Thermal security on the homestead

Alternative energy sources
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The usual. As I have two large solar PV systems here, and my lab assistant just put one in, and others are interested in things like this, here's where that stuff goes. This is mostly for things that work now, not "gee someday a fusor will do this" -- we know that, but it's not someday yet.
The hope is to save anyone embarking on this sort of thing a lot of wasted time and money, as at least I have been off the grid since 1980 and have had a lot of practice (and made mistakes you won't have to).

Thermal security on the homestead

Postby Doug Coulter » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:24 pm

"I bin workin on the home-stead, all the live-long day". I have total of four buildings here, all heated with wood, two with propane suplement for those days it's chilliy in the AM, but you dare not start a fire because the sun's coming out.
We were recently "gifted" with most of a ~~300 year old oak tree, sound, that got washed out in the floods we had recently. It fell across a road, the state cut it in half and pushed half onto a guys yard - he wanted it gone, we wanted the wood.
This year I'll be heating with wood of a quality most can't afford for flororing or furniture - and maybe next year too. There are still a number of truckloads ready for us to go and get, but we're going to have to leave half (at least) of the tonnage there as it's 6' diameter and we can't figure out a way to get it cut - and out where it is, I can't use the dynamite trick to split it up w/o some unwanted attention (even though it's legal and all). So, as the title says...
2013-08-29 16.59.46.jpg
New shed on main building I live in. Solar panels make a nice roof - note the one piiece of roofing tin I needed to fill in the gap there - a couple cords maybe. All sound red oak.

Front view. Yes, I let the weeds get out of hand in the garden, but you know what? Tomatoes, basil, oregano, peppers (mostly hot ones) all do fine regardless. Even the dill is fine, and the asparagus.
2013-08-29 17.00.03.jpg
Looking back to the building.


But that's not enough...so we're building another shed close by against the building I call my "office trailer" which is where we wrote all that software that paid so well.
2013-08-29 17.00.28.jpg
This will be 5.5 x 20 feet, and you can get out the door and into the wood and back under cover the entire trip.

Need this now because....the truck is full, and there's truckloads more out there to bring home.
2013-08-29 17.01.01.jpg
Removed the water getter barrel from the truck so I could get more wood in.

2013-08-29 17.00.48.jpg
Because this isn't a great place for wood. Not shown is the 8 tons of cola I also have just to the right, just in case. (bought back when it was really cheap, keeps forever, but stinks to burn).

And there's another woodshed at my "storage building" - the one you can't see on google maps from the sky because it's in the woods. This is also where I keep my freezer, since for now I don't heat it in winter, and it saves kWh.
2013-08-29 17.01.21.jpg
Storage shed. That can be filled too, but it's hard to get to with the tractor when there's snow on the ground. And uphill to everywhere you'd want this wood - this is emergency stuff.


When building in the mountains, levels and squares are required - nothing ever looks straight by eyeball, ever. See?
2013-08-29 17.01.43.jpg
It always looks off...I don't care, it's right.


Nothing looks straight when you're in the mountaints, but believe it or not, this beginning of the new shed - is straight, level, square.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Doug Coulter
 
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Re: Themral security on the homstead

Postby Doug Coulter » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:55 pm

In a more private setting, I can use the dynamite trick to split wood...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0qXQCVLGKQ

This was also filmed by Vice magazine, and will air on the web in a few weeks, along with all the other stuff they filmed - lots.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Doug Coulter
 
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Location: Floyd county, VA, USA

Re: Themral security on the homestead

Postby Doug Coulter » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:43 pm

I'll have more on the heating/wintereizing later - that work is still in progress and I've not taken all the pix I want of it yet. But there's another side to "thermal security" and that is surviving summer heat. And here's how I do that:
http://youtu.be/bIB3mtb0zNM


This is a super neat trick that I finally found after years of looking into how to do this well. I'm using a nominal 8", 24v/1 amp computer rack fan to drive a Bernoulli tube followed by a "passive" turbine. The result is around 1000 cfm moved for about 20w input (I'm not running the fan wide open, just where it works the best for the amount of noise it makes etc). Having this makes it easy to have a breeze on the top floor, and it rarely gets more than a couple degrees F above ambient up here where I sit. Depending on the time of day, I can open a window about 16' away on either the east or west side up here, and get a breeze that will blow out a ciggarette lighter flame where I normally sit in the middle of the room. Cool! (pun unintentional). This means I only run the A/C rarely in summer, which is bonus all the way - I really mainly use it on those few days when it's both unbearably hot and super humid - it's more of a dehumidifier than anything - a small wall unit in a 512 sq foot room (1k sq foot building, but the cold air doesn't go down stairs for whatever reason, as well as hot air does come upstairs when I want it to).
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Doug Coulter
 
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Location: Floyd county, VA, USA

Re: Themral security on the homestead

Postby Doug Coulter » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:09 am

This turned into a fun thread describing my living system/life over at pmbug.com - another place I inhabit sometimes. Good and smart people over there.
I'm kind of the resident scientist/skeptic for them.
http://www.pmbug.com/forum/f6/solar-bac ... #post27477

If you'e into that sort of thing, you should join up over there and add to the discussions. Nice diversity of viewpoints.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
User avatar
Doug Coulter
 
Posts: 2984
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:05 pm
Location: Floyd county, VA, USA


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