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This web page is designed to promote the idea of GETTING OFF OIL NOW in particular and hydrocarbons in general as soon as possible. I believe it is of the greatest importance to do this as fast as we can. I will post information on every method I can find to save energy or get it from the environment or store it for later use. I will post real life information about the things I have tried and how they worked. Check back often as I already have a fair amount of information to post.

Update 05/13/07 I have added a page that shows my low voltage lighting projects around the house that use my solar setup for power.

My lighting projects

Update 04/28/07 I have finished my drain water heat exchanger installation. There is a link to the installation page on the links page or use the one below.

My drain water heat exchanger installation

My Solar Air Heater with Solar Panel Mounted on Top. This is an excellent way to get heat from the sun into your house so you don't use as much oil, natural gas or electricity. This one pictured here will get me a 25 degree difference between intake and output temperature on a sunny day. Click the link below the picture for more information about solar air heaters.

Solar Air Heater Page

This is just one example of things that can be done by the average individual. I built this box and the test box on the solar air heater page. I am a terrible carpenter so if I can do it then almost anyone can. I chose this because it is simple and efficient and it was something I could do now to help reduce my oil consumption. While this one may not have made a big difference this year to my oil consumption, I learned a lot and will continue to improve and expand this project. Since my main objective is to get off oil, making heat is my first priority.

However, a complete system that can extract energy from the environment no matter what the weather conditions is important. As an example, it is not always sunny enough to make heat using the solar box but if it is windy, as it often is when it is not sunny, electricity can be made with a windmill. This electricity can then be used to charge batteries, make heat with electric heaters, and hopefully make hydrogen to store for use later by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using a process called electrolysis.

Storage of energy collected to be used later is also important. While batteries can be charged with extra power and it is good to have some of that power immediately available as electricity, that will only get you so far and batteries are made from lead and sulfuric acid which are not very environmentally friendly substances.

Hydrogen is much more environmentally friendly and no more dangerous than natural gas. It can be burned as is to make heat just like in a gas heater or stove, used to supply a fuel cell to make electricity or burned in an internal combustion engine to turn a generator of some sort like a lawnmower engine hooked to a standard car alternator or even in your car to increase your gas mileage.

You may think generating hydrogen is hard to do but I learned to do it in 8th grade science class and was making small amounts of it in the basement tonight before I wrote this. It is not as hard as you may be led to believe.

Biodiesel is another form of energy that is produced from vegetable oil from crops such as corn, soy and canola just to name a few. It can also be made from waste vegetable oil from deep fryers at local restaurants making it very efficient since it actually gets used twice. Home heating oil and diesel are the same and can be replaced with biodiesel with almost no modifications to existing equipment. This could help reduce oil imports by a substantial amounts and the money would go to our farmers which would help our economy instead of the people we get it from now that "don't particularly like us very much".

I intend to share information on all of these methods and how to combine them into a complete system and automate it so you don't have to baby sit it. My links page will help to explain these different ideas and give you links to places where there is more information and equipment. Check back often as I am constantly experimenting and posting results.

The link below goes to an information page. Here I put links for Windmills, Biodiesel and Hydrogen (soon). These are all things I am going to try if I'm not already working on them. As usual there is more to come.

Links to information


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© 2005-2008 B. McGowan