SunFire fights energy poverty in Africa with parabolic solar kits

July 6, 2016 by  
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The main element of the new Clean Energy Kits is the SunFire12 parabolic cooker . Measuring nearly four feet wide, the cooker concentrates sunlight onto a focal point, where black pots or pans best suited to absorb heat are placed. SunFire says it takes 12 minutes to boil 0.3 gallons (or one liter) of water. This might seem like a lot of time to westerners accustomed to easy energy access, but the additional time spent cooking comes with the benefit of being free and clean. One cooker can easily provide a meal for up to six people, according to the company, requires no maintenance, and boasts a 10-year lifespan. In communities the SunFire folks have visited, local people have told them, “the trees are running away from us”. They’re alluding to deforestation sweeping across Africa as demand for cooking fuel increases alongside population growth. Addressing this, the SunFire Rocket converts “small amounts of food into large pots of food.” Using 50 percent less fuel than a standard wood-burning device and “virtually smokeless,” the Rocket is said to be South Africa’s most efficient wood-burning stove. It is included in the kit for use on days when the sun doesn’t shine. Related: Solar Sister empowers women to bring solar energy to rural Africa Completing their Clean Energy Kits are insulated SunBags, or heat retained bags, which can be used to complete the food-cooking process without using fuel, thereby conserving resources. SunFire says their bags save time for other activities and money, retain nutrients and flavor, and act as “bush fridges” in places that lack electricity to keep food cool. Menzies told Inhabitat, “SunFire believes the best way to make Solar Cookers more accessible is by inspiring entrepreneurs to create small Solar Cooker businesses in their own communities.” This would make a difference at the grassroots level and create new jobs in rural areas. “It still seems incredible to me that there are 3 billion people or just over half the world’s population forced to use firewood to cook when Solar Cookers can easily do the job,” he said. “I aim to spend my life making the tech more readily available where it’s most needed and created SunFire to change the world one meal at a time.” + SunFire Solutions

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SunFire fights energy poverty in Africa with parabolic solar kits

