UGLY . . . BUT IT IS POSSIBLE: Steam Powered Aquaponics
– By Colle and Phyllis Davis
Few people will EVER TRY Steam Powered Aquaponics, but IT IS POSSIBLE! YES, IT’S ALSO UGLY but it is possible.
It is the awareness of the possibility that eventually moves us to make our lives more of what we want and less of the fear and insecurity that the media preaches.
Wrap your mind around this scenario: A heavily insulated building in the northern climes where there is plenty of wood to burn nearby. Basements are ideal. The building is equipped with grow lights and has an aquaponics system in place. Now the best part. No sun is necessary, no grid is necessary and no wind is necessary. Got it? How is that possible?The entire system consists of a wood fired boiler, a steam powered generator, a battery pack and voilà, steam powered aquaponics! The new level of security available to those in cold climates who have wood to burn and at least one neighbor they trust. More on this below.
Growing up in a cold climate and living in a house heated only with wood for many years gave me a deep understanding of the power of wood. Today the technology to convert wood to electricity is available, inexpensive and safe for home use. The trick is to size the components to the expected demand of the household and the aquaponics system.
Guidelines: The entire ‘load’ of the home during the daylight hours, plus the grow lights load, again this is daylight time, plus the tiny load required by the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems. (Helpful hint here, the entire load for a single PFAS Module that can feed 8 people is an 18 watt small air pump that runs 24 hours a day and a 35 watt air pump that runs one to four hours per day.) Add up the figures and then size the battery pack to carry the house for two days.
The more advanced and safe the system the easier it is to use and the more expensive it becomes. Choose wisely and live.
One of the most fascinating advantages of the steam powered aquaponics is you can go away for the weekend and not worry about it. The lights are on a timer and the main pump is on a timer, plus both can be 12volt components. Imagine the excitement of getting a trusted neighbor to stoke up the wood power every other day for an hour or so and to feed your fish so you can take a two-week vacation! That’s even better than solar powered aquaponics because your neighbor HAS to show up or they don’t get any veggies. LOL
Now the downside: You have the time, effort and energy required to build the system, then the cutting, hauling, splitting and storing the wood and convincing the spouse that your idea will actually work. The order presented here is probably backwards, but these all can be considered a downside at some level.
The upside: The most fantastic, unending array of locally grown, pesticide free food near your kitchen! The joy of knowing that no matter what happens, you will be warm, fed and can weather any storm. Very few people will indulge themselves in steam powered aquaponics, but lots of people will dream about it and how it COULD impact their lives.