We are building a camp up in the Adirondack State Park on some property my family and I have owned for a gagillion years. There is no electricity available so all energy you have to furnish yourself. I have been looking for some off the wall ways of heating the place without say, propane or wood and have been thoroughly fascinated with all the info out there about using compost piles to heat water. It seems wherever you search, you find the pioneer of this was a French man by the name of Jean Pain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Pain Anyway, it basically consists of coiling a bunch of polypipe into a large compost pile made of finely shredded brush, leaves (generally debris found on the forest floor). You water it as you build the pile and according to the experience of Mr Pain, when completed (and when composting begins), you should be able to run water through the pipe and heat it to around 140 degrees for up to 18 - 24 months. He supposedly heated his entire home (including hot water). He also collected the gas emitted from a barrel in the center of the pile that has compost tea in it. He would use that for his stove and also to fuel his truck. I have TONS of material and free access to a pretty beefy wood chipper, so I am thinking this may be a project for me in the spring. Anyone here ever try this before?