Hi from Logan Queensland

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by Colin Westwood, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. Colin Westwood

    Colin Westwood New Member

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    Greetings all. I'm a retired organic farmer, health care worker, Permaculture practitioner, low tech designer and researcher. My 800 sq m block houses me and over 100 fruit and nut trees along with under-story, and ground cover plants. My little 1960s era railway cottage has over 4 kw of solar PVs sending power to the grid and another stand alone 24 V system hooked up to a 5 kw inverter that powers the entire house most of the time.

    I have also designed and built a 1 cubic m capacity bio gas plant for around $100 that powers a gas stove and provides high quality liquid fertilizer. It's based upon a recycled 1000 litre IBC plastic container, a recycled toiled pedestal, half inch black plastic irrigation pipe and a queen size airbed to store the gas.

    I built a small high temperature bio-char plant using some simple bits, including a recycled stainless steel treddle bin for the burner and a 44 gallon steel drum to extinguish the burn. Bio-char mixed together with the bio-gas liquid fertilizer gives you activated bio-char.

    Transport is provided by a recycled lithium battery bank of batteries built to provide about a 60 km range between recharges on my converted push bike, when I'm not walking or using public transport.

    Overseas experience includes building a clivus multrum dry composting loo for a school on Pentacost Island in Vanuatu, bio-gas plants around Queensland and Thailand, wood fired dome style Pizza ovens, and I have worked as a sustainable development advisor in Vietnam for an NGO among other things. I also keep, breed, and rescue native stingless bees.

    Did a Permaculture Design Cert course at Northey Street Brisbane some years ago, but knew Bill from the early days in Uki NSW where I was a founding member and resident of a small 'intentional' community for 14 years.

    Look forward to meeting or chats with like minded others of all ages and backgrounds
     
  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    hello Coin and welcome, :)

    you have a nice setup by the sounds of it, why would you want to
    leave? :) i'm a bit of a homebody...

    i really have no experience with biogas storage and like the idea of
    using an old waterbed to store the gas, i'm assuming you have some
    kind of pressure regulator to keep things even?

    this is the busy season here for me in the USoA, getting ready for winter
    and putting the gardens up for the season and trying to get any last
    projects done.

    it seems to be pretty quiet around here lately in the PRI forums.
     
  3. Colin Westwood

    Colin Westwood New Member

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    Hi Songbird.
    A water bed should make a great gas storage container I'd imagine!! To get enough pressure in the system to cook, I placed light weight objects on top of the gas bag. In my case, there was an old internal door and a few bits of plywood that I used to cover the top surface of the bag which gave me enough pressure to cook with. When the average temp drops below about 18 C, gas production slows and stops until things get warm.
    Also just learned that the black plastic IBC containers are both UV resistant, and seem to come fitted with a high quality ball valve tap at the base. This should be ideal for de-sludging the digester when it gets too many solids in the base. The pressure release valve is a bottle of water into which I run a short length of pipe from a 'T' peice in the line and insert about 5 cm into the water. Works perfectly.
    Good luck with your situation
     
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