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New, Modern Yurt Build In Mongolia

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Old 11-30-2022, 11:52 AM   #81
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

Hi Bob,

there are some amazing commercial solutions for insulating window/door coverings but in Mongolia we have to improvise and importing takes ages. Especially considering we are having a cold snap, way below typical averages, right now!

Another issue is our yurts have curved and tapered windows. There's no off-the-shelf solution. There's only custom.

I don't mind, I like to customize. My wife made a bunch of multi-layered curtains/drapes for the doors and I put up some hooks to hang them. We put grommets (tarp style) in the drapes and brass J-hooks in the wood frames of the doors. It's all very improvised but it works quite well. I'll upload some comparison photos (thermal camera) tomorrow. We're just enjoying the improved

insulation

this evening.

If I had to estimate, the double glazed doors PLUS heavy drapes roughly equals the double felt walls in terms of effectiveness. This depends on getting a nice seal around the frames, as you pointed out.

A small aside: the FLIR camera is amazing. You can see the effect of a nail in wood as a thermal bridge (bringing cold from the outside). The FLIR cameras are fantastic diagnostic tools and I spent maybe $200 for mine - it works with any Android phone.
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Old 11-30-2022, 12:50 PM   #82
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

Window quilt doesn't do curves. Have you considered velcro? How about magnetic strip tape?
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Old 12-09-2022, 01:42 AM   #83
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

Just a quick update.

We had a slight disaster with our well-house to bathroom pump. The

heating

failed over night and it was the usual -34C (-28F?) overnight. The pump froze and then burst the upper casing when it thawed out.

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Luckily none of the pipes froze because they have heat tape and are buried 1.5m deep. We had to buy a new pump (about $200) but my handyman decided to repair the broken one anyway and all it needed was a new head ($50). So we're keeping it as a backup. We like backups.

Anyway it shows that we need to be extra vigilant. We also upgraded our well house

heating

to 2 electric heaters. One is mechanical and will remember its settings if the power goes off and then comes back on. The other is a "smart" heater that is WIFI enabled and can tell me the temperature but it's also stupid because it won't remember its settings in the event of a power outage and when the power comes back on. I have the "smart" heater in frost mode so it only kicks in if the temperature goes down to 5C.

I also did the same heating system in my insulated shipping container where I keep my toys (motorcycles). I may put my truck in there but it would be a really tight fit. It has a engine heater which I have to use if the night temperature goes below -25C, which is every night. So I guess it's okay for now. Here are the temperature stats (sorry they are in C but the range is -29F lows with 5F highest).

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Lots of bathroom / hallway upgrades and improvements. We added all the barn doors. We changed the hardware to a lower profile systems which was very affordable, quieter, smoother etc.

Door to bedroom ger.
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Door to living room ger.
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Closeup of the door track. The wheels are plastic mini-skateboard affairs. Very quiet and smooth running.
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We swapped over the 50L (13 US gallons) hot water tank because it was insufficient to have a nice bath - the bath is longer than standard because I'm tall. Probably big enough for 2 - yet to try it out. We bought a Bosch front loader washing machine. Finally we added a "bidet" (butthole washer) to the toilet which is great and very refreshing.

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We adopted a new puppy. He's a Tibetan Mastiff / Mongolian Bankhur mix. He's getting along well with all our adopted cats. One of my next jobs is to build them all little kennels so they can live outside.
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Something like a super-insulated kennel that Jasper, our other puppy has. Smaller for the cats and probably bigger for the new puppy who will be massive when grown.

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Old 12-09-2022, 05:35 PM   #84
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

Happy to hear you got that squared away. You have good people around you. Place is looking GOOD!

Freeze up on a pump is a whole lot less $ than freeze up on a 1.7l Ford V4 engine block. Been there done that with my 1968 SAAB 96. Froze solid when I was in college.

