Paul Bonneau

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since Mar 19, 2012
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Recent posts by Paul Bonneau

Seems like there is another alternative: batteryless grid-tied with a generator. Comparing this to a battery grid tie, you are storing energy in gasoline rather than in battery plates. Gasoline storage is very cheap! You cannot get more gasoline from your panels (like you can get power in an off-grid system), but at least you can run your freezer a couple times a day when the grid goes down...
4 years ago
There are some yurt stories here that may help:

webpage
4 years ago
Has anyone seen the book "Rancho Costa Nada"?

What's always bugged me about tiny homes on wheels is the shape more than the size. Long and skinny doesn't get it for me. I've always wondered about buying two trailers, each of which has half of a tiny house, that could be pulled up parallel to each other and joined. Of course moving would be more difficult but how often is that done? You would need temporary bracing to move half a house though.
4 years ago

Although, they say if Aliens with no prior knowledge of us came to our houses and tested our homes for bacteria, they would probably conclude that they should wash their hands in our toilets and crap in our sinks.



Yeah, I saw something on the idiot box (Mythbusters?) where they went all over a house looking for bacteria. The worst place was the sponge for the kitchen sink.

I don't see any problem using a kitchen sink for brushing teeth and grooming, but hand wash after poo creeps me out a bit too. Maybe, if you have a shower, just have a little knee-operated faucet that dribbles into the shower drain. Then you will be cleaner and safer than in a standard house, and it works with a compost toilet too.
4 years ago

My best guess is that these laws exist mainly as a means of allocating water.



There are probably lots of rationales (excuses) but it just boils down to control of people. I don't think much is to be gained (for us peons anyway) by accepting excuses for tyranny.

If you can go into an area (maybe a small town) where the people think more or less as you do, get a job there or become known and accepted otherwise, your life will be infinitely easier. People are happy to have good neighbors, folks who will give them a hand whenever they need it, and will reciprocate. What they don't want is people with big city habits who have no understanding or respect for how things are done in the country.

If you are accepted, you can probably find a way to get into the rural life, regardless of whether you have a toilet or sink. If you aren't, they will call the bureaucrats to harass you mercilessly. The key is to be useful to others.
4 years ago
There is no problem with building code per se. The problem is that they are mandatory (a form of tyranny), rather than being guidelines to be used by the property owner (or not) as he pleases.

I believe most of Wyoming has little mandatory code; the area where my house is, permits/inspects only wells and septic installations (and people often "forget" to notify the authorities about the latter). Inside the towns there probably are some codes, particularly having to do with fire because those older downtown areas are very much dried out and a fire could take a whole city block.

The other good thing about Wyoming is that it is a small-town state, so the bureaucrats have to live among the rest of us peons, and there is little anonymity. I believe that tends to restrain the more abusive ones. However Wyoming is very conservative, and crunchy granola types tend not to fit in too well.
4 years ago

While south-facing solar panels are the most profitable for panel owners, they actually raise the demand for other power sources that they simultaneously put out of business.



What a load of horse shit. Raising demand drives prices higher, not lower. If there is any truth to this it is due to uneconomic government regulations on the power plants, not due to use of solar. If those panels were not on those roofs, the people would still be using utility power mornings and evenings.

If peak electricity costs more, then utilities should price it higher. My wife had a business in Wyoming that paid partially for kwh and partially for peak load, so they certainly can do it - if the government gets out of their way.

Also, it's a bit of a stretch saying that movement from nuclear to gas utility power is worse for the environment.
4 years ago
I'm more interested in using cheap farm-type commodities such as fence wire to create a simple, easy-to-build and energy-efficient small home, but others are welcome to play with this idea and adapt it to their own priorities.

Huh, I found an old thread I posted here a while ago in a similar vein. I had forgotten about it...
link

Another thing I'm thinking about is PAHS, or whatever it's called. A couple of trenches next to logs 1 and 5, connected to a collector in the straw just under the EPDM in the center, along with some solar-powered fans to move the hot air from under the EPDM to the trenches. Of course this would require exposing the membrane around this area so it would heat up in the summer.
4 years ago
Now that I think of it some more, I was wrong about the cross-slope dimension of the house. The house itself is small that way, but with all the extra straw and sand it goes much wider. Oh well...
4 years ago