Episode-873- Steven Harris on Alternative Energy Technologies Part 2

Steven Harris - CEO of Knowledge Publications

Steven Harris returns to TSP for his 7th visit. Today he joins us to discuss various alternative energy technologies including, ethanol, bio diesel, methanol, propane  and more.

Steven Harris is a consultant and expert in the field of energy. He is the founder and CEO of Knowledge Publications, the largest energy only publishing company in the USA.

Mr. Harris came to his current position to do full time work on the development and implementation of hydrogen, biomass and solar related energy systems after spending 10 years in the Aero-Thermal Dynamics department of the Scientific Labs of Chrysler Corporation.

Steve is always full of great ideas, knowledge and projects we can use to improve our personal energy independence and today is no exception.  Once again we ate up the entire hour with out covering Steve’s entire outline so he will be back for Part 3 in this series soon.

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

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29 Responses to Episode-873- Steven Harris on Alternative Energy Technologies Part 2

  1. Backwoods Engineer

    AWESOME! Love it when Stephen Harris is on TSP!

  2. Hey Stephen thanks for another great show ! Was just curious, I ordered my still about a week ago, then heard the 15% off deal for MSB today. I was just wondering if there was any kind of deal for people who already paid the full price. Of not I understand I know that kind of stuff is hard to manage.

    -Ben
    Whereismymind -MSB

  3. Backwoods Engineer

    I am curious have Steve Harris thinks of this CNG compressor:

    http://shoeboxcompressor.com

  4. Backwoods Engineer

    Don’t mean to be misleading; the compressor isn’t designed for CNG, but I’m curious to see if it can be.

    Great show, as always.

  5. another great show Steven & Jack, the hour goes by too fast, so much info, so many choices for fuel!

  6. ‘Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.’
    – Napolean Bonaparte

  7. Good show. The shows with this guest seem to be getting more and more infomercial-ish, but that may jsut be me. Seems like each subject finds a newer and more creative way to plug his site, product, etc. Not a major deal…just saying. I’ll still listen to him when he’s a guest. In fact, his older shows on solar stuff is the only one i’ve listened to three times. Always very knowledgable hearing him. Just feels like I have to work harder and harder with each appearance.

    • I’ll take a slightly different view on this (though I am probably just differing with Chris in how I am going to express my opinion more so than what my opinion actually is).

      I’ve not purchased anything from any of Steve’s sites. I certainly would consider doing so at some point. In all the shows I’ve listed to from Steve, I’ve learned something and yes at times, some portions of that knowledge come with embedded commercial content. One would imagine that given that Steve is a businessman and that he has certain knowledge and that he has attempted to put together products that make use of that knowledge to provide value that he has some level of belief that his products are a useful way for people to make use of the knowledge. I would also imagine that he’d is interested in making a profit from the products. Nothing wrong with that. He is trading value for value.

      While I agree that certain portions feel as though they’ve crossed the comfort line where I feel as though enthusiasm has crossed into salesmanship, that is a risk that all people in his position face which then may or may not result in lower sales.

      So, what is my point here? I think it is important to express that I would not want our discussions to negatively influence future decisions about whether Steve should be invited as a guest. Furthermore, I would hope that if Steve is reading this he’d understand that most of us are in fact thankful for his appearances on the show. Yes most of us have an internal ‘sales job’ meter that goes off and when it does, it makes us (correctly) become resistant to some of what we are hearing. At least for me, even with the moments that the meter goes off, I still very much enjoy listening to him….Of course I’ve got a near buzz cut and still have occasionally watched the entire ‘Topsy Tail’ infomercial so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