Why? Dumazz kid and his first car, and no Dad around for reality check. "Coolant? Why pay for coolant when water will work just fine. Cold doesn't get in that deep in an engine, and even if it did freeze, engine heat will thaw it out, no problem." lol


haha Kids are funny. $750 and that was a PILE of money in 1974.
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Old 12-10-2022, 11:56 PM   #85
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

Wow, I can't imagine the cost of a frozen and ruptured engine block. My diesel truck (Ssangyong Musso) has a block heater which I'm using a lot these days. I have to pre-heat the engine for about 20-30 minutes before going out. However, I'm thinking of moving it into my insulated shipping container when the floor is done. I maintain the temperature in it at 10-12C. (pictures coming soon). I'm generally worried that every night out is not great for my truck, although it was cheap ($3.5k) and parts are plentiful and cheap.

My total loss from the heating failure was $200 for a new water pump and $50 to fix the previous one. But now I own two. So you could think of it as a $50 loss. It could have been worse.

Speaking of extreme cold. Gers/yurts have an interesting property, especially mine with large windows and glass doors. Even though we have to heat a lot at night, we can turn the heating OFF completely when the sun comes up. We essentially get 6-8 hours of FREE heat, assuming a sunny day and most days are in winter. Except today which is a light snowy day but that makes it warmer at night so maybe it's a wash. The passive solar effect of putting windows facing for maximum sun exposure is phenomenal. Very impressed.

No passive solar today unfortunately. Ginger is temporarily being renamed to Frosty.

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I can not overemphasize this effect. When it's -20C outside and we can get free heat to maintain around 20C indoors, we're maintaining a 40C (100F) difference due to passive solar heat. In the future, I hope to harness the solar power for something useful at night, with solar panels and batteries. With cheap electricity rates, I'm not sure if it's worth it financially.

Despite cheap electricity rates (about 5c per kWh) Our last electricity bill was a shocker though at $300 for one month. However, it was an unusually cold November and December might be a bit warmer. We're using electricity to heat about 114m/2 (1227 sq ft) of indoors (including exterior buildings).

The good news is we're in for some relief from the government soon which apparently will give FREE electricity at night from December to March, which is off-peak for them but peak use for us. Hopefully that will cut our bill substantially. We'll see when we get our January bill.

As I've said before, we get supplementary heat from firewood. I've no idea how to convert for the USA (cords?) but it costs us $2 per sack. A sack is about 11kg (25 lbs). Half a ton delivered here cost us $75. A picture might help.

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At current use, that could last us through the cold season. We had a young local cut down some of our dead trees but it's not really worth it when I have to pay him. I really should do it myself but it's hard work and I'm old and not broke. I'll pay one way or another. Cash or sore muscles. Which should I chose?
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Old 12-11-2022, 12:31 AM   #86
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

I had to take photos for the district office so we can get an address and qualify for free night time electricity. So I thought I'd share.

The very lightweight fence marks the end of our property, about 2 acres (or 1 hectare). Not including all the public land around is which is free for all to use.

The fence is in a poor state due to cattle and yaks rubbing against it and tripping over it. That will be a project for spring. The ground is frozen now.

View to the West (top of the hill).
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View to the North (closest to the forest).
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View to the East (uphill).
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View to the South.
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Old 12-11-2022, 01:52 PM   #87
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

Thanks for photos.


You have WAY more snow than us. Kathy and I attended an outdoor Holiday event last night. 28F in Camry when we left the grounds. Or 48 degrees warmer than the -20f I worked in 40 years ago. I really can't believe I did that. Youth...I'm telling yuh.. hahaha
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Old 12-25-2022, 12:46 AM   #88
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

How y'all doing with the weather? I've seen the news about the US extreme storms.

We've had a mild (by normal standards) December. November was worse. No storms as such but some regular snow falls which drop a few centimeters of snow each time (4" is typical each time). The snow just keeps building up and is much deeper than last winter.

Our truck is still managing to get up the last part of our hillside. We can just about get up the hill in 4WD Low ratio with some sliding around. The snow has built up to about 30-40cm (12-16"). Some drifts are deeper of course.

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Old 12-25-2022, 12:59 AM   #89
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Thanks U.K.! Merry Christmas buddy!
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Old 12-25-2022, 01:50 AM   #90
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Default Re: New, modern yurt build in Mongolia

Merry Christmas everybody.
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