Over the weekend I came across some information on generating heat from compost, which struck me as a really interesting idea. Composting is the natural breakdown of decaying organic substances such as dead leaves or manure, and the process generates heat from the chemical reaction. Compost can reach a core temperature of 70 degrees Centigrade. Conventional hot water systems are thermostatically set to heat the water to around 65–70 degrees centigrade, so people are harnessing the compost energy to heat water for free.
In fact, if you have a large enough compost site, you can reportedly heat a pool, greenhouse or even a building by using a hydronic piping system to convey the heat.
This is all news to me, but it sounds really cool, especially for the “green” minded homeowners among us, who are interested in saving electricity while also avoiding the use of combustion fuel. You can find more information on compost heating at these links:
— M. Weber