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Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by bunkerbob, Nov 20, 2009.
Is there anyone who could add to or make suggestions, much appreciated.
Would there be a natural CO2 scrubber that doesn't rely on products - and - would it be a viable option?
I am thinking back to my highschool days and what the teachers taught about plant-life - how it naturally converts CO2 into O2 when combined with natural light, moisture and soil.
I read a report one time about green-houses in Canada that pump massive amounts of CO2 into the shelters to make the plants grow faster, bigger and tastier.
Second, if you watched "Mission to Mars" (ya, I know its a sci-fi movie), they created an eco-system on "mars" where the plants in the down'd shuttle naturally scrubbed out the CO2 ... again, a bit of a sci-fi thing, but, could it work when given the right circumstances?
You are right, part of the plan will use these 12 Volt DC Hydroponic 225 LED Grow light Panel Red Blue - eBay (item 220487356589 end time Oct-01-09 18:24:13 PDT) with plants to not only help with the CO2 problem, but with the psychological affect while in a confined space. Looking into the best plants for both, also might as well grow mushrooms, they are brimming with protein, B vitamins (riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic), and minerals (selenium, potassium,and copper). They're low in calories and may have antibacterial substances to help the body.
I would agree to an extent on mushroom growing - except that it takes a very special person to setup the right conditions to properly grow mushrooms in a "farming" type environment. You need moisture, but not too much, you need to be knee-deep in crap and you need a very dark environment. I have designed and built (at work) computer-controlled heating / cooling / humidifying / dehumidifying air-circulation units for mushroom farms. These units that I built were all aluminum and brass due to the requirements of cleaning out the spores that would be filtering through the system. The spores are not really good for you and they are also not good for the equipment needed to keep the environment at peak production levels.
What I would suggest is to build a "bomb-shelter-grade" above-ground green-house with a stairway to the "underground" shelter. The above-ground greenhouse could be built with a concrete-floor and half-walls to an I-beam frame. I would then line the inside and outside of the I-beam with 1/4" (minimum) to 3/8" thick clear lexan (giving up to 3/4" thick protection from projectiles. Run a bead of lexan-sealant between the I-beam and each layer of lexan and you will have your seal against any air-borne problems.
For the door to the outside-world - consider an air-lock based system - two layers of protection.
The mushroom kits are pretty simple actually Mushroom Kits : Mushroom Adventures, Portabella, Oyster and White Button Mushroom Kits now, some are nothing but compressed growing cubes that you just soak and set in a dark place, note, that button type mushrooms are one of the only ones that grow in complete darkness. The grow lights will enable me to not only provide lights for plants, but also for sprouting.
When you mentioned the air lock system, were you talking about the door from the greenhouse plan? You've seen the door plan I have for the shelter, the top ring and the large bunker door inside, these will create a 'lock' system that will also have a disinfectant water spray and a deterrent spray which will be controlled from inside the shelter, and a in ground sump pump to evacuate the liquid outside. My last shelter was designed this way, you could even send pepper spray smoke in there to repel intruders.
I guess that I didn't really describe my thought-process properly.
Right now, from my understanding of your setup, you have access to the house-proper through a blast-door to a sealed bunker underground. One way in - one way out through the house proper. If something was to happen to the house would you be trapped inside the bunker underground?
Now, just imagine putting a second entrance from the bunker to the outside world. What would be a good way to protect that second entrance from unwanted visitors finding it? Well, you could try to hide it under a fake-rock, or in some bushes, or put a shed over top - or ...
Now imagine that the second entrance was to the inside of a "blast-proof" greenhouse where food can be grown and you would have true sunlight and the ability to "scrub" the CO2 from the air .. and then have an "air-lock" between the green-house and the outside world which could give you another out from the bunker. By making the greenhouse "bomb-proof" by using concrete and I-beam and covering with "bullet-proof" lexan (google search-term: speedglass) to allow the light in but nothing else - you have created more functionality and safety in one shot.
I really hope that I have my thoughts spelled out a bit better for you. It is something that I have thought about for a while for my own shelter. I am using the idea from a little critter that lives here on the prairies - a gopher. They build their burrows with several exits and several tunnels which in turn gives them a better chance at getting away from predators. Some of their exits are in the bush, some in rocks and some are open so that they can mad-dash when a fox is after them...
There are lots of great mushrooms that grow on sawdust substrate so that would help with not having to deal with growing on compost but mushrooms expire CO2 when they grow so I think that might counter act your plants. I have done a lot of reading on the LED grow light panels and they get a lot of mixed reviews. So I love the idea of low wattage but am not sure how well they really grow. I have always thought that running sun tunnels into an underground shelter would be a great way to grow plant underground but am also not sure about how much light they put down range. For high intensity growing you can't beat HID lighting but they are energy hogs.
I had to look up a sun-tunnel to see if I was thinking it was the same thing. From the pictures that I saw, it might not have sufficient protection from the elements that Bob is trying to get away from.
