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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  rustyfingers 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #36763

    chowan
    Participant

    Hello all just found this site as i was looking for work in setting up

    off grid homesteads and permaculture systems.

    I tried posting in classifieds but could not get it to work does anybody know

    why?It keeps asking me if im sure I want to do this but the screen is all white.

    Thanks for a great site its nice to run across some like minded people

    Don

    #41148

    WrethaOffGrid
    Keymaster

    Hi Don,

    Welcome to the forum, we look forward to reading more about your ideas and dreams.

    Wretha

    #41149

    chowan
    Participant

    Hi Wretha thanks for the welcome.

    Im currently living off grid except for the internet, solar electric with

    wind as well.hot water is solar in the summer months and wood in the winter

    wood for heating.

    but still have a dependance on gasoline for backup generators which im going

    to end with a change to methane

    much of my own food comes from the property mostly in the form of rabbits chickens and bees.Im not much of a gardener so plant crops are simple.

    Im looking to change work and move to a undeveloped property that i can

    build on the way i want to IE Eartship or cob construction.

    Would ultimately like to be part of a community of like minded people

    #41150

    elnav
    Member

    Don tell us more about your plan for changing from gasoline to methane.

    #41151

    chowan
    Participant

    Its pretty simple currently I need to run the generator to pump water and to top up batteries when the sun dont shine or when im using large amounts of electricity like cloaths washing.

    I built a small 40 gallon digester a couple of years ago and this worked well

    but did not produce enough gas daily to do more than boil a couple of cups of water or run a small engine/generator for more than 5 minutes a day.

    to run the engine all i did was feed a small copper pipe which came from the outlet of the storage tank into the air intake through the air filter.

    rpm was adjusted by adjusting the methane pressure by adding weight to

    the floating storage tank. could easily be adjusted by restricting the flow through the copper pipe.there are commercial mods available for small engines

    but i would rather work on my own.

    the engine seemed to run very very clean on methane much more so than gasoline

    it also started very easy

    this is similar to what I built but much prettier

    http://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/methane_generator.html

    I have now got a 400 gallon digester but still need to work on the gas scrubbers,water traps and the inspection seal before it can be used reliably

    for the generator.

    #41152

    elnav
    Member

    Good stuff! how many pounds of manure per week do you add and for how long can a 400 gallon capacity digester run the generator. I’m trying to estimate how large a system is needed for a normal family home of 2adults and three kids. I am also attempting to educate them about energy conservation but with three kids under 10 it could be a real challenge. What about the gas scrubbers. So far I have not found much useful information on DIY construction.

    #41153

    chowan
    Participant

    what i am basing my estimations on are the performance of the 40 gallon digester.the 400 gallon should be able to run the generator 8hp for about

    1 hour per day plus do a little cooking.i would estimate the 400 gallon digester would do all the daily cooking for your family if you did not use the methane for the generator a great deal.

    better production of methane can be had by heating the digestor to 95f this will increase the daily production perhaps as much as double.

    Im using a batch digester which means I fill it then wait for it to finish although i do have a place to add more food if I feel I need to.the 40 gallon produced good amounts of gas for close to 3 months.After this it was still producing gas but in much smaller amounts.

    it takes a long time for a fresh batch to start so my idea is to have 2 400 gallon unheated digesters and alternate the starting so i always have a good

    amount of gas.

    heating the digester will also halve the time the digester is working without

    recharging.

    cant give you exact figures but on the 400 gallon digester there is perhaps

    50 gallons of rabbit and chicken manure and about 100 gallons of grass clippings.the rest water.

    i bubble the methane up through water into the storage tank this is also a form of scrubber and acts as a fire trap another scrubber is a poly pipe filled with ferric oxide and hardwood shavings.another i read about was just a poly pipe filled with steel wool or iron filings.

    usually the scrubbers are used in pairs for easy replacement scrubbers can

    be recharged by exposure to air. these are probably not needed just for cooking purposes mainly just for engine usage

    another page that i learned a lot from

    http://www.habmigern2003.info/biogas/Baron-digester/Baron-digester.htm

    #41154

    rustyfingers
    Participant

    Am I ever glad I found this post right away! I just joined a bio-gas site for their available information & also purchased the book “The Jean Pain Method: Or Another Type of Garden”, through another site in France. I’m hoping to create an similar operation as described in the book, by using the thinnings & ground cover from our 100 acres of woodland in Ontario, Canada, as the main food/fuel for the digester.

    If you haven’t already, I would suggest reading the book by Jean & Ida Pain. It has some very good ideas for those of us who have woodland acreage at our disposal.

    #41165

    elnav
    Member

    Rustyfingers, Google John L Fry who is considered the grandfather of methane digesters in North America. I noted that Jean Pain is said to have referred to J Fry’ technical treatise. It goes on to say Jean Pain being mostly interested in permaculture did not get into the technical aspects so much in his writings and given his focus on chipped plant sources it makes sense.

    You can download John Fry’s 12 chapter book from several websites. Its free.

    Al Rhutan is also considered a useful resource if you are looking into methane digesters. Sadly he died in 2005 but his research notes and published work is preserved by Green Trust and other websites. Since you are back in Ontario you are close to the source of much technical information. A large $2 million methaqne digester is being built in Abbotsford BC but the bulk of the technology expertise and equipment comes from Ontario companies. I’m in northern BC so we plan to do it ourselves.

    #41167

    rustyfingers
    Participant

    Yes. Thats L. John Fry. I already have his text & some lose drawings which I’ve gleened off of other free info sites, but not had time to read them. I avoid the heavier reading for the lighter stuff first. A curse of the procrastinator. But I’ve every intention on playing catch-up this winter.

    I just “crave” the information which will have anything to do with my being successful at this. Bio-gas is a favorite for me!

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