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Monday, April 23, 2007

Gasoline to Propane to Bio-Methane

The journey to homemade fuels is ever progressing at Green Trust. This weekend we installed the tri-fuel conversion on our backup generator. We so rarely use this engine that storing gasoline wasn't practical. Since we use propane for other uses on our homestead, it made sense to convert this engine, looking forward to this summer when we switch from propane to methane from our digester. Today the propane guy came and made the final connections. With a little experimentation of the load block, and a call to tech support, it finally sprang to life on propane. We still have the gasoline option, and plan on trying ethanol in this unit sometime soon. We ran for 6 hours today on propane, just to see how it runs, and declare the conversion a success. Now we need to put our energy into getting the compost bin built, the new raised garden beds/cold frames, and soon the new digester.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Strawberries, Veggie Oil, and Generator Conversions

Early this morning my son Matt and I headed over to the Martins. We collected 3 or so drums of veggie oil from the local college and an Italian restaurant, then headed back to the Martins to pump it into the boiler for dewatering. We also raked a few hundred feet of strawberries, removing last years mulch cover, then went back to my place to work on their website, and convert my gasoline generator to tri-fuel usage. Melvin Martin is in the process of re-assembling the oil press for the upcoming Energy Fair. Melvin checked out my work on the new 12vdc piston pump, which replaced our 120 vac jet pump. This is much more efficient at pumping water from our well, cutting our power consumption by more than half.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weekend with Woodhenge

Jim Juczak of Woodhenge and I spent the weekend discussing upcoming projects and events, like our pedal generators and the Canton Energy Fair, plus we demonstrated our home built wind turbines at Paul Smith's College. Then it was back to Green Trust to install the new Conergy Solar Force water pump that Back Woods Solar sent us. We finished putting together the Al Rutan Methane Digestion series on DVD. This contains his 3 video series on The How and Why of Methane Digestion, as well as a cd with all of his ESSN articles on methane. This dvd/cd combo is available for $35 by clicking below, or dropping us an email at

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