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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.

AEF greywater

Recreating a failing greywater marsh at the Arcata Educational Farm.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell HolmesW
The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.
Those who have health have hope, and those who have hope have everything.
Arabian Proverb

An individuals health greatly influences their ability to support themselves, provide for their family, and contribute to the community. Because of this, access to care and the health of a community is central to any development effort.

Unfortunately, health care is poorly distributed around the world. Southern hemisphere countries are much more likely to suffer from lack of access to care. One aspect of this disparity is the health technology gap between developed and developing nations. While developed countries continue to invest in high technology equipment, developing countries often lack the most basic health care tools. Appropriate Medical Technologies (AMT's) can help communities, governments and development agencies create simple, low-cost, and culturally appropriate responses to health care problems.

The use of appropriate technologies is less common in healthcare than other fields such as construction or agriculture. However, there is significant crossover between the public health field and the water and sanitation fields, areas that are more familiar with appropriate technologies. Appropriate technology is often used to develop mobility and rehabilitation equipment as well as tests used to diagnose diseases.

edit  watch  Selected service learning Projects gallery (refresh)

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.

HBCSL cobb oven

A cobb oven for the Humboldt Bay Center for Sustainable Living  
HBCSL solar shower

A solar shower for the Humboldt Bay Center for Sustainable Living  
Jefferson Community Center compost

A large composting system for Jefferson School  
Jefferson Community Center E305 teach-in

A vermicomposting workshop  
Kiva's straw bale greenhouse

A straw-bale greenhouse  
M Street Eureka rainwater catchment

A rainwater catchment system for residential property  
Mattole Community Center rainwater catchment

A rainwater catchment from the roof of the Mattole Valley Community Center in Petrolia  
Millcreek greywater

A residential greywater processor  
Old Growth Cellar rainwater catchment

A rainwater catchment system for Old Growth Cellars  

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