[Digestion] Solar powered toilet

Manuel Jimenez manuel.biogas at gmail.com
Fri Sep 7 10:17:25 PDT 2012


i agree 100%

as engineer i have learn that the best solution usually is the
simplest one, and nobody is best than nature and the way it works
i have never seen a better system than humanuere composting toilets,
but i requieres an open mind and a smaller ego.....

as example-.humanuere composting toilet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXcU-JQFdms
there is a "humanure handbook" for deeper understanding search on the internet

PD sorry my english

Manuel J.




2012/9/7 Duncan Martin <duncanjmartin at gmail.com>:
> Eric and all
>
> Ingenious and no doubt workable - but it looks to me like the kind of silly
> research that so many academics waste time and money on. (I speak as a
> retired academic myself!)
>
> Lets consider the practical barriers to its widespread use - bearing in mind
> that their video says that their aim is to provide an off-grid sanitation
> system for use in developing countries.
>
> Cost - even with a minimal panel area, it wouldn't be cheap.
> How many hours of sunshine - again with a minimal panel area - would be
> needed for sanitization after one use?
> Their little 'holding tank' supposedly allows AD to break down faecal matter
> - but it would need to be very much bigger and more expensive to do so
> effectively.
> That combination of concerns suggest that it would not be remotely
> affordable for individual households. Economies of scale would apply at
> community level - but the size and cost of the solar array would multiply on
> a more-or-less per capita basis (or maybe I should per backside!) so it
> would still be expensive
> With frequent use (especially at community level) the system might need
> multiple treatment tanks operated on a timed sequence to ensure adequate
> treatment time - more cost, more complexity.
> They've thought of batteries to cover night use but what about cloudy days -
> or weeks? There aren't many places in this world where the sun shines for
> hours every day, whereas using the toilet is a daily need. Back-up
> generators? More cost! Petrol to drive it? More cost! (Yes, AD stage would
> generate biogas - but it would be very costly to store enough gas to fuel
> the generator during a cloudy spell, which might last for weeks.)
> All this complexity has to be maintained - and all systems would need to be
> backed-up because of the risk of breakdowns, (One of the first design rules
> for any kind of sewage treatment system is to keep it simple and very
> reliable -- because shit just keeps on coming, so you can't shut down for
> repairs!)
> The overall  environmental impact of manufacturing all this kit would be
> substantial
> Finally, several of the components are easily stolen (panels, batteries,
> generators) and easy to sell on. My experience in Africa suggests that this
> could be a major weakness.
> So if one of these superloos ever gets installed in a real-world application
> in a developing country, I wouldn't bet on it working for very long. We
> might see them sooner in the developed world at sensitive locations (eg
> national parks) - but even there the overall environmental benefit would be
> open to question, so they might be mere greenwash.
>
> Bill and Melinda should spend their money on something more useful than
> feeding the egos of researchers!
>
> Promoting low-tech reliable sanitation systems, which can be built operated
> and maintained by local labour, would be a good start.....
>
> Duncan Martin
> Cloughjordan Ecovillage
> Ireland
>
> On 7 September 2012 00:39, eric roy <mailericroy at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Everyone,
>>
>> I was wondering if any of you have seen this system and can comment on it.
>> I find it very interesting on how they're using some sort of
>> electro-chemical cell to sanitize the supertenent outflow for water-reuse.
>>
>>
>> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/toilet-of-the-future-caltech-solar-powered-toilet-video-photos_n_1791874.html
>>
>> Do you think they're cycling salt water through out the system? or fresh
>> water?
>> How expensive and reliable this type of fuel cell is? I thought it was
>> pretty cool, and would love to learn a little bit more about it. If you know
>> more about this system please let me know.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
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>
>
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