 1) solar domestic water heating
              > > > > 2) solar electricity
              > > > > 3) solar radiant heat built into the concrete slab.
              > > > > 4) Compressed Earth Block (CEB) exterior/interior wall construction
              > > > > 5) Greenhouse for our fruits and veggies (we are pretty much completely
              > > > > vegetarians)
              > > > > 6) Composting for excellent recycling
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > If you have any thing to add I welcome the comments and the criticisms.
              > > > > Some people think I'm a bit extreme but I think that is what our planet
              > > > > needs, a change!
              > > > >
              > > > > -Ryan
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >


            • csteel_fl
              Lawrence While I don t live in a earth ship some of my neighbors do, yes I am in Terlingua. We have 20,000 gal of rainwater storage and despite having a
              Message 6 of 23 , May 1, 2012
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                Lawrence

                While I don't live in a earth ship some of my neighbors do, yes I am in Terlingua. We have 20,000 gal of rainwater storage and despite having a washing machine we have not run out off water yet, but I am concerned. My other half has a 20x20 green house that also needs water. Do to local conditions it has a metal roof to catch water and screen walls to prevent animals from having a free lunch. Our water comes from 4500 sq ft of roof. we have had very little rain in the last year and half, before that we had overflow problems. A unusually long hard freeze fixed that when we lost 4500 gals due to broken tank valves. For this area, a well is not a good option, it is very costly and you could have a dry hole and even if you do get water it may not be good, in it's hay day Terlingua was a Quick Silver mining town, Mercury is not a good thing to have in your water. Today Terlingua is a Ghost town surrounded by a million acres of public park land. Terlingua averages 10" to 12" of rain @ year mostly in June July and Aug. and it lands where it wants to (usually not on your roof but all around you), The last two have not been average,in most places rain is more dependable.



                Yes land is cheap here, a friend just got 80 acres for $57 @ acre at a tax sale (no one else even bid) , taxes are very low and there are almost no building restrictions. But don't rush out here with your checkbook. All around me I see broken dreams of people who tried and could not make it. Research educate and prepare Life in the high desert is not easy, nothing is close by and transportation is becoming very costly. Good or quality labor is hard to find. Daily temperature swing can be 40 degrees, something a solar wise person can make work for them. If you are a good DIY person and have some resources and want to be self sufficient this could be your garden of Eden.



                As some one said, Sunshine, yes we have plenty of that, and it is rather intense. I am in the process of building a new solar hot water heater, using PEX in a vertical housing that will siphon to a 55 gal tank over my shower. I will get some photos, most here will not be impressed, it seems most here are working very hard to get the most out of their collector, my major concern will be stagnation, I may have to leave off glazing during the summer months or vent it, so I don't have a meltdown. Other units I built made plenty of hot water but failed from too much heat or freezing even when I thought they were drained.



                At this location PV is better than wind power, wind is usually light but occasionally very strong, but sunshine is very constant. Overcast days a few and offer sporadic relief from the dry heat. PV is not only the best way to go but for most in this area it is the only way because of cost and easements needed to extend the little grid power that is out here. I have grid power and am working toward going off grid due to high cost, poor quality and reliability of the power grid in the Big Bend area.



                Rain water would be beneficial for almost anyone, storage tanks are reasonable water quality is good. Sizing you storage will be relative to your rainfall and water needs, because many live in areas where freezing is common, several isolated storage tanks are better than one large one. If something fails or is damaged you don't loose all your water.



                Not an expert but learning by necessity.

                Chuck



                --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "Lawrence" <lawrencerayburn@...> wrote:
                >
                > Only Earthships I know of built out here are down near Terlingua, Texas near Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grand.
                >
                > I'm in Reeves County...and rainfall is spotty. Some places in this county get 6-12 inches per year. Others, like my farm last year got
                > 0. But, this year, 3 weeks ago, I got 2 inches in less than half an
                > hour.
                >
                > But, you can't depend on a rain catchment system out here for water.
                > You have to drill into an aquifer...depending on location in this county, from 20 to 600 feet.
                >
                > All this land used to be cotton farms and vegetable farms in the 40s and 50s. They went bust in the 60s when lift cost of water for irrigation became so expensive. The farms have been abandoned and lain
                > fallow for 50 years here and the Mennonites have moved in, bought them up, and are making them produce again.
                >
                > Lots of land available out here for $300/acre. We have so much sunlight, so intense, it will overdrive a solar panel by 25% over
                > peak performance figures. They are not popular yet, but off grid solar power is very practical here. There are no tax breaks or incentives to go off grid and the utilities naturally don't want to
                > lose the customer/slaves.
                >
                > But, there are no building codes or code enforcement out here and you
                > can build anything any way you want. Great place to do the experimentation with off grid living.
                >
                > ol' Lawrence
              • yreysa
                Hi, Everything I ve collected is here, including my own is here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Water/Water.htm Most of them won t tolerate freezing --
                Message 7 of 23 , May 1, 2012
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                  Hi,
                  Everything I've collected is here, including my own is here:
                  http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Water/Water.htm

                  Most of them won't tolerate freezing -- we shut ours down in the late fall, and then restart in spring. This works OK for garden watering.

                  I do like the "Water From the Sky" book by Reynolds that describes the method used on Earthships (or at least some Earthships) to collector water. Lots of lessons learned over 30 years of building in this book.

