Solar Water Heating Projects and Plans Solar water heating systems have a good economic payoff, and are manageable systems to install or build as a DIY project. Some of the solar water heating designs are very simple and low cost. You can save as much as $7000 by building your own system. There are just over one hundred projects with full construction details listed below -- all free. The projects range from simple batch heaters for warm climates through closed loop and drain back systems that will work in any climate. One of the systems is our own $1,000 solar water heating system that has provided a solar fraction in excess of 90% through our cold Montana winter. My thanks to the people who have built systems, and then taken the time to send in pictures and descriptions for others to use. Directory for this page: Information on pumps, heat exchangers, heat storage tanks Controllers, pipe insulation, backdraft dampers and other components for solar space heating systems here... Solar Water Heater kits or packages... Questions?
Solar Greenhouse Resources Home > Master Publication List > Solar Greenhouses Barbara Bellows, updated by K. Adam NCAT Agriculture Specialists © NCAT 2008 IP142 This resource list discusses basic principles of solar greenhouse design, as well as different construction material options. Table of Contents Introduction Since 2000, U.S. greenhouse growers have increasingly adopted high tunnels as the preferred solar greenhouse technology. All greenhouses collect solar energy. Passive solar greenhouses are often good choices for small growers because they are a cost-efficient way for farmers to extend the growing season. The majority of the books and articles about old-style solar greenhouses were published in the 1970s and 1980s. The newest form of solar greenhouse, widely adopted by U.S. producers, is high tunnels. Out-of-print publications often can be found in used bookstores, libraries, and through the inter-library loan program. Back to top Basic Principles of Solar Greenhouse Design Solar Greenhouse Designs Glazing
FreestyleFarm » “Just winging it in the city” One Per Cent: Grid-scale battery could keep going and going... Hal Hodson, technology reporter We need a big battery for when the sun doesn't shine (Top Photo Corporation/Rex Features) A new battery technology may pave the way for cheap, long-lived power storage that can quickly pump electricity into the grid to compensate for fluctuating renewables like wind and solar. Developed by Yi Cui and colleagues at Stanford University in California, the battery's key advantage is its electrodes, which can run for a thousand charge cycles without degrading. Battery electrodes typically degrade over time as ions in a battery cell repeatedly slam into them and are ripped away again. By coating the negatively charged cathode in copper hexacyanoferrate and using an anode made of activated carbon and a conductive polymer - compounds that allow electricity-carrying ions to move easily in and out - the team were able to build a prototype battery with electrodes that didn't lose capacity over time. (Image: Business Wire)
Caterpillar tunnel: An inexpensive variation on the hoophouse theme - Growing for Market Growing for Market is THE trade magazine for market farmers! Available in print or online, it is published 10 times per year and features practical, how-to articles written by growers from all over the U.S. and Canada. Click here to learn more about subscriptions options. By Lynn Byczynski Among the many season extension structures in use on vegetable farms today, one of the least expensive is the caterpillar tunnel. Caterpillars are easy to build and move. Caterpillars are used for many crops and many purposes. This article will focus on growing summer crops, including cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, and flowers in a caterpillar tunnel. Building a caterpillarThe hoops for a caterpillar tunnel can be galvanized steel, electrical conduit or pvc. Anne and Eric Nordell of Beech Grove Farm in Trout Run, Pennsylvania, use caterpillars on their farm. Cucumbers and tomatoesThe Nordells have a short season at their farm in the mountaints. Copyright Fairplain Publications Inc.
Masanobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming and Permaculture | Permaculture & Alcohol Can Be A Gas Masanobu Fukuoka is a farmer/philosopher who lives on the Island of Shikoku, in southern Japan. His farming technique requires no machines, no chemicals and very little weeding. He does not plow the soil or use prepared compost and yet the condition of the soil in his orchards and fields improve each year. How is this possible? I had not heard of permaculture at the time, but I can see now that Fukuoka's farm is a classic working model of permaculture design. Mollison and Fukuoka took entirely different routes to get to essentially the same place. The key word here is design. The idea for natural farming came to Fukuoka when he was about twenty five years old. But where to begin? The basic idea for his rice growing came to him one day when he happened to pass an old field which had been left unused and unplowed for many years. This is not to say that Fukuoka did not experiment. His vegetable growing also reflects this idea. Zone 2 is his grain fields. Zone 3 is the orchard. Larry Korn
Atlantic Canada Solar Directory | Solar Nova Scotia Power Strength & Energy Solutions Ltd is a renewable energy company utilizing the latest technologies to bring about the most efficient use of the sun's energy for residential and commercial applications. These applications include solar thermal for domestic hot water and space heating, wood stoves/boilers, wood chip boilers, pellet stoves/boilers, photovoltaic for electrical energy generation and LED lighting. We combine solar thermal collectors and wood boilers/wood gasification boilers which is a great marriage. Our principals have over 30 years experience in the fields of renewable energy. We design and install systems to strict and safe standards in accordance with local code requirements. At PSES, we ensure that all our clients' needs for clean renewable energy are met with affordable, reliable, easy to use, convenient and efficient designs. Areas serviced: Canada, all provinces and territories.
