Anybody using a compost pile to heat? Jean Pain's work looks like a win/win to me - you get heat while it's working in winter, and excellent dirt for the garden in spring.
From what I've read so far, you can only expect to get about 3-months' worth of heat from a well-made, large pile, though. So the ability to stockpile enough material for a second pile seems important, if you're going to rely on a composting reaction for an entire winter. In my best case scenario, I'd like to have a second pile pre-made, but not active, which I could put into service with a minimal amount of effort in the deep of winter. Perhaps staging all the layers on long forks, or maybe on a big collapsible rack?
Anyway, curious if anyone has extracted any thermal utility from their compost heap.
Discussions of Alternative and Renewable Energy
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