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Home Forums General Discussion NE Nevada offgrid village

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    Please do some more videos…finding people to join a community is easy….finding people that will do anything once there is hard…I know from experience with a commune we started in Virginia


    you are correct thats why i belive a comunity of people who own

    there own piece of land and therefore have a personal stake in doing

    something is a better idea than a commune.

    I have seen many communes fail and it always seems that there is a couple of active members supporting a lot of inactive members eventually the active ones throw in the towel or just withdraw their support and it all falls apart

    after that.

    i have also never liked the sole owner who brings others in to work

    and develop his property as a commune but the members never get to own anything.

    that may be ok for a temporary arangement like with the wwoofa programe

    or other similar learning/teaching programs but i dont feel its otherwise

    a fair arangement.

    that brings me to the kind of person/persons that i would like to have as a neighbor.apart from the usual good,honest hardworking etc

    id like to find someone who wants to work there own piece of property

    and somebody who has the resources to do that

    somebody motivated.



    Can’t argue with anything you wrote. One BIG problem now is the sheer number of people who are broke…it’s getting scary to me as I’ve never seen so many people I know or come in contact with that now are busted financially….on food stamps…losing their homes…losing their jobs…finding people with wherewithall is getting very difficult. Those capable of investing. Those who have some income. I don’t believe the majority of people are awake and aware, even as we have millions of homes either in foreclosure or about to go into foreclosure….45 million on food stamps. So how do you find people of means who want to drop out of the system?? To opt out and maybe catch on to a vision like yours?? Any sites you are using to market your idea and your community?? The only good site I’ve found is …. otherwise not finding much traction. Where can I look to see an update on your property and efforts in Nevada?? Saw the older You Tube videos you made. Have alot of respect for what you’re doing…but looks like a hard row to hoe. Being so far out is going to resonate with even fewer people…but maybe that’s a good thing.


    Hello Chowan, I am very interested in your place and going off the grid. Moreover, I had the opportunity to view some of your posts. You are correct about the community has to create wealth. My suggestion would be to develop a organic farm coop. I am sure you would need to drill for the well but over time the crop should cover the cost. You can also sell the crop to neighboring cities or nationally. The benefits of doing a farm coop is people are willing to pay upfront for the coming harvest. Another idea would be to develop a Off-Grid vacation spot. This concept can serve two purposes. Give individuals interested in going off the grid a sample of what life is like or cater to some who just want to get away. Just a suggestion. The Amish are a self contain people yet they sell products nationally.


    Dustofthesun yes financial problems seem to be everywhere ill get in on tuesday and film my latest progress. There are other sites i visit and they

    have similar forums for getting together but this is probably the best for trying to develop an off grid community at least I can only handle one

    such post and this seemed like the best spot.

    landbuddy can be a pain but I do like how the locator flags are set up.

    Tenderpower I realy like the off grid vacation spot idea this area has

    a lot going for it in that respect not just the off grid expierience

    but there are many outdoor activities to attract people as well.


    The comment about more and more people losing their jobs and homes hits close to home. I am also hearing of more and more people cancelling any travel / vacation plans due to uncertainty about future earnings or employment. Our past experience from as recently as 3 years back is no longer a valid guide regarding recreational activity guides. Countless boatss and traailer aand campers are being put up for sale with no takers. Back then who would have guessed the USA would ever find itself in the present debt crisis?

    The one commodity that seems to retain its value is fuel for vehicles. Any crop that can produce fuel (bio-diesel) is bound to retain its worth and quite possibly increase in value. Yellow horn and jatropha are two such plants that are at present are being grown in plantations in the less desirable soil areas of the US. These are plants that will grow in areas that cannot even sustain viable food production. Any google search will produce a wealth of information on these plants. Unfortunately they will not survive the deep freeze winters up here. But south of here below the 49th parallel they will. Yellow horn has been grown in Seattle for example. In areas like New Mexico the tree can produce 850 gallons per acre. As a B100 biodiesel fuel it can be run straight in any diesel engine having a precombustion chamber. For direct injection it is recommended to start on petroleum diesel then switch as the engine warms up.

    Seems to me even one acre could provide plenty of home grown fuel for a self sustaining community.


    Thanks for those biofuel ideas Elnav I personally lean more towards methane and natural gas production and know I could produce biofuel from whatever

    is in the area like right now my rabbits are eating sage brush and juniper

    in addition to their regular food. They eat, they poop, methane digester bugs do their job and i have cooking gas and engine fuel.selling methane as a cash crop would be the problem due to the need to compress it to much higher pressures than propane and its very difficult to get a on road vehical approved for natural gas not hard to do just expensive to get it all legal unless somebody has already done the legalities.

