West Bend


Workshops/Speakers: Asheville, N.C.

April 12-13, 2014

Workshop speakers are listed alphabetically by speaker’s first name. To narrow your search, click on the categories listed on the left.

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Biochar-Making Cookstove
Chris Farmer - School of Integrated Living (SOIL)
This workshop will demonstrate how to cook food and make biochar at the same time, using a small Champion TLUD (Top Lit Up Draft) gasifier. Basic history of biochar and gasifiers will be given in addition to a live demonstration of creating high-quality charcoal for biochar while steaming a large pot of food.

Free Cooling for Life
Dan Chiras - The Evergreen Institute
Although many people don't realize it, we can cool our homes naturally in many climate zones. Smart design combined with energy-efficient landscaping and intelligent decisions about energy use can easily cut your cooling bill by half. Come learn how to stay cool in the summer without costly air conditioners and sky-high utility bills.

Is Solar Electricity Right for You?
Dan Chiras - The Evergreen Institute
In this workshop, we will explore solar energy and solar electric systems, helping home and business owners understand how photovoltaic systems work, what options they have, how much electricity they can acquire from a system, what systems will cost, and the best ways to mount a system for optimum production.

Powering your Homestead With Renewable Energy
John Ivanko - New Society Publishers
Whether you want to go off-grid or supply it with renewable energy and make energy a positive cash flow for your business or homestead, explore your many options to power up with renewable energy. Explore wind, solar electric, solar thermal, geothermal, wood heating and other aspects of sustainable living.

Backyard Biodiesel
Lyle Estill - Piedmont Biofuels
Lyle Estill will bring some used vegetable oil and the necessary reactants, and make a batch of biodiesel on stage. If he has the recipe right, the audience may be able to see phase separation before their very eyes. Estill will discuss feedstocks, practical techniques, and how it is possible to meet your family's fuel needs by making your own biodiesel.

Renewable Natural Gas
Paul Scheckel - Storey Publishing
Learn how to make and use your own renewable natural gas from farm and kitchen wastes or wood, using a small biogas digester and simple wood-gas camp stove. Workshop covers the basics of both biogas and wood gas. Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of both anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis from the author of The Homeowner’s Energy Handbook.

Renewables and Efficiency: Choices and options
Paul Scheckel - Storey Publishing
Insulation or solar panels? Learn to prioritize your energy improvement investments by understanding the energy, environment and economic impacts of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Participants will learn the basics of various renewable energy systems, and why efficiency is always the most practical first step, from the author of The Homeowner’s Energy Handbook. We’ll also take a short side trip to Cuba!

High-Efficiency Windows and Glazing
Richard Freudenberger - Backhome Magazine/ New Society author
Learn how to choose the best windows for passive solar or energy-efficient design. Glazing is a prime area for energy loss, and this presentation is a broad overview of what to look for in materials, construction, design and specific features. We will also review the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) Performance Rating label and how to use it to determine best applications and get the most out of a substantial home investment.

Small-Scale Alcohol Fuel
Richard Freudenberger - Backhome Magazine/ New Society author
An introductory overview of small-scale alcohol fuel production and its place in a Peak Oil future. Homemade alcohol, produced from crop culls and food-processing waste, is an environmentally sustainable fuel with many performance benefits. Learn about potential feedstocks, fermentation, equipment needs, alcohol co-products, engine conversions, and cooperative/community ventures, and find out if it’s economically feasible to make alcohol fuel on your own or within a group cooperative.

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