Monday, November 7, 2011

Getting Off "The Grid" with BioGen

Hi there folks, i thought i'd write a quick article on my current project which i've named "BioGen".

First i'll cover my motivation, what BioGen is and how i came to start building it and then i'll tell you what it does and how it can help us. Then i will compare it to some other renewable energy solutions. Then hopefully you 'Yanks',with your pioneering attitudes, can then have a go at building it for yourselves. You see America has in abundance an energy resource which is mostly absent in the UK (The Sun!!) and for this reason USA is a great place to build a BioGen. BioGen is a project under development so this article contains some theoretical and some practical developments but hopefully no Fantastical ideas.

My intention is to get as many people interested as possible so i can start an online community to share research, provide support and help to each other.

My motivation for this project is simple, i'm sick and tired of paying hard earned money for something i can generate myself at next to no cost and by Jove i'm going to do something about it. The system i envisaged would be sustainable, cheap to build and easy to maintain while making use of renewable energy sources, like that big bright yellow thing that rises each and every morning without fail but has somehow escaped the attentions of the majority of people for so long. That's right, i was talking about the SUN, the most powerful energy source in our solar system, unavoidably obvious but so wastefully ignored. Why?, i frequently ask myself, How has this happened? the answer is almost as obvious when you think about it, it has happened only because energy companies can't charge MONEY for a supply of free sunshine.

It is time for people to wake up and realise that the very system many of these corporations and politicians perpetuate will be responsible for our destruction.

Their attitude is so very clearly : "Profit is more important than long term survival, hell, profit is even more important than short term survival and as long as i'm getting rich i couldn?t care less that humanity is'nt going to make it out of the 21st century". They are greedy, ignorant fools and they may well be our undoing.

Enough IS Enough.

So, BioGen is a project which will eventually use renewable energy sources and sustainable construction materials to provide OFF GRID electricity for domestic use. BioGen is intended to sever the noose which keeps almost all of us connected to 'The Grid'. But it is more than just a project, BioGen is a lifestyle, its is all about breaking away from the system which could destroy us. BioGen will give us an alternative to reliance upon fools and their foolish systems. It is aimed at anyone in developed countries who wish to utilise wasted resources to help cut their energy bills but also it will be appealing to people in poorer countries because of its low cost and simplistic design.

To give it a complicated name BioGen is a: "Co-Generation device based on the organic rankine cycle". That roughly translates to anyone who did'nt already know as : A device which produces heat and electricity by spinning a turbine and thus turning an alternator. BioGen will operate using a closed cycle which has been tried and tested in many power stations around the world. The most important difference between BioGen and a standard power station being BioGen uses renewable energy sources.

Any electrical output produced by BioGen could be stored in batteries for use via a power inverter or sold back into the grid as a means of reducing household energy bills. However, if you were really keen you could build a BioGen large enough power your entire home.

In a nut shell, BioGen uses a fuel/heat source to heat the fluid inside a boiler which then turns into vapour and drives a turbine. The vapour is then condensed back to liquid and re-circulated to the boiler via a pump. Pictured is a prototype BioGen boiler built using recycled gas bottles and bits of copper tubing.

BioGen can be adapted to suit your local climate, the boiler (pictured) cost under ?100 to build and is designed for use in countries like the UK where there is a supply of wood (biomass) to burn, the advantage of living in southern America is BioGen could be constructed without the need for a wood fired boiler because you have plenty of nice hot sunshine to do the job instead. So rather than have a wood fired boiler you could have solar panels to deliver heated liquid. This means that a BioGen designed and built specifically for the warmer States of America would be far more environmentally friendly than one built for a temparate climate such as the UK.

If you are further to the North of America you could have a BioGen system which uses biomass and solar energy sources. During summer it uses solar and durind cold winters you can burn biomass.

Where does the biomass come from?

It is recycled from the waste stream. Local tips are full of old wood which is on its way to landfill or an incinerator. Local businesses like carpenters create waste wood which is often discarded. The idea is to go and find biomass for free then use it as fuel. Ideally you should buy your own woodland and then manage it.

An important thing to understand is that BioGen is scalable, it could be built as big or a small as you want dependent on how much renewable energy you can harness.

BioGen is a work in progress, to speed that process up and make it as comprehensive as possible i need interested and interesting people to get involved. BioGen is for adventurous people who possess vision and share my vision of a global population who turned to the establishment and said "We don't want your electric grid anymore, it is wasteful, it encourages greed and it is designed to line the pockets of corporate fat cats at the expense of the little

Compare BioGen to micro generation systems like Photovoltaic (PV) or wind generation and hydro:

Biogen is quiet, cheap ,clean and sustainable and it could be used in conjunction with other technologies but really BioGen trumps all others. PV is very expensive and it requires lots of rare earth materials to build, wind is noisy, unsightly and unreliable. Hydro is expensive and it impacts the environment because it often requires a dam. Biomass and solar thermal are the best sources for general use and they are the back bone around which BioGen has been designed. Using Biomass encourages re-forestation which is in turn good for habitat and the environment. Flue gases can be filtered, however, If BioGen is used with a solar boiler instead of biomass it will be unbeatably clean.

The fact that BioGen can be built using almost 100% recycled parts makes it very, very green and those parts are in abundance.

Please visit my YouTube channel for more information on BioGen at:

If you would like to get involved with BioGen then please visit to join up.

Further developments to BioGen include, composting pre-heater, retro fitting guide, electrical generation module, solar pre-heater, solar boiler, large capacity biomass boiler and the use of non flammable refrigerants.

Thanks for your attention friends.

Best Regards,


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