Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.
is the site for collaborative solutions in sustainability
reduction and international development
through the use of sound principles
and appropriate technology
and the sharing of wisdom and project
information. It is a wiki
, a type of website which allows anyone to add, remove, or edit content. Registration is encouraged but not required for contributors.
Appropedia has been described as an "appropriate technology wiki," but it is much broader than that - it is a green wiki, and a wiki for all matters of international development and aid. But most importantly, Appropedia is an open site for stakeholders to come together to find, create and improve scalable and adaptable solutions.
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What makes "appropriate technology
" is determined by context. Therefore, none of these are absolute - they are simply common features that make a technology "appropriate" to a world where many suffer a lack of basic necessities, a lack of money, and lack of equipment and technological expertise. They are also technologies that have a gentle impact on the earth:
* Small, as in Small is Beautiful. Small often means affordable and adaptable, and puts the control in the hands of the users. Small also means local, which offers benefits in resilience;
* Few moving parts - less to go wrong (similar to the KISS principle).
* Can be built locally;
* Easily repaired, by local people with locally available equipment;
* Affordable; and
* Made with locally available materials.
The source of the technology doesn't matter much - it matters much more that it is appropriate. While the source of a technology sometimes becomes an issue in discussions of technology for international development, technology from anywhere can have uptake and make an impact, as evidenced by the mobile phone.
Build your own Vermicomposting System!
, radiant light
from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind
and wave power, hydroelectricity
, account for most of the available renewable energy
on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.
Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.
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