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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


The Kitjito Windpump
Windpumps. Windpower technology dates back many centuries. There are historical claims that wind machines which harness the power of the wind date back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. In Europe the first windmills were seen much later, probably having been introduced by the English on their return from the crusades in the middle east or possibly transferred to Southern Europe by the Muslims after their conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

The first half of the 20th saw further development, particularly a move toward propeller type wind machines for electricity production. By the 1920's 6 million windpumps were being used in the USA alone and their manufacture and use had become commonplace on every continent.But the glory of the windpump was short-lived. With the advent of cheap fossil fuels in the 1950's and 1960's and the development of pumping technology the windpump became almost obsolete in the USA.

There are manufacturers in several developing countries now producing windpumps. The uptake of wind machines for water pumping, however, has been generally very slow even though the technology is well suited to the demand of many regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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.

E. F. Schumacher
The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.

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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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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