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So passes a unique, crusty, multi-talented, cross-disciplinary genius who set in motion an insight that will shape this world for generations to come.
The future of food and energy were foreseen in his fertile mind, writings and lectures. A groundswell has begun and is growing.
Climate change skeptics have claimed that more recent halting in measured sea temperature rises reveals global warming is a hoax. But a recent NASA video rebuts this.
Using information from recent research suggesting that the heat is hidden in a deeper level of the ocean. The mechanism is part of a well-understood constant cycle that occurs in our earth’s oceans.
This clip gives a good explanation and background to the phenomenon.
As of right now the crowdfunding campaign for the StarkBrite Searchlight personal headlight has been launched on Indiegogo. Head on over and check it out.
For the very first early backers there is a chance to be one of the few to receive one of these tough, bright, military grade headlights at a special introductory low price. Numbers for these is strictly limited and will not be repeated.
Head on over to check out what should be the beginning of a series of initiatives to bring quality innovative alternative energy products to wide distribution.
With the StarkBrite Headlight iAltEnergy releases its first alternative energy product leveraging the power of crowdfunding.
Shop 1st offers a increasing range of effective, useful, affordable alternative energy products initially on-line and with the help of crowdfunding impetus.
This year the on-line behemoth Amazon is expected to reach US$100 Billion in turnover. Is it possible to latch on to its coat tails to build a worthwhile business?
Year on year it has been growing over 20%. In the next month it will be hosting a three day event in Las Vegas promoting its site as the ideal storefront for any business.
Even individuals and small businesses can create significant income with open access to the huge customer base this giant is creating. To learn how it is possible to be part of this check the further information in video format by clicking below.
Permaculture principles ensuring repeated uses of resources and energy before they transition from a site could transform future design and aims for effective alternative energy adoption.
Talk and community with real, honest, positive exchanges will produce the most creative and effective responses for all our futures. How can we best facilitate this?
As I noted previously on this site it is possible to generate power from temperature gradients in the ocean. The OTEC project in Hawaii was pioneering the technology. Now a test power generation unit has just begun supplying 150kW to the local grid.
As they noted more cost-effective heat exchange units would make the technique more reasonable. But this has not stopped other ventures along the same lines.
A French initiative in Martinique will built a larger generating facility. Meanwhile Lockheed-Martin of recent nuclear fusion generation interest is partnering a Chinese project to produce 10MW - enough to power 10,000 homes.
A global offensive community action is more likely to result in rapid alternative energy adoption rather than waiting for government structures to change.
Community first desires and strategies will respond to the importance of people above business for future energy supply for the planet.
For some years now Mark Ruffalo of Avengers, Zodiac and many other movies fame has been campaigning against the mess that is hydraulic fracturing. Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon along with Alec Baldwin cooperated with him and others in Artists Against Fracking.
He has joined other voices in the call for 100% renewable power for the world, aiming for the USA to achieve this by 2050. The Solutions Project brings many of them together with backing from the Elon Musk and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundations among many others.
With the launch of the 100% campaign in New York, where he now resides, he fronts the website, interviewing and promoting people changed in the community by pursuing this goal. Here he backgrounds the campaign.
For all those of you following Alternative Energy Action Now I am simplifying the web URL to make it more memorable and easier to log on. In the process I have migrated the site's RSS feeds to feed burner to ensure you have easy access my continued activity.
The new URL will be iAltEnergy.com. To minimise any major disruptions with the change, as it may mean the site could be inaccessible for 24 hours, and to help you continue to follow my news, note the new feed address below.
The change is planned for this weekend between Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July. As this is usually a relatively low traffic time it should cause minimal disruption. Let me know if you have any problems.
To make sure you continue to receive my RRS feeds from the site click on the link below.
Summer is already in full swing where I am from (Boise, Idaho). I recently discovered that my energy bill has been starting to increase more and more as
Having watched Germany's acceleration for many years the US may be about to launch some sort of catch up. By-passing the usual avenues to create policy changes, President Obama has announced initiatives to benefit multiple sectors of society.
Entrenched utility monopolies have long insisted the poorer sections of society will be left paying a larger and larger bill for energy provision as the "rich" pay for their own solar power
A sea change is going on and this is merely the tip of the iceberg!
