alternative energy (44)

Iceland’s Innovations to Reach Net-Zero – in Photos

Isolated and challenged by a harsh climate and battered by the financial crisis of 2008, Iceland has successfully moved away from fossil fuels and shifted to 100% electricity production from renewable sources. The island nation has developed high-tech greenhouses to grow organic vegetables and embraced sustainable fish farming, ecotourism, breakthrough processes for carbon capture and disposal, and efforts to restore the forests that were lost in earlier centuries.

www.theguardian.com/…

From Maui Surfer

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SunRay Kelley’s Solar Electric Diesel Hybrid

249790

18 solar panels charge a Leaf battery bank that powers the electric motor. When battery runs low, a diesel generator kicks in to power the motor and extend the range.

It has a 1937 Willy’s front end and custom-made doors and grill.

Will be featured in our next book, Rolling Homes.

It’s for sale: SunRay@SunRay Kelley.com.

If you know of any unique road rigs, contact me at: lloyd@shelterpub.com

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Half-Acre Homestead in Boise, Idaho

Hi Lloyd,

I’ve attached a few pics of our half-acre homestead project here in Boise, Idaho. My wife and I bought a .42-acre lot with a fixer-upper house in the heart of town 5 years ago. We also added two beautiful girls, Willow (6) and Zoe (7 mos).

We focused on the house first, with a goal of having a net-zero house … and we are pretty close thanks to it after gutting and replacing all the plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems. This includes a bad-ass Mitsubishi heat pump, solar array that is net metered, heat pump water heater, all LED lighting, induction range, and lots of insulation.

My family deserves a lot of credit living thru the remodel process (is it ever really done?) and dealing with their carpenter dad that has big ideas sometimes.

The gas company came to replace our old meter and I just told them to pull it, we don’t need it anymore. That felt good.

The last 2 years we have focused a lot on the food production side, building up soil. We build a hugelkultur bed out of some trees we took down, and this has become a great spot for annuals, zucchini, squash and particularly melons … they love it. It also has a lot of mushrooms that fruit from the rotting wood below when the weather is right.

We get lots of water from our irrigation ditch as this area was all orchards before WW2, and Boise has an elaborate system of irrigation ditches all over town.

After reading The Half-Acre Homestead, I built up a compost area out of job site scraps and just poured piers for our chicken coop/garden storage area. The piers are big because I plan on adding a green roof like your coop.

I could go on and on, but I want you to know that books like yours have been a real lifeline for a builder like me, especially out here in Idaho. Folks like yourself, and Foster, Bruno, et al have been a great inspiration, and I will be forever grateful. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

Take care and come visit sometime,
T.J., Missy, Willow, and Zoe Sayles

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The Half-Acre Homestead Book Is Finished!

(Subtitle: 46 Years of Building & Gardening)

You know, it’s Thanksgiving morning, both boys are off for the holiday with spouses’ families, and Lesley and I are working on our separate crafts. What a difference with no phones, no email, no business necessities, no one else around. Witness the fact that I’ve hardly blogged at all lately. Gonna have to get one day a week here with no distractions. A right-brain day!

The unbound pages came in from the printers a few days ago. What a thrill! The book’s getting bound (in Hong Kong) this week, shipped and will be available in early March, 2020. When we get it together, we’re going to take pre-orders.

I’m still getting used to the book. After covering hundreds of builders over the years, this is the first on my own (and Lesley’s) work.

Stay tuned.

These photos shot with iPhone. We just got these early pages.

Music de éste día: The Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothers, 1969
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUeFJ7QIRbE

Here’s how I make books:

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Tiny Home in Scottish Highlands

Hi Lloyd,

Just a quick email to update you, and send a photo of our small house in the NW Highlands.
We spoke a few years ago, when you were over in Scotland, heading up this way see Bernard Planterose. Sadly we could not meet, but I thought you would like to see our tiny, but much loved home.

It is approx 40msq (about 430 sq. ft.) – the exterior is larch timber and ‘wriggley’ tin. The interior is CLP – heavily insulated with sheep’s wool.

We have a small office, a compost loo, a main living, cooking and sleeping area with a climb up bed and a compact bathroom. There are floor to ceiling windows to the front of the house – we feel like we are sitting on the deck of a ship – watching the ever changing sea loch and the birds and mammals that call it home. Heat comes from an old Jotul wood stove, power from 6 solar panels, a battery bank and inverter (we have a 24 +12v system) and we use bottled gas for a cooker and boiler. In the summer we run a small freezer and camping fridge, in the winter a hole in an outside wall!

“Twoflower Croft” has been our home for almost two years. We are still finishing soak aways and retaining walls, planting trees, planting gardens – but we are getting there.
… Our friend Sam Booth from Echo Living made our plans a reality, and it is to him, and to you we owe a huge debt. It is wonderful to know that there are people out there celebrating the fact that that simple, small houses – designed for the life that the owners live – make the most perfect homes.

Huge respect and best wishes from Scotland, hope you find yourself here again soon.

Sara Garnett

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Wind and Solar Power Could Meet Four-Fifths of U.S. Electricity Demand, Study Finds

Solar panels cover the roof of UCI’s Student Center Parking Structure. A new study co-authored by Steven Davis, associate professor of Earth system science, shows that the U.S. can meet 80 percent of its electricity demand with renewable solar and wind resources. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 27, 2018 – The United States could reliably meet about 80 percent of its electricity demand with solar and wind power generation, according to scientists at the University of California, Irvine; the California Institute of Technology; and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

However, meeting 100 percent of electricity demand with only solar and wind energy would require storing several weeks’ worth of electricity to compensate for the natural variability of these two resources, the researchers said.

“The sun sets, and the wind doesn’t always blow,” noted Steven Davis, UCI associate professor of Earth system science and co-author of a renewable energy study published today in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. “If we want a reliable power system based on these resources, how do we deal with their daily and seasonal changes?”

The team analyzed 36 years of hourly U.S. weather data (1980 to 2015) to understand the fundamental geophysical barriers to supplying electricity with only solar and wind energy.
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Solar-powered Schoolbus Cabin

Lloyd,

Like many, I scrounge the internet for building ideas. I came across a really cool dish-rack/shelf that was built into a corner in a kitchen. You could stand the plates up to dry between the slats, and still set bowls and mugs on it like a shelf. Brilliant! I saved the picture, and put it in the “barn-house” folder on my computer for future reference, when it comes time to build.

A few months ago, you posted a video of how you do dishes. I nearly leapt out of my seat when I saw the very same dish shelf… was in your kitchen! You have a long history of collecting and publishing all the good ideas you can find, I guess it shouldn’t be such a surprise that a design like that ended up in your home! https://www.theshelterblog.com/lloyds-dish-washing-method/

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