Archive of Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures Archives | Page 4 of 11 | Truth is Treason

Major Solar Cell Breakthrough About to Rock the Photovoltaic Industry Thumbnail

Major Solar Cell Breakthrough About to Rock the Photovoltaic Industry

Posted on Nov 02, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures

Kevin Hayden –

Source: Science Progress via

Too often, when talking about research and innovation on clean energy technologies, policymakers, pundits, and the media tend to assume that the biggest breakthrough will come from a completely novel technology. The discovery of some new and sexy clean energy technology will suddenly change the game and make clean energy abundant and affordable overnight.

In practice that rarely happens. A more likely scenario is that humble, behind-the-scenes “process innovations” will continue to increase the efficiency and drive down the costs of manufacturing the technologies we already know work.

The Department of Energy has recently completed testing on just such a humble breakthrough. The Optical Cavity Furnace is a new piece of equipment for making solar cells that is about to rock the photovoltaic industry by slashing costs and increasing efficiency. The news should not just excite tech nerds—by reducing the cost of producing solar cells by nearly three-quarters, this new technology represents another big step on the path to making clean energy the cheap kind of energy.

Here’s how it works. ...

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Less is More – Life in a Tipi and Hobbit House Thumbnail

Less is More – Life in a Tipi and Hobbit House

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures

Kevin Hayden –

Source: Tiny House Blog (This is one of my favorite alternative architecture sites. Bookmark it!)

by Dan Price

In 1990, I moved back to my home state of Oregon intent on living in a tipi and getting rid of mortgages or rent. I looked for a suitable piece of property for months and finally located a 2- acre meadow next to the Wallowa River near the town of Joseph. The owners agreed that I could set up a tipi there in exchange for clearing downed trees and repairing the fence lines. A few months later I moved out of a small room up town and into the tipi full time. I spent three seasons in that 16 ft. tipi.

In order to simplify, I sold the tipi and built a 9 ft X 12 ft red willow hut, complete with carpeting and blanket door and proceeded to live in that space for 2 years. Luckily I was able to put in underground electricity early on so was able to have lights and a small heater which helped in the winter months....

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Homesteading with a Shipping Container House, Part 7 – Questions and Updates Thumbnail

Homesteading with a Shipping Container House, Part 7 – Questions and Updates

Posted on Sep 14, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures, DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Kevin Hayden – +

Welcome to Part 7!  I’m glad you’ve stuck with me and my hectic adventure with a shipping container!  Over the last few weeks, I’ve received countless emails, comments and tweets regarding the project.  Perhaps I can address some of the more common questions in this installment while I have a bit of downtime as I start new projects!

I’m right in the middle of some major construction and haven’t quite formatted the pictures or taken enough to really show anything off, but I DO have a couple, which I’ll get to towards the end.  I know that when I visit other shipping container house websites and projects, I want pictures!  And lots of them!  So I’m right there with ya, readers!

As for some of the questions, I’ll just summarize the general ones and do my best to answer them –

  • “I’m wanting to build a shipping container home but don’t know where to start, can’t finance land or can’t acquire financing for the actual project.”

This answer will vary as to how you plan on going about your building project.  ...

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Working on the Elysian Fields Project – No Updates Today

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures

Hate to say it, but no news today. I'm out at the homesteading project working on the cabin floor with limited signal!  I DID hear something about an explosion at a French nuclear plant, so check that out. Will post some good stuff later tonight!  In the meantime, check out the homestead project -

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20-Square Mile Replica of US City to be Built in New Mexico for Testing Thumbnail

20-Square Mile Replica of US City to be Built in New Mexico for Testing

Posted on Sep 07, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures, Blog, Editorials, & Thoughts

Kevin Hayden –

Source: Salon

New Mexico, home to several of the nation’s premier scientific, nuclear and military institutions, is planning to take part in an unprecedented science project — a 20-square-mile model of a small U.S. city, dubbed, “The Center.”

(Picture not related)

A Washington, D.C.-based technology company announced plans Tuesday to build the state’s newest ghost town to test everything from renewable energy innovations to intelligent traffic systems, next-generation wireless networks and smart-grid cyber security systems.

Although no one will live there, the replica city will be modeled after a typical American town of 35,000 people, complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new....

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Compact Living Ideas – Lofted Beds Thumbnail

Compact Living Ideas – Lofted Beds

Posted on Aug 25, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures

Kevin Hayden –

Source: Freshome

It’s a sad fact that smaller living areas like apartment and flats usually limit furniture ideas and arrangements, hence why a large bed might be a problem.  But worry no more, as we just laid our eyes on a lofted bed collection that will solve all your space crunch problems. Custom made to fit your loft or basically any space you desire, the beds make use of the upper space of a room and look comfortable enough.  Just don’t go overboard at night.

