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Author Topic: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?  (Read 37031 times)

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Offline Danny_S

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Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« on: December 12, 2005, 09:32:42 PM »
Anyone around here like to build windmills, solar power, hydro power, alternative fuels, burn waste vegetanble oil, ect..ect..  ???

I am experimenting with a burner unit that will burn waste fryer grease (veggie oil). I have in the past help install a factory built boiler that will do just this, and has been burning it for about 2 years now. We found alot of faults with the machine but in turn we have made the system better. It heats two - 100' x 30' buildings and a 4 bedroom farmhouse, plus all the hot water.

I also want to build a windmill, from scratch..

Handy link to some homebuilt projects..

www.otherpower.com
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Offline OneWithWood

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2005, 07:52:23 AM »
I have been actively researching brewing WVO to make bio-d to do just what you have done.  Did you purchase a dual fuel boiler or convert an existing one?  I just priced a dual fuel replacement for my Central Boiler and about had a coronary when I saw the price  :o
I have not set up my appleseed style still because it is too cold to process.  Come spring I hope to be up and running.
I sure could use some advice and I would appreciate it if you would provide some detail of what you had to do to get the boiler to burn bio-d.
Some Qs:
Is the boiler dual fuel (wood or oil, wood and oil) or just set up for oil?
How many gallons of bio-d is needed for a heating season?
What do you do to keep the gel point low?
One With Wood
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Offline PawNature

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2005, 08:03:52 AM »
Built a Moonshine still... Ahemmmm I mean alternative fuel distillery once. 8) ;D
GOVERMENT HAS WAY TO MUCH CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES!!!!

Offline thedeeredude

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2005, 09:23:35 AM »
Yeah, I've dabbled with alternative energy.  I tried walking once instead of driving.  Let me tell you, its not what it's cracked up to be!

Offline Modat22

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2005, 10:18:49 AM »
One of the niftiest alternate ideas I ever saw was a methane generator. It was a big tank with the bottom cut off that slid over a slightly smaller tank. There was a seal around smaller tank.

Waste, kitchen scraps, animal scat etc was thrown in there. As the methane was produced the big tank would raise. The gas was used to provide for cooking fires.
remember man that thy are dust.

Offline Coon

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2005, 10:32:07 AM »
Use of alternate energy..................  H**L YEAH. :D 

Next spring we are converting our power system over to Solar.  We have our proposal written up for the bank.  I do not see any reason as to why they would not fund our project.  We are willing to pay a loan payment equall to what we pay for power at this point in time.  We would like to set up with enough power to supply our house, garage, kiln (which isn't built yet), and saw shed.  We already have our own well, and are heating/cooking with wood.  All that leaves us for utility bills is our telephone, which would greatly cut our expenses. :o :o
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Offline edsaws

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2005, 10:55:59 AM »
Other than my wood insert no. I watched a video on bio deisel and couldn't justify the cost, labor, time to make it. I still hope that someday fuel cells will become a reality. I'd love to get one of them and sell what I don't use back to the power company  8). But I don't think that'll happen anytime soon. I also thought about solar since my house faces north/south that may be a possiblity some day.

Offline Modat22

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2005, 10:59:57 AM »
I'd like to get my hands on one of those 50 hp sterling engines. I saw a few on the discovery channel rigged up to burn sawdust and pushing an electric generator, If I remember correctly they where around 80 percent efficient and very reliable. Mostly used in 3rd world countries and cost prohibited in the USA
remember man that thy are dust.

Offline Paschale

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2005, 02:52:24 PM »
I just heard on the radio on Sunday about some "vegetable oil wars" in Portland, OR.  There are guys converting their diesel cars over to vegetable oil, and so all the restaurants are being approached by these guys who filter the old stuff out and sell it to these guys. Quite a little war brewing over there. Apparently, Diesel designed his original engines to run on peanut oil, which I didn't know until I heard that.  Apparently there are about 3 billion gallons of veggie old used in restaurants across the country.  That would run a lot of diesel engines!  Just wonder if your exhaust smells like french fries...   ;)

I've read you can convert oil furnaces to run on Waste Vegetable Oil...is this easily done?
Y'all can pronounce it "puh-SKOLLY"

Offline farmerdoug

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2005, 05:14:25 PM »
I converted a pot type oil furnance to burn waste motor oil to heat a greenhouse once.  The problem I had was trying to find used motor oil to burn with regularity after I burned up the waste oil I had stored on the farm.  I did not realize that ten years ago that there were that many waste oil burners out here until I tried to locate the waste oil.

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Offline Danny_S

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2005, 07:26:55 PM »
The boiler we installed burnt STRAIGHT used vegetable oil. We did not convert it to biodiesel. This is a pic of the burner unit.



The unit on the left is the oil pump. In the housing is a D.C. motor that has a potentiometer switch on it so you can control the oil flow to the burner. The oil pump itself is not any different than a regular oil furnace oil pump. On the end of the burner unit (right) is the air compressor. It also has a valve that can be adjusted to regulate the airflow into the burner nozzle. The main housing and blower fan are te same as a regular furnace. The secret is the oil/air heating block inside the barrel of the blower assembly. There is a alumium block about 10 inches long, with passageways drilled in it so the oil will go the length of the block twice before it reaches the nozzle. The air does the same. The block has a 400 watt element in it that starts before the furnace starts to preheat the oil before ignition. The nozzle mixes the oil and air and is fired with the electrodes the same as a regular furnace.

