Green Trust Sustainability & Renewable Energy

Off Grid and Efficient Products | Discussion Forums, Knowledgebase & News | Search | Support Green-Trust Amazon Store
News From the Front | Instructional eBooks and Videos | Green-Trust Photo Album | Newsletter | Links & Resources

Powered By
Sponsored By
Back Home Magazine

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Geoquon additions, Wind power pic.

More sections of the Geodesic Quonset have been put up. More will be put up today. It's really coming along nicely. Also took a pic of the AIR 303 Wind generator.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Rebuilt Starter Installed

Last night we installed the rebuilt starter. Glenn Scott, (315) 265-2537, has a superb starter rebuild service in Potsdam NY, and Jim rebuilt our starter with heavier coils, new bushings, etc., so that it works better than new. The increased torque really spins up the VeggieGen, and it fired up on the 8th rev this morning, at 24 degrees F. No glow plugs, no ether, no auxiliary heat.

$156 for the rebuild, but definitely worth it!

The deer hunters were not pleased, as it scared off the game.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Progress at Green Trust

We have a replacement starter for the VeggieGen on its way (Thank you,, A replacement Transfer Switch, and two pickup loads of wood delivered. 5 hoops of the Geodesic Quonset have been raised, and more hoops are constructed, waiting for the weekend for raising. We hope to double the building to 10 hoops this weekend, bringing us to just over 30' in length. Things are coming around. We had a great view of the Lunar Eclipse last night, and no view of the World Series finish. Great job Red Sox, thanks for nothing Fox (not available to us by satellite).

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Transfer Switch Saga - post mortem

We took out the blown transfer switch. Seems we welded the generator relay contacts when the gas gen was plugged in improperly, so when you shut off the gen, and enable the inverter, the gen never disconnects. Poof, fried inverter. Self inflicted, non-warranty issue, But the good folks at Back Woods Solar have a customer returned unit like new at a deep discount. Thank you Scott!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

We are much better, now

New inverter installed, pump is pumping water, and 2 more hoops installed on the Geodesic Quonset. My son Steven had a good 16th B'day party. Hopefully, the starter will be back soon. We have another Mercedes 300 TD coming for a WVO conversion, and possibly a VW Jetta. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Weekend woes, and progress.

Well, where do I start. Yes, we blew our inverter, plus we blew the replacement. Seems the Transfer Switch shorted out when my son plugged in the gas generator without turning off the inverter. Why did he plug in the gas gen? Another sob story. We burned up the starter on the VeggieGen, which is connected to the transfer switch, so he plugged the gas gen into a house outlet and poof ......

Then the gas gen shook some bolts loose and dropped the on/off switch into the flywheel.

It's not been a good couple of days. Today, the gas gen is back in service, the veggiegen starter is at the shop, and the inverter is off getting exchanged. It does say it's protected from shorts. Right.....

The well pump, which quit on us last week, and needed a capacitor to get it going again, is running but not pumping. Worked this morning. Go figure.

PJ is here, and we are constructing more sections of the Geodesic Quonset, so I will have more pics up tonight. Last night my wife and I played 4 rounds of Yahtzee by candle light, kids stayed at friends. The woodstove is mighty friendly when it's 25 degrees out.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Blown Inverter, A deal of a replacement!

Last night our Cobra 2kw inverter went south, leaving us in the dark. Found a flashlight, some candles, and contemplated a replacement unit. Cobra wanted $359 for a replacement, so we headed off to BJ's Wholesale this evening. We picked up a AC Delco 2500 watt inverter for $289 after tax. Forty minutes after we came home, we had power again. The battery cables were different. The cobra accepted a straight wire insert, where the AC Delco unit has studs. No problem. Two small pieces of 1/4" copper pipe flatted and drilled on one end, battery cables soldered into the other end. Instant connectors.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Geodesic Quonset Takes Shape

The first set of hoops and struts are constructed. Over the next few days, the building will be setup, the quonset being extended one hoop at a time. We will be going about 60' long, 15' wide, and 7.5' high. Follow our progress with instructions and photo's coming at our Geodesic Quonset pages.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Auto Transfer Switch installed, Geodesic Quonset lumber arriving.

The first load of lumber for the Geodesic Quonset was delivered. Construction starts immediately.

