Innovative Solar Energy Technology.

Posted February 23, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

earthblog4An architect from Europe has designed a unique product for collecting solar energy: “Rawlemon Spherical Solar Energy Generator”. This video is from YouTube channel “Rawlemon Ltd.” and, seeing it is one of two videos uploaded, the product seems at present in its initial stage(s) of development. The website to get more information on this invention is Rawlemon.com. At this time, the website is under construction so there is nothing further that I can convey about the potential of this solar energy innovation.

The reason I find this so interesting is because a similar concept came into my imagination.. My concept consisted of the same glass ball as the Rawlemon, made of the same type of glass used to make magnifying glasses. Everyone remembers when they were kids and used magnifying glasses to burn pieces of paper etc. So, a ball of magnifying glass seems like a good way to produce heat, with the ball shape allowing for continuous magnification from the sun no matter what time of day, eliminating the constraint of flat, rectangular solar panels having to become programmed to “follow” the sun across the sky.

The limited amount of information available on the Rawlemon because of the website modifications now under way does not allow one to find out what qualities the glass ball has with regard to magnifying properties. This video mentions concentrating 10,000 times the sun’s rays entering the glass ball, so this may mean that a magnification inducing glass is in place.

At any rate, the Rawlemon Spherical Solar Energy Generator may or may not be a product that revolutionizes the field of solar energy generation. At this point, we can only hope that it is.

Advertisements

Toward Healthy Energy Solutions.

Posted February 17, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“Science is the search for truth – it is not a game in which one tries to beat his opponent, to do harm to others.”

– Linus Pauling (1901-1994)

smoky mt-1In the United States shale gas was 2% of the total natural gas produced in 2000. In the year 2014 that percentage has risen to 40% of the total natural gas. Gas from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has become a phenomenon in America, and remains a controversial subject due to limited knowledge of the process by the people.

For those men and women who have concerns or wish to learn more about fracking, an organization “Physicians, Scientists, And Engineers for Healthy Energy” was formed to allow people to study transparent non-biased information on important energy topics. Their information comes from a multi-disciplinary framework with contributions from educated men and women in various fields on all aspects of energy production on Earth.

The group focuses on producing highly vetted knowledge on one of the most important subjects in the world: energy, its sources, the hazards and promise of the various energy production options, as well as societal concerns from those optional forms. Energy is essential for every human being in the world, so this organization, one of the first, if not the first of its kind, offers the public, government officials, and business an excellent source of accurate study on the consequences, negative or positive, of different energies available.

People in the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and New York, where the giant Marcellus shale deposits are located will be especially interested in visiting this organization’s website psehealthyenergy.org, because the future in this region may include fracking wells numbering in the hundreds of thousands. People in states considering fracking would make the right decision by spending some time on the groups website, as the knowledge offered there is important and highly relevant.

Given the global dimension of fracking, people around the world would do well to learn at psehealthyenergy.org as many nations have either begun drilling, are considering it, or are experiencing regrets about deciding to frack.  PSE for Healthy Energy offers a unique and important source of top-notch scientific research and study.

Some facts about fracking:

Wells get drilled to depths from 5,000 to 10,000 feet

3-5 millions gallons of fluid are required per well

2-3% of the fluids consists of chemicals needed for the process

Companies are not required to report all of those chemicals

To a large extent, fracking companies cannot be sued for damages due to the “Cheney Rule”

Methane from fracking is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2

Comprehensive environmental impacts have not been conducted and determined

In the state of Pennsylvania 7,000 wells have gone up, of which approximately one-half have been fracked. The state has seen a significant number of complaints about the effects of fracking, mostly about drinking water contamination. Pennsylvania projects for the future that 100,000 wells will become drilled, and since the relatively small number of wells that have been fracked has resulted in a large number of citizen complaints, the urgency of intense research and study only increases.

This is where absolute relevance of an organization like Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy becomes recognized, because education on fracking and alternatives is essential for citizen’s awareness of the issues, and offers the best chance for good decision-making going forward. In America there are very few, if any, news organizations educating the public on hydraulic fracturing – the positives and negatives. On the one hand there are economic positives, and then there are negative consequences – most importantly drinking water contamination from fracking chemicals.

The work done by PSE for Healthy Energy is critically important because the best minds on the issues of energy production are making sincere efforts to get the science right in the one or two decades most scientists feel are left to reverse adverse environmental effects from fossil fuels.

The greatest danger facing humanity is higher temperatures which accelerate an already melting permafrost in the Arctic regions, threatening the Earth with massive methane releases of catastrophic dimensions. Given the great increase in fracking around the world it is important that science is relied upon for good knowledge of its consequences.

