Posts Categorized: Sustainability

Planning an off-grid solar system.

Estimating Energy Generated by your PV System Using the equation below, you can estimate the annual electricity production and electric bill savings for a grid-connected home solar electric system with a net metering arrangement. Determine the PV system’s size in kilowatts (kW). A typical range is from 1 to 5 kW. This value is the… Read more »

Keeping a few chickens

Minimum Space Requirements (m2/bird) Type of Bird Inside Outside Bantam Chickens 0.1 0.4 Laying Hens 0.15 0.8 Large Chickens 0.2 1.0 ……

Straw bale gardening

It’s time to devote some time to learning (and practicing) straw bale gardening. I’ve been aware of this technique/system for a while but have not paid much more attention. Here’s a great starting point, an article from The Dirt I Occupy “The Amazing Straw Bale Garden“. And another from No Dig Vegetable Garden. Here’s an… Read more »

Masonry heaters & stoves

GeoPathfinder Many people currently cook in a microwave oven. It’s called “micro” because the high-frequency radio energy used to jiggle the food’s water molecules has a very short wavelength. We call our stove the macrowave because, even though it utilizes radiated infrared energy (heat) which has a much higher frequency and even shorter wavelength, the… Read more »

A collection of straw bale resources

Straw bale building guidelines for wet and humid climates Climate and Straw bale construction Five tips for keeping straw bale walls dry in a wet climate Yes you can! Build with Strawbale in Wet Climates Moisture and straw bale walls. Sun Plans Strawdio Template Straw Bale Futures Passive Solar Design Lime paint, lime wash and… Read more »

Composting

This book describes a way of making compost, i.e. humus, which is simply, labour saving (no turning) and quick, both in ripening the compost and in getting results in the soil. It is adaptible to all conditions and to every size and type of garden, allotment or farm, the process being based on nature’s own methods.

Checking straw bale wall moisture levels & all things monitoring

I have the opportunity to add “smart” technology to my house as I’m building. I’m considering using either, or both, arduino boards & Raspberry Pi computers as the main processors to which I’ll attach various sensors and switches. Primary considerations will be power consumption, heat production & cooling, and reliability. Both Arduino and Raspberry Pi… Read more »

No Featured Image

Dimensions of straw bales

Straw-bales can be made from a range of plant fibres not only grass-family species like wheat, rye, barley, blue-grass, and rice, but also flax, and hemp. Bales of recycled materials like paper, pasteboard, waxed cardboard, crushed plastics, whole tires, and used carpeting have also been used or are currently being explored for building.

No Featured Image

Optimum orientation of solar panels

To get the most from solar panels you need to point them in the direction that captures the most sun. But there are a number of variables in figuring out the best direction. This page is designed to help you find the best placement for your solar panels in your situation.