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Self Sufficient Energy Production

The first and most important step to being energy self-sufficient is to require as little energy as possible.

Green Housing
Passive Cooling
Passive Solar Heating

The next step to achieve energy self sufficiency is to concentrate on maximizing your use of low tech solutions.

Drying Hay With Renewables
Light transport

High tech solutions can be added with caution.

Wind Energy

Some technologies work better in warm weather. But sometimes they can have an effective short term niche such as summertime water pumping usage.

Solar Energy

Some problems can only be solved by community level cooperation. Community self sufficiency is as important as individual self sufficiency.

Gasification with animal fat, municipal waste, etc.

Choose technologies which can efficiently and flexibly utilize energy.

Multiple Fuel ICE Engines
Increasing Fuel Efficiency

The last step is to use agricultural methods that minimize fuel consumption.

Alternatives Rejected

Green Housing:

The best way to be self sufficient is to require as little energy as possible.

Green Building Advisor - In cool climates, thermal mass on inside
University of Minnesota - Exterior insulation for foundations, etc.
SARE - Thermal banking
Building Science - vented attics in cold climates
Building Science - insulation details
Green Home Institute - magnesium oxide
Stanford - Amory Lovins lectures on energy efficiency

Passive Cooling:

Absorption, evaporation, and thermal technology is getting better adapted for small scale home application. With outside window shutters in place, a double roof, foundation insulation, passive vents at the highest points to vent heat, passive coolers at living level, and ground heat exchange feeding into the coolers, a home can be kept fairly cool.

Absorption unit design
Evaporative cooling
Double roof for summer cooling
Wikipedia - ground heat exchange
Passive Refridgeration

Passive Solar Heating:

With indoor night time window shutters and curtains, rocket stoves tied into indoor thermal mass, foundation insulation, ground cold exchange, thermal banking, and angled multi-pane windows, an airtight home can be kept fairly warm.

Wikipedia - sun angle, shutters
Wikipedia - ground cold exchange
Thermal Banking


A wood burning cooking stove and space heater is still the cheapest and most reliable source of energy. Bio-Char stoves preserve the carbon for agricultural use, which can be charged with NPK from urine and waste.

Bio-Char Stove
Bio-Char Stove

A rocket stove can even burn animal fat, nut shells, etc. An indoor and an outdoor stove will provide the capability to handle short term power outages.

Rocket Stove
Rocket Stove Theory


Drying With Renewables:

Hay was originally baled so it could be easily transported. If the hay is fed on farm, there is no reason to bale. A cheap pull type forage harvester can cut grass and blow it into a trailer. It can then be conveyed into the solar drying barn.

Forage Harvester
History of hay drying
University of Florida - chopped hay drying
Sheet metal solar drying
Solar Energy Drying Systems - solar chimney
Solar Drying Barn
Solar Greenhouse
Drying barn - pulling and pushing air fans
Loose hay movement
DIY Solar Dehydrator

Light transport:

Perhaps the most efficient form of short distance transport.

Organic Transit bike car
Priority 600 - geared bike

Wind Energy:

Large wind turbines are the most efficient.

Small Wind Certification
Small Wind Physics
Inefficient Urban Wind
Amory Lovins - the grid is the storage device


Solar Energy:

In cold regions, the sun's rays may be too indirect to be efficient. But in regions closer to the equator, elevated solar arrays can share agricultural areas. But normally, solar energy is perfect in the desert or outer space where there is lots of room not better used for something else.

Build It Solar - water heater
Wikipedia - water heater


Gasification with animal fat, municipal waste, etc.:

Animal fat and other waste can be used in a gasifier facility to make syngas.

Plasma Gasification
Wikipedia Gasification
Global gasification statistics
Gasification explanation
American Hydrogen Association


Multiple Fuel ICE Engines:

Instead of trying to make your own fuel, the key to energy reliability may lie in the ability to use many different fuels. Especially fuels that come from multiple sources. Internal combustion engines (ICE) are very reliable because they are less vulnerable to EMP than electric vehicles. And purity of fuel is not necessarily a requirement for ICE like it is for fuel cells. Unlike electric vehicles, ICE can provide high torque for heavy loads at low speeds.

Energy levels of fuels
Search Multiple Fuel Vehicles
Methanol Pathways
Find alternative fuel stations
Multiple Fuel Conversion
WE R CNG - conversion kits
NAT G - CNG Solution

More research needs to be conducted to determine the actual effectiveness of HHO. But HHO does not appear to damage engines like H2 does. And fuel savings and cleaner emissions may actually come from additional adjustments that HHO allows.

Science Direct
HHO cleans emissions


Increasing fuel efficiency:

Heating fuel
Research Gate - heating fuel


Alternatives Rejected:

Bio-fuels are not sustainable.

Most bio-fuels actually use more energy than they produce. And many engines have been damaged by poor quality bio-diesel.

Animal fat diesel has a filter plugging point that is high enough for it to be difficult in diesel engines. Tanks, lines, valves, and pumps must be heated in cold climates. The colder the climate, the more difficulty.

Manure is better used to increase soil fertility than to generate energy.

Algae as a fuel is far in the future.

Ammonia is not cheaply produced. And pure ammonia needs another fuel to ignite it in an ICE. And competing with food production is not a good idea.

Syngas / wood gas / cracked water with high levels of hydrogen have a tendency to make metals brittle, which shortens the life of an engine.

OSTI - effect of hydrogen on engines

Hydrogen technology is not ready yet
The Guardian - hydrogen leaks
MIT - hydrogen may worsen climate change

Since there are so many universities and engineering organizations researching plasma energy for combustion engines, there must be something worthy of so much attention. But obviously, the technology is not ready yet.

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