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A long time ago I took an alternative energy sources course (early 1980's), and I have pulled this tidbit from my memory. Manure Pit hot water heater:

  1. dig a pit, 20' x 40' and 10' deep.
  2. Run water pipes throughout the pit in a snake fashion, (we use 2” pvc)
  3. fill bottom with manure from cows or horses to a depth of 3'
  4. fill 1' layer of straw
  5. another 3' layer of manure
  6. another 1’ layer of straw
  7. fill 3' of top soil to make a mound, which will settle.
  8. leave an in and out spigot, the in spigot should lead directly to the bottom, then the pipe winds upward until it gets to the "out" spigot, this will allow circulation (cold water drops, pushes hot water up into the house).

Hook up to the hot water baseboard heating in your dome, and you get water temps from 120 - 140 degrees F. sufficient to heat a small home. One can also hook up a secondary heater in the original design to heat water for bathing. As convection circulation requires a closed system, a circulating pump would probably be needed to produce pressurized hot water for showers, cooking, etc.

Offered by Ron.