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Jack Spirko: Very cool. Lets kind of move on from there. I think that you have covered that one good enough, even that there was a little bit more to the question. I think you have already hit it. Let's say, 'I would also like to use my gas water heater, furnace, and fireplace. From the sounds of it, I think when I worked to get my family off grid in the future.

Steven Harris: Bio gas will work in all of those. Just have to turn the pressure up a little bit more than normal because there will be some CO2 mixed in with the methane. You just need a little bit more of the gas to flow out and that is all there is to it.

Jack Spirko: You have to make lots of it too. If you want to do all of that.

Steven Harris: You have to make lots of it. Your furnace will take up a great deal. Your fireplace will take up a great deal. The best way to start with is the make bio gas as shown in "Biogas 1- 2" that is one of our books. You make it with 33 gallon drum upended into a 55 gallon drum. As it makes gas, the 33 gallon drum rises out of the 55 gallon drum. With a hose attached to it, the weight of the drum give you the pressure. The gas flows through the hose. Then you can use that for cooking to start with.

Jack Spirko: Very cool. The next one says, 'I have no experience with any of this, nor do I have any technical expertise. But I wanted to flesh out an idea. If solar heated water is so much more efficient than photo voltaic panels. Could you use hot water to generate electricity, in some sort of stirling engine or other generator? What would be the limitation of such a system?'

Steven Harris: Limitations, is call the Carnot cycle. Which is (T2 - T1 ) / T2. Since T2, your highest temperature is so low, because it is just hot water. You have a very very very low efficiency. You are not going to use hot water to generate electricity. It is not hot enough. It will never be hot enough. If it was, it would be steam. Then you would be using the steam and a steam engine as to generate electricity. Your not going to use hot water. There is not one single stirling engine on the entire face of the planet that you can buy that will make any usable amount of power. There is not one single stirling engine that will make 10 watt or a 100 watts and certainly not a 1000 watts of power every stirling engine you see online are basically worthless little toys that just spin a little week. It will not make any power. Do not write to me and tell me about whisper gen corporation, that they have one that will work. They don't. Call them up, they will put you on a waiting list. That waiting list has been there for 5 years.

Jack Spirko: Excellent. That is cut and dry and to the point. On the issue of wood gas, 'What type of fast growing wood would work best with coppicing that will produce the best energy output. I am assuming things like black locus, with a very fast growing dense wood would be preferable. I have also heard that resins in conifers make the gases they produces more redly combustable. Are some types of wood better for heat and are some types better for generators?'

Steven Harris: That answer to that is I have a book that cover every single plant that you could plant in any part of the world that makes wood. It is called "Firewood Crops Vol 1 & 2", there will be a link on If you want reforest Haiti, this book would tell you plants to plant. You want to plant a wood crop in Texas, California, or Montana or the east coast? It will tell you what to plant. It is a very detailed book. To cover some more detail, bamboo grows very quickly in many parts of the united states. The castor plant grows like a weed. It will even produces an oil. Switchgrass is another thing that is very popular. Going back to your question. The conifers with the resin are going to make better light gasses quicker that you can use in an engine. Especially if you were doing pyrolysis. The other non conifers are kind of a hard wood. They will make a better carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas with less tars that will ruin your engine.



Jack Spirko: Next one, "I'm trying to determine the feasibility of your system to be my requirements. considering the digesters it produces methane: One, can you reasonably produce enough gas to run at home gas stove and oven with normal use or could it produce enough to run the hot water tank or could it do both?"

Steven Harris: Yes easily. Even with the 55 gallon barrel ones in the book "Biogas 1 & 2", you can make enough to do cooking with your stove top burner. Your oven will take a little bit more, but you can do it with 2 or 3 barrels. Your hot water tank, again it depends how many females you have in your family that take 30min hot showers. That is going take a lot more gas than your stove or your oven. Both together your going to need a bio digester that is in "Biogas 3" which is the in ground brick laid one.