      • I agree Jeff. Well said. I think that it’s important to keep in mind that the magic of texting, forum chatting, etc is a very un-emotional medium where one can’t hear or feel sub-text or non-verbal subtleties. So that’s why I added that I’ll always listen to him, he’s great, etc.
        When you mentioned, “While I agree that certain portions feel as though they’ve crossed the comfort line where I feel as though enthusiasm has crossed into salesmanship….” that’s all I’m saying. Really not a big deal. You don’t hear the Backwoods Solar guy pitching so heavily….or the guy that sells the military jeeps, or the authors, or the silver bullion guy, or….. just my opinion which means its only important to me. The very fact that they are even ON the show is the biggest pitch you can get. Seriously, how many people get interviewed here? A pretty limited and well vetted group of people. I can count a dozen things I’ve bought simply hearing someone was interviewed about X,Y, or Z.
        I used to listen to a nationally syndicated gun talk show guy that literally sold the first half of every show to someone. I stopped listening. TSP will never become that….ever….which is yet another reason why I like it.
        But differing opinions are not an “attempt to negatively influence future decisions about whether Steve should be invited as a guest.” They are simply us (as fellow preppers) informing Jack, the sponsors, the interviewee, et al what we like and don’t like. That’s it.
        I cannot imagine Jack OR Steve expecting or even wanting the entire Survival Podcast crew/listeners to be in lock-step with his opinions or those expressed by his guests. That, I assume, is exactly why he says at the bottom of the show notes, “Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon” and says things like “this is one man’s view of a changing time, changing world, etc…..”. I have a feeling that he encourages people who don’t always agree with him.
        So should we not ever say anything if we have a differing opinion? Of course not. I’ve never met Jack or Steve, but they sure don’t sound egotistical or unable to take someone giving a differing opinion. They don’t seem like the types that expect to be surrounded by Yes Men. They appear to be (to me at least) open to others opinions….if not searching for them.
        If I’m in the minority, then I’ll get over it. It’s really not an attempt to “influence”. If I’m the only one that feels this way, then it’s my problem. I’ll still listen to the show because I am of like mind with the Podcast and friends, or I wouldn’t waste my time with it.
        Again, it’s important to keep in mind that the magic of technology, texting, forum chatting, etc is a very un-emotional medium where one can’t hear or feel sub-text. But I think its still important for everyone to chime in when they agree AND disagree.

  8. Great interviews! How does one run a diesel on ethanol? I know oulling tractors do it, my 79 Mercedes seems robust and simple enough to pull it off. With style I might add..lol.

  9. barbara salazar

    Dear Jack, I am glad you are OK. I am a “survivor” of tornado alley. I lived and went to school in Alva OK. When the sirens sounded, we were taught to 1. find an interior wall in a school building, and hunker down and cover our heads, 2. find a storm cellar and get underground. 3. Go to our interior bathroom, get into the tub, cover your head with a blanket. 4.Get Out of a mobile home or your car and find a ditch near the house and lay down flat if you don’t have anyother choice. They dont teach this the way they should “nowadays”, but that was the conventional training.
    I was so well trained, that later,while visiting Alva during the Iran hostage crisis, they sounded the tornado sirens every day at noon, and I hit the dirt….

  10. Great Scot!

    OK, that was fun! Enjoyed the interview and will listen again. Thanks Jack, for bringing Steve back and I look forward the the next time.

    I’m seriously considering the home distiller to make some top shelf…gasoline…for… my lawn mower…

  11. I agree with Chris. Get on his mailing list and it is the same hard sell. I did buy a couple of his books and like them, but he needs more new ones. They should be e-books.

  12. I’m not really seeing how this saves money. I watched Steve’s video. You need 10lb sugar per batch. At $6/10lb it yields 1/2 gal or 12/gal. I’m paying less than $4/gal at the pump. Just the sugar input cost would need to be $0.15/pound not counting the yeast and electricity for the still. Very interested, just not seeing the savings.

    • Modern Survival

      @Matthew we have covered this many times but strait sugar unless you find an uber cheap source is not for saving money it would be for leaning the process. If you want to save money then you need to begin with a starch you get super cheap or free. This would be something like two day old donuts or “farm bread”.

