Posted by on Mar 5, 2007 in Work | One Comment



Three Systems- Water Storage, Electricity, Water heating

Diversity in Water Storage

– Concrete (most expensive, long term, best quality)

– Steel (short term, reasonable price)

– Poly plastic (mid term, cheap, leaves residue)

– Dam (huge volume, cheapest, vulnerable to contamination)

Diversity in Electricity

– Photovoltaic

– Hydroelectric

– Wind power

Diversity in Water Heating

– Solar

– Slow combustion wetback

– Methane Gas boost

Short Phrase:
“The more the merrier; variety is the spice of life!”

Summary of Principle, and Explanation of Visual Integration.

In general, designing for and incorporating diversity adds wealth to a system. When many
elements aid the same function dependence on any one is reduced and resilience is integrated.

System 1: Water

Water enters the storage system from both rainfall and a small creek.
Rainfall is intermittent coming as a large quantity pulse and
then nothing until the next pulse. There is a short step between the source and system in rainfall collection.

Rainwater is very clean and after being filtered is the most suitable for
drinking. A tank added to the system to collect the water run off from the
roof can regulate the flow to the pattern of consumption as well
as allow any sediment to settle. There are several other filtration options to increase purity.

The creek flow is more consistent but slow. The creek is a shared resource running through many unknown systems. This affects the water quality arriving into this managed area. Creek water is most suitable for irrigation of gardens and cleaning.

These uses both require a much larger quantity of water and are more tolerant of quality. The
gardens can even benefit from the additional nutrients found in creek
water that are absent from the rain.
Larger water storage systems such as a dam can further regulate the flow and therefore lessen the negative impact on the system in the event of a flood or drought.

Through the use of natural ecological systems the water flowing out of the managed area is of a higher quality than that which flows in.

Systems 2 & 3: Electrical Energy and Hot Water

Electrical energy can enter the system either by the sun powered
photovoltaic cells, a small water powered hydro generator turbine or
a wind powered generator.

When the sun is shining, the photovoltaic cells generate most of the power and water is heated by a solar hotwater panel.

In nature, energy can also be stored from the sun for long term usage in trees.
When these are sustainably harvested or coppiced they provide
efficient fuel for heating and wetback system
also heats water in a tank.

When sufficient, a further alternative is a hotwater booster heater using natural methane gas (energy which has been generated by the fermentation of pig outputs.).

Nature is varied, abundant and diverse. This is a wonderfully successful approach. There are always many solutions to a problem, following this pattern and using natural diversity encourages variety and abundance in the system.

1 Comment

  1. Ann
    March 6, 2007

    Dear Guy,
    Your picture is great, I really like the way you have incorporated all your sustainability information into your own house and then show a bird’s eye view of the whole system working together to give the desired outcome.
    Well done, love Ann