Canada’s General Fusion initiative has partnered with InnoCentive in an attempt to rapidly solve one of its design challenges. Its magnetised target fusion idea seeks to generate abundant nuclear fusion energy in a multiple piston-type effect to raise energy in the active plasma.
The design has attracted backing from the likes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
The outsourced challenge is to find a material that can act as effective seal in the high temperature environment the pistons are exposed to. InnoCentive’s bevy of 355,000 registered solvers have the chance to win $20,000 if they can come up with a suitable material in thirty days.
It saves General Fusion the time and diverted energy involved if their team alone was researching the solution.
The compact fusion reactor by Lockheed Martin from their Skunk Works program has generated excited media attention. How warranted is this?
Purely commercial considerations are driving a Texas city to go 100% renewable in the next one to two years. Oil-rich, Republican dominated, climate change skeptical bedrock is not stopping the swing.
The huge fluctuations in especially fossil-fuel generated electricity prices have caused the monopoly utility supplier for Georgetown (pop 54,000) to contract for future supply by wind and solar.
EDF Renewable Energy was selected in late 2014 for twenty years of wind supply. Solar was contracted in March 2015 through SunEdison for twenty-five years. Supply should begin in 2016 to 2017.
SunEdison’s high pressure fluidised bed reactor technology for producing polysilicon at a fraction of the usual temperature and cost will no doubt help in providing cheaper solar generation. At $0.05 per watt the new technology already in production at Ulsan, Korea will supply the substrate much more cheaply than the long-utilised Siemens method.
News of the long-term cheap renewable power supply is driving enquiries from a number of manufacturers seeking possible relocation to benefit from 100% renewables.
A waste energy plant initiative already existing at several sites around the world creates diesel, kerosene, electricity and other useful products
Hydrogen alternative energy is showing promise on the back of new ground-breaking research which efficiently yields hydrogen along with useful biomass products.
David House just shared with me about an upcoming beginner’s and builder’s workshop for biogas production scheduled for mid April in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the University of the District of Columbia it is preceded by a free lecture the Friday night before the course.
David’s background in computing and medical device technology has allowed him to expand into biogas technology. So far he has lectured and taught in a number of subjects in twenty countries.
Over two days the course will cover the background and technology of biogas production and how to build at least four different designs. Information about building large digesters will also be shared
On day two you will learn how to build a low cost digester with about $300 in materials. This anaerobic method to generate usable methane gas from waste materials could provide you an affordable segment of your own sustainable energy production!
A commonly available but previously dismissed algal species is showing promise for producing both diesel and jet fuel. Related to algae that cause northern sea blooms which can also befoul fishing nets Isochrysis has been known to oceanographers for decades.
Its heavy products fall to the ocean floor with proportions of its alkenone molecules varying with sea surface temperatures - useful for documenting past changes.
Previously its thick, greasy product did not attract traditional biofuel researchers looking for lighter products usually used in biodiesel. Also gas chromatography needed to be run for a further hour than usual, beyond the biodiesel useful triglyceride FAMEs fraction, to reveal the alkenone fraction.
As a large fat molecule it has no direct uses. But the 2005 Nobel Prize for Chemistry technique - olefin metathesis - can readily split these molecules giving products similar to those in jet fuels.
Already produced as fish food in large quantities, although not sufficiently cheaply yet, Isochrysis has another useful feature. Unlike some other algal species its oily production also synchronises with its rapid growth. Very useful. We may hear more of these interesting algae.
RE<C, or Renewable Energy being produced for less than the price of energy produced from Coal, was geared to achieve this goal in a matter of years, rather than decades. When it did not show signs of being achieved Google abandoned it.
The engineers involved, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, went on analysing the data behind this and seeking ways it might be possible to somehow get somewhere near the aim.
With current atmospheric levels of CO2 at 400ppm, well beyond the 350ppm suggested in a 2008 paper by James Hansen, we seem beyond a point of no return. Especially in view of our current inertia.
The engineers' paper does indeed conclude that incremental improvements in renewables will never produce enough energy in a short enough time to get us there with our current progress. Considering our most widely embraced solar panels need to produce power for two years to even make up for the carbon dioxide involved in their production, this certainly seems right.
