August 24, 2015
We had a co-op work party up in the creek to create a better protected pool for the inlet of the gravity water system. We had about 20 people show up and assist in moving boulders in the creek, which we used to fill between two large rocks on either side of the creek. Basically moved literally tons of rock using community power.
I also gave a demonstration of the Ben Linder device. Everyone was amazed and happy, and saw for themselves we were getting over 80 kPa of Vacuum (25 inches) which is really good for a system with one moving part, and that runs for free off of ambient energy…..
Some in the village had claimed that it couldn’t be possible, or that it was bullshit. Now there are a lot of happy campers who know otherwise……that I am working towards a system that will change food and economic dynamics here for everyone in these mountains.
If they work together and put in copy cat systems, thousands of people can have better lives.
I am hoping to eventually get Crowd Source funding to get booted up with tools appropriate to helping this happen, so I can have a crew that builds systems of all sizes and gets them up and running.
I am also working on an improved design, with a fabricated steel Linder head that will be affordable, more efficient, and last for generations. And I am also working on ways to adapt the system to varying supply flow rates and various drop tube distances etc.
Also I am working around the inevitable minor bugs that I’ve found. This is normal in any first off design process. I am trying to make it all automatic and still stay simple, and use available common resources so it can be copied by anyone.
It was personally very rewarding to me to see all my neighbors grinning in astonishment when I opened the valve and the system came up to speed in seconds, make impressively powerful noises, start whistling with suction, and then to see the gauge climb rapidly and top out at over 80 kPa, and hold steady. Actually the real numbers are higher due to being at over 3600 ft of altitude. And I think I can milk a bit more out of an improved model now that I’ve gotten to see and measure the variables accurately.
What I found really rewarding was that even the illiterates in the group could understand how it worked, and knew they could easily build similar systems.
You dont need an engineering degree for this one. Its about as complicated as a flush toilet in its physics…
Anyway, the guys are working on the building site for the small processing plant, its mostly done after a couple of weeks of pick hoeing. I am planning on a quonset hut like building, using Tami’s Harbor Freight tubing roller, to roll large diameter conduit, and cover the arches with corrugated roofing, to create a strong and affordable building that can stand the local winds….
I am planning on setting up processing in plastic buckets that we drill holes in, that slide into the angled chambers, and want to have enough chambers to do 32 bucket batches..
I also am thinking about ways to heat the chambers using Solar and propane to bring the temperature up to the 130F-140F boiling temp at 80 plus kPa of vacuum.
I am thinking to fabricate up steel caps for both ends of 15 inch city water main, and do a pipe loop thru the chambers that doubles as a set of rails the buckets rest on. and do these with large enough diameters to thermo-syphon from the heat supply. which can be a solar flat plate or focusing collector, or a small propane burner…
My goal is as passive a system as I can design and build. And one that can do serious production. I want it to make money for the co-op and growers, so that others will build similar systems.
So, it was a defining moment of my life, to see the happy faces of people given hope of better lives for themselves and their children. And it was an honor to accept the Co-op’s hand written letter of appreciation for Paul Uy of Walnut California, who’s heart and generosity made it possible. Paul has helped start another “One Straw Revolution”, and even Tami was emotionally affected taking the letter.
Faith and generosity can change the world. And I am looking forward to explaining to my English students that we got good results, and are going forward with the construction and vacuum chambers end of the project. Tami did get some photos and a video of me explaining to the people in Spanish how it worked. Hopefully we can find someone computer literate enough to volunteer help us get it on you tube.
We will also do a video of the building and chamber system, so it will be possible to spread this idea planet wide.
I also explained the Ben Linder story to these people. That the system was named after a fellow Oregonian who had been killed by his own government by proxy war when he was only helping others less fortunate. Oregon is highly represented in the peace corps etc. We believe that a better world requires doing it yourself, and in places the vanity heads rarely go.
People in Central America know this. They all have known volunteers from Oregon.
Let Ben Linders legacy not be forgotten…….