Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Greening of Nickelsville


by Lynnda

Nate has been a resident of Nickelsville for a few years.  He’s their bookkeeper and also the driving force behind the effort to go green.  He is their resident inventor and the energy behind planning for a smaller carbon footprint for Nickelsville.

Today he showed Aleks and me his cyclotron, a device he created to produce electricity.  I am not an electrical engineer, nor is Nate, but his contraption is quite inspiring.  He uses half of a bike, upside down.  

Cyclotron: it powers Nat's laptop,
cell phone and MP3
The wheel has magnets attached to both sides of the rim.  There is a board encasing the wheel with coils of copper wire attached, and when the wheel is manually turned using the pedal, electricity is produced from this electro-magnetic field.  An old car battery is used to store the electricity, and with an hour of turning the pedal, all sorts of electrical devices can be charged.  Nate is still building his cyclotron, and with more copper coils in the future, and perhaps a better car battery, he will be able to create electricity more quickly.

Person-powered washer:
takes 20-30 minutes of hand-activating to wash clothes
This is only the beginning of the possibilities when necessity becomes the mother of invention.  He also showed us a contraption that he uses to wash his clothes.  It’s made from found items, and powered by him, and takes about 30 minutes to wash a complete change of clothes.

Not everyone in Nickelsville is tuned into the green scene, but it’s Nate’s hope that this will become a more important part of their community.  

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