Starting from Brazil, EarthCode will initially spend 12 months traveling in South-America countries in search of sustainable aspects within ethnic, alternative and mainstream communities.
In order to review sustainable lifestyle models amongst society, EarthCode is focusing on the fundamental characteristics within settlements: cultural, ecological, technological and agricultural, spiritual and economical.
All discoveries will be photographed and reported, in English, on EarthCode’s web portal. Video and audio samples will also be recorded to be used on the website and a visual documentary will be prepared at the end of this journey.
EarthCode intends to continue gathering information worldwide after this first 12-month period, depending upon results, publication interest and partnership/sponsorship opportunities.
Whilst ‘on-the-road’, we of EarthCode manage to live consciously in ways that help to minimize our own impact on society and the environment. We are reducing our dependance on national resources for electricity, transportation fuel and diet.
“We avoid relying on mains grid electricity!”
The mobile production suite and all electrically reliant devices EarthCode use are powered by our own renewable energy source: a self-designed, self-sufficient, solar-powered unit.
The system we use to power our laptop, cameras and other electrical devices is a simple solar-power set-up:
1. Sunlight is absorbed through a flexible 20watt, 1.5 amp, solar panel.
2. This energy is stored in a custom built, 11.1V, Lithium-Ion Polymer, 3 Cell, battery.
3. Once the battery is filled to capacity, it is discharged into each individual device.
From one full host-battery we can run our laptop for between 5-6 hours, and charge our photographic camera.
This picture illustrates our Panel and Lithium-Ion Battery.
“Ensuring independence of fossil-fuel based transportation is a hard target, but one we believe is achievable!”
EarthCode is in the process of attaining a waste-vegetable-oil powered vehicle to reduce fossil-fuel use, and help eliminate pollution contributions. As we plan to cover thousands of kilometers over land, we aim to purchase a 4WD to convert it to be fueled by vegetable oil.
South America is a continent of diverse terrain, and given the nature of EarthCode’s adventure, we will need to be able to access isolated locations. Criteria determining this choice include:
1. A rugged, all-terrain, 4WD vehicle.
2. A vehicle able to be worked on with minimum tools and have replacement parts readily available across the continent.
3. A diesel engine to ensure the vegetable-oil conversion is possible.
At the moment we are approaching Toyota for sponsorship as they have a vehicle that fulfills all these features. The decision has fallen on the Toyota model called ‘Bandeirante’, the Brazilian version of the FJ40 LandCruiser. Built in Brazil, in an old Land Rover factory, the ‘Bandeirante’ was produced until 2000, twenty years after the FJ40 ceased production elsewhere.
The conversion to vegetable-oil is a process involving only one basic modification: an additional fuel system (tank and lines). Once the oil reaches the engine there is no need for further modification. This conversion proves itself possible as the engine Dr Rudolph Diesel designed in 1897 ran three years later on peanut oil, at the World Fair in Paris, France.
Introduced to the market in 2004, here is a diagram of the conversion process implemented by the ‘Frybrid’ system that EarthCode wishes to adopt for their vehicle.
How does the Frybrid system work?
The Frybrid system is a two tank fuel system (the tanks are represented above as O and N). By tapping into the engines coolant system, this method uses the waste heat to bring the vegetable-oil to a temperature where it will combust with similar characteristics to diesel fuel.
The vehicle’s original diesel fuel system (K and L)functions just as it always has. Once the vehicle is started the engine (G) produces heat which is transferred by the radiator coolant (E), to heat (H) the vegetable-oil supply lines (I and J), and the ‘in-tank heater’ for the vegetable-oil tank (M). This process enables the vegetable-oil to be as fluid as standard diesel, even in sub-zero conditions.
“We have a strong belief to not irreparably injure fellow species, permitting the true essence of sustainability.”
The founders of EarthCode are lacto-ovo vegetarians and promote the use of ethically sourced products.
We believe it is possible to follow a healthy and balanced diet, excluding animals, by nourishing ourselves with broad forms of protein, minerals and vitamins produced as locally as possible.