Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ReVair Maintenance Free Wind Turbine

This design is blowing my mind! A Vertical wind turbine that spins without friction on magnets.

"ReVair turbines are constructed with very few parts: Base rings, stall rings, five blades, framework, imbedded magnetic bearings, and our proprietary amplified flux field motor.  The assembled unit is compressed between magnetic fields allowing it to levitate and rotate within the magnetic fields. This magnetic bearing feature provides for reduced friction and silent rotation of the turbine even at higher revolutions. The turbine starts up with little wind, and the design eliminates wear
Typical wind mills operate using a complicated gearing system. Mill type generating systems require extensive maintenance, creating  higher operating costs. Experts predict that traditional windmill units will need to be rebuilt or replaced every 10 to 20 years."
Now how much for the 3kw version? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hybrid House in Joshua Tree, California by Ecotech Design

Images Courtesy Jack Parsons

WALTER SCOTT PERRY, Architect, AIA, Principal of ecotechdesign
(, and Founder of ecotechbuild, has practiced sustainable architecture and been a leader and advocate for green design since the early 1970’s – the pioneer days of the passive solar movement in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mr. Perry’s work includes award-winning commercial, institutional, and residential projects designed and built across the U.S. for over four decades. His work is recognized for the creative application of design innovation in generating practical and affordable, yet sophisticated architecture and master planning at all scales from small residential remodel to large commercial work. He holds several degrees, including a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

ERIC ENGHEBEN, President of 44 West Construction, Inc. (, and a licensed General Engineering and Building Contractor with over 30 years experience, has always integrated green technologies. Recently, he completed a LEED Platinum rated residence in Los Angeles. His custom homes are featured in national publications and have received numerous awards. 44 West
Construction, Inc., is a leader in construction quality, cost control, scheduling, waste management, green innovation and the integration of new technologies in all its projects. Their focus is on responding to client needs in order to realize maximum creativity and customer satisfaction. 44 West Construction has over five years experience and is an industry leader in the repurpose and reconstruction of shipping container homes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Heavy Mud - Sodium Bentonite

All the news from the BP oil spill talks about using heavy mud to plug the well. What is heavy mud?

A Common Clay, Swelling Bentonite.
Sodium bentonite expands when wet - it can absorb several times its dry weight in water. It is mostly used in drilling mud in the oil and gas well drilling industries. The property of swelling also makes sodium bentonite useful as a sealant, especially targeted for the sealing of subsurface disposal systems for spent nuclear fuel and for quarantining metal pollutants of groundwater. Similar uses include making slurry walls, waterproofing of below grade walls and forming other impermeable barriers (e.g. to plug old wells or as a liner in the base of landfills to prevent migration of leachate into the soil.

Why is this useful you say? Well it would be particularly useful to pour a slurry of Bentonite around a stack of cargo containers buried below grade.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Origin Oil developing a 40Ft cargo container to grow algae

Origin Oil's Complete Process

Well look how funding can help a company. Progress from Origin Oil towards making algea growing available to the masses. First they have simplified CO2 dispersion into an algal tank, then using the same process but with higher pressure figured out a way to extract the oil without using a separate ultrasonic device.

Now they are planning on using 40 foot shipping containers as algae growing labs. The question is when can I order one and how much will it cost?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Calling all clothes dryers! Retrofit and save energy.

Probably the best and simplest invention I've seen in a while. A kit to retrofit your existing clothes dryer to save energy. Current dryers push air past wire coils (electric) or a heat exchanger (gas) to heat up the air that goes into the dyer to dry your clothes. This kit heats up an oil filled radiator which then the air is passed through. It is about twice as efficient in terms of heat transfer. Check it out DryerMiser™
I will admit that their website is horrible and their ecommerce store needs help. But if they can get their act together with their marketing, I predict that this company will be able to go very far. Here's hoping to a simple product that could save tons of energy for us all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to use our TARP Money - Cents for Solar

Forget dollars for dishwashers or Funds for Furnaces! How about Cents for Solar?

A company called GreenRaySolar has developed solar panels that are plug and play into your home AC electrical grid. So you don't need to pay to have an installers put in complicated breakers, load balancers and invertors. It should be 2x easier than installing your own satelite dish on your roof. Each panel has all of the components built in and you just click the wiring together. Ease of installation will reduce costs and barriers associated with current residential solar applications.

In theory, we could use our TARP money and buy one for each roof for each house in the U.S. plug it in and save. Here's my estimates (give or take a few million) using 2007 Census data:

111,162,259 households in the U.S. x $800 solar panel = $88 billion dollars
We would produce 64,918,759,256 kilowatts per year.
The national average price of eletricity is 0.12 p/kilowatt. With the solar panel it costs 0.091 p/kilowatt. Each household would save $70.08 a year in electricity. We should pay $53.33 back to the government over 15 years to pay off the $800 panel. Each house would then make $16.75 a year from the electric company. Over 15 years each house will save $251.25. This might not sound like much, but try multiplying this over 111 million households.

Not only would we pay back the $88 billion to the government, each house would be cash positive, we could all properly start the going green movement, perhaps add a few more panels to the system if we want, and more importantly relieve some stress on our failing power infrastructure. Add a few energy saving lightbulbs to the mix and let's see how that compares with throwing away dollars for dishwashers?

Converting CO2 directly to Diesel without biomass extraction

Exciting developments lately with engineered microbes that with sunlight convert CO2 directly to diesel fuel. This greatly simplifies and reduces the actual energy needed to convert algae biomass into biodiesel. Here's a recap of the article from: Gas 2.0

Inside specially designed reactors, Joule’s engineered microbes thrive off of sunlight and CO2. In return, depending on the type of organism, they can produce straight ethanol, diesel or a number of other types of hydrocarbons.

Although the process sounds similar to algae-produced biofuels, the Joule process is incredibly (and beneficially) different for several reasons:

Doesn’t produce biomass
No agricultural feedstock needed
Can be conducted on non-arable land
Doesn’t need fresh water
Produces fuel directly without the need for extraction or refinement
Apparently Joule has discovered some unique genes inside these microbes that produce the enzymes responsible for directly making the molecules found in diesel. From there, engineering organisms to make other fuels was a simple step. At this point, production of the fuels has only been done in the lab, but Joule has plans to open a pilot plant in early 2011.

More info at