It seems like there should be lots of ways for a discerning permaculturalist to groove on the steampunk rails...aquaponics set ups seem like a natural with all the pipey goodness. Or rocket heaters with water heating. I wonder if Anyone in the world has gone there?? It's too bad copper and bronze are so damn expensive, pvc just isn't going to cut it aesthetically.
Somewhere I've got a couple of huge old knife switches I'll have to incorporate into the solar power wiring.
I want a byzantine aquaponics rig in copper and bronze with RMH pressure hot water in radiator heat exchangers to warm it, all on analog wind-up timers with pendulums and bronze auto-siphons and chain and bucket pumps driven off a mill wheel in the creek (with lots of drive belts and pulleys and maybe some worm gears) and an elegantly furnished control room with a pot bellied stove and taxidermy fish-mounts hanging on the wall.
Hmm... how about something SteamPunk for the garden.....It would be cool if we could take this idea and turn wind turbines and windmills into steampunk sculpture. Amish style windmills seem like the perfect palette.
Rick, that's the perfect aesthetic! I'd love to see those scaled up a bit to charge something, or maybe run a tiny compresser for a lift pump or aerator.
I'm really getting stoked about the marriage of Victorian sensibilities with some permaculture 'mad science' projects. Time to dust off the old top hat and goggles and start tinkering! Ahhh, when technology was beautiful...
How about a clockwork style sun-tracking mechanism with exposed gearing for a solar panel pole mount?
Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
Each year I visit the Kutztown Dutch Folk Festival in Pennsylvania. They have an old time farm steam machine display. For me the highlight of the festival is the dozens of steam machine all running at the same time. They make the most amazing sound, like a steampunk minimalist symphony. A music John Cage, Thomas Truax, Guy Maddin or David Lynch would drool over.