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Power

Submission + - Europe's First Solar Thermal Power Online

rohar writes: "According to BBC News, Solucar, a division of Abengoa has brought Europe's first commercial solar thermal power station online. It is generating 11MW using a heliostat flat mirror and central tower solar steam system. A video of the system is available from BBC.

The system design would integrate very well with the SHPEGS concepts and combining this type of CSP plant with seasonal thermal storage and a massive air-coupled solar heat pump has a very strong potential for high summer insolation/cold winter climates like Canada and the Northern US and Europe."
Power

Submission + - Heating Your Home With A Geothermal Pump

Makarand writes: This article in the Chronicle describes how geothermal pumps could be used to heat our homes instead of natural gas or electricity. These pumps rely on the fact that regardless of what the surface temperature of the earth is, it is always 60 degrees a few hundred feet below. You have to drill a few holes 200 feet deep and insert U-shaped tubes in them and connect these to a heat exchanger. The tubes are filled with a solution of water and alcohol to prevent corrosion. Circulation pumps drive the water solution through the tubes in the ground and when the solution comes up from underground it is warm because it has passed through an environment of about 60 degrees.The heated liquid then is passed through the heat exchanger which takes care of the business of heating your home.
Power

Submission + - The Future of Things: SHPEGS

rohar writes: "The Future of Things has an article/interview on the Open Source SHPEGS project. The SHPEGS project is a not-for-profit renewable system design project with the focus of creating a clean, baseload, renewable power system for moderate climates based on solar, geothermal and heat upgrader/pump steampunk technology. The SHPEGS design takes advantage of moderate climates by capturing the heat from the high summer solar insolation and warm summer air of more northern locations and storing it in massive thermal storage. During the winter cycle power is generated as with a traditional geothermal system and a massive quantity of ice is stored underground for summer efficiency. The initial SHPEGS system was featured on slashdot back in January and has seen many refinements in design, interest from commercial ventures and improvements in presentation materials as the project has moved along. Vinod Khosla is a major proponent of Solar Thermal power generation, and he speaks on it in these Australian Four Corners videos."
Power

Submission + - TFOT: Open Source Solar/Geothermal Project

An anonymous reader writes: TFOT has a detailed article on an open design renewable energy project. The article give a good overview of some existing renewable systems, their shortcomings and an interview with the SHPEGS project initiator.
Power

Submission + - What's a SHPEGS?

rohar writes: "In the few months since this Open Design Renewable Energy Project was initiated, the concept has seen vast technical input from many sources and the design and calculations have gone through several revisions. The project has recently had several serious inquiries from VC firms and commercial entities and is rapidly moving into the demonstration project phase. The project will remain open and not-for-profit and attempt to assist commercial entities and communities in adapting the system.

The design focus is to build a feasible renewable base load power station from common materials for moderate climates like Western Canada where there is high solar isolation during the summer, but very cold temperatures and little daylight in winter. A binary geothermal system is integrated with massive local underground thermal storage and a solar thermal powered air-coupled absorption heat pump water heater that has the potential to more than double the thermal output of the solar collectors. Power is generated while heating the thermal storage in the summer and this local thermal storage is used in a traditional binary geothermal system in the winter. The sub-0C winter temperatures and relatively close thermal storage allow for an efficient geothermal system in the winter and the winter air will cool the thermal storage well below freezing for efficient summer operation.

