Sunday, October 25, 2009

Good links

5 big alt-energy letdowns: Ideas that sounded good but...

Earth Treasury

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Politicians who claim to support green energy actually sabotage it

From a friends E-mail:

every time we try to get off oil, the very politicians who claim to support green energy actually sabotage it:

California Solar Energy plant destroyed by Senator Feinstein:

(Prediction: ALL future solar power plants in California will initially be supported by politicians, and then destroyed by them)

Kennedy kills wind power back in 2006:

There are plenty of other examples (for instance, find out what happened to the first generation ethanol plants . . . and who bought them after they were driven bankrupt by the government? The oil companies!) but just like the example I just gave in the parentheses, nearly ALL our politicians give lip service to green power development, but when it finally gets down to it, they ALWAYS sell out to the oil companies.

And, gee, I wonder who puts those millions of dollars in those secret bank accounts of theirs in the Bahamas?

It wouldn't be the oil companies, would it?


Our politicians don't really want us off oil.

We can put a man on the moon, and we could EASILY get off oil if we wanted to - see Brazil and their no oil, only ethanol solution (and to modify a car to run on both ethanol and gas only costs $100 at the factory) - and the fact that we aren't proves the point.


We are being lied to.
We are being betrayed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CO2 Widgets Has a cool CO2 widget you can add to your blog or web site.

Go to:

Widget Installation
1. Copy the HTML code below.
2. Paste it into the source code at your website or blog.
<!-- Start of Current CO2 Widget-->
<p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Current CO2 level in the atmosphere" width="92" height="92" border="0" /></a></p>
<!-- End of Current CO2 Widget-->

Unfortunately their instructions are lacking somewhat.
In ( in your dashboard go to layout, then "add a gadget" then picture. I just added directly.

Fair Use Statement

I just want to take a moment here to point out something.

Fair Use Statement

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ultracapacitor Bus Recharges At Each Stop

From Slashdot:

Ultracapacitor Bus Recharges At Each Stop

"A US company and its Chinese partner are piloting a bus powered by ultracapacitors in Washington DC. Ultracapacitors lack the capacity of regular batteries but are considerably cheaper and can be recharge completely in under a minute. Sinautec Automobile Technologies, based in Arlington, VA, and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Aowei Technology Development Company, have spent the past three years demonstrating the approach with 17 municipal buses on the outskirts of Shanghai. The executive director of Sinautec touts the energy efficiency of this approach: 'Even if you use the dirtiest coal plant on the planet [to charge an ultracapacitor], it generates a third of the carbon dioxide of diesel.'"


The ultracapacitors manufactured by Shanghai Aowei Technology Development Co., Ltd. They are made of activated carbon and have an energy density of six watt-hours per kilogram. (For comparison, a high-performance lithium-ion battery can achieve 200 watt-hours per kilogram.)

Maximum Speed:

30 MPH
Power Source:

5.9 KWH Ultracapacitors
Electric Usage:

1.5 KWH per Mile
Recharging Time:

5-10 Minutes*
Maximum Range

3.5 Miles with full air conditioning
5.5 Miles without air conditioning
Bus Weight

12.5 Tons

4 Feet / Second
Maximum Slope:

12 Degrees
Voltage & Current:

600-720V, 200A
Air Conditioning:

15 KW Air Conditioning

major advance in organic plastic solar cells

FROM Facebook: Josie Roman -   I've been talking about this research for a while since it has been going on for several years. Now we have some serious results. This is a major advance in organic plastic solar cells.

"Gains in speed, quality and current over conventional production techniques hold promise for both research and commercial production. Professor Guillermo Bazan and a team of postgraduate researchers at UC Santa Barbara's Center for Polymers and Organic Solids (CPOS) today announced a major advance in the synthesis of organic polymers for plastic solar cells. Bazan's team: reduced reaction time by 99%, from 48 hours to 30 minutes, and increased average molecular weight of the polymers by a factor of more than 3.

The reduced reaction time effectively cuts production time for the organic polymers by nearly 50%, since reaction time and purification time are approximately equal in the production process, in both laboratory and commercial environments.

