Bodger's Hovel
Some light-hearthed ideas in apparently darkening times


Old News
Lismore Sustainability Expo
October 2008

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Peter's friend, Geraldine, at the Bodger's Hovel. Note on RHS the tripod held together with a tribolt, lashed to the ridge pole; all bambusa tooldoidies ("Toolda"), felled using a hand chainsaw.

The kiln was fired successfully on the last day, and almost all the charring went well, with much less start-up fuel than I have ever used, and clear, shimmering exit gases. The abject failure was of course the Australian Master Tax Guide, which puffed itself up to twice it's size, popped the pyroliser, and self-combusted to a lot of ashes. How aptly predictable. We will make sure the next tax Guide (we have 4 more) gets a firm treatment on the seal, and we can really make its awful footprint useful as perpetual soil amendment. Note Gibbo's large mural in the background, is of the Lismore Post Office at high tide, even if we put no more CO2 into the air.

Climate Action Now certainly looks appealing to a very wide cross-section of the general public.

The view along Sustainability Street, showing the obvious sustainability of the HUGE marquee. In the foreground at Bodger's, is the small dry stacked brick charcoal kiln, with lid removed. The interior is stacked with pyroliser tins filled with dry wood. These are set with firewood around them. The fire is started, and moves across the setting, which is sealed. A draught was provided by 2 metres of 4" stainless steel flue, and side stoking at 3 ports was used, until the pyrolysis was complete.

Gibbo at the 36" searchlight dish, in his glow-in-the dark helmet and pink sunnies. He is the artist supremo for Going Organic, and many climate campaigns. See

Climate Change Action Network founder Alan Roberts, talking with SCU's Leigh Davidson.

Alan makes lava rocks and obsidian dribbles, at 1400C, much to the amazement of the boys. We didn't have any jingboard, rated at 1700C, to melt through... in 20 seconds. The dish is for proof-of-concept that Concentrated Solar Thermal can be captured in a heat exchange coil and hot box, at about 95% efficiency, and stored at 800C overnight, easily. Trouble is, previous dim administrations lost our best CST pioneers, like David Mills, to business-as-usual-wannabe's like Arnie Schwarzenegger. From our world lead in 1996, we've lost our best, to providing power for peak load air conditioning in LA.

Day one and two had hundreds of schoolchildren coming through, with lots of interest in the optical illusions of the dish.

Photos here by Peter Gibson

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