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  1. #1
    Veteran Member carpenter383's Avatar
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    Default Heat your home with grass clippings!

    High-Performance HeatGreen Home Heating System Version 3a

    I found this link while searching TBN about firewood. I thought it might interest some of you.
    Anyone ever heard of using compost to heat a dwelling?
    “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.” Douglas MacArthur
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  2. #2
    Platinum Member Steve C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    Quote Originally Posted by carpenter383 View Post
    High-Performance HeatGreen Home Heating System Version 3a

    I found this link while searching TBN about firewood. I thought it might interest some of you.
    Anyone ever heard of using compost to heat a dwelling?
    I have not heard about it but I have thought about it.

    When I worked on the pig farm the manure pile was always hot, even in the winter. I have often thought that if someone would have had the forethought to insulate under the slab of the manure storage area and perhaps run some plastic pipe through it a great deal of heat could have been extracted.

    I think driving a ford 8n in 5 below zero weather operating a FEL without power steering while watching the steam rise off the slab while my fingers were freezing might have had something to do with those thoughts.

    When my feet got cold I would just go and stand in the chit for a few minutes...
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    Seems to me I've read about people heating a greenhouse with compost. I suspect lots of folks will start getting more creative about energy savings, like the farmers who collect methane from their feedlot operations and use it to heat. That kind of "green" technology is easy to make fun of when it is proposed by some government agency, but when you actually find real money being saved it doesn't sound so silly.

    Chuck

  4. #4
    Platinum Member DennisArrow's Avatar
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    Iseki TL 2300, Kubota RTV, Kubota B7610

    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    Actually, we heat our goat sheds using the compost that they develop. This time of year we quit cleaning the sheds out and let the straw/hay/manure build up. By early March it will be perhaps 6 to 10 inches deep and compacted. The beauty is of the heat that is produced by doing this. Long about February, the momma's kid and there is a nice warm place to bunk into. Yes, we put down a clean layer of hay for them, but it does work.

    Then, come March, we clean this out, spread it out on the garden an inch or so thick, till it in a couple of times..........and boy oh boy does it grow........Dennis

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    Insulated concrete slab will do, same idea as radiant heated floor but in reverse, I would say ~ 75% heat lost from compost pile are due to direct contact with the cold ground, the rest ~ 25 by the air, 1000sq/f of insulated concrete slab (with ~R20-R25 styrofoam boards or similar),
    placed under the big compost pile will heat and provide hot water for free(just need electricity to run circulator pumps), the returning water will be between 115-140 depending of a time of the year, the compost pile is easy and convenient to maintain with a front loader tractor/backhoe,
    will try to do this project next year to heat 1200sq/f barn and garage

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    Like par246 said, reverse floor radiant heat style tubing. I would pour the slab in two parts, like preparing for a radiant floor -- insulate the bottom AND edges from the ground and edge/footing of the slab.

    Toss an insulated tarp over the top, too. Just monitor the temps in the pile so it doesn't start on fire! We used to live near a mushroom farm which made their own compost and occasionally the fire department had to show up to water douse the piles on fire.

    Would be great to heat a winter greenhouse without having to have the compost pile in the greenhouse (or burn propane for a heater, etc.)

  7. #7
    New Member
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    ford 555

    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    Quote Originally Posted by edlegault View Post
    Like par246 said, reverse floor radiant heat style tubing. I would pour the slab in two parts, like preparing for a radiant floor -- insulate the bottom AND edges from the ground and edge/footing of the slab.

    Toss an insulated tarp over the top, too. Just monitor the temps in the pile so it doesn't start on fire! We used to live near a mushroom farm which made their own compost and occasionally the fire department had to show up to water douse the piles on fire.

    Would be great to heat a winter greenhouse without having to have the compost pile in the greenhouse (or burn propane for a heater, etc.)
    It can be fire hazard during summer time, may be no need to use an insulated tarp for summer time use,
    if pile is loaded at the end of October - fire should be non-issue,
    but monitoring the temp of the pile is a good idea, and will serve very well for multiple purposes...

  8. #8
    Platinum Member BIG DOOLEY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    That is a clever idea!
    You are absolutely right.
    Insulating concrete does work well.
    I added a 18' x 26' family room/ mud room between my house and garage w/ 9' ceilings and 5 windows.
    I used 2'' foam under the floor and inside the footings w/2x6 exterior walls.
    The middle of winter you wouldn't think its polished concrete on your bare feet if you were blindfolded.
    snow melts quickly and dries quickly. does not sweat in the summer.
    I wish my garage floor was insulated.
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  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    There are indeed people up here growing cole crops in winter in greenhouses heated with compost. I plan to try a modified version , this winter
    I'm supposed to be building my attached 10x12 foot greenhouse today, but the weather changed my mind.
    When it's done I also can move my hens in there.


    An interesting aside; I read a book a few years back about horse racing back around the 1920's. There was a huge manure pile at a track down on Mexico. To get their weight down to a legal level jockeys would go bury themselves in it prior to a race.

    I guess they hadn't heard of Weight Watchers.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Heat your home with grass clippings!

    Sounds like a neat idea but the last time I checked, I don't mow the grass in the winter.
    BX2350 w/ 60" mmm, FEL, Hyd frt blade, 50" Farm King Snowblower, Custom F&R Forks

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