Ryan Skinner

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since Jul 21, 2014
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Recent posts by Ryan Skinner

not positive of the DVD content but is there a version that still has the griddle on the side. I would love to implement this for more than baking. I know you had mentioned as one of the stretch goals a way to take the core and use it with a grate but i though the oven and the griddle was pretty dang slick. Wasn't' sure if this was dropped for simplifying the design or performance reasons.
1 year ago
This begs for Paul's response because he is kind of the only one in his brain. I know that He and Erica Wisner have talked about drafty homes not being all that much of a bad thing. Taking your semi-polluted and alergen filled air and sending it outside. Then that will be replaced with cleaner fresher air from outside.

With a mass heater warm air isn't as precious of a commodity as when you are using forced air since your heat isn't being stored in the air itself. Removed the warm air after a fire is burnt in a house and it will still be warmed back up from the heat stored in the masonry/mass.

Is there a benefit to heating cold air form outside vs. pre-warmed air? it is certainly way easier to set up a system without an outdoor intake.
1 year ago
i do enjoy the quick renders. What are you using to create those?

Even simpler might just be a perforated pipe that goes down the center. Though that might also decrease core temps.
3 years ago
Maybe you wouldn't need a fresh air intake if you have a piece of perforated pipe that ran all the way to the bottom. Maybe it has some sort of built in auger so when things start to settle you can crank the auger and get things cooking again. Maybe the auger and the perforated pipe are the same thing. Just ideas.

Scientific method this thing barrels filled with the same batch of premix. Use a Compost thermometer to take core temps and a Infrared thermometer to take outside of the barrel readings. Best to do this in a temperature controlled environment.

Barrel 1 - Control barrel

Barrel 2 - No Lid

Barrel 3 - Lid with central whole like picture


This is the most simple version i could think of but you could easily expand this to cover tons more variables. to see how much air flow is affecting the internal and external temps. My hypothesis is that the open barrel might have toasty core but the outer barrel temps might be really low. So it is about being able to see what amount of air flow is best. Then after you have optimized temps you can move on to how to capture it.
3 years ago
Love the render. It certainly makes it look nice. Thinking the barrel would need to be steel and not the plastic. My instinct is that you might want in air inlet at the bottom as well. That would help with keeping things as aeorobic as possible if you could get some sort of thermo siphon going on from the bottom up. I would say build something and check it out. It couldn't hurt and it wouldn't take much to set it up either. Might be best for your chicken coop but on the up side you probably have a lot of PREMIXED COMPOST right there. 150 degrees on the inside of the barrel maybe 80 or 90 on the outside? how do you keep the heat just from running out of the exhaust. Mabye more mass on the outside of the barrel to store the heat. Seems like it would be running as a very low temp rocket stove. So build it and let us know.
3 years ago
I kept trying to formulate a great response but keep being interrupted. Perhaps there is enough here to keep the conversation going.

I think I was thinking about something like this a couple years ago when I made my first hot composting pile. I was impressed with how hot it could get in the core of the thing around 150 degrees. I like how you are trying to do several things here and truly maximize production. There are several things that you probably already know based on the questions being asked. But my conclusion was at best you would have 2 different systems.

System 1
Heats your home through a large Jean Paine pile (outside) that could supplement your heating needs through providing hot water for the home and maybe through that you could do radiant heat in your floors. This would break down over the winter months and over a few years would provide and excellent growing medium and you could give your birds access to the piles every once in a while to dig and pull out what they could find. It would be a complicated system and could have benefits if managed properly. From what I have seen people that have tried large versions of this spend a whole day or 2 setting it up and then it heats up and works well for just about 2-3 months then the whole piles needs to be turned a bit to keep things nice and aerated. It would be an experiment. Maybe the chickens get access one of those rare

System 2
Indoor vermicomposting and meal-worm composting operation. Though these are really 2 different systems I am pretending it is one. Both animals have wildly different requirements for success. The awesome thing as far as turning food scraps in to soil and chicken food these systems provide in plenty and both wouldn't smell.


Biggest problem with combining them is that temps of 150 degrees tends to kill worms which like it around 70

3 years ago
Out of my knowledge zone but I would imagine that the benefit of straw is that it typically is dry and creates a bunch of air space? I think the compost would be the opposite of those things. Do you know of anybody else that has used finished compost as insulation?
3 years ago
Not sure what you mean as an insulator. are you talking about leaving it in place after it has given off all of its heat?
3 years ago
My first year as well. My solution is to not do a swimming pond over the winter. I am only going to fill their drinking water. I am carrying a fresh pail of water out to them every morning from inside. It will still be a nice deep water pail so they can dip their bills in but I am hoping it will give them fresh drinkable water everyday that they can drink for a while before it freezes (might be warm water) If that doesn't work I will try using a heated water bowl.
3 years ago
You bring up a good point.

The beauty of the mealworm thing lies in accessibility i think.... As well as scale. I don't think you would be taking care of a large storage container of styro with mealworms. But that styrofoam cup that you found that blew in to your yard or the random square of stuff that came in that thing that you ordered from amazon you can throw that to the mealworms and it probably takes them a month or longer to consume it.

But to your point... Sounds like I would be better throwing this in to the trash for it to be a carbon storage medium in the landfill rather than releasing the carbon through the mealworm digestion. It is a good point. I will have to chew on that for a while. I don't want to do bad while trying to do more good.
3 years ago