I know how to catch the compost heat through circulating water through it, and how to put a methane midi inside it. But is it also possible to also turn it into energy? One person suggested the principal that hot water rises to push up hill and send it down a through a turbine. My understanding though is that it will only circulate in a closed system (eg. water pipes connected to and from a tank.
Any other ideas? I have also toyed with using wind to take water up a 10 ft rise from one dam to another and then bring it downhill through a hydro if needed. Anyone done this successfully - or is a NZ$12,000 solar panels and inverters system really the easiest way to go to be power independent (we already have the batteries to store about 10KW of use).
Being a sheep farmer and logger I have two of the biggest piles to make compost piles real heat up...sheep manure and wood chips...so I have researched this a lot.
Personally I think there is a future in compost energy generation, but I am not sure it would be in microhydro. I think the future lies in using the heat of compost for the heat side of a Stirling Engine, and ground temperature for the cool side. In theory it makes perfect sense, but I am not so sure we (as a society) are at a point where there are any reliable Stirling engines out there of size enough to power a generator of sufficient size. When they become available, I think compost heat will have a very big role to play in alternative energy...I mean turn sheep manure into electricity to power my barn and end up with compost to fertilize my fields! That is a sweet deal, now we just need a Stirling Engine that is up to the task!
"Personally I think there is a future in compost energy generation, but I am not sure it would be in microhydro. I think the future lies in using the heat of compost for the heat side of a Stirling Engine, and ground temperature for the cool side"
I like this idea, but we can do better than ground temperature for the cool/cold side.
Check out passive ice boxes and zeolite ice makers.
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