Machinery for a post collapse world

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of NearingsFault

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 15, 2019

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table Inside the Diner

 

Welcome to my kick off post. I find it the height of arrogance to blog as I claim no mastery in the subjects that interest me most. I’m a greenie, a builder, a single dad, an alternative energy enthusiast, a gardener, and deeply concerned about the sustainability of the world we have created. I probably won’t write all that often but look in from time to time as I muddle my way through building a better life. For today the topic will be My charcoal powered tractor.

Years ago I launched a search for a fossil fuel free way to charge my batteries in my off grid home. The amount of useable sun in the winter on my solar array would drop to 1.5 hours from a summer high of 5. Most off grid homes resort to propane generators to make up the difference. Propane was not cheap and like any good doomer I understood how precious it was. Steam, thermo electrics, stirling engines, Hydrogen brown gas, you name it I researched and tinkered. The search for an alternative led me to Gasification, specifically charcoal gasification, as a possible locally appropriate solution. Hidden in history I discovered hundred of thousands tractors, buses and cars ran on the stuff during the second world war. Some were jury rigged but there was also also factory made kits, standardization of fuel, Fuelling stations, government pamphlets, standards of construction, government regulations and guidelines, it was all there and vanished as soon as gasoline became available again. Don’t buy it? Just another conspiracy theory?  here is a great photo montage done by another woodgas nut like me. What strikes me here is just how normal this fuel was:

Imagine my surprise that a fuel that could run all my machinery with minor modification could be made at home while I heated my house…

This article is too short to go into the ins and outs of gasification, charcoal versus wood and how it works so take a look here for a primer on the subject:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_gas

If you want a glimpse into the modern masters of the technology check here:

/

As often happens in life priorities change. For me it was kids, a busier work schedule and correspondingly higher electrical usage which had me choose to grid connect my home to replace the generator. For a while projects around resilience took a back seat to all that make families work. It was always there though. I’ve decided to revisit these themes over the next few years as I attempt to refocus my life towards greatly increased food production, renewed energy independence, and fossil fuel replacements. Right now food comes first.

Fossil fuels have come to be critical to food production. I won’t debate the effectiveness of permaculture, lasagna garden bed making, french intensive methods, organic farming, or the joys of draft animals here. I can tell you that in times of crisis we will need millions of new large gardens seemingly overnight and one thing all those above methods are not is fast. Tractors are able to convert a manicured lawn into a plowed field in a matter of hours. With all that in mind my contribution is my 1953 Ferguson TEA20 tractor converted to run on charcoal. It was cheap and available but appropriately its from an era of simpler machines designed to run forever and be repaired by an owner in the field with minimal tools. On a sunny october afternoon it turned my weed filled 2250 sq ft garden back into the food plot it had once been. One hour of charcoal powered cultivation replaced what would have been 3 days of back breaking work for one person. Total fuel consumed 10 gallons of charcoal ,just shy of 14 Lbs., roughly equivalent to 1 US gallon of gasoline. I make my charcoal in my wood stove over the winter. This would have represented the coals from 24 hours of mid winter fires but honestly it probably took me 2 evenings of shovelling coals to accumulate this much as I’m not a fanatic or desperate. This is not a solution for a thriving society basking in economic prosperity and cheap energy. It works best if you have access to wood and are used to processing it so probably rural dwellers, who are land rich but money poor and heat with wood. It will not power an economy of commuting suburbanites but it might be enough for my northern tree covered slice of the world.

I’ve committed to plowing up 2 garden plots for friends this fall if time allows. I will be running on charcoal and will record the process. For now just some stills and some background videos will have to do. As a teaser that same 14 lbs of charcoal would have produced between 6 and 8 kW Hr of electricity for battery charging… That is another post though.

Cheers,

It all starts with making charcoal:

A walk around in the tractor’s early days:

All nice and shiny running on charcoal gas at an agricultural fair. It’s never been that clean since!

 

One Response to Machinery for a post collapse world

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner
Search the Diner
Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D
Archives
Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

Conservative leaders within the United Methodist Church have unveiled plans to form a new denomination called the Global Methodist Church, with a doctrine that does not recognize same-sex marriage.The move could hasten the long-expected breakup of Ame...

