Robert Bodell

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since Aug 26, 2016
I spent a lot of my life sailing around South America and the eastern USA and doing Fiberglass and boat Repair. During this time I lived off grid on the boat. When I moved ashore, I was already used to making my own power so I continued to do so. I now live off grid In the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.

I am interested in Alternative energy, Pyramid power and the construction of the pyramids.
Kasilof Alaska
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Recent posts by Robert Bodell

Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:I tried to find a more general thread on water harvesting to put this under but couldn't find one. If there is a better place for this question please let me know.   CLIP    

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Might be over simplified, but I live in Alaska.  we have snow 6 months or more depending what part of the state you live in.  While I was working on a snow melter, I just took a few 5 gallon buckets packed tight with snow and set them in the corner of the room. In 24 hours I had a couple of gallons in each one.  That comes to about 50 or 60 gallons a week.

Since then I have looked into several snow melting designs, but for now,  5 gallon buckets is about as simple as it comes. I got more water than I need. Even for showers.

I did splurge a bit and bought a pump to pump the excess into a tank in the attic for pressure for the shower. For drinking water I run run it through a silver and carbon filter.

NOTE: Snow water is the same as distilled water. It tastes like crap. By treating drinking water with Clorox and adding a dash of salt, it tastes just like city water.


2 years ago

John Smithe wrote:So, I'm fairly new to this. I've been researching for a couple of years, but haven't made the move off grid, yet.
I'm looking into a bicycle generator system, and .... clip



I run a generator charging 30 amps 8 hours a day to charge batteries. You are putting out about  5 amps at best if you don't stop it will take you about  48 hours to take care of what I use in 24 hours.  
2 years ago
That backup generator you are talking about is my MAIN source of power to charge batteries. Dumb ass you think? NAAAAA!

I run a 7 hp mower engine and an alternator. Normally these engines run 1 to 1.5 GPH. I get 8 to 10 hours on a gallon.
part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0tYljutVNg
part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKi52ACJo98

While solar is free eventually, I won't live long enough to get a payback. My fuel bill runs about $35 a month for fuel. By setting them up this way and using synthetic oil I get over 10,000 hours on an engine which normally is worn out after 1,000 hours.

at $35 a month it would take me about 16 YEARS to get a break even point.  I broke even on my setup in 15 MONTHS That is why I don't use solar

It isn't that my system is better than anybody else's, but instead it is best FOR ME in my situation. In Texas I ran a diesel generator on waste oil.  I am old and have cancer so climbing on the roof is out to install or maintain them. I don't drive any more but there is a gas station 2 miles through the woods on a 4 wheeler or snow machine. I can also buy most replacement parts locally.  My generator controls and volt meter are on the wall next to my chair so I don't even have to get up to start it up.

2 years ago
That backup generator you are talking about is my MAIN source of power to charge batteries. Dumb ass you think? NAAAAA!

I run a 7 hp mower engine and an alternator. Normally these engines run 1 to 1.5 GPH. I get 8 to 10 hours on a gallon.
part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0tYljutVNg
part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKi52ACJo98

While solar is free eventually, I won't live long enough to get a payback. My fuel bill runs about $35 a month for fuel. By setting them up this way and using synthetic oil I get over 10,000 hours on an engine which normally is worn out after 1,000 hours.

at $35 a month it would take me about 16 YEARS to get a break even point.  I broke even on my setup in 15 MONTHS That is why I don't use solar

It isn't that my system is better than anybody else's, but instead it is best FOR ME in my situation. In Texas I ran a diesel generator on waste oil.  I am old and have cancer so climbing on the roof is out to install or maintain them. I don't drive any more but there is a gas station 2 miles through the woods on a 4 wheeler or snow machine. I can also buy most replacement parts locally.  My generator controls and volt meter are on the wall next to my chair so I don't even have to get up to start it up.
2 years ago
I live in Alaska so refrigeration is easy. The problem is to keep things from freezing. My 4.5 cu ft top loader is made of 2 inch blue board, 3/8 plywood and liquid nails. I put a 3 inch PVC pipe through the wall with a flapper over it to adjust the airflow.  Below zero I stick a wash cloth in it to slow down the cold. An indoor outdoor thermometer tells me the temperature from the sensor in the refrigerator. No fan no electricity no propane etc.
2 years ago

elle sagenev wrote:So I've been documenting this in my projects thread "Permaculture food projects in Wyoming" but I find it to be a pretty interesting subject and wonder what other people are doing. There is a lot of talk of gabions and such for catching water in desert areas but what if your main water source is snow? What if you also rarely see snow fall straight down, as the winds reach upwards of 60+ mph regularly.

That is what I've been dealing with. How to catch blowing snow. CLIP



I live in Alaska, I don't have a problem with accumulation, It's everywhere  LOL.

As for melting and storage, In pack 4 5 gallon buckets with snow every day.  In 24 hours they melt and I fill them again.  If you pack them I get about 2 gallons+ per bucket or 8 gallons a day.  That is plenty for 3 or 4 showers a week my drinking water and two dogs that don't live here but visit for a week at a time.
2 years ago

elle sagenev wrote:So I've been documenting this in my projects thread "Permaculture food projects in Wyoming" but I find it to be a pretty interesting subject and wonder what other people are doing. There is a lot of talk of gabions and such for catching water in desert areas but what if your main water source is snow? What if you also rarely see snow fall straight down, as the winds reach upwards of 60+ mph regularly. SNIP



I am big on old technology. I can't remember what you cal it but if pile up a huge pile of rocks in the desert they will cool at night and during the day they will produce water with the heat of the day. A waterproof "bowl" under the pile lets you collect the water. There are several of these in Europe that produce water for entire towns still operating after hundreds of years.

I live in Alaska and harvest snow water in the winter. I have a lot of trees around so I have to filter it and I use a few drops of Clorox too just to be safe, but I doubt there is much to hurt you here. The air is pretty clear. next summer I will be harvesting rainwater.

UPDATE: That pile of rocks is called an air well
3 years ago

Miles Flansburg wrote:Howdy Shawn, welcome to permies!

What about using solar? If you put an old window over a patch of snow will it melt?



I have two 10 quart bucket. Every time I go out I pack in snow real tight and set the bucket by the wood stove. If you pack it tight you get 50% water. Then I pour it through a gravity feed bio filter and into the water tank with a tad Clorox to keep the inside of the tank from molding. no energy
4 years ago

paul wheaton wrote:In another thread, Devaka asked me for my current opinion on LED light.

I have already written extensively about how awful CFLs are, and I think that I have proven that they are awful in a long list of ways, so we can skip past that disaster.

I thought I had already shared my thoughts on LED lights several years ago, but I couldn't seem to find that.  

-SNIP-



I have been off grid about 50 years and I normally have 6 deep cycle golf cart batteries. When I built this house I switched from 12 volt florescent to 12 volt lead. Other than that I have just about the same load. By switching to led lighting I have been able to drop down to 4 batteries from 6.
4 years ago

Robert Bodell wrote:

C. Letellier wrote:I have looked at the information on RMH and the single biggest flaw I see is that living in a passive solar house the house is incredibly tight so if I am going to go RMH the combustion air needs to be externally sourced.  Nearly all the plans are for internally sourced air.



I tried outside air into the firebox but it gets down to 40 below here and the cold air hurts the secondary combustion so I decided to build a heat exchanger.

This is for a 4 inch stovepipe
-------------------------------------------------------------
Our of the stove with a 90 facing up
SNIP.



Here is a picture
4 years ago