Category: Energy Systems

WHAT MIGHT BUILDINGS, SETTLEMENTS AND EVEN REGIONS LOOK LIKE THROUGH THE LENS OF PERMACULTURE DESIGN? PART 2

This is part 2 of 2 of a transcript of a talk given by Paul Jennings to the recent SBUK Big Straw Bale Gathering. Paul has built his straw-bale family home on a ‘One-Planet Development’ smallholding in Wales (costing £12,000). You can read part 1 in this link. Permaculture principles and buildings: Site design improves building function. Working from patterns of landscape design and land use, we work to details, like […]

Read More >
2 Comments

The Most Ethical Renewable Energy Systems

The main thing in renewable energy systems is the embodied energy: the energy over the lifetime of the product versus the energy of manufacturing it. Lithium batteries are used a lot because they are lightweight, but they don’t last. Lead-acid batteries, like car batteries, are also short-lived. An old technology, the nickel-iron battery, lasts a long time. Lithium batteries are great when there might be a space or weight issue, […]

Read More >
6 Comments

Battery Technologies for Off-Grid Living

There are so many battery technologies out in the marketplace, and it is highly likely between me writing this and you reading it there will be another new fandangled world’s best battery that has hit the market. What Elon Musk has done with Tesla is to create a market awareness of wanting to install home battery storage and reduce our impact on the environment from burning fossil fuels. This has […]

Read More >
7 Comments

The Need to Limit Energy Use

Energy: An Addiction or a Necessity? Energy is arguably the most defining aspect of industrial civilization. For the first couple hundred thousand years of human existence, our ability to affect the world around us was limited by the amount of energy the human body can produce. It is estimated that, on average, a fit laborer can produce about 75 Watts of energy over an eight hour period. To those of […]

Read More >
2 Comments

Reducing Resource Use (Energy and Water) in Industrialised Farms

Resources such as energy and water are consumed directly and indirectly throughout the supply chain of products emancipating from industrialised farms. The indirect use of resources in this context refers to the resources that are used for operations carried out by a third party on behalf of an industrialised farm as well as those resources used to fuel activities or processes that are linked indirectly to them. The indirect use […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Going Off The Grid To Cost Others

Victorian power company AusNet Services is sharing evidence of parliamentary pushing to update the industry that is ever-changing and incredibly innovative. AusNet is one of the five distributing companies of electricity in Victoria and covers the outer northern and eastern suburbs, as well as the eastern portion of the state. AusNet says that a Federal Parliamentary committee is attempting to modernize Australia’s electricity grid, which is causing havoc amongst some […]

Read More >
0 Comment

The Benefits of Using a Solar Heat Catch

When the weather starts getting warmer we can all start preparing for heating bills to jump up over the next couple months. Whether your heating system runs on electricity or natural gas, you can still expect it to get pretty high. If you heat your home with wood stove, then you may be saving money but you will have to spend near endless hours cutting enough wood for the winter. […]

Read More >
4 Comments

Health Benefits of Natural Earthen Construction

Somehow or another, the modern day, industrial world in which we live convinced us that dirt is unclean, impure, and well…. dirty. We worry when we see our children headed for a mud puddle, we agonize when a mud footprint makes its way onto our kitchen floor, and we´ll gladly walk an extra couple strides on the sidewalk to avoid even a step or two through the dirt. The idea […]

Read More >
0 Comment

How to Make a Compost Water Heater

Everyone loves hot water in the home, but the ecological cost of long, hot showers powered by fossil-fueled water heaters adds some guilt to those long hours in the bathroom. What if you could have a huge supply of hot water heated by the compost pile in your garden. Instead of greenhouses gasses, the byproduct of your hot water would be more fertile soil. The Ecological Cost of Heating Water […]

Read More >
6 Comments

Passive Solar Design with Earthen Homes

During a long and cold winter, many of us might wonder if it is possible to stay warm without the benefit of a fossil fuel powered central heating system. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that close to 50% of all the energy used in American homes is for heating and cooling purposes. While it is nice to be able to walk barefoot in one’s home during the dead of […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Broome Residents Question their Lack of Solar Power

The lack of access to solar powered energy has been a long fought battle for the Western Australian residents. Even though the Kimberly town of Broome is considered one of the sunniest locations in Australia, only a mere 10% of the town’s power is backed by solar energy. The state-owned energy utility, Horizon Power, is responsible for the electric grid that Broome falls within. According to them, the reason that […]

Read More >
2 Comments

The Benefits of Energy Free Appliances

As people become more aware of their environmental impact there is a growing desire to reduce our energy consumption and move closer to a net-zero energy lifestyle. Every day more people are choosing to live off-grid, installing solar panels and finding ways to reduce the amount of non-renewable resources we use in our daily lives. It is becoming an undeniable fact that humans have a drastic effect on the environment […]

Read More >
7 Comments