Jack Spirko: next one says "Talk to me about wood gas using wood pellets. My house came with a pellet stove and reluctantly we use that to heat in the winter. Every fall we have 4 tons of wood pellets available. Can we use this as fuel to make wood gas. If so, does it produce more or less wood gas be more or less dense?"

Steven Harris: You can use wood pellets in a gasifier. You can use it in the GEK gasifier. You can use it in a FEMA gasifier. Wood pellets work really good in a gasifier. However you can not modify your wood pellet stove to be a gasifier. Your wood pellet stove is to heat your house only.

Jack Spirko: Easy one for you. "Which book of Steve's addresses building a wood gasifier and hooking up a generator?"

Steven Harris: That would be "Hydrogen Generator Gas for Vehicles and Engines: Volumes 3 and 4", it is at

Jack Spirko: Next one, "I would love to begin to setup a solar system for my house in Collin County, but I am reluctant to because of the up front cost. What would be the best way to begin? If I could spend $2000 every couple months or so. Buying the individual parts sized for the whole system. For example, buying however many batteries I need for the whole house, then a converter, or buying it in sections. For example, everything sized just to run the air conditioner, or the kitchen, or just saving up and getting everything at once?"

Steven Harris: You don't run a AC system off of solar power. Do one that I have ever seen has a solar PV system that is running an air conditioner because air conditioners take up so much electricity. It would be a huge system and every expensive. There is a reason that your AC system is hooked up to 240 volt line. If you wanted to do it, $2000 at a time every month you might be doing it for an entire year. Your system might cost $20,000. Your system might cost $30,000. Generally you don't size a solar panel system to the needs of the house. You size the house to the solar panel system you are going to buy.

Jack Spirko: Very cool. "I have been contemplating use of an old 8 foot diameter satellite dish to make a solar concentrator to make steam. What is the best way to make a passive solar tracker?"

Steven Harris: It would cost you between $1,500 and $5,000 for the steam engin and it will be very inefficient. It is very inefficient going from solar concentration to steam to steam engine. Which would be about the only way you could do it. As much as i hate solar photovoltaic, solar photovoltaic actually would be doing this financially.

Jack Spirko: What about using that, just thinking in your earlier comments about taking heat sending it water and using water to distribute and radiate it. Would a system like that maybe make sense if you were dumping the heat into water and using it for heating?

Steven Harris: No, not at all. To make a dish that tracks the sun on 2 axis, that dish is capable of making thousands of degrees of solar heat. It could get to 2000 degrees easily. All you need to do for heating water is 1 or 2 layers of glass or plastic in a black covered basin that is insulated. You would never go to... It is like hunting mice with a elephant gun. You would never go to that elaborate of a system just to heat water when water in a puddle heats up so quickly.

Jack Spirko: Ok, next one it says... I already know what you are going to say here, man. "It appears that the ethanol conversion to cars are illegal in many states. Does Steve have any first hand info on this. Would a wood gas conversion on a car run into the same issues?"

Steven Harris: If you live in a state where they have these socialist or colonial yearly inspection scams to keep mechanics employed. You would remove your wood gas system. You would remove your alcohol fuel system for the vehicle before it was inspected.

Jack Spirko: Which is easy enough to do. And I want to point out that the vast majority of states do not have vehicle safety inspection annually on vehicle. They just recently did that here in Arkansas and it was 3 years no body's children fell out of there car and exploded and turned to uranium or any other dangerous thing. Some politician tried to get it back on the books and nearly got road out of office on a rail. Texas still has a vehicle safety inspection. Pensilvania still has a vehicle safety inspection. And I agree with steve, it is nothing more than keeping mechanics employed and a couple bucks to the state. Frankly if they want 2 extra dollars every years from every driver, I just assume that they let that thing go and up the registration 2 bucks.

Steven Harris: which in Pensilvania they already have done.

Jack Spirko: Have they gotten ride of that there?

Steven Harris: No

Jack Spirko: Oh, they just raised it anyway and kept doing it.

Steven Harris: That's right, they moved it from twice a year to once a year. Then they raised the rates on everything else. You have to renew your driver license here every 3 years, instead of every 5 years like everyone else does. They get you coming and going.

