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Renewable Energy Living

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{Nature_and_Environment.10.29}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Mon, 04 Apr 2005 17:17:53 CDT (HTML)

There's plenty of research and testing being done on that. But the very aspect of tidal energy that makes it a great energy source potential also makes it very destructive of whatever gets put out there. I think that so far all devices tested have pretty quickly succombed to either the power of the waves, or the predations of barnacles and seaweed growth.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.30}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Mon, 04 Apr 2005 17:22:35 CDT (3 lines)

Hi Tom! Also have to add that the enviromental studies of the impact
have mainly been discouraging. The tradeoff *might* be acceptable but
there is considerable impact.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.31}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Mon, 04 Apr 2005 17:24:08 CDT (HTML)

Well, the environmental impact will depend greatly on the technology deployed and I don't think they've really scratched the surface of the possible variations. So to me the jury is out on that as a limiter. But some of what has been tried, as is to be expected, has had negative impacts to one degree or another.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.32}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Mon, 04 Apr 2005 20:24:23 CDT (2 lines)

Solar, no disagreement here --- that's why the * --- on balance going
tidal and wave seems preferable IMO to current practice if we are careful.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.33}: ... {wren1111} Fri, 15 Apr 2005 02:51:57 CDT (HTML)

Hemp Biomass for Energy



{Nature_and_Environment.10.34}: ... {wren1111} Fri, 15 Apr 2005 03:12:32 CDT (HTML)



A more sophisticated way of collecting solar energy biologically is to grow algae that can be induced to form fatty substances suitable for refining into petroleum products.

Algae have been grown for some time as health food ingredients and in oxidation ponds for wastewater treatment. Under normal circumstances, algae contain mainly hydrocarbons and proteins; the fat content does not exceed 20% of the total dry weight. But in 1980 it was discovered that under nutritional stress¾limited nutrients or saline environment¾certain microalgae will accumulate up to 72% of their weight as lipids (fatty substances).

So by starving them you make them grow fatter? Only in a sense: by limiting their food, you make them form a higher percentage of their body weight as fat.

A typical algal mass has a heating value (heat produced by combustion) of 8,000-10,000 BTU/lb, which is better than lignite; but the heating value of algal oil and lipids is 16,000 BTU/lb, which is better than anthracite.

Another species of freshwater algae, Botryococcus, is thought to be responsible for present petroleum reserves, for it is capable of synthesizing hydrocarbons. It is hoped (but not yet certain) that the hydrocarbons extracted from this and other species can be readily processed by the present petrochemical industry to produce gasoline and other petroleum products.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.35}: Karen Iwamoto {kai28} Fri, 22 Apr 2005 08:36:29 CDT (10 lines)

we recently moved to central Massachusetts (ok, 6 months ago now...i
have to stop saying that) & found out an oil co-op that supplies a
bio-diesel blend for home heating fuel. They have to blend it since at
lower temperatures (i don't rememeber how low), bio-diesel apparently
congeals. but the pricing is competetive with, if not cheaped that,
regualr #2 fuel oil (home heating fuel).

its not a great solution, but its a start


{Nature_and_Environment.10.36}: James River Martin {rivertree} Thu, 11 Aug 2005 14:48:41 CDT (3 lines)

Not our ass phalt.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.37}: ... {wren1111} Thu, 25 Aug 2005 11:59:03 CDT (HTML)

Hamster-powered phone charger

Peter Ash, of Lawford, Somerset, attached a generator to his hamster's exercise wheel and connected it to his phone charger.

Elvis does the legwork while Peter charges his phone in an economically and environmentally friendly way.

He came up with the idea after his sister Sarah complained that Elvis was keeping her awake at night by playing for hours on his exercise wheel.

"I thought the wheel could be made to do something useful so I connected a system of gears and a turbine," he said.

"Every two minutes Elvis spends on his wheel gives me about thirty minutes talk time on my phone."

