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Old 09-27-2008, 05:18 AM   #26
333mark333
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggywrinkle View Post
Our two largest challenges are pumping water and
refrigeration.

My preferred solutions would be a water tower, a steam
engine, and biogas.

I'm aware of several dairy operations that generate huge
amounts of biogas and convert it into electricity. There
is a Hutterite community in Northern Alberta that sells
excess biogas generated electricity to the local grid.

As far as lighting goes. We've started using strontium based phospholuminescent tape

Check this out.



http://www.identi-tape.com/phosphor.htm
These techniques can work. No pie in the sky here, and
steam is tried and true; a perfected technology.
That tape looks interesting- may use that up here. Thanks
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:36 AM   #27
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

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That tape looks interesting- may use that up here. Thanks
You can also find it as paint. This is a technology waiting
to happen. Entire floors or walls of this stuff. They are
making fireman's plastic hardhats with it to make them
easy to see in a smoke filled room.

In the first five minutes it is almost bright enough to read
by. Then it lingers visibly to the night adjusted eye for
12 hours or more.

We live in the country. Pitch black at night. We put
three small tabs of tape on each of our stairs. At night
it lights up like an airport runway. Fumbling in the dark
for the light switch? Never again.

Ever lost your car in a dark parking lot?


Last edited by Baggywrinkle; 09-27-2008 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:24 AM   #28
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

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Originally Posted by Baggywrinkle View Post
You can also find it as paint. This is a technology waiting
to happen. Entire floors or walls of this stuff. They are
making fireman's plastic hardhats with it to make them
easy to see in a smoke filled room.

In the first five minutes it is almost bright enough to read
by. Then it lingers visibly to the night adjusted eye for
12 hours or more.

We live in the country. Pitch black at night. We put
three small tabs of tape on each of our stairs. At night
it lights up like an airport runway. Fumbling in the dark
for the light switch? Never again.
Hi,

It sounds very powerful but I was wondering if strontium isn't a radio active isotope ? So I am not sure if it's completely
safe for your health and the environment. Is there any info coming along with this product ?

I was also wondering how the steam generator was powered ... the clip does not show what it used as fuel.

A steam powered generator may work very well in my case. There's lots of bio mass waste to burn in close vicinity.
And I have created a parabolic mirror once to boil water using solar power. Very effective ... you don't even need that much sunlight.

Cheers
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:31 AM   #29
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

B.t.w. Baggywrinkle,

Were you talking about a water tower before ?

I may have an idea for you:
if you vaporize water using whatever fuel you have available or the solar power I just mentioned in my previous post
it will rise upward by itself. Then you condense it on a higher level ....
That may work to lift water a couple of feet up

Cheers
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:09 AM   #30
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Default Re: Biogas & Steam

The Canadian Tire solar panels rust around the terminal contacts and don't last. Their products are too cheap.

Steam engines are a last alternative to generate electricity from burning wood. LED lighting is the most efficient; they are expensive now, but lasts for many years, may be decades (tens of thousands of hours). Solar panel breakthroughs will eventually reduce the cost, but the pole shift scenario will cover the sun for years; the same senario will give lots of rain, so hydro would be good where you have changes in elevation. The ZPE device is the answer if we can find the solution before the SHTF.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:33 PM   #31
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Default Keel-kooled refrigeration

Most refrigeration systems require a condensing unit that throws off the heat. The keel-kooled unit is installed underneath the boat so that the heat disipates in the water. The colder the water, the more efficient the unit. Normal boat refrigeration systems have two pumps. One cools the unit by pumping water into the boat. One pumps refrigerant through the system. Two pumps take a lot of power.

With a keel-kooled unit, the compressor is the only pump. It pumps refrigerant through the keel-kooler, keeping the heat outside, thus increasing efficiency AND no need for water inside the boat. Much safer, no leaks, no sinking the boat.

We built a chest-type refrigerator, highly insulated, or you could choose a large unit sold through Boater's World that holds ice for up to a week. You mount the Fridg-O-Boat unit inside the box. Again, a DIY project. J can work on it and troubleshoot, a major benefit. This is, of course, a 12V set-up. It could be used with 24 V.

If you had running water, or a pond, nearby, you could use this technology on land. We put the unit in a bucket of water with a small amount of fresh water going in before we could install it underneath. Worked fine. It provides excellent refrigeration for very little power.

