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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

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in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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Building a very hot parabolic solar cooker using pedal power tools.
Notice how the focus is the same for the various parabolas.
Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker. The paraboloid is an interesting shape with some amazing qualities. It has the power to concentrate light, electronic waves, sound, etc. to its focus at the center. To find the focal point of a paraboloid, one must use the formula, y=p*x^2, where p is a constant. The variable y is the depth of the dish, and x measures the distance from the center axis to the maximum circumference of the dish. You have to pretend that there is an x axis going through the center of the base of the dish and a perpendicular y-axis passing from the center of the base of the dish to the focal point. The two numbers, x and y, represent a point on the paraboloid, and from that, you are able to determine where the focus is.

Parabolic cookers have been used for centuries now. The idea to concentrate light using curved mirrors was developed by the Greeks, Aztecs, Incas, Romans and Chinese. The Incas used bronze and gold for their mirrors and they built structures that were several stories high. This technology seems to have appeared around the same time for each of the civilizations. It is thought that Archimedes harnessed the technologyW to defend Syracuse from invading Roman fleets in 212 BC.

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Decreasing turbidity to optimize solar water disinfection

Salt and sunlight can actually be used to clean water with the SODIS method.

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Community action news

Aug 24 Netherlands: 75 years after its destruction, Rotterdam continues to reinvent itself [1]

Aug 22 Rural Mongolia Steps Into the Digital World [2]

Middelgrunden wind farm 2009.jpg
Aug 18 Denmark’s futuristic “citizen space” has been named the world’s best public library [3]

Aug 16 Food USA: Move Over, Community Gardens: Edible Forests Are Sprouting Up Across America [4]

Aug 15 Mexico: 'It feels like a gift': mobile phone co-op transforms rural Mexican community [5]

Read More...


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Bill Mollison talking about the future.
You don't have a snail problem, you have a duck deficiency.

Bill MollisonW
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Hot topics / In the news

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A windmill is used to power a water pump which fills a swimming pool.
Appropriate technology (AT) is technology that is designed with special consideration to the context of its use - including environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. With these goals in mind, AT proponents claim their methods require fewer resources, are easier to maintain, and have less of an impact on the environment compared to techniques from mainstream technology, which they contend is wasteful and environmentally polluting.

The term is usually used to describe simple technologies proponents consider suitable for use in developing nations or less developed rural areas of industrialized nations. This form of "appropriate technology" usually prefers labor-intensive solutions over capital-intensive ones, although labor-saving devices are also used where this does not mean high capital or maintenance cost. In practice, appropriate technology is often something described as using the simplest level of technology that can effectively achieve the intended purpose in a particular location. In industrialized nations, the term appropriate technology takes a different meaning, often referring to engineering that takes special consideration of its social and environmental ramifications.

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MOST completed projects and publications: This category lists completed projects for the Category:MOST. Following the individual links leads to a summary of the project and key findings, related literature reviews, methods, protocols, and equipment, and an open access version of the paper published in a peer reviewed journal.

Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Group Completed Projects and Publications 2011-2012
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