Basic training opportunities in small scale biogas build confidence and familiarity with biogas before launching into a larger community size build.
3 IBC Water Displacement System
December of 2011 saw the rhizomal effect of Solar CITIES biogas builds reach ever further -- from a chance encounter in Nairobi to a workshop in Slovakia, within a few months we were in Budapest giving a workshop to see if we could extend the gift of home scale biogas to the Roma -- the gypsies who have been so disenfranchised and abused throughout Eastern Europe.
On September 25, 2011 we completed a 3 IBC Solar CITIES Biodigester build in the mountain village of Zazriva in Slovakia with the Catholic Youth Group "Dobrej Noviny".
Then we put everything on a trailer and brought it to the home of one of the coordinators of the program for daily use.
Culhane met the leaders of the Catholic Development Agency Dobra Novina (http://www.dobranovina.sk/) in the Mukuru Slum in Nairobi when we were building our digester for the MAC school. In September of 2011 they invited him to give a workshop at their retreat in Zazriva. One of the highlights was the initiation ritural when we were filling the digester tank with manure -- the girls on the team, after a talk about microbiome theory and the idea that God speaks to us trough his Creation, plunged their hands in the cow manure and began
As a result of our Slovakia workshop, we held a biogas building workshop in Budapest, where I demonstrated the Solar CITIES IBC system for colder climates and enjoyed the crowd sourcing, collective intelligence nature of the participants, who came up with many great ideas for improvements!
When local pizza restaurant owner Brian Wildrick and his team Todd Blaisdale and Stan, learned from us and the high school students about the technology for turning their kitchen garbage into fertilizer for their fresh tomatoes and fuel to heat the tomato sauce, we and the students built a system with them at Harborside Pizza, creating the first commercial application of the technology which they talk about on their facebook page.
At the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 the Culhanes joined Dr. Katey Walter Anthony and her husband Peter Anthony and high school science teacher Adam Low and built an experimental biogas set up in a 40 ft. conex container in the back of Cordova High School, using the 3 IBC system that Culhane, Fathy and Rimoin had designed at Sekem in Egypt in preparation for bringing small scale biogas to colder climates.
Alvaro is the "poster-boy" for the success of the "green collar immigrant job training" concept; as a graduate of Trade Tech College's renewable energy program and of T.H. Culhane's early "Eutopia" Class at Jefferson High School in the 1990s where he worked with Culhane on electric and alternative fuel car conversions and green building and solar energy construction. Alvaro worked for Real Goods and for Photovoltaic Installation companies throughout California and now runs his own business in the construction/green retrofit trades and making instructional videos for the hispanic community.
In late 2009 after developing our Solar CITIES IBC-based biogas system in Cairo, Egypt in anticipation for building in cold climates, we went to Alaska to experiment with psychrophilic microbial biodigesters in IBC tanks.
Read more about the project here: http://www.freewheelings.com/cordova-alaska-biogas-digester-project/
It was here at the Sekem farm and science school outside of Cairo Egypt that Thomas Culhane, Hanna Fathy and Solar CITIES intern Mike Rimoin deployed their invention of the open-source solar heated 3 IBC Solar CITIES Biodigester, perhaps the first use of IBCs for biogas in the world. Culhane felt it necessary to build a biogas system out of IBCs because he had just won a National Geographic Emerging Explorer's Blackstone Ranch Innovation Challenge Grant with Dr.