We have seen units that utilize the earth in a similar way. (Installed underground where the temperature remains at a constant cooler temperature)

DON'T FORGET LED LIGHTS! This is space-ship technology that continues to improve. Takes so little power, it hardly registers on the e-meter.
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:08 PM   #32
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

The two compounds in these long acting photoluminescent
pigments are strontium and europium. They are not radioactive and are cousins to the luminescent zinc oxide
of our youth. These are much brighter and longer lived then the zinc compounds.




examples of products using these compounds. Move your mouse over the photos in the link below

http://www.ez-bright.co.jp/en/products/products.html

Any source of heat will make steam. That engine will run
on government paperwork! My train of thought would
be to use biogas (methane) generated from decomposing
organic matter. True sustainable permaculture in action.
This would be best done at a community level rather than an individual level. Think city sewage plant. The methane is there waiting to be utilized. On a farm using
the already available manure/humanure which must be
disposed of anyway, is also highly viable. The process produces fuel for heating
and highly valuable compost for crops. It is also independent of centralized control

Refrigeration.

An already perfected technology exists using ammonia
as the refrigerant. Any heat source; kerosene, propane,
natural gas, biogas, heats the ammonia and starts
the cooling cycle. There are no moving parts!

http://home.howstuffworks.com/refrigerator5.htm

I have lusted for a propane refrigerator like this one
made by the Amish

http://www.propanerefrigerator.com/

but they are not mass produced, and are therefore very
expensive (2-3000 dollars). Their consumption of propane/kerosene is also fairly dear. The second issue
could be circumvented by using one configured for natural gas and piping home made biogas into it. Voila!
Sustainable refrigeration that will last as long as your
livestock produce manure!

Once again, this technology would best be implemented
at a community level. Aspects of the technology are time intensive - you don't fire up a steam engine and just
walk away and leave it. It needs watching and tending. In a radiant zone community this would be one of the many regular chores to be done to make a community work.

Last edited by Baggywrinkle; 09-27-2008 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:37 PM   #33
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

THANKS EVERYBODY! many great suggestions here.

I am at a disadvantage in having an old computer that cannot handle youtube ... so, those who gave youtube references ... do you have any other link to the same material? Something that could be read, maybe?

Dantheman - Thanks for your post. I'm still thinking about all this ... OK you stock up on candles, then you use them up. Remember those Medieval Cathedrals that had thousands of candles burning? How many candle-makers did it take to light by candles? Point being ... how do you make candles from vegetable oil, after you can't buy them anymore? Old cultures used oil lamps made from stone that burned animal fat.

For that matter, how would you make vegetable oil anyhow? (one of the great mysteries)

Baggywrinke - I've read about the photoluminescent paints. These are a nano product, as I understand it, but will have to do more research. There are paints now that will deodorize your house! That's nano too. Any nano is very scary as far as I'm concerned ... most of our technology has given with one hand and taken with the other, and nobody knows whether any of this stuff is safe in the long haul at the molecular level.

LED lights sounds good. I've read of a guy in Virginia who invented a light that somehow works in a long tube filled (with something ... research needed) that requires that you turn the tube every couple hours to keep the light working. He's probably got a patent on this though!

Peace of Mine -- Thanks for descriptions. You are reminding me about in-ground ... very doable for moderate refrigeration/ in-water also, yes, non-electrically.

I once kept milk fresh for 2 days in the trunk of a car in 90 degree heat by lining a box with newspaper. Which reminds me that books make terrific insulation.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:09 AM   #34
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

I love this thread!
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Aloha, thank you, do jeh, toda, arigato, merci, grazie, salamat po, gracias, tack, sukria, danke schoen, kiitos, dank u, mahalo nui loa
Images to nourish the spirit: http://mistsofavalon.invisionplus.ne...&showtopic=198
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:09 AM   #35
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Default Mountain Springhouses were purpose-built refrigerators

Where I grew up, a cold mountain spring was utilized as refrigeration, even after electric refrigerators came into common use. My Grandpa built an 8 X 10 block and brick building on top of the spring, which was captured in a trough of concrete that could hold gallons of fresh-made apple cider, or milk when the cows all came in at once, or handle 6 huge watermelons for a family gathering.

There were two parts to our spring. The main spring was damned up in a concrete catchment, maybe a six by six foot area. A concrete walkway was paved to connect to the main building described in the first paragraph.

