Sebastian Köln

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since Feb 05, 2016
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cat forest garden trees solar wood heat woodworking
Abkhazia · Cfa (humid subtropical) - temperate · clay soil
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Recent posts by Sebastian Köln

Michael already pointed out their fundamentally lower energy density.

I do want to address the high voltage part:
Operating voltage is a design parameter that can be varied from low voltages totally safe to touch both poles at the same time (say 48V as the upper limit) at the cost of thick wires to carry the current needed, to high voltage (500V or higher that can be lethal) but with much thinner wires (and/or less losses).

A single super capacitor has a maximum voltage of around 3V, so small (up to 16 in series) capacitor banks will inherently be safe (at least voltage wise).

The burn risk is definitely something to consider before shorting them out, but the same applies to batteries (just that that you need a bit more battery for the same effect).
3 days ago
That sounds like a potentially risky thing. Radiation patterns are difficult to predict and having only partially sterilized things that are assumed to be fully sterile could cause a lot of harm.
What about a pressure cooker (and using steam)?
1 week ago
What if you could define what qualifies for a mortage?
Having people with spare money invest into a fund that builds natural buildings and rents them and possibly sells them at an affordable rate over time of the new inhabitants like it?

Here I am still at the stage of figuring out what to build. How to build it will come after that. But good architecture is badly needed everywhere.
1 week ago
There are some growing along the mountain roads here. So they would have to survive at least -10°C if not -15° under the cover of dead ferns.
I will get some seeds the next time I see some.
1 week ago
The EU is fortunately not in a position do define these things. Individual countries do.
I can tell you that in Germany for example, we needed a flushing toilet. (Laws also vary between parts of Germany (a federation).)
But nothing says you can't have additional composting toilets (or if something says that, it is not enforced).

Here it is a mess. Toilets are build at the lower part of the property next to the fence… and whoever lives below that gets the fun.
We just had four months of rain, so any evaporation pond would need to be designed properly to deal with that. I put the new composting toilet on a high-spot with a massive roof-overhang.
1 week ago
Try looking at Plants For A Future.
They have a big database of lots of plants, searchable by almost anything you can think of.
1 week ago
Depending on the pipe and foam insulation, I think it is more of a 10x difference. But that doesn't really change the overall result.
This blog post comes to the same conclusion.
1 week ago
I can't comment on the heavy duty hose as I have no idea what that means.

My experience: Cheap Normal PVC hoses work fine, but you want to discard the water for the first minute or so each time. Their durability is limited by the off-gassing of the softener (which also ends up in the stale water) and destruction by UV.
The rate of off-gassing should correlate to the temperature of the hose: Molecules with more energy (heat) move faster. How long it lasts against UV depends on the UV-additives and sun exposure.

If your garden is going to last a bit longer, I would recommend to install PE (poly-ethylene) piping under ground to convenient locations and using short flexible hoses from there.

EDIT 1: There are flexible food grade silicon hoses … but they are very expensive.

EDIT 2: It appears that EDPM is also an intersting material. For example this one. No idea about price.
1 week ago

I left Germany a few years ago because finding an affordable place that isn't tightly regulated did not appear to be likely. (And working full time while doing permaculture isn't particular easy either..)
Now I have space, lots of work and even money, but time ... is lacking.
If you are not tightly bound to Germany, we need permaculture people here! (I promise to write about this place soon.)
2 weeks ago
What a nice place!

The north facing slope provides a cool spot to sit in summer, the south facing side a warm one during the rest of the year.
You mentioned a river, so turning the center into a pond would probably be of little interest. Then again, since water is available a small water pump feeding a "spring" would provide lots of fun for children.

The simplest solution I can see for the north side would be to leave the grass. But it might also be a good spot for shade loving plants that don't like wet roots. (And a strip of sun loving plants at the top.)

Maybe even put a "ceiling" on the south facing side to prevent the warmth (IR radiation) from escaping upwards and wind from chilling.