Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guatemala Water, with Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC)

The Appropriate Technology Collaborative: Designs that Work

Women Still Carry the Burden When Water is Scarce

ATC and Engineers Without Borders, Rutgers University, Work With the Local Comite de Agua to Redesign Water Supply in Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan , Dept. of Solola, Guatemala...


The Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC)
1100 North Main Street, Suite 107
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Tel: 734.668.4811
Email: info (at)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuaca:

Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan is a village in the northwest corner of the Sololá department of Guatemala, about 169 km (105 miles) west of Guatemala City. The village (not be confused with Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, see below) is along both Guatemalan Highway 3 and Central American Highway CA-1. The village has a population of around 4000 people[1] and is approximately 3048 meters (10,000 feet) above sea-level. The village is known for its Mayan culture, including traditional Mayan weavings created with a back-strap loom.

Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan is a relatively young village. The village was formed in 1998, when 60%[2] of the village of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan was destroyed by large landslides during Hurricane Mitch and residents decided to establish a new village on higher ground.[3] Although the decision to move was made by the community, the federal government provided some assistance and infrastructure funding, including for houses and paved roads.[3]

International Involvement

Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan has attracted attention from numerous international non-profits in recent years. The Rutgers University branch of Engineers Without Borders is currently (2011) re-designing and repairing the village's water supply system, with scheduled completion by summer 2011.[4] Additionally, the Ann Arbor-based non-profit Appropriate Technology Collaborative has been leading student project teams from Rutgers, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University to work on energy, water, and health issues in the village since 2007.[5] All projects are available online at no cost.



Keywords: Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC), Engineers Without Borders Rutgers, Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, Ixtahuacan Water Project

Full Belly Project

Full Belly Project
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Full Belly Project Ltd is a non-profit organization based out of Wilmington, North Carolina, which designs labor-saving devices to improve the lives of people in developing communities. Their main devices are the Universal Nut Sheller (UNS) and the Rocker Water Pump. The first device, the UNS, they designed was a peanut sheller but, farmers started using it for other crops. The UNS is now used for coffee, jatropha, neem, and shea in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Since 2009, their research has been focused on designing a water pump [and many more products]. (more)

Full Belly Project Website:

Sustainable Living /

Reposted from: Sustainable Living
Collecting resources and success stories in sustainability

Solar Bottle Bulbs - Example of Appropriate Technology

Here's an astonishingly simple affordable way to bring lights to poor people. Fill a liter pop bottle with water and bleach and place it snugly in the roof of a shack. And presto you have the equivalent of a 55 watt light bulb as the water refracts the light 360 degrees. The bleach keeps the water clear for about 5 years. A Philippine organization called Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light), a sustainable lighting project, is teaching people how to make the Solar Bottle Bulb. …
Continue reading Solar Bottle Bulbs - Example of Appropriate Technology

Appropriate Technology

a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities.


See also:

10 Steps to Sustainability:

gerrit, 2011-07-29

Appropriate Technology Movement

I want to look into "Appropriate Technology." Students at MIT helped develop the Solar Bottle Bulb lots more.

The Rise of the Appropriate Technology Movement Summary ...
Betz, Matthew J., Patrick J. McGowan, and Rolf T. Wigand. Appropriate Technology: Choice and Development. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1984. ...


Home made solar water bag pool heater - updated

Uploaded by magic76767676 on Aug 12, 2009

Home made 10' x 3' solar water bag system for heating pools. It's a stackable low cost inflatable solar panel system for heating pools without the need for a permanent structure, permits or home owner association approvals. It steals some of the water from a pool jet, heats in the sun and puts back into the pool. You can make one bag in an evening out of a commonly available heavy black plastic sheet and some common PVC parts that connect to garden hoses and low cost garden hose valves.

And another: Homemade Swimming Pool Solar Heating System, Uploaded by sihutchuk on Jul 30, 2010

The main issue is the use of normal garden hose. I am taking the view that I am heating a pool which is filled with fresh water and will be emptied after the season. The water is circulated through the hose only a limited number of times over the season, is raised in temperature only a few degrees during normal use and is not actively drunk. It is, after all, the same water you use to water your vegetables with.

It is important to use matt black paint to maximise the radiant heat capture. There is a noticeable increase in the pool temperature using these panels and turns swimming in it into a pleasurable experience.

If you slow the flow rate down and fill a bucket with it on a sunny day you'll see just how much heat is being added. It's quite easy to reach temperatures you could bathe or shower in. Each panel is probably the equivalent of a kettle continually heating water all day long - and that would be very expensive!

I run it at a reasonable flow rate so that the temperature at the return is raised to tepid. This reduces stress on the hose. There is no difference between adding a small amount of very hot water or a large amount of tepid water - the result on the mass of the pool water is precisely the same.

If you wanted to make this extendable to heating your domestic water the garden hose could be replaced by potable hosing (suitable for transporting drinkable water) or even copper piping.

Two easy solar light projects for $40

Two easy solar light projects for $40: 1. Solar Shed Light and 2. Solar Night Light
Uses for a $40.00 solar floodlight

YouTube. Uploaded by magic76767676 on Nov 10, 2009

Using a $40 solar flood light set, I added lights to the shed. The solar panel contains 3 rechargable AA batteries that last about 3 years. I used a second panel to replace the night lights in my house. The high intensity LED's I bought from Radio shack were too bright. I had to dim them to get a soft moonlight quality. HTSAB50-2

After a month the (outside) cables I made for the house didn't weather very well.  I ended up cutting the cables off the included lights and used them between the panel and the house attic. It's been running perfect. It's been very popular with visitors. In the shed, I just used the lights. Many months later it is still running with no problems.
magic76767676 1 year ago

An Apple a Day: Solar Bottle Light

Some more excellent photos of the solar bottle bulb project, from the blog "An Apple a Day: Solar Bottle Light"

"The materials to create one include: (1) 1.5 or 2 liter soda PET bottle, (2) corrugated sheets; and (3) water+chlorox+salt." (Note: I'm not sure about the salt, but water+chlorox+plastic bottle is correct)



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Solar Bottle Bulb Instructions (translated) = 50 watt bulb!