This was kept super-clean, with a screened-in window and sturdy door. It maintained a constant temperature year-round that would have served as adequate refrigeration.

This temperate rainforest area, with 80+ inches of annual rainfall, is now experiencing a severe drought and record summer temperatures. Snowfall, when I was growing up, was steady and dependable. That has changed drastically over the last few years. I wonder if the Springhouse would be as dependable in future years.

BTW, lots of these ideas are captured in the FOXFIRE series, a journalism class started in my school, that is internationally known. My sister served as the first student editor, and my grandparents are featured in many of the earlier issues. www.foxfire.org Very in-depth articles teach homesteading skills which were passed from one generation to the next.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:21 AM   #36
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Default Re: Mountain Springhouses were purpose-built refrigerators

Thanks, Peace of mIne. I live in what used to be reliable farming country, but rain has definitely become a problem. Last year we had two solid months with no rain, in July and August, in the middle of the growing season. Many farmers couldn't grow enough hay to get their animals through the winter. So, yes, it's getting more difficult in many areas.

I was thinking about my wind-up kitchen timer and my wind-up clock. These work very nicely non-electrically. Is a hand-pump flashlight something similar? Anybody know how hand-pump flashlights work?

Thanks for the Foxfire reference. Many hours of research ahead!

Putting forth positive intent to create a completely dull and boring October.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:32 PM   #37
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There are two issues I'm keen on solving for myself: getting my little Tracker converted to use hydrogen fuel (Texas is just too big to be stuck without wheels!); and, having a generator that also runs on water.

Re: water-for-fuel
There is a bewildering variety of material on this topic and I'm no engineer. I did download a set of plans for a device you could build yourself and attach to your fuel system that supplemented your gasoline with hydrogen for cleaner, more efficient fuel power, but that had some drawbacks, imo. Not the least of which if there is a total break in the gasoline supply, expensive or not. I'd much rather go for the full hydrogen solution. However, I've read that you have to tweak your onboard computer to not respond to fuel sensors that shut down the engine if they sense improper fuel mixture. If there are any engineer types or even car geeks in the group--I'd sure like all the input on this project I can get. Maybe we can put together a library of links with notes on the various set ups/plans available?

Re: generators.
Someone on Avalon had posted a link to a YouTube that demo'd the zero-point generator (i.e., it runs on 'no' energy, once the battery gets the generator motor started). Tremendous concept, but I sure can't afford the $20,000 pricetag for that kind of machine, myself (but I bet a municipality could, forced to supply their own citizen's power--hmmm!). But waxing self-reliant appeals to me, so a hydrogen generator or magnetic type that George Green demo'd seem the least problematical for that. Any of you given this some in depth thought?

.
I am a newbie even to posting on forums, so I hope this is readable. I believe this concerning hydro generators. They are currently showing on you tube and websites how to build one of these, it is very simple. The problem seems to be that they can only create a small amount of brown gas(hydrogen). My thoughts go this way. If a small container that they show in these videos can produce upto 40% of the fuel needed to run a car engine, then building a much bigger container can supply more brown gas. So lets say the containers shown could only realisticly supply 10% ( this is just for example) of the fuel for a 150 horsepower engine. A container 10 times larger could supply 100% of the energy? except that would be to big for a car to carry around. The point I am trying to make is that even if there is a lose of created brown gas pretaining to size of container, you only need to power a 20 horse power engine to supply 100% of the fuel to turn a 200 amp generator, which is more than enough to power a house totally. I guess thats explains my thoughts, I hope it makes sense. Also if the first post stated above was stating that it was to big to be moblie, then he could build it in seires, using mulitable 50 gallon plastic durms, and fill them with water when you reach where ever
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:23 PM   #38
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

Compensating for Doodah's video challenged computer:

Here is a link to Other Power's home built steam generator.
http://www.otherpower.com/steamengine.shtml



I also am intrigued by human and animal power.

Maya Pedal is a project to assist electricity challenged folks
in South America. They have done some magnificent work
making human powered machines that do everything from
making smoothies to pumping water

http://www.pedalpower.org/?q=maya_pedal
http://www.mayapedal.org/index.html



Animal powered treadmills are also an alternative




The good news is you get the afternoon off.
The bad news is the Captain wants to water ski this morning...

Last edited by Baggywrinkle; 09-28-2008 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:06 AM   #39
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

The trouble with all these generator ideas are that they are completely off-topic. The OP was about living non-electrically !
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:51 AM   #40
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True, Anchor, that keeps happening here.