Their conclusion is we need disruptive breakthrough technologies to get us there. This will involve an attitude like that expected in Google’s staff of spending time exploring strange new ideas in at least some of our time to enable us to reach this possibility. Something as disruptive, but maybe Earth-based, as those behind Interstellar.
The World Energy Need and a Real Solution Energy is the lifeblood of modern society. Energy is the slave of modern man but somehow energy has also become
Debate about carbon taxes and trading still inflames opinions in various parts of the world. European Union countries seemed to have embraced them readily.
But do they always produce expected results?
Emerging economies argue they are and will pay an unfair share of the consequences of climate change. From this article it appears they being asked to pay huge penalties so that Western economies can feel they are playing their part.
The image below shows Kenyan tribal homes being burned to force relocation from ancestral lands to serve Western reforestation carbon credits.
Just published in the Advanced Materials journal is proof of concept for rapid recharging and prolonged life of lithium ion batteries. A team at Singapore’s Nanyang Technical University is attracting industry attention for its patent.
By replacing the usual graphite anode with a gel of titanium dioxide nanotubules batteries can be 70% recharged in 2 minutes. Battery life should be able to be extended to twenty years.
Simple heating at a set temperature of commonly available titanium dioxide with sodium hydroxide can readily produce the tubules. This opens the possibility of electric cars being able to recharge within five minutes: nearer the time for conventional gasoline refuelling.Continue reading "Technology To Transform Lithium Ion Batteries"
Warren Buffett has been investing in alternative energy. Now the Rockefeller Brothers Philanthropic Fund has made a major policy statement. For a dynasty founded on oil, their decision to get out of all fossil fuel investments seems like a sea change.
Yes it will take them some time. But they will sell off coal and tar sands ventures first. At the same time they want to invest more and more in alternative energy businesses.
To reach positive alternative energy goals there needs to be significant money behind it. After a glitch with the economic downturn of 2008 onwards, maybe we are seeing a turn.
MIT researchers creatively increased possibilities for graphene’s use as a super capacitor or battery electrode.
Stretching a thin layer of polymer hydrogel to which the cross-linked single carbon atom thick layer of graphene material was added to each side of the sheet formed the base. One stretched side of the combined sandwich was released causing it to fold crosswise. Then the perpendicular side was released folding the sandwich the other way.
With the hydrogel acting as an insulator, a dense capacitor is formed. The scanning electron micrograph shown below reveals the resulting structure. Folding can be done up to 1000 times without affecting performance.
The crumpled nature allows for the resulting structure to be moulded to various shapes raising the possibility of very flexible capacitor structures. The same technique could be used to create flexible sensors and battery electrodes.
Amory B Lovins, head of the Rocky Mountain Institute, advisor to governments and living for years in his own highly energy efficient home and office is no slug when it comes to alternative energy. He helped advise on the extensive retrofit of the Empire State building.
However in this Forbes article he has shown a rather large hole in either his knowledge of the extent of the nuclear fusion experimental field or fudged the data to suit his argument. He maintains that compared to other already currently available alternative energy sources out there fusion is just too expensive.
What is his main argument? That all nuclear fusion initiatives will generate power the same way - by creating heat which will heat water to drive turbines. This he well demonstrates is the cost sticking point and even a major factor in the delay in bringing more nuclear fission generators on-line.
He, and obviously a large part of the world that will take his knowledge as comprehensive, obviously does not know of the number of private initiatives that will generate power directly from fusion-created nuclear particles - ions - and electrons, bypassing the need for expensive and bulky turbine generation.
This method also allows the generating units to be scaled to size to suit their supply area, another element Lovins argues fusion units cannot do but need to be able to do to meet alternative energy market needs.
Solar energy is set to power Japan in the future The solar power market in Japan has been expanding since 1990. The country remains a leading manufacturer
Infrastructure investment companies to invest in the Italian wind power market Italy is the sixth largest producer of wind power in the world with an
Biofuel research and use is proceeding at a rapid pace. Many different technologies are available. Which would be best and are there alternatives?