1. Watch both videos. These instructions are gleaned from the videos. Let us know how things work in real practice so the instructions can be updated.

PHILLIPINES (in English):

BRAZIL (in Spanish):

2. Start with squares of tin roofing material. Cut a hole smaller than the water bottle. It looks like about ½ inch or so smaller which are then cut into tabs which are bent upwards and the bottle is pushed up through the bottom of the square.

3. Fill the empty bottle with clean water and two capfuls of bleach. Close bottle with bottle cap. For faster filling, use a thin tube connected to the sink faucet to direct water into the bottle.

4. Caulk the bottle on both sides of the square piece of roofing material before installation, and let the caulk dry.

5. Mark the holes where you want the lights to be on the ceiling from inside house, and use a hole cutter to drill through the ceiling material and through the roof. Put two lines of bulbs down both sides of the room or as many lights as you want.

You can also cut the holes from the outside on top of the roof. Drill a pilot hole through the ceiling up through the roof, or use a chalk line and tape measure to transfer measurements from the ceiling onto the roof.

6. Cut the roof hole a bit larger than the bottle, so you can slide the bottle through. The square roofing plate will cover the hole later on. Use a hole saw, drill hole cutter attachment, or a metal cutting blade on a hand or electric saw.

7. Caulk the bottom of the square metal plate holding the empty bottle, and place the bottle in the hole. Press down to glue the square metal roofing plate into place.

8. Rivet or screw the plate down on all four corners.

9. Caulk all seams, rivets or screws, and coat the bottle cap with caulk to protect the cap from degradation from the sun’s rays.

10. Go inside, turn off any electric light in the room and see what happens!

11. Test roof for leaks after caulk is dry.

12. The Solar Water Bottle Light should last 2 to 5 years and give 50 watts of light.

Translation (google translate; not necessarily accurate):

1. Vea los videos. Estas instrucciones son recogidos de los videos. Háganos saber cómo funcionan las cosas en la práctica real de lo que las instrucciones se pueden actualizar.

2. Comience con cuadrados de material para techos de hojalata. Corte un agujero más pequeño que la botella de agua. Parece que alrededor de ½ pulgada o más pequeños que se cortan en las pestañas que están arriba se inclinó y la botella se empuja hacia arriba a través del fondo de la plaza.

3. Llena la botella vacía con agua limpia y dos tapones de lejía. Del frasco con la tapa de la botella. Para agilizar el llenado, la utilización de un tubo delgado conectado al grifo del fregadero de agua directamente en la botella.

4. Masilla de la botella en ambos lados de la pieza cuadrada de material de cubierta antes de la instalación, y dejar que la masilla seca.

5. Marque los agujeros en la que desea que las luces se en el techo de la casa de adentro, y el uso de un cortador de agujero para perforar el material del techo y por las nubes. Poner dos líneas de focos a ambos lados de la habitación o como las luces que quieras.

También puede cortar los agujeros desde el exterior en la parte superior del techo. Perfore un agujero piloto a través del techo a través del techo, o utilizar una línea de tiza y una cinta métrica para transferir las mediciones del techo en el techo.

6. Corte el agujero del techo un poco más grande que la botella, por lo que se puede deslizar a través de la botella. La placa de techo cuadrados cubrirá el agujero en el futuro. Use una sierra circular, taladro de fijación agujero de corte, o una hoja cortante metal en la mano o sierra eléctrica.

7. Masilla de la parte inferior de la placa metálica cuadrada que tiene la botella vacía, y coloque la botella en el agujero. Presione hacia abajo para pegar la placa de metal para techos cuadrados en su lugar.

8. Remaches o tornillos del plato en las cuatro esquinas.

9. Selle todas las costuras, remaches o tornillos, y la capa de la tapa del frasco con material de calafateo para proteger la tapa de la degradación de los rayos del sol.

10. Entrar, apaga cualquier luz eléctrica en la habitación y ver qué pasa!

11. Techo de la prueba de fugas después de masilla se seca.

12. La luz de la botella de agua solar debe durar de 2 a 5 años y dar 50 vatios de luz.

I also lived in a very charming house that had a 24" or 36" strip of lucite plexiglass all around two sides of the house up at the roof line. It was wonderful and let in so much light I never had to use lights anywhere during the day. Plus no leaking since it was under the roof line, not in the roof.

Good luck and please, keep us updated!

Catherine Todd,


Catherine & Les Todd
3007 Bent Tree Dr. Oxford NC 27565
H 919.693.0853 U.S. cell 919.605.0727

"The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need do is set our sails."

Guatemalan Arts & Crafts (GAC)
Panajachel, Lake Atitlan
Guatemala cell (first dial 011 from the U.S.)
(502) 5013.6300
28 Aug 2011 Sent to Suzanne De Berge

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Solar Light - Deck Prisms used on Sailing Ships


A deck prism is a prism inserted into the deck of a ship which provides light down below.

Group of original deck prisms. Some from the 19th century.

Purchase one (also comes with a lighted base) from one of my favorite stores: Edmund Scientific

Reproduction 19th Century Deck Prism

For centuries, sailing ships used deck prisms to provide a safe source of natural sunlight to illuminate areas below decks. Before electricity, light below a vessel's deck was provided by candles, oil and kerosene lamps - all dangerous aboard a wooden ship. The deck prism was a clever solution: laid flush into the deck, the glass prism refracted and dispersed natural light into the space below from a small deck opening without weakening the planks or becoming a fire hazard.

In normal usage, the prism hangs below the ceiling and disperses the light sideways; the top is flat and installed flush with the deck, becoming part of the deck. A plain flat glass would just form a single bright spot below-- not very useful general illumination-- hence the prismatic shape.

On colliers (coal ships), prisms were also used to keep check on the cargo hold; light from a fire would be collected by the prism and be made visible on the deck even in daylight.

The names "deck light", "dead light" or "deadlight" are sometimes used, though the latter is uncommon as a reference to prisms, as more often refers to non-opening plain-glass panels.