The Automatic Transfer Switch for the VeggieGen was installed today. It worked flawlessly. With the generator off, the battery bank powers the house through the Cobra HighGear 2kw MSW Inverter. Since this Transfer Switch is set up for 220vac, the two hot positions for the inverter (shorepower) are jumpered to supply 120vac to both sides of the AC Panel. Do not do this if you have a 220vac breaker feeding a 220vac appliance. The VeggieGen (3 phases of 120 vac per phase) has two 120vac legs feeding the generator positions on the transfer switch. The output of the switch feeds the main breaker of the AC Panel. The wire is 10/3 with ground which handles the 30 amps per leg we can pull from the gen. 30 seconds after the Generator is started, power flow to AC panel is smoothly switched from Inverter to Generator. The Computer and Satellite Receiver don't even see the change. You can also get more info on our PV/Wind System at our Wiki Site.

Automatic Transfer Switch - Two 50 amp hots and one 70 amp neutral switched.

2kw Inverter, 30amp charge controller, and other PV System Components

12 volt, 675 ah Battery Bank - Six 6 volt Trojan T-105

50 amp generator powered Battery Charger

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sustainable Development

I was recently contacted by a gentleman in India whose correspondence, and his product lines, really hit a nerve with me. What are we actually accomplishing to lift less fortunate folks out of poverty, and help them help themselves? His Tiny Oil Mill for producing vegetable oils was of particular interest to me, but it was his philosophy that really got me:

V.K. DESAI's Objectives

Our entire activity is guided by the following objectives :

(1) To promote tiny enterprises for rural development in various industrial fields using local raw materials and for local use.

(2) To promote tiny enterprises for agricultural processing at local level to achieve self reliance, to remove exploitation of the poor rural people, to generate income at local level, to generate employment in villages etc.

(3) To design and develop simple and small technology and cheap technology for developing countries for various industrial fields, particularly for agro processing activities.

(4) To design and develop appropriate technology & intermediate technology for the village industries related to basic needs of the people.

(5) To promote small scale projects for self help projects for the communicities and villages.

(6) To develop small scale decentralized technology for decentralizing various industries.

(7) To promote tiny enterprises to make available various chemical free natural products.

(8) To promote women entrepreneurship by making available to women appropriate technology for family size enterprises.

(9) To improve the quality of life and elevate the standard of living in developing countries through homogenous development of the society.

B.E.(Mech.), LL.B.
Managing Director
TinyTech India

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Geodesic Camper

Today, PJ Hafer, the originator of the Geodesic Quonset, brought over a load of wood in his Geodesic Camper. Using the same construction techniques found in his book, his camper is extremely light and strong.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Ten Best Reasons Why Conservatives Should Be Environmentalists

By Philip R. Pryde, Ph.D.
Summer 2003

“Ten Best” lists are a popular feature of contemporary American culture. Likewise, both the environmental movement and conservative political philosophy are important components of contemporary American life.

Unfortunately, and unnecessarily, the two movements are often viewed as incompatible. But they are not. On the contrary, in the century that has elapsed since the administration of Republican conservationist Theodore Roosevelt, they have been highly compatible philosophies.

What are the main connections between conservatism and conservation? The following are the ten best reasons why conservative Americans should be environmental activists.


The federal budget is bloated by billions spent on unnecessary, environmentally destructive projects. A typical example is Florida’s Kissimmee River, which the Army Corps of Engineers spent tens of millions to channelize, creating an environmental disaster, and is now spending millions more to restore to the way nature intended it.

More than $8 billion has been earmarked to restore water flow to the Everglades, harmed by past water diversions funded by the taxpayers. Conservative taxpayers have every reason to support the Green Scissors* program, which identifies the most wasteful federal land and water pork- barrel schemes, and works to cut them from the budget. They should also urge ending taxpayer subsidies for logging, grazing, and mining on public lands.


Both conservatives and environmentalists appreciate the benefits of keeping decision-making close to home whenever possible. Environmentalists understand that local residents are often the best defenders of nearby natural assets. Beneficial federal laws and regulations sometimes have a short shelf life, or suffer crippling amendments. Community environmentalists are one of the best checks on the abuses of the federal bureaucracy, such as the Army Corps of Engineers.

But local control can cut both ways, and conservative environmentalists must guard against local governments falling under the influence of special interests that seek to benefit from abusing our natural heritage.


Outdoor activities are one of the most effective and pleasant means for families to strengthen ties. Recreational pursuits such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, nature study, and river running bring families together. Children are naturally curious about nature and greatly enjoy family outings to natural areas. Even better is helping to sustain America’s natural heritage by volunteering for stewardship work—such as maintaining protected natural areas—and becoming involved in environmental issues.


Pride in the beauty of one’s country is a universal trait. Americans in the future will want to enjoy the same natural wonders as Americans of today, and conservative Americans will want to preserve that beauty, as Dwight D. Eisenhower did when he created the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Our national parks have been called “the best idea America ever had.” Conservative Americans will want to protect these showcases of America’s beauty, landscapes, and history, and to work to ensure adequate funding to care for them.


