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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia is for collaborative solutions
in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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The Geysers in Northern California.
Geothermal power is generated from the high temperatures that can be found in various parts of the earth's crust such as volcanoes, hot springs, and geysers. The water that surrounds and fills the gaps between the rocks in the crust is raised in temperature by these natural processes. This hot water is then pumped to the surface and its steam is captured and used to create electrical power through a turbine system.

There are three common types of geothermal power: dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle. Dry steam is rare and uses the steam directly from the earth, flash steam pumps the hot water that naturally occurs in the earth to the surface and utilizes its steam, and binary cycle uses a secondary fluid and its vapor to power a generator.

Dry stream geothermal plants use natural steam directly from the Earth. Once the steam pocket is tapped, the steam is channeled directly into a turbine which converts the thermal energy into electrical power. (more types follow)

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Ethanol from organic sugar beets versus refined cane sugar

Determine the cost inputs and energy outputs of small scale ethanol production from local and conventional sources.

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Community action news

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Feb 15 India news: India planted 50 million trees in one day – smashing the world record [1]

Feb 15 Michigan: Re-imagining the Civic Commons: A 21st Century Vision for Detroit [2]

Feb 14 Japan: Community Power Offers Fukushima a Brighter, Cleaner Future [3]

Feb 10 Minnesota: How Neighbors Turned Unused Buildings into a Thriving Community Hub [4]

Feb 9 US news: Trump Named as Defendant in Landmark Federal Climate Suit [5]

Read More...


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People, their buildings and the ways they organise themselves are central to permaculture. Thus the permaculture vision of permanent (sustainable) agriculture has evolved into one of permanent (sustainable) culture.

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Hot topics / In the news

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Man working in a rice field.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, and/or stimulate growth. Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture.

Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture (e.g. permaculture or organic agriculture).

Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

Related portal: Permaculture
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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.

Chris's ENGR305 Solar Food Dehydrator

A hybrid, solar food dehydrator  
Compressed earth brick press

An exploration of compressed earth bricks  
Deidre's vertical vegetable garden

Solar powered vertical vegetable garden  
Devan's vertical axis wind turbine

Experimental Vertical Axis Wind Turbine  
Engr305 peanut sheller project

Peanut sheller made from clay and newspaper  
Engr305 pulser pump

A working model of a Pulser pump  
Engr 305 solar learning station

Instructional Solar Learning Station  
ENGR305 windbelt

Testing new materials for prototype windbelts  
Ethanol from organic sugar beets versus refined cane sugar

Determining the cost inputs and energy outputs of small scale ethanol production  
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Energy

Solar
Water
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New pages being developed:
  1. What to do with unwanted pallets
  2. Planetary boundaries
  3. Robby Butler's 3D Printer - ENGR 242
  4. Bjorn's ENGR242 3D adventure
  5. Pierson Gill
  6. Ashfiqur Rahman
  7. Totnes
  8. Emily's open source 3D prints
  9. Passive annual heat storage
  10. 242 demo page

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