April 5th, 2004


Umbrella Homes - Passive Annual Heat Storage


Umbrella Homes

A simple underground house design uses a novel insulating/water-shedding blanket that covers the structure and surrounding soil.  The umbrella creates a huge subterranean thermal reservoir that soaks up the sun’s energy during summertime and stores it for winter heating.  In many cases, the clever design makes a heating system unnecessary.

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Human Power Generator


The Human Power Generator is small, portable, and dependable - perfect for emergencies, power failures, remote locations, and off-grid applications. It can be pedaled or cranked by hand to charge 12 volt batteries and run small appliances. Incorporate it into your existing 12 volt system or simply plug your 120 volt appliance into the Portable Power Pack outlet and start pedaling.

The typical average continuous power that can be generated by pedaling the Human Power Generator is up to about 125 watts. The maximum power obtainable through hand cranking typically is about 50 watts. The pedals and optional hand-cranks are interchangeable.

The MkIII Human Power Generator has a durable powder coated steel frame, large rubber feet, and vibration isolated generator. Reengineered for more strength, easier adjustment, and smooth operation, the new MkIII Human Power Generator is the tool for energy education and self-reliant electrical production.

The Human Power Combo comes with the Mk III Human Power Generator (pictured at left) and a stand-alone Portable Power Pack which includes: storage battery, 200 watt inverter (with 300 watt peak power), LED battery voltage readout, connection cables, and a 120 volt outlet to turn your calories into useful power. All you need to do is plug into the Portable Power Pack outlet with your standard AC or DC lights or appliances. To keep your system charged, you just hook up the Human Power Generator to the Portable Power Pack, and pedal or crank by hand...it's the same way you would recharge an ordinary battery, except you provide all the power!

Though even the Tour de France winner (Lance) could not run an entire household’s electrical appliances with it, the Human Power Generator System can give you a boost when and where you need it most (charge your car or boat battery, recharge portable electric tool batteries, run emergency back-up lighting, run your PC at your remote cabin). You can maximize the use of your Human Power Generator System by retrofitting your cabin with compact fluorescent lighting and energy efficient appliances.