Baggywrinkle, thanks for the reference, photos and humor. A previous post of yours here about a setup for methane production shows pits with black plastic covers. I understand the prinicple in the use of the plastic, but don't want to use anything made from petroleum (ie plastic). The only other non-permeable materials that come to mind are glass, metal, and possibly glazed ceramic. Have you seen methane production using anything else but plastic?
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:02 AM   #41
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

As in camping, I'll go with kerosene or propane lamps, til we can figure out something else.

Also, better have lots of journal notebooks handy and practice up on your penmanship.

I'm so old that, when I was learning to write cursive in school, we had to use ink-pens and dip them in ink wells. Probably not a bad idea, to have some Luddite technology on hand.


: ) Shech--
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:30 AM   #42
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True, Anchor, that keeps happening here.

Baggywrinkle, thanks for the reference, photos and humor. A previous post of yours here about a setup for methane production shows pits with black plastic covers. I understand the prinicple in the use of the plastic, but don't want to use anything made from petroleum (ie plastic). The only other non-permeable materials that come to mind are glass, metal, and possibly glazed ceramic. Have you seen methane production using anything else but plastic?
The bladder is the simplest technology. It is just a large
balloon. The problem is storing the methane which remains in the gaseous state. The other feasible system
consists of a steel or concrete container in a container.
as the methane builds it pushes the inner container
vertically to the limit of it's travel (Think of a glass inside
a glass). These are low pressure systems easily utilized
by folks like you and me. You start adding compressors
and tanks the price skyrockets rapidly. Not to mention complexity breeds problems.

The beauty of the bladder system is it was designed in
the phillipines for use by third world farmers. It is inexpensive and will provide cooking gas for a family
easily. With some planning all of your basic needs can be provided from this one source of energy -
Even lighting! At my home we use petromax kerosene mantle lanterns and one propane mantle lantern
At the web site below Dr David Fulford has a biogas lamp design which uses the mantles in the same
fashion as the lamps mentioned above. If you are a smallholder all you need is a few pigs, chickens,
and cows and no qualms about shoveling poop. Addng a steam engine you would have the means to
pump water into a water tower using a pump jack AND compress the biogas into tanks.

Paul Harris at the University of Adelaide has been all
over it.
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/biogas/

Last edited by Baggywrinkle; 09-29-2008 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:25 AM   #43
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Default Re: Biogas & Steam

You are much appreciated!~ I find myself contemplating methane every day lately. We all produce it and it sits there in the ground due to idiot regulations by local governments. People with dairy farms are using it to heat, power and also supply their neighbors with energy. Its the best alternative presentlyy I think. As long as were alive, we will be making it and so why not put it to use?


To the guy with the hydrogen idea, Its excellant but you must remember that hydrogen causes metals to harden, therefore making them brittle. I am not a molecular scientist but you can look it up. Its on this level that it hapens. The computer will adjust after so many miles I am told. Something like the change between ethanol and petrol.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:18 AM   #44
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Default Re: Biogas & Steam

Thank you, Baggy, once again. I understand the principle. But are those bladders made of plastic? Rubber? What?

Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:03 AM   #45
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

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Originally Posted by Baggywrinkle View Post
The bladder is the simplest technology. It is just a large
balloon. The problem is storing the methane which remains in the gaseous state. The other feasible system
consists of a steel or concrete container in a container.
as the methane builds it pushes the inner container
vertically to the limit of it's travel (Think of a glass inside
a glass). These are low pressure systems easily utilized
by folks like you and me. You start adding compressors
and tanks the price skyrockets rapidly. Not to mention complexity breeds problems.

The beauty of the bladder system is it was designed in
the phillipines for use by third world farmers. It is inexpensive and will provide cooking gas for a family
easily. With some planning all of your basic needs can be provided from this one source of energy -
Even lighting! At my home we use petromax kerosene mantle lanterns and one propane mantle lantern
At the web site below Dr David Fulford has a biogas lamp design which uses the mantles in the same
fashion as the lamps mentioned above. If you are a smallholder all you need is a few pigs, chickens,
and cows and no qualms about shoveling poop. Addng a steam engine you would have the means to
pump water into a water tower using a pump jack AND compress the biogas into tanks.