Solar Bottle Bulb ~ Instructional Videos

Best 3 videos I've seen:

I want to do this when I get back to Guatemala! It's cheap and easy! Catherine Todd
= Quiero hacer esto cuando regrese a Guatemala! Es barato y fácil! Catherine Todd

In Espanol (Brazil):
Use a 2-Liter Bottle as a 50 Watt Light Bulb lightbulb hack / Utilice una botella de 2 litros como un corte de luz bombilla de 50 vatios bombilla

faro0485, you wrote: "Actually if you add some salt and a couple of electrodes in the bottle, you could run power off that water."
If this would work, and the energy stores, then the light could be turned on at night. How exactly do we try to do this? I'm going to see if we can do this in Guatemala where I live part time. CatherineTodd2 at gmail dot com.


Program: A Liter of Light -- the community from the test site at Sitio Maligaya 1 in San Pedro, Laguna shares the benefits from the Solar Bottle Bulb. Works in the daytime with the sun.

traducir: Programa: Un litro de la Luz - la comunidad de la zona de prueba en el Sitio Maligaya 1 en San Pedro, Laguna comparte los beneficios de la Bombilla Botella Solar. Trabaja durante el día con el sol.




The solar bottle bulb is just a piece of 1.5 liter of soda or softdrinks plastic bottle filled with a solution of purified water and liquid bleach that harness solar power or that provide light from the sun. Per solar bottle bulb provide 55 watts of light from the light of the sun during daylight and much even higher if the sun do really shines so brightly during the day. Moreover, every solar bottle bulb last up to five years before the solution on the bottle can be replaced. Wow, that is really could save a large percentage of your money for electricity bills if you are using light bulbs during daylight.

The solar bottle bulb is fixed in a hole on the roof with half top exposed on the sun outside. The light from the sun then refracts into the solution in the bottle which creates pure white light inside the house.

*Use a 2-Liter Bottle as a 50 Watt Light Bulb lightbulb hack

One of the best videos on solar water light bulbs I've seen yet. Written translation / instructions in English. Technique discovered by Alfredo Moser in Brazil during an energy blackout. Use a two liter plastic bottle with clean water and 2 capfuls of bleach, and cover the cap to protect the cap from the sun. See more on video:, Uploaded by KAWUNEARTH on May 8, 2008

Bringing light to the poor, one liter at a time

See more at: Myshelter “Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light)” project in Manilla, Phillipines


YouTube video:

Video and more:

Constructing a Drill Bit for Water Well Drilling Using the Baptist Method

In Guatemala, 2 people dig wells in two or three days, depending on depth. I've seen it done. What is the daily wage in Zanzibar? If it's like Guatemala, people make $50.00 to $100.00 per month (50 cents to $1.00 per hour). I don't do anything to upset the "going rate." I do help with educational and medical expenses, but paid directly to the offices or with a receipt.

Take a look at this video: A basic step by step guide to constructing the drill bit used by agua:yaku's well drilling project.


For 2011:

"The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need do is set our sails."
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa ~ Gospel of Ramakrishna

All sorrows can be borne if you tell a story about them.
~ Karen Blixen

Peace and justice are goals for man.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

MIT Entrepreneurship Review Archives

"Where Einstein meets Edison"

Search for: solar water bottle light

Bringing Electricity to Rural China
the technology that Reja and her lab are developing through the company’s SolSource project, which builds the solar cookers that will bring light into villages ...
Written by chmiller on February 7, 2011. Published under From The Labs.

Entrepreneurs, Look East
. In India, the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) has spent the last 15 years bending the conventional wisdom that cleantech entrepreneurs cannot profitably ...
Written by rbose on November 22, 2010. Published under Analysis.

An MIT in the Middle East?
created during the housing boom. The emirate of Dubai exemplified this wealth, with its opulent man-made islands jutting into the serene turquoise waters ...
Written by Ardavan Oskooi on April 11, 2010. Published under Analysis.

Crisis In Haiti: Lost Limbs Today, Lost Souls Tomorrow
water filters, portable solar cookers and pedal-powered washing machines for use in countries like Ghana and Tibet. D-Lab also has a Developing World ...
Written by Roozbeh Ghaffari on March 1, 2010. Published under From The Classroom.

From the Lab to the Land: Social Entrepreneurs Explore AppropriateTechnology Dissemination by dmjue

Social Entrepreneurs Explore Appropriate Technology Dissemination

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

From the Lab to the Land: Social Entrepreneurs Explore Appropriate Technology Dissemination

November 26, 2010 at 2:05pm, by Diana Jue

The MIT Entrepreneurship Review is pleased to introduce our new team of topic experts to our readers. Over the next four weeks, we will be publishing the articles that each topic expert submitted in their application to join the MITER team. Today's article is from Diana Jue, a topic expert in the Energy/Cleantech group.

The MIT Entrepreneurship Review is an online publication focused on ...
MIT International Development Network
Description: The AIDG incubates appropriate technology manufacturing ...


From the Lab to the Land: Social Entrepreneurs Explore Appropriate ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Appropriate Technologies Have Potential, but Can Their Users Access Them? MIT students looking to attack global poverty often focus on inventing low-cost ... For example, failures may prevent a social mission from being accomplished or ...


From the Lab to the Land: Social Entrepreneurs Explore Appropriate Technology Dissemination by dmjue

The MIT Entrepreneurship Review is pleased to introduce our new team of topic experts to our readers. Over the
next four weeks, we will be publishing the articles that each topic expert submitted in their application to join the
MITER team. Today's article is from Diana Jue, a topic expert in the Energy/Cleantech group.
Appropriate Technologies Have Potential, but Can Their Users Access Them?