We let the oil sit in a hot room that is about 120 degrees for a week or so. The crap and crud in the oil will settle to the bottom of the barrel. We pump off the good clean oil and it goes through a 10 micron filter before it goes in the storage tank. There are hot water heat elements under the tanks to keep them warm. We found that we had to keep the copper lines and the final filter, the pump unit and the line going to the burner all warm to keep it from congealing on the cooler surfaces of the filter casings.

The guages only lasted about a month, so we replaced them with liquid filled ones, they are much more accurate and dont "bounce" like the other cheap ones did. There is a small plastic line that comes from the compressor that goes into the burner, that we had to replace with copper because the compressor generated alot of heat and melted it.

THere are other things that we did to it to make it work better but will be continued later, got to go get the wife!

This is the site that supplies this burner.. www.econoheat.com
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Offline toxedo_2000

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2005, 01:53:34 AM »
I made a watermill 11 or 12 years ago. A big wheel 8 feet in diameter connected to a car alternator, charging 12 volts batteries. An inverter was plugged to the batteries and produced 110 volt. It worked well until it began to be affected by moisture. But 3 years ago I had to replace that watermill with a little home made turbine with a home made Pelton wheel, just 6 inches in diameter. With help of few friends, I had to pull up in the mountain 1800 feet of carlon pipe, up to a little lake, at 225 feet of denivellation. Now, it is working very well and I produce around 300 watts/h, 24 hours a day. I use it at my remote camp. You can look at a QuickTime film I made at the time I installed my watermill.
http://www.tuxedoproductions.com/page4.html (wait for the film to dowload entirely before trying to play it)

The mill is now in a covered place that i built over the stream, and plugged to 8 batteries with a 2000 watts capacity each.
Toxedo
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Why walk when you can fly

Offline crtreedude

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2005, 05:50:04 AM »
Energy is so cheap here that the return on investment would be a long time for almost anything - except perhaps using wood scrap to run kilns. Costa Rica sells hydroelectric to other countries it has so much. Lots of rain, lots of mountains makes for lots of power.

I guess I do use alternative energy in one way - it is called a horse.  ;D
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline pappy

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2005, 09:50:39 AM »
WOW toxedo nice video clip... 8) 8) 8) 8)

I can't read French to pretty good but you are WAAAY up north... you gotta be real close to the N. Pole uh??

crtreedude he's the one to talk to about helicopters   ;D  that's got to be the best way to see the sites as toxedo does...



oh ya welcome toxedo
"And if we live, we shall go again, for the enchantment which falls upon those who have gone into the woodland is never broken."

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Offline toxedo_2000

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2005, 10:17:10 AM »
 :D :D :D Not really near the North Pole

It is 1 and a half hour flying time, north of Montreal, Quebec. Cannot go with a vehicule on wheel 'cause there is no road. But it would take about 9 or 10 hours on the existing roads to get few miles from my cabin.
Thanks for the comments
Toxedo
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Why walk when you can fly

Offline toxedo_2000

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2005, 11:53:55 PM »
I wanted to add few pics of what I had try to explain with words. Pic worth a thousand words no ?
Remember, everything there came by floatplane or helicopter, except the logs and boards. No ground road there.

That is the first watermill I built 11-12 years ago. It is oak and plywood. I made it in my shop, then unmounted it to put it the floatplane I had at that time. Then reassembled it on place.


And there is the second one, 3 years ago


Under it you find a little wheel


And the nozzle that bring water with pressure (68 PSI)


We had to bring a very long pipe (carlon, 1800 feet) This pic shows how we bring that to the remote cabin. We had to tie most of it on the floats of the Beaver because it was to big to go inside.


In flight.


I was not far in my helicopter



We pull the 1800 hundred feet by length of 450 feet to a little lake at a level of 225 feet higher

An there is the watermill at work

later I built this house for the mill

Here it is inside over the stream


This pic shows the batteries where i stock the energy


Here the DC is transformed to AC and and from there it goes to the camp.



We even can watch TV. The antenna is at top of a tree.


In the living room


And the kitchen


The thing i like to think is that it is a little stream that roast my toasts and bring me TV an everything else.
Hope I did not bother you with my little story
Regards
Toxedo




Toxedo
Why walk when you can fly

Offline Skytramp

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2005, 12:42:11 AM »
I have two uncles that run a garage in a small town near me, they store all their used oil in a tank uphill from the garage.  They ran a 1/2 inch steel line down hill to their wood stove.  they then ran a small pipe into the old cast iron stove  they controll the flow with a water valve, just a drip on the burning wood produces a lot of heat and gets rid of the used oil.
     Don't know what the EPA would say, but it works for them.
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Offline srjones

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2005, 02:36:37 AM »
Toxedo, that is waaaay cool.  (très fantastique!)  :o

I think micro-hydro is definatly the way to go if you've got the water to do it.   If you don't mind my asking, how did you make the 'paddles' like the one you're holding in your fingers?  Also, at how many RPMs does it run and how is it regulated?

Along the same lines, but I'm not sure if would be considered alternative energy, is the ram pump.  It's low tech (only two moving parts) and pumps water from point A to point B using gravity and hydraulic pressure.

I hope to do both someday.
Everyone has hobbies...I hope to live in mine someday.

Offline Deadwood

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2005, 04:40:25 AM »
You didn't have a project on your hands Toxedo, you had a adventure building that. Planes, helicopters, piping and machining, wow that is quite the story. Thanks for sharing.

Offline crtreedude

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Re: Anyone experiment with alternative energy?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2005, 05:17:55 AM »
that is wonderful - I have to admit my dream has always been having a cabin in the woods. Granted, I can't complain - we have a square kilometer of plantation and rainforest now - but NO CABIN!

Once Harold gets here - it is on the list. 

So, how did I end up here anyway?


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