Thursday, 4 January 2007

Learning process

The weather has been pretty rough recently, so much so that not a lot of pictures were taken. I have made progress however, the frames are up and the heating tank and irrigation tank are in position, pictures to follow...
For now, I thought i'd show some pictures of the guy who inspired me to try this method of heating the polytunnel:

Jean pain was a frenchman who was faced with the problem of forest fires in the region where he lived in South West france. The underbrush in these forests had to be disposed of to lessen the risk of fires happening. He devised a way to make really potent compost from this waste product. After more experiments he realised that the amount of heat from a fermenting heap this big could be used for different purposes..he set to work.
What you see above is an inital prototype heap and a more refined round one, which extracted more heat from the piles.

His solution was simple, wind water filled plastic tubing around the pile and then send it to wherever you want it. Because of the huge mass: 50-120 tons, the piles stayed at 50-65 centigrade for up to 18 months..Free heat, and at the end of it, tons of compost..what a genius!

Of course on reading about this, I started to dream of real cornish bananas, coffee, tea, pineapples, the lot! and why not? The air freighting of pineapples, never mind apples, is a great way to go about destroying our planet, maybe this can be part of the solution..
This is is greenhouse, heated by a massive heap, sub-tropical conditions on the inside.Can we achieve the same here?

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