Sheds and other accomodations . . . and burning salt water for power (I kid you not!)

I can’t remember how I came across the news items about a British man named Kevin McCloud and his Man-Made Shed and later, his Man-Made House. His building fits right in with the Tiny Home movement and it was very inspiring to read about what he did and how he did it.

I gather these projects were the subject of a couple of tv series in England. The shed was built to be moveable, so he didn’t need planning permission. The next year, it was moved to a caravan (trailer) park, where he added a large deck and other things. As a caravan, it still didn’t require planning permission. This has been giving me ideas . . . 😉

Here are the links, if you are interested:’s_Man_Made_Home (has links to the various episodes from the beginning)

A related site: LeanPub, where the plans for the original man-made-home-shed may be purchased for whatever price you can afford (from $7.81 and up): The one I liked was: SHËD by Dominic Jones. I think this design could be adapted to fit a great many different purposes, including tiny homes, tool or garden sheds, chicken coops or goat sheds, art studios, music studios, etc.

So, on to alternate sources of heat and power:

I was quite stunned to read about a scientist discovering that salt water can be set ablaze and generate power. Check these out:

In case this was a hoax, I checked it out:

It seems there is more work to be done, but this is a definite possibility for the future. Any young scientific types out there? It’s a fascinating concept . . .


20 thoughts on “Sheds and other accomodations . . . and burning salt water for power (I kid you not!)

  1. The salt water power wow… just mind-blowing… But can you imagine the big power companies allowing cheap energy?? hummmm.. I think that’s why so many projects have bitten the dust.. as they get squashed before they can start..
    Loved the flower pot heater I came across this on another blog.. I showed my hubby thinking I was showing him something new.. He said Oh my Dad used to do this in our old green house as a child… I chastised him as to why we were not doing it in ours.. I will be using this method if the temperatures drop when I plant the seeds to start them off in the green house this spring…

    Thank you for the Links… I will check them out..
    Sue xox

    • Therein lies the problem. It will be one of the big fuel companies who will buy the idea from him and lock it up in a watertight contract and then “find tha it’s not viable” as an alternative to fossil fuels.
      I heard some years ago about a cheap alternative to solar panel batteries – batteries with salt water to store the energy.

      Here’s hoping someone other than fossil fuel invested companies buys the idea and makes it available to us all.

      • Time for the equivalent to ‘open source’ programming, methinks . . . I’ve heard those stories, too.

        To me, those are the REAL hoarders . . . piling up ideas, money, etc., that they can’t/won’t use.

        Luckily, the revolutionaries are alive and thriving . . . 😉

    • Sue, I did some further reading and it looks like the salt water thing needs more work, but what an idea! I think if smallholders develop ways to create their own energy, the big companies will fold. Centralization sounds so efficient and increases profits for a few, but what if we either cut out profit, using the money to benefit communities and the efficiency to set people free of drudgery so they can learn, create, etc., or if we de-centralize, which would give people more freedom? I tend to favour de-centralization and interdependence in smaller communities.

      I hadn’t seen the clay pot heater idea, but it’s great. I wonder if you could stack several pots upside down like that to create a larger heat sink? Seems to me an electric bulb could be used, too; maybe one with a solar source. With a barrier around them, the candle/clay pot/s might work for keeping chicks warm, too.

      I was thinking after I read this that clay or brick pillars could have a pencil thick chimney or two and have recesses that would hold more than one candle. Might work for a larger greenhouse . . .

      • Totally agree about Energy and cutting out the Big boy profits and some day it will happen as communities start to pull together, they may have to in the future if Earth/Nature throws a curved ball so to speak.. I think this is needed though, as we have become far too reliable upon the material world in which the Big corporations function.. So in my own view in the not too distant future communities will have to pool their resources and skills, so I see something along these lines being very possible.
        I hope you don’t mind me posting about the heater project.. But I agree you could upgrade it further no doubt..
        Found this for you .. Have a Brilliant Week

      • Amen to all that, Sue! We need to do more for ouselves, and do it in local groups, and then stand up together whenever there is an attempt to shut down a group or its projects. It’s one thing I like about and; great instriments for change!

      • Awesome link, Sue. Thanks! and the links below it look interesting, too.

        Forgot to say: post away. The more knowledge goes viral, the more it survives and thrives.

  2. How interesting! I don’t watch much television as Steve has the controls welded to his right hand in order to maximise his exposure to “crap mindless garbage t.v.” (sigh…) but thanks to Youtube and the internet I can check out interesting things at my leisure. Cheers for the linkies Linne. Its too hot to do anything outside today and I am just about to finish my book and a bit of happy time spent researching would do me some serious good 🙂

    • Funny how most men are like that, eh? 😉 Cheers for the ‘net . . . The shed links are quite promising; the water burning needs serious tinkering before it’s a reality, sounds like . . . of course, if the military were to develop it, ‘twould be done in the twinkling of an eye . . .

      • They have probably already sorted it…just waiting till the price of fuel rises and fuel becomes unprofitable to integrate it into their systems methinks ;). Funny how Mr Tesslers inventions all went A.W.O.L. isn’t it? 😉

      • I think you’re on to something, my friend; Mr. Tesla was amazing and I hope his work was hidden, not destroyed. Such short-sighted, selfish behaviour is appalling, isn’t it?

      • Why would they destroy it when they could steal it and use it to make a MASSIVE profit in the future when oil became prohibitively expensive? 😉

      • Indeed, or the amazing free and open source community who are hell bent on duplicating everything expensive and out of the common man’s reach free for us to use as we see fit 🙂

  3. Kevin’s TV programmes have shown here for years. I saw his man-shed programme just before I gave up watching TV altogether. He is an interesting and genuine man. One time he went to India to investigate the rise of slum cities and to see how the people lived and organised themselves. It was so interesting to watch as he changed his assumptions about what he would find. He is genuinely warm and caring and ecologically sound in his thinking. With a good sense of humour too 🙂

    Do you know about the pot plant convection heating idea? That might work really well in a tiny house scenario. as long as it is really well insulated.

    • Pauline, I wish our CBC carried more British programmes; we do get some on PBS out of Seattle (and Downton, Doc Martin, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott and Bailey, etc.). Robin Hood I’ve been watching on Vision tv from back east.

      It did look as though a lot is available on YouTube now, including these about the shed. So in my next ‘spare’ time . . . 😉

      ROTFL . . . ‘pot’ plant heating . . . what, you smoke a lot, really fast? I can see how that would go . . . ;-P

      Luckily, I read more British works than anything else, so I DO know what ‘pot plants’ are in the rest of the Commonwealth . . . thanks for the giggle, though . . .

      I’d be interested to hear more about YOUR version . . . (still giggling . . .)

      • Thanks, Pauline! (and I DID know what you meant . . . slight differences in common usage can be funny. What we Canucks call ‘houseplants’, in England are ‘pot plants’. Good for a chuckle . . .

        Thanks for the link; I’ll check it out later.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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