A parable for the fossil fuel versus alternative energy debate.
I’ve called Bill Mollison a crusty old fella before. He doesn’t disappoint in this video clip. Although he is talking about government decisions in the field of agriculture the pattern is so similar to today’s energy competition.
The consequences are heartrending and almost unbelievable. But just show what our unconsidered priorities can cause. Watch and weep!
With so many alternative energy solutions being intermittent in their energy production, the major obstacle to more widespread adoption, apart from the meddling of vested interests, has been good energy storage solutions. Many ideas are proposed. A number are in use.
The humble battery is an obvious choice for many. Available technology has significant limitations. More recent lithium ion units have had their problems including the risks of fire.
Ideal qualities would be stability, including reduced over-heating and fire risks, a low unit weight for available energy, and frequent charging and discharging without loss of function.
AdvEn Solutions with their fluoride induction technology looks like it could beat a number of other contenders to the punch in all these counts.
A timely review of nuclear fusion options has just been published in Nature and reprinted a day later in Scientific American. Heavy on the mystique of Tri Alpha Energy’s relatively secret initiative it analyses possible outcomes.
Noting the huge cost of the ITER project, it also briefly examines the stellarator approach, as well as Canada’a General Fusion and Helion Energy’s colliding beam reactor. While exploring the benefits of proton-boron fusion, it tends to back the extreme difficulties of producing the required temperatures.
There is no mention of those levels already attained in Lawrenceville Plasma Physics’s Dense Focus Fusion device.
Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Vol 511 Issue 7510 , copyright 2014
LPP's Focus Fusion project is crowd funding focus fusion seeking $200K for beryllium electrodes for their special reactor core. They think they're 12
Hempcrete light-weight construction with excellent thermal, acoustic and humidity control properties, locks up carbon dioxide as you build.
Just could not pass this up when I checked it out. What a way to look at alternative energy for cars!
Really it has come from a segment of my last post. But by itself it was worthy of mention. Especially as this is due for general release about now.
Interestingly the Mercedes AMG SLS E-drive, along with other electric cars out there are quoted as carbon zero.
As Chris Harris points out this is not quite true as the electricity used to recharge it comes from somewhere. If it is from the grid then the carbon impact will depend on your own supplier's method of electricity generation.
This lends support to those wanting to generate their own home power.
Although standard solar power from crystalline silicon is hardly carbon zero in its production as I have noted, after a number of years it will repay that debt. Other versions of solar collectors out there could change that game for the future.
Then there are the rest of the alternative energy possibilities as well.
Just when it seems both all electric and hybrid cars might be a little passé here comes a re-evaluation of the outlook and progress made thus far.
With Toyota stealing attention in the hybrid market, closely followed by other manufacturers, most of us would have heard of the Tesla's explosion onto the scene. That and the influential people who have bought them.
With their latest sport model making it to number one choice for a luxury car and their long distance achieved between charges, they are challenging some long-held assumptions.
But other standard manufacturers are venturing into the field with some interesting results. To explore some definite advantages of the electric car it is worth reading further.
Stability at high temperatures is a key test for new alternative energy solar technology. The IEC 61646 international standard expects stability to be exhibited for over 1000 hours of continuous exposure at 85oC.
The innovative Australian origin with international exposure company Dyesol has beaten this requirement at over five times longer than this, still showing over 90% performance.
While this has been shown for their liquid-based products which can be incorporated into regular building materials, work is under way to demonstrate the same stability with their new solid-state versions.
The most recent report from the highly promising, scalable, affordable, micro-grid compatible, New Jersey-based focus fusion iniative offers hope for power generation returns.
Increasing output energy returns have been demonstrated as the generated plasmoid density increased. In spite of this these were a hundred times less than predicted.
Intensive investigation has shown contamination of the chamber with metal impurities released from assembly washers as the plasmoid was generated. By replacing these with other materials, closer to expected returns should be possible.
Once this is achieved increasing the initiating current should bring Lawrenceville Plasma Physics into workable nuclear fusion power generation territory.
University of Buffalo, NY assistant professor in electrical engineering, Qiaoqiang Gan, has summarised progress in organic photovoltaics that could make painted surfaces efficient solar collectors.