Paul Harris at the University of Adelaide has been all
over it.
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/biogas/
But you can easily use a generator made to run on propane with this gas. The up front cost would be a lil high but telling the power company to go to the devil would be worth every blasted penny!!!! Much cheaper than solar set up costs.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:24 AM   #46
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

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Originally Posted by Baggywrinkle View Post

Refrigeration.

An already perfected technology exists using ammonia
as the refrigerant. Any heat source; kerosene, propane,
natural gas, biogas, heats the ammonia and starts
the cooling cycle. There are no moving parts!
Thanks Baggywrinkle,

This is something I needed badly. I am in the tropics, we have a lot of heat here and need refrigeration.
Of course my heat source will be solar power !

I read the article but still have to figure out how the 'separator' works. But that's the fun part ...

We have tons of heat (until a polar shift ) here to produce tons of cold air ... I like that, knew it was possible
but did not practically create that yet.

Cheers
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:07 AM   #47
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

Bioluminescence is probably the most efficient naturally occurring light source.
Think fireflies. In NZ we have an insect commonly known as a glow worm (arachnicampa luminosa) or cannabilistic maggots with shiny **** which is more accurate as they are larvae & not actually a worm. They predominately live in dark, damp, & drafty areas specifically caves, where they spin vertical silk feeding lines to catch their prey, utilising their glowing excrement as a lure.
My point is, that in areas heavily populated with glow worms, they collectively emit enough light that, you could almost read a book. Perhaps you could breed a colony then populate your living areas as required.
Impractical i know, but i thought it worth mentioning.
A couple of free energy hydraulic devices for consideration/research are the self acting water ram & the vortex generator, both can provide mechanical advantage in numerous applications and/or generate electricity.
Best regards
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:43 PM   #48
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But you can easily use a generator made to run on propane with this gas.
You would do far better to order your generator set up
for running natural gas. Propane requires larger jets since
it is a larger molecule than methane.

When you start burning the biogas in an internal combustion engine you need to scrub it first to remove
contaminants that corrode engines such as sulphur. It isn't a big deal but it is an extra step with extra complexity and another chance for adding problems.
This is why this idea is best suited for the community level with dedicated workers tending the process.

At the level of the small holding farmer (me) the best
solution is burn the gas directly and utilize the heat for
getting work done. Remember the KISS principle. The
goal is simplicity. Theoretically elegant, technically simple. We are, after all, neo-luddites. Occam's razor
rules.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:35 PM   #49
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Default Re: Biogas & Steam

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Originally Posted by doodah View Post
Thank you, Baggy, once again. I understand the principle. But are those bladders made of plastic? Rubber? What?

Thanks.

In answer to this question, I scroogled "methane bladders". Here's what I found:

Suitable materials for the bladder include reinforced gco-membrane materials such as XR-5® 8130 or XR-3® 8228 reinforced geo-membranes available from the Seaman Corporation, Wooster, Ohio, and reinforced geo-membranes from Cooley

geosynthetics

Geomembranes are made of various materials. Some common geomembrane materials are Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Polypropylene (PP).


"Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). General Info. Center for Health, Environment and Justice: PVC: The Poison Plastic -- The Campaign for Safe, Healthy Consumer ..." www.ejnet.org/plastics/pvc/

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) -- "High-Density Polyethylene(HDPE) or PolyEthylene High-Density (PEHD) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. It takes 1.75 kilograms of ..." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDPE

Polypropylene (PP) -- polypropylene-pp petrochemicals, http://www.commodityonline.com/commo...opylene-pp.php

All these products are made from petroleum, which, according to my hundreds of hours of research, is probably the most poisonous substance on this planet -- not something I really want to take with me into the future. This gives pause for thought.

Last edited by doodah; 09-29-2008 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:56 AM   #50
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Default Re: Need advice - How to live Non-Electrically

Reading your post tweaked my brain about something I read sometime back...about dual, even triple sources of energy generating. In a boat, you have solar, wind and hydro. Meaning, you can have a series of small paddlewheels churning up electricity and sending it to your batteries even as the wind moves the vessel and the solar panels suck down energy...

I just listened to Cliff (C2C HalfPastHuman interview) say he was building a big boat. 3/4 of the planet is water. Plenty of all energy sources out there, and food, and water (assuming you have desalination capability).

Not sure any of this matters if you get caught in a tsunami...how do you guys propose to handle big bad weather, of which there is plenty forecast?

Just thinking out loud, here...
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