Experimental Shop Heat (the plan)
Well as many of you know, I have been researching a "massively crazy idea". A thread I started on this very sub-forum that you can find easily and read. In a nut shell I want to use the heat of a compost pile to heat my house and shop.
Well I have done a lot of online research and I found out, this is not only possible, but a lot of people are doing it. Well okay maybe not a lot, but some are doing it.
Well this is my plan. In order to test the system this winter, I want to do a trial run and see how it works. I have a small, but well insulated shop that would be awesome if it was heated 24/7, but costs keep me from doing that. My plan is to try using a compost pile to heat that shop. This will allow me to keep costs to a minimum, and yet see if this is even close to feasable.
So I am going to take haybales and form a square 2 haybales wide, by three haybales long, by two haybales deep. About 6 feet, by 10 feet, by three feet deep. The haybales will help insulate the pile from the cold outside, and help promote decomposition. I will then fill this pile with wood chips (slow decomposition) haylage and corn silage (both fast decomposition) as I own a farm and can get this stuff easily. In the end I will cover the pile up with insulated Styrofoam to keep the heat in.
As I build the pile up, I will add some black dirt to get the system going, and place black plastic pipe in coils all through the grassy/ corn matter. I will then bring these two pipes into my shop and run one through a circulator, and also through a car radiator. I will then put a box fan behind the radiator to blow the heat into my shop.
This is a very basic system I know, but I think I can get a good idea if this system will work. Everything will be manualy controlled. No expensive timers, switches or meters. If it gets too hot, I will stop the flow of water by shutting off the pump. If I need more heat, I will turn it on. If nothing else I am out a few bucks and still have a non-heated shop 24/7.
Any thoughts on my experimental heating system as explained?
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"