Tag Archives: green

Cool cladding for the Chalet

Bargains galore as the fall work season begins

Well. I’ve been a lazy lazy boy this summer. As always. Living off grid is great. Now here’s Gisele, the french dominatrix cracking her whip. I’m back to work. Sort of.

This is as far as I've gotten so far. I have to say it's going pretty slow. Part trickier than I thought. Part getting back into the work groove.
This is as far as I’ve gotten so far. I have to say it’s going pretty slow. Part trickier than I thought. Part getting back into the work groove.
Three, three, three kinds of siding, ah ah ahhhhh

Continue reading Cool cladding for the Chalet

Bokashi test 2

Testing Bokashi in a muldering toilet design
(or Poo digestion: phase 2)

Problem:

For my primary material management I use an envirolet toilet (muldering toilet in a plastic box). But just before Christmas the cold weather meant frozen material had formed a mountain and plugged the exit.

For the remainder of the winter I use a Sawdust Composting Bucket Toilet. This is a trigger for my interest in Bokashi.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: the envirolet test

Continue reading Bokashi test 2

Shou sugi ban cedar siding

Shou sugi ban tests with 2 updates

Well. In this exciting post I turn perfectly good white cedar boards into crispy Shou sugi ban siding.

Shou sugi ban is the Japanese technique of burning cedar planks to make a long lasting maintenance free siding.

It’s a slow process though. As you can watch in this video.

For pictures and more

Continue reading Shou sugi ban cedar siding

Pickle your Two

Bokashi culture pickles poo

I know. Kind of an odd topic, but while off grid waste management is seemingly without surprise, here’s a tip I picked up last year: Bokashi style composting toilets.

Horse bedding and bokashi inoculate:  a new waste management solution  now on  hand.
Horse bedding and bokashi inoculate: a new waste management solution now on hand.

Bokashi is Japanese for “fermented organic matter.” You make an inoculate or microbe laden mash and by combining it with various organic materials use it to ferment and very rapidly compost those materials. That’s the theory.

Sawdust toilet test

Continue reading Pickle your Two

Batteries and bus bars

Wiring batteries and bus bars
Simple improvements in bus bar and battery wiring can improve efficiency and longevity of your solar battery pack.
Simple improvements in bus bar and battery wiring can improve efficiency and longevity of your solar battery pack.
Improving efficiency and lifespan

Batteries are currently (ha ha) the weak link in the off grid solar equation. If you’ve gone through my site you know I’m a HUGE fan of lithium iron phosphate batteries. Basically flooded lead acid batteries are the equivalent of a 70s automobile. Ya. Looks like a car. But …

Still, if you’re doing a small off grid solar electric install lead acid aren’t horrible and they are cheap. So here are creeky’s top tips for improving efficiency and lifespan when hooking up lead acid.

Creeky’s 6 Top Tips

Continue reading Batteries and bus bars

Cool cats on a hot tin roof

Passive solar cooling using a metal roof
The basic concept.
The basic concept.

There was some research done around 2008. First by a fellow in Africa looking for a way to cool the metal roofed homes that poor families lived in. Under the hot sun they became ovens. And he worked out a method of using two layers of metal roofing to draw cool air from the ground up between the metal layers of the roof to expel hot air at the roof peak. This cooled the tin. Keeping the homes usable for longer periods of the day.

Another researcher in Texas found he could use roof ridge vents, metal roofing and foil covered polyiso sheathing to move air out of the test home attic, cooling the attic from 130F to 80. Pretty significant.

My experience

Continue reading Cool cats on a hot tin roof

Electric fridge for off grid — YES

What? An electric fridge off grid

To heck with hauling propane. Introducing the Magic Chef 10 cu. ft. fridge.
To heck with hauling propane. This is my Magic Chef 10 cu. ft. fridge.
Yes. And why? Money $$$

Like most folks I started off grid with a propane fridge. Now propane fridges are great if you’re traveling because an absorption fridge works even while it’s being shaken (if not stirred).

But when you live off grid, chances are your fridge isn’t moving. So now it comes down to saving $$$.

How cool are the savings?

Continue reading Electric fridge for off grid — YES