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300 Days To Doomsday Skill – Compost heating


18 Aug 2012

We are coming very close to the end of the skills you will need to survive a doomsday. I hope that everything I have brought up will help in some small way to ensure your success.

But this week’s skill is an oldie but a goodie.

Originally conceived by a Frenchman, Jean Pain, use the heat from a compost pile to heat the domestic hot water in a home, Simple idea, and cheap to make.

From Mother Earth News:

Simple DIY Water Heating with Compost.

[1] MOTHER’s newest compost mound shown here partially completed Is a low, rectangular heap with sloping sides (a shape that eliminates the need for a cage) and two flat coils of polyethylene tubing buried inside it.

[2] The rings are connected to insulated hoses which will carry water in and out of the pile.

[3] The warmed water travels 80 feet (see the diagram at left) and then is circulated through a heat exchanger inside this converted water heater.

[4] MOM’s second Jean Pain-style compost heater will be a hard act to follow! Supported by a wire frame and sheathed in black plastic, the circular mound maintained for almost teal months its highest temperature of 140F.

Simple design. And you can vary the materials to keep the heat running for longer.

Using finely chipped wood is one possibility, but so is using bark dust. Put this all in a big pile surrounding water pipes, soak the pile with water really well, and in a couple of weeks the decomposition begins, bringing hot water into your home.

In a post collapse world, running the unit straight into the home heating system (if you use passive heat), and bypassing any pumps will ensure that the water flows uninterrupted. You’ll be the first one to know that there is a problem with the compost pile getting up to the right temperature.

Compost piles can reach to just over 150 F , and many homes water heaters are usually set for 140 F, so it can meet your needs. You will need to plan ahead on this, and the sooner you start building it, the sooner you’ll have hot water.

Materials will compress and become soil in a matter of a few months. Restoring fresh materials would be done during sunny weather, where you can just restart the whole process. Placing the composted soil in your garden would complete the whole cycle of life.


Videos: 6 videos at 35 minutes

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