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BasecampUSA

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We live mostly off-grid in an underground solar-heated house. (see my other posts)
We heat with wood (house heat and hot water) when the sun doesn't shine, but we also have
a co-generation power plant.
(See diagram at bottom)

Much of the power we use comes from solar panels (photovoltaic cells) that charge batteries.
Inverters supply 110 v power where needed as long as the batteries can supply it.

During cloudy periods (many of them in Maine), additional power is supplied by a
very simple, uncomplicated one-lunger diesel made by Changfa (China).
For 3 - 4 hours we charge the batteries for the rest of the day and during this
short "charge time" we run the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and "major" appliances.
The "waste heat" from the engine goes to a radiator in the house to heat with !


Yeah, it looks weird sitting idle (Summer) 16 hp diesel + 7.5 KW generator, 110v, 60 Hz, 1800 RPM,
- the coolant tank is pumped to an old-fashion cast iron radiator in the house. They run forever !

This guy just has his Changfa hooked up to a car radiator - BUT he could use it for house heat or hot water:

A prepper and his Changfa rig:
(this guy doesn't use his "waste heat" for anything either.)

Most people up here heat their homes with fuel oil furnaces, but we kill 2 birds with one stone.
Why just heat with fuel oil and use grid power ?
Generate power with the fuel oil instead and use the "waste heat" for heating
the house too !


That is what we do...

 

jontte

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like the set-up,though it's too technical for me to understand..that's my handicap ;)
 

Graynomad

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Why is the "Domestic H2O heat exchanger" required? Can't you use hot water directly form the main tank?
 

BasecampUSA

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Applied to the above post:

The main hot water tank (heat storage) has rust inhibitor treated water in it that is circulated between the wood-fired boiler (when used) and the diesel engine block.
The Solar Hot Water panel system (not to be confused with the Solar Photovoltaic Electrical panels - not shown) has antifreeze in it, and as it sits outside it only warms up daytimes in sunlight. A separate coil transfers heat to the hot water storage tank with a differential temperature valve. (if the water in the storage tank is hotter than the Solar Hot Water panel can deliver, the pump stays off).

The domestic hot water is heated by the hot water storage tank through a separate heat exchanger coil, to prevent contamination.
(In other words you wouldn't be drinking water that ran through an engine block or a furnace, or had antifreeze in it.)

******************************************************************************

Here is a simpler diagram with just the engine supplying both heat, hot water, and electricity all at once:

(You just hook the engine up to a radiator in the house)

 

Graynomad

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Yep I see now, I misread the diagram and thought the cold went straight through the "Domestic H2O heat exchanger".

Man I'm glad I live in a hot climate, we hardly need anything for heating or cooling.
 

Gazrok

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Man I'm glad I live in a hot climate, we hardly need anything for heating or cooling.
Cooling, yes, heating no....(here).

That's the one thing I'd miss most post SHTF....air conditioning. I'd get used to it. Have before. But I'd miss it.

My house has two industrial AC units for central air. Sucks on the power bill (and any SHTF power demands), but nice to have now.
 

Graynomad

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We're about 200 miles outside the tropic of Capricorn, so it's warm but not too humid.

Luckily we don't really need either heating or cooling here, that said I do like having the fire going when it gets chilly, and we run a fan or two in the summer. Both are easily done with some wood and a little power usage, but if neither were available summer would be the same clothes wise and winter would require a sweater on top of my T-shirt, socks, and maybe even some shoes when I go outside.

For years I've been saying that it's easier to be poor in a warm climate, now I say that it's easier to prep in a warm climate.
 

Cavemanjoe

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Yes much easier to prep in a warm climate. We live basicly underground = inside a mountain in a large cave home that we are still expanding and hope to have a 3 story home inside the mountain in the next 5 years.
Temperature inside the cave home is a steady 78 degrees and about 8 to 10 degrees cooler than outside in daytime and 5 to 7 degrees warmer inside than outside at night time, our electric is dsl. generator for heavy use, 12V lighting and solar for inside. Fresh spring water from the mountain provides us with all year delicious tasting water?
 

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