Jim Scott of Talkeetna and Lasse Holmes of Homer have arrived to teach about heating. Jim will take the first half of tomorrow (8am-noon) to instruct while constructing a 30 gallon hot water heater which operates from sun radiation rather than electricity. The second half of the day, Lasse will instruct on construction of two styles of wood burning mass rocket stoves. Also joining will be Gary Currington of Fairbanks, who will demonstrate mobile rocket stove designs he has invented. Location of both events is at the UAF Cooperative Extension Tanana District Office. If you have not yet registered and are interested, contact Art at 322-2309.
This past year, Alaska Gateway, Delta Greely and Tanana City School Districts’ biomass conversions were shared with the world and it just keeps going. At the International Biomass Conference there was a said appreciation for trying to operate wood chip operations at -50+ temps when I rolled out descriptions of the three communities (Tok for Alaska Gateway District). Co-presenting at the International Association of Energy Economists Daisy Huang and I had professors in the room from China and Germany attending as well as other U.S. Universities and I don’t know that any of them had heard of heating schools with cord wood or drift wood. In October, I’ll have a paper presented (by proxy) in Iceland (Polar Energy Conference) to highlight what these school districts have done and lessons learned from looking at all the types of capital required to pull off such conversions. There are others in Southeast Alaska who have converted their schools to biomass also, yet the dramatic savings I’ve been able to get numbers for are from districts in the Interior. Let me know if your district is thinking of switching from fuel oil to wood for space heating!
Well, the Polar Energy Conference this year (in Akureyri, Iceland) selected to hear about the three school districts on the Tanana River who have been saving at least half their fuel costs by burning wood rather than #1 fuel oil. The presentation has the same title as the title of this post, and is also on the docket for the Energy, Utility, and Environmental conference in Feb. Though there are some school districts following the same lead in Southeast Alaska, this presentation (shown also at this year’s International Biomass Conference as well as the International Energy Economists Conference) focuses on the Interior. Such schools may be able to buy more teachers, equipment or activities once they bring down their schools’ energy/operating costs!
There have been several dealers in Fairbanks providing equipment for folks to stay independent in their homes. It may be a home medical store selling transfer benches to make it easy to bridge access from a wheelchair into a tub. It may be a building supply store with grab bars and special fasteners that can be attached to drywall without use of a stud. Or possibly a plumbing supply store with a full sloping floor plan that can allow someone to roll from the bathroom right into the shower without a bump. Many of these modifications can be made by the homeowner and do not require a contractor to install, though often it does often take professional help to remodel or relocate a wall or tear up a floor under previous fixtures. Join us at the Aging in Place workshop (1 hour) next week at the following locations: 11:30 a.m. Sept. 18 at the Santa’s Senior Center, at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Fairbanks Senior Center, and at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Salcha Senior Center. The workshops are free and will give a good sense room by room what to adjust. (There will be handouts to take home in addition).
Rigzone surveyed 8,000 people in the oil and gas industry per top 10 oilcities. (http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/126250/Rigzone_Ranks_the_Top_10_Oil_Gas_Cities_in_the_World/?all=HG2). While Dubai was 1st with Calgary ranked 2nd, Denver came in 3rd as unconventional oil and gas activity in Colorado created 77,600 jobs in the state in 2012 (largely due to innovation in multi-stage hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology). With unconventional oil and gas activities contributing a value-added $11 billion to Colorado in 2012, it is estimated such value-added activity will bring in $26 billion to the state in the next quarter of a century. Comparatively, in 2010 the direct, indirect and induced employment and wages of Alaska’s oil and gas industry accounted for 44,800 jobs and just under $2.65 billion in all residents’ annual payroll (with the primary industry employment lending to 4,487 jobs and $764 million according to a McDowell Group 2011 Economic Report as noted on http://www.akrdc.org).
Today a fellow called who has a business using heavy equipment mentioned today that he gets around 4,000 gallons a month of used vegetable oil which he is able to add methanol and create fuel that runs in diesel engines at a couple bucks a gallon. It shows that even energy can be recycled! Though there is a layer of sludge filtered out from crispy pieces left (of food) they can be used as compost or possibly animal/sled dog feed. BTU’s have many uses whether for heat, electricity or calories.