These are the world’s best buildings

July 6, 2016 by  
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BIG’s Hualien Residences BIG’s Hualien Residences in Taiwan are mountainous structures covered in landscape strips that bring the mountains to the beach. The project hopes to encourage a healthy lifestyle for the complex’s elderly residents with walking paths and underground jogging paths. Green roofs minimize heat gain and the landscaping strips help to block the most intense sun of the day. The project is still in progress and has already been nominated for the 2014 MIPIM Awards. Burnazzi Feltrin’s Community Center The Community Center in Poggio Picenze by Burnazzi Feltrin Architetti was built to replace a building damaged in a 2009 earthquake in Italy. The center honors the characteristics of the original building while adding modern elements that make it a nature-inspired social space. The building is covered in larch wood with a green roof in a zig-zag shape that evokes the cracks caused by the earthquake. Zaha Hadid’s Messner Mountain Museum Set on a steep mountainside in Corones, Zaha Hadid’s dramatic Messner Mountain Museum resembles a Bond villain lair. But the mountaintop museum is actually a stunning space where people can learn about mountain geology, traditions and culture – all at an astonishing 7,500 feet above sea level. The museum actually tunnels through the mountain, with one volume emerging out of the mountain’s face. WAA’s Yellow River Art Museum The Art Museum in Yinchuan, China evokes the flowing lines of the Yellow River. We Architect Anonymous wanted to highlight the local environment and the river’s rich ecological history by giving the building a layered aesthetic inspired by the surrounding hills and river. To accomplish this, WAA used glass fiber-reinforced concrete. 3deluxe’s Butterfly Pavilion 3deluxe created the whimsical butterfly pavilion as a home for over 500 butterfly species. A golden façade made out of 4,000 aluminum leaves covers a glass cube, helping to regulate the interior climate while evoking the look of butterflies in flight. The 3D-Printed Office of the Future This year, Killa Design, along with Gensler, created the world’s first fully 3D-printed office . Dubbed the Office of the Future, the building was assembled in just 17 days and comes with all the amenities needed for a comfortable, safe work environment. It also happens to save 50 percent on labor costs, which proves that the future of construction is going to be pretty incredible. Zaha Hadid’s University of Oxford extension Zaha Hadid’s modern extension at the University of Oxford provides the perfect counterbalance to the school’s Victorian-era buildings. The reflective volume meanders through the campus and around an existing sequoia tree, changing height and width to accommodate the buildings around it. Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett Foster + Partner’s Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett building is a place where people impacted by cancer can find peace and refuge. The design was created to “lift the spirits” and help people heal with natural light and plenty of greenery. Sliding glass doors let the outside in, and an airy, glass exterior brings the healing properties of sunlight into the space. The hospital can also use the space to grow flowers and produce for patients. Byens Bro Cycling Bridge Gottlieb Paludan Architects’s Byens Bro bridge is an elegant solution that lifts pedestrians and cyclists above the railway tracks at Odense’s train station. The bridge’s sweeping lines and streamlined aesthetics frame it as a natural part of the urban landscape. Hanazono Kindergarten Located on a Japanese island 250 miles off the coast of Taiwan, Hanazono Kindergarten is a beautiful building design by Hibinosekkei + Youji no Shiro to withstand the region’s dangerous typhoons. The building’s facade is made from steel-reinforced concrete blocks with hollow centers that allow light to filter into the school. Foster + Partners’ Crossrail Place Crossrail Place is a seven-story train station topped with a flourishing garden in London’s Canary Wharf. The project’s most remarkable feature is its 1,000-foot timber awning, which is studded with triangular ETFE cushions that allow light to filter down to the the plants below. Tzannes’ Irving Street Brewery Tzannes Associates built a tri-generation power plant atop an old beer brewery in Sydney to provide power and hot and cold water to the surrounding buildings. The plant’s three zinc towers contrast beautifully with the brewery’s existing red brickwork Omicron Campus by Dietrich | Untertrifaller Get ready for a serious case of office envy. Dietrich | Untertrifaller’s Omicron Campus is an amazing workspace filled with luminous pods, copious daylighting, and a show-stopping sculptural wood staircase that stretches from one story to the next. Shinsegae International by Olson Kundig Located in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Shinsegae International is a 15-story skyscraper topped with a vibrant roof garden. Olson Kundig designed the project to provide office and retail space for South Korea’s oldest and largest importer of luxury fashion. + World Architecture Festival

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How to Build a Rocket Stove Water Heater (Video)

September 22, 2011 by  
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Image credit: Ecofilms Australia If you like this ingenious low-work chicken tunnel garden system , then you’ll most likely dig this footage from the same folks of a DIY water heater using rocket stove principles. Burning scraps of wood and tree prunings efficiently, this low tech design provides on-demand hot water with low emissions using basic craftsmanship and reclaimed materials. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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10 eco friendly stoves designed to reduce environmental pollution

