Friday, November 4, 2016

Revisiting water filtration

Drat it.  I didn't include detailed instructions on how to make my activated carbon filter.  I do recall that I had to go through several attempts to get it to work right.

Just now tried some coffee filters, but they don't filter water worth a damn.

Maybe I'll just get lazy and buy what I need.  But that sort of defeats the purpose, now doesn't it?

I recall that I used tea bag papers the last time.  Why would tea bag papers work better than coffee filters?  Come to think of it, I haven't even used the activated carbon that I have.  That can be messy stuff when it doesn't work right.  It can go right through the filter paper.  The trick is to get it to stop doing that.

The current idea is to run the dirty water through the carbon filter, then through a sand filter, and finally through something that gives an end result.  Either a distiller or some other device.


Looks like the activated charcoal or carbon is sufficient when used only with coffee filters.  However, the rate of filtration is really slow.  Output seemed pretty good at first, then deteriorated after a few pints. 

As can be seen, there's not much water being filtered.  The rate of filtration is too slow, and so not much gets done.

While fooling around with coffee filters, I did manage to set up a sand filter.  Don't want to run dirty water through this one.  It's heavy.  Got rocks and pebbles to go along with the sand.  That's what makes it heavy.

Is all this worth it?  To be worth it, I'll need to get better throughput.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Back home from Houston.

I am anxious to continue with my off-grid experiments.

As for the election, the horse race aspect does not interest me. The horse race is meant to get eyeballs, but we need brains here.

This election has been one of the worse that I can remember.  The things talked about have little to do with what the nation faces.  If that is the way we intend to run our affairs, then it should  surprise nobody that things will continue to be on the wrong track.

But I repeat myself.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Obligatory, 11.2.16

Back in Houston.  Seems like I can't get away from the place.  Anyway, posting may be light, as I take care of business here.

Limbaugh had a little talk that you may find interesting.  Funny how it seems that GOP types are coming home, so to speak.  If Trump loses, one might ask why it took them so long.

There was something yesterday about Europeans thinking America is at the height of its power.  Could these people be serious?  After World War II, America had half the wealth of the world.  It had a monopoly on the atomic bomb.  That is when America was at the height of its power.  The country is not at all in that position anymore.  I suspect that statement was just more disinformation intended to keep the status quo alive.  The Limbaugh talk makes America look more like Rome at the end than Rome at the height of its power.  Rome at it end had leaders who cared more about themselves than the country they supposedly led.  If the leadership of a nation doesn't care, that country dies.  That is what happened to Rome, and is happening here as well.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Jet fuel from sea water

Molten salt reactor technology can enable this:

TRL of six:

It is possible because there is far more carbon dioxide in water than in the air:

The process does not require electrolysis in order to obtain hydrogen:

Keep in mind that molten salt technology is nearly 50 years old.  We could have had this decades ago.  Why don't we?  Because something is wrong.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Interesting concept

At a price of 139k, this little jewel just begs for a cheaper hack.  I could use something like this to jump over the hills, and get into town without having to traverse bad roads.  Ah, but ideas aren't worth much without the means to implement them.

This gizmo may have a place in some specialized mission, according to the linked story.
  More likely to make it in a James Bond movie fifty years ago, when the West actually had a culture worth something.


hat tip:  Al Fin

Sunday, October 30, 2016

General off-the-grid discussion

This post will fit into my  off-the-grid series of posts.  It will be classified under the general subcategory, or subseries.  It can read end to end by following the links, or the entire series can be accessed through the table of contents post.

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The rubber, as it has been said, has hit the road.  In other words, I am doing it for real now, although I am not on my property yet.

I have obtained the services of an RV, and I am living in the sticks, so to speak.  While I am here, I can practice the techniques I will need in living out in an even more remote area.

This place has running water and electricity.  It isn't nearly as demanding as it would be on my property, which has no utilities whatever. 

Since I won't have water out there, I will need to practice techniques that require little water.  Let's say washing the dishes.  With some practice, I may be able to reduce the amount of water needed for this task to less than a gallon per day. 

Besides dishes, I have been practicing taking showers with a minimum of water.  While still in Houston, I timed out the shower duration and measured the water flow per minute.  I figured about eight gallons in that environment.

Once getting here, the amount seems higher.  It seems like all water usage is probably about fifteen gallons per day.  I want to get that down to less than ten, then down to maybe five.

It seems that this trailer has two showers.  The one outside had a push button shower head, which I took off and exchanged with the inside shower, which doesn't have one.  Now I can turn off the thing more easily, and gives me more control.  With luck, using a technique like this, I can get my water usage from showers down to three or four gallons per day.

Black water can be handled with an incinerating toilet.

I hope to recycle as much of this water as I can.  I recaptured the dishwater, and could run another water experiment, but I am not set up for that yet. Earlier experiments took water worse than this and made it into clear water.  I plan on building a solar water distiller, that could clean this filtered water up into distilled water.

The distiller can work for the shower water, too.  Maybe I can recover half of the five gallons and get the usage down to just two and a half per day. 

If my water usage can get down that low, I may be able to use a wind turbine to power a device that can capture water from the water vapor in the air.  Then, if that were to be successful, I could be self sufficient in water, even before rainfall recapture techniques were employed.

Most of this discussion is about water.  I also want to reduce electricity consumption to near zero, if I can.  This will be accomplished through the use of solar devices and wind.  A propane generator could be used as a backup.

I want to set up my passive solar experiment, but that is taking more time than I anticipated.  It is not clear to me what hardware will be needed yet.

My solar panel works, but the wiring is wrong.  Have to re-do that.

This should bring me up to date with where I am on this project.