Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Off-Grid in Uganda

Yesterday, Daniel Lugumya, the founder of a orphanage in Uganda that specializes in HIV/AIDS orphans, stopped by to chat about solar and wind solutions. Apparently, electric power is very sporadic and expensive in Kampala. We showed him our various solutions for generating power, explained how inverters and chargers work, and have decided to take on their mission as a joint project for Green-Trust and Woodhenge. Jim Juczak and I are planning a trip to Uganda in January to teach the kids how to build and maintain wind turbines, solar water heaters, and solar cookers. We gave him a inverter to take back to Uganda to run their PA system, dvd player and video projector for mobile video projection. If you would like to help with this project, please visit http://www.jcmuganda.org and donate funds for the wind turbine project. They will be grateful.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Trip to Woodhenge

We had a good time at Woodhenge this weekend. Jim Juczak, Al McMahon and friends brought back Al's yurt which we unloaded. Site prep for reconstruction will start shortly. I delivered my old AIR 303 which Jim is reconstructing with new coils, and a Cowboy Hot Tubs wood fired hot tub heater. We harvested a bunch of veggies from Jim's organic garden, and discussed the future growth of both Green-Trust and Woodhenge. Phil prepared some awesome quiche and peach pie, as well as other wonderful organic meals. Jim is helping us plan our new well and cistern upgrades. I also worked on the new Woodhenge Website, so there is content now and Jim and Krista know how to update it. The new timberframe cabin will be setup soon, as well as new wind turbines, so check them out often.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Al McMahon - Autonomous Housing


It has been a while since we have had activity with this program and I am sorry.

This is a long term program.

Here are a few of the connections that I have been able to keep going during this quiet time

1) Green Drinks in Syracuse. A meeting of people who are builders, architects, students and designers that meet on the 3rd Thursday every month at Colemans to talk about common interests. These groups exist in many cities in New York. (further?)

2) Ithaca Green Hub. A group of green leaning individuals using the excellent resources in Ithaca to create a place where individuals and businesses can come and actually learn how to go green and have access and training to new materials and programs. A real starting point!

3) Some students are resubmitting the paperwork to SUNY Oswego for recognition of Autonomous Housing as a student group this semester and we are looking to engage on a deeper level then before. With students driving this it will gain momentum.

In addition Jim Juczak, Dick Degraff, the land trust and Steve Spence are wonderful resources of people and places where we can get hands on experiences and see real world applications of the ideas we are looking at!!

This is not a short term project and I do wish I had kept communications going more frequently. I appreciate your understanding and I will work at keeping more data flowing. I am looking at doing a blog but I want to keep the email communications up as well.

One of the things missing is a complete calendar of greenish events in Central NY and a way to plot the resources we have available. It is a project I want to work on over this winter.

We are moving the pieces of the Yurt from Fulton to Jim's Saturday. If anybody would like to help with this project pleeeeaaase let us know.

Thanks again, and please email me to let me know you are still getting these!

Best Regards.

Al McMahon
Autonomous Housing

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Work Weekend at Woodhenge

About 8 people are showing up at various times from Thursday through Sunday to work on a variety of projects around here. Harvesting the garden, burying wires, building cabin, finishing outhouses, drinking 15 gallons of homemade beer, the last half gallon of hard cider, developing a permaculture plan for the property, you know, things like that.

We're also planning on picking up Al McMahon's yurt in Fulton, NY, picking blackberries, and listening to a folk guitar player.

For more info, email Jim Juczak .

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Slab Wood Siding & LED's

Saturday, Luray Martin and I sided the previously open sided woodshed with slabwood from his brother's sawmill, and lit it up with LED's wired to our home's battery bank. We wired sets of four 20ma 3.6 volt 120k mcd LED's in series, giving enough light for getting wood, starting the emergency generator, or otherwise navigating in the dark.

Based on the calculator at http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz, we used a single 1 ohm resistor in series with the 4 LED's. Our LED's see 14.4 volts while the battery bank is charging, have a diode forward voltage of 3.6 volts, and a diode forward current of 20ma.

The wizard says:
  • each 1 ohm resistor dissipates 0.4 mW
  • the wizard says the color code for 1 is brown black gold
  • the wizard thinks 1/4W resistors are fine for your application
  • together, all resistors dissipate 0.4 mW
  • together, the diodes dissipate 288 mW
  • total power dissipated by the array is 288.4 mW
  • the array draws current of 20 mA from the source.

More LED info.