    The thing i dont like about growing plants directly for biofuels is the

    water need its one thing if the plant will grow totally without extra water

    like in a wood fuel forest irrigated only by rainfall.but its another to be wasting croplands and water on things like corn grown just for ethanol

    unless of course that ethanol is in the form of good whisky lol.

    I read up on those examples you gave and it does say they will grow anywhere

    but still require lots of water.

    but if a plant could produce food for human or animal consumtion and then if the waste is then able to be converted to a energy store in the form of methane

    that is a win win situation.

    I cant find the stats anymore to the coversion ratio,s of feedstock to methane

    but i think it was close to 70% weight reduction and i remember thinking

    that an average home in the suburbs could do all there cooking and a great deal

    of there water heating from wastes and yard clippings.This would also save many

    garbage,sewrage and disposal problems as well.

    there is a cactus growing here right now opuntia it has many uses the fruit is edible the pads are edible and the seeds can be ground into flour the fruit can also be made into ethanol but wouldnt it be better to eat it or feed it to

    animals and then burn the waste as fuel in one form or another.

    I guess im going to be big on methane


    Methane is my first choice as well. If you go back a year or so you will find my posts stating exactly that. Unfortunately no one from the forums at the time seemed to think methane was a good idea. In order to be more diversified I began to look for other viable alternatives. I found plenty. I have been invited to move to a distant community where the people want me to help them set up a methane digester for a single family dwelling. We will be moving ass soon as finances permit. The hope is that when other families see how the pilot project works, more will follow. As a start they have begun raising chickens.

    We have also identified possible sources of manure from pigs and cattle. I have begun designing tanks from salvaged material that by law must be retired from service due to safety laws, not because the equipment is actually unusable. We live in a society so hide bound by a nanny state mentality and defined by so many safety laws, we tend to scrap lots of useable equipment because the rules say it must be replaced by calendar date not necessarily because it has deterioated beyond use. Example: the propane tanks used on a BBQ. If the date stamp has expired you must scrap it even if it looks in pristine condition with no visible rust etc.

    I alo posted a piece on free baterries that were replaced by safety rules not because the batteries were really junk.


    just a video update for the property

    Yes Elnav i am convinced that conversion to natural gas for most of our vehicals would solve our energy problems its everywhere trapped in oil deposits and at the bottom of the ocean as methane hydrate and is a renewable resource in the methane its old tech its been posible to run vehicals

    from methane for probably more than 50 years.

    thinking about the posibilities of methane to solve our energy problems

    realy frustrates me they will subsidise corn and ethanol production

    which is a terrible wast of food and good water and they will spend millions

    or even billions on hydrogen tech when all they have to do is make it a little easier (less legalities) to add a natural gas kit to our cars.

    not only that but we would not have to deal with all this smog nonsense

    on our vehicals as the naturall gas burns much cleaner in the first place.

    i realy believe and this will sound like a conspiracy that they dont want to

    encourage methane because any backyard mechanic could be running his home and

    vehical from his own methane digester.

    they will say its not safe and not easy to maintain but surely with all

    the money they wasted on hydrogen tech they could have designed a automatic

    user friendly safe digester and filling systems.


    Interesting video. Permit me a few observations. Your battery bank is large enough to need a dsulfator. The video movement was rapid enough I could not see if you had one installed. The DC charging is better than average but your amps charge rate is too low to prevent some sulfation. It must be at least 10% of the storage capacity to be truly effective. The alternator you are using is internally regulated as a fixed voltage. What you really neeed is a constant current type. It will speed up the charging by 20%

    I recommend a leece Neville 160 Amp model like the big trucks use. L-N have the regulator mounted on the exterior of the case and they have a constant current model(or used to)often used for fire truck aand ambulance work.

    Victron makes a charger that can utilize a wide ranging input right down to

    DC which would go nicely with yor 220V generator power head. It is not going to be as finiky about speed regulation of the driving motor. Then you simply pull whatever AC voltage from your battery bank via the inverter.

    If you are truly interested I know where you can get a 300 amp alternator for fast charging the battery bank and save lots of fuel charging.

    Your ground mounted methane digestter is going to run too cool. There are two types of bactereia. One like a 95F temp while the other lives at 150F.

    Both types fail to be fully active below their optimum temp. With youer tank set into the ground it will not reach optimum temp for full methane production. Output will be disappointing. I am designing in a heat exchanger to help regulate tank temp. Either hot water in winter or cooling water in summer as needed. With only one large hatch you are going to be stuck with batch production. That size tank is going to have frequent shut downs to reload. Look into movaable plug designs for greater convenience as well as production output.