MIT students looking to attack global poverty often focus on inventing low-cost sustainable technologies. These
livelihood-improving and environment-sustaining technologies include drip irrigation systems, bicycle-powered
machines, and solar cookers. Their goals are to be low-cost, sustainable, and usually small-scale and
decentralized. However, far fewer students fixate on the very real and pressing challenge of getting these
technologies to the customers in need.
On campus, appropriate technologies are all the rage. Their popularity is evident through the demand for
hands-on, design-based D-Lab classes that innovate technological solutions for developing regions and student
groups that strut their stuff at biannual International Development Fairs. Outside of MIT, these technologies are
becoming in vogue as well. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced a national commitment of
$50 million to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which plans to distribute 100 million clean-burning stoves
by 2020. D-Lab founder and instructor, Amy Smith, was featured as one of Time magazine’s “World’s Most
Influential People” in 2010.
When I applied to attend MIT as an undergraduate, I wanted to engineer solar-powered water purifiers and other
technologies for rural Africa. However, after spending some time at MIT, I noticed that many students were
inventing these technologies, but few were successfully disseminating them. The big picture of how to move these
technologies from the lab to the land was not quite painted yet. Globally, philanthropic and government-funded
initiatives were failing; limited funds, changes in management, and shifts in momentum did not lead to
sustainability, scalability, or replicability. Appropriate technologies have been invented, but innovative ways to get
them to their users are still lacking.
From the Lab to the Land through the Market
Today, the school of thought that businesses should help lead the effort to address health, economic, and social
issues in developing countries is growing increasingly popular. Quoting Vinod Khosla, billionaire venture capitalist
and co-founder of Sun Microsystems: “There needs to be more experiments in building sustainable businesses
going after the market for the poor. It has to be done in a sustainable way. There is not enough money to be given
away in the world to make the poor well off.” Also supporting this idea is the late C. K. Prahalad, business
management professor.
The tasks of producing, marketing, selling, and distributing appropriate technologies have been taken up by
“social enterprises”, which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. Social enterprises include
nonprofits that implement business models to achieve their goals and for-profits whose primary goals are social.
MIT, always in step with the times (or perhaps leading them) has turned toward social entrepreneurship. For
example, in 2006, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition added its Development Track (now the Emerging
Markets Track).
The challenges facing social enterprises are unique. Their target customers are usually invisible to traditional
businesses, which fail to see them as significant market opportunities. Because they are viewed as producing
insufficient tax revenues, governments often fail to provide these people with basic services. The social
enterprises that emerge to fill this gap must be innovative – they must be able to provide their products and
services at an affordable price while facing dispersed and fragmented markets, high transaction costs, high costs
of customer acquisition, poor or nonexistent distribution systems, and limited financing options for the consumers
and the enterprises themselves.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Video: World’s cheapest light bulb shines in developing regions

Home / Technology / Thinking Tech
Video: World’s cheapest light bulb shines in developing regions

By Tuan C. Nguyen | July 29, 2011, 7:35 AM PDT

A plastic bottle is filled with water and bleach. That’s it. That water refracts light from the sun in all directions and disperses the sun’s rays that would otherwise go in one direction inside the home. The bleach prevents algae and particle build-up, keeping the water clear. Once the “light bulbs” are assembled, they are put through holes in the roof. The process can be done in an hour.

So far, workers have installed 10,000 of them in homes in Manilla in the Philippines. The obvious drawback is that the light bulbs are only functional during the daytime, but even then, installing them translates to tremendous costs savings for families who can ill-afford what they consider a luxury.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

MIT: Bringing Light To The Poor, One Liter At A Time

Uploaded by TrendGuardian on Aug 2, 2011

Follow us at:

Who thought that this simple idea could light a thousand houses? In places where there is no grid, houses can be dark. But a simple solution: a plastic bottle stuck in the roof--can light up a room.
The lightbulbs are made of three simple elements: a plastic bottle, water, and bleach; an unlimited supply. The simple technology can be installed in less than an hour, lasts for five years, and is equivalent to a 60-watt bulb.

This is how simple it works: the water defracts the light, letting it spread throughout the house instead of focusing on one point. The bleach keeps the water clear and microbe-free. Although this technology has been around for years, it was not until students at MIT focused on "appropriate technologies" put it as a social entrepreneurship mission. The solar bottle bulb is illuminating poor settlements across the Philippines, where the organization Isang Litrong Liwanag ("A Liter of Light") has already installed 10,000 of them. "With the Solar Bottle Bulb project, a brighter Philippines is going to become a reality," Illac Diaz, a social entrepreneur installing the bulbs, told a Filipino publication.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Search: Solar Water Bottle Bulbs water tubing reflector

A search for Solar Water Bottle Bulbs water tubing reflector brings up lots of info. Can't wait to try this out and take it on as a project at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala!

From Kevin Warnock's blog

On the right, Alfredo Lim, the mayor of Manilla, Philippines, holding a litre of light 'bulb'

The beauty of the Solar Bottle Bulb is that it works and it’s really affordable, at about P150 to P200 (USD $4.66 at today’s exchange rate) per home, installed, according to Alfredo Lim, the mayor of Manilla in the Philippines, pictured above on the right. That 150 to 200 peso cost is per home, not per bulb.

I am going to install these in any eco home I build down the road. I have a big collection of glass bottles to choose from. I’m not sure if glass is as suitable as plastic, but I would prefer to use glass if it can be made to work reliably.

While UV lamp disinfection systems have been widely used to disinfect .... Low cost solar reflectors or cookers can be made from materials as simple and ... The WAPI is placed in the water to be heated with the wax at the top of the tube. ... Bottles made of polyethylene terephthlate (PET) are preferred to those made of ... (more)
Home at Kevin Warnock

Written by Kevin Warnock, July 17th, 2011 at 5:00 am, Posted in Home,Ideas
Tagged with A litre of light, Alfredo Lim, Isang Litrong Liwanag, Solar Light Bulb

Solar Water Bottle-Solar Water Bottle Manufacturers, Suppliers and ... › Showroom - Cached

Solar Water Bottle Manufacturers & Solar Water Bottle Suppliers Directory - Find a Solar ... 10led garden lamp, with beer bottle,energy saving, safe, water proof, .... This solar thermal bottle is mainly made by vacuum tube,reflector can focus the ...

