The 2CN is initially conceived as a co-operation between homeless aid organisations, religious educational institutions (as madrassas, ashrams/gurukuls, monasteries, ...), orphanages, boarding schools, campuses, AT villages, organic farms, (rental) appartment buildings, hotels, motels, hostels, hospitals, prisons, and other private enterprises.
The main office of the 2CN is the overseeing organ which analyses and gives advice to institutions on ways to become financially independant and more ecologic. It should be noted here that the costs of implementing the actual changes to the buildings, ... of the institutions is carried by the institutions themselves. In addition, upon reaching some degree of financial independance and/or ecology, it issues 2CN certificates (which double as a quality label and as prove of being part of 2CN) to these institutions.
The 2CN certificates can be understood as follows: * The yellow stars indicate the degree of financial self-sustainability. As there are 4 stars, each stars represents 25% self-sufficiency in this. * The green stars represent the percentage of green energy use (and/or overall ecologic operation of the orphanage). Again each star represents 25%. These are given on overall ecologic operation rather than per 25% of the energy bill that is made renewable.
Examples of ways for the outcasts to attain revenue for the institutions: * seperating of organic waste (from buildings owned by the institutions or from other point sources (ie landfills, directly from from consumers, ...). converting this seperated organic waste into products (compost, biodiesel, fodder for dairy animals, ...) and selling them to the general public * working on (CSA-style) organic farms, green kibbutzim, farms of AT villages, tree nurseries, orchards, farms producing vegetable and staple crops, ... Regarding the latter; these last enterprises generally require seasonal labour (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_industry) and often employ foreign workers for this. Foreign workers are attractive as the minimum wage they can then ask may be lower than the minimum wage asked for countrymembers. The 2CN could help homeless people, ... of working abroad (as a migrant worker) as it has buildings in many countries (and as such can move people between these). 2CN migrant workers will be more attractive than other migrant workers as there is little to no risk that 2CN migrant workers will decide to stay indefinitly in the country after the seasonal work is done. With regular migrant workers there is such a risk, and indefinite stay of people with a low income brings down the economy of the country in question. Also, 2CN may also supply homeless people, ... to work in their own country in the mentioned industries. Although the minimum wage the enterprises then need to pay may be higher, it may still be attractive to them. This, as seasonal work is temporary in nature and there may be little demand in some countries for this kind of work at all. * sale of genetic material (i.e. plant cuttings, ...) * Other possible jobs offered to the outcasts can be provided by first setting up a new social entrepreneurial business. For example businesses can be made that: ** process vegetables, fruit, staple crops, ... that did not meet the (super)market guidelines in terms of size, quality, ... Produce that is processed may then be provided to the soup kitchens operated by some of the member organisations, aswell as sold to the homeless/general public. ** manufacture (portable) homes for the homeless ** work in green vehicle tuning shops
Examples of ways for the outcasts to reduce the operational costs of the institutions: * exchanging the seperated organic waste products (compost, biodiesel, fodder for dairy animals, ...) noted above between the institutions of the 2CN * provide teaching (courses) to other outcasts * manufacture components (e.g. wind turbines, ...) of the SCN_semi-off_grid_system and installing the SCN_semi-off_grid_system in other institutions of the 2CN
Some of the main ways how the 2CN main office reduces the operational costs of the institutions: * installing a biofuel-powered gen-set. This gen-set can either be stirling engine- or internal combustion engine-based and run respectively on e.g. wood, or straight vegetable oil. An alternative powerplant is a small hydroelectric plant; however this can only be installed if a river is present and will only be cost-effective if net metering is indeed available. * installing a net metering system with or without a (compressed air, electrochemical battery, or pumped hydro) energy storage system. An energy storage system is OPTIONAL (see section at the bottom of this page concerning the energy stacking). If installed, it allows the effective use of the power plants and allows its user to remain unaffected in case of a mains electricity grid power outtage. The energy storage system can be discarded if the user does not need a reliable, constant, energy reserve (used at any time of the day when the main power plant is not running). This can be the case if no fixed indoor lights are present, no television is present, and when there is no electricly-powered refrigerated room (see below). * seperating the main hot water system (to produce hot water for the kitchen sink) and the hot water system for the showers. The dedicated hot water system for the showers then gets a solar thermal collector installed. Note that if the institution prefers, it can also choose to not use any main hot water system at all but instead simply use small water cookers for heating water in the kitchen. * installing a rainwater harvesting system * replacing flush toilets by composting toilets, or converting the flush toilets to low-flush toilets which also use grey water or rainwater as their water source and by also adding a biodigester. The addition of the biodigester allows to reuse the feces as a soil ammendment, on a safe manner (similar to composting toilets); it also allows capturing biogas (e.g. for cooking or for resale value). This latter approach needs to be followed for (rental) appartment buildings, hotels, motels, hostels, hospitals, prisons. This as they the setup of the houses do not easily lend themselves for composting toilets (require regular emptying) and would also be hazardous to the allready compromised health of the users (hospitals). * having the outcasts learning specific practial skills in classrooms owned by institutions in the 2CN (ie composting, recycling waste plastic into plastic pellets, ...
