Category: Energy Systems

Wave Carpet – Harnessing Wave Energy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWnY-XFihVQ Professor Reza Alam and his PhD students in Mechanical Engineering Department, University of California, Berkeley, are testing out a prototype of a device which can produce electricity and provide clean drinking water for coastal communities throughout the world. Called a ‘wave carpet’, it harnesses the predictable wave power to obtain usable energy. As the waves roll through, the carpets motion produces hydraulic pressure energy. This energy can to used […]

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Denmark, Portugal, and Spain Leading the World in Wind Power

by J. Matthew Roney Denmark produced one third of its electricity from the wind in 2013. In no other country has wind’s share of annual electricity generation yet topped 30 percent. But the Danes are not stopping there — they are eyeing a goal of 50 percent wind by 2020, with most of the needed expansion coming from offshore wind farms. Recent experience shows that Denmark’s grid can accommodate this […]

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Solar Tyre Cooker

Sketch showing the solar tyre cooker With relatively inexpensive materials and easy to construct, a solar tyre cooker can be a very useful device for many of the poor people in the world. In many African countries people walk long distances to collect firewood to cook their food, or spend up to 50% of their income buying wood or charcoal. The materials needed to make this solar oven are very […]

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The Multi Bioregion Earthship

Adaptation – any alteration in the structure or function of an organism or any of its parts that results from natural selection and by which the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment. Who am I if not myself? So, you’ve decided that you would like to live a more sustainable life — filled with natural homes, gardens and fresh water among other things. This transition […]

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Zeer Pot: Demonstration of Its Effectiveness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNLPeb3qIhc A Zeer Pot – Off Grid Refrigeration (Duration 5:36 minutes) A zeer pot is an ancient device used to cool things. It was invented by the Egyptians about 2500 years before Christ was born. It works on the principle of evaporative cooling. It’s still in use today in North Africa and this video tells you about it and shows you how to make and use one. Interesting notes: More […]

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World Wind Power Poised to Bounce Back after Slowing in 2013

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute At the end of 2013, the wind farms installed in more than 85 countries had a combined generating capacity of 318,000 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the residential electricity needs of the European Union’s 506 million people. New data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that wind developers built 35,000 megawatts of new generating capacity worldwide in 2013. This was […]

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Ram Pumps

People are always fascinated by ram pumps. I think partly because they achieve the seemingly impossible task of pumping water to a higher height than the water supplying the pump, and they do it for no added energy input. This is often misunderstood as needing no energy, but even a casual understanding of the laws of thermodynamics tells us this is impossible. You will notice I said no added energy […]

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Lessons From the Rust Belt with Geoff Lawton

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Geoff Lawton looks at the rust belt collapse of an entire industry in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and the lost opportunity that could have been prevented if people thought differently and redesigned their way using some proven Permaculture techniques. The future might have been vastly different. Holyoke once had a thriving wool and sheep industry. When that fell away, a cotton textile mill industry was introduced and flourished for a while before […]

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Home-Scale Conversion of Plastics to Oil

by Lesley White A highly-promising development out of Japan: a corporation called Blest has developed a home-scale plastic to oil converter. Through the process 1kg of plastic yields 1 litre of oil.

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Cooking Steaks with Sunlight in South Africa (video)

Using coal and kerosene to fuel a stove is both costly and hazardous. Social entrepreneur Crosby Menzies hopes it will become a thing of the past in Africa. He rolled out his solar cooker, a satellite-dish shaped oven that uses sunlight to cook meals, in the Johannesburg township of Soweto. By employing locals like Mthobisa Cebekhulu, he believes he can bring it to other impoverished parts of the continent.

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Solar Water Bottle Bulbs

Alfredo Moser with his solar water bottle bulbs Introduction Thomas Alva Edison lit up the world with his electric bulb in the nineteenth century. In this century it is the solar bottle bulbs of Alfredo Moser which are illuminating thousands of houses of under-privileged people in many countries. This simple invention of the Brazilian mechanic is going viral and is been implemented in remote villages throughout the world. This article […]

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Creating the Alternative: Inside Look into the SolTrekker

by Mo Lohre and Will Redwine Sorry for the hiatus, but would you believe we came across a few bumps in the road? Just like with any worthwhile quest, unexpected challenges emerged. Now that we’ve had some time to address them, we are excited to share our struggles as well as our findings. When we began the Creating the Alternative Tour we were determined to design a regenerative lifestyle while […]

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