You Should Judge a Greenhouse by its Cover; Your Plants Will By Michelle Moore Summary: Explore the pros and cons of various greenhouse covering choices as well as greenhouse paneling features that should be considered before buying a greenhouse. A handy checklist follows the article. At the 1851 Great Exposition in Hyde Park London, England, visitors gathered at the Crystal Palace from around the world. Greenhouses have long been a status symbol in Europe and are often inspired by grand creations such as the Crystal Palace. Many of the greenhouse books, while excellent, are written by English authors and refer to “growing under glass”. What makes a good greenhouse covering? Once you have answered the questions at the end of the article, it is easier to prioritize the primary attributes you will need in a covering. Insulation - How will does the greenhouse covering hold in the heat? The primary function of a greenhouse is to trap solar radiation from the sun in an enclosed area. Not all light is the same, just ask any photographer. Cost/Value
Build a Compost Toilet, Ladies Urinal & Solar Shower from Recycled Materials Stuart Aylett left his job in the building trade over ten years ago and headed west to find a simpler life. After landing in Somerset, he bought a half acre of land at Stonage Lane in 2009 and attempted to rejuvenate his newly acquired monoculture of rye grass into a yield-producing paradise. In March 2012 he moved into a second-hand caravan on the plot, now known as Stonage Organics, and began work on the new compost toilet system that is the focus of this article. Step one: Building the Humanure compost toilet and hand washing facility Having decided to use the humanure system of composting human waste, Stuart built a compost toilet structure, which also incorporates a ladies urinal and hand-wash facility. The structural timber and cladding utilises milled wood from a local sustainable woodland project, while pallets and water butts were recycled from a local farm. main structure from locally sourced heavy timbers with simple jointing Step two: The solar shower About the author
Sustainable design, zero energy passive solar green home HTM high thermal mass holistic housing consultation packages for the earthhome do-it-yourselfer With over 20 years of experience, we are the original zero-energy green home building company! Sustainable design, zero-energy, passive solar homes are free from mechanical climate control systems for truly independent living. Our website is packed with loads of valuable free information, so please take the time to read all of this passive solar chapter and all of the many detail pages. Learn why high thermal mass (HTM™) dry stack block, mortared concrete block, or poured-in-place concrete wall construction is a much better answer than super-insulated (high R value) air-tight construction for ANY climate. Conventional stick framing, log homes, strawbale houses, autoclaved aerated concrete construction, and especially insulated concrete forms ICF's are simply not feasible, passive solar, sustainable design materials because they don't effectively store and release energy. HTM construction homes will function just fine in any climate, anywhere in the world.
Wall O’ Water, 3-Pack - Garden Harvest Supply Inc Wall O Water Plant Protectors and Season Extenders Wall O' Water plant protectors will keep your plants growing with temps down to 16°F. Gardeners may be concerned that it is too cold at night if you plant 2 months before the last frost—but cold is good. You want it to freeze, as that is what makes the Plant Protector work. When the water in the Plant Protector freezes at night, it gives off 1.8 million calories of heat—half of which stays inside and keeps the plant warm. How to use the Wall O Water Plant Protector: Use an empty 5-gallon bucket as a frame to set up the empty Plant Protector, and then simply fill the tubes with water. Earthbag homes--easiest and cheapest green build - Greenville Green Building Earthbag construction is a type of rammed earth construction where durable bags, usually polypropylene or burlap, are filled with local earth or other materials, laid in courses and tamped down into place to form walls. The greatest advantage is that it is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to construct a green home which with some hard work can be done by the homeowner. Other advantages of earthbag homes are that the walls are so substantial that they are severe weather and natural disaster resistant including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and even bullets. Architect Nader Khalili under supervision of the International Conference of Building Officials tested earthbag structures simulating seismic, wind and snow loads, and the tests surpassed the rigorous 1991 Uniform Building Code requirements by 200 percent. Earthbag homes can be built easily in remote areas where skilled construction labor may not be available since almost anyone with some simple instruction can help.
Make a Simple Solar Air Heater - Solar Heat a room or outhouse with a solar heater made from recycled aluminium cans solar | heating Using the sun to heat water is a very cost effective way to save energy. Typically payback on even the most expensive systems is under ten years, with DIY Solar Water Heaters paying for themselves in just a few months. Similar techniques can be used to make a Solar Space Heater - a device which warms the air inside a room or building. Solar Garage Heater Pictured above is a simple small passive solar heater made from recycled aluminium drinks cans and used to heat a garage. Offcuts of 2 x 4 and a sheet of plywood were used to build a box to tightly hold 5 rows of 10 black-painted aluminium drinks cans . Click here to find out more about this basic almost free garage heat project. Building a Solar Space Heater This type of solar space heater works by drawing the air to be heated into the bottom can of a column of cans. Building the Box Drilling the Cans Building the Can Columns and Painting