Light tube - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cached

2.1 Solar and hybrid lighting systems; 2.2 Security Applications ... The first commercial reflector systems were patented and marketed in the 1850s by Paul .... Compared to artificial lights, light tubes have the advantage of providing natural light ...
Megahelp - Let there be light—from a soda bottle! - Cached

Who would have thought that an insignificant empty water bottle would serve as a key ... Installed on roofs, the Solar Bottle Bulb acts as a reflector of sunlight and ...
WHO | Managing water in the home: accelerated health gains from ... - Cached

A Solar Bottle Bulb is a clear water or soda bottle filled with tap water and a .... of its LED bulb so I can replace my existing ceiling installed reflector CFL bulbs. ...
More Solar Power - 2 liter soda bottle = 50 watt light bulb › The Chat Room › The Off Topic Forum - Cached

May 29, 2011 – In a sense they are sky lights, but the water in the bottles will diffuse and ... Light Tunnel & Pipe | Sun Tubes | Solar Tube | Solatube® ..... Plus, you can use mylar as a reflector to add even more potential to your solar panels. ...
New and experimental solar projects and concepts for do it yourselfers - Cached

This is a cut at a solar water heating collector that uses PEX tubing instead of ..... a tracking inflatable reflector to concentrate energy on a line of PV cells ---> ..... It uses two identical collectors each with a bottle of water inside to collect heat. ...
Solar Water Bottle Heater - Cached

Feb 18, 2009 – After reading a great Instructable on building a solar water bottle heater by ... F. If I used a 2 bottle system with a cut out half of a car window shade reflector, I could go as high ... A whiskey bottle isn't fragile: a light bulb is fragile. .... I have read putting a length of black plastic tubing in a clear bottle works also. ...
HIGHTIMES.COM > The $1000 Growroom - Cached

Feb 16, 2010 – Water and light are self-explanatory, but the other two require brief explanations. ... one for use during the vegetative phase (labeled “Grow” on most bottles) and ... Some people choose to air-cool the bulb and reflector hood with inline fans ... The reservoir is usually filled from a tube that begins above the ...

Bottle Water Light with Tubing and Reflector down the Wall

Received from Roger Stringham, FirstGate in Hawaii:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Roger Stringham
Date: Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Bottled Water & Bleach Creates Free Light (Video)
To: Catherine Todd


I think you should experiment, The bigger the bottle and hole the more light you gather. Funnel it down and attach some transparent plastic tubing so it will reach down to the floor. If you are not using the tubing for close work, hang it on the wall with a reflector.

My response:

Roger, what a GREAT IDEA to use tubing and a reflector! How did you think of this?

I take it that you are running the same water & bleach solution in the tube? How do you cap off the tube?

I'm going to try this right away when I get back to Guatemala. Know just the spot to test it.

Keep those ideas coming! Katie (Catherine Todd)

Friday, August 12, 2011 - Solar Hot Water Heater from Plastic Bottles

Solar Water Heater from Brazil "Soda bottle solar water heater"


ecoideasnet Spotters

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A Liter of Light: Solar Bottle Bulbs - INSTRUCTIONS

Solar Bottle Bulbs – Provision For Lighting In Summer
Posted by Shubhankar Deshkar on May 2, 2011

The Scorching heat of the summer is rising now and so is the demand for electricity. As we all know that many rural as well as the urban areas suffer Load-shedding or Power cuts to comply with the available limited generation of electrical energy. Thus the situations worsen especially in the rural areas which suffer a load shedding of more than 10 hours a day. One of the main utilization of the electrical energy is for the purpose of lighting. Without light, no work can be done.

Thus to put an end to the lighting problem, an expert team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has invented the Solar Bottle bulbs. This bulb also facilitates the poor people who cannot afford to buy a legal electricity connection and need light for the mundane household chores. “Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light)” is the name of the project and it will help improving the conditions in developing communities like Philippines. It is basically a plastic soda bottle containing a mixture of purified water and chlorine. Chlorine is mixed in the water to increase the life span of the water making it last for 5 years approximately. Distilled water is used in the process to avoid the refraction phenomenon.

Some readily available chemicals are also mixed in the solution and kept in the sunlight to harness the solar energy and then use it at nights when required.

Following materials are used to make a solar bottle bulb:

1.5 liter soda bottle, purified water, chlorine and a rubber sealant, roof sheet material, camera film dispenser*

This is how you can make a solar bottle bulb:

Fill the 1.5 liter bottle with distilled water and add 3 tablespoons of liquid bleach. After this seal the cap tightly.
Make a hole in the 1’X 1’ roof sheet material equal to the circumference of the bottle. Now, insert the bottom part of the bottle and keep it exposed to the sun.

Make a hole in the roof of the house (equal to bottle diameter) to fix this bulb.

Seal the roof with the sealant to avoid water from entering the house via the gaps. The water inside the bottle will refract and scatter the light inside the house causing illumination.

This bulb is capable of producing energy equivalent to a 55 Watt electric bulb. If this source of light is used on a 24 hour basis there will be a 40% saving in the monthly electricity expenses. With the efforts of the Manila city Government, 120 houses were lit up using the “Solar bottle bulbs” in Tondo in the month of April.

It is really a revolutionary effort from the experts of MIT to reach out and benefit even the lowest Strata of the society.

Source: CoolBuster

* Note: I think the camera film dispenser is to keep the bottle cap from degrading in the sun. Where do we get those film dispensers or another item like it now that everyone uses digital cameras? I also saw a video where they simply coated the cap with the same gray caulk they were using around the cut piece of tin roofing material. Purified water and chlorine is to keep moss and algae from growing in the bottle from the water. The bottle lights are estimated to last about five years, and give off up to 55 watts of free energy.


More info and to donate:


Also note in this article, salt is added to the solution:

'Bottle bulbs' to provide light to poor
April 14, 2011, 6:34pm

"Under the system, each home will be installed with a solar bulb made from a two-liter plastic bottle filled with a solution of water, salt and chlorine that gather and amplify sunlight.

