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Stirling engine powered composter   (+19)  [vote for, against]
A composter driven by a Stirling engine

The idea is for a tumber composter, turned by a Stirling engine driven by the difference in ambient temperature and the heat given off by the compost itself.

I think it would have the advantage of being self-regulating, if it were designed right, though some seasonal adjustments might be necessary.
-- phoenix, Mar 28 2008

Mother Earth News reviews Compost Tumblers http://www.motherea...mpost-Tumblers.aspx
More background on compost tumblers in general. [jutta, Mar 28 2008]

(for the record: that first bun isn't mine - I never vote on my own ideas)
-- phoenix, Mar 28 2008

Great idea. Endless configurations. +
-- nomocrow, Mar 28 2008

I like the idea of a self-rotating, ambiently powered composter very much. The turning time will be so slow you have lots of flexibility in power sources.

My choice would be a tiny toy propeller, geared WAY WAY down to spin the barrel every month or so using wind power.
-- GutPunchLullabies, Mar 28 2008

Or some sort of waterwheel-esque rain catcher that rotated half a turn each time the top bucket fills? Might need a crude flap valve lid for each bucket to let water in but prevent evaporation.
-- david_scothern, Mar 28 2008

Tremendous. Now build it, ride the "lazy-but-green-at-heart" wave and make yourself rich.
-- sprogga, Mar 29 2008

My limited understanding of compost is that it needs to be warm but not too warm; hence a Stirling which turns it when it gets too warm, thus cooling it slightly, would provide the necessary feedback mechanism. Excellent.
-- angel, Mar 29 2008

What's with all these sensible ideas lately? great +
-- xandram, Mar 29 2008

Buns to [phoenix] and [sprogga].
-- wagster, Mar 30 2008

random, halfbakery