Bring Solar C³ITIES home and community scale biodigestion to your community!

This build at Mike Rimoin´s student housing co-op in Seattle, was Solar CITIES 20th biodigester build.

A modified Solar CITIES digestor using HDPE reactor with solar heat exchanger as reactor and 55 gallon drum telescoping gas collectors. Starter material is elephant dung and manure from 27 other species of animal from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, courtesy of horticulturist David Selk and Dan Corum a.ka. "Dr. Doo"

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.

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.

 First Bio-Gas Digester In Palestine.

The aim of this project is to use the Biogas in our Arial Home Initiative, and to use this model as an educational model for the Palestinian Communities to encourage them thinking in using this system. Incorporation with Wildlife Society Palestine and the Us-Consulate EWB-Palestine with a help from the American expert Thomas Culhane created the first Biogas system in Palestine.

"Flame On" -- Biogas in the 'Hood demonstrated by Alvaro Silva, director of Solar South Central and Los Angeles colleague of Solar CITIES, bringing renewable energy systems to the Latino community.

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:

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.

The second "Solar CITIES experimental all-climate biodigester" (the first in Egypt)

The system is built from three identical IDB Tote HDPE tanks. To the rear one can just make out the biodigester itself. The top of the digester is connected by 1/2 inch clear plastic tubing to the top-side of the water displacement tank (WDT) . Water from this tank is forced by gas coming from the digester out of a length of clear 1/2" plastic tubing from the bottom of this tank that loops over the top of the WDT into the sump (20 gallon plastic garbage bucket in the foreground).  The more gas is forced in the more water is forced out until the sump is about 3/4 full.

This is where it all began for us, building ARTI style digestors in the impoverished areas of Darb Al Ahmar and Manshiyet Nasser in Cairo, Egypt in early 2009


Home scale biogas at home. This is where it all began for Solar CITIES co-founder T.H. Culhane when he built his own household biodigester on the family porch in Essen after returning from his first visit to India in January 2009 where he learned about the ARTI India system. Today the Culhane has three biodigesters on the porch -- one ARTI style made from a 500 liter and a 300 liter water barrel and two 1000 liter IBC systems that Culhane innovated himself.


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