Archive for the 'Energy' Category

Mcgyan Breakthrough: Biodiesel in 6 Seconds

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

A description of a biodiesel making breakthrough, called the Mcgyan Process, from Minnesota’s Augsburg College and SarTec Corporation found its way into my inbox thanks to a Google Alert.
The name “Mcgyan” comes from the three inventors’ names–McNeff, Gyberg, and Yan.
Another article in WCCO describes the process and benefits in a concise nutshell:
“Taking an idea from […]

Will Brazil Oil Find Disrupt Alt Energy?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Brazilian Coast Oil Platform
ConsumerWatchDog published an article by Bradley Brooks from AP titled “Alternative Energy Powerhouse Brazil Finds Big Oil.”
To paraphrase a bit, Brazil currently leads the world in ethanol production and hydroelectric power. But the national company Petrobras, as well as partners such as BP, will develop the recent offshore oil find (deeper than […]

Wind Power Costs, Risks and Progress

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

The cost of permits for a wind power system from various local government agencies may multiply the money you have to spend compared to just buying an installed system. Yikes!
Check out this outrageous item about Ventura County, California, “Will Red Tape Stop Green?”
Also, since finding out that the PVC cut-out blades for some homebrew designs […]

Hemp Biofuel Test Underway in Canada

Thursday, August 27th, 2009
Alan Bock posted an item on Orange County Register’s “Orange Punch” online, “Testing hemp for biofuel,” with a link to the original story in Canada.
Bock wrote, “Think maybe this would be worth trying in California? Even on a pilot basis to see if Jack Herer’s claims about hemp hold water?”
ArsTechnica recently published a general summary […]

Green Cars In The News

Friday, August 7th, 2009

L.A. Times reports Jay Leno’s New Show to Include a Green Car Segment.
“One idea for a recurring comedy bit includes a ‘green-car challenge,’ in which celebrities would race electric or hybrid cars. Tom Cruise has already asked whether he could do some practice runs before competing, Leno said. (The host told him practice runs are […]

EEstor: Fast, Durable Electric Storage

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

A secret transcript at The EeStory is making headlines at green news sites. None greener than Hank Green posting this EcoGeek item introducing the long awaited EEstor ultracapacitor concept, with links to a more detailed article by JoulesBurn at The Oil Drum.
Further news about actual EEstor commercial applications is at TreeHugger in an article by […]

Biodiesel & Clothes Wash Near Waterless

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Xeros at GizMag
Catilin non toxic “T300″ nano catalyst replaces caustic methoxide and all the water washing needed to dilute it.
“Our solid catalyst makes it so much easier,” says Larry Lenhart, Catilin CEO. “It’s safe and nontoxic, and it requires less expense to run. You don’t need to do the mixtures with acids and pH balance, […]

Solar for Dark Climates

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Cool Energy
A Kurzweil AI post describes progress in solar technology from Cool Energy, Inc.
“In cool months, the solar heater provides hot water and space heating. In warmer months, excess heat is used to drive the Stirling engine and generate electricity.”
Kurzweil also linked to this Technology Review article about the Colorado based company developing a low […]

FreedomFest: Oil, Hemp, and Collapse

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

OCAW union
FreedomFest in Las Vegas had good attendance for a libertarian event. Read more about it at J. Neil Schulman’s FaceBook page (log in required).
The list of exhibitors leads off with energy and mining companies. They probably get hassled by Atomic unions lead by the likes of Homer Simpson. OCAW is an actual really for […]

Can We Drink AND Drive?

Friday, July 10th, 2009
According to a Houston Business Journal story, “Rice report weighs biofuels and water resources,” as the title suggests, Rice University released a report, “The Water Footprint of Biofuels: A Drink or Drive Issue?.”
While petroleum and nuclear are shown in the report to use a few hundred liters per defined energy unit, irrigated corn and soybean […]

Phenomenal Goat Staring Food Forest

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I was amazed when a grandmaster of Hollywood trivia attending a Libertarian supper club recently claimed not to have heard the term “permaculture” before.
It seems quite the trendy thing these days in political and cultural circles, but then I’m looking for it everywhere. Maybe folks will notice the release of the film “Food, Inc.” in […]

Windancer Combines Art and Power

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Wind Simplicity’s WindancerTM
One objection to wind power is the ugliness of the turbines.
Even T. Boone Pickens said he wouldn’t have one of the turbines for his own Pickens Plan on his property for that reason.
If small wind systems became decorative and attractive, maybe homeowner associations (HOA) wouldn’t resist them so much.
Thanks to a Twitter post, […]

Jet Stream Wind Power Is 16 Times Ground

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Helium tethered generator
A Wired News article, “High-Altitude Wind Machines Could Power New York City,” is also displayed at the CNN Tech section.
“The very best ground-based wind sites have a wind-power density of less than 1 kilowatt per square meter of area swept. Up near the jet stream above New York, the wind […]

Cheap Wind Power Choices

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

TriplePundit reports “Small Wind Beginning to Make a Big Difference.” For those of you concerned with U.S. trade balance, there’s good news:
“What’s even more encouraging is that U.S. manufacturers–such as Mariah Wind profiled here on 3P–accounted for about half of total worldwide small wind turbine sales.”
For the cheap DIY folks, while I am skeptical of […]

Suburban Survivalists and the Windy City

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Yahoo News reports a nationwide trend, Crisis spurs spike in ’suburban survivalists’:
“From teachers to real estate agents, these budding emergency gurus say the dismal economy has made them prepare for financial collapse as if it were an oncoming Category 5 hurricane. They worry about rampant inflation, runs on banks, bare grocery shelves and widespread power […]