Hayden’s Note:

Blast from the Past! This was originally posted on May 20th, 2010.

These area a perfect DIY project and would work very well in a shipping container home!  You could even utilize the space underneath for a bathroom or pantry area.  This can be done rather cheaply by searching for large office desks or counters at office outlet stores, big-trash days or Craigslist.  Something like a large L-shaped desk or couch, with a simple lofted bed built above it can transform a small room into a dual purpose area, especially in small cabins, containers or vacation homes!...

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Tequila and Biofuels: Agave Plant May Make Suitable Ethanol Crop – Hayden’s Note Attached

Posted on Aug 04, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

One of the newest Truth Contributors, John C.K. Daly of, routinely sends me links and original pieces regarding new ideas in alternative energy and what’s happening in the crude oil sector.  I thought you all might enjoy a few of these, so check out what’s going on in the world of biofuels and ethanol production –

Biofuels and Tequila: Agave May Make a Suitable Ethanol Crop

Grab the lime and salt!  Tequila may soon offer more than just delicious frozen margaritas.  Researchers find that the agave plant, used to distill the famous Mexican spirit, may also serve as a biofuel crop to produce ethanol.  Agave can grow on hot dry land with a high-yield and low environmental impact, unlike corn and many other low-yield crops currently being used for ethanol.

I’ve long been a fan of ethanol as the fuel of the future.  Ever since I interviewed David Blume, author of ‘Alcohol Can Be a Gas,’ I’ve been fanatical about it.  Most of you probably only hear about the negative aspects of ethanol production, such as, “It’s a food vs....

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Johnny’s 480 Sq. Ft. Hawaiian Small House Story Thumbnail

Johnny’s 480 Sq. Ft. Hawaiian Small House Story

Posted on Jul 15, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

Source: Tiny House Blog – Great website!

My story? I’m a self employed housekeeper/gardener/painter. Back in the 1990′s I set about buying a house. Can you guess what sort of reaction I got from mortgage bankers when I told them what I do for a living and how much money I earn?

I did all sorts of research with many weekend field trips and after a few years I found a piece of undeveloped property that I could afford with cash. I then had plans for my home drawn up for a few hundred dollars.

I saved up for a septic system, a foundation, and then a shell, etc. I scavenged furniture from thrift shops and pulled things off the curb on bulk trash day. I’m not too proud for that. No Sir. It’s been twelve years now and the place is about as done as it’s likely to get. Looking back I could have made do with less space, but I love my little 480 square foot mortgage free cottage.

All those people who thought I was crazy for not building a “real” house?...

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Car Sleepers – The New American Homeless Thumbnail

Car Sleepers – The New American Homeless

Posted on Jul 11, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

Source: BBC

Santa Barbara boasts a classic laidback California lifestyle, with uncongested beaches, wholesome cafes and charming Spanish-style architecture.

Of course there’s a hefty price tag: nestled between the gentle Santa Ynez mountains and the inviting Pacific Ocean are multi-million dollar homes.

But in this sun-washed haven of wealth, many live far from the American dream.

In a car park across the street from luxury mansions, the evening brings a strange sight.

A few cars arrive and take up spaces in different corners. In each car, a woman, perhaps a few pets, bags of possessions and bedding.

Across the street from homes with bedrooms to spare, these are Santa Barbara’s car sleepers.

Homeless within the last year, they are a direct consequence of America’s housing market collapse.

4×4 homes

In this woman-only parking lot, Bonnee, who gives only her first name, wears a smart blue dress and has a business-like demeanour.

A year ago, she was making a healthy living as, ironically, a real estate agent. But when people stopped buying houses, her commission-based income dried up, and, like many clients, she too was unable to pay her mortgage....

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500 Sq. Ft. New Avenue Home – Modern Tiny Home with 7 Rooms Thumbnail

500 Sq. Ft. New Avenue Home – Modern Tiny Home with 7 Rooms

Posted on Jun 24, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

Source: Tiny House Blog

Kevin Casey from New Avenue Homes and builder of the Berkeley Backyard Cottage was featured last year. He has since introduced a new home called the Clean Energy Showcase Home. I wanted to get this up ASAP as it is being featured at the Pacific Coast Builders conference this weekend June 24 – 26th. If you are in the area you will want to get down and see it. To get get a free pass go to At check out, use the discount code newavenue.

This home is a one bedroom with an additional sleeping loft. New Avenue Homes calls it 7 rooms in 500 square feet.

