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DayCreek Journal

May 31, 2003

In a Bunch of Hot Water

Not only is it hot water, it's solar hot water! Zeus Stark from Next Step Energy Systems came out last Tuesday afternoon and plumbed in a custom made heat exchanger for our 80 gallon tank. The exchanger is plumbed in-line with our solar heating system, so now we can take advantage of free solar hot water year round. This sure beats the solar water bag that I've been using for the last few years. (I'll kind of miss the old bag.)

The system works quite well, even without a circulating pump for the tank—pure convection is all it takes to make hot water. Granted, the water at the top of the tank is hotter than at the bottom, but 80 gallons is a lot of water for us and typically we'll consume less than 10 gallons at a time.

It was determined after monitoring the temperatures of the hot water tank, that there was no need to have more than two collectors producing heat for the DHW system during the summer. So, all but two collectors have been covered by tarps. This will help keep the temperature to a level that will provide plenty of hot water while preventing the system temperature from getting too hot during the summer months. (Keeping the temperatures from exceeding 160°F should help prolong the life of the system.)

Meeting A Goal for Blue New Moonfest
One of my goals for this spring was to have the bathroom completed in time for our annual "Moonfest" and I'm happy to report that I got everything done just in time for the celebration. All the amenities of a real bathroom: vanity, shower and a real flushing toilet were completed by the time guests started arriving. I wonder how many realized the water supplied was rain water? It's great for taking showers!

This year's fest was titled "Blue New Moonfest" since it was the second new moon of the month. We had over 20 people attend this year's fest and as usual it was a lot of fun. Saturday afternoon's events included the Annual Caber Toss and Skillet Toss along with two new events: the Bowling Ball Shot Put and the Chicken in the Pot Toss (no real chickens were harmed during the event).

I would have to say the climax of the events was the "Chicken in the Pot Toss". The participants were throwing some pretty good shots, but up until the end of the event no one had gotten a chicken in the pot. But as they say, things come in threes and so did the chickens. Ruth followed by Mandi and then Jo all made perfect tosses landing the chicken into the pot. The crowd of onlookers were amazed by the show put on by these (obviously) professional chicken tossers.

As the 2003 Blue New Moonfest events came to a close, much to our surprise all four winners this year were new participants.

Pictured from left to right: Rupert the Goat (Mascot), Andy (Bowling Ball Shot Put Winner), Ruth (Chicken in the Pot Winner), Richard (Caber Toss Winner), Becky (Skillet Toss Winner) and Summertime (Mascot and glove thief).