Let me share with you my favorite off the grid ideas - these will save on your solar / wind / hydro energy costs Big time since cooking and heating
are two of your big energy expenditures. This means more energy available for the really important things, like posting on ATS. All of these can be
cheaply made or bought in many different styles and sizes to suit your needs. You can even use all these while camping and Rock the camp better than
Rocket Stove: These fast heat stoves produce very little smoke and can be used inside. They are 90% efficient wood burners using 75% less wood than a
normal wood burning stove. Again, you can make one or buy one ready made. You can build these to any size you need for small or large cooking.
www.youtube.com... or www.youtube.com...
Fast cooking with a Fresnel lens: These take the Suns rays and super concentrate them for cooking. These get extremely hot beams of light that are so
powerful, you may need dark glasses such as welding goggles to cook with. www.youtube.com... or
Here is a variation of the above but without the Frensel lens. This guy is only using a parobla to concentrate the Suns rays. .
Heating the house:
A variation of the Rocket Stove is the Rocket Mass Heater. Using rocket stove technology these home heaters are safe, efficient and are dirt cheap to
make. www.youtube.com... These can be build in many shapes, styles and sizes just like the rocket stove.
Solar passive heater: These solar heaters can be radiant heat or forced air. They are cheap and easy to make and can heat up to 150 degrees above
ambient temperature. www.youtube.com... Look for more plans of Youtube by searching either pop can solar heater or passive
solar heater, or forced air solar heater.
Heating your water: You can make this simple device for all your hot water needs. www.youtube.com...
Lighting: Have a place that needs the equivalent of a 50 watt light bulb during the day but you don't want to waste the energy? ( such as an shed or
outhouse, can be used in a regular house too) Try these Solar Bottle Lights - www.youtube.com... or
www.youtube.com... You can even build a mechanical enclosure that's operated by a pull cord that closes around these so you
can " tune off the light"
More good tips at www.greensolarenergy.com
If you used all of these technologies everyday your solar power usage will be very low even running a swamp cooler and refrigerator/freezer and a
couple of laptops.
There are people out in the desert living off the grid like hippies, drunks and they are not smart enough to use these technologies. ( there's a
documentary called Off the Grid that shows drunks living on the Mesa) For my purposes I propose not to live like white trash even if you have some DIY
items. You can make these look nice and they all work awesome. The idea of cheap off the grid living in comfort and style. In other words, you don't
miss any convenience of modern living, your just not going to spend a fortune or waste precious solar panel energy to do it.
Have any good low tech devices I forgot?
edit on 23-10-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: correction
These are all good ideas. Let me add a twist. If you use thermoelectric generators
you could convert the waste heat from the oven into electricity. They are not very efficient but since the source of the heat is free, whatever juice
you may be able to squeeze out is all gravy.
edit on 23-10-2012 by daskakik because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by ecapsretuo
I have cooked or baked stews, quiche, scones, cake, and pizza in Dutch ovens. All you need is a campfire. www.backwoodshome.com...
True a campfire will do the trick. But camp fires are not very efficient (lots of heat wasted due to poor direction/concentration of the heat) and
they make tons of smoke. These devices are good for a SHTF situation where you don't want to make a campfire. They won't give your position away. They
are better for regular everyday use than a campfire because they won't use a lot of fuel - as in the rocket stove which can be used indoors and uses
75% less wood to do the job.
I agree though, nothing wrong with a good campfire for the Fun factor. I just can't see my wife building a fire every day. LOL
I came across another one like the Fresnel lens but this time the lens is made with a parobla of water. Cheaper than buying an 80 dollar Fresnel lens
I love the idea of using thermoelectric. Problem is the parts are not cheap at all to get any good use out of it. I'm currently looking for a good DIY
thermoelectric project to capture heat for energy and also a thermoelectric cooling system for refrigeration.
cool thread , i made a solar cooker once when camping we made baked potatoes, hot dogs and macroni and cheese on it, worked great, that guy with the
rocket stove, looks kinda like a kiln that i made for low fire clay when were doing a out door demonstration on making kilns and firing clay pots, the
rest are pretty cool , but the one that amazes me the most is the parobla water lens, that thing is crazy. i wonder if it gets hot enough to weld or
blow glass, could be very usefull even just for small items fixing tools ect.
forgot to add
Thermoelectric generator with the last one, wow could probably set a network up in the woods!!! with a server farm ta boot ^^
my son and I made a solar oven out of a pizza box and were able to make chocolate chip cookies in it. He used it in the science fair and blew minds. I
love having a fallback cooking source in case things go awry. The popcan one is also pretty cool. I would totally raid local bars for cans. The
transients have everywhere else well covered since the recycling center is nearby, lol.
I bought the rocket stove book a couple of years ago, and i ended up building the aparoe? stove [a glorified hobo stove]. it only takes small twigs
and the like. the bad thing about it is that until you have your fire really going, it smokes bad. i also built a solar dehydrator that turned into a
solar oven, i didnt get my venting done correctly and on a sunny day it gets up around 230 degrees. to hot to dehyrate, but plenty hot to cook hot
This summer I built a brick rocket stove from 10 firebaked bricks. I lit it using only flint and some moss. I used the equivalent of a log around 10 x
10 inches of wood in small branches to cook some soup. It fully cooked the soup and was fun to try. I did something stupid though and put out the
smoulder with some water! LOL broke a few bricks.
Anyway this was just a test, I am going to now make a slightly larger one in the backyard for summer and emergency cooking.
Originally posted by JohnPhoenix
I love the idea of using thermoelectric. Problem is the parts are not cheap at all to get any good use out of it. I'm currently looking for a good
DIY thermoelectric project to capture heat for energy and also a thermoelectric cooling system for refrigeration.
I remember looking around for modules a couple years ago and finding the prices kinda high but did a search today and found this module at
tegpower.com. It can stand up to 325ºC (617ºF) and puts out 5V @ 1amp (5 watts) for $18 retail and $15 if
you order 10 or more.
Comparable portable solar panels cost at least twice as much but these can be placed near another source of heat on cloudy days.
Using aluminum cans as a transfer device for heat is nice in concept,. breathing in aluminum offgasing is bad,
same as cooking with aluminum pans..
the PVC solar water heater,... well if you dont use it to shower or drink, no problem,. but any ingestion or showers may put you at risk for BPA
Dont sacrifice health for cheap energy alternatives
I am all about the sun for energy as ive got panels, batteries and a wind mill generator for alternate sources, however i suggest researching the
materials and there side affects to your body..
Aluminum= Alzheimer links
BPA,=endocrine disruption and testosterone reduction..
edit on 23-10-2012 by Lil Drummerboy because: (no reason given)
wow that sounds like a great deal, are these things hard to hook up , like neg/pos, or do you need a good knowledge of electrical engineering lol, not
that it would really stop me from trying, on another note maybe a bunch of us could get together and get a group deal, so we could have a contest and
see who can make the most unique contraption with it or something?
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