August 27, 2011 by  
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C.S. Akhila: Oorja cooking stove Oorja cooking stove with fuel pellets From the conventional Chulhas used in villages to the more widely used LPG stoves in the cities, emission of greenhouse gases is one of the greatest of concerns of today. Though LPG stoves are said to be most convenient and cause less pollution, studies have shown that these stoves emit 15 times more CO2 than wood and kerosene. LPG contains propane, butane, unsaturated propylene, and butylenes liquefied under high pressure. It is to be kept in mind that even small amount leaks of LPG can be hazardous to the environment. People are increasingly adopting more eco-friendly ways of cooking that reduce environmental pollution, more economical and fuel efficient. 1. Oorja Stove One such environment friendly stove designed by the Indian Institute of Science is the “Oorja stove”. This stove has been proved to be almost smokeless, more efficient, and cheaper in terms of cost when compared to LPG. The fuel is obtained from agricultural waste like bagasse, groundnut husk, or cotton stalks. These wastes are highly compressed and made into pellets which the Oorja stove burns efficiently using an innovative gasification process. Today, over 4,75,000 homes use the Oorja stove across villages in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. 2. Rocket Stove The “Rocket Stove” is an ecofriendly stove designed by a Japanese health researcher Junji Takano that is not only easy to use but also easy to make and is cost effective. Junji managed to create this “green” stove using large tin cans riveted to the ground. According to Junji, it has high heat transfer capacity causing less pollution which means less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere in comparison with a conventional stove. Apparently this Rocket stove is 60% less fuel than the other usual stoves. By using just 500 g of cardboard, one can cook 6 cups of rice and 2 kinds of dishes using this stove. 3. Eco Fire Pot stove “Eco Fire Pot stove” is an environment-friendly stove for a healthy life. Adama Karma is a natural therapist who believes in living close to nature was the one to design this stove. This stove can be made from scrap metals, clay or bricks according to the consumer’s requirements. It looks like a usual LPG stove with two burners with fuel enriched under the burner. Adama claims the fuel to be made from waste vegetable oil mixed with methanol or ethanol and wood ash. The stove can burn for six hours. It turns out that this stove does not emit anything which is harmful if inhaled and is also cost efficient. 4. Score “Score” is yet another ecofriendly stove which uses 1 kg of fuel per hour (wood or dung) created by the researchers of University of Nottingham. The stove is designed not only to produce heat but the heat so produced also gets converted to acoustic energy which in turn is converted to electricity with a linear alternator. This dual purpose stove ensures reduced fuel consumption by three times over traditional stoves and the electrical energy generated can charge 12 V battery, or provide mains AC voltage. Score project has proved to be successful in the rural areas of Kenya, Uganda, and Nepal. 5. Ecofriendly Cooking Stove for Bamburi Moving mountains trust has introduced an environment friendly stove with back boilers which produces hot water as a by-product of their cooking. The stove which is made from clay has a narrow opening to introduce wood as the fuel and a uniquely shaped hob to ensure least heat dissipation. The specially designed stove minimizes fuel consumption, requiring less wood collection and emits very less smoke minimizing bronchial problems. Though this was made specifically for the villagers of Bamburi, it will be a better alternative for traditional Chullas used in other villages. 6. Solar Stove Solar stoves work by harnessing UV radiation from the sun ad converting it to heat. In a country like India with tropical climate, harnessing solar energy is a smart way to control pollution. Though you cannot cook at night and cloudy whether conditions, by resorting to solar stoves as an alternative to LPG or other conventional cooking stoves in rural as well as urban areas (which would be most of the day time), pollution can be curtailed to a great extent. 7. Kenya Ceramic Jiko “Kenya Ceramic Jiko” (KCJ), designed by the efforts of some local and international agencies has become a widely used stove in Africa. It has a unique hour-glass shape different from a traditional jiko allowing maximum heat to be utilized. Also it encompasses a ceramic liner which helps in increasing efficiency at least by 1/4th compared to a traditional jiko. Also, it has been shown to reduce fuel usage by 30-50%. 8. Eco-Chulha The “Eco-Chulha” is yet another stove introduced by Abellon Clean Energy with the motive to provide cleaner solution to counter cooking smoke. The Eco-Chulha is a community stove especially designed to facilitate large scale cooking. It uses “Pellexo” which is a carbon-free pellet-fuel made from forest and agricultural residues. The stove is convenient to use, produces very little smoke devoid of carbon and allows faster cooking which reflects its heat efficiency. 9. Enviro-fuels Stove Enviro-fuels stove will soon hit the market, designed by Enviro Fuels Manufacturing Inc. of Florida. Though, it uses coal as the fuel, they acclaim that the stove is designed to produce maximum heat efficiency and maximum fuel combustion. The company’s president and CEO, Larry Hunt, explained that the fuel produces temperatures as high as or higher than 500 degree Celsius. 10. Electric Cooking Stoves Electric cooking stoves are a great alternative to LPGs in urban areas considering the fact that it does not produce any smoke. The time taken for cooking is faster using an electric cooker. No carbon-dioxide emission means no pollution. Although it has its own disadvantages of cost of electricity consumption, for those who can afford it, it’s a great alternative ensuring cleaner cooking. Resorting to such eco-friendly stoves and eco-sensitive ways of cooking will make a large difference in the years to come.

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