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Natural Building & appropriate technology’s blog 03

Article Three of Natural Bldg and Appropriate Tech Internship

Today, we have learned the three universal laws of thermodynamics:

–       Conservation of energy

–       The disorder in the universe always increases

–      At 0 Kelvin or -273°C all molecular movement stops.

Tim Barker has also shared with us, his three universal laws:

–       It takes always more time than expected,

–       It costs always more money,

–       And we can always do a better job.

These three laws tell you that even with our Wednesday morning session we didn’t finish our solar oven! It has been a real learning lesson for me about how to work together efficiently and about not having too high of an expectation on what we are building. Anyway we are here for ten weeks so we will have the time to finish them after class.

Another interesting topic that has been brought up is the different non-electric cooling systems that one could have. Did you know that on average one third of a household electrical consumption is the cooling devises like fridges and freezers? Do we really need that many things going into a fridge? Definitely not, especially if we are seeking to decrease energy consumption in the future, where our electrical needs will need to be refocused on a more essential level. Here is a solution we came up with:

At 2 meters under ground, the average temperature is 15 degrees. So we could bring the cool of the ground through a cupboard. It is called a Natural Cold Cupboard where the air coming into a pipe through the ground is cooled (or more precisely losses its heat) by conduction and will pass through our food in the cupboard where it will cool the contents. A vent would be installed at the top of the cupboard through the ceiling and it can be painted black or have a vent to drawn the air from underground.

We also discussed evaporation and the concept of wind chill when understanding that human beings have designed an amazing range of different non-electric cooling systems before the invention of electricity and refrigeration.

Here is a picture of a cooling box. 

The yellow bucket is full of water, and will absorb through the piece of tissue.  Once this is wet, the wind passing through the box will take out the heat of the water and cool the whole system.

~Oscar Morand, 20 February 2013, Natural Building and Appropriate Technology Intern

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