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From today's featured article

Buckminster Fuller
All of humanity now has the option to "make it" successfully and sustainably, by virtue of our having minds, discovering principles and being able to employ these principles to do more with less.

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Fixed dome digester
Biogas and liquid biofuels. Biomass residues can also be converted into various non-solid fuel forms. These fuels are referred to as biogas and liquid biofuels. The aim of this conversion process is to improve the quality, specific energy content, transportability, etc., of the raw biomass source or to capture gases which are naturally produced as biomass is micro biologically degraded or when biomass is partially combusted. Biogas is a well-established fuel for cooking and lighting in a number of countries, whilst a major motivating factor in the development of liquid biofuels has been the drive to replace petroleum fuels. In this fact sheet we will be looking at some of these fuels, their applications and the conversion technologies used to derive them.

In Europe and the United States, as well as in several developing countries, there is a move toward cultivating energy crops specifically for the production of biomass as a fuel. The potential for energy production from biomass throughout the world is enormous and as fossil-based fuels become scarcer and more expensive, as carbon emission levels are becoming of greater concern and as people realise the benefits of developing integrated energy supply options, then biomass could begin to realise its full potential as an energy source.

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Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker

A very hot (400 °F) parabolic solar cooker. Made from an reclaimed satellite dish using bicycle powered tools.

Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy and power, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy and power, biomass fuel and energy, and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. As of 2011, small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide electricity to a few million households, and micro-hydro configured into mini-grids serves many more. Over 44 million households use biogas made in household-scale digesters for lighting and/or cooking, and more than 166 million households rely on a new generation of more-efficient biomass cookstoves.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Spring 2011: Locally Delicious: The Spring 2011 semester of Engineering 215 worked with Locally Delicious to design, build, test and disseminate projects that support healthy lifestyles among youths grades 4th through 6th and their families.

Spring 2011 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - Locally Delicious
Tear the Roof off
Dry sliced apples in 18 hours of sunlight with this legless solar dehydrator  
The GnomeTainer
Modular, raised garden with integrated rain catchment that can be installed on a porch  
Catch and Cook
A solar oven capable of reaching 160°F in 20 minutes  
Solar Bowling Oven
Solar oven kids can build and use on their own  
Wormland worm bin
Scalable vermiculture system from free materials for kids  
Row Blender
Row yourself a smoothie with an exercise powered blender  
Sodhoppers' Solar Dehydrator
Durable food dehydrator for a school from a waste kitchen cabinet  
Interactive School Garden
Modular school garden design incorporating several different garden styles  
The Solar Swing
Solar oven for a school reaching 200°F in 30 minutes  
School Worm Bin
Worm bin for a school built from a 55 gallon drum  

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