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Incinerating toilets


TomIre

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A search did not turn up any recent posts on this - time to start a new thread!

Does anyone have first hand experience with this type of toilet?  

I do understand the power needs.  If I go this route it will be electric.

My main question is how often do you need to incinerate?  My reading Incinerating toilet tests from Sweden seems to indicate that you only need to run the incinerator every six or so uses.  I'm guessing this excludes urine?  If this is correct then if smells are not an issue it doesn't need to be run every time the toilet is used.  Maybe once a day and maybe not that often for a couple cruising.  

Would be very interested to hear some real life experiences if they are out there.

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These have been discussed at length / depth but the feature which cannot be adapted to a free-ranging boat is the power consumption.

Fine for a boat that is continuously hooked up to the mains electicity, but for a boat that is cruising and relying on solar panels and its engine to recharge the batteries it has not proven to be a realistic alternative.

 

What type of boating do you intend to do, and how would you generate your electricity ?

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38 minutes ago, TomIre said:

 

I do understand the power needs.  If I go this route it will be electric.

My main question is how often do you need to incinerate 

How often do you crap, how big is your crew.

Electric or gas has to be on all the time.

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Separett CINDI Basic Incinerating Toilet - WooWoo Waterless and Composting Toilets (waterlesstoilets.co.uk)

 

Due to the nature of the heating element and other factors, Cindi is not suitable for installation in moving vehicles (RV’s & motor homes etc) that might be subject to excessive vibrations and movement.

 

The time needed to reach 550 degrees depends on the amount of waste and liquids present in the chamber during the process but is typically between 30 and 60 minutes.

 

 

Energy: 0.6 – 2.4 kWh/visit

 

 

Powering the toilet from your batteries via an inverter could take up to 240Ah per flush/visit depending on the volume to be incinerated.

 

 

 

Testfakta

 

A.     Single flush (cold start)

All the toilets successfully managed full incineration of one flush with ash residue weighing around 17 g. The Cinderella Comfort recorded the fastest incineration at 56 minutes, followed by the Sunwind at 60 minutes. The slowest was the Separett Cindy at 89 minutes. The Cinderella Comfort had the lowest energy consumption at 1.41 kWh, followed by the Incinolett at 1.42 kWh. The highest energy consumption was recorded for the Separett Cindy at 1.90 kWh.

 

B.     Three flushes at 10 minute intervals

The Cinderella Comfort and both of the Separett toilets successfully managed full incineration with ash residue weighing around 48 g. The Cinderella Comfort was fastest, at 132 minutes. The two Separett toilets took around 210 minutes. The Cinderella Comfort had the lowest energy consumption at 2.72 kWh, compared with 4.22 and 4.01 kWh respectively for the two Separett toilets.
The Incinolet and the Sunwind did not manage full incineration. They left 217 and 232 g of residue from a total of 1,230 g of faeces and urine. To achieve full incineration, these toilets would have to be restarted.

 

C.     Three double flushes at 10 minute intervals

The Cinderella Comfort and both of the Separett toilets successfully managed full incineration with ash residue weighing around 100 g. The Cinderella Comfort was fastest at 204 minutes. The Separett Flame and Cindy took 359 and 242 minutes respectively. The Cinderella Comfort had the lowest energy consumption at 4.02 kWh, compared with 6.99 and 5.04 kWh respectively for the Separett Flame and Cindy.
The Incinolet and the Sunwind did not manage anywhere near full incineration. They left 1,110 and 1,230 g of residue from a total of 2,460 g of faeces and urine. To achieve full incineration, it is likely that these toilets would have to be restarted more than once.

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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4 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

That's an awful lot of energy to get rid of something that's very easily pumped or carried away. 

 

 

Yup 6.99Kwh is ~700Ah (at 12v) or 14x 100Ah batteries discharged to 50% SoC, but it's easy to discharge batteries, the hard part is recharging before the next flush.

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9 hours ago, Mad Harold said:

KISS   Just shit on the towpath,douse it with petrol and chuck a match in.

Be quite entertaining to cyclers and doggists. ?

I would like to apologise to the OP for this flippant response to a serious question.

My excuse is I was in agony with my back thanks to the stiff locks on the HBC and the C+H and eased the pain with too much alcohol!

If I am to keep boating,I am thinking of changing my mooring to one where there are less locks.

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On 21/04/2021 at 02:59, Mad Harold said:

I would like to apologise to the OP for this flippant response to a serious question.

My excuse is I was in agony with my back thanks to the stiff locks on the HBC and the C+H and eased the pain with too much alcohol!

If I am to keep boating,I am thinking of changing my mooring to one where there are less locks.

 No apology is needed but thanks for taking the time.

 

My conclusion is - no real world experience yet.  We're at the spec stage of designing a new build narrowboat. I suspect technology will change over the next 18 months and toilets won't be exempt from that change.  

I know toilets are endlessly debated and the truth is there is no perfect solution.  For me, the less "handling" and "storage" of waste I need to do the better.  Incineration seems to fit that brief best but there is the energy issue for sure.

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8 minutes ago, Tim Lewis said:

A friend of mine has one on his boat and reckons that it costs him 50p every time he uses it!

Can you find out how often he needs to run it?  I'm thinking not every time it is "flushed" but I don't know.  

 

Just playing but if you run it twice a day, that's very roughly £600 a year.  If you pump out every three weeks or so, that's around £350 at £20 a go.  So, for an extra £250 a year I no longer have to store a tank of waste in my boat?  Doesn't sound all that bad.

