Skinflint Sunday: you don’t need to buy a science lab to do experiments.


After a night of rain, I woke up to skies that were grey. I went out and filled up about 10 buckets of water from the downpipe near the gully trap, because it was the weekend and I could. The last time I did this I was able to water my pots for 3 days using the free water. Saved myself around 20c, probably…
Then the rain stopped. I went out and looked at the solar panel box near the front door.
There was a dribble of sunlight coming through those clouds.
I decided to set up an experiment.
I took the solar kettle and set it up just inside the back door, pointing at where the sun would be if it was visible. It was 10AM. I knew there was no way I’d get a piping hot cuppa from it on a day like today, but I was curious to see if it would have any effect on temperature of water from the tap.
Then I went and had a nanna nap. (I woke up at 4AM and read ‘Animal Vegetable Miracle’ till 5.30, when I got up. Because it was the weekend and I could. But I needed a power-nap top up. Don’t judge me!)
Yellow’s my favourite colour. Serendipitous, because I ordered the kettle from the cut-price ‘scratch and dent’ category, where colour choice isn’t allowed. It’s clearly meant to be.

Half an hour later I was woken by a clap of thunder. By the time I got to the kettle it was covered in water. I shut the door, wiped it down and went on with my life.

BUT guess what? At around 2PM I decided to take the lid off and stick my finger into the water to see if it had heated up at all. Perfectly safe to do so; I knew there’s no way it’d be boiling.

It was a little bit warmer than tepid. I got excited. If the kettle could heat water even slightly with the Noah’s Ark weather Melbourne experienced yesterday, then I knew it’d work when the sun was out.

The best bit about doing this experiment was when my friend Blogless Sandy rang later that day to ask sarcastically how my new solar oven was going. I was able to tell her about the kettle warming the water, and she said, “I was ringing up to laugh at you, but you’ve had the last laugh!”

heh heh.

Rain forecast for the rest of the week. Of course.

This entry was posted in Skinflint, solar cooking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Skinflint Sunday: you don’t need to buy a science lab to do experiments.

  1. Liz says:

    Drought seems a long time ago doesn’t it? Very happy the kettle works – I’m presuming it heats enough water for one cup?

  2. Annie says:

    My sister used to sleep in a tent in the back yard in summer and her customers thought she was taking her job of owning a camping shop way too seriously – got to love an experiment – it IS the weekend! I think you’d like her blog : JB flowers&veg-check my blogpost

  3. Annie says:

    Not my blogpost my bloglist – that’s interpretive tex for you!

  4. river says:

    power nap, I’m using that romnow on instead of nanna nap.
    And now I know what a solar kettle looks like.
    Good to know that it works even on cloudy days.

  5. river says:

    That should be from now.

  6. Ellen says:

    That is so good. I was really surprised to see the picture – not at all as I had imagined – however if you say it is a kettle, then it’s a kettle. You will have so much boiling water this summer!

    I am dying to know more about your solar oven. Living in England, naturally, I have never heard of them before (the Sunday roast would never cook). Is it dual power, or is it in addition to your old oven?

    I would love to install solar panels here. A neighbour of mine has recently had 8 panels fitted to his roof, at the cost of £12,000, so I think I will be waiting a little longer for mine. Good luck, hope the sun comes out soon.

  7. kelgurl says:

    no wonder I found your blog…yellow is my fav color also. Solar oven and tea kettle?? very interesting. think I’ll google and check them out.
    have a wonderful day, btw

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