Some optional ways how the 2CN main office further reduces the the operational costs of the institutions: * installing a wind turbine, and/or other additional renewable energy power plants. * installing a heat pump system * installing a heat recovery ventilation system * changing the (radiator-based) central heating system (if present) to run on biofuels, or alternatively, work out a heating system with multiple fixed and/or mobile heat sources (ie mobile electric radiators, woodstove, ...) * installing additional insulation, draught-excluding strips, ...
In regards to the optional discarding of the energy storage system; this can be done if: * rather than using fixed electrical lighting, mobile, wind-up electric lanterns, oil lamps or candles are used * rather than using electric refrigeration for the food storage room, biofuel-powered refrigeration is used, or if there is no active refrigeration at all in the room (opting for other food preservation techniques instead).
Note that the SCN_semi-off_grid_system may also generate revenue through net metering. Net metering involves selling any surplus energy produced (so energy that is not consumed by the institution itself) back to the local energy company.
Note that any existing boilers would be moved to the dedicated shower system, and depending on the nature of the existing boilers, may be heated electrically, or using a biofuel. The main hot water system however is always heated by an (electrical) on-demand water heater
Note that the rainwater harvesting system may be connected to the optional heat pump system, if present
It should be noted that the optional methods (not the main ways !) mentioned above may not always be useful. Instead, they might be effective only in institutions depending on the climate zone they are located (e.g. temperate climates) or may only prove beneficial specifically for the institution in question. This specifically goes for the heat pump system, heat recovery ventilation, and heaters. Heating is for example not even needed at all in tropical and subtropical countries (assuming they don't cool off at night). It should thus be clear that 2CN provides advise specifically tailored to that institution, assessing each institution on a case-by-case approach. It does this by first requesting the institution to fill in a questionnaire after which very specific changes for the institution can be proposed and then implemented.
It should also be noted that besides simply adding equipment to the institutions, some life style changes are necessairy too. For example, the net metering system with energy storage system mentioned above requires following a specific energy stacking schedule, meaning that showering, cooking, ... can only be done during a specific period in the day (when the main power source -biofuel-powered gen-set or small hydroelectric plant- is running). In the example schematic above, this period is between 9.00h and 12.30h and between 18.00h and 20.00h. Note btw that the example schematic is mainly only useful when no energy storage is present at all, or alternatively, as a way to reduce the storage capacity of the energy storage system (excess power produced can be immediatelly sold/transferred to the mains electricity grid via net metering). If a constant, reliable energy source is required (for example when constant refrigeration of a food storage room is needed -discussed above- or if fixed lighting is installed), the energy stacking loses in value. One option could be to simply accept that during these periodic power outtages of the grid, the food won't be kept as cool and lighting is not available, or to simply solve the problem by preserving food using other methods, and use alternative or back-up options of lighting (again, see above). Also, if the institution wishes to reduce its ecologic footprint (a lot) more, than it should only provide a vegetarian diet to the people using its services, and also make sure the institution is either reachable using public transport or provide access to (small/lightweight) personal transportation vehicles running on biofuels or electricity.
It should be noted that the biodiesel production is optional; in case there are civic amenity sites in the regio, it may be more efficient to leave the conversion of (waste) vegetable oil to biodiesel over to the company connected to the civic amenity site. Some revenue can be attained from delivering the WVO to these sites, and no equipment is needed nor experience with the process.
The components of the SCN_semi-off_grid_system system are attained from several manufacturers (see the off-grid store), yet are deliverable to any location on earth using a global package delivery company