Have you heard about pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PHS)?
The idea is simple - when you have an energy windmill that produces a surplus, you can use this electricity to power a water pump and collect the water in a water tank. When there is no wind, or you have an increased demand, you can release this water though turbines to produces extra electric power. This is also called a "natural battery".
While we had the molds, which we used to build a biogas digester, we decided to put them to use again, and built such a water tower. We look forward to see the results our experiment will give. Whatever happens, we have a good water storage for irrigation! And definitely a new Suderbyn's sight.
It has been almost 2 years since the Simone storm destroyed the cover on our Geodesic Dome. Ever since, we have puzzled over how to make a new and better cover, as well as to adapt the Dome for more efficient vegetable production.
Earlier this summer, we launched our new Dome project, which would include restoration of the cover, and a whole set of sustainable technologies: a micro biogas digester - to produce energy out of food- and agricultural waste; Jean Pain compost - to heat the digester during the cold months; annualized geo-solar - a system that would store excess summer heat under the floor and return it back into the greenhouse during the cold winter months; and an aeroponics system for growing vegetables - to utilize the space inside the Dome efficiently.
A group of 8 volunteers invited by IAL and 3 courageous helpers from our sister-ecovillage community Arterra in Spain made a great effort in starting this immense work during a summer workcamp between July 15 and August 4. As a result, we have dug up the floor and filled it with pipe that will carry the solar heat under ground and lose it into the stone floor; built an insulation wall around to prevent heat leaving the greenhouse; and built the digester, which is now almost ready to be used.
During the upcoming months, we will post updates and pictures on the further progress.
What's happening in the ecovillage? What projects are we running at the moment? Here you can follow our work and find out about exciting news and events!