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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.

Albert Einstein
The only source of knowledge is experience.

Albert EinsteinW
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 – Fall 2008: Full Belly Project: The Fall 2008 semester of Engineering 215 worked with the Full Belly Project to adapt their Universal Nut Sheller in the following three manners:

Fall 2008 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - Full Belly Project
The LC sheller
Innovating concrete with sawdust and clay to lower the costs and weight using materials available in some parts of Western Africa  
The Full Bell
Improves the original UNS by reducing the cost and increasing durability of the sheller  
Hot Dang Plastic Encasement
Waste plastic bags available in Haiti cleaned, cut, crocheted and ironed into a hard plastic mold  
Pressed Plastic
A process to thermoform waste plastic bags to form molds for nut shellers using resources available in Haiti  
Nutsy
Shaped like an acorn the Nutsy aims to be a smaller, more portable, and more aesthetically pleasing version of the UNS for marketing within the US  
Multiplicity
Smaller U.S. prototype with exchangeable rotors for different size nuts  
Simple Simon
Smaller US prototype made from wood and aluminum  

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