Haiti Reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education

Alt. Energy

Alternative energy refers to energy sources that have no undesired consequences such for example fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Alternative energy sources are renewable and are thought


 to be "free" energy sources. They all have lower carbon emissions, compared to conventional energy sources. These include Biomass EnergyWind EnergySolar 

EnergyGeothermal EnergyHydroelectric Energy sources. Combined with the use of recycling, the use of clean alternative energies such as the home use of solar power systems will help ensure man's survival into the 21st century and beyond by this helping the use of home security.

 Solar and wind power works great for lighting and electronics. Batteries and converters are the most expensive investments in solar power; using DC pumps that only run while the sun shines is the best use for pumping water.

Heavier demands require more power such as heavy machinery and constant refrigeration.  This is why we have to make smaller scale electrification plants for rural villages.   The best renewable source for electrifying plants is biomass.

 Haiti Reconstruction International's main interest is conserving resources while creating sustainable businesses to produce more food and a healthy environment.

The largest improvement in Haiti's history toward new technolgy started only in 2006 when Digical started service that the masses could afford now nearly 3 million Haitians are using cell phones.  Digicel is the now the largest business in Haiti and also pays the most taxes supporting the government.

Newest technologies put into Haiti with good business plans; can leap-frog Haiti skipping nearly a century of outdated or sometimes wasteful technology by using solar, alternative power and renewable energy throughout Haiti eliminating need of high power lines.

Haiti Reconstruction International believes vetiver grass is needed on every mountain side to stop erosion and the only way to get this planted is if we can make it profitable so the people will grow it in a business manner.

This video shows a reed used as biomass but vetiver grass can be used in Haiti and will create millions of tons of biomass that can be harvested 2 to 3 times per year.  These hedgerows will still bring back the soil by saving all the debris and creating terraces from leaves and waste from above, without the hedgerows there will be no soil.

 

Vetiver produces the driest biomass per unit of time than any other plant on our planet!

Vetiver has the highest photosynthetic activity of any plant according to Dr. Massimo Maffei of the University of Turin Italy.  Many other plants produce more tons per acre but contain 50% more moisture.  Vetiver hay is easily dried in a few hours and can produce 70 to 80 tons per hectare of cellulosic biomass with adequate water and nutrients.

Best of all is its easy grows and harvest 2 to 3 times per year.

But vetiver grass is 1/3rd the cost per ton of BTU value of petroleum or propane gas!

Buying propane that comes from outside Haiti also drains the economy, using vetiver grass as fuel will also fuel the economy!

 Posted by: The Vetiver Network (International)

A university student wanted to know the energy value of vetiver which reminded me of a note from Gueric Boucard (Dominican Republic), Gueric uses vetiver as feed stock for his power plant, and energy prices are on the rise again:

 ■A vetiver plantation in the tropics under irrigation or good annual rainfall will produce up to 80 tons per hectare per year of dry vetiver grass.

 ■The grass can be baled with a standard hay baler after 3 or 4 days of sun drying.

 ■The dry grass was found to have a calorific value of 7,000 btu per pound. (about one half of that of coal).

 ■A modern thermal power plant would require 1000 tons of vetiver bales per day to produce 50 Megawatts around the clock. ( I know this, because there is a 50 Megawatt power plant in my backyard, in Barahona, D.R. which burns 500 tons per day of coal imported from Columbia with 13,000 btu/lb)

 ■1000 tons of vetiver bales more than equal 500 tons of coal, and can be harvested from a 12.5 hectare field easily in one day.

 ■Hence to run the 50 Megawatt power plant 365 days per year on vetiver hay will require a plantation of 4,563 hectares, surrounding the plant. (think of a sugar mill surrounded by fields of sugarcane).

 ■Unlike sugarcane, the vetiver plantation does not need to be re-planted. The vetiver plantation will just grow back with natural rainfall and can be considered a renewable and sustainable FUEL MINE, which can be harvested every year, at any time of the year, for 20 years or more, just adding some fertilizer.

 ■If the power plant owns the farm land (like a sugar mill) and its own farming operation, I estimate the raw cost of producing one ton of vetiver biomass fuel at no more than US$15/ton, once the plantation is established.

Power plant engineers will have only one question for you: What is the cost of the fuel per Million btu (MMbtu)? Here is how to calculate:

 ■If one pound of dry vetiver leaves has 7000 btu, then it takes 1,000,000 divided by 7000 to establish how many pounds of the fuel will produce 1,000,000 btus. 1,000,000 divided by 7000 = 142.9 lbs. if one ton of vetiver fuel (2000 lbs) cost US$15, then US$15 divided by 2000 and multiplied by 142.9 gives you what it costs to produce 1,000,000 btus, that is: Vetiver fuel cost: US$1.07/MMbtu

 ■If you do the math for one of the cheapest fuels, which is COAL with 14,000 btu/lb, at US$45/ton (in the US), you will find: Coal fuel cost: US$1.60/MMbtu

 ■Let's try it for crude petroleum, just for kicks. At only $100 per barrel ( a barrel = 42 gallons or 336 lbs). One ton (2000 lbs) divided by 336 lbs = 5.95 barrels per ton....., multiplied by $100 = US$595/ton of crude petroleum. Now, petroleum has about 18,000 btus per pound...., so 1,000,000 divided by 18,000 = 55.5 lbs. It takes only 55.5 lbs of crude petroleum to produce a MMbtu. But US$595 divided by 2000 and multiplied by 55.5 lbs gives the fuel cost per MMbtu: Crude petroleum fuel cost: US$16.5/MMbtu

 I don't rest my case yet. One could argue that planting vetiver for fuel, is one of the easiest and safest farming operations (no diseases, no weather damage, no nothing) and one of the most lucrative uses for tropical farmland....., if electricity at US$0.12 per Kw/h is the final product.

 If somebody in the third world ever figures this out, one of the biggest problems will be to insure that food crops are not displaced for fuel production. Really, only second rate farmlands should be used or cleared for vetiver fuel production.  (This is not a problem on the mountainsides where we want the millions of tons of grass grown in hedgerows)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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