Saturday, November 19, 2011

Solar water heater

Thermosyphon solar water heater
Landry designed and installed a solar hot water system for our shower, which is perfectly situated on the south side of the house with the blazing afternoon sun exposure. We wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing, so designed v1.0 with the pipes hidden between the two layers of the turquoise siding of our shower.

However, it was not hot enough, so came v2.0.

Landry found a lovely frame at the wood recycling shop, painted it with a clear varnish, and put reflective metal sheeting on the back side.

The pipes then went inside the box. We're happy to report warm water by about 11am, hot water all afternoon, and then lukewarm water by 9-10pm.

He also built the storage tank for the solar heated water, but we mistakenly thought that since we're living in the tropics, it would not have to be insulated. Insulation will be part of v3.0 -- we're losing too much of the heat by nightfall.

He painted the tank and pipes black to make it gentler on the eyes.

And after this pic, he pieced the shower back together, so this water storage tank is hidden behind the wooden shower box again.

The whole project was cheap and simple (so says the wife), and Landry says he'll post plans online soon. I fail to understand why so few homes in tropical Thailand use solar hot water systems. Go solar!

Around the island

This is the "talad nut" -- the fresh market where we get most of our fruits and vegetables, and occasionally, seafood.

Open Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Our island is about 5 km in diameter and surrounded on about 75 percent of its perimeter by central Bangkok. The views to the west and northwest of the island are the skyscrapers of Bangkok's central business district and main shopping area.

On the north side of the island is Klong Toei port, where ships -- emblazoned with the names of far-flung places like Panama and scripts from Korea and China -- park and unload their wares. These giraffe cranes move shipping containers around like they're Legos or Lincoln Logs.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Our island shot with an old Russian Horizon camera

Here are pics taken by a camera Landry bought when we were living in Afghanistan.

A view of the back of our house, with the shower on the back balcony.

One of the many sidewalks through the jungle on the island.

Betel nut palms, tall and lithe.

A bamboo grove.


Duckweed in an irrigation ditch.