I have setup a very simple news site about alternative energy at www.energyhack.com/news. The site is build on feeds from major media organizations, and aims at giving a quick overview of today’s top stories on the same topics as this blog. You will find top stories in categories like biofuels, solar power, climate etc. Take a look here: Alternative Energy News.
Archive for February, 2007
Popular Science reports that companies like Startech are blasting trash with plasma and producing clean fuels like hydrogen as a byproduct. Basically, you put tons of trash in one end of a plasma converter, and a superheated plasma arc obliterates the trash into its molecular components. The process is called “plasma gasification”. There are two byproducts: one is a “syngas” composed mostly of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which can be converted into fuel. The other is molten glass that can be sold for use in household tiles or road asphalt. Amazingly, plasma converters produce enough energy to power themselves, and actually produce an excess of energy that can be sold to the grid. Still, some environmental scientists have warned that the residual substances may contain toxic heavy metals.
Why pay $20,000 for a commercial link to run your television station when a $10 kitchen wok from the Warehouse is just as effective? This is exactly how North Otago’s newest television station 45 South is transmitting its signal from its studio to the top of Cape Wanbrow, in a bid to keep costs down.
45 South volunteer Ken Jones designed the wok transmitter in his spare time last year when he wanted to provide wireless broadband to his Ardgowan home.
“A group of us wanted to connect our computers to each other and then we worked out a way to get of getting the signal between two points,” he said.
He discovered satellite dishes were between $100 to $400 retail and that smaller dishes, the same size as a wok, were $80.
Mr Jones thought he could do better. Along with friend Murray Bobbette they worked out mathematical equations to prove the curved metal face of a wok would have the same effect as a small satellite dish.
“We have spent a lot of time getting it right — the first time we installed one we had it up a pole with the handle still on the end of the wok,” he said.
“We had it connected to the woolshed and initially you couldn’t get a signal the width of the paddock and now it can reach up to 20km.”
From Oamaru Mail in New Zealand, thanks Trinetizen!
Just change your light bulbs, says Australian Prime Minister John Howard. In an effort to reduce his country’s carbon emissions (and to simplify his party’s environmental policy) Howard’s government will outlaw the antiquated incandescent light bulb by 2010. Australians will have to use more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, which are about five times more energy efficient and last much longer than standard bulbs.
Similar ideas have recently been suggested in California. Link
The International Atomic Energy Agency released a new warning symbol to supplement the elegant and traditional but meaningless trefoil radiation warning symbol. Link