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in sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction.

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Windmillprint-crop.jpg Yes it is possible to print a windmill with a 3D printer for a fraction of the cost of manufacturing one conventionaly. Learn more about open-source 3-D printing of open source appropriate technology for sustainable development.


Direct and diffuse solar radiation (Practical Action)
Solar thermal energy. The sun is the source of the vast majority of the energy we use on earth. Most of the energy we use has undergone various transformations before it is finally utilized, but it is also possible to tap this source of solar energy as it arrives on the earth’s surface.

There are many applications for the direct use of solar thermal energy, space heating and cooling, water heating, crop drying and solar cooking. It is a technology which is well understood and widely used in many countries throughout the world. Most solar thermal technologies have been in existence in one form or another for centuries and have a well-established manufacturing base in most sun-rich developed countries.

The most common use for solar thermal technology is for domestic water heating. Hundreds of thousands of domestic hot water systems are in use throughout the world, especially in areas such as the Mediterranean and Australia where there is high solar insolation (the total energy per unit area received from the sun). As world oil prices vary, it is a technology which is rapidly gaining acceptance as an energy saving measure in both domestic and commercial water heating applications. Presently, domestic water heaters are usually only found amongst wealthier sections of the community in developing countries.

Solar Charged Lawnmower

Converting a very used gas power lawnmower into a solar charged, low emission, almost silent, lawn cutting machine.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: We are all in the same boat.

Jacques CousteauW
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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Engr305 Appropriate Technology Projects: Below are selected service learning projects from Engr305 Appropriate Technology, which is a course on appropriate technology at Humboldt State University taught by instructor Lonny Grafman.

CCAT Clay-straw slip wall

Clay-straw slip wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT clothes drying

Efficient clothes drying system for CCAT  
CCAT Cold Box

An energy efficient solution to a refrigerator  
CCAT Compost System

CCAT's comprehensive composting system  
CCAT greenhouse natural wall

An aesthetically pleasing natural earthen wall built by clay and straw slip methods  
CCAT greenshed cob wall

Cob wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT greenshed north wall

Cordwood and mortar wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT greenshed west wall

Clay-straw slip wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT greywater marsh (2008)

CCAT's Greywater Marsh 2008  
CCAT greywater marsh (current)

CCAT Greywater Marsh Continued  
CCAT interpretive wind turbine display

Demonstration wind turbine  
CCAT's living roof

Replacing CCAT's living roof  
CCAT MEOW 2012

Refurbishment of CCAT's Mobile Energy Operation Wagon  
CCAT natural concrete stain

Natural concrete stain  
CCAT natural paint project

Interior paints from natural ingredients  
CCAT natural wall construction

Earthen informational kiosk for CCAT  
CCAT pedal powered grain mill

Pedal powered grain mill for CCAT  
CCAT pedal powered TV

Updated version of CCAT pedal powered bicycle  
CCAT rainwater catchment system

CCAT's current rainwater catchment system  
CCAT Raised Garden Beds

Controlled beds of soil above toxic ground  
CCAT remediation zone

A stable slope for planting and attracting beneficial insects  
CCAT Retaining Wall

Retaining wall for slope erosion at CCAT  
CCAT rocket stove

CCAT's improved fuel rocket stove  
CCAT small rainwater catchment

Rainwater catchment for CCAT's cob bench roof  
CCAT's Vermicomposting Bin

CCAT's vermicomposting bin  

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