The higher molecular weight of the polymers, reflecting the creation of longer chains of the polymers, has a major benefit in increasing current density in plastic solar cells by as much as a factor of more than four. Over polymer batches with varying average molecular weights, produced using varying combinations of the elements of the new methodology, the increase in current density was found to be approximately proportional to the increase in average molecular weight."

Nature Chemistry offers a unique mix of news and reviews alongside top-quality research papers. Published monthly, in print and online, the journal reflects the entire spectrum of chemistry, pure and applied.

Dense Plasma Focus - Clean small scale Nuclear Fusion Energy

Dense Plasma Focus technology is the next best thing to what cold fusion had promised.  Best of all it's real and doesn't use any questionable physics.

Safe, small, low cost, low maintenance and efficient.  It looks like it will be small enough that it could be ran from inside a rail car or truck.

  • Fuel: uses a different fuel, hydrogen and boron rather than the conventional Deuterium and Tritium. 

  • Reactor:  much smaller, inexpensive, reactor in contrast to conventional approaches to fusion like the tokamak

  • Generator: generates electricity directly. The tokamak is designed to generate heat which then has to be converted to electricity using expensive turbines and generator.

Plasma is by it's nature unstable. The current approaches try to make a stable bubble using massive superconducting magnets. The DOD is spending billions with no end in sight to trying to achieve this, and buy there own admission they are still several multi-billion dollar reactors away from reaching unity (where they generate more power then it takes to start).
These tokamak reactors take almost unimaginable amounts of power to fire up. 

Instead Dense plasma focus take advantage of plasmas instability. It uses a high power capacitor bank discharges to compress plasma in to a Plasmoid that when is collapses upon itself pinches the plasma to create a very small intense pocket that is almost 1 Billion Degrees and under a lot of pressure.
So they end up with something that looks like a soda can sized spark plug, who's shape and design are specifically to compress the plasma and create a burst of electricity, Ions and X-Rays.

See this  Excellent Video Lecture 1 hr 4 minutes long.

"The Focus Fusion Society reports that the scientists and engineers at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics have finally built an operational Dense Plasma Focus device. While still at less than half power, they were able to achieve a pinch on their device. The small company that Eric Lerner started recently gathered enough funding to start a two-year study on the validity of his theory regarding fusion-inducing plasmoids. If the theory holds, the device will produce more electricity than it consumes. In contrast to the billions of dollars spent on Tokamak fusion (think ITER), LPP is conducting their research on a budget around a million dollars. Yet, if it works, it will provide nuclear fusion with much simpler equipment and much less cost. Eric Lerner and Focus Fusion have been discussed on Slashdot before."

Method and apparatus for producing x-rays, ion beams and nuclear fusion energy
US Pat. 7482607 - Filed Feb 28, 2006 - Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc.


Monitor and control your electricity

Here are a few consumer level products for AC 110V power systems:

Efergy’s - Wireless Electricity Monitors - plug load meters

Watts up? - web-enabled electricity controller - plug load meters , at Fry's

TED - The Energy Detective - Montors entire home

Kill A Watt - P3 International Corp. - Monitoring Power Strip

Wattson - DIY KYOTO - This is just a little too cute. For the UK 220v systems.

Conzerv - MeterCenter - Montors entire home, also industrial meters.

Measurlogic Inc.  - Socket Energy Meters - Makes many industrial meters.

Some of these are "plug load" meters, this measure the amount of electricity used by whatever is plugged into them.

And products for DC systems:

DOC Wattson

Producing hydrogen from aluminum & water

I am just posting stuff from old E-mails that may be interesting for some people.
Sorry this is not getting my full scrutiny.
Method for producing hydrogen by adding water to an alloy of aluminum and gallium. The hydrogen could then be used to run an internal combustion engine.