8 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

The convenience and lack of personally handling your own waste is better with a pumpout and as practically all hire boats use pumpouts, the facility will continue.

Agree, but the downside (there is one to every system, I know) is that you have to fit a fairly large tank for waste storage.  That room could be used for other storage and, at the end if the day, you are carrying around your own smelly waste 24/7.    And, then find a pump out station and wrestle with bulky, sometimes dirty hoses.  

 

Again, just pointing out that everything in this area is a trade off.

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If you have a bigger loo tank you don't need to pumpout every 3  weeks. Our tank is shown as approx 90 gallons on the sale details and lasts two of us at least 6 weeks. We pay £16 per pump out with Halsall, one of the coal boats. We have a macerator toilet and we never have any smell . Some more facts for you to take into account in your deliberations ?

 

Haggis

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18 minutes ago, TomIre said:

Haggis - I guess my point is that pump out has £'s costs as well as other costs (storage, smells, bother, etc).  

Storage - our loo tank is under the bed in a space which would be difficult to access if it was used for storing "stuff". We never know it's there ! 

Smells - there is no reason to have toilet smells on a boat. You just need to use one of the many available products in your loo tank. We don't use anything and we have no smells.

Bother - if you have a pump out system the only bother you have is mooring at a boatyard which offers a pump out service. You don't do anything  apart from paying, the boatyard staff do it for you. You can use self pumpout facilities and that is a far less unpleasant job than emptying a cassette .

Don't know anything about incinerating toilets but presumably you have to remove the burned stuff from time to time. 

It is really no concern of mine which system you install on your boat but I think it is important to have all the relevant facts before you make a decision. As you know, boaters always talk about toilets and you will no doubt get much conflicting advice on here. 

 

Haggis

Edited by haggis
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18 minutes ago, TomIre said:

Haggis - I guess my point is that pump out has £'s costs as well as other costs (storage, smells, bother, etc).  

How much will the diesel cost to replace the electricity taken from the batteries to burn the poo

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Often a smelly pump out is related to badly specified tank vents - note that vents, plural. Most are too small. Plus using an additive that kills the aerobic bacteria so the smelly anaerobic ones proliferate.

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35 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Often a smelly pump out is related to badly specified tank vents - note that vents, plural. Most are too small. Plus using an additive that kills the aerobic bacteria so the smelly anaerobic ones proliferate.

Would it be better to not use an additive or are there additives that kill aerobis and anaerobic bacteria?

41 minutes ago, haggis said:

...

Don't know anything about incinerating toilets but presumably you have to remove the burned stuff from time to time. 

...

If the waste is fully incinerated then all that is left is a very small amount or sterile ash. Still needs to be emptied though, once the ash pan is full.

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44 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

How much will the diesel cost to replace the electricity taken from the batteries to burn the poo

No idea.  Also don't know how to amortize the cost of solar cells charging a battery which supplies power as well.  I've seen estimates of gas incinerator toilets at .50p.

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48 minutes ago, haggis said:

Storage - our loo tank is under the bed in a space which would be difficult to access if it was used for storing "stuff". We never know it's there ! 

Smells - there is no reason to have toilet smells on a boat. You just need to use one of the many available products in your loo tank. We don't use anything and we have no smells.

Bother - if you have a pump out system the only bother you have is mooring at a boatyard which offers a pump out service. You don't do anything  apart from paying, the boatyard staff do it for you. You can use self pumpout facilities and that is a far less unpleasant job than emptying a cassette .

Don't know anything about incinerating toilets but presumably you have to remove the burned stuff from time to time. 

It is really no concern of mine which system you install on your boat but I think it is important to have all the relevant facts before you make a decision. As you know, boaters always talk about toilets and you will no doubt get much conflicting advice on here. 

 

Haggis

Definitely everything is a trade off - toilets included!  And, I accept there is no perfect solution.  To each their own and it looks as if you agree! 

 

We're planning on having gas struts to raise the bed for "deep storage" under it in plastic crates.  Winter coats, etc.  Glad your's has no smell.  I'm sure that is achievable, just hasn't been my experience to date.  You do have to remove some powdery ash but very little is left and easily binned.

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A few weeks ago we were discussing this toilet.

http://www.nanomembranetoilet.org/

That claims that a nano membrane can be used to separate liquids and solids, with the solids then incinerated, generating enough power to run the membrane separation and maybe produce a small surplus for charging phones etc. 

That's a very different picture of the energy balance compared with current incinerating toilets. Where does the difference arise? Do the current toilets have to boil off most of the liquid, and that is where most of the energy is used?

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6 minutes ago, PCSB said:

Would it be better to not use an additive or are there additives that kill aerobis and anaerobic bacteria?

 

 

Formaldehyde additives like the original Elsan Blue did, for a short while kill the lot but when in a holding tank my experience was the anaerobic bacteria managed to thrive.

 

The "green" additives really just feed all bacteria so as long as you have sufficient oxygen across the effluent the smell is minimised and if you have a vacuum or maccerator toilet whatever smell there is is isolated from the interior of the boat but may smell on the outside via the breathers, especially when flushed. You can get charcoal smell removing filters but I suspect then tend to stop air (oxygen) freely flowing across the tank.

 

Many people say they don't use anything but I suspect they may have gone "nose blind" to a degree. Anyway even with a house toilet you sill get smells when its in use. Others use oxy-bleach or biological washing liquid/powder with apparent success.

 

 

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