Very nice house design. It looks like they’re prepared for just about anything.
“Renovating a 100 year old Montana cabin in a meadow surrounded by pine forest: Living radical simplicity in an off-the-grid, passive solar design cabin with a cheap, simple, and efficient solar electric system, food-producing forest garden, and root cellar. There is a spring above the cabin that provides gravity flow water for the cabin’s one sink and the garden, two 135 W solar panels, two 275 amp hour batteries, 80 acres of pine forest to manage for wood heat addition to the passive solar gain, and a blending of old technology and new technology.”
“We’re designing an ultra-low-cost toilet around removable containers that make it easy to collect and transport wastes safely from the community. We know from many conversations with residents of Shada that a good toilet is a symbol of cleanliness and modernity. Beyond being odorless, hygienic, and vector-free, our toilet needs to be elegant, modern, and pleasant to use. And it needs to be cheap. To that end, our toilet combines a 20-L bucket, a liquid container, and a western-style toilet seat into a sealed, portable, urine-diverting toilet.
Our first strategy for Haiti is to collect and deliver the wastes to SOIL’s existing compost sites, where the wastes will be converted to valuable compost for sale to agricultural and reforestation customers.
Encyclopoodia PDF images and information on dozens of toilets to get inspiration on ergonomics, aesthetics, function, environment, technology, all the details that go into a toilet.”
Read more at the source: Resource Sanitation.com
“It looks like something straight out of Middle Earth – and the story behind it is almost as fantastical. This cottage cost just £150 to build, using only natural or reclaimed materials, and is now rented out for a fee of fresh milk and cream. And with no mains electricity, gas or water, the bills don’t come to much either.
Smallholder Michael Buck spent eight months constructing the house using the ancient technique of cob – building with a mixture of sand, clay, straw, water and earth. He taught himself the method by reading a book, even shaping the walls without a single power tool.
He also made the simple wooden roof frame and thatched it himself with straw from his fields. The 300 sq ft of floor space features floorboards rescued from a skip, while an old windscreen from a lorry provided glass for the windows. With no central heating, you might think it would be a bit chilly, but he says the cob walls and thatched roof make it incredibly well insulated – and the ceiling is stuffed with sheep’s wool from a nearby farm to help keep the heat in further.”
Lots of excellent photos in the article. (Video is kind of dark.)
Read more at the source: Daily Mail
“Hello, I am writing you from Argentina. Three years ago I went to Cal Earth Foundation to take superadobe workshop. I started to build my home at the moment I came back. A lot of people where trying to start their own projects with the only help of a video from youtube. So, I started to give workshops, at this time I have almost 500 students in Chile (my birth country), Argentina (where I live with my familiy), and Bolivia.
We are transforming our superadobe home into a place to give all kind of workshops, earthbag building, cob, traditional adobe, and other topics like permaculture. I would like to appear in your List of Workshops.
The name we use for this new project is
Espiritu y Lluvia : Centro de Permacultura y Bioconstrucción Aplicada.
(Rain and Spirit: Permaculture and Bio-building Centre)
We are located in Huerta Grande, Cordoba, Argentina, South America. We offer workshops and training for building with earthbags and other traditional earth techniques and sustainable living practices. You can see our work in the web below. We can give accomodation for camping, and meals at the workshops. We receive people that can contribute with our job.
The contact mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
We speak english.(not advanced level..but we can manage it!)
María Loreto Retamales
cel. 54- 03548- 15432920 (Argentina)
búscanos en facebook: Superadobe del Sur
The Energy Minister, Bill Bennett, has recently approved BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), and announced a series of major price hikes for BC Hydro customers, totaling 25% over five years.
The response from many has been to complain, especially about the impact on people on low incomes, on BC’s schools and hospitals, and on a cooperative such as Catalyst Paper with its huge, multi-million dollar electricity bill, which is already tight to the bone financially.
The BC Sustainable Energy Association has long argued that a major decision of this kind should go before the BC Utilities Commission, where it can be subjected to independent, non-political scrutiny and analysis. It has been clear to us for many years that BC Hydro’s rates needed to rise. Our own analysis in 2012 showed the need for a 53% price rise by 2017, leveling off at an annual 2% to cover the price of inflation.
So is the current rate hike high enough? Almost certainly not. BC Hydro’s deferral account balances are growing, and sooner or later there will have to be higher rate increases to pay back the growing debt. When the rate is set too low to cover BC Hydro’s expenditures, even after serious staffing cuts, it creates a disincentive for people in homes, schools, hospitals and businesses to bother whether they leave the lights or the heat on, and it creates a psychological disincentive to invest in an efficiency upgrade even if it pays for itself over a number of years.
Similarly, when the true value of the electricity we use is underpriced, we are shunting the additional cost down the road to younger people, expecting them to pick up the bill for our energy-use today. Because of our price-denial today, we can expect another round of price increases after the next provincial election in 2017, again starting at 9% and falling to 3% in convenient time for the 2021 election.
So what should a financially honest rate increase be? It was precisely to answer this kind of question through a thorough, cross-questioned analysis that the BC Utilities Commission was established as an independent regulatory agency.
The same argument applies to the proposed Site C Dam, on the Peace River near Hudson Hope. By approving BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan on Tuesday the government gave its blessing to BC Hydro’s $8 billion cost estimate for the dam.
If the dam goes over budget, as every mega-project does these days by an average of 25%, the additional burden will fall on BC Hydro’s future ratepayers. When the Wuskwatim dam in northern Manitoba was at a similar stage of planning in 2005 its estimated construction cost was $988 million. When it was complete, the actual cost was $1.8 billion, almost 50% higher.
And yet the lurking financial realities of the Site C Dam are also being protected from public scrutiny by the government’s refusal to allow the project to go before the Utilities Commission.
Would it be cheaper and make more sense to obtain the power we need from wind turbines in the northeast? Maybe. Do the Site C assumptions allow for the explosion of solar power that can be expected after 2020 when solar prices will have fallen far enough to make it a self-financing option? Maybe.
But without an independent, impartial third-party analysis by the BCUC, however, we have no means of knowing.
Bruce's report gives details on the design and installation of the new pump, and on how the economics is working out. The drop in PV module prices in the 6 years since the system was installed, the payback period would now be substantially shorter.
|Two 170 watt PV panels in series drive the DC motor pool pump|
The installation is simple consisting of only the two 170 watt PV panels (above), a controller, and the DC powered pool pump itself. Given the efficiency of DC pumps and the minimal losses its a very efficient setup.
|The new pool pump -- the controller is visible on|
the wall behind the pump
Two speed AC pool pumps run for longer periods at lower speeds also appear to offer a larger saving in electricity at a modest initial cost.
I've added a small section on powering pool pumps efficiently that includes Bruce's PV powered pump as well as some other ideas on efficient pool pumps. If you have any other ideas or thoughts, lets hear them.