Founder, The Appropriate Technology Collaborative
John Barrie
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Name John Barrie
Registered 2023
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  1. Brief Bio
  2. Current interests
  3. Appropriate Technology Designs
    • Treadle Water Pump
    • Solar Vaccine Refrigerator
    • Amaranth Thresher
    • Solar Food Dehydrator
    • A Bici Powered Corn Grinder
    • A Biochar Reactor
    • Bici Powered Plastics Shredder
    • A Ram Pump
    • Insulation for Tin Roofed Homes
  4. Fun Links
  5. Affiliations
  6. Resume

Brief Bio:

John Barrie is the Founder and the Chief Innovation Officer of the Appropriate Technology Collaborative, a nonprofit that designs affordable, sustainable, technologies for the world’s poorest people. John is an Architect, Mathematician and Industrial Designer; he has also been an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan.   

John is co-founder of Mayan Power and Light, a program in Guatemala that teaches Mayan women solar power, and creates Mayan woman owned social venture businesses. In 2019 Mayan Power and Light won the Energy Globe Award for Guatemala. 

In 2016 Mayan Power and Light was recognized as a “Sustainia 100”, one of the top 100 sustainable enterprises world-wide by the United Nations Compact for Sustainable Development.   

In 2020 John Barrie won the American Made Solar Prize Round 1 with the design of a 20 year solar home system where all components of an off-grid solar power system are expected to last 20 years.

Current Interests:

  • Hosting groups of volunteers to install solar power in Guatemala. (4 - 6 groups per year)
  • Designing a novel solar stove
  • Creating a carbon credit mechanism for small solar and other clean tech projects.
  • Designing simple to use, intuitive, and inexpensive medical diagnostic tools for rural midwives.

Appropriate Technology Design Descriptions:

  • Treadle Water Pump - A "stair-step" pump for rural farmers.
  • Solar Vaccine Refrigerator - Our Solar Vaccine Refrigerator can be made from scrap materials. It doesn't use electricity of any kind, rather it uses heat from the sun to chill ice packs for World Health Organization chain-of-cold compliant vaccine storage.
  • Amaranth Thresher - This machine winnows the hulls off of amaranth grain. What once took a family two weeks to clean amaranth for sale now takes just an hour or two.
  • Solar Food Dehydrator - A simple passive solar food dehydrator. (New design in construction and testing 2023)
  • A Bici Powered Corn Grinder - Bici power is an underutilized resource.
  • A Biochar Reactor - A friend's design that we find easy to duplicate. Provided by permission.
  • Bici Powered Plastics Shredder - We really like bici tech!
  • A Ram Pump - An easy to construct and low maintenance way to move water
  • Insulation for Tin Roofed Homes - This design is surprisingly effective for homes in both hot and cold climates.

Fun Links:



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