Solar Furnace Field Test

Tomorrow will be the first full day where both Arkhaus Prototypes will be utilizing four renewable energy systems. Today after long last I have mounted the Solar Furnace "Hot Box" to the south face of ARK-A. Running hose from the exhaust of the furnace up and through the kitchen window. This will serve to amplify the Sun's rays as it makes its way across the sky, and passively directing the heated air into the living space. Only functional during the day but keeping the interior temperature elevated to minimize time and fuel to otherwise heat the space at night. Thanks to the practically air tight nature of the shipping containers and our insulating of them to meet or exceed standard domestic r-values for walls, floors and ceilings, even just the presence of two or more people (plus a beagle) generates substantial body heat which is trapped inside. Soon a propane space heater will arrive to serve as the "heating option of last resort" for ARK-A (ARK-B already has a propane space heater but no solar furnace yet). I am anxious to see how our fuel consumption heading into winter will be supplemented by our now operational alternative heating elements. Pictured below I wanted to capture all four renewable energy systems together for the first time.

1.) Our "Savonius" Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (Or VAWT).

2.) Our 75 Watt solar panel array which is mounted to...

3.) Our 192 square feet of corrugated poly carbonate serving as a roof for an attic above ARK-A but most importantly the catchment space for our harvesting of rain water.

4.) The Solar Furnace "Hot-Box" built by myself and Matt Glennon this past year as a 1/4 scale "proof of concept" that we'll be scaling up soon. Tomorrow will be its first day pumping heated air indoors.

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October Update! Interior Work, Rainbows and Our Autumn Garden

Today was an otherwise dreary Fall day except around sundown I happened to be outside and see this rainbow quietly stretching across the sky above our enclave.

This week we are trying to wrap up the bulk of the sanding and varnishing that remains to be finished inside ARK-A.

The bathroom is nearly complete and fully operational. We installed a medicine cabinet with a mirror and corner shelf and next week the sink and faucet will be connected to the rain-water cistern on the roof. The Shower has worked for several weeks now, it has a filter attachment built into the shower-head and, although we weren't sure if there would be enough pressure from gravity alone to run through the filter, it does indeed get by. But a larger roof tank would increase the pressure to a more ideal level. The kitchen sink has also been working for a few weeks now.

With all the rain we've had, keeping the cistern topped off has not been a problem, but I would like to be able to store a lot more water. It is a shame to have the gutter just running out onto the ground, but we are at maximum capacity.

The green-roof garden has been essentially left to its own devices for the last couple months. The strawberries have taken over their corner of the bed, while many of the cucumbers have rotted on the vine as we just couldn't eat them fast enough. I thought the onions were a loss but they look quite healthy now. The peppers are still growing strong, even after a few thorough harvests this Summer it looks like we'll have one more late harvest to look forward to! I want to heavily mulch the garden before snow falls and see what survives in the Spring since it looks like we won't be dismantling the garden/roof deck for transportation anywhere anytime before Winter sets in.

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