Jack Spirko:  Wow, the common wealth of PA. My old stomping grounds. Next is "In the first interview Steve briefly mentioned HH0 and running cars. I am sure most of us have heard of this. Wondering if there was nay validity in this or if it is just complete bunk.

Steven Harris: Complete bunk. Hydrogen is not HHO. HHO does not exist, it's a myth. It is a dumb name that people put on to something and then they start to expunge magical powers to it. Like if I did electrolysis of water and the hydrogen and oxygen and I called it Steven's gas! And now it is not hydrogen and oxygen, it is Steven's gas. Now it takes on magical properties. It will purify water, it will cure cancer it will remove radiation. This is what happens when you put dumb name on thing. It begins to take on a life of there own. HHO is 100% bull crap. I don't care what you say. I don't care how loud you are now yelling at your iPod at me. It does not work it will never work. All the people on YouTube and all the videos you have seen have completely diluted themselves and its an hour long discussion. I actually wrote up on it, maybe I will put a link at to the article, so you can read it. Your fuel economy is all in your foot and all you are doing is making steam with an underwater electrolysis system that is starving the engine. That is making you drive like you can't accelerate as quick. Your not driving as fast, so your fuel economy is solely because your not driving as fast.

Jack Spirko: If I just lengthened your throttle cable a little bit, I would do the same thing a lot easier.

Steven Harris: If you put a piece of wood underneath your peddles so you could never go more than 60 miles an hour. it would do the same thing.

Jack Spirko: Awesome. Also two of my favorite people,Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the Myth Busters took a look at this. They said the something flat out the same thing you did. That none of these systems work, from the turn key ones to the buy the plans and build it yourself. It was all complete crap.

Steven Harris: It is, completely. I was development engineer for Chrysler corporation for 10 years. I am an expert in hydrogen and all those fuels, alternative and conventional. I have done it all. I can tell you it is 100% don't waste your time. It doesn't matter, there are people still brain polluted who are still yelling at there iPods right now. Screaming at me. I am fine.

Jack Spirko: Don't apologize for telling people the truth, that is what this show is all about. The final question now. "I am looking to build a wood gasifier that will run a 5000 watt generator. That will charge a bank of batteries, that I can use as a source of power in an outage. Or to plug a small portion of my appliances into. Any tips above what is in your book. A little background to the question. I live next to a saw mill and have access to a large amount of saw dust. that are a nuisance to the saw mill operator. My idea is to run this gasifier with saw dust as fuel to create wood gas, so I can run the run the 5K generator, charge the bank of batteries with inverter, that would be a backup power for essential power needs during a power outage. And other times as a way to cut my grid usage by wiring a separate line of 120 volt into a room or two to run things in the house. I ordered your book "Hydrogen Generator Gas for Vehicles and Engines: Volumes 3 and 4", as beginning of my plans for such a system. Just wondering if you had any additional tips for this specific application.



Steven Harris: First of all you got the correct book. That will get you going. It will get you making a FEMA. It will get you hooking it up to your generator. It will get you going. A battery bank is about the most reliable source of power you can get for an emergency because there are no moving parts to them. They are sitting there waiting for you to use them. You just flip on the inverter and instantaneously you have power. I have one at the mother house. I have dozens of other people who have built them for emergency backup power and they work absolutely great. First keep them charged off the grid all the time, in case of emergency. If you want to save energy and run part of house off the battery bank and then recharge it with the wood gas, go ahead you can do it. That will work real good for you, it is a good place to start. In fact you can even get a grid tie in converter and you can tie it into your house. The house will automatically use the high voltage coming off of the grid tie in converter. The grid tie converter will phase make the house electricity perfectly and if you are making more electricity off of the wood gas generator and the battery bank than you are using, and you have a net metering meter. It will actually run the meter backwards for you.

Jack Spirko: Absolutely awesome for spending about an hour and a half with us today. I am sure everybody out there is once again mind swimming with ideas and concepts I think we really answered a lot of questions. I am sure a lot of people out there that didn't send in questions had very similar questions and have a better grounding and better understanding of these concepts now.