      The key was until now you had to heat this stuff to get the starch to convert. Next month when Steve starts selling the new enzyme you won’t you just dump, stir and wait. I really think most people don’t get what a big deal that is yet.

  13. Coukd these enzymes be added to a cattail mash? Heard an interview David Blume on using cattail stalks for a starch source; over 3,000 gallons annually from 1 acre of cattails. Cool if its accurate!

  14. Jack to give you some idea of suggestions on what to do in a tornado, visit the Ready.gov site.
    http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

    Yes, they say “if you’re in a mobile home, get out and to a sturdy shelter” If you don’t have a sturdy shelter, just follow the ideas for “if you’re caught out side”.

    More and more, studies are showing that being in a car with your seat belts on is better than getting out and into a ditch in the open. Most injuries are from flying objects not from the tornado hitting you. (very little you can do about that, the force is so great)

    Ready.gov is not a bad site. It has lots of resources and ideas. Of course another good one for the kids is http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/ready

    Hope that helps.

  15. With regard to preparing mash for ethanol production, I’m curious how you see our dependance going from somewhat readily available heat energy to this “Constellation SSF 020″ product.
    I think it’s fantastic that the effort put into production can be reduced so dramatically, just wanted to hear your thoughts.

    • Modern Survival

      @Ian, I am going to guess here but likely the storage life on it would be huge. Hence a stock pile easy to create. It would still be a great idea to know how to do it with heat and to learn that but right now I use my truck to get where I want to go, my iPhone to listen to music, my electric range to fry and egg, etc.

  16. Can you reuse the enzyme and yeast used for Simultaneous Sacrification and Fermentation (SSF)?

    I’m trying to figure out if the process and raw materials (enzymes, yeast) that I can get from Steve Harris would be adding to my “self sufficiency” column or my “self reliance” column. I know that you can reuse cultures when you do things like making vinegar (“the mother”). I THINK that it is possible to reuse yeasts in the fermentation process for alcohol, too. But I don’t have any personal experience brewing beer or fermenting sugars into alcohol. This SSF process is two processes wrapped into one and I’m not sure if the specific chemicals Steve is selling are reusable or one-shot deals.

    – If you CAN reuse them, are there any special steps you have to take to do so or do you just pour some of the mash into a new batch?
    – If you CAN’T, how would I get more of the enzyme that Steve is selling as part of his superwhamodyne distiller package?

    There’s a better way to do this and you ARE showing us a better way. Thanks brothers,
    Dillon

  17. (I’m a day behind on this one, )
    I recently watched a vid on youtube concerning storage of old cooking oil, motor oil, kerosene, tranny fluid, etc. for use in a tractor.

    Question :
    Is there a source that has “safe” ratios, combinations and mixtures of these various fuel types for tractors and/or diesel trucks?

    Kind of a “do’s and dont’s” reference guide….?

    – or maybe, as crazy as it sounds, some sort of a sample “proof” test similar to alcohol- i.e. whiskey? (or is the flash point too low to test makeshift diesel?)

  18. I find the idea of refueling a propane fueled auto at my own house taxfree is very do-able. Plus any gas station can supply an emergency fuel sorce with blue rhino refilles for twenty bucks or so. How would we fuel from home tanks and camper tanks?

  19. I would LOVE for Steve to talk about using methane to power a natural gas generator for off-grid purposes. Because I’m a gas noob (except for the kind that is ‘natural’ for men around the campfire), I’m mostly curious about pressurizing it into a container that can be taken to the generator…of course…everything would have to be in an off-grid application.

    Thanks for the podcast as always!

    Peace,
    Todd

  20. Matthew in Gooseneck Ga

    Great show! I listen to Stephens show two or three times during the week. It is such great information.

  21. I checked out the site Steven suggested for natural gas generators and I came across a page of triple-fuel generators that run off of natural gas, LP, or gasoline. Wouldn’t that make the most sense for a prepper? Or are these things know to be of poor quality?

    Triple-Fuel Generators