Tom OHern wrote:
With that said, I'm in no rush to take a PDC because I've read the books and I feel I have a good grasp on the knowledge already. The only reason I would say there is to take a PDC is if you are planning on going into business offering permaculture design and you need the certificate to prove your credentials. I would like to do that someday, but I'm not there yet so I can wait to take my PDC.
I thought exactly the same as you until I took my PDC. I got so much more out of it than a certificate.
P.S I did my pdc with Geoff.
Ernie and Erica are coming to Australia to do a series of RMH workshops and talks in Autumn 2013
They have locked in 2 workshops at Milkwood Permaculture (Mudgee NSW) but we need more in different areas.
If you are thinking about building a RMH in your place think seriously abut hosting a workshop.
The reality of hosting a workshop is that you can have a RMH installed by the best for very little money.
Here is the link to my article.
http://healthyharvestnsw.wordpress.com/rocket-mass-heater-workshops/ Contact me if you want to host a workshop in QLD, Victoria, WA, TAS any where other than Sydney.
I did my PDC there in January and it was a great place to learn. To answer your questions.
What should I pack?
What kind of weather am I looking at?
Here is a link to climate stats for the area http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_058037.shtml It is subtropical so it will be warm and wet. It will get into the thirties regularly even though it is Autumn. Pack for summer but it may get cool at night so bring long trousers etc. and definitely wet weather gear.
What kind of tent should I get?
A good one that can stand up to high winds and pouring rain. I have seen peoples cheap ones destroyed in one storm
What kind of expenses am I looking at over the 10 weeks and a rough estimate if possible?
Most of the food is included so you just need beer money.
Easiest way to get to the farm from Brisbane?
Train to Lismore and taxi to the farm. They arrange a free bus from Lismore sometimes. You could ask Bonnie to email all the attendees and see if you can get a ride from Brisbane. I took someone up and two people back that way.
paul wheaton wrote:First, here is a good video on hypermilage. This guy has modified his biodiesel truck in a bunch of ways and added habits to get better mileage.
Great video. I personally think that this old technology is the way of the (near) future. If this guy can double his MPG with some home mods, imagine what a mechanic/engineer could do. All the stuff he has done could be automated. For example the cut out switch could be on the gear stick (as he has it) but to re-engage it could be on the accelerator pedal (this would be awesome on an auto). With the exception of hybrids, this guy has got more fuel efficiency from his truck than the motor industry has in the last 10 years.
Helen mentioned in a previous podcast that she killed a bunch on tomato plants in pots because her compost was not ready. How long does compost need to rest/mature to be awesome in pots/seedling mixes etc. or was something else at play in that circumstance?
Deb Stephens wrote:I have an idea, but instead of drawing it, I will just describe -- it is really too simple to bother with a drawing.
You know that sheet metal screening that you can buy in DIY places (or from fancy metal fabrication places online and elsewhere)? It is usually found as insets in large cabinets or in fireplace screens, etc. and comes in a variety of decorative patterns. Okay maybe a picture would be better... like this....
Anyway, here is my step by step. First paint your oil drum black (with stove paint) to make it less obvious. Then, fabricate a cylinder out of this decorative screening (brass would be nice). Make it slightly larger in diameter than your ugly oil drum and attach some sort of spacers on the inside of the screen cylinder to hold it half an inch or so away from the metal drum. (Ceramic insulators perhaps? Or just a few short bolts through the screen at regular intervals around the top and bottom of the cylinder?) Remove the stove pipe and slide the cylinder over the drum. Voila! Pretty cover up in no time and for relatively low cost. You could even add some decorative elements to that if you wanted. I'm picturing some metal dragonflies or butterflies or anything with fairly broad wings or fins -- to add even more metal surface area to the stove, but it could be anything.
Hmmmm... I think I may do this, now that I've thought of it.
EDIT -- I forgot to add that you can do clean outs and clean the metal mesh by just sliding it off the drum -- no doors needed. Or avoid having to lift off the cylinder altogether by making it in two pieces (longitudinally) and hinging it together. As a bonus, the mesh allows for air circulation naturally, without fans, etc. and allows you to see flames from any windows you may have in the drum.
I think Deb has cracked it for simplicity. My current stove pipe on my combustion stove has a shroud using a similar patterned design and is up to visual standard. I would therefore have to assume that if it were wrapped around a barrel it would also be up to standard visually.
Would Ernie and Erica be interested in coming to Australia for a series of workshops around the South East part of the country. I would suggest 5 or 6 weekend workshops to make it worth the travel time. I could certainly plan that out. I have just been to Geoff Lawton's farm and had lots of fun playing with their, quite safe, rocket mass water heater (Non pressurized). Here is a link to the video http://youtu.be/YTnr8ua54Uw of it however the animation, which in principle is correct simplifies the design a lot. I have some more technical drawings of the structure that I can share once I get them on sketch-up. I already own the rocket mass heater book and have built several small units. Ready to step up to a biggie. Also I would like to ask for any tips on building on a suspended wooden floor.
Ernie and Erica are awesome. Thanks for all the inspiration and information you share.
So I really want a rocket mass heater in my living room and so does my wife but my wife is extremely against having an 55 gallon drum as the center piece of the living room. Would it be possible to build over the drum with something to hide it such as cob or perhaps a frame of some sort with say...tiles similar to a ceramic heater? Would covering/insulating the drum have any affect the performance of the heater?
2" rural irrigation pipe would be the best. You would also need to have the pile made using at least 15 cubic metres of chippings if you want to have heat for any length of time. The chippings also need to be re chipped until they are literally wood shavings. I am about to take my chipper to an ironmonger to have him retro fit my chipper so it can lock chips inside until I am happy with the size (like a blender) and them release them. Also the big mistake most people make (usually due to lack of space) having the irrigation pipe too close to the outside of the pile. I would say that the pipe should be 1 metre away from the top, bottom and sides. I am just about to build my own pile so I will post my videos and data.
I have been interested in rock dust for a number of years but have never really been able to prove any results. One day I will have enough land to run trials but for now here is a video from a Scottish TV show from a few years ago who visit a place that claim good results. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=163n2n7Bm5I The TV program in question have been running trials, using the same rock dust product from the video, over the last couple of years without noticing any change.