                  Gary

                  --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "John O'Brien" <boardom@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Gary,
                  >
                  > Got any good resources for full year domestic rainwater usage/storage for
                  > those of us in cold climates? Freeze protection and such.
                  >
                  > J
                  >
                  > On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 10:46 AM, yreysa <gary@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > **
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Texas is home to what is probably the best rainwater harvesting manual out
                  > > there -- and its free!
                  > >
                  > > http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Water/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf
                  > >
                  > > Gary
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, "John O'Brien" <boardom@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Major Cities - Rainfall / Elevation (Southern Texas)
                  > > >
                  > > > *Regional Average Rainfall: *20-32 inches per year
                  > > > *Regional Average Net Evaporation rate:* 16-28 inches
                  > >
                  > > > The average annual rainfall of 20 to 32 inches increases from west to
                  > > east.
                  > > > Average monthly rainfall is lowest during winter, and highest during
                  > > spring
                  > > > (May or June) and fall (September). Summer temperatures are high, with
                  > > very
                  > > > high evaporation rates. Data source: National Climate Datat Center, U.S.
                  > > > Dept of Commerce.
                  > > > Alice - 27.52 in / 201 ft
                  > > > Brownsville - 27.55 in / 19 ft
                  > > > Crystal City - 20.70 in / 580 ft
                  > > > Eagle Pass - 21.48 in / 808 ft
                  > > > Falfurrias - 25.42 in / 120 ft
                  > > > Goliad - 38.58 in / 142 ft
                  > > > Laredo - 21.53 in / 430 ft
                  > > > McAllen - 22.61 in / 100 ft
                  > > > Pearsall - 25.73 in / 635 ft
                  > > > Poteet - 29.00 in / 480 ft
                  > > > Rio Grande City - 21.61 in/ 172 ft
                  > > > San Antonio 32.92 in / 809 ft
                  > > > Zapata - 19.72 in / 311 ft
                  > > >
                  > > > -----
                  > > >
                  > > > Average annual precipitation averages around 940 millimetres (37 in).
                  > > > Ottawa receives an average of 915 mm (36.0 in) of total precipitation a
                  > > > year. There are about 2,060 hours of average sunshine annually (47% of
                  > > > possible).[56] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa#cite_note-CCN-55
                  > > >[57]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa#cite_note-sunshine_data-56>
                  > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > ----
                  > > >
                  > > > Seems like you get almost as much rainfall as I'd get up here. I'm
                  > > guessing
                  > > > it's more a matter of intensity of rain, all at once, vs spread out over
                  > > > the year, and a higher evaporation rate. Either way, this is even more
                  > > > reason to collect rainwater, you just have to size your systems
                  > > accordingly.
                  > > >
                  > > > Relying on groundwater in an area where droughts are becoming common
                  > > place
                  > > > is probably not a good idea, especially if the aquifiers aren't able to
                  > > > recharge due to conditions that lead to higher runoff/evaporation.
                  > > >
                  > > > John
                  > > > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Lawrence <lawrencerayburn@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > > **
                  > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I always laugh when I see discussions on collecting rainwater to be
                  > > used
                  > > > > on gardens or through solar heaters for showering, etc. I live
                  > > > > in the desert of SW Texas...and we don't get enough rain to collect.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > You have to have a well and the good thing is there's plenty of real
                  > > > > estate to place solar PV panels on to pump a well and irrigate an
                  > > > > enclosed garden.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Anyone interested in off grid living in fertile desert areas of SW
                  > > > > Texas...be advised land is around $300/acre. You can build your own
                  > > > > secluded oasis for not much money.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Riehl <real246@> wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Thanks for the suggestions so far!
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I'm definitely going to set up a system to collect the rain water.
                  > > We've
                  > > > > > considered aquaponics for the greenhouse and will at least try it,
                  > > just
                  > > > > not
                  > > > > > that good at fish stuff, something else to learn I suppose.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > As for a multi-tank setup for the solar hot water, I'd think that
                  > > would
                  > > > > > create surface area and hence more opportunities for loss of energy
                  > > and
                  > > > > > higher cost because I'd have more surface are to insulate as well.
                  > > > > Thoughts?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Bob Keeland <keelandb@> wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > > **
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I suggest that you add large water tanks (at least 1000 gallon or
                  > > > > larger)
                  > > > > > > to collect rainwater off your roof.
                  > > > > > > BobK
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > ------------------------------
                  > > > > > > * From: * Ryan Riehl <real246@>;
                  > >
                  > > > > > > * To: * <SimplySolar@yahoogroups.com>;
                  > > > > > > * Subject: * [SimplySolar] Intro
                  > > > > > > * Sent: * Fri, Apr 27, 2012 11:04:56 AM
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Hello fellow Solar Enthusiasts,
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I'm obviously new here and want to introduce myself a bit. I've
                  > > been
                  > > > > > > dabbling in solar, mostly PV, stuff for a few years now. I've
                  > > built my
                  > > > > own
                  > > > > > > solar panel from a bunch of broken pv cells I bought from ebay a
                  > > few
                  > > > > years
                  > > > > > > back and bought a charge controller and batter to accompany it so i
                  > > > > could
                  > > > > > > learn. Over the years I did many little projects like that.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Now I'm ready for the big time!
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I've managed to collect enough cash and build a house of my own on
                  > > some
                  > > > > > > property that I have. My wife and I are committed to an
                  > > off-the-grid
                  > > > > > > lifestyle once this house it completely built.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > We want:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > 1) solar domestic water heating
                  > > > > > > 2) solar electricity
                  > > > > > > 3) solar radiant heat built into the concrete slab.
                  > > > > > > 4) Compressed Earth Block (CEB) exterior/interior wall construction
                  > > > > > > 5) Greenhouse for our fruits and veggies (we are pretty much
                  > > completely
                  > > > > > > vegetarians)
                  > > > > > > 6) Composting for excellent recycling
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > If you have any thing to add I welcome the comments and the
                  > > criticisms.
                  > > > > > > Some people think I'm a bit extreme but I think that is what our
                  > > planet
                  > > > > > > needs, a change!
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > -Ryan
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
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