Tim Chester builds solar thermal system in his garage over the semester break.

First-year Energy Technology student Tim Chester takes a step towards placing his energy future in his own hands with some recycleables and about $150 in other materials.

With a little help from Martin Wisherd '12
Tim had a working system completed and ready for testing at the end of a weekend of work.

Tim reports:

"Thanks for all the help Martin! I was able to get it finished about 8pm last night.

I have it out in the yard already getting numbers this morning! I set it up on an old tire and leaned against the house so I can adjust angles. I put it out there at 9:30 and the air temp was 21.9F. It is just sucking in ambient air with no fan and is putting out 57.8F from the outlet. I'll take a 35F heating factor, but I think it will do much better with some tweaking. The sun is not being very cooperative right now, it is still a bit hazy and small clouds are messing with me. I'm getting pictures and playing with the angles to try to optimize it. I am getting 5F shifts just by changing the angle a few degrees.

If I had it hooked up to ducts from the house, I would have 65F going in and 100F coming out, which should heat the room nicely. You guys correct me if I'm wrong, but warmer air has more moisture content and should heat better than cold dry air. So I would suspect an even higher heating factor. I think a fan forcing airflow will make a big difference as well. I'll get pictures throughout the day and post them up tonight. Hopefully the sun will cooperate and this haze will go away!


CAD Program Director and Colleague Departs

Adjunct Professor and CAD Program Director, Krisztian Varsa, will be leaving The University of Montana at the end of the term to accept a position with The University of Maryland as a field researcher through their extension office. Professor Varsa has been a valued colleague, friend, and member of our faculty team here at UM. Although it is with some reluctance he leaves Montana, this job opportunity allows him to be reunited with family and his wife Jessica. He'll be missed by his friends at Missoula College, but not by the trout in our Montana rivers. Kristzian is a skilled fly fisherman and all of these creature will be a bit safer with Krisztian on the East Coast. Krisztian will continue to teach the online course CADX142 Geospatial Technologies as a distance faculty member.