The bottle will act as lens and provide a tremendous amount of interior light equivalent to 55 watts during daytime, so that there is no more need to use electricity."


Facebook Page: A Liter of Light (Isang Litrong Liwanag)


Lighting up a million homes through solar power


Instructions read on one of the comments on their Facebook page:

A Liter of Light (Isang Litrong Liwanag)

“fill a 1.5 liter clear soft drink bottle with purified water as tap water will eventually produce moss, then add 3 tablespoons of liquid bleach and tightly seal the cap.”



Lighting up a million homes through solar power

In: Technology
15 Feb 2011

Dear readers,

Let’s talk about something light and constructive, shall we? It is the love month after all and we are reminded to share it unconditionally. I already actually published this post a couple of days ago but I still needed more info on the project.

The Solar Bottle Bulb Project has an ambitious goal – to light up 1 million homes by 2012. According to statistics from the National Electrification Commission in 2009, 3 million households still remain powerless outside Metro Manila. The team started installing the solar bulbs in a couple of homes in Pasay City with a liter-sized soda bottle. I was trying to work out in my mind how a solar bulb would work without using some complicated technology. Here’s a demo video:

My Shelter Foundation, spearheaded by Illac Diaz, is in the process of unfolding another groundbreaking campaign to bring at least 55watts of light to thousands of households in the shanty areas across the country. Imagine – just using a 1.5 soda bottle, some chlorine and a rubber sealant.

Okay, this is how it works. The solar bottle bulb was designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); a device based on the principles of Appropriate Technologies – a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities. The water and other chemicals allows full spectrum of light to come into the house. We’re not the first one to try this. Brazil and Mexico are using the same technology as well.

Instructions I read on one of the comments on their Facebook page:

“fill a 1.5 liter clear soft drink bottle with purified water as tap water will eventually produce moss, then add 3 tablespoons of liquid bleach and tightly seal the cap.”

We went to homes in Pasay last week during lunch time where the solar bottle bulbs were first installed. Instead of using electricity during the day, the residents now have an option to use the solar bulbs and lessen their electric bills. It’s amazing how this simple of a technology can harness the power of the sun in the most efficient way to light up hundreds of homes.

This doesn’t just save electricity, it also prevents fire as well, especially in shanties that use candles even in the daytime. The scenario – families desperately try to source electricity through illegal or unsafe means – usually resulting into disaster. According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), accidents which result into fires often involve faulty electrical connections. Not just that, it also lessens garbage as well!

I cannot begin to imagine how the residents would live in their houses without the solar bulbs they’re using now. The absence of light, really, is daunting.

Right now, My Shelter Foundation just has one prototype. They’re continually experimenting with different materials to spread the technology. I think the not-so-poor households can benefit from another prototype, but, of course, installing these solar bulbs in communities that need it is the first order of business. Seriously, this can change the face of urban living.

The foundation is exploring partnerships with both private and public entities to implement this project nationwide. As an individual, you can start helping by donating your PET bottles. PET Bottle bins can be deposited at the back of the Insular Life buildings in both Makati and Alabang.

“Light is an important part of our daily life, and access to light is a right of everyone here in the country,” says Diaz. “Through this project, we aim to provide the whole country with sustainable light energy – and bridge the gap between social classes. With the Solar Bottle Bulb project, a brighter Philippines is going to become a reality,” ends Diaz.

Illac Diaz is also working on Design Against the Elements (DATE) and the Bottle School Run.

Read more about the project at or add them on twitter: aliteroflight. Please support this cause by either reposting this article and spreading the word. I’ll post another update once I get word from the organizers.

Let’s make a brighter Philippines!



Lim leads turnover of solar bottle bulb project » Nation » News ... - Cached
May 24, 2011 – Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim led the turnover ceremonies of the “Solar Liwanag Iyong Mahalin” (SLIM) - a solar bottle bulb project for the residents ...

The sun, a simple bottle bring light to San Pedro - Home » Best of ... › Best of the Philippines › The Good News - Cached
Feb 27, 2011 – The idea of establishing the Solar Bottle Bulb project came ...
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Alternative Lighting Technology for Baseco | The Manila Bulletin ... - Cached
May 30, 2011 – ... Compound through the “Isang Litrong Liwanag—The Solar Bottle Bulb Project. ... Meralco donated over 2000 solar bottle bulbs to the Baseco ...

The sun, a simple bottle bring light to San Pedro | mylaguna - Cached
Feb 27, 2011 – The idea of establishing the Solar Bottle Bulb project came in the midst of ... Kapihan sa Liwanag Feb 3rd 2011 · Go ForWARD Blood Donation ...

Bringing light to the poor, one liter at a time

I don't think we have to be poor or even off-grid to use this idea. From students at MIT and being implemented in the Phillipines. I'm going to try this in Guatemala, and this could be one of our projects for the artisans we work with around Lake Atitlan. Many of them work by candlelight or with very little light at all. Maybe we can even try this here in NC in some of the outdoor sheds and garage! The bottles should emit light for about two to five years. Because the light spreads out through the water it acts like a light bulb, instead of just a shaft of light straight down from a hole in the ceiling. Sounds terrific!

Reuters News:

Bringing light to the poor, one liter at a time (2:56)

July 11 - A bottled liter of water with a few teaspoons of bleach is proving to be a successful recipe for dwellers in the light-deprived slums of the Philippines. The simple technology is spreading sunlight in places where it has never been, and saving residents money at the same time. Gemma Haines reports. ( Reuters News

Video Transcript:

