Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The New World?

Here's our chance to try something different, something that brings back some of the old and mixes it with new stuff.

The above is an American yurt in Colorado. My questions are: does the typical yurt have underground storage? Can we add solar and wind power to that? Is there running water?

In Detroit today, I noticed a lot of single cell solar panels. My brother-in-law Michael and sister Vickie are aiming to mount enough solar panels to run their house in Pennsylvania off the grid, or as much off as possible given local conditions. Seems cool. Must learn more. We also discussed yurts. Go figure. Maybe all that enthusiasm from the 60s and 70s is coming back after all. . . . .

Ciao for now!

Today's rune: Defense.


Charles Gramlich said...

I would love to see more folks doing solar panels. Gonna look into it here myself soon.

Lana Gramlich said...

I was pleasantly surprised the other day to hear (from a Canadian friend,) that they now sell solar panels in Canadian Tire (kind of a K-Mart-y store up there.) Perhaps there's hope for us yet? (I'm still not holding my breath, just in case...)

Johnny Yen said...

In my massive excavation of my basement, I dug up a lot of my old books on alternative energy, as well as my old Whole Earth Catalogs.

Had a great discussion with Bubs at my birthday party a few weeks back about alternative energy. It's amazing that the designs for houses that mostly heat and cool themselves have been around for decades all while we've designed houses that were energy sieves, and built them in places that required fossil fuel to get to.

the walking man said...


Refer your sister and her old man to the above. It is the least expensive and most cutting edge of wind power technology. Top of the line about 15K for this system

You can solar power anything anywhere, you don't need a large roof, you can ground hang the panels and wire them into a battery pack adjacent to the house, there is no rule that says everything has to mounted traditionally. In any environment where the panels are blocked by foliage or there is not an expectation of strings of sunny days though, wind becomes more efficient.

There are ways to acquire water depending n what technology and how much you are willing to invest, the capture of rain water and a natural filter (sand, pebbles, charcoal and rock)is about the least expensive in an area with lots of rain because you can build a capture system yourself.

But you can also make water through the use of a condensation capture system, a surface of uneven temperatures that causes condensation to form. This would give you the purest water but it also would have to be huge to gather enough for a normal house.

Well drilling in an area with a good aquifer is also a decent way to go as long as your sump is wind or solar powered. That method of energy leaves no carbon footprint at all.

The house pictured, although too small for more than a single aesthete, is made of good Rfactor materials which would naturally be cool in the summer and in the winter would radiate heat.

In the environment pictured just about any alternative energy and water would work. Personally I don't want the enthusiasm of the 60's back, while it may be called a grandfather to the reality of today it was not focused enough to make any great impact.

If we are going to change all of our carbon based energy production in the US it will take concerted effort from all areas of society, government, business and consumers. The last being the most important and the vote is with the wallet, that is all the first two liste to.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Solar is one of those things we have and there is only one problem with it and that is the big businesses in this world and oil Sheiks can't figure out how to sell sunshine. When they do, we will use solar energy for everything.

Oh, it is out there for you to use and solve all your energy problems but will you do it? Nope. Nobody does.

A black tank on a roof will provide more hot water for a zero dollar investment than all the glass-lined hot water tanks in the world.

A pipe about 10 to 12 inches in diamater, made from black plastic, buried in the ground about 5 to 6 feet deep, forming a loop out around and back into your house is enough cooling at 67 degrees you can ever use and its free. The air circulating through it will work or a tiny fan run by one solar power panel will run it free.

And that same temp is a long way from below zero when it is colder than weather you get up there where you live. And it is preheated from the ground. You only have to raise that temperature a few more degrees to stay warm and keep the frost off the sheets.

Those are just some of the things I went through back in the late 1960s and early 1970s when environmental issues were greener than they are today.

Abraham Lincoln
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Erik Donald France said...

Thanks y'all for the comments!

Solar, wind, more pragmatics, here we come . . .


JR's Thumbprints said...

Perhaps all new homes should be of a modular nature, something like the Dymaxion House, affordable, practical.