Appropriate Technology

DATES: May 1st, 2017 to May 25th, 2017

The Appropriate Technology Series is a four-week course designed to empower students with the ability to implement simple, energy-saving technologies in the home, on the farm or in the field.  From solar cookers to methane digesters; rocket stoves to off-grid electrical systems, this four-week course delves into the science of sustainability while teaching the practical skills necessary for applying these technologies in the real world. This course will also be appropriate for those exploring new, green vocations in sustainability. By working with professionals in the field, students will be exposed to potential career pathways in appropriate technology and beyond. Take the series as a whole or choose week-by-week depending on your interest.


The course covers a skill-building class in the metal arts. The use and manipulation of metal is an important ability when fabricating the structure of technology. Specifically this session will cover the basics of metal fabrication: layout, cutting, welding (both electric and gas,) and finishing. During this week students will be manufacturing components for future projects. If you do not have previous metal working experience this segment is a pre-requisite for the remaining course segments.  More info…


Aprovecho is one of the global leaders in the design, testing and implementation of fuel-efficient wood burning stoves.   Taught by our team of leading international consultants this session will cover a variety of biomass-based cooking technologies including Rocket Stoves, TLUDs, charcoal stoves, fan stoves, and gassifiers.  Students will be studying the science of combustion, and then design and construct stoves for multiple applications including but not limited to a griddle stove, pot stove and oven.  Other topics covered during this week include making insulative ceramics, basic brick laying, international consultancy, and stove testing.  More info…


The suns energy is free.  The suns energy is everywhere.  Efficiently capturing the sun’s free energy is an important skill for the appropriate technologist.  Using solar design principles and simple techniques, this session will construct several solar technologies used at Aprovecho over the past thirty years.  Specific technologies will include: solar hot-water, solar ovens and cookers, solar dehydration and solar design for buildings.  More info…


This session is an in depth study of code compliant off-grid electrical and lighting systems applicable in the home, shop or anywhere else appropriate for a scaled electrical system.  Students will study the installation of off-grid electric power systems using multiple sources of renewable energy.  Skill building areas include principles of electricity, basic wiring, soldering, photo voltaics and safety.  The student should walk away with the confidence and ability to install their own off-grid electrical system.


In this section, we will discover practical methods of replacing grid tied machinery with human and water power. We will look at water wheels, and work on a variety of bike machines, such as a water pump, air compressor, oil press, and others.  This portion of the course will be focused on the repurposing of used bike parts in the creation of human-powered technologies building on skills developed in previous portions of the course.

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