Visionary permaculturists Paulo Mellett and Fabio Poesia Sambasoul in front of their Insinkerator and Solar CITIES biogas system in Sao Paulo

August 6, 2014

Basic training opportunities in small scale biogas build confidence and familiarity with biogas before launching into a larger community-size builds.

Our Facebook group “Solar CITIES Biogas Innoventors and Practitioners” encourages people around the world to get involved. Individuals, with guidance and advice from members of the Facebook group, build their own small-scale systems so that they gain confidence and expertise and can leverage success at the home-scale to garner larger funding opportunities.

As our network grows, Solar CITIES builds and trainings are beginning to occur in more and more locations. They are led by people who have been inspired by the open-source sustainable development network concept.

Our dear friend Paulo Mellett (RIP brother! We miss you down here!) was a leader in bringing open-source solutions to the world and blessed us when he embraced the Solar CITIES small biogas cause and made it his own.

Before his untimely death from malaria contracted while building biodigesters in Ghana, he made this video of the installation of our open-source Solar CITIES 3 IBC system in Sao Paulo.

We hope this helps others who want to replicate and improve not only the Solar CITIES open-source systems but the philosophy of collective intelligence leading to a better world.  Paulo’s video from Sao Paulo helps others visualize the storage system we developed with Hanna Fathy and Mike Rimoin in 2009 in Cairo. We built this system with Alvaro Silva, Mike Bonifer, and Danny Barth in south Los Angeles in 2010. We also built it in Alaska with Adam Low, in Santa Rosa with Frank Di Massa as well as Slovakia and Budapest in 2011.

This unit in Sao Paulo, Brazil we think is now the only functioning one of its kind. The one in Cairo was discontinued when the teacher at the SEKEM school left, the one in Los Angeles was stolen, the ones in Alaska were dismantled at the end of the project and the storage tanks froze, the one in Northern California was given away to be reassembled some other time, the one in Slovakia has gone off radar, while the one in Budapest was forbidden by authorities to be operated. So this one, run by Fabio Poesia Sambasoul, is the one to watch for future progress on this front. 

Our projects continue in Brazil, both through the work we are doing with Urban BioRecovery: Digesters for Development and through Paulo’s legacy and our commitment to Catalytic Communities.