The French farmer/inventor Jean Pain became famous for his innovative ideas about the interrelationship between agriculture and energy production. One of his concepts, the Pain Mound, focused on the use of woody biomass as an effective compost material while collecting heat from the composting process.
This prototype mound will produce 110-degree water at a constant rate of ½-gallon per minute, by flowing well water through the coil built into the mound of composting wood-chips and mulch. This temperature-gain and flow-rate represents enough btu-value to heat a typical 1000-square foot home with a radiant floor heating system.
Participants built the mound (with assistance from a small excavator) by spreading 8 inch-thick layers of mulch over water-line coils and thoroughly soaking each layer with water. Students also learned about the history of Jean Pain via excerpts from his writings and a documentary film.
For more information about this system, please visit http://mrvenergy.org/index.php?title=Jean_Pain_Method_Demonstration_Project which includes links to the documentary film and other resources.