In the slums of Manila, an innovative project is shedding light on the city's dim and dreary shanties. Plastic bottles jut from the roofs, bringing light to the dark dwellings below. The technology is as simple as it could be. Each bottle contains water and bleach. When placed snugly into a purpose-built hole in the roof, the home-made bulb refracts and spreads sunlight, illuminating the room beneath. Eco-entrepreneur Illac Diaz is behind the project. SOUNDBITE: ILAC DIAZ, ISANG LITRONG LIWANAG (A LITER OF LIGHT) PROJECT, SAYING (ENGLISH) "What happens is, the light goes through the bottle, basically a window on the roof, and then goes inside the water. Unlike a hole which the light will travel in a straight line, the water will refract it to go vertical, horizontal, 360 degrees of 55 watts to 60 watts of clear light, almost 10 months of the year." The initiative, known as "A liter of light", aims to bring sustainable energy practices to poor communities, an idea originally developed by students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The bottles are designed to emit clear light for about five years, as the bleach prevents algae from building up in the water. For Erlinda Densing, a mother of eight, the technology has made a big difference to her small home. SOUNDBITE: ERLINDA DENSING, RESIDENT OF PAYATAS COMMUNITY, SAYING (FILIPINO) "'That's only water?!' my neighbours were asking. 'That's only water!' I said to them. Basically, the sun's rays are really bright. A lot of neighbours came and got curious. They were like, 'can we see? can we see?'. Maybe they also wanted to have lights installed. 'It's really bright,' I said." The device can be built and installed in less than an hour. A sheet of corrugated iron serves as a support structure to hold the bottle in place, and prevent any leakage. SOUNDBITE: ILAC DIAZ, ISANG LITRONG LIWANAG (A LITER OF LIGHT) PROJECT, SAYING (ENGLISH) "Liter of Light, lights up the house, saves a lot, but at the same time improves the standard of living across the board, of the bottom 90 per cent of this country." Working with low-income communities, local governments and private partners, the project has installed more than 10,000 bottle lights across Manila and the nearby province of Laguna. Rey del Mundo is a volunteer. SOUNDBITE: REY DEL MUNDO, PROJECT VOLUNTEER AND ENERGY UNIT HEAD AT SCHNEIDER ELECTRONICS, SAYING (FILIPINO) "This is very important. Because at present, we're too dependent on fuel that we don't produce. Although we have some local production, it's not sufficient for our needs. So if we strive to develop alternative sources of energy, which are the energy sources, this will help our country a lot." For residents, it means less money spent on electricity to power lights during the daytime, and more money on food. While for Diaz and his volunteers it's quite simply a bright idea. Gemma Haines, Reuters.

Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

Also on YouTube:

Via Reuters UK

Reposted from this blog:

In the slums of Manila, an innovative project is shedding light on the city’s dim and dreary shanties. Plastic bottles jut from the roofs, bringing light to the dark dwellings below. The technology is as simple as it could be. Each bottle contains water and bleach. When placed snugly into a purpose-built hole in the roof, the home-made bulb refracts and spreads sunlight, illuminating the room beneath. Eco-entrepreneur Illac Diaz is behind the project.

An interesting idea that not only provides a better quality of life for people in the slums of the Philippines, but also puts to good use the plastic bottles that are consumed en masse every single day.

We should be seeing more of these simple, yet effective ideas that help to improve the standard of living for the estimated 4 billion people that live on less than $2/day around the world.

Ilac Diaz
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An eco-entrepreneur, Illac Diaz, has been able to help the bottom. 90 percent of his fellowmen in the Philippines with the project. “Isang Litrong Liwanag,” which ...


The idea was developed by students at MIT.

MIT: Bringing Light To The Poor, One Liter At A Time‏ - YouTube min - Aug 2, 2011 - Uploaded by TrendGuardian
Follow us at: Who thought that this simple idea could light a thousand houses? In places where there is no grid, ...
More videos for "Bringing light to the poor" MIT »

A simple, brilliant invention from MIT: Bringing light to the poor ... › ... › One Bread, One Body - Catholic

In the slums of Manila, an innovative project is shedding light on the city's dim and dreary shanties. Plastic bottles jut from the roofs, bringing.
Video: MIT: Bringing Light To The Poor, One Liter At A Time

Aug 3, 2011 – Follow us at: Who thought that this simple idea could light a thousand houses? In places where there is no grid, ...
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solar swimming pool heating system

06-04-2009, 11:29 AM
Senior Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Londonderry, NH

I "designed" a solar swimming pool heating system for a Florida located friend of the family a couple of decades ago. It consisted of 300 ft of 1 1/2 in black plastic pipe draped over a south facing roof with a small circulating pump on a timer. The pump circulated pool water starting at 10 am and stopping at 6 pm. They started using this system in early April and shut it off mid June lest the pool become a hot tub.

When it comes to solar simple is better and a lot cheaper.


06-04-2009, 11:54 AM
100% Pure Carbon

Join Date: Jan 2008
Reputation: 2366

I guess you can add me to the solar designer list, actually made it many years ago. We have place on the river to get away for the weekends, holidays etc. It is only used in the summer. It has electric hot water heater for the regular shower but we set up shower outside that was "powered" by a bunch of black PVC pipes mounted on the roof of the one shed. The water was only luke warm and it didn't last for long but it was just enough to take the chill off the well water.

Read more:

Read more:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Old Tires Playground & renovate a public space

Old tires for playgrounds and swings. Nicer than I've ever seen them! But those kids must be tough not to fall on those hard bricks. I've seen ground up tires recycled into playground flooring and cushioning.

by Denis Oudendijk, Jan Korbes on July 1st, 2011 | South Africa​799/

Monday, August 1, 2011

Toward a New Architectural Aesthetic, by Buckminster Fuller

Reposted from

How much for the goat?
Invisible as possible environment controlling instruments for all humanity

— r. buckminster fuller —

I think that concepts of architecture have gone through and are as yet to go through great transformation. What humans a century hence will identify retrospectively as what they consider to be the architecture of the late twentieth century may not as yet have been so recognized in 1972.

Architecture in the past has often been spoken of as ‘frozen music’. Now the architectural music is being unfrozen and is ultimately to be freed from its embodiment exclusively within the physical structure. The music of the emerging architecture is to be entirely weightless, abstract. It will be the sense of gratification and inspiration of living freedom and potential initiatives of the human occupants disembarrassed of their slavery to the production and maintenance of the buildings and emancipated from exploitation of land, buildings and occupants as ‘money makers’ etc. The architectural music will be the metaphysical regeneration of the spirit to be experienced by the buildings’ users.

