[Greenbuilding] if we had to cut all our firewood by hand...

Corwyn corwyn at midcoast.com
Fri Nov 18 03:15:48 PST 2011

On 11/17/2011 11:03 PM, Bob Waldrop wrote:
> If I had to choose between a freezer and a refrigerator, I would
> certainly choose the freezer. With the freezer, I could not only
> preserve food, but I could also make ice which could be used to
> substitute for the refrigerator for short-term food safety, which is the
> primary purpose of the refrigerator.

> *From:* Reuben Deumling <mailto:9watts at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Thursday, November 17, 2011 2:46 PM

> If we had to generate electricity to power our refrigerator with a pedal
> generator...
> ... we would have smaller and better insulated refrigerators, or perhaps
> none at all.

I suspect (though I haven't run the numbers) that a refrigerator run by 
a pedal generator isn't a self-sustaining.  That is, it would take more 
energy (in the form of food) than there was food in it.  Using a pedal 
powered freezer to make ice to keep the fridge cold would be an even 
worse energy balance.  I think we would all quickly learn the benefits 
of root cellars.

I was told, while being given a tour of the facilities at The Chewonki 
Foundation ( http://www.chewonki.org/ ) that one of their cabins had 
decided to use only energy that they personally generated or got from a 
small bank of solar panels.  The girls in the cabin became very frugal 
when all their energy had to be earned on a bicycle.

Amusingly, the cabin had a large array of PV panels on the roof, and I 
thought that was what was meant by 'small bank'.  But those were 
actually NOT for the cabin, but for a larger building,  The 'small bank' 
was a bunch of panels constructed (by the inhabitants from individual 
modules) which may have amounted to a couple of square feet altogether.

Thank You Kindly,


Topher Belknap
Green Fret Consulting
Kermit didn't know the half of it...
topher at greenfret.com
(207) 882-7652

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