Transition Whatcom


Alternative Energy

Our group is working on small inexpensive residential energy generation devices that can be built locally.

Location: Bellingham
Members: 39
Latest Activity: Nov 13, 2013

Discussion Forum

Sustainable Alternative Energy

Started by Behrouz Aug 24, 2011. 0 Replies

I am a new member.  It is nice to see an interest group in this area, after all energy is what runs the world and fossil fuels have proven to be a dead-end especially in their mega-industrial usage…Continue

Wanting to build a Bicycle Generator

Started by Travis Linds. Last reply by Laura J Sellens Jan 10, 2011. 4 Replies

I am wanting to build a bicycle powered generator. Anyone interested in helping me? I have an old, small gas powered generator with a blown engine, I was going to try to use that as the generator.…Continue

Small scale biogas digesters built with local material by local people.

Started by Travis Linds. Last reply by Travis Linds Apr 15, 2010. 14 Replies

I'd like to include discussions regarding biogas generation in this group, if no one objects.Brian from Inspiration Farms and I have discussed and plan on building a small scale biogas digester this…Continue

Classes for Renewable Energy

Started by Shannon Maris Nov 30, 2009. 0 Replies

Hi there...I co-ordinate the Bellingham Chapter of Solar WA which educates the public on renewable energy options.See the list of classes below on renewable energy that are excellent. If you are just…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by David Culver on November 4, 2009 at 9:32am
Hi Janet,
I am building a solar home and planning other solar projects. At present I am planning for a greenhouse to extend the growing season for our vegetables, a solar food dryer for preserving food, and a solar hot water heating panel system to heat our domestic hot water.

For the heating system for the house and our shop room we went with a ground source heat pump. They are sometimes called a geothermal heat pump. We wanted to stay away from using fossil fuels and even though it is more expensive to buy up front, the system is the most efficient to run and is working very well. We don't have it hooked up to the house yet, but it is working in the shop room (Our current living space) and it works really well.

When the wall thermostat (in the shop room) calls for heat, a small pump turns on circulating warm water from a holding tank through tubing in the shop room's slab floor. When the temperature of the water in the holding tank gets down to 90 degrees, the electric heat pump comes on and boosts the temperature of the holding tank water back up to 120 degrees.

The heat comes from buried piping in the ground, where a small pump circulates water through 2400 lineal feet of tubing and back to the heat pump. In the coldest part of winter the temperature of the earth 5' down is 50 degrees. So the water comes back to the heat pump at 50 degrees. That temperature is enough to change the refrigerant in the heat pump from a liquid to a gas and after going through a compressor the 50 degree gas is now 160 degrees, just from being compressed. The extra heat produced (160 produced by the heat pump vs. 120 needed in the holding tank) is put into our domestic hot water tank, which is a different tank from the holding tank.
The system works very well and we are looking forward to getting it connected to the house floor, which has 6000 lineal feet of tubing in its slab.

I would love to discuss this with anyone who wants to see pictures of the construction and talk about it or any other solar ideas.
We are surely blessed to have the power of the sun to work with and to harness what we can for our solar projects.
Peace to you all. David
Comment by Travis Linds on November 2, 2009 at 8:48pm
Does small scale energy generation include generators? I am planning on purchasing a diesel generator that I would convert to run on 100% waste vegetable oil. I am very curious what type of generating devices can be made from 100% recycled materials.
Comment by Janet Senour on November 1, 2009 at 9:05am
Hi David:
I'm a little new at these internet forums and social media, so I hope I am putting my response in the right place for you to see it! I and members of my group would enjoy meeting with you and talking about our project, resources for recycled building materials, and to see what you have accomplished as well.
Comment by David Culver on November 1, 2009 at 7:14am
Hi Janet,
Solar and alternative energy is one my life's passions. I am currently building a new solar home for Judith and I outside of Ferndale. I would really like to talk to you about all of your alternative energy interests. I love to build things and to be able to build solar powered ideas and make them real is so rewarding. I hope to meet you soon.

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