This one that I found looks like a nice design to bring light into a house (sky-light idea) but with the thin acrylic dome, it probably wouldn't protect against environmental disasters the way that a couple feet of dirt above a 1/2 a foot of concrete would protect. I could be wrong in this - if anyone has researched into acrylic and fall-out, fire, wind-storms (and the related debris) - please let me know if it will protect the occupants.
I installed two of these in my new house, one in a interior hallway and the other in the master bath. They are not very sturdy on the inside, just a thin walled tube highly polished inside leading down to the ceiling with a diffuser lens. The dome on the roof is some type of clear acrylic with a directional small diffuser. You're right not very strong, low profile ok with high wind, and hail, good idea anyway.
I can see how they wouldn't be very strong in a shelter situation. How about the idea of using fiber optics to move sunlight into the shelter? I found this link which seems interesting.
Fiber Optics to Bring Sunlight into Buildings
I have no experience with fiber optics so I don't know how efficiently they would move the sunlight or at what cost but it sounds interesting.
here is another link I thought looked interesting.
- PARANS L1 - PARANS - Architectural lighting : fiber optic lighting
Ahh .. good to know.
I have also heard of that kind of system where they were using fiber-optics to "pump" light into an underground greenhouse. I tried to find that article on the 'net, but, was denied in my search
I did find a company that supplies fiber optics for lighting at http://www.unlimitedlight.com/ but it seems that their stuff is more of a cosmetic idea than a functional one.
I like that idea, never thought of fiber optics, I wonder if they will transmit the correct light spectrum?:scratch I'll do some research into this. Thanks guys for the ideas:beercheer:. I can bend and twist them through sealed channels with sealed thick clear glass terminal windows.
When I was designing the house we live in I considered using the single source fiber optic whole house lighting. It was too costly, but a good idea, it uses one high intensity bulb in a central location and distributes the light via fiber optic cable to each room, each room then has a shutter on a fixture to control light.
Check this out, wow...Solar power goes underground - Future of Energy- msnbc.com and this...Lighting Sources and it just keeps getting better...Cool Light on Hot Days: Fiber Optics Bring the Sun Indoors Looks like there is plenty to research.
I know this is a bit older thread, but I thought I would post this in case anyone else was interested. I got this from TED, which is an awesome website with people talking about their many ideas about...everything. Anyway, he talks about some plants you'd probably want to have down there with you.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmn7tjSNyAA]YouTube - Kamal Meattle: How to grow your own fresh air[/ame]
unfortunately mushrooms (& other fungi) respirate continuously and don't photosynthesize, they do limited chemosynthesis, but not with atmospheric CO2
most normal plants need to need a rest cycle or they will not perform optimally, they may even die (16/8 hrs light/dark ad nauseum for 20 years seems fine so far)
kudzu (yes, I know, the dreaded 'k-plant') actually is a good choice because it is extremely hardy/prolific, edible, AND can withstand constant 'sunlight' because the older, worn out metabolically, parts can be harvested for for food (leaves) or for clothing (bast fibre)... underground there is no ecosystem to overgrow into also
IMHO some form of GMO Kudzu would've been the only plant remotely capable of sustaining a person, but I still think it would've required much more 'greenhouse', even with the math below, I would double the amount of plants just to be safe & to account for 'dark' periods... yes, I'm a big fan of redundancy!
A resting, healthy adult on an average, cool day breathes in about 53 liters of oxygen per hour. An average, resting, health adult breathes in about 500 mL of air per breath. This is called the normal tidal volume. Now, 150 mL of this air will go to non-functioning areas of the lung, called the "dead space." The average breath rate for this average person is 12 breaths per minute. So, the amount of air breathed in by the person which is available for use is 12 x (500 mL -150 mL)=4,200 mL/minute. Multiply by 60 to get 252,000 mL/hour. That is, every hour, the person will breathe in 252 L of air. Now, on an average, cool, clear day, only21% of that air is oxygen. So, 21% of 252 L is 53 L. So, in an hour, the person breathes in about 53 L of oxygen.
of course there are a lot of assumptions in the above reasoning:
average healthy, resting adult on an average, cool, clear day. Any change in activity, health, size, sex, etc. of the person or the temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc etc etc of the day will change the figure we calculated.
But, let us just use the 53 L as a nice "average."
I have data for how much oxygen LEAVES produce in an hour (5mL)... If your average plant has 30 leaves, then that would be 5 ml/leaf x 30 leaves = 150 ml/plant/hour. So, if an average person needs 53,000 ml (53 l) of oxygen per hour, and the average plant produces 150 ml per hour, then 53,000/150 = 353 plants. Since these are round figures, let us just say that between 300 to 400plants are needed to produce enough oxygen to keep a person alive in an hour. Plus you will need to take into accounted oxygen production decreases as oxygen concentration increases... this will inhibit the plant's photosynthetic rate & consume sugars as the Calvin Cycle is disrupted.