Tag Archives: Appropriate Technology

Ram pump construction at Paliomylos.

Hydraulic ram pumps are mechanical devices that employ the water hammer effect to pump water without using any engine, neither electric or combustion.

The University of Warwick in the UK developed a series of ram pump models that can be built with materials commonly used in any workshop. They are basically pieces used in irrigation systems. Here in Rovies, they were building one to gradually introduce more sustainable systems in the olive production. I joined the team that was doing the work, and here is the result.

Paliomylos Ram Pump 1113.jpg

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Small PVC ram pump, the “Rampampita”.

Ram pumps can be built in multiple ways. There are industrial, made with materials and advanced technology, but can also be built with simple, reused materials and do not require the use of a workshop or specialized tools. To pump a minimum amount of water, we can use standard parts pvc those used in water supply installations. In Paliomylos we did the experiment to see if it would be possible to irrigate the future edible forest with a small hydraulic ram pump that brings water from the canal to a reservoir at the upper end of the plot about 10 vertical meters of the channel.

Paliomylos Rampampita.jpg

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Improving the heating system at Paliomylos.

An immediate objective to overwinter in humanly tolerable thermal conditions was to improve the heating system of the house. The place used for the waterfall coming from the channel to the old mill wheel, was converted into a big fireplace. The only problem is that however much you make fire, heat escapes through the flue, and only the first meter around the fireplace get some heat. On the other hand, air currents due to incorrect adjustment of doors and windows, fed the huge chimney draft, and bring cold air into the house. The solution: better insulation, confine the fire to retain heat and control the draft and create a convective hot air system to fill up the room. As a bonus, the system will allow cooking and heating water for domestic use in the future.

Paliomylos Estufa.jpg

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KAÑA!!! biomass gasification cookstove. Construction and use video tutorial.

It is time to build a biomass gasification cookstove. With this tutorial you can do it in an easy and cheap way. You can adapt the instructions to the materials you have, or you can find or acquire. There is no overly critical parameter. If you make modifications and does not work 100%, adjust and modify to achieve better results experimentally.

The tutorial teaches us how to build a biomass gasifier cookstove called Kaña!!!, Version 1.0, and includes:

  • An explanatory text which lists the material necessary to perform it.
  • The needed tools list.
  • Assembly instructions.
  • A video recorded during the biomass gasification course I did in Sunseed which shows all the steps to follow.
  • The instructions for use.
  • A video about the success story of Lucia, who built the Lucificador and got the absolute record of burning time with a powerful flame for 35 minutes using 350 gr. of dry cane.
  • A section with miscellaneous information.
Construcción de hornillo de gasificación de biomasa para cocinar. Building a biomass gasifier cookstove.

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Appropriate Technology Dept. Sunseed activities August 2013

On August we have dealt with the consolidation of the two projects we have in place: the  biomass gasification cookstove and the solar oven. There have been many volunteers who participated, each making a small contribution or many hours of design, action, observation, correction and enthusiasm. Both projects are an example of appropriate technology, as we reuse materials and apply simple construction techniques. They are everyday tools for cooking using renewable energy and having, therefore, a low environmental impact.


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