Epic adventurer - Solar boat - Nobility of metals and becoming unhinged


 I'm building a framework to hold some solar panels to power me the length of the mighty Murray River, and I figure I should mount the entire assembly on hinges so I can lift one side at a time to add the extension tubes to raise it up high when I'm on a long trip so I can use the space under it to sleep or whatever.  

The panels were originally going to be mounted on hinges as well so I could tilt them to the sun as required, but I figured I'd keep it simple and see how much cruising time I have per day without moving them. I can always add hinges later.

One of the problems I have is that I'm using three or four different metals in a potentially salt water environment. 

Metals hate that kind of thing. 

They have a problem with nobility. 

It turns out that if you arrange a stack of metals in a particular order based on something called their nobility, and you pick some that are a decent distance away from each other on that list and try to build a boat out of them, you get a battery, and some stress.

I already have the stress, and the battery doesn't even exist yet. 

And by the way. Where're not talking about some awesome battery that will be useful, but the kind of battery that used to be around in the 70s in your transistor radio left in a cupboard in your room, and that was left un-attended for too long and decided to go all acid all over the shop and make your mum angry because you didn't own clothes any more. It seems when you stick two metals that are far from each other on this table of noblenessso they touch each other, and then wet them with some electrically conductive liquid...say... salty water, they get all crazy and dissolve each other and basically ruin your boat. 

Sometimes ruining your boat includes letting go of solar panels while you're driving to the water at high speed, and that is the very thing I'm trying to avoid.

I have stainless hinges, painted iron grow house tubes for a frame, nickel coated nuts and bolts, and aluminium frames on my solar panels. 

Lucky me!

I bought some rubber grommets because the guy at Bunnings told me to, and said everything would alright. He was the one who sold me the hinges, the nuts and bolts, the grow house (two years before) and all the tools I needed. He was very reassuring. 

But just in case he had no idea what he was talking about, I paid some drunk guy with a boat shaped voodoo doll to make everything better, so I should be good. 

At least he claimed his boat shaped thing was a voodoo doll. 


I'm sure everything will be fine.

120 Things in 20 years needs all the magical help it can get to prevent becoming unhinged, and/or zombieism.


  1. Sacrificial zinc anode.

    That is what you want to look up. It is an awesome complement to boat shaped voodoo dolls. Gauranteed to double the effectiveness or your hex back.

  2. Is there nothing a sacrifice cant accomplish?

    You would have been popular in the pagan days :)

    Googling Sacrificial zinc anode


    I seem to remember something about hot water services lasting forever if you just spend the $20 on the sacrificial bit every ten years or so.

  3. Metal in water or water in metal. Works either way.

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