Anything that reduces energy consumption and increases resource efficiency in business, industry, and commerce will lower costs and thereby increase profits. At the same time, reducing energy consumption and the volume of waste products will simultaneously lower pollution emissions, producing a double benefit. The same considerations apply in our personal lives, especially with regard to important decisions such as the type of family car, major household appliances, and home lighting that we purchase. Conservatives will want to examine fuel-efficient vehicles such as hybrids.


The greatness of nations depends in part on the adequacy of their natural resource base. Conserving and reducing waste in natural resource extraction and use, and insisting on sustainable management of forests, fisheries, and water supplies, will make more resources available for succeeding generations, resulting in a stronger America in the future. Wasting them will make future generations more dependent on foreign natural resources, and on the willingness of these nations to share them. Allowing toxic chemicals to pollute the environment and threaten public health is an affront to individual liberty and an irresponsible lack of consideration for future generations.


Many environmental advancements have been made by small businesses, which are often more willing to innovate than large corporations. And environmental industries and enterprises of all sizes and types, such as pollution control equipment, renewable energy technologies, and ecotourism, constitute a multi-billion dollar segment of the national economy. Many thousands of jobs are created in these industries every year. In the field of natural area protection, private organizations and land trusts are increasingly being sought as the most secure and least bureaucratic tools for conservation.


Patriots love their country and desire to protect it. Love of country mandates working together to protect the nation’s inherent beauty, the integrity of natural areas that provide essential services, and its reserves of natural resources.

Opposition to environmental protection, resource conservation, and natural areas restoration indicates a willingness to allow one’s country to deteriorate and weaken—an attitude both unpatriotic and in the long run certain to be self-destructive.

Remember Theodore Roosevelt’s words: “Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation.”


The United States can clearly benefit by reducing its dependence on foreign fossil fuels, which entangle the nation in questionable alliances with unsavory regimes in politically unstable parts of the world. The best ways to reduce fuel imports are to encourage wider use of domestic energy from solar, wind and farm products, increase energy efficiency standards for vehicles and equipment, expand the use of combined heat and power plants, and make our energy facilities more secure by decentralizing energy production.


Environmental protection is in the tradition of far-sighted Republican leaders such as Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater, John Chafee, John Saylor and many current members of the Congress and state legislatures.

Protecting and enhancing America’s environment is the rational thing to do, the patriotic thing to do, the conservative thing to do, and the American thing to do.

Let’s work together to see that the conservative environmental agenda, so strongly supported by the members of REP America, gets accomplished.

Conservation is conservative.

The Green Elephant

Green Elephant Philosophy

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Automatic Transfer Switch is here!

Today we received our Automatic Transfer Switch for the VeggieGen from Back Woods Solar. This takes our generator input and our inverter input, and outputs to our AC Breaker Panel. Normally, the Battery Bank/Inverter are connected to the AC Breaker Panel. When the VeggieGen is started, a timer counts to 60 seconds, then switches from Inverter to Generator power. When the generator is turned off, the switch automatically reconnects the inverter. No more manual switching.

Staying Clean

Working with veggie, oils and grime often get on hands and clothes. Working with biofuels and biodiesel, we've discovered that soapmakers and biodieseler's have a lot in common, and some do both. We have been using a line of natural soaps from Countryside Soap Shoppe with great results. We get clean, we smell better, we are doing something good for the environment, and good for our skin. Biodegradeable, and even the labels are made with soy ink. Our favorite is the "Ocean Mist" glycerin bar soap. Check them out!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

How to beat the energy costs, and other projects.

Today has been a busy day. Gil Newtown, the newest member of the Green Trust project team is leading the Veggie Oil Filtration Project. Today he finalized the plans for a high volume oil filtration plant that will feed the VeggieGen, and the upcoming biodiesel processing unit. Bill Lavare, a long time Green Trust team member, is putting the final touches on our electrically heated veggie oil tank for the Veggie Gen. This will be a 2500 watt, 240 vac water heater element, screwed into a fitting welded onto a 55 gallon steel drum used as a fuel tank. It was felt this would be a better method than modifying the cooling system of the generator. We have excess generation capacity, and although this will increase fuel usage, for now this will accomplish our goals. In the future, our outdoor woodboiler project will take over this function. Now, if we could just get these Ladybugs to move outdoors .....

Friday, October 01, 2004

Green Trust Builds a Geodesic Quonset

Next week we start our Geodesic Quonset Greenhouse. Based on the research by P.J. Hafer, and the plans at, this building will be strong, easy to build, and give a warm home for our plants, VeggieGen, and help dry our firewood. Track our progress at our wiki page.

Web hosting by ICDSoft

Listed on BlogShares