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Published on October 15th, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan

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Earthbag Dome, Battery Storage From E-Waste, & Solar Power (#ZFEP Winner Bali Green School)

October 15th, 2017 by  


As I wrote one week ago, the Zayed Future Energy Prize (ZFEP) and the hundreds of cleantech and sustainability leaders it highlights offer an extremely potent dose of inspiration year after year. I recently helped to narrow 82 of them down to 40 for the next round of ZFEP 2018 evaluations, but I was spared the challenge of evaluating perhaps the most inspirational group of all — the high school students.

The finalists in the Global High Schools category shock me every year. They offer so much creativity, passion, and goodwill. This year, I was particularly surprised that the teacher from one of the winning schools is a long-time CleanTechnica reader!

The school is Green School and it’s located in Bali, Indonesia. Of all the creative and interesting projects I’ve seen from the finalists in this category, the one from these greenies is definitely near or even at the top. The school is also one of the most comprehensively sustainable schools I’ve run across.

Regarding the project, teacher Noan Fesnoux just emailed me an update: “We are building an Energy Hub using some super low tech methods, but then cladding the building in high tech renewables. We may be running our system off a DC bus to improve yield, and are slated to get our run of river vortex online before the year is out.”

Learn more about the school & project in the ZFEP finalist video below and in my video interview of Noan and student Mikel Gutiérrez right after they won. Also learn about other great stuff Green School teachers and students are working on via a repost of a recent blog post from the crew (below the videos).

That’s just awesome, isn’t it?

For extra fun, you can also check out their Operation Rain Or Shine instagram page for visual updates of this effort to get Green School off the grid.


The eHub; A Student led Earthbag Structure

by Dominik Frolec

building models of the eHUB

The eHub (e is for education, energy, exercise, environment) is a student led initiative by Pak Noan’s class at Green School Bali. Other teachers, such as Pak Jason and Ibu Jaclyn, have also been involved. This project will be used for many different purposes and it will have different things that we lack in our school. It will have an energy usage display, hangout place for students, batteries, water tanks and some climbing walls. There will also be electricity generation gym equipment. The main building is the dome, which will be a hangout place for students. There is a an underground hole and it will have the batteries, water storage tanks, and maybe some other tanks. On the top floor there will be a learning space and some equipment to make energy, like a generator powered by a bike or a pump to add compressed air storage.

our diggers hard at work

I have been mostly designing stuff for our dome; one thing that I was a part of was making glass bottles connected to jars which light will shine through. I really enjoyed learning about earthbags and earth as a material to build with. Earth is a very strong material and it can be found anywhere. Earthbag Buildings that are made correctly can last between 100–200 years.

some more epic digging shots

This will take a around 2 more month to complete. We have also been talking about how we can add creative ideas into the dome, I will be designing a climbing wall made of boulders. This has been a really fun experience for me. About ⅔ of the class have been working on the site a lot. Filling earthbags and laying them on each other, adding barbed wire between to keep them stuck together.

surveying the site before we started the earthbag construction

At the time of writing we have built 10 layers and we need 35 more! Matthew has been working really hard moving over 100 kilos of dirt each day. This class also involves model making, some people made models of our dome (concepts and ideas). When this dome is finished it will be a great contribution to our school.


Made it all the way down here?! Check out some hopefully helpful words of advice to future energy leaders from some great people and a certain deathly sick cleantech blogger:


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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