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Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Many homesteaders and other people that choose to set up households in remote areas quickly realize that transmitted electricity is a premium resource, if not completely unavailable in some particularly remote areas. Even in reasonably developed areas, on larger properties paying for “last mile” utilities may be prohibitively expensive. Some turn to ingenious but expensive kerosene or propane powered models for appliances such as refrigerators when they may have an inexpensive, low-tech refrigerating system right beneath their feet. For the same reason utilities are hard to come by, many locations also rely on a private well and that’s where our solution starts.
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Build Your Own Low-Tech Solar Box Cooker

| July 4, 2009 | Energy, Featured, Gear
Views: 1330 | No Comments

In a world with expensive high tech solar cells capable of converting the sun’s energy into convenient electricity, we often forget that the sun’s energy is already in the perfect form for several practical uses. Namely, heating, lighting and cooking. In each of these forms the sun’s energy can be used without first converted (at a loss) into electricity. And best of all, you don’t need high priced materials for these applications.  Although you can get as fancy and permanent as you like with your implementation of the design that follows, it can just as easily be done with cardboard, foil, glue, and plastic or glass. This makes it ideal as a “proof of concept” project or for use by individuals with limited funds and resources.

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Gathering Low Cost Firewood

| May 21, 2009 | Energy, Resources
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Fireplaces and wood stoves are more efficient with each new decade. Heatilators, inserts, blowers, and a host of heating bells and whistles have rekindled the desirability of wood heat. Today, the key for enjoyment of that wood heat is in discovering many hot firewood resources that balance best with the checkbook.

Department of Energy figures reveal that the average cost of delivered cordwood nearly doubled in the last 10 years. By contrast, in that same period, the cost of utilities in most of the nation stabilized. The stark difference in cost between firewood and utilities combined to create the greatest decline of wood heating in history.

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Safe Home Fuel Storage: Fuel Types & Methods

| April 15, 2009 | Energy, Featured, Gear
Views: 6145 | No Comments

Home storage of fuel is a necessity for homesteaders. Even if you are still on the grid, your truck, tractor, standby generator, etc. will still require fuel. I intend to offer appropriate methods of storage for LP gas, gasoline, diesel fuel, and kerosene. I will also offer some tips on safe fuel handling.

Fuel Types

LP Gas is one of the easiest fuels to store and also one of the most danger-ous. It is a highly versatile fuel which can be used to power internal combus-tion stationary engines, tractors, and other motor vehicles, as well as for cooking and heating. LP has two serious drawbacks: First, it must be stored under pressure to remain a liquid; any leak (which may not be visible) could leak away all of your fuel without your knowledge. Second, LP is only slightly heavier than air, and will dis¬perse at the exact ratio to produce an explosion. It will also “puddle” in low spots, waiting for an ignition source.

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