Well I always wanted to get some power from the wind and sun.
have been experimenting with a large wind turbine but it was not
tenable on the boat despite running an electric fire when windy.
Mrs B just would not wear the ear defenders for some reason.
It is waiting to be re erected on land. I have planted the pole (behind wheelhouse) but you know what it's like.
I happened across some solar panels from Maplin, cheap they were and I sold the 12v regulators on ebay. I know the amorphous aren't as good as polys but I'm experimenting.
got the 4 (12v) panels in two strings through a maximum power point
tracker regulator (photonicuniverse) to get the best out of them. The MPPT does magic and
things and has leds and lcd screens. It basically means that it makes the most out of the least from the available energy.
The contraption on the left of the roof is for the solar tubes for heating the water. The rollers have just arrived to get the turntable turning. Gosh some things take an awful long time. I have enough projects on the go to last another lifetime never mind what's left of this one. Hey ho.
Good day for free power, wind and sun. The solar panels are kicking up 100w which is around 4AHr at 24v or 8 at12v. Wicked.
Found a good site that explains the best angles for the different times of the year and how to make the most of it.
I will try to make my attachment frame adjustable as you can nearly double your output with correctly aligned panels.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Well we are still here, health is good, no rats, more importantly - no smell.
I still can't quite believe it but there you have it, a bucket of poo and it doesn't smell. I don't just mean the fan is taking the smell away to the outside either. A nose test on a windless day says there are no niffs coming out of the vent pipe. If one sticks ones head as close the the bucket as possible there is still no noticeable smell. Remember, we are not using a covering medium on this one. It would fill up too quickly and that might be a problem in the future.
It's been four weeks now and the 20 litre bucket is not even up to the quarter full mark which is good news. The Humaure handbook suggest that the average person creates 36Kg of poo per year. Assuming 1Kg = 1 litre for arguments sake that means give or take that the two of us will fill 4 x 20 litre buckets. I haven't checked yet but I assume that the 36Kg is a wet weight and that 70% of the weight of poo is water. So with the drying and hopefully composting breakdown we may even have less to deal with, we'll see.
I have spoken to a family who are using the posh Separett Villa. This toilet hides the bucket with a sliding panel and the weight on the toilet seat swings open the cover. It also turns the bucket slightly to stop poo mountains building up. I have had to turn the bucket manually, it probably needs doing once a week. I suppose one could use a poo stick but I suspect that disturbing the monster might cause a stink. If we go to the dog poo in the street scenario, it's not until you tread in it that it starts to smell.
Cleaning is done with a wet wipe and polished off with a paper towel. The blue plastic of the separator is getting water marks on it so I guess I will use some white vinegar to polish those off. I give the wee bowl a spritz up a couple of times a day with some water in an old spray bottle. Half a litre lasts a week. We have always used a bin for the toilet paper. It gets emptied when necessary and is burnt hot on the stove. No smells from the wee side of things either. Remember that the wee pipe is connected to the sink/shower sump and can either go overboard or into the grey water holding tank. The sump tank does need cleaning once a month to stop the soap scum building up on the electronic level sensor. Just a scrub with an old washing up nylon brush.
So far so good, happy bunnies all round but interestingly, not one of our frequent quests has ever asked to use the new toilet! I'm also getting a reputation for talking poo but that's probably always been true.
Monday, 4 March 2013
|Yes, well, this post is a little out of sinc but I am so excited that I just had to share this with you. Toilets on boats are always troublesome in one way or another. Many places do not allow you to use sea toilets that simply pump over the side. Holding tanks are fine but try finding somewhere to pump them out. Few and far between in many places. I remember a time in the Netherlands when it became worryingly imperative to pump out and the pump station was broken! So on the barge I went for a 600 litre black tank that would last me 6 to 8 weeks, yeah, right. A fine Vetus macerator 24volt toilet unit was fitted. Scale build up was an issure and I have had to clean it twice due to virtually blocked pipes. Bearing in mind that it was only comissioned in September 2006. Anyway we muddled through despite poor flush characheristics which meant using far more water than it was supposed to. I had to change the solenoid water valve too but that was only a fiver from Italy but I had to buy two as there was a minimum charge from the factory place. Anyway after six years the entire unit had had enough and so had I.........|
"Oh Poo" were the words I said just before Christmas when the toilet made some unsavoury noises and stopped working.
I said something a little stronger when, upon taking the unit apart, I found it was kaput, dead, nailed to the perch. The price for a new gubbins unit with the circuit board and pump unit was nearly £500 and a complete replacement toilet was £1100.
Someone it having a serious laugh here, at the moment it is consigned to "outside" status.
The thought of keeping several hundred litres of effluent under the saloon floor is beginning to wear thin, especially as the no smell pipes are beginning to smell. The pump out procedure is becoming a little tiresome too. Because of the emergency I have brought the porta potti into temporary use but I hate using that. I am too tight to spend cash on the blue stuff so it stinks, badly.
A year ago I was looking at composting loos but expensive they are and my own toilet was working then.
Nature's Head, compact but a little mechanical if you know what I mean.
Smooth and refined, the Separett Villa.
Now they are not so expensive especially as me and Mrs Barge have been using the £500 tin to save up golden coins and the demise of the Vetus unit.
Still the £700 or so for a Separett or Nature's Head seemed excessive if we didn't get on with it. It appears that most land based compost loos are in a shed outside somewhere. What to do?
Well....... Separett do a range of stuff concerning poo.
They have weekend and camping options and I wondered if I could work with one of their cheaper alternatives.
Hence Billy's "Poo in a Bucket MK I."
Ten of these recycled Syrup tubs came from:
A seat too.
And, it does have a thing to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.
Of course it will all fit into a nice box (thunder) and small fans will keep a negative air pressure, vented to the outside. This desicates the excreted material and removes any offending smells. Well this is the theory anyway.
This is one the Little House Company are trying out.
Which is where I got the Separett Privy separator and seat/lid from.
I reckon I can make a half decent loo for around 150 golden coins, which is a considerable saving. I might just have to have a party to celebrate.....