****

Mr. Jake Hays of PSE for Healthy Energy gives a short talk from January 2014 in the following video. If you have concerns about future decisions regarding energy production options for the men, women, and children of the world, please visit psehealthyenergy.org.

****

(Thank you We Are Change CT @ YouTube)

Earth, America, Solar Power, And Arthur Schopenhauer.

Hermann Scheer 2005
Hermann Scheer 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted November 27, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer

First, solar energy, along with wind energy, is free energy. Why is it that no world leader has suggested that every citizen in every nation, especially the United States, have access to free energy from solar, wind, biogas, and other renewable energies? Now, let me be clear here. I am talking about a situation where no person will pay for electricity, ever again.

Let me begin with a short discussion about what it means to become an elected representative of the people. I think we can all agree that ideally a government representative of the people has the job of making life better for his constituents. There may be some debate as to whether John F. Kennedy’s suggestion that men complete a mission to land on the moon resulted in life being better for the American people. One could say that there were a number of valuable, life-enhancing technological developments which came about through the effort to send a man to the moon.

Leaving the moon landing debate aside, whether it was worth it because of the scientific discoveries that occurred in the effort, what I would like to do here is compare the big idea of sending a man to the moon to the big idea of providing every citizen on Earth with free power/electricity.  What I am suggesting is that free energy comes from the sun and wind, and there is no reason to not believe that every citizen should have use of that free energy.

Solar, wind, and other renewable energies are free.

The documentary in this post, “Here Comes The Sun”, came out in 2008-9, and shows the tremendous potential of solar energy even some years ago. At that time the promise of solar energy technologies had already been discovered and proven to be practical. Hermann Scheer, the man who almost single-handedly initiated a green revolution in his native country of Germany before passing away in 2010, plainly stated in the film that the “solar debate is over.”

Now, he said this 5 years ago.

My focus here is to express my disappointment that the unbelievably profound potential of solar and wind energy is not being utilized to the point where every single man, woman, and child on Earth is using it. In the simplest way of saying it, solar and wind energy can power the entire world – all of humanity. And my simple question is: why is this possibility not being pursued with an intense vigor that matches the truly profound and possible reality?

Perhaps the man from Jordan in this documentary answered that simple question. He offered the choice for humanity of living in a world where compassion and concern for one’s fellow-man is the reality pursued, or the other option of continuing the status-quo where special interests receive the bulk of the power and influence moving forward. His reasoning and expression of that choice, which is the true choice for humanity now, is right on the money and reflects the actual energy situation on Earth.

Even though this documentary came out in 2008-9, its impact is perhaps even more powerful in 2013 because it exposes how disappointing has been the worldwide effort to implement such life transforming technology everywhere. Hermann Scheer said that a rapid renewable energy revolution is possible. He said that investments in traditional energy industries like oil, nuclear, coal, etc. will become poor investments because renewable energies are the future.

To the point, there is no longer any argument or debate about solar, wind, and other renewable energies. It is time for world leaders to get with the program and start the ball rolling to gratefully accept the Creator/God’s gift of solar and wind energy. Certainly the traditional energy industries like oil, coal, nuclear, and others will become, as Hermann Scheer stated, “superfluous”.

It is time for humanity to choose the path that leads to a less polluted, less energy resource war-prone, more just and peaceful world. A better world where the citizens of the Earth lead improved lives with less violence, less spending on weapons, wars and killing, less separation between nations and people, and an increase in coöperation and brotherhood worldwide, is possible and waiting for the human race to take and make real.

A better world is possible. All humanity has to do is choose the good path.

****

(Video source: Global Climate News channel @ YouTube)

 

 

Related articles

When Every Day Is Sun Day.

Direct-gain solar heater panels with integrate...
Direct-gain solar heater panels with integrated storage tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted November 1, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Today is Sunday November 1, 2013. What does he mean by “when every day is Sunday”? What it means is that people have solar panels on their homes and workplaces, passive solar heating through placement of south-facing windows, skylights erasing the need to turn on the lights during daytime, and other energy producing and saving products and strategies in place.

Simple placement of windows on south-facing walls of homes and buildings saves owners from 30-40% on heating costs. Does the home you live in take advantage of southern walls and windows in those walls? Do your family members’ homes have passive solar energy collecting, south-facing windows? How about skylights? Does the single story building that you own or work in have skylights? Or the schools where you live?

Passive solar and installing skylights are two of the low-tech, energy efficiency avenues to what Amory Lovins, the fellow in the following video, has coined “negawatt” savings. Amory Lovins has been an advocate of a “negawatt revolution” for decades, negawatt being defined as a unit of energy measured in watts saved.

