10

Build 3 houses. It takes that long to learn enough to get it right. Live in each one for a while, so you can learn the consequences of your decisions. Really, there's a lot to learn in designing and building a house. Anyone can learn it, but it takes time. Start by learning conventional house construction. There's a lot of hard-learned wisdom encoded in ...


9

While such a project is technically possible, I have to wonder: why bother? There already exists a huge energy infrastructure, warehouses full of photovoltaic (PV) waiting to be bought, electricity transmission networks, mineral extraction and processing plants, and so on. Doing it all from scratch while ignoring available infrastructure looks like putting a ...


7

A few things to keep in mind. Food safety for unrefridgerated food is a very complex thing and the answer very much is "it depends." Factors include temperature, time in the so-called danger zone (40-140F), pH, other bacterial activity, salt content, and much, much more. In general a few guidelines: If your food stays between 32F and 40F you can treat it ...


7

Yes, there is one major project underway, called the the Sahara Solar Breeder. Wikipedia has a small page on it. There seems to be little information about the project since 2010, (perhaps because of the Japan tsunami?) but I did see a mention on their website of progress planned for 2013. There is also a summary of the project in New Scientist and Gizmag. ...


5

(This didn't fit in a comment.) 3 years to learn about earth houses, Japanese architecture and aquaculture? Well, you better get busy. If you are planning to help build it, you should do an apprenticeship with someone designing sustainable housing, permaculture or anything related. You can learn a lot in 3 years, but you can never learn enough. There are ...


5

When you use a refrigerator, very nearly all the energy used by your refrigerator ends up as heat in your home. During winter, that means that the real cost of using your refrigerator is the difference between heating through electricity and heating through your normal heating system for that amount of energy. If you store food outside, you'll lose a lot ...


3

There is cookware that uses insulation for cooking, not quite in the way you envision, but close enough. I'm referring to a cooker Thermos Shuttle Chef, popular in Japan (as シャトルシェフ). It's an ordinary pot, but comes with a well-insulated case. You cook rice, for example, for 8 mins. (on an ordinary stove—no insulation, yet) and put the whole pot into the ...


3

Pretty much any and every energy system needs lots of storage - either real, or virtual in the form of demand-side response. The old energy system, the one we inherited, had absolutely vast amounts of energy storage built into it, in the form of oil, coal and gas storage. And that's the main reason there's no market for STES. But for about 40 years, we've ...


3

So are there such projects? No. Or, only just. So far. For good reason. They MAY come. but not soon, and not easily. BUT energy production as a whole is potentially moving towards the model suggested in the question. Whether it gets there depends on many factors ... As much as we all may like to see a numerous and increasing number of "breeder" projects ...


1

The normal no refrigeration ways work just as good in winter too. Can, salt, and dehydrate. I still dry garden veggies and can with a water bath just like grandma taught me 20 years ago.


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