Hamster Power!

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Just because you can, doesn't you mean you should...some renewable power ideas fall squarely in that category. Although does a Hamster Powered Generator (HPG) make any more sense? Before we explore, let's establish a few realistic baseline numbers: Hamster runs typically 8 miles per day, which is about 28,968 rotations of a 54cm hamster wheel. Averaging 50RPM, equals roughly 8 hours of running Read more

Changing Gears

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Today, we're exploring my personal background in Electric Vehicles (EVs), and why my position on EVs has changed over a period of about 25 years. For me, the interest in EVs was sparked by a movie: Back to the Future III. I was 11 years old at the time, and I wanted to better understand how Mr Fusion could power a time machine. So I dug into the history of electrical technologies...I dug until I Read more

I Think I Can

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Lately, I've been bragging about what my little Smart Car can haul with its attached trailer, fondly called the Smart Cart. All-combined, this is a ~59MPG little setup. The most frequent questions: The trailer is rated up to 1090 lb of cargo (Max GVR: 1,250 lb) Does it need to be registered? No. According to the Oregon DMV "... You do not have to register a light trailer (which includes a Read more

Building The House

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I haven't yet spoken about a major remodeling project we're undertaking. Here's a primer, more details will follow in additional blog postings. Project Status & Scope Our project is ongoing, but by the time we're done, we'll be able to accommodate two ~800sq-ft residences (even though a developer would point out our R2a 1/4 acre lot can support four residences). We've left space for urban Read more

Solar Roadways? Are you Joking?

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This product has got to be someone's idea of a sick joke. But the internet seems ablaze with this silly idea. At least some places have kept their sense. Just crunch the numbers: you'll find that cost, complexity, and availability of raw materials will be your main constraints. If you think our recent war over oil was bad. Wait until we need the rare earth materials necessary to pull off Read more

What's the point of Solar energy?

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Using solar makes us feel good. Who doesn't love having someone else pay their electric bill, by way of government subsidized equipment. Nothing says efficiency, like churning money through large organizational bureaucracies... No, wait, I forgot! Solar can help reduce dependence upon other power sources. Just look at the German world record setters! They recently met nearly 75% of their PEAK Read more

Solar can't perform, period.

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Inspired by grossly-inaccurate statements published on ScientificAmerican.com, regarding a new Arizona solar power plant, I decided to crunch a few numbers on solar power. The results, independent of PR and marketing spin...are depressing. The power plant's case study website site declares plant output at an averaged 52,184,916.67kWh/month (626.219 GWh / 12 months) The EIA's latest report Read more

Silly Solar Numbers

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A few days ago, I was excited to discover Roni Jacobson’s article on the World’s Largest Solar Array Set to Crank Out 290 Megawatts of Sunshine Power. The excitement quickly faded as I kept stumbling over multple gross inaccuracies within the article, including energy overstatements by orders of magnitude, and misattribution of dollar amounts by a multiple of nearly 1,000. For Scientific Read more