Ron Paul endorses Alongside Night

Thursday, May 21st, 2009
The headline says it all. Congressman Ron Paul, a recent U.S. Presidential candidate and popular leader of the Campaign For Liberty, just endorsed Neil’s agorist novel, Alongside Night. Says Neil, “We just received the following endorsement on Alongside Night via Ron Paul’s aide, Norman Singleton.”
“J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night may be even more relevant today […]

New Paperless Publishing Method

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Kurzweil AI links to a NY Times story about Scribd giving authors 80% royalties for works uploaded to the web for eventual distribution to Kindle and iPhone apps.
After working at, I believe moving media bits electronically is greener than transporting physical plastic drink coasters and dead tree editions.
I’ve blogged about Google’s energy use […]

e-fficiency: Google in perspective

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

An ARS Technica article titled “Google: 15,000 searches = 1 cheeseburger (hold the fries)” discusses the problems of Google’s analysis of the energy used to produce its internet search results, but otherwise praises the educational value of its Clean Energy information page.
“Early this year, a newspaper story made the rounds when, after extrapolating from some […]

Lake Mead Is Half Empty

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Nothing combines the concepts of water and power like Hoover Dam.
The electricity generating turbines at Hoover (a.k.a. Boulder) Dam spin due to the pressure exerted by the water in man made Lake Mead.
According to Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder, in an article published by GOOD magazine, the water level has fallen 100 feet in Lake Mead […]

Solar Heated Rainwater Demo in RV

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

YouTube video of SolTrekker RV tour in Portland, Oregon on Earth Day, 2009, according to the video description at the creator’s channel.
The green SolTrekker RV uses photovoltaics, contains no PVC, burns biodiesel but no petroleum or propane, and of particular interest on Thirst Day, collects rainwater and has a super insulated solar water heating system.

Seedballs on NPR

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

I’m still on a road trip, which started with my participation at the Xanadu convention in Las Vegas. I spoke there about “All Things Ecological” and “Indie Filmmaking.”
I took a break from the convention to be interviewed, along with Alongside Night author J. Neil Schulman, by the Motorhome Diaries team, who met with us and […]

Pigs In The Pipes Power Pilot Project

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

The Simpsons MovieAbby Cohn at Berkeley Innovations describes a test by the City of San Francisco to convert brown grease, which normally plugs up sewer pipes, into biodiesel in an item titled From Bacon To Biofuel.
Innovations is the website of the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, hence the plugs for its alumni in the article.
” […]

Grease Lightning Delivery Uses Biodiesel

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The Albany Democrat-Herald in Oregon published a story about Grease Lightning Delivery, a business that uses biodiesel and recycled vegetable oil as fuel.
“John Knox thinks his 1982 Mazda Truck with a modified engine that runs on biofuel can provide businesses with an economical and environmentally sound means of delivery.”
Small scale recycling of waste vegetable oil […]

It Usually Begins With Iran

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Windpower in Iran
This headline was the title for my side of a debate (in the negative) on “Should the U.S. invade Iran” held at the Karl Hess Club on Monday, March 16. (Also, Jerome Tuccille’s humorous book, It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand, featured stories about the founding personalities of the modern libertarian movement.)
The gist […]

Spare Change, Acceleration & Limits

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Wildman Steve Brill
A Slashdot post reports that Space Energy, Inc. claims to have a rock solid business model for their plan to beam down power via microwaves from solar energy collectors in space. I’ll get to survivalism and foraging in a minute, stay with me.
In a page linked from that article, at Universe Today, “aerospace […]

“Singularity U” Fights Hunger With Robotics

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Kurzweil AI post.
The supreme Chancellor says he loves democracy and will give power back to the Old Republic. Oh wait, this isn’t Star Wars, Sarah Connor, or Battlestar. This is real life.
Ray Kurzweil is the Chancellor of a new interdisciplinary college called Singularity University.
“The Singularity University aims to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of […]

MAX MPG Car Escapes From Berkeley

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Mother Earth News reports that a DIY homebrew car, “MAX Wins 800-mile Race, without Gas.”
The challenge was to drive from Berkeley to Las Vegas without using petroleum based fuel, and without buying any fuel directly. This is a step in the MAX team’s attempt to win the $10 million automotive X-Prize for a 100 MPG […]

Freeway BioFuel, Daryl Hannah’s New Car

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

BioPro automation YouTube
From the Freeways To Fuel website, linked from Green Tech Media coverage of the National Biodiesel Conference in San Francisco this month:
. . .we estimate that 10 million acres of non-traditional agronomic lands are available to grow about 1 billion million gallons of biodiesel feedstock on our country’s rights-of-way.
Daryl Hannah made news at […]


Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Here’s a direct link to the Instructables page for a thousand watt wind turbine project.
“We built a 1000 watt wind turbine to help charge the battery bank that powers our offgrid home. It’s a permanent magnet alternator, generating 3 phase ac, rectified to dc, and fed to a charge controller. The magnets spin with the […]

Ice Age Sunspot Shortwave Solar Installations

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Do I win a prize for the most bizarre headline? While we’re digressing, what’s up with “Cardinals” as a football team name? I think it’s fine for Abner Doubleday and Cooperstown, but on the gridiron a tweety bird is like a boy named Sue. Now give me some more tofu.
First some good news for energy […]