Joey Hess designed the first Fridge0 a year ago: it uses a standard chest freezer with added thermal mass, a simple controller, and a photovoltaic panel that effectively stores sunshine as coldness, obviating the need for expensive backup batteries. The Fridge0 is an advance on traditional off-grid 12v solar fridges that assume that solar panels are expensive and inefficient; by exploiting modern PV technology, Hess says "A kilowatt of solar panels provides enough power to run a conventional fridge on even most cloudy days, and costs less than a commercial offgrid fridge." (via Kottke)
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This video shows two fellows building a small cabin out of pallet wood, hand tools and cinematic depth-of-field, but no dialog whatsoever.
We build a cheap off grid cabin using free pallet wood. We saved money building the pallet wood cabin by using recycled pallets. This is a great off grid wilderness project as pallet wood is light and easy to carry into the forest. It is also easy to work with using hand tools. Many people do not have the space, time or money to build a log cabin. But building a tiny home off grid is still achievable using cheap or even free materials, and that is where pallet wood works so well. Although only small, this one man cabin has a raised bed, folding table, bookshelf and chair - all made from pallet wood. We fit it out with a woodstove to heat it through the winter months and we installed a pipe cooking oven and water tank to boil water and cook food on. The stove heats the cabin up really fast as the cabin is only small. This small hut in the woods has no electricity or power, but that isn't needed.
Be sure to check the markings first, even if you're just making a coffee table. Also, be sure that the cost of making pallet wood last six weeks outdoors where you live isn't greater than the cost of just buying pressure-treated lumber. But now I'm ruining it for everyone!
P.S. let's make a short horror movie that starts off as one of these "making something out in the woods with no narration" videos but gets progressively stranger until it's clear They are Here. Read the rest
Yesterday, I saw a demo of the Homebiogas bioreactor: it's essentially an artificial stomach that uses colonies of microbes to digest your home food waste (it can do poop, too, but people tend to be squeamish about this), providing enough clean-burning biogas to cook your next meal, heat your house, or run a generator -- what's left behind is excellent fertilizer.
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Kris Harbour shows off his delightully cosy off-grid cottage in the woods, powered by hydro and complete with all mod-cons. Door's a bit squeaky, though. Read the rest