In the journal Advanced Materials he has mentioned how plasmonics nanotechnology could advance the pace of development of liquid applications such as paint.
With the much cheaper price point of organic photovoltaics, breaking 10% efficiency would enable this technology to be highly competitive.
As mentioned in information on the organic approach, there are companies already achieving 10% power conversion efficiency. Also this has been achieved in solid state versions as I related the other day.
What could be more simple and people-empowering than building solar collectors as you paint your house? Serious DIY alternative power generation!
With their vastly superior performance in low-light conditions compared to conventional solar cells, organic dye solar cells have held great promise.
Efficiencies have risen in more recently years in the liquid dyes form. Yet liquids posed technical problems with their corrosive and thermal expansion properties.
Now the same technology has been applied in solid-state versions. And recent full-sun testing showed 11.3% energy conversion. Further improvements are expected.
Although well short of efficiency levels for crystalline silicon and thin film panels, organic dye-based cells have a number of advantages.
They are vastly superior in lower light conditions as mentioned.
They are much cheaper to produce.
Being able to incorporate them into existing structures of windows, roofing and wall materials also makes for a much more simple installation and cost reduction.
The May 8 announcement produced a dramatic rise in shares for Dyesol on both the Australian and German stock exchanges.
A radio interview with Dyesol's chairman Richard Caldwell covers some of the breakthrough's benefits.
As mentioned in the section on organic type solar cells this technology may well be the game changer in making solar alternative energy a cost effective challenge to current technologies!
This summer commercial production begins on a nanotechnology development that will have widespread applications.
With the potential to replace many small coin-cell and other small batteries it can achieve long term essential power supply without replacement requirements.
Developed by the company at Cornell's Nanoscale Facility the BOLTTM micro-power module (MPM) utilizes a flap that generates electric power when subjected to vibration.
By storing the generated power in a thin film battery or ultra-capacitor, electrical current is available for a wide variety of uses in both wired and wireless applications.
MicroGen's piezoelectric micro-electro-mechanical systems technology unit is being fabricated by XFAB in Germany to generate 10 or more volts with around 100uW of power. You can check it out and order NOW!
Seeking to resonate with help for gaia could produce new end goals in alternative energy production and novel, earth-sympathetic methods.
As the world's urban drift continues more effective future alternative energy power supply plans become more crucial.
Cities consumes huge proportions of countries' power generation. Yet, by being concentrated centers, they focus the power supply points. Targeting supply should be relatively easy.
Older designs of huge power transmission grids, with their inbuilt weaknesses, may not be necessary if energy can be generated in the cities.
Some current technologies lend themselves to this. Other emerging ones will make it even easier.
There is still the understanding that most renewable alternative energy technologies are intermittent.
Hydroelectric power is not but is usually harvested well away from cities.
With upcoming new energy storage methods and the possibility of having peak demand and low energy supply times covered by something like dense plasma focus, there may be very effective supply situations available in the nearer future.
In his PhD thesis Dutch investigator Willem Haverkort shows an additional plasma stabilising influence.
It is similar to the Coriolis effect producing circulating air patterns in our rotating earth. Within certain paramaters this effect seems to control other influences that produce instabilities that have delayed the development of nuclear fusion as a viable power alternative.
Although his work is more related to tokamak-type designs especially as it relates the French-based ITER project, his calculations have relevance for other approaches. All plasma-based designs will reflect these effects in particular circumstances.
An early summary of his calculations is available.
For those interested in the full thesis, this is also able to be downloaded.
The solar thermal power plant brave new world extensive proposal by the Desertec Foundation sounds a no brainer - yet supply, energy generation and environmental impact are important to consider.
Political inertia and party political affiliations seem to be derailing real progress in positive clean energy changes.
As other industries relocate production to cheaper labour off-shore markets is there a way to turn the tide?
Former Attorney General and Governor of the state of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, feels there might be.
Previously speaking on the idea at a Department of Energy conference she here shares with TED conference attendees.
Her call is for a privately funded incentive prize to spur US wide competition in clean energy.
At over a billion dollars, she feels it would create new jobs across the country in the industry. As well as accelerating clean alernative energy development.