Thursday, October 08, 2015

Telescope Storage Box

For some reason, I needed to build a carrying case for my friend's telescope, that he's storing at my house.  Turned out alright. 

and, while I was working, I broke the tripod plastic, and had to  make new oak ones. not bad, if I do say so myself.  


Dan P said...

I was wondering, what happened to your compost heating experiment? (

You had installed the in floor heating but I never saw a followup on how you are using it. Whether it was through a compost heating system, on demand heater, or if you're not using the radiant heating system.

I'm interested in a similar system and was wondering how yours turned out.

Tys said...

Hey Dan,

thanks for your interest! While that original experiment of getting a good hot compost pile worked quite well (I remember getting that 5 gal of water up pretty high), my composting has ebbed and flowed since then.
That is, I've composted constantly, but only sometimes, with the right ingredients, would I get some real heat in the center of the pile.

Also, I did a bit more reading, and part of the issue with using compost to heat something else is you need a REALLY big pile - that doesn't really get stirred - with really good ingredients... basically, it started to be hard to justify the concept.

Because I don't have farm animals that create a lot of poop, importing manure from other farms is energy intensive - both for me and my truck.

If someone was asking me how to heat enough water to warm up a house slab, I'd say you'd need a pile of *manure* AND greens that was more than 4 or 5 feet tall and more than 10 feet across, and monitored well enough to keep it moist enough to have the thing decomposing.
Then you'd need a big enough coil of piping to hold the same amount of water that the floor holds that could sit inside the pile in a flat way (like a plate, not a spool).

I've decided to start building an outdoor water boiler instead. This was the first model: and now I've taken that apart and doing something lower down, so I don't have to pump the water up.

Dan P said...

Thanks for the response. Have you considered the Jean Pain method which uses all browns like wood chips to create heat for a long period of time? Seems like you would have a lot of wood chip potential in your area and it wouldn't require turning, just set and forget. Here is a link showing an example:

I've been looking into that and it seems promising but I have not encountered any examples of it being done for a house. Just greenhouses and other smaller scale experiments.

All in all radiant heating seems to have the flexibility for a lot of energy options but short of commercial on demand heaters I have not come across a method that someone is successfully using to heat a whole house.

(I'll keep an eye out for your follow up water heater post)

Tys said...

yep, that's exactly the video/story/situation that I've looked at too. And you're right, I have the wood chip material. However-
1. I'd have to chip it up! I don't currently own a chipper and don't want more equipment that runs on gas and breaks, etc. I also hate the noise and work. (my neighbors do sometimes have chips, but not with regularity)
2. Every minute of that video shows them putting WATER on the pile - another key component of composting. I don't have that much water! well, I have the water, but I don't want to use it to do just that.
3. That video seems to be made in summertime... another good time for composting. However, I, and I assume you, need to heat the house in WINTER time. (it is when I'd have enough water, but) compost piles slow down in winter, defeating your purpose.

perhaps, if you had unlimited supply of chips (and some can get municipalities to deliver) and you don't have water issues, and you can set up below your house where the chips can be delivered, it could work. I don't have any of those myself. it's a cool idea though.

Tys said...

you know what? thinking about this compost heat thing, now that it's cold, I'm thinking maybe I will give it another try. I just found a big batch of plastic pipe....

Dan P said...

I would love to hear how it goes.

Tys said...

Dan P, check my latest post.. Goaded on by you, I've started up.

Starting anti-fire prep

Well, we never really stop.  But, took a picture of today's raking below the yurt.  Every year I work to get a bit wider swath cleared....