Steve Shelton

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since May 12, 2017
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homestead solar wood heat
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
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Recent posts by Steve Shelton

Final Build prior to a stone facade.
2 weeks ago

Shawn Harper wrote:Sorry about the delay in reply. My compost pile was about 6 yards in size, flipped daily. I don't know how it handles over winter as I had to move last month and the new pile isn't hot. sucks buying feed.



Would that be 6 yards long?  How wide?  How deep?   I'm guessing it's not 6 yards square.  
2 months ago

Shawn Harper wrote:I've been successful with almost entirely reducing feed requirements by using a compost pile for my 7 birds. I still give them food but they don't seem as interested in it.



How big is your compost pile?  Does that work year round?
2 months ago

Graham Chiu wrote:Very nice.  How are you distributing the heat to the rest of the house?



A thermostat controlled fan pushes air from the ceiling into the ductwork.
2 months ago
Here's a quick update so far:

- DSR is performing above my expectations
- Our Electric furnace and heat pump have not run for the last 10 days.  Yeah, it's only November, but it could be the coldest November on record in Kansas City.  Also, yesterday a blizzard hit with 50mph winds and 6 inches of snow.  Some areas got dumped on.  It just missed us.  
- So far, we have been using 1 - 2 cubic feet of wood a day.  This is largely dependant upon if it's sunny.  If the sun shines, the solar gain from our south-facing windows allows us to only have 1 fire a day.  Each fire uses about 1 cu ft of wood.
- this would extrapolate to about 1 cord of wood for the year.  This is more than what I was expecting but is not bad considering I can collect wood for free.  
- It took several days to figure out the best way to set up the set-back thermostat to work together with the DSR.  We ended up setting the thermostat to 55o F.  This in effect only uses the furnace as a backup device.  
- Downstairs, where the DSR is located, is very comfortable at all times.  The lowest temperature recorded was 63o F. The average temperature overall was 67.5o F. The upstairs is a tad on the cool side.  During the daytime, the average is around the upper-60s.  The lowest temperature recorded was 58.5o F.   The average temperature overall was 65.1o F.
- 2450 sq ft home.  2/3rds of that is the upper level.
- I was worried that the DSR room temperature would be uncomfortably hot when it is burning.  This turned out to NOT be the case.  After the learning curve, the high temperatures were just a tad over 70o F.   Not bad IMHO.
- The electric savings should more than make up for the construction costs in less than 2 years.  WOOHOO!
2 months ago
The Bell is complete.  Next steps include installing the Bell Roof, Fire Wall behind, and hooking up the Chimney.  
3 months ago
Here's a pic of the 1st layer of the permanent Bell.  It is nearly complete.  I need to fill the remaining blocks with Cob to finish it.   The frame of the DSR is shown to show where it will fit.  However, it will be located on top of the 4th layer.  
5 months ago