    Your set up is one of the best I have seen so far.


    That alternator has been modified to be constant current the internal regulation has been tossed and im just using a external resitor to the rotor

    coil to controll the current.

    I think that alternator is rated to 120 amp cant exactly remember now

    but it can easily put out 70 amps if i want it to to boil the batteries

    temporarily to desulper them.

    also it was not set up yet but that will actually be 2 battery banks in the end which will make the desulphering easier.I have a big changeover switch.

    the reason i dont try to put out more than 30 to 40 amps is that i dont

    have to push that little 6.5 horse hard to produce which means less noise

    and better fuel economy.also its easier on the v belt and easier on the wire

    sizes i need.

    also im expecting a small power loss when i run the engine of methane so

    I may only get 30 to 40 amps at max hp.

    yes i was worried about efficiency of methane production in the cold

    but i also dont want super fast production either its a batch digester

    although it does have the abitlity to add feedstock

    and take out supernatant water. i would be happy with 9 months between fills instead of a super efficient 1 or 2. i dont use a lot of gas any way but if i find i do need some extra heat i thought about adding a internal coil with either a solar heater or a wood heat exchanger. also though about a solar greenhouse built over it I thought that would heat up the tank nicely being all dark color.also intend to insulate around it.

    what do you think? ill admit im used to california weather lol this high

    country living is going to take some learning

    how do they deal with the cold where you are from? If i leave it above ground

    it will surely freeze and kill the methane bugs without a shelter built around

    it. also if i leave it above ground i will lose the ability to possibly

    gravity feed in the feedstock at a later date.

    ultimately i would like to have 2 the same so i can let one burn itself out completely (much nicer in the clean out stage) while the other digester is coming into full production.


    Chowen, I like your latest video. I not sure I understand the water tanks. Will this be water for in the house? Anyway things seem to be going well. So what are you plans in establishing a community?


    The big dark green tank you saw in the video was actually a methane digester

    previously a water tank.

    eventually when i get the gutters installed and a decent tank/cistern built

    yes all the water for the house will be from rainfall.

    as far as plans i am just going to keep developing what i have here with the idea that the better developed i can get the more help i could be to others and

    the easier it will be to attract good friends and neighbors to the area.

    have one very interested couple and it sounds like it is a toss up

    between here and another location.

    As far as industry i have a little going already but will probably get the forge up and running pretty soon and see what i can do with that i need to anyway because i need some gates built from steel and it will be easy to

    bend them up the way i want in the forge.


    Chowan you asked about methane digesters freezing up here. Your idea of some kind of solar heat collector is good. Up here where the cloudy periods may run a week or more I was thinking of taping off some of the bio gas product to run a small burner to heat up water then circulate the water into or under the tank. Won’t take much in the way of a thermometer to be sure the bactereia doesn’t cook and die off.

    I would be inclined to place the digester in an insulated shed or small straw bale shed for heat retention during winter. Dropping tank temp from 95F to 70F would almost kill gas production.

    John Fry’s book is probably the best reference book. Rutan’s writings are also good but he focussed on temperate climate zones.

    Not that he is wrong he simply focusssed on the average DIY backyard producer.. Fry is a bit more production oriented with more data suited for industrial sized operations.

    Looks like you have covered the other bases pretty well. Too bad we are separated by so many Kilometers and miles not to mention a border.

    Going to Alaska is easier for me than going to Nevada.


    my fiancee and i are still undecided about the land, i’ld say we’re 95% sure on making this our home. i’ve been camping up here with chowan for a week now and getting to know my way around alright. i’ve been able to make friends at a couple tire shops in wells, ne, about a 30 minute drive down the mountain side. as it’s a small traveler’s town everyone seems to know whats going on. i inquired aboout a local physician and found out the local doc for 15 years just retired but everyone seems to like the new guy alright. the closer town of motello is good for emergency food and fuel as everything is marked up a bit due to distance from a near town. the grocery store in montello does have ups shipping which is a plus. asking around montello i found out that the post office is under review and might be closed in 6 months but it sounds like they have a good fight. as far as the land goes… there are 3 reliable wells close by and the landscape is beutiful. the earth here is a great source for cement which is a plus as that will cut down on some building costs. i wouldn’t bother trying to make it without a truck or suv, but it is a fun drive in. chowan himself is a great and knowledgeable guy, humorous aswell and would be a great neighbor for anyone who decides to move up here.

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