Re: autonoumous oven (and a new list!)



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-Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 11:06:27 -0500
-From: Rachel Rosencrantz <rachel dot rosencrantz at tribecasoftware dot com>
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-Not having an autonomous house myself I can only posit a few ideas.
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-1) Wood Stove  (I think that'd be awfully hot in the summer.)
-2) Solar oven (Frustrating on cloudy and alternating sun/cloud days.)
-3) Gas stove (Stored propane tank on premise.) 
-4) Electric stove (_really_ inefficient use of solar/wind/generator power.)
-5) Charcoal grill.
-
--Rachel
-
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-At 12:03 PM 3/1/99 +0000, you wrote:
->how can you cook in an autonomous house ? wood stove or a solar oven ?
->
->
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	A biomass-fueled oven/stove would be cool. I'm still trying to
find out how much fuel a methane-digester would be able to
produce. Also, a fuel-cell operates in a temperature ranging from
as low as around 200 to perhaps 7-900 degrees F, depending on which
type of fuel cell, and what form of fuel it uses. Waste heat from this
could be diverted to a "hot-box" oven, as well as into the general
heating system of the house, not to mention driving heating units for
things such as refrigerators, atmospheric condensers, and air
conditioners.

	Another idea that I have had, and would like to devote a
separate mailing list to, is the idea of a "Uranium Hot-Rock". A
cermet (ceramic-metal matrix) block that locks several "spent" uranium
fuel-pellets that have been retired from service in a nuclear reactor
into a large block of ceramic & lead shielding, such that radiation is
shielded, but the entire thing stays physically hot...for eons.
	I need to find some folks with nuclear engineering skills to
do the numbers and see if such a thing is feasible. The idea of having
a constant source of heating in a block about the size of a
wood-burning stove that will keep you (and your
great-great-great-great grandchildren) warm while at the same time
removing some of the nuclear "waste" that would otherwise be thrown
into a deep cave someplace seems like a desirable mix...provided we
can figure out how much shielding is necessary. 

	Now, I know this is a pretty un-politically-correct issue to
tackle, but then again, so what? :-) Reality Sculpting is about
bending the so-called "rules" and trying to find workable
solutions. I've been hedging around the idea of nuclear-powered homes
for a few years, delicately asking friends if they'd ever consider
living in such a thing. I think it's time to look at the numbers, and
see what benefits we might realize from such an arrangement.

For reference: 

1 gram of U-235	       = 3.0 tons of Anthracite Coal
		       = 14 barrels of oil (1 barrel = 42 gallons)
		       = 79,300 cu. ft. of Natural Gas
		       = 3.5 g of Deuterium

1 cu ft of natural gas = 1031 BTU
1 cu ft of propane     = 2450 BTU
1 lb of TNT	       = 478 kcal = 1890 BTU
1 lb of wood	       = 1800 kcal = 7100 BTU

(Source: "Energy, Earth and Everyone", (c) 1975,1980 by Medard Gabel
and the World Game Laboratory, p. 262-263 [Appendix C - Energy
Conversions])

	The nuclear industry is constantly swapping out parts of its
fuel-pile in a reactor. I think they generally pull out about 1/3 of
the fuel around every 18-24 months. The fuel that's removed is only
about 15% depleted, leaving approximately 85% of its energy to slowly
dissapate over the next 50,000 years. Why not use that?

(Source: My stepfather, Robert Manning, is a Senior Reactor Operator
at the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego, NY. The 85%
figure came from discussions with him. I am CC'ing him on this to
double-check the numbers.)

	85% of the above figures gives us approx. 67,405 cu. ft. worth
of Natural Gas equivalent energy, or about 69,494,555 BTUs of heat,
per gram of "spent" U-235. This is equivalent to 9,788 lbs of wood per
GRAM!

	For those of you who use natural gas, please pull out your
latest utility bill, and note how much gas you used last month. If you
would, please post that data here, along with your location, so people
can get an idea of the ranges used in various regions. (We did
something like this last winter on the list, I think.)

        Obviously, people living in the colder climates near the
poles, and areas like Siberia and the northern parts of Scandanavia
might find this sort of nuclear high-energy output very useful, since
there's very little wood, biomass, etc., to consume in these
regions. It will also be extremely useful as we begin to venture
off-planet in our little autonomous house-units/
life-support-systems. (Perhaps by 5th-6th generation of the house
design?)

	Think big. :-)

Pat

	PS - If you're interested in this line of thinking, and would like to
join a uranium-hot-rock mailing list to discuss and work out the details, then
send a mail message like this:

To: uranium-hot-rock-request at sculptors dot com
Subject: subscribe

	Posts go to uranium-hot-rock at sculptors dot com

	(Yeah, the name's a bit long, but if I just called it "hot-rock", we'd
get lots of music fans who'd be disappointed. :-)  )


	   ___________________Think For Yourself____________________
	 Patrick G. Salsbury - http://reality.sculptors.com/~salsbury/
    Check out the Reality Sculptors Project: http://reality.sculptors.com/
	   ---------------------------------------------------------
	      "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not
	       be called research, would it?" --Albert Einstein




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