10/11/12 - Using a glass baking dish and two glass meatloaf dishes I added the water to the still and stood back to watch it happen. I soon found out this was going to be worse then watching water boil so I left it alone for a couple of hours. I checked on the progress again and saw this was like watching molasses flow in the winter. If you have never seen that then all I can say is that it is really, really slow.
Two days and one cup of water, not a good start so far.
10/17/12 - Four days have past and now the water that was captured in the jug is gone. The only explanation is a leak somewhere. Air was getting in and the water was being lost instead of doing what the still was designed for and being caught in the jug.
After close evaluation I found where the top glass adhesive had dried and pulled away leaving a gap where outside air was getting in. A quick fix by using silicone and placing a bead all the way around the edge of the glass did the trick. So now we are back in business, I think.
10/18/12 - A day later and with high expectations I checked the still, nothing. The condensation is there, but it is not forming heavy enough droplets to run into the jug. The water jug has condensation inside as well leading me to believe I need to cool the jug or keep it in the shade by wrapping a towel around it. Today I will do that and see what happens. I don't know if the equalizing temperatures in the box and jug have anything to do with it or not, but it's worth a try.
I also tightened up to back door because I thought maybe I was loosing some moisture from it as well, but I know I wasn't.
10/19/12 - Not everything I build has to turn out I don't guess. I am ready to pull the plug on this little project. The still has been a pain in my side for two weeks now without showing any positive results. At most I can get maybe a cup of water every couple of days. I can't imagine I did this wrong or did not give this project a fair shake. Stick a fork in it folks, it's done.
Cost to build if bought everything new - $70.00
Distilled water made over two weeks - 1/8th Gallon
Cost for one store bought gallon of Distilled water - $0.79
Money lost - $69.21
I will probably turn the still into a solar dehydrator or a solar cooker. I need a smaller one of both so we will see.
The next solar project will be a heater for my shop. I am collecting beer cans right now for it. Just two more thirty packs to go, LOL