Spotlight: Approaching energy needs with inventive solutions

Art Nash shows a commercially produced Kelly Kettle, homemade firelogs and a 2-by-6-inch stove. Photo by Julie Stricker
Art Nash shows a commercially produced Kelly Kettle, homemade firelogs and a 2-by-6-inch stove. Photo by Julie Stricker

Extension energy specialist Art Nash is interested in creative ways to provide energy to remote cabins and camps.

His practical remote energy workshops help participants analyze their needs and potential energy sources — and then consider the options. In addition to propane and battery power, Nash talks about windmills, rocket stoves and a variety of inventive gadgets from Alaska tinkerers.

One of these is a portable renewable energy cart that can take solar, wind or hydro energy and store it in a bank of batteries. “I was very enthralled by that,” says Nash.

An economist by training, Nash became interested in energy while serving as an Extension agent in northwest Minnesota. He was asked to consider the feasibility of a wind turbine for an Indian reservation.  That turned into helping communities consider alternative energy sources, including wood and biomass.

Since coming to Alaska Extension in 2011, he has offered a variety of classes on radon concerns, solar energy, wind power, other energy topics and home adaptations for living independently.

His schedule changes as needs arise. After the Yukon River flooded this past spring, Nash met with several groups of evacuated residents about how to re-enter their  homes safely and dry them out.

When he’s not thinking about home or energy issues, he likes to race on snowshoes. Contact him with energy questions at 474-6366 or at alnashjr@alaska.edu.

FYI ...

  • Art Nash tracks energy developments in his CES Energy blog, including the wood smoke and natural gas debates in Alaska, research on solar-powered water tanks and even electric hybrid bicycles.   He also uses the blog to announce upcoming classes and energy lectures.
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