The cost for this home is $85,000. (Hayden’s Note: What?!  I was building a 14×24′ cabin with a similar design and could of have it dried in and sheathed for around $2,000.  Wow.  That’s a bit steep for a tiny house!)  I have attached pictures of it and a floor plan rendering to give you a good sense of the home....

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Cargotecture’s C-Series Sunset Shipping Container Home Thumbnail

Cargotecture’s C-Series Sunset Shipping Container Home

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

Source: Tiny House Blog

Sunset Magazine’s Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park, Calif. was held at the beginning of June, and one of the stars of the show was the cargotecture c-series Sunset Idea House by HyBrid Architecture. The c-series represents a group of pre-designed, factory built units made from recycled cargo containers that can be combined or customized as desired by the owner.

Hayden’s Note:

If on a budget,  you could build a similar structure for about 1/3rd of the price that HyBrid is requesting, as long as you’re willing to do the work yourself! However, as evidenced at my new dedicated blog for my own 20′ container project – – you can see that it’s a slow-going process, requires the know-how and tools, and certainly won’t look as good as the CargoTecture Series shown here.  You’re not going to have the IKEA cabinets, or the quality wet room, bamboo floor, soy insulation, etc.  Instead, you’ll have a habitable weekend retreat, maybe a hunting cabin, etc.  Livable, but you’re certainly not going to be entertaining dinner guests in it by doing it yourself....

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Homesteading with a Shipping Container House – Part 6, The Foundation Thumbnail

Homesteading with a Shipping Container House – Part 6, The Foundation

Posted on Jun 10, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

Source: Elysian Fields Project (My new blog!)

This week, I have some relatively good news regarding the shipping container project.  Part 5 covered the unexpected theft that occurred in which I lost over $5,000 worth of tools, guns and ammunition, not to mention my beloved little bug-out trailer.

This entry should be a bit more uplifting, especially when it comes to construction progress on controlling entry and the concrete pillars on which the container now rests. 

After the theft, I started collecting spare metal pipes from my job.  We’re going through major re-construction and remodeling efforts, so there are lots of scrap pieces laying around in the dumpsters.  It’s amazing what gets thrown away.  And in regards to the front gate idea, I stsumbled across a 16′ foot cattle gate on Craigslist for only $50!  It was brand new; the owner had chosen the wrong size and it had been sitting on his property for months.  I gladly picked it up, even though it was about 30 miles away.  These typically retail for closer to $200. ...

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Abandoned Adobe House in Arizona – Edward John Hand Grave Marker Thumbnail

Abandoned Adobe House in Arizona – Edward John Hand Grave Marker

Posted on Jun 08, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

Source: This Tiny House

Hayden’s Note: Just a brief, interesting little blog entry from This Tiny House.  Their site is only intermittently updated, but I have them listed in the sidebar for little jewels of an article such as this one!

Post image for Abandoned Adobe House in Arizona

This isn’t a story — it’s a sketch of a story. We were traveling through Arizona and spotted this abandoned house in Portal, Arizona.

What makes this mystery so compelling is a grave marker for Edward John Hand, pioneer, rancher, miner and archaeologist. I imagine a solid man, tall, English-born (1866), exploring the American West and building this one-room adobe structure with his own hands.

My internet research turned up nothing about this man and his simple home. I’m finding much of the American West — possibly the best stories — are not Google-able....

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How Wind Turbines Work Thumbnail

How Wind Turbines Work

Posted on Jun 02, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden


Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, and vegetation. Humans use this wind flow, or motion energy, for many purposes: sailing, flying a kite, and even generating electricity.

The terms wind energy or wind power describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.

So how do wind turbines make electricity?  Simply stated, a wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity....

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E-Cat Cold Fusion Device Validated Again, Producing 800% More Energy than Input

Posted on May 19, 2011 in Alt Energy, Tiny Homes, & Structures – Kevin Hayden

Source: Natural News

Initially met with skepticism due to claims that it works on cold fusion technology, the energy catalyzer has been validated producing 2.6 kilowatts from an input of 300 watts by Swedish technology magazine NyTeknik (…). The technology, which was granted a patent in April, is expected to be on the market this fall. (…)

Inventors Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi announced the “E-CAT” in January claiming they had created a reactor that produces massive amounts of energy by fusing nickel and hydrogen nuclei at room temperature.

If the invention proves genuine, it would be one of the greatest scientific achievements of all time and would beat out oil for position as king of energy resources (…). It could provide nearly limitless cheap energy with no radioactive byproduct or massive carbon emissions. The inventors say, scaled for commercial use, their process could generate eight units of output per unit of input and would cost roughly one penny per kilowatt-hour, drastically cheaper than a coal plant (…).


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