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Friday, 27 August 2010

Alternative energy

As you will have noticed from previous posts, here, here, & here. I’ve been undertaking frivolous serious research into alternative means of powering a house.

All three are out of the question, either by cost, as in the case of photovoltaic. Lack of resource, in the case of the wind turbine, and the sheer impracticality  of building a nuclear reactor in the garden shed. (I think it’s not allowed due to the council byelaws).

Yes I know some commenters have explored  harnessing the tidal power of the toilet but trying to fit a generator in the U bend could cause problems.

So what next?

Methane recovery?

Heat pumps

Wood burning stove?

Fiddling the meter?


  1. What about the following?

  2. I did this a couple of years ago FE and found the costs far exceeded the years I have left. So it was a top of the range combi boiler for me and more insulation. Seems to work well.

  3. Perusing this and other blogs while 'enjoying' yet another August rainstorm it occured to me that gallons of water were being supplied on our roof at a height of 7 or 8 meters. All the energy being wasted as it runs down the drainpipes could perhaps be captured by small waterwheels and generators fitted in the downpipes?

  4. How about a treadmill, it could be operated by the local chav scum on a daily/weekly/monthly basis as a penance for their crimes against society instead of giving them an ASBO and/or free bike.

  5. It's the case really that retrofitting stuff to yer average Brit abode is going to be problematic.

    A pal of mine buried a Lister CS diesel engine in the back garden and used it to generate leccy and recovered heat from the exhaust and water jacket with a modified aircon unit. It ran on anything from creosote to heated up veg oil. Ideal for

    But essentially CHP is the thing the greenies and the and the twats in gummint don't care to talk about - because ....very roughly - pay for leccy=heat free - or... pay for heat =leccy free. Lots of them around the country = reduced transmission loss - all synched to an atomic clock.

    Schools, old folks shared accomodation, municipal swimming pools, council offices, shopping malls, groups of three or more houses. All quite do-able with existing tech and minimal mods.

    half the taxes, reduced demand from big electricity boys - less money for the fat useless greedy cheating utility company twats (who are bankers in disguise these days IMHO ) nooooo - no, they don't want to go there....

    I have seen several hotels that I thought had containerised standby gennies which actually turned out to be silenced CHP units.

  6. There is an American magazine that takes a very Filthy Engineer approach (well at least it used to - maybe got gweenpieced + trendy ) attitude to alternative power. All based on the "well damn, I'm 15 miles from the nearest power pole - what do I do?" approach. The archives are worth a browse if you're minded to disconnect from the grid (a fantasy of mine...) And all costed properly.

  7. Wood burner. I have 2 and they're great. I get an endless supply of broken pallets from work.
    Our heating bills have been miniscule for years. It does take a bit of effort chopping wood but its all good fun.
    Not too practical for cooking but you get some great burgers and spuds out of them.

  8. I've read the Japanese are selling very small container sized nuclear power plants, small town size, 20,000kW. If you are really keen on this stuff, why not form a cooperative with the neigbours, buy one (talk to Toshiba about their HP?) and all get free electrical stuff forever. About 150 years ago, before big government, coops were the recognised way to go, for just about anything.
    Sticky Wolf

  9. Off on a tangent before the first hurdle. It is not, and never was about 'alternative means of powering a house'.

    It is about increasing the price of energy and forcing you to use less, no matter what the impact on your life. All such initiatives are not about uplifting the less well off, they are about dragging you down to the level of the lowest common denominator.

    And, of course they don't work. That is not a bug, it's a feature.

  10. Wrote a load for your delectation but your blog reported an error and dumped it before I could post! Bugger!
    Ok. Reduced version is that passive water heating panels on your roof are a winner. Also loads of insulation and draught-proofing. Wood burning stove and boiler or range cooker with heat exchanger are superb if you can lay your hands on a reliable cheap or free timber source. I do and save a fortune! If you have a stream drop a small water turbine in for cheap lighting. Lastly, if you have more than one kid keep one and lose the rest. Also tell wife that she is getting a bit heavy round the bum as you strap her to the static bike with dynamo for keep fit purposes! Read to her while she is pedalling to charge bank of car batteries rather than switching on the BBC propoganda machine. Bathe every second day and sponge wash in between.
    Count all the cash you're saving..

  11. GtFPT

    CHP is only economic where you have a matched demand for low-quality (i.e. low temperature) hot water.

    Swimming pools are ideal, as are hotels with swimming pools. The 'leccy power demand is there; and, the by-product waste heat generated by the engine 'trickle-charges' the pool water 24/7.

    'Normal' Domestic premises never have the correct elec power / hot water demand ratio.

  12. The term Alternative Energy is generally used to indicate non-traditional energy systems which
    do not use fossil fuels and have low environmental impact. There are many non-fossil fuel based energy systems either already in use or being evolved and developed to counter the harmful effects of increasing use of fossil fuels.

    Wood Burning Stoves


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