Posts from — March 2010

DIY-Loom knitting

Looms for loom knitting

Round loom knitting, have you heard of it? This is a type of knitting that uses a loom instead of using knitting needles. I never learned to knit with needles, my mother like to crochet. She always had something going on her lap. Mostly baby related, baby blankets, baby booties, baby sized hats and outfits. I think it was an unfulfilled wish that she had to be surrounded by babies.

She taught me how to crochet, though it was a challenge for both of us, she was left handed, I being right handed. But I learned, thanks to a patient mother. I learned the chain stitch and the next stitch after that. Unfortunately, being young, I had zero patience, it just didn’t go fast enough for me and I was not able to appreciate the zen like qualities of just working on something and watching it grow. (more…)

Compost tumblers for best results
by VEG-HEAD on MARCH 30, 2010 - 3 Comments in FOOD, OFF-GRID 101

Dirty job, but somebody's got to

Compost is easy to make but it happens much faster and easier with a compost tumbler because you need to turn compost regularly to get oxygen into the mix.
You must tumble the contents of the bin five to 10 times every day or so, and the pile should feel warm, or about 160 degrees. (more…)

Fuel Cells ready for mass market
by TECHSTAR on MARCH 29, 2010 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Oorja Protonics, which specializes in methanol fuel cells, is soon to release a product able to run a home or small business.

Check out the video on the next page: the 5-kilowatt fuel cell fits on top of a gurney. Its about the same size as a suitcase and the power costs about 25cents per kilowatt hour.

“You could use it for auxiliary power for trucks, RVs or marine applications, or for off-grid power for homes or farms,” said CEO Sanjiv Malhotra. “This pays for itself in less than 12 months” compared to conventional power.

For larger applications, the fuel cells can be chain-ganged together. Connect twenty of them and they would be capable of generating 100 kilowatts of power — as much energy as the recently unfurled Bloom Energy Server, but at a tiny fraction of the price. (more…)

Solar heating your home
by TECHSTAR on MARCH 28, 2010 - 0 Comments in SOLAR

Here comes the sun

A sunspace can make a dark room into a bright living space. It is also a source of solar heating for your home and a place to garden all year round.

A sunspace is usually a light-frame enclosure made of glass or other transparent glazing, aluminum or wood framing, windows, skylights and sliding glass doors. Also known as conservatory, greenhouse, solarium, or sunroom.

Pre-engineered sunspace kits (such as this one) are available in a variety of sizes and styles but be careful to find one which specifically aims to enhance the solar heating capacity if that is what you are after. (more…)

Community Power in the UK
by TECHSTAR on MARCH 27, 2010 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Less of this, please

The UK government has issued a draft policy document empowering town halls to  bring in decentralised energy schemes.

A 12-week consultation exercise on revised planning policy statements (PPSs) covering climate change and the natural environment was launched last week.

Councils are urged to assess their area to secure decentralised energy opportunities to meet the needs of new development. ‘Local authorities should look for greater integration of waste management with the provision of decentralised energy, co-location of potential heat suppliers and users and district heating networks based on renewable energy from waste, surplus heat and biomass,’ says the draft. (more…)

Southern Oregon Off Gridder
by TDOMF_12E09 on MARCH 27, 2010 - 18 Comments in I AM OFF GRID AND I WANT OTHERS TO JOIN ME

We are a family looking to move off grid and become self sustainable. We would love to share the experience with like minded people, and relish the opportunity to connect others in this community!

off-grid co-op?
by TDOMF_12E09 on MARCH 27, 2010 - 8 Comments in I WANT TO GO OFF GRID

I am starting a housing co-op near Glasgow, Scotland, with view to going off-grid

How to choose the right solar water pump
by VEG-HEAD on MARCH 27, 2010 - 1 Comment in OFF-GRID 101

A free guide to choosing a solar water pump has been published by scientists from Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Agricultural engineer Brian Vick drew on the ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory’s 31 years of testing stand-alone water pumps.

Vick found that for pumps with motors rated less than 1,500 watts, solar is usually the best choice. With current technology and costs, wind power or a hybrid wind/solar pump is usually best for power needs of 1,500 watts or more. (more…)

Alone in the Wilderness
by VEG-HEAD on MARCH 27, 2010 - 11 Comments in PEOPLE

Proenneke - inspiring

Dick Proenneke is the star of Alone in the Wilderness, a grainy super-8 film he shot himself. It chronicles his life in the wilderness and it is a YouTube and Amazon
hit (click keep reading for the beautiful YouTube film).The long version of the film became a best-selling DVD; his little cabin an Alaskan tourist attraction, but not till after he died, age 83. (more…)

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