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Students in Samarian Hills Creating Eco-Friendly Homes

Unique dwellings based on hydrogen

By: Leonard Carl
Published: November 5th, 2012 in News » Israel

Who says homework can’t pay dividends in the real world?

Thanks to students at the Ariel Academic Center, that’s exactly what is happening.

Located in the City of Ariel, a bustling community of 20,000 people in the Samarian hills, the Ariel Academic Center is helping to pioneer a new future for Israel and its younger generation. From its inception, Ariel has integrated research and development into its prime goal of educating the next generation of Israelis.

Recently, Ariel Centre students were given a unique homework assignment: to create a compact, mobile ecological home, to be used in disaster-struck areas while providing its users with the full array of amenities, all, of course, without using electricity.

The students did that and more, designing a unique ecological home, based on hydrogen – considered one of the most dangerous, unstable gases.

Since the 1936 Zeppelin tragedy in Germany, that killed 36 people, hydrogen is rarely – if ever – used as a primary energy source. On the “pro” side of the gas, hydrogen is a clean gas, not harmful to the environment.

"As hydrogen is volatile, it was impossible to use until recently," said architect Matithyahu Avsalomov of the Ariel Center. "However, hydrogen storage technology has massively progressed in recent years, making usage possible."

The students’ facility took four months to build and includes a kitchenette, a living room and a bedroom but, best of all, is the fact that it produces energy through its use of sunlight and water.

"Hydrogen is the easiest and cleanest source of energy," added Avsalomov, "just as oil is being used although being explosive, so can the hydrogen be used. It's only a matter of the right storage."

Another unique aspect of the students’ structures is that they can be dissembled and reused. They also used eco-friendly materials, including glass and recycled fabrics, providing a thermo solution and eliminate the need for air conditioning.

"My goal is to have these kinds of projects initially provide concrete solution to bursting needs, then to have full-sized eco-friendly homes so that anyone can purchase an eco-home, and move it from one place to another, while helping to save the environment," added Avsalomov.

Related articles: Hydrogen, Ariel Academic Center, Ecological Home, Green Energy
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