Commissioned by a powerfully dominant armed land baron, an architect of yesterday designed the master’s palace primarily as a fortress. He then designed integral psychological additions to the surface of the fortress in order, for instance, to dismay any potential enemies traveling near the castle. The architect designed emblazements which indicated the master of the castle to be so ferocious a fighter as to be best represented by a red and gold tiger, or a dragon on a black foreboding field. This psychology worked two ways for it also bolstered the master’s courage and confidence to act, indeed, as a tiger. This architect accomplished these psychological effects by skillful coordination of mass, height, line, and integral symbology. In a like manner architects designed temples, cathedrals, and other buildings as permanent symbolic communication devices. With the advent of the music box, and later the automatic piano playing ‘pianola’, the record and tape players, music was produced which like symbolic architecture could not be altered by the audience. In effect the form and the rendering of the music was as frozen as or ‘canned’ as architecture has been.

In contradistinction to ‘frozen’ we have ‘live’ music produced by the singing or playing of individual artists, where the instrument and the music are separate phenomena and many individuals can play separately or together and thus communicate directly through the instruments. Even though they play the same notes written by others they have the freedom and controls to reveal their individual depth, and sensitivity of conceptioning as well as ability to articulate competently and to do so in infinitely unique ways. When the individual composes his own music and plays it with instruments, great individual artistry may be manifest and it is non-frozen music, it is utterly ephemeral, fleeting, live.

When the artist invents both his own music and his own instruments and plays the music himself he is a complete artist, but this same complete artist can produce instruments or compositions for others to play. A great artist can also, play the instruments or compositions invented entirely by others. Here the music is completely unfrozen and it is the freedom of live conceptioning of the individual who uses the instruments which resonates and regenerates the sensitivity and innate compositional competence of the listener. And the artist whose music is recorded can communicate through the electronic circuitry to inspire audiences remote in time and space. Here the art is that of the live artist. The radio set is not the music. Musical instrument and electronic circuitry making are arts themselves but they are not music. Neither the lions feet on the piano legs of yesterday nor the angel’s head on the harp have naught to do with music. Any overall sculptural shaping of buildings by self-professed and legally established modern ‘architects’ is ‘frozen styling’ but it is not architecture.

I feel that the new architectural era is one in which world society is to be furnished with dwellings, working and other environment controlling instruments invented by other artists, produced by tools and processes invented and composed by other anonymous artists and that the ‘aesthetics’ will no longer be commodities to be purchased, vicariously commanded or lured forth from captive artists. Ancient Pharoes, kings or nobles as patrons of the frozen musics’ architectural era were often ruthless, gross, selfish individuals who with lethal authority could command the artist to design buildings which deceived the public by suggesting that the overlord was what he was not. What inspired the emerging architect of today is the task of producing invisible as possible environment controlling instruments for all humanity, conceived and realized with such integrity and competence as to make possible the unself-conscious enjoyment not only of the environment controlled by all its people in an economically and happily sustainable manner. But just as music is not the musical instrument, the architecture of tomorrow (which can and is now only invisibly emerging) also will not be the architectural instruments or gadgets, but will be the abstract harmony of living which its individual users may articulate.

When you bite your tongue or cut your finger or get a cinder in your eye you become acutely aware of these otherwise only subconsciously operating organic parts. When people say ‘I feel great’, it is because they don’t feel anything at all. Life is fully potential and the entirely sublimated human organism coordinates omni-subconsciously. The new era architecture will operate in the same way making itself ever less obtrusive. Architecture will not only be life itself but that the life will be strictly LIVE-IT-YOURSELF. It cannot be lived vicariously through others.

When a fleet of one-of-a-kind racing sail boats is performing they usually are beautiful to watch unless one is being incompetently sailed. The winner often appears the most beautiful because it is most inspiringly and capably sailed. The winning boat of yesterday’s race may be sailed today by an incompetent careless helmsman and appear ugly though it is the same boat that yesterday appeared to be so beautiful. So too will the architecture of the new era be the inadvertent qualities and attitudes manifest directly or indirectly by its occupants. While one of two identically designed dwellings may appear beautiful because of its dwellers competence and consideration for others the identical dwelling may appear ugly because selfishly and incompetently occupied. Architecture, like music will be a verb and not a noun. The new Architecture will not be for sale. The aesthetic of architecture henceforth will be

Harmony, Architecture & Music, by Bob Borson

Reposted from a wonderful blog post on Harmony:

Goethe quote “Architecture is frozen music”. ... It was instilled in me that “Music is the space between notes”

On February 2, 2011, in Career, Do you want to be an Architect?, Life in General, by Bob Borson

Response from: Slipslider 6 months ago

Here are two important references helpful in further exploration of this connection between music and architecture.

Frank Lloyd Wright once put it nicely:
"Music and architecture blossom on the same stem — sublimated mathematics. . . Instead of the musician's systematic staff and intervals, the architect has a modular system as the framework of design. My father, a preacher and music teacher, taught me to see — to listen — to a symphony as an edifice of sound."

& then there's Buckminster Fuller's take, taken from his Dymaxion Chronofile, a whole piece linking architecture, frozen music, composing, live music, instruments, instrument-making, and living harmony.. as it's some 8 paragraphs long, I'll include an intro paragraph here and then off-link.
"Architecture in the past has often been spoken of as 'frozen music'. Now the
architectural music is being unfrozen and is ultimately to be freed from its
embodiment exclusively within the physical structure. The music of the emerging
architecture is to be entirely weightless, abstract. It will be the sense of
gratification and inspiration of living freedom and potential initiatives of
the human occupants disembarrassed of their slavery to the production and
maintenance of the buildings and emancipated from exploitation of land,
buildings and occupants as 'money makers' etc. The architectural music will be
the metaphysical regeneration of the spirit to be experienced by the
buildings' users."

full article here:

Bob Borson [Moderator] 6 months ago in reply to Slipslider
Awesome references and article - Thanks for sharing! I had heard the FLW portion before but not the Buckminster Fuller one.

Thanks again for commenting