Thursday, November 22, 2007

New Tool

I rarely check the weather. Many years ago I came to the conclusion that weather reports provide easy excuses to cancel plans. "It's too hot, too cold, too windy. It may rain or snow. Let's stay home." I prefer to ignore the weather and have alternate plans. Some of my most memorable experiences have been in "bad" weather or shortly after.

I rarely check the weather but I just bought a weather station with wind, rain, temperature, UV and hygrometer sensors. I've wanted one for about two years and finally decided to install a system. Previously I wanted to monitor wind and rain to gather data needed to make decisions and to manage electricity generation and rainwater harvesting. With the construction of the solar room (aka greenhouse) addition, I want to be able to record four temperatures -- outside air, inside the house, greenhouse and solar closet.

I received the system on Monday and temporarily installed the wind sensor and four temperature sensors on Tuesday. Yesterday (Wednesday) I downloaded the first 13 hours of data and graphed the temperatures for part of the time. The following graph (see the larger version) shows fairly steady and relatively close temperatures in the early morning for the house (orange line), greenhouse (yellow) and outlet on the solar closet (green). The bottom line (pink) portrays the outside air temperature. At 8 AM the sun began warming the greenhouse and solar closet. The outlet port on the closet began to rise quickly. By 11:23 AM the temperature was 123 degrees and was still rising.

Graph of temperature increase. (Larger version)

I've written previously that I hope to get 90% of our heat from the sun. I was being conservative in my statements. Truthfully, I'm shooting for 100%. I know I can do it. The weather station is simply a tool to help me accomplish that goal.


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Yea, but can it wash dishes?

11/22/2007 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger arcolaura said...

I've heard of automated weather stations that can be connected to the Internet, making the data accessible through a searchable map or something like that. I've wondered about getting one, to do my small bit for better information in these times of climate change, but haven't explored the possibilities.

11/22/2007 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

When you want something you put your full weight behind it. I'm thinkin' Julie didn't stand a chance.

Good for you, Paul.

11/22/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That solar closet sure works, doesn't it?

11/22/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger MojoMan said...

Very interesting stuff! I look forward to more posts with more graphs and specifics on your monitoring equipment. I love the idea that the weather station can be interfaced with the computer to store and analyze the data.

11/23/2007 02:49:00 PM  

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