Sunday, September 18, 2011

The solar coffee drier

The project is moving along and Rufino is a very hard worker.  Things take a little longer than normal because he is new to ICC and we have never been to Guatemala.  We look at things through "our eyes" and then find out why that will not work. I had a similar experience in Xian, China with my students.  It just takes a little longer for the communication process to work.  Like I said Rufino is a hard worker and he will help push us a long.  That is good.  We do have several models to start working on and the next few weeks should tell just how strong we are going to finish.  I think what ever we do we will have to refine it but the coffee season that we will work with is next year and we have time to make the changes we might need to make. Now we need to see just how many solar panels we are going need to get to build a successful dryer.

Learning to weld

Part of the training for Rufino Caniz is to learn how to weld.  He is doing a good job.  He will also start to learn more about electricity and solar power.  He should start taking the electrical classes this week, week#5 of the fall semester.  He found a model solar coffee drier that we are going to see about building and checking for temperatures and other important data.  The site he found is in Spanish and is a drier they use in El Salvador.  It is similar to several models we have seen on web sites here in the USA.  It looks like a good model to start with.   We are going to see about adding some small solar powered fans to move air over the beans.  We need to get this built in a week or two so we can see how well it might work.  Rufino is also working on a project that could help bring in some more funding.  A cat bench for the garden. This bench is like the ones I have on my web site only this bench has redwood on for the seat and back.  I think once this is done it will make any garden area look better. 
Once we get the wood on this, paint it black, and get the whiskers on the face I think this will look get and should bring in some money for our project.  It is also giving Rufino some practice at making things. 

Landscape and Garden Days at ICC

Over the years I have made numerous items for the lawn and garden and this year I loaded them up and took them to ICC's Landscape and Garden Days to try and sell to help raise money for the Gautemala coffee roasting project.  The day was successful and we have an extra 255 dollars to help us.  More important I have less stuff around the house.   If we build a couple more sunflowers we can get another 30 dollars.  So the day was worth the effort.