Beverage Can (aluminum) Hydrogen

The super battery called Aluminum - The unseen super-battery of the future.
ALUMINUM DATA - (Something to think about??????)
1 gram of Al = 0.0370 moles
Each mole Al yields 3 moles of electrons.
0.0370 moles x 3 x 96500 C/mole = 10700 Coulombs
An Amp is a Coulomb per second, so one Amp flow would last 10700s.
10700 amp-s / 3600 s/hr =~ 3 Amp-Hours per gram of aluminum.
At 14g per beer can, that comes to about 42 Amp-Hrs per can!!!
At 2 volts, that's about 300 kJ per can! And you thought only the beer kicked butt !!! : )
A 20 lb. slab of aluminum has enough energy to power an electric car for over 500 miles.
Aluminum is one of the most abundant metals on the surface of the earth. Aluminum is not expensive because it is rare. It is expensive because its takes so much electrical power to deoxidize it.
All this electrical power is now caught in a solid form as Aluminum metal. (Aluminum is a powerful battery)
When aluminum is dissolved most of the electrical power that was used to create it can be easily recaptured. The next time you pick up a roll of aluminum foil you will realize that you are actually holding a lot of potential horse power in the palm of your hands.

Aluminum is produced by corporations that buy electricity at well under a penny per KWH making aluminum the largest untapped source of potential cheap power.
(At least for the short run, the Aluminum energy frenzy will drive the price of aluminum up as all of the old aluminum reserves are stripped of their electric energy potential while being dissolved away in electrolytic cells thus turning it back into Bauxite)
When you buy aluminum you are mainly paying for the electricity that made it.
Electricity that was bought at bottom of the barrel wholesale pricing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The U.S. military’s battle to wean itself off oil

The Pentagon is the largest consumer of petroleum in the United States.

Renewable energy is not an environmental consideration, it is a tactical necessity. It's a matter of life and death, of victory or defeat. Too many troops are dying in fuel convoys, and the relentless gasoline demands of the diesel generators are partly to blame.

In the summer of 2006, Marine Corps Major General Richard Zilmer sent the Pentagon an unusual “Priority 1” request for emergency battlefield supplies.
“a self-sustainable energy solution,” including “solar panels and wind turbines.” U.S. forces “will remain unnecessarily exposed” and will “continue to accrue preventable ... serious and grave casualties.”

After the DOD spent $95 million on insulating foam for base camps in Iraq, the agency earned that back in energy savings in just 60 days. The security benefits are perhaps more impressive: DOD data show that if all U.S. military base-camp tents in Iraq were spray-foamed, the number of fuel convoy trucks needed would be reduced by 13 per day.

Read The U.S. military’s battle to wean itself off oil

excerpted from Amanda Little’s book

Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells---Our Ride to the Renewable Future
by Amanda Grisc Little
ISBN13: 9780061353253
ISBN10: 0061353256

Friday, October 9, 2009

Smaller And More Efficient Nuclear Battery Created

I can just see how green this is when people start tossing these in to landfills.


Batteries can power anything from small sensors to large systems. While scientists are finding ways to make them smaller but even more powerful, problems can arise when these batteries are much larger and heavier than the devices themselves. University of Missouri researchers are developing a nuclear energy source that is smaller, lighter and more efficient.

“To provide enough power, we need certain methods with high energy density,” said Jae Kwon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at MU. “The radioisotope battery can provide power density that is six orders of magnitude higher than chemical batteries.”

Kwon and his research team have been working on building a small nuclear battery, currently the size and thickness of a penny, intended to power various micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (M/NEMS). Although nuclear batteries can pose concerns, Kwon said they are safe.

“People hear the word ‘nuclear’ and think of something very dangerous,” he said. “However, nuclear power sources have already been safely powering a variety of devices, such as pace-makers, space satellites and underwater systems.”

His innovation is not only in the battery’s size, but also in its semiconductor. Kwon’s battery uses a liquid semiconductor rather than a solid semiconductor.

“The critical part of using a radioactive battery is that when you harvest the energy, part of the radiation energy can damage the lattice structure of the solid semiconductor,” Kwon said. “By using a liquid semiconductor, we believe we can minimize that problem.”

Kwon has been collaborating with J. David Robertson, chemistry professor and associate director of the MU Research Reactor, and is working to build and test the battery at the facility. In the future, they hope to increase the battery’s power, shrink its size and try with various other materials. Kwon said that the battery could be thinner than the thickness of human hair. They’ve also applied for a provisional patent.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Alternative Energy Powers Up

Thomson Reuters IP Solutions just sent me an E-Mail to a report that looking interesting.