Its been a difficult period weather wise. We've managed to finish the floor system though. Steel beams to gain headroom in the basement and minimize posts, 2x10 wood floor joist; the house is too small to pay the premium for web joists or engineered on...

Thursday could be a big day. On March 4, Donald Trump will be triumphantly returned to power to help save the world from a shadowy syndicate of Satan-worshipping pedophiles – or at least that is what a small fraction of American citizens believe.But b...

Recent Facebook Posts

No recent Facebook posts to show

Diner Twitter feed

Diner Newz Feeds
  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on February 24, 2020, 06:23:52 P [...]

I wonder how much these coins have been debased? [...]

Precious tip of the day.....Buy silver NOW  She [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

I am OUT of Jury Service!  I got summoned to be a [...]

Quote from: Eddie on May 16, 2020, 10:30:30 AMQuot [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Alternate Perspectives
  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

  Tyranny, Inc.   By Alexander Macris Contemplations on the Tree of Woe   What government wants to d [...]

Getting Out of Dodge By Cognitive Dissonance     Recently I received an email from a reader who aske [...]

Penalizing Prudence By Cognitive Dissonance     “Economy, prudence, and a simple life are the sure m [...]

Harvest at Chez Cog By Cognitive Dissonance   It became obvious to Mrs. Cog and I by early February [...]

  Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse Chapter One By Cognitive Dissonance     “...we can endure [...]

Event Update For 2021-03-01http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

2021 - Swimming Pool Deaths2021-02-28 - Brother and sister, 33 and 31, die in swimming pool at park outside Barberton (South Af [...]

2021 - People Burning To Death2021-02-28 - SUV bursts into flame at 11:40 PM and burns man to death on Riverside Drive in Sistersv [...]

In the meantime, industrialised chickens – and their viruses – have come home to roost in Victoria, [...]

Based on extensive scientific research, a fictional reminder that COVID-19 is but a mild pandemic – [...]

In other words, treat COVID-19 like a dry-run for the upcoming “big one” [...]

However don't expect strikes and yellow vests to fix underlying problems [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

"Chances are, insects or their deeds touch your lips every day."There are few better ways [...]

The Great Pause Week 49: BiCRS Without Borders"Imagine bamboo skyscrapers and biochar sponge cities. Imagine the Spruce Goose."About 400 [...]

 "What we need to do will cost less by one-third what we currently spend on fossil fuel subsidi [...]

"To reach a carbon footprint of net zero, we will need to cut the US pet population by some 10 [...]

"In 2020, federal protection for the gray wolf was removed entirely. Now the entire species tee [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

Camus didn't predict Covid, but he studied enough about pandemics throughout history to depict [...]

Sarah Chayes spent decades studying networks of corruption in the Third World. Now she's findin [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

In reply to Gail Tverberg. Yes, picture the utmost collapsnik irony, as they just finish say the Ber [...]

I am afraid this news will not lead to a rush of businesses wanting to incorporate in the UK. Accord [...]

Mutiny on the Merkel's Bounty? The German PM and governors are discussing end of lock down meas [...]

In reply to Minority Of One. The saying “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for eve [...]

In reply to Dennis L.. Let's hope that Tesla can buy the semi-conductor chips that they need. [...]

In reply to Ken Barrows. Sp gp, Trump is very popular with 25-30% of the country. Many others vote f [...]

@spgp So you say even louder this time. But not a shred of evidence. Where is your evidence? Upon wh [...]

In reply to ellenanderson. Ellen, there's no doubt in my mind the 2020 election was rigged for [...]

In reply to Ken Barrows. So, Ken, 75 million votes, more than any incumbent in history, more than Ob [...]

"I’ll tell you how: switching votes from Trump to Biden, or fabricating votes out of thin air, [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction
Useful Links
Technical Journals

With the Paris Agreement, countries are obliged to report greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, [...]

The core crop region of the Humid Pampa is one of the most productive agricultural lands around the [...]

A new model of an axially-symmetric stationary concentrated vortex for an inviscid incompressible fl [...]

Weather forecasting relies on the use of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, whose resolution [...]

The building energy performance pattern is predicted to be shifted in the future due to climate chan [...]

Follow on our http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/