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….(lost) arts and crafts.
Heating with wood for 15 years now. Cooking for 2 years. Both wood burner and range cooker have a batch rocket conversion. Results in a very clean burn. Noisy though. I have never swept both chimneys, but they do get an annual inspection. Note that I only use very dry wood.
We still have central heating for the bathroom, waterbed and domestic hot water. I hope to have the water also heated on wood next winter, so the central heating can function as a backup.
Annual wood consumption about 10 m3. Small living quarters.
A hint when building a RMH indoors: do not use the common open fire chamber. Smoke, or worse: carbonmonoxide can blow back. Better to build the so called batch rocket. On this forum it can be found: http://donkey32.proboards.com/
Got your point. Yes that is a gasifier. Somewhere in the dungeons of PP is an article I wrote on woodgasification. Or visit my website woodgas.nl when you have questions.
You wrote: "the luxury of no choice". Guess you mean: the luxury of choice. What is wrong with choosing for voluntary poverty and exploring new directions, when the alternative is contributing to consumerism?
Modern society is like a zoo. With the difference that zoo animals are not enslaved. We are all born in this golden cage and many like it. Some of us escaped and enjoy a free, new, resilient, selfsufficient life. They will never voluntary return to the cages of the zoo. So enjoy every day. Don't be a prepper, waiting for the apocalypse. Be a selfsufficient person that enjoys his of her new life, independent of a possible collapse will occur or not. Whatever direction the future will go, I'm having a hell of a good time, having chosen for voluntary poverty…. Regards, DJ
Home power fed to the grid can be taxed a lot, before break-even with an off-grid system is reached. Grid tied inverters have an efficiency around 97%. Battery systems about 50%. Partly this has to do with the very inefficient absorbtion charge part of the batteries. And when the pack is topped off, solar power is cut and wind power dumped, so lost too. Batteries do not live long enough to have them repayed, even if you baby them carefully. An off-grid system makes you independent? Independent of what? Yes, when one considers power suppliers. No, on behalf of suppliers of hardware like inverters and batteries.
In the Netherlands, a grid tied solar system has a payback time of 7-10 years. Same power, but kept indoors by means of a battery pack: no packback time, because batteries do not live long enough. Note that if you keep the grid connection intact, but do not use it, no costs are charged by the supplier. In fact you get some tax return, because you use so less….
When grid power is available, adding a battery based off-grid system can be considered as an expensive insurance. Or an expensive hobby…..
Only 0.2 Gallons/hour for 15 kWh? I doubt it. 0.2 gallon of diesel contains 0.2 times 38 kWh/gallon is 7,6 kWh energy. Say the Perkins runs at 30% efficiency, then you got 2.3 kWh shaft energy. Leaving about 2 kWh electric energy. That sounds more like idle running.
Victory Gasworks and Gekgasifier are two American woodgasifier brands. Expensive, but good, when in hands of an experienced operator and fed with the right fuel.
Every engine runs most efficient near max torque. Running it at 10% power means a great percentage of fuel is lost due to internal friction. Imagin it running at 0% power, so idle. Which genset uses most fuel: a 5 kW or a 50 kW?
You can live on 1 kW. 1 kW means 24 kWh a day. That’s 2.5 times the average household consumption in my country. You might need a battery pack and 2 or 3 kW inverter, depending on momentary power demand. I like my wind and solar system with a cheap generator as backup. It is a lazy way of power production. Only little maintenance, uses no oil and fuel, it is quiet, less complicated, half of it may break down and it still will limp on. In a TSHTF scenario you do not want to worry about fuel supply and maintenance, by having only one energy source. A genset should be the backup for your regular off-grid system. We have grid power, but I sized the off-grid system only that large that it can supply enough those few vital power users. The off-grid system runs these vital parts continously, in order to keep the batteries exercised.
I see a fossil fuel powered generator as a temporary methode. Good for a few days or weeks. So one needs to think for what timeframe he wants power backup and decide accordingly.
Of course a big generator is very comfortable. But at some point the fuel runs out and leaves you with nothing. Mike is right. Cut down on consumption. In case of a long term emergency you do not want to maintain the previous comfort level, better to get used to much lower standards of living. It is easier to survive on a low level, rather than falling from al cliff and on your way down through the long term modest standard. It is like a wildfire: only small animals survive.
You never run out of a combination of solar, wind and wood. A well maintained battery pack lasts many years. And if you never want to sit in the dark, buy a small woodgas powered generator, only to charge the battery pack, in case wind and sun let you down a few days.
Well, here in the Netherlands we had a very dry, hot and sunny spring. Summer was cold and wet. Now it is still to humid. Tomatoes are suffering of blight, even in the greenhouse, although the greenhouse harvest was good. Never had so much and so big (early) potatoes, but we had to water them. Most fruit did and does very well, except for cherries and plums. Wheat was good, but the straw is lost due to too frequent rain. Onions were early too, just like pumkins. Many beans. Much of what is still standing is suffering of the moist and caterpillars. The later could be caused by the fact that our permagarden has not yet stabilized.
All in all not a too bad season, just some vegs did fine, while others did not. Perhaps next year it is the other way round. Doesn’t matter, canned vegs and fruits last over two years anyway, so we remain to have a very wide diet.