"Alternative Energy Powers Up"

Nations around the world are racing to secure energy independence. Billions of dollars in public and private investments are fueling a surge in the research and development of alternative energy technologies. Patent activity in this sector offers insight into the pace of innovation and reveals which areas are receiving greater attention.

Here is the link:

Solar cells using tiny spheres of silicon

Focusing Light on Silicon Beads
Placing tiny spheres of silicon in reflective trays could be the key to cheap, efficient solar cells.

Spherical solar cells were originally proposed by Texas Instruments about 30 years ago, says Branz. But while they had the potential to reduce the amount of silicon used, they brought with them a host of new problems. Their curved surfaces, for example, can cause more light to be reflected, which reduces their efficiency. What's more, only half of the sphere ends up actually being exposed to light. Significant gaps also tend to form between the spheres when arranged in arrays, which can further reduce the efficiency of the solar cell.

Process for producing crystalline silicon spheres - Patent 4637855
Method of isolating shorted silicon spheres - US Patent 5192400
Method of making doped silicon spheres - US Patent 5278097

Solar Energy: Popcorn-ball Design Doubles Efficiency Of Dye-sensitized Solar Cells
porous spheres are able to manipulate light and more than double the efficiency of converting solar energy to electricity.

Spheral Solar Will Start Production In 2004  Where did these guys go?

Officials of Sphere Renewable Energy Corp. based in California announced plans to develop a wholly-owned subsidiary, Buckeye Silicon (BeSi) in Toledo at UT June 23.

Video Sphere Renewable Energy Corp forms Buckeye Silicon joins Toledo solar business
Video Buckeye Silicon
Very odd that I can not find a web site for either company. 
Contacts listed: Jim Calhoun, 419-893-9600 & Mark Erickson, 714-497-9499

Companies doing this.

Clean Venture 21 (CV21),  Kyoto, Japan.

Sphere Renewable Energy Corp. (SREC),  California
Buckeye Silicon (BeSi),  Toledo, OH

Spheral Solar Power (now gone?) - A division of ATS Automation Tooling Systems ,  Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why solar doesn't need to be cheap or high tech

But that is just a way to bootstrap the solar-cell industry.
Now that we are understanding the technology, it's costs are falling.
We are finding simpler cheaper chemistry and better production techniques.

It is viable. Or almost at this point.
It's possible to build solar cells on cheap plastics using printing techniques and chemicals that are no more expensive then paint.

Titanium Dioxide TiO2 and organic dyes are about as cheap as it gets.
There are also conductive plastics now.

LCD's and Solar panels need clear conductors, the older silicon ones didn't use clear conductors, and as a result were not very efficient.

But the flexible printable kind need it,

Below is a block of notes I have on transparent conductors.
ITO is expensive because it requires vacuum deposition.

Zinc Oxide is about as cheap as it get's
Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are both sold as powders in bulk for food and paints.
Although not particularly efficient, they very low cost,

Clear conductors

1.) Indium tin oxide (ITO)
2.) pedot - conductive plastic
3.) aluminum doped zinc oxide
4.) stannous chloride - re: Jeri Ellsworth

On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 10:34 PM, av wrote:
and another key think about solar.
solar-cell tech was production-ized for the military
solar-cell production  was never meant for civilian use

Military need solar cells to power spy satellites. that's the key.
so world-over - Military built plants without any tho to cost of manufacturing or of 'commercial viability'
they didn't need commercial viability,  they didn't need to be cheap,  any cost is fine. because there are very few alternatives to electricity in space.

but then arose a problem  - what to do with the plants excess cell output  ?
the solution in the 1960's was to sell the surplus to the civilians
but no civilian could buy the damn things at cost of mfg. it was too high.
so the govts started the Subsidies on Solar cells,  in 1960s.

That's the origin of this whole mess.
people wrongly started to think that solar is viable.,   its not. 
as soon as the govt-subsidies stop, it stops being viable,.
people don't get it.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Dow to sell new solar rooftop shingle


Dow Chemical Co said it would begin selling a new rooftop shingle next year that converts sunlight into electricity. The solar shingles can be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingles, Dow said, and will be introduced in 2010 before a wider roll-out in 2011.
"We're looking at this one product that could generate $5 billion in revenue by 2015 and $10 billion by 2020", Jane Palmieri, managing director - Dow Solar Solutions
The shingle will use thin-film cells of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), a photovoltaic material that typically is more efficient at turning sunlight into electricity than traditional polysilicon cells.

