Homemade Bio-gas As An Energy Source
By: Tom Chatham
No matter where you live, energy plays a major role in your life. Practically everything we do from the time we wake up in the morning to the time we close our eyes at night depends on energy of some sort. It is this dependency on energy for our everyday needs that makes us prone to great loss when those supplies are cut off for some reason.
Those in the off grid community know how important energy is. Locally produced energy enables individuals to become more secure and not take energy supplies for granted. Under normal circumstances, most people get their energy from the national distribution system. It may be gasoline, diesel, electric or gas. Due to the complex nature of the distribution system, it is all to possible to lose this supply for some duration when disaster strikes.
Solar, wind, hydroelectric, thermoelectric and power generators enable persons to utilize electrical devices anywhere. Wood provides the ability to cook and heat. Bio diesel, alcohol and producer gas units enable you to power internal combustion engines from local energy supplies.
One of the favorite energy systems of remote homes is propane. It enables those with little supply of electricity to cook, heat, refrigerate foods, heat water and even produce light. One of the advantages of gas appliances is the fact that some types of disasters that can permanently damage some systems, will not affect their operation.
It does not matter if energy supplies are cut off due to a national strike, natural disaster, economic collapse, enemy attack or solar event. The effects are the same. When it happens you are limited to the energy supplies you have on hand until the event stabilizes and the distribution system is working again. Depending on the event, it may be weeks months or even years before this is fixed.
Some events can even cause the permanent destruction of electrical appliances and equipment making gas appliances that much more valuable. These low probability/high impact events will likely have little effect on gas appliances which is a good reason to utilize this type of system. The problem then is how to provide the energy to run these appliances in a long term situation.
The nature of gas appliances provides a flexible solution. Bio gas is relatively easy to produce from many different sources. On some dairy farms today, cow manure is used to fuel generators to reduce the cost of operations. While small homesteads will not be able to produce that much bio energy, they do have the ability to produce small amounts to power critical equipment like stoves and refrigeration.
Bio gas units are relatively easy to build from local supplies. By utilizing livestock manure, you can provide a suitable alternative to the refined gas you normally buy. This can enable you to avoid the loss of necessary appliances during an event an can save you money in normal times that can be used for other necessities.
When manure breaks down, it releases methane. Left in the open this potential fuel is lost to the atmosphere. When manure is placed in a container the released gas can be drawn off and stored for future use. For those that have livestock, this can be a good energy supply that only costs you a little time. This can allow you to have functional appliances even during the worst types of events when energy supplies may be cut off for long periods. For those that have gas appliances, it is good to know you can produce your own energy supplies to avoid the hardship that would follow the loss of those units. The following links will help get you started with this line of knowledge.