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TIDES technology documentation template (details)

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This is the template page for describing a technology for STAR-TIDES. It is similar to, but not identical with, the page templates used at AKVO.

TIDES technology documentation template skips the how-to and discussion in favor of a shorter cut-and-paste with cliff notes on each field.

To add a page to STAR-TIDES, please follow these steps.

  1. Make an account for http://appropedia.org if you do not have one. If you do, please log in.
  2. Open a new browser window, and go to http://appropedia.org. Keep this page open in the original browser window. Use the new browser window for the rest of these steps.
  3. Pick a name for your page. The name should be descriptive, but do not make it too long. For example "solar distillation system from waterco" is too long. You could shorten to "solar distiller (waterco)".
  4. Type this name into the search box in the right hand navigation bar of this page. The search box is sometimes just below what you can see, you may need to scroll a little to see it. Hit search.
  5. If the page already exists, either pick a new name (if your content is distinct) or add your content to the existing page if they describe the same item.
  6. If the page does not exist, click the "create this page" link on the search results page. A new page will be created, and you will be taken to an empty edit window to type in the initial page contents.
  7. Now come back to this page in the first browser window, and hit the edit button in the navigation bar. Don't save change to this page accidentally!
  8. Copy all of the text you see in the edit window on this page into the edit box for your new page in the other browser window. There are some wikicodes which help with page classification and display, and this is the easiest way to get those right.
  9. In your new page, delete this message, and fill in the fields as you go down the page. Don't forget to hit save at the end.
  10. Sorry if this is a little basic, but I (at least) found wikis quite intimidating to get started with.
  11. Basic formatting tips are also on this page.

Page sections and appropriate content now follow.

Description[edit]

Roughly two paragraphs summarizing and qualifying what the item is. You should touch on the four following points.

  • Which basic human needs does this system address, in terms of the STAR-TIDES infrastructures (shelter, water, power, integrated cooking, heating/cooling/lighting, sanitation, ICT) or which of the six ways to die (too hot, too cold, thirst, hunger, illness, injury) does it prevent?
  • What does the system look like? You can upload a picture. To do that, use the file upload box on the right hand navigation, and follow the instructions there to include it on this page. This can get a little involved. You may wish to stick with a written description at first. You're telling people "it's about the size of a shoebox and it has pipes to draw in water" or "it's a buried pump that goes inside a well."
  • What principles does the system employ to function? This is a very rough statement to qualify how the thing works. Describe things like it purifies water by reverse osmosis filtration, or it pumps water by manual labor, or it is a photovoltaic panel that charges batteries. Try and focus on the active principle of the device so that it can be grouped with other systems employing the same basic principles later, for easy comparison.
  • A note about the status of the system, including some idea of it's readiness (in development, in field testing, in common use) and it's status (commercial, free/open source, other.)

This sounds like a lot to pack into a couple of paragraphs, but it just has to provide an overview. For example.

The hexayurt is a shelter. It can be made from insulating materials to help in cold and hot climates. (what is it?) A hexayurt is a shiny metal hut, 8 to 12 feet high and 16 feet in diameter. (what does it look like?)

The hexayurt is made from rigid panels of 4' x 8' materials and can be constructed from a wide range of common industrial products. It is commonly held together with high strength tapes and anchored to the ground like a tent. It requires no foundation. It could potentially be mass produced from improvised materials in a catastrophe. (the basic operating principles.)

The hexayurt has been demonstrated many times but has not undergone formal field trials. It is Free/Open Source and a commercial version of the shelter will be available in 2008.

Advantages / Disadvantages[edit]

  • a few bullet points in each category. Focus on system differentiators ("better than most X").

Operations[edit]

Three areas to note.

  • preconditions to operation (i.e. "fresh water source" or "80W of power")
  • environmental limits ("will not function below freezing")
  • links to how-to videos, operating manuals, and other data. This is similar to the "For more information" links at the bottom of the page, but would tend to link to content describing the item being used, vs. technical presentations on how it works.

Metrics[edit]

Please define the system as far as possible in numbers. For example.

  • cooks rice in 3 hours (for a solar cooker.)
  • filters 99.99% of all water borne pathogens (for a water filter.)

Particularly focus on capacity numbers.

  • sleeps 5.
  • filters 20 gallons per hour.

Over time we will develop a standard-ish set of metrics for each item, but for now the minimums are:

  • cost
  • weight
  • size - for the logisticians.
  • quantity of service provided (number who can sleep, volume of water purified.)

Past these basics, use whatever data is on hand.

For more information[edit]

  • any closely comparable systems (such as a bigger/smaller one of these items, or a link to a general category of systems (i.e. "solar cookers")
  • links (including links to vendors)
  • points of contact

Highly detailed technical information, in-depth write ups of a technique and so on should go on an additional "more information" page which may be structured very differently from these system overview pages, even if they are also created by STAR-TIDES.