Steven Harris: Fabulous, I am happy to come back anytime you want. On a schedule or not and answer all the energy questions from your people and give them hands on solutions. Provide them with the best stuff, even if they don't buy anything, we'll give it to them for free of charge. As much as we can. We will continue on. Maybe we do a show on alcohol. That would be a populate subject for everyone and it sounds like you got a great deal of background with your beer brewing on the subject.

Jack Spirko: I like to make alcohol. I have never made it to put in my diesel truck or my gas car. I have made quite a bit of it to put into myself. I enjoy that too, so I always enjoy talking about things that involve yeast and fermenting and mash conversion processes and things like that. Yeah, I think we would like to have you back maybe once a month of something like that. I also want people now, that didn't hear the first interview or forgot. Tell them where they can go to buy your book, find out more you, and what have you.

Steven Harris: The company is Knowledge Publication. Our website is Like US H2, United States Hydrogen. That is kinda hard to say on the air so I always tell everyone go to You can remember that, cause you are driving, it is easy to remember, you can write it down and I'll have have a link to and Knowledge Publication on there. I'll have a link to every book that we talked about. I will put up a link on there to the first interview with jack, to Jack's website. You'll have the links to the current interview up there. From that website it will take you to where the Gaseous Fuels video is, to where Sunshine to Dollars is, it will take you to where AGG 3 and 4 is, it will take you to my YouTube page where I have all my videos you can watch. will be a resource that changes with every interview to reflect what we talked about and where can get everything we spoke about. I will put a link up there to GEK Gasifiers and everyone else. Your audience is just fantastic. I just want to give them as much as possibly can, as much knowledge and information on where to get it free on the internet. If they so desire where to get it in our books and DVDs. There is a great deal of free information out there. I am happy to point them in the right direction.

Jack Spirko: Excellent, I think that helps people formulate what they want to do. Then buying your materials takes them to the next level. Folks, I want to remind you here at the end, a really cool thing Steven did. It take me usually a lot of work to add somebody to the Member Support Brigade, as a supporting member. Generally not because it is not a good deal for them, generally because they don't understand that it is a good deal for them too. It generally take a week of working a minimum to say "Hey yeah, I will support your Support Brigade and give a discount to your members." Steven we did one interview and at the end of the interview I explained to him what the Member Support Brigade was. He said, "Well of course I'll do that. Access to your best costumers for a discount." Of course things like rocket stoves and some of the other hard products, they have thin margins. He wasn't able to do a discount on everything but what he did put a discount on is, what I think is the most valuable thing there, the information. All the books, all the DVDs on Steve's website 15% off to Member Support Brigade members. So if you are MSB and you are going to buy there, use your benefit go thought the MSB and do that first. When you are trying to find out how to do stuff like this, your thinking about where to get your informational product from. I always say keep it in the community. When somebody steps up and sponsors the MSB they are part of the community, so put your money to work there first. He has done a lot for the show. I know he has given me a tremendous education. You do this show long enough and you think, what else can I talk about. I have a hundred different ideas now, just from the interview from Steve. Folks put your money back in the people that are supporting the community. Steve thank you again for being here

Steven Harris: As Jack mentioned, we have rocket stove. I actually a wood gas stove that gasifies wood and burns the gas. We have some nuclear safety products on the website as well, but 15% off all books and DVDs. Absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Member Support Brigade and The Survival Podcast in itself. Thank you to Jack and thank you to everyone else. Write me if you have any questions. I'll answer them for you and kick you off in the right direction. Its just been a pleasure.

Jack Spirko: Again folk with that we are going to wrap up. I know we when long today, but i wanted to get as many questions as we could. we do have some other ones we'll line Steve up for many sometime in September probably after the self-reliance expo, to come back on. We'll keep answering your question. I think that... I am very appreciative that steve came on the show. I am really appreciative of the listener that tracked him down in the first place. With that, this has been Jack Spirko today along with Steven Harris. Helping you figure out how to live that better life, if times get tough or even if they don't.

<89:43>  <Closing Song>


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