Israel experiments with off-grid Kibbutz

Israel’s off grid demonstration village at the Ketura Kibbutz in the Negev Desert, north of the Red Sea, is an attempt to show what is possible for eco-minded companies in the space.

Inhabitat website reports that the village demonstrates the potential for rapidly deployable housing, low-cost renewable energy systems, and experimental technologies.
Off grid demonstration village at the Ketura Kibbutz
Non-profit Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative teamed up to launch the Off-Grid Demonstration Village (also known as the Eilat-Eilot Off Grid Hub) in 2014.

Its location in the desert offers similar conditions as found in other underdeveloped parts of the world, where off-grid ventures are being produced.

The initiative and Arava Institute work directly with African communities and Bedouin communities in Israel to test out the viability and sustainability of these off-grid technologies.

The innovations lie in the easy-to-implement improvements to these types of houses, such as the addition of solar stoves or a biogas system to substitute fuel for cooking and heating to reduce pollution, risk of asthma, and the taxing labor of collecting wood for fuel.

As well as the presence of rooftop solar panels, a backyard biogas system, called HOMEBIOGAS, sits outside one of the homes to convert household waste into energy and organic fertilizer.

The urban structure is the largest of the three demonstration homes contained within the project and is based on buildings found in informal urban settlements like slums. The backyard includes an adjustable solar panel hooked up to a monitoring system so that users inside can adjust the position of the solar panel to maximize energy efficiency. A vacuum tube solar oven on display on the south side of the structure features insulated inner tubes that absorb solar energy to heat up food or water placed in the tubes to boiling temperatures.

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