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Windmillprint-crop.jpg As part of a 3-D printing class, graduate students will be designing printable open-source appropriate technology for sustainable development. If you want a technology designed to be 3-D printed, post your ideas here. Chosen designs will be made and open-sourced for the global community. Deadline Nov. 13, 2014


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.

Photovoltaic vaccine refrigeration at Centro De Salud

Building a solar powered (photovoltaic) vaccine refrigerator with a community hospital in Northern Mexico. Now the sun helps keep the vaccines consistently cold.

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.

The Sun photographed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA 304) of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Spring 2010: RCEA: Two labs of the Spring 2010 semester of Engineering 215 worked with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority to build energy education boxes for classrooms in Humboldt County. These boxes are designed for different K-12 grade ranges and cover one of three topics: energy conservation, renewable energy or climate change.

Spring 2010 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - RCEA
The Power of Wind
Educates students on the basics of wind power  
The Rad Triad
A Chutes and Ladders-like board game, a popup book and a sing-a-long song  
Weather Warnings
Teaches climate change through a movie, three stations, and a worksheet  
Modeling Renewable Energy
Educates students on many types of renewable energy  
Bust-A-Watt
Teaches energy conservation through activities, home assessments, and an art assignment  
Seas of Change
Educates students about the polar ice caps melting effects of climate change through a hands-on model  
Energy in a Cinch
Teaches about renewable energy through the use of a Windbelt  
CAN YOU WorKIT
Students assemble and operate a hand crank electrical generators  
Climate Crusaders
A Cap-and-Trade game and a model greenhouse gas experiment  

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