GREAT IDEA Homepage

Initiatives

Appropriate Technology for Duchity, Haiti

In November 2010, GREAT IDEA entered into dialogue with Youthaiti to brainstorm ideas of how to complement their work of installing composting toilet facilities in the community of Duchity, Haiti (N18°26.10' W73°54.07). GREAT IDEA is now collaborating with members of the community to develop alternatives for electrical power generation and water purification.

Summary of GREAT IDEA Haiti Mission

  • July 11-23, 2013 — Christopher Papadopoulos travelled to Duchity. A contact was made with an engineering company from Port au Prince to peform environmental and geological feasibility study of the Glace River. Additional water quality testing and a tour of the installed ceramic water filters were conducted.

  • March 2-11, 2013 — Christopher Papadopoulos, Marcel Castro, and Joann Rodríguez travelled to Duchity. Detailed (though speculative) cost estimates of solar and hydro-electric generating systems were presented to the community (electric committee). Joann Rodríguez administered a basic competency in water quality testing to the technicians and learned how to prepare and install household scale biosand water filters.

  • November 2-11, 2012 — Christopher Papadopoulos, Marcel Castro, Joann Rodríguez, and Mary Leonard travelled to Duchity. Joann Rodríguez led establishment of a water quality testing laboratory in the local health clinic, including the training of two local technicians. With partner John Ball (St. Thomas Apostle Catholic Church), clay pot water filters were distributed on a trial basis. Christopher Papadopoulos and Marcel Castro conducted additional mapping of the Glace River was done in conjunction with Martin Nolan (Metro New York Rotary Club) to assess capacity for hydro-electric power. Mary Leonard captured several hours of video footage was taken to begin preparing a documentary.

  • March 18-25, 2012 — Christopher Papadopoulos visited to learn more about the physical condition, history, and management of the village water supply. A survey was also conducted regarding attitudes toward a proposed design for a composting toilet facility. A solar radiation detector was also installed on the roof of the rectory.

  • October 16-23, 2011 — Marcel Castro travelled to Duchity to install an anemometer and solar radiation detector. GPS mapping of the Glace River and local electrical grid was conducted.

  • March 19-25, 2011 — Marcel Castro and Christopher Papadopoulos traveled to Duchity, Haiti, in collaboration with Gigi Pomerantz, executive director of Youthaiti. A meeting with the village Electric Committee and a walking tour of sections of the Glace River resulted in a long term plan to investigate the feasibility of building a micro hydroelectric plant.

Low Cost Power Inverter

Ricardo Maldonado, a Masters degree student in Electrical Engineering (advisor: Prof. Marcel Castro), is developing a model for a power inverter that could be developed at lower cost. This project is for possible manufacture and use in Bangladesh.

Presentation 2013-09-17

Community Participation in Local Transportation Projects

Davis Chacon, a Masters degree student in Civil Engineering (advisor: Prof. Alberto Figueroa), is developing a model to collect and incorporate community feedback in the planning process of local transportation projects.

Presentation 2013-09-17

Microbial Behavior in Biosand Filters

Joann Rodríguez, a Masters degree student in Civil Engineering (advisors: Profs. Pedro Tarafa and Christopher Papadopoulos), is developing a procedure and corresponding apparatus that can be used to measure populations of selected bacterial families as a function of depth, dissolved oxygen, and time. A possible application of this research is to develop a means to introduce initial bacteria populations that will accelerate the preparation of filter.

Presentation 2013-09-17

Evaluation of Structural Bamboo Grown in Puerto Rico

Pablo Acevedo, a Masters degree student in Civil Engineering (advisor: Prof. Christopher Papadopoulos), is testing the mechanical properties of bamboo cultivated and grown in different regions of Puerto Rico. The long term goal of this research is to establish bamboo and corresponding codes to become a viable construction alternative in Puerto Rico.

Presentation 2013-09-17

2013 Stove Camp, Aprovecho Research Center

Jeffrey Santiago, Bachelors degree student in Mechanical Engineering, attended the 2013 Stove Camp at the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, OR. He is continuing to study means to improve efficiency and reduce of emissions in stoves that use biomass and charcoal, which is critical to improving health and envrionmental sustainability in many poor communities around the world.

Presentation 2013-09-17