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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

COOL SOLAR

Jennifer Runyon, Chief Editor of RenewableEnergyWorld.com and Renewable Energy World Magazine, remarkably enough, selected two of her articles as the best and second best postings on renewable energy for the year.  Her news outlets said that #1 was Top Five Cool Renewable Energy Projects.

Keep in mind that the operative term here is "cool," for, surely, there must be several hundred other green efforts of grander and more monumental scale.  But here are her top five:
  • #5:  Solar-powered toilet:  With a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CalTech designed a toilet which recycles the water, and with the support now of Kohler, could develop a waste recycle system for 2.5 billion people who don't have access to safe and affordable sanitation.
  • #4:  Sausage farm goes energy independent:  Wampler Farms makes their sausage with 100% renewable energy.  They use a biomass-to-energy gasification Proton Power system, a cellulose to hydrogen concept to produce electricity and synthetic fuels.  That's Ted Wampler, Jr to the right.
  • Solar-powered vodka distillery:  Ocean Vodka Craft Distillery on the island of Maui distills organically-farmed sugar cane, uses deep ocean minerals from the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, and flavors with Kula Lavender and local fruits (citrus, passion fruit, pineapple and strawberries).  Their theme?  LIFE is a journey,  Toast the VOYAGE.
  • The Driblet, a Pico-hydropowered water-saving device:  a small wireless system that monitors and controls water use.  The flowing water provides the power to operate the widget.  
  • The Race to Save the World:  a documentary featuring four passionate renewable energy entrepreneurs, produced by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Joe Gantz.  Watch this 8-minute video.  Hey, I'm into this too, with my blog on SAVING PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY.

In the RenewableEnergyWorld.com issue released today, the top ten most commented on articles were listed.  #1 and #2, surprisingly enough, were:

Energy Storage and Biofuels Top RenewableEnergyWorld.com’s Most Commented Articles of 2014

There were 155 comments to #1 on batteries.  I found this posting itself and subsequent comments somewhat naive.  Nowhere was it mentioned that, while perhaps nanotechnology and other concepts might improve the performance and charge rate of lithium ion batteries, there is no hopeful future awaiting battery breakthroughs, for, glancing at the Periodic Table of Elements, lithium could well be the final battery.  Not sure if solar-charged nanotube fuels (left), fuel cells, flywheels or supercapacitors are the answer, but, ultimately, it will not be "better" batteries.  They are great for portable applications, but on a mega-scale, batteries are inherently too expensive and inefficient compared to other potential energy storage options.























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