Dow is using CIGS cells that operate at higher than 10 percent efficiency, below the efficiencies for the top polysilicon cells, but would cost 10 to 15 percent less on a per watt basis.

Dow Solar Solutions expects an enthusiastic response from roofing contractors for the new shingles, since they require no specialized skills or knowledge of solar systems to install.

The new product is the latest advance in "Building Integrated Photovoltaic" (BIPV) systems, in which power-generating systems are built directly into the traditional materials used to construct buildings.  BIPV systems are currently limited mostly to roofing tiles, which operate at lower efficiencies than solar panels and have so far been too expensive to gain wide acceptance.

Dow's shingle will be about 30 to 40 percent cheaper than current BIPV systems.The shingles can be installed in about 10 hours, compared with 22 to 30 hours for traditional solar panels, reducing the installation costs that make up more than 50 percent of total system prices.

The product will be rolled out in North America through partnerships with home builders such as Lennar Corp and Pulte Homes Inc before marketing is expanded, Palmieri said.

Dow received $20 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to help develop its BIPV products. Dow also produces fluids used in concentrated solar systems, in which sunlight is used to generate heat that produces steam to power a turbine. In addition, it supplies materials used to help manufacture photovoltaic panels and increase their efficiency.

New 'green' geopolymer concrete

NOTE:  Fly ash is a byproduct of coal-fired power plants. So I am not too sure how Green this technology really is. This could just be another Red Herring like clean coal. It could be cheaper then traditional concrete, I will be investigating this further.

New 'green' geopolymer concrete delivers win-win for industry and the planet
Concrete is the most prevalent building material on the planet, and though the world would be pretty flat without it (not many tall buildings and structures), it does come at a price – around 5-8 percent of all human-generated atmospheric CO2 comes from the concrete industry. A culprit is Portland cement, the binding agent in concrete. It’s the most widely produced man-made material on earth. Production of Portland cement is currently exceeding 2.6 billion tons per year worldwide and growing at 5 percent annually. To halt these alarming pollution figures, innovative research on geopolymer concrete, along with ways of using a waste byproduct from coal-fired powerplants, is being conducted by Dr Erez Allouche, assistant professor of civil engineering at Louisiana Tech University and associate director of the Trenchless Technology Center.
A greener alternative, inorganic polymer concrete (geopolymer) fits into an emerging class of cementitious materials that utilize ‘fly ash’, one of the most abundant industrial by-products on earth, as a substitute for Portland cement.
Geopolymer concrete has a number of benefits. The first is it has the potential to substantially curb CO2 emissions. It can also produce a more durable infrastructure capable of lasting hundreds of years, instead of tens. And by utilizing the fly ash, it can conserve hundreds of thousands of acres currently used for disposal of coal combustion products, and protect our water ways from fly ash ‘contamination’, too.
In comparison to ordinary Portland cement (OPC), geopolymer concrete (GPC) has better resistance to corrosion and fire (up to 2400°F), high compressive and tensile strengths, a rapid strength gain, and lower shrinkage.
Researchers believe the geopolymer concrete's greatest appeal could like in its life cycle greenhouse gas reduction potential; as much as 90 percent when compared with OPC.
This technology, along with other important research being conducted to meet future energy needs, will be highlighted next month at Louisiana Tech Energy Systems Conference at the Technology Transfer Center in Shreveport.

Fly Ash based Geopolymer Concrete : 2 new reports from Curtin 
The geopolymer group at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia (Prof. V. Rangan) has released 2 new reports on Fly Ash Based Geopolymer Concrete. They may be downloaded from our Library.
The first report: Report GC 2 is dealing with the long term properties. It has been included in the Technical Paper #17 in the Library, in addition to the previous report GC 1.
The second : Report GC 3 describes the properties of Beams and Columns. It is named Technical Paper #18 in the Library.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Arduino Strobe Algae Bioreactor