Mr. Lovins had been out of my mind until Ralph Nader recently mentioned his name in an article. I had a slight knowledge of him through readings in years past, understood he was a leader in energy efficiency advocacy through his founding of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and that his efforts were always seen as logical and reasonable. When Mr. Nader reminded me of Amory Lovins, I thought it would be a positive thing to post an article about him.

A little about Amory Lovins. He was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947 and spent his childhood in Maryland and Massachusetts. He attended Harvard from 1964-66 then transferred to Oxford University in England, where he studied physics and other subjects. He didn’t graduate because the university declined his request to pursue a doctorate in energy.

He went on to publish six books on energy-efficiency, energy-saving products, and the promise of newly emerging technology. He became an environmentalist, working with the Friends of the Earth, until in 1982 he, along with his wife Hunter Lovins, founded the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, USA. The video below comes from RMI’s YouTube channel, and their web address is rmi.org. RMI has grown from 1982 to now in 2013, where the organization has a staff of 85 and a budget of $13 million.

Amory Lovins advocates a “soft energy path” for the United States and nations around the world. Soft energy includes solar, wind, biogas, geothermal, and other forms of energy production. Mr. Lovins has focused on energy efficiency and renewables’ production in the vicinity of where the energy is used. His efforts have included sharing of information which allows purchasers of energy using devices to learn about energy-saving/efficient device options and their existence, where to buy them, and the best energy-saving devices available.

I equate his level of influence in the world to that of the late Hermann Scheer of Germany, both in a league of major contributors to energy freedom for the people of both their countries and countries around the Earth. Lovins, Scheer, Nader and many others have correctly identified the tremendous technological potential of renewable energies and are strong believers in the positive consequences of largest-scale implementation of new and developing products and technology.

There are a few reasons that I have decided to share energy-related information here. First, let me share that years ago I read a book, the title of which I can’t recall, where the author pointed out that major oil and gas corporations were “sitting on” patents for the most advanced renewable energy technologies. I would submit that renewable technologies are in effect “censored”, blocked, and criticized for one reason. It is a simple reason: at a certain point after a home or commercial building owner installs solar or other technology-the time comes, that point where the installation cost(s) have been recouped-and from that point forward the energy produced is free.

One can easily see why renewable energies are not in operation on the ground in the USA at the largest scale when viewed with profits of traditional energy corporations’ stockholders in one’s awareness. Renewables have a “catch-22” status in America, being a “winning” proposition for the people but a “loser” for the owners of oil. gas, nuclear, and other traditional energy corporations. Ultimately it is a sad situation because profits have become placed above the interests of the majority of the people.

The real, great promise of renewable energy has been suppressed and needs to end.

Hermann Scheer called solar power “the energy of the people”. He conveyed before he passed away in 2010 that the actualizing of renewables’ real benefits would entail a “war” of sorts-a war between the people and entrenched profit-driven corporate power and the individuals who want to maintain the profits-the energy status-quo. My guess is that Amory Lovins is intimately familiar with the work of Hermann Scheer, and understands fully the type of effort required for world energy production change.

Hopefully this piece will increase awareness and accelerate a real paradigm change in the world regarding renewable energy and its presently available, implementable, waiting-for-installation state. Perhaps from reading this men and women will take action(s) which help accelerate such a worldwide change. Perhaps communications which may have not taken place will take place. Persons reading this will contact the Rocky Mountain Institute and receive information which leads to the start of a business installing solar panels on homes, commercial buildings, and schools. Or the start of a business installing south-facing windows, or skylights.

Perhaps someone reading this will contact their federal representative and suggest legislation which allows for a renewable energy industry boom, which occurred in Germany with the leadership of Hermann Scheer, after he led the draft of laws guaranteeing economic gains from renewable energy investment, through feed-in tariffs that paid those investors, small and large, an unalterable amount for their energy production.

In Germany, because people who install solar panels on their homes have a guaranteed payment for excess energy production, there are solar panels on homes and building as far as the eye can see. Businesses which build solar panels and related products, businesses which specialize in installing solar panels, and retail stores have begun with legislation that focused on renewable energy development.

For more information visit the Rocky Mountain Institute’s website: rmi.org.

All that is needed for the United States of America to create an economic boom in renewable energy is legislation that mirrors German legislation. The reality which the American people must deal with is the choice of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to maintain the status-quo of traditional oil, gas, nuclear, and coal corporation owners. 

Right now, the lawmakers in Washington, D.C.-the United States Congress-have decided to deny the American people a renewable energy, economic boom and most significant: free energy.

****

Related articles