Monthly Archives: August 2015

Water Heaters – Which One For You

Well what can I write about water heaters. Well they heat water. Sorry, a bit of a Homer Simpson type answer about them but it shows you how interesting water heaters can be.

They are not really something you can get too exited about but they are something we cannot easily do without. We all want hot water. We need it to wash and bathe in and we need it to clean with. Some of us want to use it to warm our pools up, wash our cars, heat our homes or sit in our hot tubs but at the end of the day we all want hot water and the only easy way to get it is to use a water heater.

So thinking about it then, what types of water heater are there? Well there are four main types but most of us will only need to use one. I have three but I tend to use only one at a time, two at the most.

Solar water heaters. These types of water heaters rely on the power of the sun to heat your water. How efficient they are depends on the amount of sunlight they get so this usually depends on where you live. The more sunlight the better and the more intense the sunlight the better and if the climate is hot in the first place then the water is sort of pre heated to ambient temperature before the action of the sun. They are a good source of some hot water but are not really good enough to be classed as your main water heater so you will need a conventional water heater as a backup. Solar water heaters can also be used to help warm the water in your pool and for this they can be very efficient but again they rely on sunlight to provide a high enough water temperature. I have one of these and I am very impressed about how good it is as a water heater for my pool. It wasn’t cheap though.

Stove powered hot water. Using your stove to heat your water is the oldest method around. It has been around for a long time, (if you think about heating water in an iron or clay pot), but these days many of us have water jackets built into our stoves. I have a wood-burning stove so in effect my hot water is free as my stove is often on. It is efficient as a water heater and does the job pretty well. I do not have any grumbles about it and I am also one of these people who care about the environment enough to plant trees on my land to offset the carbon cycle when I burn timber.

Electric water heaters. This is the third type of water heater I have but it is my backup as it is relatively expensive to run but it is useful as within 15 minutes I can have hot water to use for a shower when returning from a vacation and the heating has been off. It is there as a standby for me but is very easy to use as I just switch it on and before long I have hot water. For many people who do not have a stove or fire type water heater this is one of the few choices you have and in this case they are very good. My first house had two sources of hot water. One was an electric powered shower and the other was the electric water heater which heated water in the hot tank. I had nothing else and it worked, but I found it much more expensive than using my wood stove or using solar energy.

The final type of water heater is a gas heater. These tend to heat both your hot water and provide heating for your house as well. Not all areas have a supply to gas although some people can also use a supply of bottled gas but this tends to be much more expensive than a piped supply. Gas heaters operate much faster than an electric water heater and they tend to be much cheaper to operate than electric if it is a piped supply so if you are looking to choose between the two then this may be your best choice.

Whichever system you decide to install, do your research first and work out which is the cheapest to operate. You will also need to look at the costs of the water heaters and the water heating systems you install and work out what is best for you.

 

 

787 No Bleed Systems

The following article discusses and uses information about the construction of a 787 no bleed system from Boeing.

The 787 no-bleed systems architecture is shown schematically in the image below.  On the 787 no bleed system, the bleed air is only used for engine cowl ice protection and pressurization of hydraulic reservoirs. The functions are used for wing de-icing protection,  starting the engine, utilizing the high-capacity hydraulic pumps, and filtering energy towards the cabin environmental control system.

This photo is courtesy of the Boeing website

This photo is courtesy of the Boeing website

 

In this particular construction, the power sources for this system are driven by engines and auxiliary power generators, while the power sources for the hydraulic system are engine-driven and electric-motor-driven hydraulic pumps. The engine-driven hydraulic power sources in the no-bleed architecture are similar to those in the traditional architecture.

Other information about the 787 no bleed air system was submitted a professional engineering and consulting company.  Their website is here and for more aircraft information you can check out a page located here.

Building An Outside Deck

One of the most beautiful additions to any home is a deck. Not only does it add beauty, a deck also adds value to your home.

But there is much to think of when preparing to build a deck. A poorly built deck can be a disaster. Following are 10 things to consider before you build your deck.

1. Purpose

First of all, what is going to be the primary purpose of your deck? Entertaining guests — you’ll need to consider how many guests you want the deck to hold, because more guests equal more weight.  A play area for small children — safety is essential. Whatever your intended purpose, think it all the way through before starting to build.

2. Location, Location, Location

The next thing to consider is the location. Landscaping issues may crop up exactly where you think you should place your deck. You should consider entrances and exits to your home. Access to your deck is essential — if you can’t get there, you can’t enjoy it.

3. Deck Plan

You will need to have a deck plan, which will serve as a guide for the entire project. It doesn’t require a professional work-up, but you should be thorough.

4. Attaching The Deck To Your Home

There are many ways that a deck can be attached to your home. Although the deck can be freestanding, it is not very practical or safe. If you decide to attach your deck to the house, you will need to decide how you will cut away the siding at the joining point. You will also need to determine if the framing of your home is strong enough for the deck.

5. Deck Supports

Deck supports are an important part of this process, so you will need to decide exactly how many footings and posts you will need, and where to place them.

6. Decking Material

What type of decking material do you plan to use? Composite decking materials are a good choice because they have been chemically engineered to avoid the problems of traditional wood. However, if wood is your choice, redwood, cedar and pressure treated pine are all popular because they resist rot and decay. If you choose another wood decking material, you will often need to provide protectant and sealant material.

7. Permits

Remember, different areas have different zoning laws and requirements so it is important to find out what permits will be required to build your deck in your area. While some areas require an official building permit, others will require only a periodic site inspection. Some require both. Check with your city government to decide what actions you need to take.

8. Tool Time

Make sure you have all the tools on hand that you will need for the project. There may be additional expenses added to the project to buy these tools. If you do not have this kind of experience, you should consider the next point very carefully.

9. Professional Help

Decking is a big project to undertake if you are a weekend handyman. If you have little construction experience, decking is not a good beginning learning project. Poorly built decks are very dangerous. If you cannot handle the project, it needs to be in the hands of a professional.

10. Extras

The final thing to consider is any extras you might want to build into and onto your deck. You might add a decorative handrail or you might want flower boxes on each corner, or perhaps built-in seating for your guests. Whatever extras you choose will personalize your deck.