Friday, July 31, 2015

Courtesy Business Insider: Canadian Foot Powered Washing Machine

Business Insider has a lovely feature on a canadian company's design for a foot powered washing machine. This lovely little invention could be used to save electricity, and it should also help keep fit if you have multiple loads of clothes to wash. The Yirego website has ordering information, as well as a video. These guys are remarkably inventive and deserve kudos. Do check them out.

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Solar Desalination Tech for Drinking Water in Desert Regions

Desert countries especially in the Middle East, have major problems supplying drinking water to both their own subjects, and to foreign workers. The past trend has been to use combined cycle gas or crude derived fuel in a power generation and desal plant. This new technology described by the Inhabitat blog, offers a much cleaner, much more environmentally friendly alternative. I am not sure of the costs involved, but, with solar power becoming cheaper by the day, and with the deserts being a venue for abundant sunlight for as many as 12 hours a day, the Solar Cucumber technology should have very interesting potential.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reduced Oil Consumption in the US is a Fantastic Development

Whatever the analyses might conclude - though Bloomberg typically does not say anything conclusive about why US oil consumption is sliding, beyond making some guesses - this is a great development. What is even more significant is the fact that a proper study of what is happening in the US, might have answers for the rest of the world, especially countries like India and China, where oil and gas use is on the increase. It is particularly interesting how Bloomberg are dismissive of nuclear energy, while China rushes ahead to build as many new nuclear powerplants as it can, and India tries to work with foreign nuclear powerplant suppliers and works at fighting its own anti-nuclear activists' propaganda. In any case, the US has a lot of knowledge that it could use to help the rest of the world become more efficient with how it uses fossil fuels. It will be interesting to see how this happens - some entrepreneur WILL take the challenge up in the years ahead.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sailships are back - Hooray!

My friends know how big an advocate I am of bringing sailships back especially as cargo carriers. There was a time in the 70s when the then oil crisis prompted thinking in this direction, but, these days, environmental and cost concerns in a time of plentiful oil are forcing a renewed interest in this area. The Smart Planet website has this link to a Businessweek article which describes a new generation of "clippers" being designed by Rolls Royce and B9 Shipping to design a thoroughly modern sailship capable of carrying "4500 MT of cargo." From the drawings on the page, it looks like these would be Dyna Rig equipped container carriers, "augmented by Biomethane engines." I personally feel that the ideal place to put sails (and even Sky Sails) would be on oil tankers. Oil is still going to be sold, and it will have to be shipped by sea. Oil tankers are enormous and they would have a lot of room to put more masts up for an even larger Dyna-Rig system. There would be no need to have winches or grabs on an oil tanker, which would make it even easier to install just such a system on them. Shipping is a very conservative industry, though, and it will take a while to bring these old designs (albeit in a thoroughly modernized form) back.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Siemens - Fjellstrand Electric Ferry

Gizmag has this piece about a very innovative ferry designed in Norway by Siemens and Fjellstrand that is entirely electric and which can be quick-charged in 10 minutes. This is a most interesting design that I hope will get sold more around the world. As a boy, I traveled from India to Sri Lanka by a steamship, the SS Irwin, which caught fire and had to be scrapped several years after I last went on it. In the USA, I have taken several ferries at different points in Southern Illinois. It would be great if this design (with its cleanliness and efficiency) could be introduced in many of the areas that are connected by ferry in this country. I am sure that there are other parts of the world where such a service would be very useful as well.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Videos of a 4000 Watt Solar Installation at Boomtown Laboratories in Texas

Since I've resumed blogging after a long time, I guess I have to have something special to post. I just found these three videos put up by a gentleman who does solar and wind installations in Texas, of a 4000 Watt solar PV installation at a business in that great state. The videos are long, but beautifully detailed. Anyone interested should subscribe for the gentleman's videos. They are well worth watching. 1. Video 1 of the 4000 W Solar PV installation at Boomtown Laboratories 2. Video 2 of the 4000 W Solar PV installation at Boomtown Laboratories 3. Video 3 of the 4000 W Solar PV installation at Boomtown Laboratories Watch this space, and keep checking the videos at the link.