Monthly Archives: April 2014

Vermicomposting human feces

I started this experiment today 4-23-14 because unlike organic composting, I want to find out if there is a way to rid of me poop a natural way. I’ve read a lot of articles that say human poop is the ideal food for red wiggler worms. Please keep in mind, I’m not going to do this on a large scale, one poop a week is plenty for the worms to play with. I added about 50 worms from the original compost pile along with the soil from it too. I’m using a 20 gallon container with a sealed lid to keep odors at bay. I did drill a few small holes for air to the worms. I lined the container with sawdust and will soon be adding coffee grounds. This is a good idea because of odor control and gives the worms some roughage for their digestive system. I’m pretty sure this container will get hot enough in the Phoenix, Az summers for microbes to help with the breakdown process. Poop is pure nitrogen, carbon materials need to be added to the pile for proper carbon/nitrogen ratios of 30 to 1. Sawdust is a very high carbon material.

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Forward progress

Today I acquired an super inexpensive 5th wheel travel trailer. Its eight years younger than when I was born and its also the same year as my Darvan I used to own. Yes 76′ was a good year in my book. Anyway its a fixer upper which is ok in my book because being handy is fun and challenging. It needs a few parts, tires, registration, insurance, wheel bearing grease. Im not sure if the refrigerator works either. The lights and the water pump work which is good. All the glass isn’t broken, needs some batteries and a propane tank. I figure I can get a solar panel to charge the batteries for lighting. A gas powered generator would also be a good idea.

metoo1 metoo2

 

I figure I can fix it up here in Phoenix then take it up there when I have my plans for building permit ready to submit to Navajo county. This way I think I would be able to camp on my lot, start my solar vermicompost sewer system and dig to put a water tank in the ground. These two projects will cost a few thousand dollars along with getting my lot surveyed and staked for the foundation.

showlowfinal1

 

This will be our off grid house…………..someday. Wind generation is next, I want to try all the ways to generating power. You can see that I designed the house small, with features like the metal roof that will direct water the easiest way. OOps I forgot the second floor deck.

showlowhousefinal

showlowhousefinalback

Ongoing progress

I am now nearing the completion of my plans for permit. Reading a lot of info about special systems like a compost toilet. Fortunately I have had years of experience with vermicomposting. This is regular composting accept you add red wiggler worms that help the waste breakdown process. My system will also use solar to add heat to the pile for quicker microbe action.

composttoilet

I have also completed my basic 100 watt solar system and have three halogen lights connected. Soon those power hungry lights will be replaced with led lights soon. If you think about it why would anyone want to use a 20 watt light when led lights only use 4 watts with the same lumen output! I want to light up my house with led lights throughout. I wanted to experiment with this so when I build in Show Low I will have a better understanding of solar and its limitations. All the reading I have done so far, they say that going to 48 volts works best for a number of reasons. It prevents you from using thicker cables for your battery bank and it seems to run more efficiently. Soon I hope to create a small wind generator too.

batterybox solarpanel

I got this system from Amazon and has been working great, $175.00. I bought a deep cycle battery from Costco for $80.00. I mounted the solar panel at an angle of 33 degrees because that is the longitude for Phoenix, Az. so that is where the most collection takes place.

 

Its a money thing

Money, time, permits, inspections, engineers, more money, accessories, extras, square footage means more materials which equals money. We simply want a small get away to go to when its blazing hot in Phoenix and a little bungalow for when we go skiing. How much room does a couple really need to get that done? Ive been playing with building in Show Low since the beginning of the year and frankly Ive gotten no where! Let me say that again…….NO WHERE. Three months have went by still with my mouse in hand wondering if it will ever happen.

Anyway below is yet another design that seems to be half the space I had before but will definitely work very well. Going small is a good thing because that means less lights, door knobs, heating, windows, flooring, etc. Hey this is a great thing, should have done it in the beginning.

micropodshowlowfinal-Model

I have the approval from the wife so its a go, no looking back now.

 

Its time to get on with other things like off grid items such as getting into solar. I recently purchased a small system from Amazon. 100 watts is all you need to experiment with. I live in Paradise Valley now and want to setup a system to charge a battery and run some led lights to show off my new waterfall I created. This small system will give me the know how to run a system for the houses lights. My original intent was to power the lights and a 12v water pump for the waterfall but then again pumps require a lot of power.

This small system will give me exposure to batteries, charge controllers, etc… After playing with the system Im sure I will want to expand it. I want to get into building my own panels so that will require soldering skills. I there anyone out there that can give me some tips?

newplan