May 20, 2003
Homebrew Electricity

When I was in college I had a friend who's dad lived on a farm that had a big natural gas deposit underneath it. The local gas/oil company came out and put a well on it, and (after his dad had paid for the gear) ran a pipeline to his dad's house, giving him free natural gas, basically forever. This meant free heat and free hot water, but because natural gas air conditioners are complex and unreliable, he still had to pay for AC.

It was only years later, well after I'd lost track of the guy, that I thought of the answer... his dad didn't need natural-gas powered AC, his dad needed natural-gas powered electricity.

And now I seem to have found a site that would've helped him build the darned thing. This actually seems to be a "wave of the future." NPR at least has mentioned several times that the cost of small generator plants has dropped to the point that in some areas it's cheaper to generate your own electricity and take your building completely off the normal grid. Perhaps one day we'll have generators sitting next to our air-conditioners. Weird.

Posted by scott at May 20, 2003 08:35 AM

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