The teenage inventor was given a C for his project and has been awarded a D overall for the course.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.38}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Sun, 28 Aug 2005 13:43:12 CDT (HTML)

You're kidding. That's a pretty piss poor science teacher unless that's the only thing the kid has done all year.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.39}: {bshmr} Sun, 28 Aug 2005 14:51:41 CDT (8 lines)

>"I thought the wheel could be made to do something useful so I
connected a system of gears and a turbine," he said. >

Based on the above quote, the student might be a problem. Alternator
&  generator would be typical terms for spinning thingies *g* which
produce electricity. Turbine, as a term, denotes a bladed, wind-screw
type of device explained by fluid dyanmics and the like, not magnetism
or EMF. OTTOMH, that is.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.40}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Sun, 28 Aug 2005 15:36:55 CDT (1 line)

Yup, bshmr -- that might be the reason for the gentlemans' "C". :-)


{Nature_and_Environment.10.41}: Helge Hafstad {hhaf} Mon, 29 Aug 2005 05:14:42 CDT (6 lines)

The idea was excellent though! Think of all the energy being wasted
around the (western) world in gyms where all kinds of exercise
machines could be set to produce electricity...

"Get you body in shape - create some current tonight!"


{Nature_and_Environment.10.42}: James River Martin {rivertree} Mon, 05 Sep 2005 12:25:09 CDT (1 line)

This looks good.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.43}: Richard Witty {gisland} Mon, 05 Sep 2005 15:31:24 CDT (1 line)

Don't you live in Santa Fe James?


{Nature_and_Environment.10.44}: James River Martin {rivertree} Wed, 07 Sep 2005 12:32:02 CDT (9 lines)

Yup. I have talked with Mark Sardella, Executive Director of Local
Energy, a while back ... when he was working with Southwest Energy
Institute. More recently, I've been trying to connect with him by
phone, but the result is a game of phone tag, so far.

Unfortunately, it isn't easy in SF to achieve a quick comprehensive
overview of what's going on in SF regards "sustainability" matters
and organizations. So I could live here and not learn of Local Energy
until days ago.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.45}: James River Martin {rivertree} Sun, 11 Sep 2005 14:00:03 CDT (5 lines)

"The End of Oil : On the Edge of a Perilous New World"

by Paul Roberts.



{Nature_and_Environment.10.46}: James River Martin {rivertree} Wed, 14 Sep 2005 14:01:53 CDT (1 line)



{Nature_and_Environment.10.47}: Try Grass {bshmr} Sun, 29 Jan 2006 15:14:09 CST (10 lines)

Don't let grass grow under your feet -- burn it as economical,
environmentally friendly biofuel, Cornell expert urges

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Grow grass, not for fun but for fuel. Burning grass
for energy has been a well-accepted technology in Europe for decades.
But not in the United States.



{Nature_and_Environment.10.48}: ... {wren1111} Fri, 01 Dec 2006 02:39:54 CST (HTML)

This looks promising:

Quiet Revolution Wind Turbine



{Nature_and_Environment.10.49}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Fri, 01 Dec 2006 13:44:02 CST (HTML)

I'll believe that when I see the performance specs in real applications. Right now, among true wind professionals, that type of design is considered far less efficient than the traditional 3 blade turbine.

I'm checking with the wind folks now to see what they have to say.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.50}: ... {wren1111} Mon, 04 Dec 2006 14:07:23 CST (HTML)

The globe downshifted ""

There are practical ways in which we could immediately start to save our species from ecological and social crisis and our planet from being destroyed by our greed. So why aren’t we adopting them? What prevents us from desiring a simpler and better way of life?


{Nature_and_Environment.10.51}: ... {wren1111} Sat, 13 Jan 2007 17:29:16 CST (HTML)

Packing some heat Solar energy gives power to the people


Despite it's biggotted premises, this is a hopeful article about the rise in solar use.


{Nature_and_Environment.10.52}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Mon, 22 Jan 2007 20:37:34 CST (HTML)

That link is no good, unfortunately.

But of course solar energy is about more than heat...


{Nature_and_Environment.10.53}: ... {wren1111} Sun, 28 Jan 2007 16:30:54 CST (HTML)

A Culinary and Cultural Staple in Crisis; Mexico Grapples With Soaring Prices for Corn -- and Tortillas

" dyn/content/article/2007/01/26/AR2007012601896_pf.html"

Ethanol production has raised the price of a food staple in Mexico.


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