Friday, January 14, 2011

Keepin' it moving

The Dickenson heater on Eolian is mounted on the aft side of the main saloon bulkhead.  Immediately behind the heater, between it and the mast, is a small plenum, roughly square in cross section.  When we got Eolian, there was a portion of an abandoned air conditioning unit installed in there, long since removed.

But the space still has real value.  See, the Dickenson heater makes a *lot* of heat.  Left to itself, all that heat just rises straight up and cooks the overhead - not good at all.  So I purchased a 12V automotive radiator fan and mounted it in the plenum, just behind the air register above and behind the heater.  This fan serves two purposes:
  • It moves the heat away from above the Dickenson, cooling the overhead and the bulkhead behind the heater
  • It circulates the heated air thru the cabin.
But where does that air come from?  Originally, there was a small metal grate lower on the bulkhead, but it was ugly and rusted.  I pulled it out and replaced it with the small teak grate you see below the switch panel.  This helps indeed.

But it was not enough area, and more importantly, its location meant that there was little air circulation forward.  Killing these two birds with one stone, I installed another,  larger grate on the starboard side of the plenum, at the bottom.  With this arrangement, most of the air that the fan is delivering over the top of the Dickenson comes from forward, meaning that there is now air circulation, and heat, there.

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