A SHPEGS is a Solar Heat Pump Electrical Generation System."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Cluster Computer Built from PS3's

jbcage writes: A professor at North Carolina State University has built a cluster computer using 8 PlayStation 3's running Linux. "His cluster of eight PS3 machines — the first such academic cluster in the world — packs the power of a small supercomputer, but at a total cost of about $5,000, it costs less than some desktop computers that have only a fraction of the computing power."
Robotics

Submission + - Toy Robots vs. Killer Robots

Egadfly writes: "Ok, so I play with toy robots. That's my thing. There is an old saying "If you know where I'm coming from, you know what I mean."
But now a Mideast military firm, Elbit Systems, has unveiled a killer robot, the VIPeR, that can roll through "dark alleys, caves and tunnels" armed to the teeth. Suddenly it's not so funny anymore."
Bug

Submission + - Computer foul-up breaks Canadian tax filing system

CokeJunky writes: "During a weekend maintenance window, the Canada Revenue Agency (Fills the same role as the IRS south of the border) experienced data corruption issues in the tax databases. As a precaution, they have disabled all electronic filling services, and paper based returns will be stacking up in the mail room, as returns cannot be filed at all until the problem is fixed. Articles: The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Canada Revenue Agency. Apparently on Monday they discovered tax fillings submitted electronically where the Social Insurance Number, and the Date of Birth were swapped."
Robotics

Submission + - Automatic Beer Launching Fridge

gondarlinux writes: "From this site:
Have you ever gotten up off the couch to get a beer for the umpteenth time and thought, "What if instead of ME going to get the BEER, the BEER came to ME???" Well, that was how I first conceived of the beer launching fridge. About 3 months and several hundred dollars later I have a fully automated, remote controlled, catapulting, man-pit approved, beer launching mini-fridge. It holds 10 beers in its magazine with 14 more in reserve to store a full case. It is controlled by a keyless entry system. Pressing unlock will start the catapult rotating and when it is aiming at your target, pressing unlock again will stop it. Then the lock button can be pressed to launch a beer in the selected direction." Here's the video:"
User Journal

Journal Journal: Open Letter to Sir Richard Branson

Dear Sir Richard Branson,

Upon reading the information on the recently announced Virgin Earth Challenge I feel that although I admire the noble effort, I have difficulty with the terms and conditions of the challenge. I believe that if you and the Virgin group of companies were serious regarding improving our planet that you have the resources to make an immediate change in the world energy si
Power

Submission + - Open Letter to Sir Richard Branson

rohar writes: "Dear Sir Richard Branson,

Upon reading the information on the recently announced Virgin Earth Challenge I feel that although I admire the noble effort, I have difficulty with the terms and conditions of the challenge. I believe that if you and the Virgin group of companies were serious regarding improving our planet that you have the resources to make an immediate change in the world energy situation and to lower the risk of climate change.

I believe that we have an initial design for an implementable system that uses indirect solar collection to generate electricity and store thermal energy in an economical, environmentally friendly, scalable, reliable, efficient and location independent manner using common construction materials. This system design is not under limited Intellectual Property protection and a pilot project and further commercial ventures may be initiated under the Virgin brand.

I am challenging you to invest some resources, form an engineering team and take the energytower.org idea and to build some massive bright red convection tower renewable energy systems with the Virgin logo painted on the side.

Sincerely,
Robert J. Rohatensky
Regina, SK Canada
www.energytower.org"
Power

Submission + - Open Letter to Sir Richard Branson

rohar writes: "Dear Sir Richard Branson,

Upon reading the information on the recently announced Virgin Earth Challenge I feel that although I admire the noble effort, I have difficulty with the terms and conditions of the challenge. I believe that if you and the Virgin group of companies were serious regarding improving our planet that you have the resources to make an immediate change in the world energy situation and to lower the risk of climate change.

I believe that we have an initial design for an implementable system that uses indirect solar collection to generate electricity and store thermal energy in an economical, environmentally friendly, scalable, reliable, efficient and location independent manner using common construction materials. This system design is not under limited Intellectual Property protection and a pilot project and further commercial ventures may be initiated under the Virgin brand.

I am challenging you to invest some resources, form an engineering team and take the energytower.org idea and to build some massive bright red convection tower renewable energy systems with the Virgin logo painted on the side.

Sincerely,
Robert J. Rohatensky
Regina, SK Canada
www.energytower.org"

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